In my last blog we discussed the detailed ways B2B marketers can reach their target audience through paid advertising on LinkedIn. In this post, we’re going to take these strategies a step further and look at how to ensure LinkedIn campaigns result in lead generation and showing business value for your organization or your client.
While there are several ad formats to choose from on LinkedIn, lead generation campaigns are one of the best ways to ensure conversions through LinkedIn advertising. Let’s explore the ways in which B2B marketers convert their target audiences on LinkedIn using lead generation campaigns.
Perfect Your Message for LinkedIn Ads
Ad creation is a critical component of sponsored content lead generation LinkedIn campaigns. When creating your strategy for your LinkedIn campaign, it’s important to remember to create multiple variations of ad copy. This will keep your ads fresh and your audience engaged. I recommend beginning with at least 4 ads per campaign in order to ensure the audience isn’t overwhelmed with the same message over and over again.
When writing your ad copy and messaging, consider where your target is in the buying journey. Are you retargeting audience members you’ve already targeted in a traffic campaign? Are you talking to a list of target companies who have never heard from you before? Consider this when putting together your angle, and the asset you’ll be promoting. For example, does the audience need to get to know the brand via an eBook, or are they ready to book product demo?
Thinking through this may even cause you to choose a different route altogether, and target your audience with an awareness or traffic campaign rather than lead generation, depending on where they are in the buyer journey. If you decide to hold on lead generation campaigns, one option is to target your audience with a sponsored content campaign focused on web traffic and then retarget that audience with a lead generation campaign down the line.
Another item to remember in your lead generation campaign is to tell a story in your ads. B2B marketers should implement copy that speaks to the challenges and solutions that are specific to the target audience. For example, if you’re speaking to decision makers that focus on operations, speak to the specific challenges they may face, and answer the question of how you or your client can help.
While longer form posts are generally well-engaged and received on LinkedIn organically, keeping the ad copy for these ads below 150 characters in the introductory text to avoid cutting off characters and interrupting your message is an additional best practice.
Lastly, the headline should grab the attention of the target audience, and clearly illustrate the action you want them to take. For example, if the goal of your campaign is for your audience to download a whitepaper, the headline could read: “Download the whitepaper today.”
Be Intentional with LinkedIn Ad Creative
Just as ad copy within a LinkedIn lead generation should be varied, the creative should be kept fresh as well.
I recommend testing custom images and graphics, stock / lifestyle images specific to the industry being targeted, and even incorporating video when relevant to the campaign and asset being promoted.
Custom images should be specific to the campaign at hand. If the lead generation campaign is promoting a webinar and is meant to gain registrants, the custom image should contain the name of the webinar, the date, and the time for clarity.
Below is an example of a custom image that clearly outlines what deal is being promoted, making it as easy and quick as possible for the target audience to decide if they’d like to take further action:
Vary Content Marketing Assets in LinkedIn Campaigns
When running a LinkedIn lead generation campaign, ask yourself if the audience has been targeted with any assets prior. Serving your target audience multiple assets such as a blog, a video, and finally, a gated whitepaper is a good strategy to consider in order to move your audience down the funnel. For example, one way to do this is retargeting users that were being delivered a blog post in a paid campaign with a more bottom funnel asset or ask, such as a call to book a demo or schedule a consult.
When thinking through what content assets to use for your LinkedIn lead generation campaign specifically, remember to incorporate thought leadership content including industry trends or how to’s when possible.
The types of content I recommend considering for lead generation campaigns are as follows:
- Webinars / Events
Overall, the key for your content strategy and what you’re promoting is to incorporate comprehensive thought leadership assets that provide value to your target audience.
Simplify the LinkedIn Lead Generation Form
A mistake I often see in lead generation campaigns on LinkedIn is around the lead generation form itself.
My recommendation is simple. Keep it short and sweet. Focus on the details you need from your audience, and only those details. When possible, ask for information that will be available to your audience on LinkedIn and will auto-populate for your audience when they fill out the form.
In addition, make sure you are asking for what you need. For example, if you or your client needs work emails in order to consider a lead qualified, specifically ask for work emails rather than personal.
If leads are coming in slower than anticipated, particularly when you have a good CTR and low CPC, take a look at your lead gen form and simplify if possible.
Evaluate LinkedIn Lead Quality
As B2B marketers, it’s critical to evaluate our progress and results daily. LinkedIn offers demographic data which illustrates who is interacting with your ads. This allows B2B marketers to see parameters including company, job title, and industry that the audience interacting with your ads are associated with. Monitor this daily, and adjust targeting or messaging as needed.
Lastly, keep an open dialogue with your client and stakeholders about the quality of the leads LinkedIn is providing. It’s important to discuss what the lead quality looks like initially, but it’s perhaps even more important to take it a step further by ensuring these leads are also leading to business for your client. Keep the conversation going around the business results of your campaigns.
LinkedIn is my favorite platform for lead generation on social media in the B2B space for a multitude of reasons. From the specific targeting parameters, to the ability to reach B2B decision makers, to the ability to adjust lead gen forms—the potential for generating leads of quality is immense.
With the right strategy and considerations, LinkedIn lead generation campaigns are a key component of lead generation for B2B marketers, and can provide you the quality leads you are looking for.