LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads are one of the most unique and best ad formats to test. Most importantly, LinkedIn has become an indispensable platform for B2B lead generation. As of 2023, LinkedIn has over 930 million members in 200 countries and regions worldwide. It is the best social network where you can reach business professionals. And with such a large audience, your prospects are actively using LinkedIn and you need to convert them to customers. LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads allow you to tap into this vast network and accumulate quality leads directly within LinkedIn.
This comprehensive guide will take you through everything you need to know to create high-converting LinkedIn Lead Gen campaigns and optimize them for success.
What Are LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads?
LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads are a unique ad format that allows you to collect lead information directly from interested LinkedIn users. When a user clicks on your ad, a LinkedIn lead gen form pops up pre-filled with data from their LinkedIn profile, like name, job title, and company. The user will have to enter certain fields such as their email address and phone number. Lastly, the user simply reviews the pre-populated fields and submits the form if they want more information about your offering. Then they will see a confirmation message and you can direct them to your website or a landing page.
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Step-By-Step Guide to Setting Up LinkedIn Lead Gen Ads
Setting up an effective LinkedIn Lead Gen campaign involves a few key steps:
1. Create a New LinkedIn Ads Campaign
First, you need to create a Campaign into your selected Campaign Group. Then, you can get started with configuring your settings.
2. Choose the Lead Generation Campaign Objective
Start by selecting “Lead Generation” as the campaign objective in LinkedIn Campaign Manager. This enables lead gen ads. You cannot use this ad format with any other campaign objective.
3. Define Your LinkedIn Ads Targeting
LinkedIn offers extensive targeting options to reach your ideal customers. You can read our complete guide to LinkedIn Ads Targeting here.
You can target your ads with some of the following options:
- Lookalike Audiences
- Job title and function
- Company name
- Company size
- Member Groups
- Member Interests
- Member Traits
You want to select and combine several targeting groups to reach your ideal customer. For example, if your business offers Engineering software, you want to reach Engineers by using Job Titles and Engineering industry companies first and foremost.
4. Select Your Ad Format
There are 6 different ad formats you can choose from for Lead Generation campaigns:
- Sponsored Content Single Image Ads
- Sponsored Content Video Ads
- Sponsored Content Carousel Ads
- Message Ads
- Conversation Ads
- Document Ads
I believe it is a best practice to test different ad formats. You can create multiple campaigns and use different LinkedIn ad formats for lead generation.
5. Set Your Budget and Schedule
Define your budget and schedule based on your goals and resources. You can opt for either daily budgets or lifetime budgets for your campaigns. Schedule ads to run for at least 2-3 months for the algorithm to optimize delivery.
6. Set Your Bidding Strategy
You can choose to optimize for Leads, Clicks, or Impressions. In addition, you can choose between a Maximum Delivery or a Cost Cap bidding strategy.
I would highly recommend optimizing your campaign for Leads and using the Maximum Delivery bid strategy.
7. Design Compelling LinkedIn Ads
The first thing that your prospects will see are your advertisements. You want to make sure they are attention-grabbing and your offer should be easy to understand. What are you selling your customers? What makes your offer and your company unique? Why should prospects become customers?
Some additional best practices to follow:
- Use attractive visuals and minimal text
- Highlight your value proposition clearly
- Use strong, benefit-driven copy and CTAs
- Test different headlines, images, copy, and CTAs
8. Set Up Your Lead Gen Form
This is one of the most critical steps. Your Lead Gen form determines the information you collect from leads.
- Ask only for essential information needed to qualify leads
- Include 4-5 fields at most. Too many fields can deter prospects
You can also use LinkedIn Document Ads and gate your form behind content offers like whitepapers, ebooks, free trials, etc. to encourage more conversions.
9. Review and Launch Your Campaign
Once you are done, you can then review and launch your LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads campaign. Don’t limit yourself to 1 campaign. You can create multiple campaigns within the same campaign group and test different ad formats, ad copy, targeting, and lead generation forms.
When you are ready, submit your campaign and it should be up and running in no time.
5 Benefits of LinkedIn Lead Gen Ads
One of the major benefits is that people don’t have to leave the LinkedIn platform to give you their information. Sponsored content ads can lead to lower conversion rates because of that. In addition, LinkedIn Lead Gen Ads offer several advantages:
1. Targeted Reach
You can hyper-target your ads based on parameters like job title, industry, company size, and more. This allows you to put your ads in front of your most relevant audience.
2. Higher Quality Leads than Other Channels
Leads captured on LinkedIn tend to be higher quality since they consist of working professionals in your target market. It can be difficult to reach specific job titles, specific job industries, and specific companies with your ads on other channels.
3. Higher Conversion Rates
Lead gen forms pre-filled with LinkedIn profile data convert better than traditional landing pages. Reduction in friction = better conversions.
4. Lead intelligence
You gain access to important lead intelligence right from LinkedIn profiles. Details like name, job title, company, etc. help qualify and prioritize leads.
5. Built-in syncing to your CRM
Leads captured can be automatically synced with your CRM or marketing automation platform, saving you manual work.
7 Best Practices for Optimizing LinkedIn Lead Gen Campaigns
To maximize LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads, you need to continually test and optimize different elements of your campaigns. Here are some key best practices for optimizing performance:
1. A/B Test Your Form Fields
Test different combinations of form fields to find the ideal mix that collects necessary lead data yet minimizes drop-offs. Ask only for essential information.
2. Experiment with Targeting
Try narrowing down your targeting parameters or expanding to new parameters to finesse your reach. Test different combinations to determine optimal targeting.
3. Test Ad Variations
Run A/B tests with your headlines, visuals, copy, etc. to pinpoint what resonates best with your audience. Data-driven experimentation is key.
4. Offer a Content Upgrade
Presenting an offer like a free ebook or whitepaper can substantially increase form conversions. Sweeten the deal for your prospects.
5. Keep Form Length in Check
Long forms lead to drop-offs. Keep forms short and only ask for necessary info. LinkedIn research shows shorter forms boost conversions by up to 20%.
6. Promptly Follow Up with Leads
Follow up with leads quickly to capitalize on their initial interest. Personalized outreach based on lead intelligence also improves conversions.
7. Monitor and Adjust Based on Performance
Check campaign analytics regularly and make changes to underperforming elements. Optimize towards conversions and lower cost per lead.
Challenges with LinkedIn Lead Generation Campaigns
While Lead Gen Ads are immensely effective, they also come with some challenges:
Challenge #1 – High Lead and Click Costs
LinkedIn ads tend to cost more than other platforms. Mitigate costs by hyper-targeting your ads and continually optimizing for better conversion rates.
Challenge #2 – Lead Quality Issues
Broad targeting can sometimes attract irrelevant leads. Refine your targeting and experiment to find your best audience.
Challenge #3 – Low Conversion Rates
Lengthy forms can lead to more drop-offs, which hurts your conversion rate. You should try to shorten your form and even test Document Ads to help with conversion rates.
Challenge #4 – Slow Lead Follow-up
Quick follow-up is key to converting LinkedIn leads. Integrate your CRM to auto-notify sales when a new lead comes in. You should also follow-up as soon as possible to improve your chance of a sale.
Tracking Key Performance Indicators for LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads
To assess LinkedIn Lead Gen campaign performance, focus on these essential KPIs:
- Impressions – Total number of times your ads were shown
- Clicks – Number of clicks on your ads
- Lead rate – Percentage of clicks that resulted in a lead
- Conversion rate – Percentage of impressions that resulted in a lead
- Cost per lead – How much you spent to acquire each lead
- Lead quality – Relevance and value of the leads generated
Regularly monitor these KPIs to identify opportunities to refine your campaigns.
LinkedIn’s highly targeted audience and lead capture process is worth testing for most businesses. B2B companies should use Lead Generation campaigns to drive new targeted leads for their business. If you follow the strategies above, you can get your campaign started successfully. Always remember to test everything, optimize your results, and continue to deliver relevant ads to prospects. Improve your customer acquisition by utilizing LinkedIn Lead Gen Ads.