Setting up Lead Generation Forms for LinkedIn ad campaigns for B2B lead generation

In this 5th entry in our 6-part series on how to set up a LinkedIn Lead Generation campaign you’ll learn the specifications for Sponsored Content Ads and how to upload and configure them. We’ll also cover how LinkedIn Lead Generation forms work, and how to configure them to the best advantage for your campaign.

Recap: In Parts 1, 2, and of the series we set up a LinkedIn campaign named “Fortune 500,” within the “Software engineers” campaign group. We limited our list to software engineers based in California. We uploaded an Excel file listing Fortune 500 firms then married the two efforts, creating a LinkedIn campaign targeting software engineers who work in California for Fortune 500 companies.

Now, we’re going to upload an ad and create text above and below the ad in the space allocated by LinkedIn. (Normally you’d upload multiple ads and conduct A/B testing to find which perform best.) This text will serve as a form of headline and caption ― even though the bottom text is labeled “headline” in LinkedIn. We’ll also create a lead generation form that enables you to collect profile information about the LinkedIn members who express an interest in downloading the content you are promoting. The content could be a white paper, video, webcast, case study or the like. In our example, we’re using a white paper as the offer.

Step 1: From the previous steps, we have our campaign all set up to target software engineers based in California who work for Fortune 500 firms (see graphic below).

3 dimensions of an ad campaign in linkedin screenshot

Step 2: Scroll down to the “Ad format” panel and select the “Single image ad” option. Then scroll down to “Enable Audience Expansion,” and deselect the box. We want to keep our current targets as they are, not expand them.

combo job titles and geo-location screenshot from LI
"Manage" screenshot from lI

Step 3: In the Budget & Schedule panel below the Placement panel, fill in the fields to show a start date in the future (example shows 3/1/2020), change the bid type to CPC Bid (to control the costs of your ads), and put in a bid amount (example shows $10.40 per click.)

uploaded lists screenshot from LI

Important note: Each LinkedIn ad contains area components where a mouse click goes to your corporate page. The area in the upper left portion of your ad that displays your corporate name and your logo is the place where this happens. Each time a visitor clicks on that link, LinkedIn charges you the same price as if the visitor had clicked on your ad offer, even though it does not provide demographic/firmographic information on these types of clicks. This is one of the big downsides to LinkedIn’s ad campaigns. As you begin a campaign, monitor the percentage of those clicks to your corporate page closely because they can quickly eat up a sizable percentage of your budget. One potential solution is to eliminate certain job titles and functions (if you are using multiple titles) or certain states and regions to see if you can identify particular segments which are responsible for a large percentage of the corporate page clicks. You can then remove these groups for budget considerations if necessary.

Step 4: Now go to the bottom of the page and select “Save and Next.” The next page is “Ads in this campaign,” where you will upload your ad(s) and configure more aspects of your campaign.

Step 5: Click on “Create new ad” in the upper right corner of the page.

uploaded list exact example screenshot from linkedin

Step 6: In the “Ad” section, fill in the various fields, including: the optional “Name this ad,” the “Introductory text,” which will appear above your ad; “Destination URL,” which is the website page to which you will be sending LinkedIn members who click on your offer; and the “Headline,” which, as noted earlier, will actually appear below the image, like a caption. You can leave the “Description” field blank, or place some short filler copy there. These descriptions are only displayed in a small percentage of instances, according to LinkedIn.

When you enter a Destination URL, LinkedIn usually pulls in a graphic from that page. You can replace this graphic with one you created with your graphic designer, unless the graphic is the one you want to use. To replace the default graphic, click on the “x” in the “Ad image” field. Then, upload the image you want to use from your computer or other source.

For Sponsored Content ads, the image should be 1200 x 627 pixels, and can’t be larger than 5MB. It needs to be either a .jpg or .png file.

uploaded list exact example screenshot from linkedin

Step 7: We’re now going to complete the Lead Gen form information, which will allow us to obtain profile information about prospects from LinkedIn, rather than from a registration form you would place on your own website. Lead Gen forms eliminate a lot of backend work on your part related to setting up a registration form. The forms also have the advantage that the users are staying within a trusted partner, namely LinkedIn. So it’s possible you will have a higher registration rate than if you choose to put the registration on your site.

In the “Form details” section, use the Call-to-action dropdown menu and select “Download.” We’ll be using a white paper as an offer for our ad, so LinkedIn members will be directed to a page where they can download the paper, or view an HTML version. Under “Form,” select “Create new” (or, if you previously created a form, you can re-use that one).  Name the form and create an “Offer Headline” and “Offer details.” Then fill in the URL for your website’s Privacy Policy and a brief description of the policy in “Privacy policy text.” Note: these fields will appear on a new LinkedIn page after a prospect clicks on your ad (see image below).

uploaded list exact example screenshot from linkedin

Step 8: We’re now going to complete the Lead Gen form information, which will allow us to obtain information about prospects from LinkedIn, rather than from a registration form you place on your own website.

LinkedIn allows you to select up to seven pieces of profile information for each prospect. Below is a form showing the list for the software engineers: First name, Last name, Email address, City, State/Province, Company name, and Company size. Since we already segmented for “software engineer” as a job title, we did not use that in our list of seven pieces of profile info. You could use it as a double-check if you like.

uploaded list exact example screenshot from linkedin

Step 9: The image below is the confirmation page a LinkedIn member sees after clicking on the page to view your offer. It shows the member the information that will be shared with your company and gives them an opportunity to review your privacy policy before hitting “Submit.”

uploaded list exact example screenshot from linkedin

Step 10: We’ve now completed the heavy lifting for the LinkedIn campaign, and the campaign is ready to go live. In the next and final section, we’ll cover the actual configurations needed to make the campaign go live, and how to download the leads you generate.

Lead Generation services offered by Saratoga