It goes without saying that we all want to get the highest possible ROI from our social media ads.
Don’t you? 😉
If you’ve recently published an eBook or white paper, you’re probably considering which type of social media ads to use for a lead generation campaign.
We did the hard work for you and tested whether it’s smarter to run lead generation campaigns on Twitter or Facebook.
In October, Tim Chard wrote about the differences between Facebook Lead Ads vs. Ads with a Landing Page destination. This time, we’re going to compare the ROI of Facebook Lead Ads vs. Twitter Lead Cards.
Note: This experiment was performed by Tim Chard, and the analysis + article was written by Karola Karlson.
The Experiment Set Up
The experiment was based on AdEspresso’s five popular eBooks that have performed well in the past. The goal was to get people submit their contact information in exchange for an eBook download (to add them to our email sequences that lead them to create a free trial account).
Campaign Set Up
We ran a 10-day Twitter Lead Cards experiment with five campaigns on both Twitter Lead Cards and Facebook Lead Ads.
We used the same image design for all ads with slight adjustments for the ad to look good on a Twitter card. Both ads had a “Download” call-to-action button that triggered a lead form when clicked.
All the lead forms were filled in without leaving the platform (Facebook or Twitter), while if a person clicked on the link in the ad, they’d be led to a landing page for the same ad.
Here it is an example of a Twitter Leads Card Ad:
And here an example of a Facebook Lead Ad:
Here’s what the setup process looked like:
We also set up the destination URL and post-submit messages (we use HubSpot).
Ad Set Structure:
Each ad set included one ad for a specific eBook. Ads are served to people based on the time passed from them entering the campaign audience. For this, we needed to create custom audiences based on the past 30-day website visitors.
As soon as someone visited AdEspresso site, they entered the campaign, and began seeing an ad for the eBook “Do’s and Dont’s of Facebook Ads”.
Here’s what the campaign schedule looked like on both platforms:
- Day 1 — Day 2: Dos and Don’t eBook
- Day 3 – Day 4: 500+ Twitter Ads eBook
- Day 5 – Day 6: Science of Successful Twitter Ads
- Day 7 – Day 8: Social Proof Marketing eBook
- Day 9 – Day 10: Science of Successful Facebook Ads
Each ad ran for a couple of days. If a person weren’t interested in the first eBook offer, they’d be shown the next one, and so on.
We used the Desktop and Mobile ad placement for both campaigns for accurate and comparable results.
Each campaign had the budget of $100, with the total budget of $1000 (500 USD for each platform).
We ran the campaigns on automatic bidding so that a custom bid wouldn’t impact the results on either platform.
We targeted people who had visited our website in the past 30 days. As soon as a new user checked our site, they were added to the campaign audience and started seeing our eBook ads.
We targeted people from the following countries:
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Hong Kong
We focused on the English speaking audience only (logical, as all our eBooks are in English).
Issues with Experiment:
When setting up the Twitter Cards campaign, we ran into some unexpected challenges.
On Twitter, only 30-day website custom audience is available (we’d like to have targeted 60-day website visitors). So we had to match Facebook Lead Ads targeting with Twitter Cards.
Moreover, Twitter ads do not come with the option of excluding custom audiences based on their actions. So we weren’t able to remove a person from the campaign after they’d downloaded an eBook and became a lead. Which means that many people saw all of our ads, even after they’d downloaded and eBook.
The biggest problem:
A few days after publishing the campaigns on Twitter, we noticed that the campaigns were running but the budgets weren’t being spent.
So it only seemed reasonable to contact Twitter’s customer support. Luckily, unlike Facebook, Twitter has good ad support (instant chat support).
We were told the tweets were still under review (although it had been over 3 days since we submitted them). Ouch, Twitter!
But after this conversation, the tweets within the campaigns got approved in a few hours. Just to be sure, we re-ran one of the campaigns to get more accurate data on the cost-per-lead.
Here Are The Results:
You’ve all been waiting for this part, so let’s dive right into it.
Here are the results of Facebook Lead Ads:
As you can see, the average cost-per-lead was around $4. To be exact, the average cost-per-lead across all Facebook Lead Ads was $3.48.
And the results from Twitter Cards:
|CAMPAIGN||PLACEMENT||SPENT||LEAD ACTION||LEAD CPA||IMPRESSIONS|
|New: Twitter Lead Card – 500+ Twitter Ad Examples eBook||Mobile Feed||$100.00||9||$11.11||7,904|
|Twitter Lead Card – 500+ Facebook Ad Examples eBook||Mobile Feed||$87.33||7||$12.48||4,450|
|Twitter Lead Ad – Social Proof Marketing eBook||Mobile Feed||$26.00||2||$13.00||4,467|
|Twitter Lead Card – Science of Successful Twitter Ads||Mobile Feed||$54.49||5||$10.90||10,646|
|Twitter Lead Card – Dos and Don’t eBook||Mobile Feed||$13.00||1||$13.00||384|
(Due to the problems mentioned earlier, we saw a lower-than-$100 spend for some campaigns.)
When promoting our eBooks on Twitter Cards, the average cost-per-lead across all campaigns was $11.70.
Who Won – Twitter Cards vs. Facebook Lead Ads?
Facebook Lead Ads outperformed Twitter Cards by 336%.
That’s a HUGE difference. Basically, you could get three times as many leads by advertising with Facebook Lead Ads than in Twitter Cards.
The average cost-per-lead in Facebook Lead Ads was $3.48, while for Twitter Cards it was $11.7.
We don’t yet know how the leads from both campaigns perform in the future and how many will start a free trial. But as all the leads were required an equal level of effort to get the eBook (provide their contact details without leaving the platform), we might assume that they’ll perform equally well.
Moreover, both campaigns got thousands of ad impressions which certainly contributed to brand awareness.
When checking the results, an interesting pattern emerged in the Facebook Lead Ads report. The campaigns featuring eBooks about Facebook Ads had a notably lower cost-per-lead than the campaigns featuring eBooks on Twitter Ads.
On Twitter, the two campaigns with the highest conversion rate were the ones featuring eBooks of “500+ Twitter Ads Examples” and “500+ Facebook Ad Examples”. So there wasn’t a difference whether the ads were about Twitter or Facebook marketing.
In the case of Twitter Cards, there was another factor that significantly contributed to higher conversions – the type of device. iOS devices had a significantly higher conversion rate than Desktop or Android devices. This might be worth some additional testing in the future.
The Final Verdict:
Promoting your eBook with Facebook Lead Ads is a lot more cost-efficient than Twitter Cards. Our test results showed that the cost-per-lead in Facebook Lead Ads was 336% lower than in Twitter Cards.
We can’t give you a 100% guarantee on the advertising costs on both platforms, but the huge difference between the lead costs on Facebook Lead Ads and Twitter Cards is enough to build a strong case.
Moreover, setting up the ad campaigns reminded us of Facebook’s advanced custom audiences. Excluding audiences based on their actions generated by your ads isn’t available on Twitter. Which means that you’ll lose out on the opportunity to exclude the people who become your leads during the ad campaign.
If you use our Custom Audience and Lead Ads Sync, you know how valuable this is for Facebook campaigns!
Stay tuned till the next experiment!