I want to start by saying I really like LinkedIn Ads as a tool for most B2B social media advertising programs. No other platform can offer its targeting options and LinkedIn has done a great job of positioning itself as a key player for showcasing professional endeavors and achievements. This means that user data is always up-to-date!
That being said, nothing is perfect and LinkedIn is not an exception by any means. Its advertising platform is known for being slow, expensive and generally counterintuitive.
So today, I will be explaining the pros and cons of a very commonly used ad format: Lead Gen Forms. But first, let’s dive into what they are.
What are LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms?
LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms (LGF) is a type of LinkedIn Ad in which the user completes a form directly within the LinkedIn interface. After the user submits their information, they then have access to the desired landing page.
You may be wondering how you can access lead information if they submit the data through LinkedIn and not your website. Well, LinkedIn collects the data which can be downloaded at any time, and if supported, you can have these leads automatically sent to your CRM or marketing automation solution. Today, most platforms, including HubSpot, Marketo and Eloqua, can be directly connected to LinkedIn.
Additionally, LinkedIn’s internal data indicates that conversions from LGFs can increase by 2-3 times when compared to standard Sponsored Content campaigns.
Lead Gen Forms Ad Formats
When using Lead Gen Forms, there are 4 ad format options:
1. Single Image: As the title implies, you are limited to one image. If your main objection is just lead generation, then I recommend this ad format because the user will not get easily distracted by multiple options.
2. Carousel Image Ads: This option requires that you to use 2 or more images. This is ad format is particularly useful for B2B software companies that want to showcase the different pain points or benefits their software can solve.
3. Video Ads: This format allows you to utilize embedded videos. If you find that your goal prioritizes engagement over lead generation, then I recommend this format.
4. Message Ads: These types of ads are sent directly to your target audience’s messaging inbox. When using this format, it is imperative to select an audience that already knows about your brand and is engaged with your team in order to make them continue moving down the funnel.
B2B Industries That Can Benefit From Lead Gen Forms
Here at KoMarketing, we work with B2B companies from different industries and verticals. Although we have seen Lead Gen Forms success in many verticals, they have done particularly well in the following audiences:
1. Information Technology
4. Human Resources
5. Business Development
Lead Gen Forms Benefits
Now that you are well versed in LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms and their available formats, the next question is why you should invest time and money on them. Let’s take a look at the benefits of Lead Gen Forms:
1. Auto populated form fills: This is probably my favorite feature because data is auto-populated from the user’s profile into the form fields. The only step is hitting submit. Unfortunately, there are some exceptions to this feature which I will cover later on.
2. Slow site speed (especially on mobile devices): Considering the users will be filling the information directly on LinkedIn, you don’t have to worry about load times. In fact, most LinkedIn users access the platform through the use of mobile devices, which further increases your submissions by making it easier for users to complete the form.
3. Custom questions: Let’s say you need to ask specific questions to your users in order to add them to a custom email chain or retargeting lists. LinkedIn has you covered, you can use multiple choice questions and even single line input where the user must type their answer.
Lead Gen Forms Challenges and How to Overcome Them
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, LinkedIn is not perfect and nor is Lead Gen Forms, here are some common challenges you might face:
1. Your lead forgot they filled a form: Since most friction was removed, some users might not even remember they agree to provide you with their information, so how do you overcome this challenge? Use these tips:
- Use single line input custom questions – it will force the user to actually stop and type their answer
- Use forms fields that are not auto-populated. If a field is not on the user profile like phone number or gender, the user will have to manually add the information
- Connect your CRM or marketing automation platform to your Lead Gen Forms and contact these users as soon as possible or add them into a specific marketing drip campaign
2. Remarketing isn’t an option: If the user clicks on your ad and decides not to complete the form, there’s no way to remarket to this user since they never made it to your website and LinkedIn doesn’t offer remarketing by engagement
3. Too many options for your form: If you are trying to increase your conversion volume then adding more than 6-8 fields can hurt your performance. Remember, just because you have the option to add 10 fields, 3 custom questions and 3 custom checkboxes doesn’t mean you should. When selecting your form fields, ask yourself:
- What is the minimum information needed for my company to follow up or qualify a lead?
- Is my ad offering something that aligns with the amount of data I am asking the user to provide me?
Lead Gen Forms is a great ad format to use to increase lead volume by making it easier for users to complete form submissions while obtaining up-to-date information directly from users’ LinkedIn profile.
Don’t forget there might be some challenges when using this ad format but most of them can be addressed with the right tactics in place. Is there a benefit or challenge that you have experienced that I didn’t address? Let me know in the comments section or through my Twitter profile.