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For a long time, pro marketers have been frustrated by the lack of lead generation ad formats on LinkedIn marketing. Paid social media can do a lot with sponsored content posts when you have a strong content strategy, but LinkedIn was dropping the ball when it came to leadgen forms. Well, not anymore.
LinkedIn is all grown up now, and better yet, its brand-new leadgen forms auto-fill from the LinkedIn prospect’s account details and the forms work great on mobile.
Removing the Barrier to Mobile Conversions
An early marketing lesson is that complicated conversion processes cost you conversions and sales and LinkedIn seems to have finally embraced this principle. Per LinkedIn, the live-fill forms are:
“…a new solution that helps you drive even more high-quality leads from your Sponsored Content campaigns by removing the main barrier to mobile conversion: making someone complete a clunky contact form on a smartphone.”
For B2B marketers, this means that your LinkedIn campaigns can now feature a prominent Call-to-Action or “sign up” button. The effect is a smooth mobile landing page experience.
Best of all, your prospects don’t have to try to type email addresses, phone numbers, or other crucial conversion details on a tiny, finicky screen. LinkedIn’s leadgen form auto-fills from the prospect’s LinkedIn account details — which most active users make a point of keeping up to date so they can snag their own next opportunity. But, on the chance the info is out of date, users can still edit the auto-fill field with their preferred info.
This system also gets around spambot and dummy leads, since real LinkedIn users are interfacing directly with your campaign from their account.
Connecting Users and Marketers Smoothly
Happily, the UX of the new leadgen form looks and performs pretty well. CTAs can be added to your regular sponsored content campaigns. There’s even the option of engaging leads with an offer of a downloadable ebook or webinar signup.
Marketers set up which information they want to collect from leads. You can choose up to seven fields for your form, drawn from LinkedIn account fields like name, email address, job title, company name, and educational degree.
Your leads are directed to a “thank you” page immediately after clicking through, which can connect your leads with your ebook, website, or other destination right as they opt in.
Measuring ROI and Managing Prospects
A thorough evaluation of ROI is still a ways out with the tool being so new, but LinkedIn says early results are promising.
“Ninety percent of the 50 customers surveyed from our pilot beat their cost-per-lead (CPL) goals. They also saw lower CPLs with Lead Gen Forms compared to their standard Sponsored Content campaigns.”
Leads gathered through LinkedIn’s new form are about as easy to manage as those gathered from other social leadgen tools. That is, how easy it is to get the leads into your CRM depends a bit on your CRM setup. The social network says it has real-time integration with Zapier and Driftrock, with plans for integrations for Marketo, Microsoft Dynamic 3654, and Oracle Eloqua. For advertisers who use another system, you can download and work with your leads in a CSV format.
Comparing LinkedIn LeadGen Forms and Facebook Lead Ads
Facebook has had lead gen forms for a while, and the results seem to come down to how well marketers use that tool. Top-of-funnel leads from Facebook can sometimes bring in lots of low-quality leads, which gets expensive. However, mid-funnel and pre-close Facebook lead ads can be a lot more effective.
Compared to Facebook, LinkedIn has an advantage here in terms of its user base, user behavior, and targeting. It seems likely that fewer top-of-funnel LinkedIn leadgen prospects would be duds. Most folks are on the platform for professional reasons, not to goof around or look at cat pictures.
Overall, while we’re waiting to see how LinkedIn’s new leadgen forms pan out, we’re pretty excited about the prospects. This is something marketers have wanted for a long time because we know it’s a great way to generate high-quality leads. The execution is strong, so things seem to be moving in the right direction.