linkedin with keyboard background

Lead generation is essential to businesses, especially in B2B. Marketers are under more pressure to deliver results and contribute to the Sales pipeline. 

Many have turned to the most effective place, Linkedin, to solve their lead generation challenges.

As this report says, 80% all of all B2B social media leads comes from Linkedin. Marketers also say that Linkedin has generated them two times more leads than the next highest social media platform.

But how do you build a winning Linkedin lead generation campaign? 

In this guide, we will show you step-by-step how to generate more quality leads with Linkedin Ads. 

Table of content: 

      1. What is Lead Generation
      2. What is the biggest challenge in Lead Generation
      3. Why is Linkedin the best place for lead generation
      4. Why content marketing is important in lead generation
      5. The key type of content for lead generation 
      6. How to align your sales and marketing team 
      7. Choosing the right metrics to measure 
      8. Selecting the right objectives for lead generation
      9. Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #1: Target prospects with an active interest
      10. Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #2: Targeting priority accounts
      11. Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #3: Leverage Linkedin’s profile data
      12. Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #4: Use Linkedin’s Lead Gen Forms & Website Autofills
      13. Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #5: Integrating Sales Navigator with your Campaign Manager
      14. Optimisation Strategies #1: How to Optimise Lead Quality
      15. Optimisation Strategies #2: How to Optimise Your Targeting
      16. Optimisation Strategies #3: How to Optimise Your Creatives
      17. Optimisation Strategies #4: How to Optimise Your Lead Gen Forms
      18. Optimisation Strategies #5: How to Optimise Using Conversion Tracking
      19. Lead Scoring: How To Do Successful Lead Scoring
      20. Summary

    What is lead generation

    According to Optimizely, Lead generation is a process of capturing a prospect’s interest in your product or service. The eventual goal is to turn these interested prospects into closed-won sales.

    In most B2B lead generation campaigns, prospects would need to exchange their personal information for an offer. Some examples of offers would be an eBook, Whitepaper, Webinar, Event.

    Lead generation plays an important role in an increasingly self-guided buyer’s journey. Before a B2B prospect decides to buy, they will conduct their own research.

    They would read thought leadership articles, check product specs, compare brands, visit a provider’s website and discover what their peers are saying on a B2B social media like Linkedin.

    The buyer’s journey is not linear and complicated. This is where lead generation fits in. Throughout this journey, there are plenty of opportunities to capture their interest.

    Delivering the right content, at the right time on the right platform will dramatically increase your lead generation performance.

    What is the biggest challenge in lead generation

    B2B technology community did a survey across 800 B2B marketers and found the biggest challenge in lead generation is getting quality leads.

    It’s no surprise this came out as the largest challenge. Why? Because most B2B companies would have tried Facebook first when they’re starting out. Facebook is cheaper and has a larger audience compared to Linkedin.

    The issue here is that cheaper leads doesn’t mean better leads.

    Getting the right quality of leads is just as important. Not just the quantity. 

    Think about it: Would you rather have 1,000 leads with 0 conversions into an actual sale? Or would you rather have 10 leads with 2 converting at a $100,000 closed-won deal each? 

    This is why many B2B marketers are turning to Linkedin to find better quality leads.

    Why Linkedin is the best place to generate quality leads

    A survey done across global B2B marketers showed that the most successful B2B marketers rely on Linkedin to generate demand for their business. 

    Linkedin-is-the-choice-for-B2B-Marketers

    Linkedin is the home to over 675 million professionals in the world. With the largest set of B2B data points, Linkedin offers every possible targeting a B2B marketer needs. 

    No other platform comes close to the accurate and scalable targeting of professionals. 

    targeting options on linkedin

    Marketers can select from targeting options like company name, job functions, job titles, member skills and more. 

    Check out this 12-min video by Linkedin ad veteran, AJ Wilcox, about advance targeting on Linkedin. 

    Linkedin has been rated as the #1 trusted platform compared against other social media giants.

    Based on Business Insider’s Digital trust report, Linkedin ranked highly on ad relevance, user experience, community, legitimacy and security. 

    Linkedin Trust Report

    This means that the environment in Linkedin is premium.

    Audiences are more open to engaging with ads and least likely to find it annoying. 

    If you want quality leads, choose the right environment to advertise in. In the case of B2B, Linkedin is your number 1 choice. 

    Going after cheaper clicks in platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram will not solve your demand generation struggles. 

    In fact, the opposite will happen. You’ll have tons of leads that no Sales team wants. Then you’ll probably struggle with a weak pipeline. Answering to your Management about this would be hard. 

    Why Content Marketing is important for lead generation? 

    In every successful lead generation strategy, there will always be content. 

    Different stages of the customer’s journey require different content. 

    Linkedin recommends you to split your budget by 60:30:10 (Reach: Nurture: Acquire). 

    why is content marketing important

    However, this split is just a guideline and might not be suitable for all businesses. 

    If you’re just starting out on Linkedin, your budget split should look like 70:30 (Reach: Nurture). The acquire stage is very costly. Putting all your budget here to cold traffic will not work.  

    You need to build your brand with thought leadership content. Once you’ve gained the mindshare and trust, then you can set aside a budget for acquire. 

    Blogs, infographics, trends and educational content works well if for awareness and reach. This is great for engaging your target audience. 

    Once you’ve built enough awareness, your target audience will start transitioning into the next phase which is looking for solutions. 

    Using client testimonials, ebooks, case studies and whitepapers would help in this stage. This builds brand credibility and keeps your company top of their minds. 

    Here’s the truth: Decision-makers are always-on and searching for ideas/solutions – Even on weekends! 

    89% of LinkedIn members said they researched anonymously during the first 6 months of the buying process. 

    If your company can be part of their research phase, you’ll win. 

    Help them with useful guides, thought leadership and content. Supporting them with blogs, in-depth guides and trends will open doors for your sales team. 

    The Key Type Of Content For Lead Generation

    Thought leadership. 

    Thought leadership wins business opportunities. If you have limited resources and time, then focus on thought leadership. It’ll transform your lead generation results for the better. 

    Here’s a 3-min video about what Thought leadership is. 

    Based on research by Edelman x Linkedin, thought leadership has led decision-makers to award businesses to an organisation. 

    That’s no surprise really. If you’ve established yourself as a thought leader, it means you are the go-to brand/person when prospects have problems or need new solutions. It means your brand is the first thing that comes to mind to your prospects. 

    Even though this sounds like common sense, Edelman’s research showed that only 26% of sellers believe that thought leadership will help – Shocking!

    Buyers/Prospects want more thought leadership content. 

    But sellers and marketers are not producing it. 

    So if you want to sell, stand-out from the competition and win more, the easiest formulae is to build your brand as a thought leader, with thought leadership content. 

    Statistics on thought leadership

    Is your brand a thought leader? 

    Identify where your brand stands as a thought leader with these questions: 

    • Is your brand considered the “gurus” and go-to people in your field? 
    • Is your content thorough and have a unique point of view? 
    • When your audiences read your content, do they say “I’ve never thought about it this way”? 
    • Is your brand actively writing, speaking and socialising in your areas of expertise? 
    • Do you feel like your brand is leading the conversation in your industry? 
    • Are mainstream publications approaching your brand to get your opinions? Are you keynoting at industry-respected conferences? 
    • Are you able to make complicated content uncomplicated? 

    Linkedin presented an ideal thought leadership funnel in their live Content Marketing Workshop: 

    Content Journey

    In this example, Fidelity investments launched content that is relevant at various stages of the prospect’s journey. 

    • Awareness stage: Fidelity used an informative blog post to help prospects confront common financial fears. This is a good way to introduce your brand by giving helpful advice through un-gated content. Audiences at this stage are likely just realising about their financial worries.
    • Interest stage: For prospects who are starting to think about financial planning, Fidelity provided data-proven ways to plan.
    • Consideration stage: Audiences here are likely aware of their problem and searching for solutions. This is a great stage to build credibility. Fidelity used customer stories to build trust.
    • Decision stage: When audiences want to make decisions, they need more information about the services/products. Fidelity addresses that with an infographic ad about why people choose them – Mainly features and benefits
    • Action stage: Audiences are hot here and ready to buy but Fidelity doesn’t slow down. They continue to be helpful by providing an ROI calculator for prospects. 

    Many companies mess these sequences up. I often see the majority of ad budgets placed in the decision and action stage. 

    Timing is off. Audiences are not ready to make a decision. That’s why your ROI calculators are not working well! Your audiences are just not ready. 

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to move budget away from decision and action stages. 

    Instead, spread them out wisely according to where your business is at. 

    If your marketing team is just starting out, then 80-90% of your efforts could be generating awareness and consideration. If you’ve already had a matured awareness/consideration campaign, then you could focus on decision/action stages. 

    After working on hundreds of Linkedin campaigns, the majority of companies are not doing their awareness/consideration stage well. 

    Different Content fits at different stages

    Every offer (content) you put out should always address the concerns in your prospect’s mind. 

    You can’t have one generic offer for all stages of the buyer’s journey. 

    Giving prospects a “Free Demo” isn’t useful when the prospect doesn’t even know they have a problem. Throwing an ROI calculator for everyone at every stage is not a great idea either. 

    Have a balance of content that addresses audiences at different stages of their buying journey. 

    How to align your sales and marketing team

    The biggest mistake most marketers make is launching their campaigns without getting feedback from Sales teams. 

    Since a marketer’s job is to generate demand for Sales, you’ll need to grasp what your sales teams need. 

    Bring them out for coffee. Talk to them. 

    Find out the following: 

    • Do they have enough leads to work with? 
    • Are they currently swamped with low-quality leads? 
    • Are they having difficulty closing their deals? 
    • What’s the current Sales narrative? 
    • Who’s their target audience? Be specific
    • Who is in the buying committee? Who do they need to influence to get the sale across? 
    • What are the job functions, titles and seniority of the buying committee? 
    • How does the sales team define a “sales conversion”? Is it an opportunity creation? Is it an event registration? Is it a demo sign-up? 
    • How long is the sales cycle? 
    • What does a “quality lead” mean to the sales team? 
    • Is marketing automation needed to further qualify the leads before sending them to sales? Is more nurturing needed before passing the leads to sales? 
    • What is the sales team’s response time to the leads? If it’s slow, find out why

    Questions for Sales

    If your sales team is frustrated with spending too much time following up on bad leads, then you should look at enhancing lead quality. 

    Use marketing automation and lead nurturing to move these leads down sales funnel. Pass to sales only when they have crossed certain “qualified” criteria that’s agreed with sales teams. 

    In some cases, Sales teams do not have enough leads to work with. That’s when you focus on getting a bigger volume of leads. 

    Consider retargeting too if the Sales team says that they are having difficulty closing deals faster. 

    Being crystal clear with your Sales team’s struggles is a big step forward. 

    This helps you build more trust with the Sales team. You’ll be seen as a revenue-driven marketer with the Sales team backing you. 

     

    Pro tip: Try acting as a “mystery Shopper”. Submit yourself as a lead and observe how fast your sales team reaches out. Hear how they pitch and see if it aligns with your marketing direction. 

    Choosing the right metrics to measure

    There are 4 main metrics you can use to measure the success of your lead generation. They might be called differently in different businesses but they usually fall in one of these categories. 

    • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) – This measures the quality of the leads. A lead is scored based on certain criteria (such as Job title, job function, seniority, company size). Companies with more advance Martech can also measure the lead’s behaviour. For example, a score is given based on their online engagement with your brand (Website visits, email opens, Content downloads etc). Once the score passes a defined threshold, they become MQLs.
    • Sales Accepted Leads (SALs) – These are leads with characteristics and behaviors that make it a relevant opportunity for sales, with the potential to turn into a deal. Most companies qualify a SAL based on the lead’s budget, authority, need and timeline (BANT). Some companies have their own method of calculating SALs.
    • Conversions – Looking at the number of leads that led to a closed deal. This might be difficult in large enterprise businesses. The lead might not be the final decision maker although he/she was key in opening the opportunity to the deal. Proper data input in CRM is needed by the Sales team which is highly unlikely. Thus, some companies are measuring by account engagement that led to the conversion.
    • ROI – It measures the dollar value of revenue that your leads helped to generate. 

    Marketers are under pressure to deliver a high volume of leads. However, the ultimate value is when these are quality leads as well. 

    B2B sales cycles are long. So it is challenging to prove effectiveness by just measuring the volume of leads. 

    MQL and SAL numbers need to be the main metrics to show in real-time the contributions of marketing. Ultimately, review the ROI figures on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis depending on your business. 

    Relate back and demonstrate how the quality of leads are driving value for the business. 

    Here are other important terms you need to take note of: 

    • CPL (Cost Per Lead). It refers to the cost (In dollar value) it takes to generate one lead. 
    • CRM (Customer Relationship Management). This is a software technology that helps manage and analyse interactions and data throughout the lifecycle. 
    • Lead Scoring – Marketers use this methodology to identify MQLs. 
    • Marketing Automation System – A technology that helps to nurture leads and prospects by automating marketing actions. 

    Selecting the right objectives for lead generation

    One of the important decisions you’ll need to make is the objective selection of your campaign. 

    Lead Generation Objectives on Linkedin

    If you’re running a lead generation campaign, choose either “Lead Generation” or “Website Conversions” objectives. 

    This helps Linkedin to show your ads more towards audiences who will perform your chosen actions. 

    When to use Lead generation objective: If you want to use Linkedin’s Lead Gen Forms, then this is the selection you need (More on that later). 

    When to use Website Conversions objective: If you want to drive traffic to your landing page and get the conversion on your site, then this is the selection to make (A useful addition would be adding a Linkedin Website Auto-fill button here. More on this later). 

    Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #1: Target prospects with an active interest

    Start with the easy wins by targeting prospects who already showed interest in your brand. People who have an existing relationship with your brand are the easiest to convert into a lead. 

    You can do this through 2 ways: 

    • Website retargeting
    • Contact list upload

    In website retargeting, you’ll need the Linkedin insight tag installed on your website. 

    The Linkedin insight tag is a light-weight javascript tag that powers website retargeting, conversion tracking and web analytics. 

    It’s free to install and you really should get to it if you have not. 

    You can access your insights tag through your campaign manager interface, where you run your Linkedin ads. 

    Linkedin Insight Tag Location

    Click on “Install My Insight Tag” and follow the installation steps. 

    Linkedin’s help desk provides more instructions on how you can add the Linkedin insights tag

    Once your Linkedin insight tag is active, you can create your website retargeting audience through these steps. 

    1. Open your campaign manager dashboard
    2. Click on “Account Assets”
    3. Select “Matched Audiences”
    4. Choose “Website” under the “Create Audience” tab

    matched audiences for website retargeting

    1. Name your Website audience
    2. To target all your website visitors, select “Start with this URL” and key in your home page address. 

    URL-selection-for-Website-Retargeting

    Another common use is to retarget web visitors of your resources or blog. 

    Include URLs that contain a specified text

    Select “Have URLs that contain the specific text”. Then choose the common text(s) in your blog or resource URLs. 

    This set-up also depends on how your website is structured. For most websites, there should be a standardized URL text the blog and resource pages use. 

    Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #2: Targeting priority accounts

    Next up, you could target businesses by account targeting. These are businesses that you’ve identified to have a relevant need for your business. They might not be showing interest in your company yet but they should be. 

    Work with sales for an Account-Based Account Marketing (ABM) strategy. You can upload up to 300,000 companies to target. 

    Segment your lists into three ways – Strategic ABM, ABM Lite & Programmatic ABM. 

    ABM-Segments

    For the strategic ABM, Identify the 1,000 top high-value accounts and upload a matched audience for them. These will make up your top-tier strategic accounts. 

    Build your next 5,000-10,000 company target list. These would make up your ABM lite lists. 

    Any other accounts beyond the 10,000 mark will be bucketed into a Programmatic ABM list. 

    Follow these steps to upload your lists: 

    1. Open your campaign manager dashboard
    2. Click on “Account Assets”
    3. Select “Matched Audiences”
    4. Choose “List Upload” under the “Create Audience” tab

    Location-of-List-Uploads

    1. Download list templates for accounts. Follow the format and upload it

    Download-List-Templates

    During your campaign set-up, you can add these matched audiences under the “Matched Audiences” selection. 

     

    Adding-Matched-Audiences-to-your-campaign

    The ideal audience size is 120,000 and above for good delivery and pacing.

    If your audience list is too small, I recommend not adding any filters. Instead, target to influence the entire companies. This happens a lot when you have less than 1,000 account names on your list. 

    You may use look-alike modeling to expand your audience too. Linkedin algorithms will find similar people to those you’ve defined in your targeting. Simply click on “Audience Expansion” in your targeting. 

    Pro Tip: 

    Aim for a match rate of about 85% and above for your account list. When filling in the account list template, ensure that the “company name” and the URL fields match those that are on Linkedin. Some companies have a different naming convention for their Linkedin company page which causes a mismatch. Any match rate below 50% is worrying and needs a redo. 

    Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #3: Leverage Linkedin’s profile data

    Once you’ve set-up the above campaign to capture the low hanging fruits, you’ll need to target a larger group of prospects who you don’t know about yet – and the prospects who don’t know enough about you. 

    Avoid hyper-targeting. You want to target a large group of potential buyers that you don’t have detailed information about. 

    Don’t use your gut-feeling on excluding audiences. If you do, you risk missing out on audiences who might be interested. Hyper-targeting will make your CPL increase too. Start broader then narrow after. 

    Choose a relevant but broad targeting option. 

    My recommendation is to try the following: 

    • Job function and seniority
    • Job function and member skills

    Don’t use job titles for a start. There’s a high chance you’ll be missing out on audiences. 

    Some prospects might have Job titles that are different from the ones you might expect. So if you hyper-target with job titles, they are going to be missed although they might be a fitting lead. 

    The only scenario I’ll use job titles is when I’m targeting a large region. If I can still get above 120,000 audience size with Job titles, then I might use it. Job titles are also the most expensive targeting because most marketers use job titles when they’re starting out on LinkedIn.

    Always keep testing different targeting as your campaign moves along. This will let you uncover different audiences and cover your total addressable market

    digital advertising targeting recommendations

    Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #4: Use Linkedin’s Lead Gen Forms & Website Autofills

    To generate a lead, a company needs to convince their prospects to share personal contact details. 

    A barrier to this action is the effort it takes for prospects to complete the online forms manually.

    Busy decision-makers are looking for intuitive, easy-to-complete form experiences.

    Enter: Linkedin Lead Gen Forms (LGF)

    LGFs removes barriers by pre-populating the form with Linkedin profile data. When a Linkedin member clicks on a CTA on an ad with an LGF form attached, a native form is automatically filled with prospect’s LinkedIn profile information. 

    All prospects need to do is click submit and a lead is generated for you. 

    In just a few clicks, busy decision-makers are able to engage with your brand. 

    Compared to manually filling in forms on your website, Linkedin lead gen form creates a seamless experience for your prospects. 

    You even have the option to add custom fields if needed. 

    I recommend using Linkedin lead gen forms in your campaigns. 

    Lead-Gen-Form-Example

    Linkedin showed in different case studies that lead gen forms can get up to 3x better conversion rates. More amazing results and case studies of lead gen forms here

    If you’re doing lead generation on Linkedin, you have to test lead gen form. 

    To get the lead generation form option, you’ll need to select “Lead Generation” under the objectives. 

    Lead Generation Objectives on Linkedin

    These are the available ad formats for lead gen form campaigns. 

    Ad-Format-Available-for-Lead-Generation

    If you’re just starting out, I recommend using Single Image ad. Have at least 4-5 ad creatives on rotation and a/b testing. 

    Launching multi-formats will also help your conversion rates. If your marketing budget is about USD $8,000/month, you could use $6,000 for Single Image Ad and another $2,000 for Message ad. 

    This strategy will ensure your lead gen offer surrounds your audience – Across their Linkedin newsfeed and personal Linkedin inbox. 

    Once you’ve created your campaign structure(s), you’ll need to create your lead gen form. 

    Linkedin-Lead-Gen-Form-Specs

    Here’s the assets you need to begin: 

    • Offer headline: 60 Characters
    • Offer detail: 160 Characters
    • Privacy policy URL
    • Privacy Policy text: I usually just put “Privacy Policy”. Not unless you have company-specific policy. Try to keep this as short as possible. 

    Next, select the fields that you require for your leads. Choose those that are essential only. 

    Lead-Gen-Form-Fields

    Less is more. 3-4 fields are good best practices. If you put too many fields, prospects might feel like that’s too much personal information to give. 

    It depends on your content/offer. For example, if it’s a highly sought after original research/trend, then asking for more fields makes sense. But if your offer is a generic eBook (Like your competitors’), then use lesser fields. 

    Try not to include fields requiring manual input as well. That adds friction to the process and increases your cost-per-lead. 

    A big ask for B2B businesses would be “Work Email”. Linkedin can’t guarantee a work email. Members still have the option to input their personal emails. 

    But what you can do, is to include a free-form custom question. This requires members to manually type their email in. They still have the option to fill in with their personal email but at least it forces them to consider giving work email instead. 

    Once your campaigns are live, you can download your lead via the lead gen form download page. 

    Where-to-download-leads

    Once you’ve downloaded, you can manually upload them into your marketing automation system. 

    A more efficient way is to integrate your marketing automation tool directly with the lead gen form. These are all the automation tools that Linkedin supports. Review the instructions on the relevant platform on how to integrate. 

    If you are one of those businesses that won’t be able to use Linkedin Lead Gen form, you can add the Linkedin website auto-filled function on your website forms instead. Here’s a set-up guide for Linkedin website auto-fill. 

    Website-Auto-fill-location

    This helps your visitors to fill out your form automatically by clicking on the “auto-fill with Linkedin”. 

    Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy #5: Integrating Sales Navigator with your Campaign Manager

    Are your sales teams using Sales Navigator? 

    Linkedin has a limited release that lets marketers target the saved leads in the Sales rep’s sales navigators. 

    This creates a highly relevant audience, where marketing is lock and step with sales. If you’re running an ABM strategy, this would be a fantastic opportunity. 

    While this might seem like the ultimate marketing tool, there are a few cons to it. 

    1. Sales reps need to save the leads diligently and cleanly. Most sales reps do not keep the saved leads in their sales navigator updated. Dirty data in, dirty data out. Marketing’s targeting will not be accurate if sales reps do not use their sales navigators properly. 
    2. Sales reps tend to only save the decision-makers and not the entire buying committee. This would mean that your marketing campaign would be hyper-targeted. You will face delivery issues. 

    The way to succeed with this is to work closely with your Sales operations team. You’ll need to design a strict playbook for your sales teams on using the Sales navigator. 

    Linkedin has made this a limited release because many companies can’t get their sales to follow this process. It is not in a sales person’s interest to keep their prospect data in sales navigator updated. 

    You’ll need to meet these criteria to qualify: 

    • Company has sales navigator enterprise edition
    • Sales navigators must have at least 2,500 – 3,000 saved leads at the minimum
    • The marketing team must already be spending above USD $5,000 in Linkedin marketing

    This was from 2018. So speak to your Linkedin rep for the latest updates if this is something that you want to explore. If you’re spending above USD $5,000/month, you’ll likely already be in contact with your rep already. 

    As the audience size is likely small, the best use case for this is to launch specific messaging for this group. You don’t need a lot of budgets here. The bulk of your budget should go into the wide targeting where more budget is needed to scale. 

    Optimisation Strategies #1: How to optimise lead quality

    When it comes to lead generation, what’s important is the quality of the leads. 

    Get feedback on the lead quality from your sales team. Once your sales team has contacted the leads, obtain their feedback. 

    Request for the most relevant feedback data such as number of appointments booked, number of leads who are not interested, what demographics are not relevant, how leads many converted to a sale. 

    Tie this back to your Lead generation offer. If your content was an eBook, whitepaper or report, then it’s highly likely most are not ready for a sales conversation. In this case, focus on getting feedback about the demographics of the leads. 

    If your offer was a Free Demo, then the key feedback you need is the conversion rate from lead submission to a demo. 

     

    optimisation question for lead quality from sales team

    If you have multiple campaigns with different audiences, you may start to redistribute budgets. Move budgets to the higher-performing campaigns and stop lower-performing ones. 

     

    Optimisation Question on trageting to generate quality leads

    For companies with a shorter sales cycle, you can identify if leads from your campaign have led to sales conversions. Calculate the total value of the deal to measure ROI. 

    For longer sales cycles, you may calculate the next closest “sales conversion” to get a sense of the ROI. For example, you can calculate how many sales meetings were generated from the leads. 

    linkedin ads sales conversion optimisation question

    For most companies, you’ll likely have marketing activity running on other channels.

    Check the lead quality from those channels as well. Though costs may be higher on Linkedin compared to other platforms, the higher quality leads on Linkedin may lead to larger deal sizes and better ROI. 

    Optimisation Question on lead quality from other channels

    Optimisation Strategies #2: How to optimise your targeting

    1. Do not hyper-target. This will exclude people who could turn into leads and eventually customers. Test targeting against a larger audience and narrow from there based on CPL and lead quality feedback.
    2. Set up different campaigns that have different targeting. Track the effectiveness of lead generation and redistribute the budget to campaigns delivering low CPL and high lead quality. 
    3. Use Matched Audiences. As mentioned in earlier chapters, you can look at subscribers to your blog, existing customers and lead who have shown interest in the past. These prospects are familiar with your brand and are more likely to become a lead. 
    4. Turn off “Audience Expansion” for the start of your campaigns. You want to keep your targeting tight before you expand. Have at least 100k audience size when you first start off. If you’re starting with small audience size, then leverage the lookalike audience to reach a larger number of people with similar characteristics as your buyers. 
    5. Use your website Demographics to view the demographics of visitors to your site. You’ll be able to view the professional demographics of your website visitors. Change your targeting to reflect the same demographics you see on your site. Or, if your website demographics are not showing relevant data, add them as an exclusion. 

    Optimisation Strategies #3: How to optimise your creatives

    1. When targeting is broader, it will include audiences who are unfamiliar with you. Your creatives need to keep this in mind. Position your creatives to generate demand – Not only leads. Avoid using industry jargon. Keep it high level and understandable. Adding a logo or brand-related element to your creative help.
    2. Make your creative compelling and clear. Call-out your audiences in your creatives. You can use their profession, seniority or even geography in your creatives. For example: “Hear how HR Leaders in Australia are …..”
    3. Make sure your headlines tell people what they’re signing up for. The last thing you need is someone clicking in without understanding what your offer is. That’s wasting your ad budget. Be clear on the offer and why they should click in. If you’d like them to “Download” an eBook, state it in the CTA button. You may even include it in the creative itself. Make use of your intro text to tell your audience the offer too. For example: “Download our 2020 research on…”
    4. Namedrop whenever possible. If your whitepaper or eBook contains certain big names, put them in your intro text. For example: “See how top brands like Microsoft, Amazon, Uber win….” A more advance step is to contextualise the namedropping to your audience’s industry. You can also namedrop by individuals. For example: “We interviewed top CMOs like Satya Nadella, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma about…. Hear what they have to say – Download the full interview”. Namedropping can also be using logos on your creative itself. Social proof works on social media platforms, especially on Linkedin. 
    5. Keep your copy short, but sweet. Cut down unnecessary words and phrases. Ensure your intro text is below 150 characters to avoid truncation on the mobile version.
    6. A/B test your creatives. Always have 4-5 creatives active at any one time. Turn off, duplicate and replace under-performing creatives with new ones. The more nets you cast, the more you’ll catch.
    7. Write for one audience/customer. If you write for everyone, it will appeal to no one. Be relevant to your buyer persona and address their specific pain-points.
    8. Use numbers and statistics in your creatives. Figures and numbers attract attention. For example: “97% of CEOs say that …. Download the whitepaper now”. 
    9. Linkedin does not have a text overlay limit like Facebook. Make use of this. Test of an all-text creative. It might work when everyone else are adopting images. 

    Optimisation Strategies #4: How to optimise your Lead Gen Forms

    1. Run awareness ads alongside (or before) your lead gen form campaigns. This helps create familiarity with your brand and products.
    2. Have a strong nurture strategy in place. This could be aligning your Sales rep’s outreach message to the lead gen form message. Or it could be ensuring a 7-8 step email follow-up cadence to your leads.
    3. Lead gen forms do not take prospects to your landing page. So you have to be clear in your ad copy what your offer is. Entice them with enough information so they submit their details.
    4. Ensure that the lead gen form copy reiterates the offer. Remind them how awesome your offer is. Make it irresistible because this is the final step before you get their details. 
    5. Create multiple lead gen forms for different target audiences. This lets you a/b test which angles will produce more quality leads.
    6. Include a custom question on the form if needed to ensure leads meet specific criteria. The most common use case is for work emails. You can also include “Preferred time to be contacted”.


    Important Note: This will impact your CPLs and cause it to skyrocket. But your lead quality will improve. Weigh the pros and cons before you decide.

    In the Thank You section of your lead gen form, make the next steps clear. For example, state that once the member submits their details, the whitepaper will be sent to their email. Members will know exactly what to expect. If the offer was a free demo or call, indicate when you will be reaching out to them. 

    Optimisation Strategies #5: How to optimise using conversion tracking

    1. Ensure that the customer journey on the landing page is smooth. Since your objective is a form fill, the form should be easily accessible. Members shouldn’t need to make additional clicks or scroll too much to find your landing page form.
    2. Check that the landing page includes sufficient information. Arrange the information in an organised format.
    3. Reduce the number of form fields on your landing page if possible. Use only the essential must-have fields. Having too many fields will cause more friction for a lead submission. 
    4. If you must have a long-form, then use a multi-step form.
    5. 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes 3 seconds to load. Check that your pages load quickly.
    6. Use the insight tag to evaluate which segments of audiences are performing well. Refocus your budget on campaigns that are promising. 

    Lead Scoring: How To Do Successful Lead Scoring

    Lead scoring is a method used for ranking leads based on their sales-readiness. 

    A lead scoring system enables you to determine the prospect’s level of interest in your company. This information is useful to find out whether they are ready to be handed over to sales teams. 

    1. As mentioned in the introduction, you’ll need to determine your ideal buyer persona. 
    2. Keep your sales and marketing teams aligned on the criteria of a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). If your sales teams want senior marketing professionals, then a lead that has “VP” and “Digital Marketing” in their title would be an MQL. 
    3. Set-up integration with your marketing automation system (MAS). This allows your leads to flow into your automation system for scoring. Sales teams can easily access the leads for outreach and nurture. 

    There are 2 options to design a lead scoring model. You may combine both together as well.  

    1. You can score leads by the behaviour they exhibit. For example, if a lead has request to be contacted by sales or has signed up for a free trial, these activities could be consider high-scoring. 
    2. The other common way is by demographics. Once you have a clear buyer persona, leads can be evaluated by demographics such as job title, seniority, job function, location, industry or company size. 

    Assign a lead score between 1 to 100 based on fit, engagement with your company and propensity to buy. Rotate across different ad formats, features, creatives and targeting. Keep testing and improving the quality of leads. 

    Quick Recap: 

    This has been an extremely long article. So here’s a highlight on what was discussed: 

    • Align with your sales teams on the buyer persona, content and go-to market strategy
    • Measure the right metrics. It’s not about the quantity of leads, it’s about the quality of it
    • Linkedin is the best place for lead generation at the moment. 
    • Use thought leadership as your content. 
    • Set-up your lead gen campaigns by choosing either website conversion or lead gen objectives
    • 5 lead generation strategies that includes matched audiences, retargeting and lead gen forms. 
    • 5 optimisation strategies that cover lead quality, targeting and creatives. 
    • Tying it all together with a proper lead scoring model. 

    Have you ever tried some of these strategies? If yes, we’d love to hear about your experiences with them! Leave a comment below. 

    If you are still unsure about LinkedIn ads, you can sign up for our LinkedIn Sales and Marketing course for a comprehensive 2-day workshop on LinkedIn marketing. However, Digital Marketing encompasses many other important components apart from LinkedIn Ads. At Equinet Academy, we address that by incorporating the core modules of :

    and an optional Capstone Practicum Project to be a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist (CDMS). This will arm you with the appropriate knowledge with actionable strategies for your next Digital Marketing campaign.

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