LinkedIn Introduces Lead Gen Forms Within Sponsored Content

Background

Professional networking site and mobile application, LinkedIn, recently announced a powerful extension to its Sponsored Content advertising product that will enable savvy marketers to more easily drive leads from engaged audiences. New lead gen forms will allow advertisers to collect contact information from LinkedIn users without requiring them to leave the LinkedIn mobile application.

The introduction of mobile lead forms is a natural progression for LinkedIn’s paid media capabilities. The social network has taken a measured approach to refining its paid offerings, introducing its long-awaited conversion tracking capabilities in September 2016 and rolling back its self-serve display ads to align with a site experience and app redesign earlier this year.

Currently restricted to targeting mobile app users with LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content ad type, the social networking site has indicated that a similar lead acquisition form will eventually be introduced to the mobile and desktop versions of Sponsored InMail, LinkedIn’s email-like ad unit.

Form Creation and Customization

To get started with LinkedIn lead gen forms, create a Sponsored Content campaign within the Campaign Manager. Select to collect leads using lead gen forms, then choose a piece of published content or create a new sponsored post. Once the content of the lead ad has been determined, a call-to-action button must be selected. CTA button options include:

  • Sign Up
  • Apply Now
  • Download
  • Get Quote
  • Learn More
  • Subscribe
  • Register

To create a new lead form, select “Create new form template” and fill in the open information fields, which include form name (not visible), form headline, form details, and a privacy policy URL. Next, select up to seven pieces of information from five categories of user data. All but gender will be automatically filled in from user profiles.

 

CONTACT WORK COMPANY EDUCATION OTHER
First Name Work Email Company Name Degree Gender
Last Name Work Phone Company Size Field of Study
Personal Phone Job Title Industry School/University
City Seniority Start Date
State/Province Function Graduation Date
Country
Postal/Zip Code
Personal Email

 

LinkedIn will pre-populate forms with a user’s profile information, but some information may be edited by engaged users, including:

  • Work Email
  • Work Phone
  • Personal Email
  • Personal Phone
  • Gender
  • Any field not filled out within a user’s profile

Finally, create a custom thank-you message, link to a priority web page (with tracking parameters appended), and save the newly created form. After the form has been completed, select the campaign’s target audience, set the budget, and run the media to begin acquiring leads.

What This Means for Marketers

Nearly identical to Facebook’s customizable lead gen forms, LinkedIn’s version of the ad type promises one major advantage – the quality of user information provided. Although LinkedIn represents a smaller portion of online adults, just 29% compared to Facebook’s 79%, the website indexes higher amongst online adults who utilize the application for professional networking. Because of this, certain advertisers, such as those in B2B verticals, may find leads acquired through LinkedIn to be higher in quality than those from other social networks.

To further drive performance, marketers can incentivize leads with a piece of content that is valuable to their target audience, such as a thought leadership whitepaper or an exclusive offer, and encourage conversion with a complementary CTA button. Leads can then be exported into an Excel sheet or managed in a marketing/sales platform. Lead form performance can also be monitored within LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager.

By utilizing a CRM platform or by manually auditing lead quality, marketers can compare the rate of leads closed to revenue by lead source, making it easier to prioritize lead generation efforts and improve overall return on ad spend.

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