There’s little doubt that LinkedIn is the best social platform for B2B marketers, but it’s not without its flaws. In fact, it can be a frustrating platform sometimes, especially when you’re used to working with AdWords and Facebook, which are constantly refining their advertising system.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn tends to drag behind a little but it still comes with that exclusive B2B audience, which makes it impossible to resist. However, there are signs that LinkedIn is trying to bring its advertising platform up to pace, this time in the shape of a new feature that brings lead generation forms to your ads.
Welcome to LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms were introduced last month, promising to improve the performance of lead generation ad campaigns on the network. And now that we’ve had a couple of weeks to play around with the new feature, it seems like a good time to offer our first impressions.
First, let’s quickly explain what LinkedIn Lead Gen form are, just in case you missed the announcement. Feel free to skip ahead to the next section if you’re already clued in about the new feature.
Source: LinkedIn Business
LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms are a new feature you can use with sponsored content ads on the B2B network. LinkedIn says 80% of engagement with sponsored content takes place on mobile, which presents a bit of a problem on the lead generation front. To turn that traffic into a qualified lead you need to capture their email address by getting them to sign up to something.
The problem is filling out forms is a pain at the best of times, but filling them out on mobile can be absolute torture. This spells bad news for your conversion rates on lead generation campaigns and LinkedIn aims to fix this issue with Lead Gen Forms.
By using LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, the format of your lead generation ads changes slightly. A CTA will be placed at the bottom of your ads asking users to convert there and then. When a user clicks your CTA, LinkedIn will present them with a signup form inside the app – and this is where the magic happens. LinkedIn will grab information from their account so they don’t need to fill anything out. All they do is confirm their email address is correct and hit the submit button. Done.
LinkedIn removing UX barriers to conversions
The idea of Lead Gen Forms is to remove conversion barriers and they do a pretty good job it. We’ve been playing around with the feature for a couple of weeks now and it’s a major improvement on standard lead generation ads on LinkedIn.
Web forms are one design element brands tend to struggle with most and this makes for a bad combination with LinkedIn lead generation ads. The nature of promoted content as a lead generation format is pretty limited when users are given little incentive to sign up once they land on your site. So it’s good to see LinkedIn address this issue.
More importantly, it’s reassuring to see the network make genuine improvements to its ad formats – something we don’t see enough from LinkedIn. Hopefully, this marks a change in approach under the ownership of Microsoft and we’ll see more improvements made in the near future. Truth be told, the network will need to step up its efforts considering the rate of change taking place at Google and Facebook.
Poor form design is still a problem
As much as we like LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, the only reason this feature exists is because brands are failing miserably when it comes to form design. And, unless LinkedIn is your only source of generating leads (we really hope it isn’t), this new feature isn’t going to stop you leaking leads in other areas.
Rather than relying on advertising channels to fix conversion problems for you, it makes more sense to optimise your own forms and signup processes for higher conversions from every channel.
Of course, this is no easy task. Designing forms is a real challenge and implementing them into a sign-up system that converts is another challenge altogether. But this is the challenge you need to take on because LinkedIn is only a small part of your entire marketing strategy and Lead Gen Forms aren’t going to fix all your form woes.