Why Facebook Ads Work For Empower (But Not For Your Mortgage Business)

At Empower, we’ve been running a lot of Facebook Ads lately to market our blogs, free resources, and of course our done-for-you mortgage lead generation service. So inevitably we sometimes get the question: If Facebook Ads are ineffective, why do you guys use them? To understand the answer to this question you have to have at least a basic understanding of marketing concepts and the difference in intent between marketing campaigns. However, when we were interviewing Facebook Ad “Experts” to give us feedback on some of our Facebook Ads, there were even a couple of them that I had to explain the logic to. So we figured it was information worth sharing!

Facebook advertising can be extremely powerful for many different businesses when used correctly. What Facebook has done with its platform to create a space where advertisers and consumers can coexist in a relationship that causes far fewer annoyances than a medium like TV or Radio Ads is amazing. To top that all off, the amount of data Facebook has on its users that allow advertisers to get their message in the hands of their target audience is INSANE. We are not completely bashing Facebook. We just think Facebook is terrible for mortgage lead generation. These are just a few reasons why Facebook Ads work for our business and not for yours:

Our Product Has Very Limited Access

How hard is it for a qualified mortgage lead to find someone to give them a loan? Not hard at all right? There are mortgage advertisements EVERYWHERE between billboards, radio ads, TV commercials, street signage, banner ads, Facebook ads, magazines, you name it! Plus, everyone knows a mortgage originator, right? 

With the amount of advertising people see for mortgages on a daily basis, no matter how targeted your ad is, it’s going to be very difficult to stick out when their subconscious mind is filtering your ad through a lens of familiarity. Even when they see your ad or enter your funnel, they don’t have any incentive to engage with you because most will already know what you offer and know that there are thousands of other people offering the same thing (I know it’s not necessarily the same, but the prospect doesn’t know that). 

Our service, on the other hand, is unique enough to stand out in your news feed if we use the right mechanism to catch your attention. You see people marketing lead generation for loan officers often enough that although there isn’t much urgency involved and you’re in the market for a lead generation system, you’re going to click on FB ads because you know that there are a limited number of us out there selling them and you want to know what each has to offer. Every day more and more marketers are targeting loan officers for lead generation so, at some point, Facebook may not be the best option for us in the same way it isn’t for loan officers. For now, however, the message I’m putting out is unique enough to make Facebook ads effective.

Mortgages’ Higher Barrier To Entry Requires More Intent

For our target audience (loan officers), there isn’t much of a barrier to obtaining our service. You’ve got to be producing at least an average level already, have a little bit of money in the bank (or room on your credit card), and you need to be willing to put in the work to convert the leads. At the point that you’re in the mortgage profession, you’re at least half of the way to qualifying for my product.

In order for a mortgage lead to be quality, it has to have a higher level of intent than a Facebook Ad brings with it. Even with a high level of intent, you’re going to have a lot of leads you can’t do anything with because everyone wants a mortgage. But at least then you can weed out the ones who aren’t willing or already know they aren’t in a position to do anything about it.

Curiosity Awards Us The Opportunity to Build a Personal Connection

When it comes to Facebook Ads, your goal is to move someone down the line from Attention to Interest to Intent or Inquiry. When we run an ad, our first goal is to capture someone’s attention with the image and headlines. Once we’ve caught their attention, our ad copy begins the process of stimulating interest. If we generate enough interest, the person will click through to the landing page. On that landing page, we’ll continue to build interest through video, headlines, a sales letter, testimonials, etc. During this process, we’re building a personal connection with that person through our content. I’m giving them a look at who we are as a company, and they’re interpreting it because of their level of curiosity (or interest) in my product. 

With mortgages, because of the issues we’ve outlined in the above two sections (everyone wants a mortgage, mortgages are everywhere), you almost have to skip the interest phase. Why? Because most of the time with Facebook Ads, as soon as someone realizes you’re a mortgage loan officer trying to get their information to follow up about a home loan, they’re gone. Or maybe you “hide the salesman” on Facebook and generate leads from MLS listings in your market with your agents? First off, this approach carries almost 0 intent, but second, because of the free access to the information you’re offering found all over the internet, you don’t really have much curiosity/interest to work with. In either of these scenarios, you have 0 opportunity to build a personal connection with your audience which makes it so you don’t really have the opportunity to create intent within your funnel.

So What Can You Do About It?

Easy. If you’ve been running your own Facebook Ads, or even paying someone else to run them for you, do yourself a favor and stop doing that ASAP. Check out our guide on mortgage marketing, or click here for more information on Google Ads and the difference in intent between Facebook and Google. If you’d prefer to have the information delivered in an interactive and live environment, check out the live demonstration of our done-for-you lead generation service. On the demo, we’ll walk you through what the biggest consumer direct mortgage companies are doing to generate the best quality leads and how you can do the same.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you at the top!

Michael McAllister

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