With costs per click that can reach up to 15 euros, it is no surprise that many companies are shying away from advertising on LinkedIn. However, if done right, your cost per lead can actually drop lower than traditionally cheaper channels like Google. Today, we will see 7 LinkedIn Marketing Strategies to use for maximum lead generation.
1. Use Lead Gen forms
Using Lead Gen forms is one of my favourite (and most efficient) LinkedIn Marketing strategies. If you are advertising on the social media channel and you are not using Lead Gen, here is why you should.
Let’s stop for a second and think about a regular landing page. How many fields would you have to fill out manually? Depending on the page, at least 2 or 3 in the best case. But in many cases, especially when businesses require a lot of data, it can go up to 10!
That’s a lot of fields for users to type down manually. And let’s be honest, nobody has time for that. Even if you have a genuine interest in the product or resource, you might still end up leaving without converting.
Image source: mixpanel.com
And this is where Lead Gen comes into play.
Lead Gen forms are LinkedIn’s native forms that save the majority of manual work for users by automatically pulling off data from their profile. With their full consent, of course! There’s no shady stuff here. 🙂
Basically, companies can create a Lead Gen form to use instead of a landing page, personalizing it in a way that makes the most sense for them. Because the majority of the fields include information that’s already found on a user’s public profile, LinkedIn fills them out automatically.
Lead Gen forms can significantly reduce your Cost per Lead (CPL), and my personal experience confirms it. In some cases, we managed to reduce CPLs by more than 10 times! Which is crazy considering how expensive clicks are on the social media channel.
And I think that you can already see why it is one of my favourite LinkedIn Marketing strategies. 🙂
Why Lead Gen works
There are multiple reasons why LinkedIn’s native forms work:
- They reduce the majority of manual fields typically found in a regular landing page. This benefits companies because they can get the same amount of information without frustrating the user. But it also benefits users because they are saving a lot of time by not having to fill out all the data manually.
- Of course, landing pages are different, but some of them are really difficult to understand and navigate. On the contrary, native forms are very easy to process, which makes the lead conversion process much easier.
- Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that LinkedIn members don’t actually want to leave LinkedIn when they click on an ad. Because Lead Gen forms are native and don’t take the user to a landing page, they significantly improve his experience on the platform.
- And last but not least, LinkedIn allows you to integrate the forms with your CRM or Marketing Automation system. This means that you can still have all of your data at one place.
Of course, it is not all roses – Lead Gen forms have some cons too. The product description only allows you to write about 2-3 sentences (approximately 160 characters). A lot of times, this means that you don’t have much space to include all the information that you normally would on a landing page.
The second con is that in some cases, it could be quite difficult to integrate Lead Gen forms with your CRM or Marketing Automation tool. And by this I don’t mean the integration itself, but making all of your fields pass all of the data to your CRM.
But LinkedIn has been working a lot on this so it’s going to get easier and easier.
2. Diversify your campaigns
This strategy requires some budget to make sense doing it, but it’s one of the most powerful LinkedIn Marketing strategies out there. Let me explain.
This year, LinkedIn introduced an update that allows you to target your audience using multiple criteria at the same time:
If you take a look at this example, you will see that I am targeting Company Industries, Job Functions OR Job Titles at the same time. By using the attribute OR, I am telling LinkedIn that it can show my ads to people who:
- Work in the industry of real estate or
- Has a job within the real estate functions or
- Has the specific title of Director, Managing Director or Executive Director.
In this case, LinkedIn will show the ad if only one of these three cases appear, and not necessarily at the same time.
This attribute allows you to target various audiences within the same campaign. But just a few months ago, we only had the attribute AND that was quite restricting sometimes.
However, although I am really taking advantage of the OR attribute because it saves time and optimizes your budget, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.
Here is why
The reason why is very simple. When you have multiple criteria within the same campaign, it’s almost impossible to know which audience is actually generating leads (and which isn’t). Even LinkedIn Analytics isn’t helping as much as I would hope for.
Let’s go back to our previous audience. If I made 3 small campaigns:
- One for Job Functions;
- Another for Company Industries;
- And a third one for Job Titles;
I can immediately see which specific targeting is the one generating leads. And, on another hand, which one is only spending the budget without converting.
So, my advice is to diversify your budget across multiple, smaller campaigns. Yes, it can be annoying to make so many campaigns instead of a single, bigger one. But trust me, it’s definitely worth it!
This way, you can get the best lead generation rate for your money. And not spend budget on target audiences that aren’t converting.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I am not using the OR attribute in my campaigns. If I have a smaller budget, it’s a life-saver! (or should I say, a campaign-saver?)
3. Start with a bigger audience, then optimize
The next one of my favourite LinkedIn Marketing strategies is very intuitive. However, if you don’t have much experience in Digital Marketing, you might not know it well enough yet.
Start your campaign with a wider audience. Of course, the exact size will depend on your product and industry, but I would never recommend an audience bigger than 400k users. No matter what your budget is!
The main reason why is because your budget is going to be so diluted across different industries or job functions that it’s going to take a long time for LinkedIn to gather enough meaningful data.
In the image below, you are going to see data from a campaign I did. It has been running for 2 months straight with an audience size of only 130k, and yet, the majority of the data in Analytics still shows “below reporting minimum”:
Even with a historical data of 2 months, it will still be difficult for me to draw meaningful conclusions about all job functions. Or all company industries…you get it.
Hence the reason why you should avoid going with audiences that are on the extreme of wide.
However, you can start with a wide audience on the medium spectrum, maybe around 200-300k users, and work your way to refining it as time passes. This way, you will get enough data to help you get valuable insights, but not too much to dilute your analytics.
4. Refresh your creatives
There are two main ways to improve and optimize your campaigns. The first one, as we just saw, is to make improvements within your segmentation.
The second one is to refresh your creatives.
You can either do both at the same time, or one after another. The thing is, if you don’t want to make a lot of changes to your segmentation, eventually your audience will burn out. Especially if it’s small.
What does that mean? Well, imagine that your audience consists of 30,000 users. At some point in time, the majority of them will have seen your ad about 2-3 times. If you see an ad 2 or 3 times, you already know that you are interested, or not interested, in learning more about the product.
This means that seeing the ad continuously will not only have zero impact on you, but you might even get annoyed and ignore it completely.
This is the point of burn out in which your audience is not reacting to your ad anymore.
So, you need to do something. You need to make a change. And, if changing the segmentation is not an option for you, you will have to try with different creatives to see if they make a bigger impact. Or maybe you just want to do both at the same time, although it’s risky because you might not know which one of these big changes worked.
Of course, you should always be A/B testing your creatives to see which one works. But don’t forget to change them every once in a while to avoid audience burn out.
And, if you need inspiration, you can check my LinkedIn ad examples for more ideas.
5. Do not forget about retargeting
The next one on our list of LinkedIn Marketing strategies is to take full advantage of your retargeting options.
You can use the existing contacts in your CRM, or configure retargeting audiences directly in LinkedIn to make a second impact on users who have shown interest in your product.
To sum it up, there are three major ways to do retargeting on LinkedIn:
- Upload a contact database from your CRM or Marketing Automation tool;
- Configure audiences for people who visit your landing pages, but don’t convert;
- Configure audiences for users who converted, so you can make a second impact;
To learn more about retargeting and how to configure audiences or upload lists, click here to read my article LinkedIn Retargeting: The Complete Guide.
6. Create Lookalike audiences
Another really cool feature that LinkedIn provides for advertisers is the use of lookalike audiences.
They are usually built using your retargeting audiences (you can read more on how to do it here).
Basically, the idea is the following.
Let’s say that you’ve uploaded a list of 5,000 contacts from your CRM. They can be your current customers, or potential prospects that haven’t made a purchase yet, but have shown some interest in your product.
With just a couple of clicks, LinkedIn’s machine learning tools will begin creating an audience with similar features with the one that you’ve uploaded. This way, they can build a new audience of users who are more likely to purchase because they share similar traits with your current leads or customers.
Lookalike audiences are extremely easy to make. Just click on the article at the beginning of the paragraph for full instructions!
7. Use segment breakdown
Here is a little trick that can drive big results with a tool that LinkedIn introduced recently – Segment breakdown.
Basically, what it does is give you insights on the segmentation criteria that you are using.
For this example, I typed a few job titles in the Job title criteria, such as:
- Head of Business Development
- Sales Director
- Key Account Manager
- Sales Manager
- Sales Executive
and so on.
So, what LinkedIn does is take all of the Job Titles, and tell me to which Job Function the majority of them belong. This way, if I want to launch an additional campaign on Job Functions, I can go straight to Sales, Business Development and Operations, without trying to guess them myself.
And although this example is more obvious, other job titles are not that obvious. For example, a Customer Success Manager will belong to the Support job function. Which is not what I would think of! I would think that Support is more for the IT industry, but we can see that this is not necessarily the case.
I hope that I managed to give you some ideas on my favourite LinkedIn Marketing strategies for lead generation. I definitely recommend you to try them all, or at least some of them! They are definitely worth it.
Now, it’s your turn! Are you using some of them already? Are you happy with the results? Let me know in the comments down below!
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my article, and I hope to see you in the next one!