Reader’s note: This article was originally published January 18th 2018 and was completely updated on 8th November 2019.
Are you using Facebook advertising and want to explore the opportunities of click-to-call ads? During my time working agency side, I generated a 154.17% MoM increase in phone call enquiries for a client who supplied and fitted a range of quality flooring using click-to-call ads. In this article, I’m going to explain how Facebook click-to-call ads work and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to create your own. Then as a bonus, I’m going to show you how to measure your call quality and attribute it to revenue.
I’ve written before about the benefits of Google Ads call-only ads and call extensions. These ad types are perfect for driving calls to local businesses, but only when prospects are actively searching for relevant keywords in Google.
Although, what about potential customers who aren’t actively conducting searches on Google, but could benefit from your services? How do you find these people and encourage them to pick up the phone?
I’m pretty sure anyone reading this will have sat in a marketing meeting that’s gone something like this:
“What can we do to get more phone enquiries? We know our audience is out there, but how can we reach them. Should we use Facebook ads?”
And for many brands, that’s what they’ll use to generate more reach:
Facebook’s solution for advertising can get your business and promotions in front of passive audiences at a reasonable cost.
According to a recent survey, people spend 135 minutes per day, or nearly two and a half hours, on social media. So, brands have a huge potential to increase their reach using Facebook advertising.
There are many ad types you can use on Facebook to reach your target audience, but for this article, we’re going to take a look at Facebook click-to-call ads.
So, let’s get started and discuss how Facebook click to call ads work.
What Are Facebook Click-to-Call Ads?
Unlike general Facebook ads with a call-to-action that links to a website, brands can upload and integrate their business number directly into the advertisement.
Facebook click-to-call ads have a more specific CTA such as “Call Now.”
When users click it, it opens the dial pad on their phones with your business’ number pre-populated.
When users click the ‘Call Now’ CTA button, it will open the dial pad on their phones with a pre-populated phone number. This means that prospects can contact your business straight from the Facebook platform.
Just like any other ad on Facebook, click-to-call ads can be targeted to detailed personas and may display to people within a certain distance (ex: within a mile) of your business.
A part of you might be thinking, “why bother promoting phone calls in an age where all of the information prospects need is at their fingertips?”
Well, research has shown that increased mobile adoption has led to “an explosion of phone calls.”
People want information instantly, and the fastest way to get that information is to call and ask.
For example, my Mum has run her own catering business for over 20-years now. Despite growing her online presence and the rise of communications, people will still choose to enquire over the phone.
Organising a bespoke buffet can require some back and forth, especially when guests have specific dietary needs. People don’t have time to list these requirements in a contact form. So, it makes complete sense for her clients to call up and make an enquiry.
This behaviour isn’t just limited to the hospitality and catering industry. For many other businesses, prospects prefer telephone conversations over online interactions. Especially when making an important decision or a big sale.
How to Create a Click-to-Call Ad on Facebook
Now that I’ve explained what a Facebook click-to-call ad is, I’m going to show you how to set one up.
1. Navigate to Facebook’s Ads Manager dashboard.
2. Select “Reach” in the “Awareness” column.
3. Scroll down, give your campaign a name, and click the “Continue” button.
4. Select the page for the business you’re creating the ad for, and set your targeting options as you would for any ad for that business.
5. Scroll down to the “Placements” section, and select “Edit Placements.”
6. Under “Device Types,” select “Mobile Only.” Since you’re building a click-to-call ad, there’s not much value in having the ad display to people using desktop computers.
7. Set your budgeting and scheduling options for the ad, then click “Continue.”
8. Create your ad using whatever text, images, etc. are important for the messaging.
9. When the ad is complete, scroll all of the ways down the page until you see the “Call to Action” drop-down. Select “Call Now,” and enter the business’ phone number in the box that populates below the drop-down.
Review your ad and make sure everything displays as desired, then click the confirm button to begin running your new click-to-call ad.
Facebook Click-to-Call Ad Campaign Best Practices
Before you set your Facebook ad live, I thought I would share some tips which have worked well for me when using Facebook click-to-call ads:
1. Target the right prospects
Take advantage of Facebook’s detailed targeting capabilities to display ads to your ideal customers. Also, make sure to utilise location targeting to get your ads in front of people who are near the business you’re promoting.
2. Schedule ads to run at prime times
To do this, you’ll need to establish an ad lifetime budget rather than a daily budget. However, being able to narrow the window when your ads display, such as displaying a restaurant ad a couple of hours before dinner, will help you reach people at the moment that they’re seeking your services.
3. Test multiple versions of ads
Does including an image encourage or discourage more clicks on your call button? What about including a video instead of an image? The only way to find out which versions of your ads generate the most impressions, clicks and calls is to test multiple versions and discover the top performers. Don’t overdo it though. Only test one element at a time. For example, if you decide to test different ad copy variations, make sure that you use the same ad headline and image so that you don’t skew your data.
4. Use a unique call tracking number
I’ll go into this in more detail in the next part of this article, but by using a call tracking number, you can effectively associate your Facebook ad to a specific phone call. With most call tracking providers, you can listen back to the nature of the call and determine the quality.
While call tracking is an essential tool when it comes to marketing measurement, there are many unanswered questions about how it works.
Measuring The Effectiveness Of Your Click-To-Call Ad
Now that your click-to-call ad is up and running, you need a way to measure its effectiveness.
Facebook provides metrics on ad impressions, total spend, and how many people clicked the “Call Now” CTA.
At a glance, that seems sufficient, but these general metrics don’t tell the whole story.
When a user clicks on the “Call Now” button, it doesn’t immediately initiate a call to the business. Instead, it opens the dial pad on the user’s mobile phone with the business’ phone number pre-populated.
Facebook reports that action as a call, but there’s no guarantee that a call was actually made. The person could just as easily have backed out of the dial pad screen.
That’s only half the problem.
Not every phone call you receive is valuable.
Just think about how many unsolicited calls your business receives in a day?
We get them frequently. I’d say 8 out of 10 calls we receive in a day offer no business value.
To truly measure how many calls Facebook click-to-call ads are driving value, you need a form of inbound call tracking software so that you can determine how many resulted in revenue for your business.
Ruler Analytics call tracking report
With software like Ruler Analytics, you can attribute CRM revenue directly to your Facebook campaign or advertisement.
As you can see in the example above, Facebook has generated 20 calls. In tandem with form submissions, Facebook has gone on to generate 2 sales.
That said, the total value of these two sales is £14,293.96.
It’s important that you don’t get carried away with the number of leads you measure in your analytics as they might not be adding to your bottom line figure. Ruler Analytics can push CRM revenue into the Google reporting suite, allowing you to see which channels contributed the most revenue.
Without an inbound call tracking system, it’s impossible to truly measure the quality of your leads. What you’re left with is guesswork and assumptions instead of a true picture of marketing ROI.
Note: On the topic of attributing revenue, if you contribute to more than one area of marketing as I do, then you might benefit from the closed-loop framework. This allows you to attribute revenue back to the campaign, channel and keyword that generated it over multiple touchpoints. You can download it here.
Even in This Digital Age, Calls Are Still Crucial
As a digital marketer, it’s easy to immerse yourself in mobile apps, digital content, and social media – forgetting the more analogue means of marketing a business. Even old-school methods of communication like phone calls have their merit in an instant-information-seeking society.
In truth, making a call is often much simpler than navigating and searching through a website, especially on a mobile device where typing is less convenient and time is often limited. For this reason, local businesses have a lot to gain by encouraging customers to call instead of click. With Facebook click-to-call ads, you can do just that.