LinkedIn is well known for being one of the best social media platforms for B2B lead generation. There are multiple ways to approach this, whether through InMails, creating posts that gain traction—or lead generation adverts.
Lead generation adverts on LinkedIn are a hugely effective way to drive new business to your company and can drastically increase your bottom line.
The challenges of lead generation
Developing a solid lead generation initiative is a time-consuming process but one that is essential to ensure a healthy sales pipeline. Recent reports claim that 61% of marketers believe lead generation to be their number one challenge and 53% spend at least half of their budget on generating new leads.
But the hard work pays off. Without a constant influx of new leads, it’s simply impossible for a business to grow. Any business that wants to continue at scale needs to develop robust lead generation efforts and ads are a vital part of this.
There’s no denying, however, that they can quickly eat into your budget if your profile isn’t up to standard or your ads aren’t not properly optimized. So, you need to take a lot of care when developing your lead generation forms on LinkedIn.
Doing the groundwork
Lead generation forms on LinkedIn work in a similar way to inbound marketing lead forms, such as newsletter sign ups or ebook downloads, etc. In fact, they can be exactly that. The difference is you pay to have your ad placed where your potential customers are. What’s more, since it’s linked with LinkedIn, most of their information is already filled in from their profile, making it easier for them to convert.
And this ease of use does make them more effective. According to LinkedIn, the average conversion rate is 13%, which is five times higher than landing pages.
But simply getting sign ups isn’t enough if you want to actually get ROI. The fact is, it all depends on the strength of your nurturing efforts once they sign up. If you don’t have a clear pathway to purchase, it doesn’t matter if you’re hitting a 13% conversion rate on the forms, you’re still never going to make a sale.
What content should I use?
In general, with ads, you want to target individuals who are already quite qualified. Simply paying for newsletter sign ups or other high-level awareness efforts isn’t going to be worth the investment.
Instead, look at your current inbound marketing initiatives to find the one that is already most effective. If you don’t have one of those, opt for decision-based downloads, such as whitepapers, buying guides, or other material that will only be of interest to individuals who are already close to buying.
That’s not to say you can’t work out contingency plans for capturing leads that need more nurturing, but if you’re paying for conversions, you want to target the individuals who will be most valuable to you.
As for what you shouldn’t do, generally speaking, product-led ads are unlikely to work too well. While newsletter sign ups, etc., are too top-funnel to work, ads that focus on your product are too bottom-funnel for anyone who doesn’t already know and trust you. These ads are only effective if accompanied by a very strong offer or if you have data showing that the individuals have had previous contact with you.
Setting up LinkedIn lead generation adverts
As with anything in sales or marketing, you need to begin with your target. And get specific. Who, exactly, are you targeting for this particular campaign?
The great thing about LinkedIn is that you have a lot of features that let you zero in on who you want. We’ve gone through this before in our article on LinkedIn prospecting, and it’s a similar idea for these forms.
You can target members by specific LinkedIn groups, interests, industry, company name, or similar companies. The number of options available means you have no excuse for mis-targeting your endeavor.
What’s more, LinkedIn also has a useful forecasting tool. As you select your target audience, it will automatically load, estimating the CPM, impressions, clicks and leads for your budget.
It is worth noting that, the more narrow the audience, the more expensive it can be. So you need to be pretty sure that it’s going to deliver on ROI before investing. Which brings us to our next point, budgeting.
Setting your budget
LinkedIn is known for being more expensive than other social media platforms for advertising so it’s even more important to know where your budget is going. They justify this largely by giving you, as we mentioned before, better options for targeting, which is true. If you have your target well defined, you are in a good position to profit from the ads. What’s more, LinkedIn users are more likely to trust ads on the platform compared to others, which also makes it a worthwhile place to invest your money.
If you’re launching a new campaign, as a rule of thumb you’ll need at least a couple thousand dollars as an initial investment. Begin by targeting two or three audiences with the same ads. That way, you’ll be able to determine the audience you should be concentrating on. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to start optimizing your campaigns by shifting budget to the more profitable audiences.
Get your tech stack in order
Most importantly of all, you need to be tracking everything to be able to effectively gauge the impact you’re having with your lead generation adverts. There are many different ways you can go about this but ideally you want a CRM that offers a full overview of everything from sign up to purchase. By being able to see how effective your campaigns are at every stage of the pipeline, you’re better able to set effective KPIs, refine your ads, and see where you’re having issues.
At Pipeline.so, we offer a full-service CRM as well as a prospecting tool to help you with your lead generation efforts. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you to maximize your ROI for LinkedIn lead generation campaigns, reach out to us today!