Instagram and Facebook Ads For Painters

Building a consistent flow of pre-qualified residential repaint leads can be a challenging task, especially if your painting business relies on word-of-mouth advertising. But where do you start?

If you’re searching for the best source of quality painting leads at a reasonable price point, look no further than Meta Ads (Formally Instagram and Facebook Ads).

Yes, Social Media Ads have been drilled into our minds as a low-quality lead source, but this is a fallacy due to a lack of understanding of what ad types and demographics produce the best results on this medium.

So I’m giving away our secret sauce to building a high-volume residential repaint lead generation system using social media advertising.

Before we dive into the weeds, let’s start with a simple question…

Do Facebook Ads Work For Painters?

Yes! But it requires a little more effort and knowledge compared to running ads on Google. Ad types, content, and images will all determine how your ads will preform on social media.

Now let’s jump in!

Social Media Marketing: Facebook Ads 101 for Painting Contractors

Painter Social Media Advertising

According to Statista, Facebook is still the dominant social media network, with approximately 2.93 billion active users every month. Facebook is also the platform on which Americans spend the most time with an average of 33 minutes per day ????

While Facebook caters to all ages from 18-65+, Instagram is primarily the domain of ages 18-34. Both platforms will reach homeowners, but Instagram is more likely to target first-time home buyers.

As a residential painting contractor, you probably know what your ideal customer profile (ICP) looks like.

For instance: A dual-income household earning over $250k per year with a home valued over $500k.

If you haven’t developed an ICP yet, start here — Ask yourself what characteristics do the customers that are easiest to close all have in common? Build a persona around these demographics, and stick to them.

Now let’s review how do you use this information.

How Do Facebook Ads for Painters Work?

Since the majority of users on Facebook or Instagram are not actively looking for your painting services, you have to get creative to capture buyer intent.

Buyer Intent (or Purchase Intent): The probability of how close a consumer is to completing a purchase of a product or service.

While we don’t have a search query to target as we do on paid search (Google Ads/PPC) we do have user data.

Have you ever seen an ad and felt like your phone must be monitored by Facebook? Hint: It’s not, Meta’s algorithm is just REALLY good at leveraging your user data and social interactions. This is ultimately why Meta has run into so many privacy issues — your data is essentially sold to the highest bidder.

Consequently, Instagram and Facebook Ads for painters are actually among the most effective ways to generate new residential painting business on a budget.

Note that commercial painting leads are best acquired on Google.

How Much Do Painting Leads Cost on Social Media?

The short answer: It depends, but $30-$60 per lead is a good target.

We recommend a daily budget between $40-50 (roughly $1200-$1500/month). The primary factor that determines your CPA (cost-per-acquisition) is your cost-per-click (CPC). Factors that can impact your CPC include:

  • Target Audience Size: The larger your target service area the cheaper the leads will be.

  • Competition: If you’re in a saturated market you can expect a higher CPC (cost-per-click).

  • Target Services: Costly services such as Cabinet Painting tend to have a lower conversion rate compared to the standard interior repaint project.

PPC Comparison: Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads for Painters

Painter PPC Advertising

Like most painting business owners, you’re probably wondering whether you should focus your ad spend on Facebook or Google.

While they both have their time and place, here are the pros and cons of each:

Facebook Ads: Pros and Cons

Meta (Facebook and Instagram) has the best platforms for generating residential repaint leads at a low price point. Since the average CPC for a painting lead on social media is around $1 (compared to $20 on Google) it’s hard to beat the cost for an exclusive lead.

A downside of Meta Ads is the time involved to close a lead. Unlike Google Ads, which sends traffic to a landing page to book an estimate, it’s best to keep users on the Meta platform to maintain a low CPL (cost-per-lead).

At the time of writing this article there is currently no way to book an estimate directly on the Meta platform. Therefore it will require outreach to book an estimate from a new lead generated via Facebook Ads.

Additionally, since we have no search queries to target on social media you will need to build a custom audience to target, and this can take time (generally around 30-60 days).

Given the lack of buyer intent on social media you can expect a healthy close ratio to range between 35-45%.

Google Ads: Pros and Cons

Conversely, using a well-optimized landing page Google Ads offers the best quality leads, but at a higher price point.

You can expect to spend between $100-$200 per booked estimate using Google Ads, but since you’re able to skip the outreach step required by social ads the higher price point might be worth the cost — Ask yourself, what is the value of your time?

Google is also the best medium for commercial painting leads as B2B leads can be difficult to acquire on social media.

Since we have established buyer intent using targeted search queries on this medium you can expect a healthy close ratio to range between 40-60%.

How to Build a Successful Social Media Advertising Campaign

Painter Social Media Ads

Now that we reviewed why and how social ads work, let’s discuss how to build a successful campaign to attract new painting leads by advertising your painting business on Facebook and Instagram.

1. Claim Your Meta Profiles

First, if you don’t have Facebook and Instagram profiles created for your business yet, you will need to set those up.

Here are a few helpful tips to setup these profiles effectively:

  • Use the same slug for your Facebook Page name and your Instagram username. This will ensure your customers can easily find you on both platforms.

  • Fulfill as much information as possible on each profile. Items like your service areas, website, and phone number play an important role here.

  • Link your Instagram account to your Facebook Page. This will ensure that anytime you post to Instagram your Facebook Page will be updated as well (two birds, one stone).

2. Create a Business Manager and Ads Manager Account

Facebook Business Manager Account

To begin advertising, Meta requires that you have two additional accounts created within their platform:

  • Business Manager Account — This needs to be linked to your Facebook Page and Instagram accounts.
  • Ads Manager Account — Link this to your Business Manager account.

3. Create Your Instagram and Facebook Ads

Now that we have the framework for your advertising campaign created, let’s get on with the main event!

Meta has a number of various ad types you can select from. While you may think it’s best to send traffic from Facebook and Instagram directly to your website, like Google Ads, it’s actually just a great way to waste your ad spend.

With the release of iOS 14.5 at the end of 2021, Facebook and Instagram are now unable to accurately track your actions off of their platform.

With this in mind, you can expect better results if you keep your prospects on Meta’s platform using the following ad types:

  • Lead Ads: Collect user information directly on Meta. You can create a custom form to capture information such as name, phone, address, and the services they’re interested in.
  • Messenger Ads: These ads trigger a new message request directly on Facebook. These ads are great for job recruiting as well!

Pro Tip: Ads with an image containing a human face tend to convert better than images of objects like a house.

4. Build Your Audiences

Painter Facebook Ads Custom Audience

While creating your Meta Ads you will be prompted to define an audience. This is arguably one of the most important steps to creating a successful advertising campaign that you can build on over time.

As we discussed earlier in this article, your audience is built on user data and will ultimately determine who sees your ads.

There are three primary audience types on Meta:

  • Demographics — This is targeting information you provide Meta such as location, age, and gender.
  • Custom Audience — Build an audience around those who interact with your website/business.

  • Lookalike Audience — Build an audience that is similar to those who have already interacted with your business in the past.

For Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences we recommend targeting the following sources:

  • Website — Add a pixel to your website to retarget traffic on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Customer list — Build an audience from a list of your past customers.
  • Video — Create a “Video View” campaign to build an audience from those who play a video you’ve created.

  • Lead form — Build an audience from those who submit your lead generation forms.

  • Instagram account — Target those who like and interact with your Instagram Profile.

  • Facebook page — Target those who like and interact with your Facebook Business Page.

As for Demographics, we find the best results with the following targets:

  • Location — Your services areas + 20 mile radius