In April 2017, LinkedIn launched a service known as Lead Generation Forms (also known as Lead Gen Forms), targeted specifically at mobile phone users.
The reasoning behind this? It’s been proven that contact information form completion is significantly lower for those completing forms on mobile phones rather than desktop computers.
Lead Gen Forms was created to solve this problem by removing the need to complete a contact form if a user clicks on sponsored content from their mobile phone.
It’s a smart move from the professional networking company. According to Divye Khilnani, who works in the product management department at LinkedIn, 80% of member engagement with sponsored content occurs using a mobile phone.
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LinkedIn Lead Generation Forms and sponsored content
In the LinkedIn community, sponsored content is a paid advertisement known as a Company Page Update that is featured on a user’s homepage feed. Users receiving sponsored content either already follow the company, or fit targeting criteria set by the advertiser. Sponsored content enables companies to generate leads, build relationships and enhance their profile.
Without utilizing Lead Gen Forms in a sponsored content campaign, if a user clicks on your ad they typically need to fill in a contact form before being allowed to access the content. When Lead Gen Forms are enabled in a sponsored content campaign, the contact form is automatically filled in with details found in the user’s LinkedIn profile. This includes their name, contact information, location, company, seniority and other fields as requested by the advertiser.
It’s been found that information copied from the user’s LinkedIn profile is generally more accurate than that gathered from traditional information forms where false or incomplete data is sometimes added in the pursuit of expediency.
LinkedIn has made Lead Gen Forms easy to set up for sponsored content campaign managers and at no extra cost. Once logged into the LinkedIn Campaign Manager, it’s fairly straightforward to create a new campaign. After naming the campaign, a click box is available to select ‘Collect leads using LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms’. From there, it’s simple to create either a new ad or use an existing one.
It’s possible to select up to seven fields of information for the Lead Gen Form to collect. There is also the option to use an automated thank you message which carries a link to your website or the URL of your choice. You can then choose a Call To Action (CTA) button for the user to click upon seeing your ad. Finally, you can choose the budget and target audience parameters before launching your campaign.
Once a user clicks on your advertisement they will be directed to a contact information page that’s pre-populated with details extracted from their LinkedIn profile. The user then has the ability to edit the fields of ‘home’ and ‘work’ e-mail addresses, phone numbers, gender and any incomplete fields on their profile page. When they click through, the user’s information is then sent to the advertiser while the user is presented with a thank you page and forwarded to the offered content.
How to set up LinkedIn Lead Generation Forms
- Login to your LinkedIn Campaign Manager, click on the account that you would like to use to run the campaign, and create a new Sponsored Content campaign.
- Give your campaign a name and then select ‘Collect leads using LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms’.
- Decide whether you want to use an existing creative or create a new ad.
- Choose up to seven fields that you would like to collect in your Lead Gen Form.
- Once someone submits the Lead Gen Form, you have the option to create a thank you message and display a URL that directs the user to your website, product or landing page etc.
- Once you create your Lead Gen Form you can choose the CTA that will be attached to the Sponsored Content. Select the form you’d like to use then click ‘Next’. From there, you can set and launch your targeting, bid and budget just like a normal campaign.
The key benefits of LinkedIn Lead Generation Forms
LinkedIn’s aim in creating Lead Generation Forms is to decrease an advertiser’s cost-per-lead (CPL) ratios by reducing the number of incomplete contact forms and lost customers. If you’re a sponsored content campaign manager, simply by clicking on the ‘Leads’ tab of the campaign you’re analyzing, you’ll be able to see the number of leads generated over a specific timeframe. You’ll also be able to view the number of clicks that opened the lead form as well as the number of clicks on the CTA button, introductory text, advertisement title and graphic image.
The percentage of lead form completions will be shown, as well as the CPL. It’s important to note, however, that member profile data is only available for 90 days. That said, the analytics and performance metrics last beyond that 90 day period.
These tools allow tracking of the return on investment for a sponsored content campaign. You can also compare the success of your Lead Gen Form campaign with any sponsored campaign that doesn’t use the Lead Gen Forms. This comparison will allow you to measure cost per conversion and cost per lead.
LinkedIn also allows easy downloading of lead information and the ability to integrate it with outside Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases such as Driftrock or Oracle. Downloading the lead information is as simple as clicking a button.
LinkedIn plans to roll out Lead Gen Forms for desktop computers later in 2017. They also have future plans to allow Lead Gen Forms to be used in more of their marketing tools such as Sponsored InMail campaigns. In the future, you can expect the availability of additional demographic reports and the capacity to integrate information with more CRM platforms.
In a world where more and more people rely on their smartphones to complete forms and browse websites, smart internet companies are realizing that they must get ahead of that growth curve.
LinkedIn is working to make collecting leads from mobile phone users an easier process for businesses, and this cannot be a bad thing for advertisers. With LinkedIn streamlining the processes within their app, advertisers should see a higher form fill rate, decreased cost per lead, and higher return on investment with their sponsored content campaigns.
LinkedIn has introduced a great way to overcome one of the major obstacles to conversion, and Lead Gen Forms will hopefully enable marketers to curate even more qualified leads from their followers.