LinkedIn introduces lead generation forms in sponsored posts

LinkedIn now lets marketers add lead gen forms to sponsored posts.

LinkedIn has introduced a call to action feature that enables marketers to curate qualified leads from people who read their paid content on the professional social network. With LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, when a prospect clicks on a sponsored post and is interested in more information, their LinkedIn profile will be automatically populated into a form that can be submitted instantly. While these forms are not unique, what makes them interesting is that they’re built with mobile usage in mind.

“Given that 80 percent of member engagement with Sponsored Content happens on smartphones, we are confident that a mobile-first approach to Lead Gen Forms will offer advertisers the best results,” said Divye Khilnani, a group product manager at LinkedIn.

Marketers can craft a paid post, as usual, and then add a lead gen form through a setting within the campaign manager. Here, they’ll be asked to create a form template and accompanying “thank you” message. After that, targeted LinkedIn members will see the ad in their News Feed, but with a different call to action. Typically, when this is clicked, it opens a website or a post within LinkedIn. But now if a user finds the post intriguing enough, they can quickly sign up for more information without having to jump to another site to fill out a form there.

Lead gen forms are a dime a dozen, so it’s all about implementation, and LinkedIn is banking on its approach to mobile. Marketers can post ads anywhere, from LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter or Google, but when potential leads go to the form to ask for more information, they often find the interface is awkward to use on mobile devices. LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Form appears to streamline the process to make it more likely brands will get the information they seek.

All leads are collected within LinkedIn’s campaign manager for advertisers to download, although it’s quite possible that soon the company will add integrations with Customer Relationship Management tools like Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce.

The latest tool will also work well with other LinkedIn marketing solutions, such as its conversion tracking feature, which helps brands understand the return on investment, conversion count, cost-per-conversion, conversion rate, and other metrics pertaining to their ads. Combined with lead gen forms, it’s possible for marketers to assess how effective their campaigns are at every step, from attracting impressions to actual click-throughs and conversion.

“Lead Gen Forms are an important milestone in our continued efforts to help marketers drive even greater ROI from their lead gen campaigns…” Khilnani said. “With each step we take, we aim to make it simpler to build your business, measure your return, and optimize for the results that matter with LinkedIn Sponsored Content.”

Right now, sponsored content campaigns that use lead gen forms will be found on LinkedIn’s mobile app, but there are plans to expand the service to the desktop “in the coming months.” Additionally, the company expects advertisers to be able to use the lead gen forms within InMail campaigns later this year.

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