Generating demand through LinkedIn Lead Gen

Maybe you already get it. You’re not collecting leads because your form sucks. And now, you’re ready to change that, armed with antidotes to asking for too much, having a form not worth filling out, and creating a form that isn’t user-friendly.

One of our favorite ways to put these recommendations into action is through LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. #NotAnAd… we just like this solution because it easily satisfies the guidance we frequently give to clients when they’re looking to do lead generation.

Here’s how it works.

Step 1:

As Campaign Manager for your LinkedIn Company Page, you can pay to create Sponsored Content within LinkedIn that displays as an ad in the news feed of users you target. Just like with traditional LinkedIn ads, you can determine who sees your lead gen ads by targeting users based on parameters like location, company name, company size, job title, job seniority, etc. The content basically looks like any update — with an image and copy — that you as a company or a user would share, but is only shared with the ideal users you’re hoping to get your message in front of.

Then LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms take it a couple steps further by including a call-to-action button on the ad that attaches to a custom and pre-filled form that LinkedIn helps you design. CTA options include:

  • Sign Up
  • Apply Now
  • Download
  • Get Quote
  • Learn More
  • Subscribe
  • Register

Step 2:

When a user clicks on the call-to-action button, he or she is then directed to a Lead Gen Form that automatically populates the fields you’ve selected/requested with information from the user’s LinkedIn profile, such as name, email address, company, etc. It doesn’t send them to an external page; users stay in-platform, using personal profile and contact information they’ve already authorized when they signed into LinkedIn. And the form is mobile-friendly/mobile-optimized, making it easier for them to fill in any remaining data if they’re on their phones or tablets.

Each of these characteristics seems to help eliminate some of the usual friction in filling out and submitting a form (and thereby leads to more form completions!).

Depending on the form fields, some info may have to be manually entered, so we suggest not going overboard with the number of fields you ask users to complete. In fact, LinkedIn acts as its own form police by limiting you to seven fields per form (though we still think that’s too many!). After all, who wants to type lots of information, especially on a tiny touch screen?

Step 3:

Once users do submit the form, they’ll see a “thank you” page where you can share next steps and connect them to the destination of your choice — your website, a webinar, a downloadable eBook, whatever.

What’s next?

LinkedIn stores your leads in Campaign Manager for easy download in real-time or, alternatively, can be integrated with your company’s marketing automation or CRM tool. Simultaneously, you can also track campaign performance across demographics and data that includes impressions, clicks, cost per lead, lead form fill rate, etc.

Other resources we dig:

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions: Lead Gen Forms

A presenter stands in a conference room with a handful of attendees.

Amplifying your presence at any event with social media: a three-step guide | after

Missed the first two parts of our three-step social media guide for events? Learn what to do and what to consider before and during an event.

AFTER AN EVENT

Things to do:

  • Thank the event host — or if that’s you, thank (and tag) attendees, partners and sponsors — in social posts.
  • Share a few photos that best summarize the event, while still using any relevant hashtags.
  • Share relevant content as a call-back to the event or an #ICYMI. This could include blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, videos or case studies tied to the theme, as well as recordings of presentations given during the event.
  • If this a recurring event that you’ll be hosting or participating in again, build on the momentum and excitement from the event that just wrapped, and encourage people to attend the next iteration.

You may have missed:

Amplifying your presence at any event with social media: a three-step guide – before

Amplifying your presence at any event with social media: a three-step guide – during

 




Other resources we like:

An iPhone photographer frames is subject on the screen.

Amplifying your presence at any event with social media: a three-step guide | during

Missed the first part of our three-step social media guide for events? Learn what to do and what to consider before an event.

DURING AN EVENT

Things to do:

  • Arrive early and take pre-event photos. This could include the location or setting, a registration or check-in desk, or your booth (with your organization’s logo showing).
  • Try shooting photos from different angles, and experiment with flash. Take a few test photos to find out what works best in each specific setting.
  • Take candid photos, rather than posed pictures, and get as close to the action as possible without interfering. If there’s a presentation, position yourself near the stage to take photos of the speaker, rather than the back of listeners’ heads.
  • Frame your photos. Groups of three to five people in landscape format work well. And mix the images up with full body, medium shots and headshots.
  • Identify the subjects and subject matter of your photos. Double-check spelling, and if the pictured people or organizations have social media accounts (Twitter handles, for example), tag those relevant individuals, partners, clients, etc.
  • Take a lot of photos! They don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to post every single one. The more photos you take, the more likely you’ll find some good images to help tell your event and company’s story.
  • Post photos directly to your personal or brand accounts, and/or share photos, live event information and speaker quotes via WhatsApp with those doing the social posting.
  • Record short behind-the-scenes videos for posting to social media. For example, a 30-second clip of an executive interview could be shared without the need for fancy editing software to make it polished.
  • If using Facebook, post and “check-in” to the exact location or specific event. If tweeting, you can also check in by selecting the location of your tweet.
  • Use hashtags in your social posts, but don’t go overboard.
    • Facebook: One or two hashtags per post
    • Twitter: Three or fewer hashtags per tweet
    • LinkedIn: No more than five hashtags per update
  • Continue to alert people of activities happening as part of the main event or conference. Share reminders the day before, day of and 15 minutes to an hour before it kicks off as a last-minute call-to-action.

You may have missed:

Amplifying your presence at any event with social media: a three-step guide – before

Up next:

Amplifying your presence at any event with social media: a three-step guide – after

 




Other resources we like:

Hands taking notes in a notebook, surrounded by other books, a coffee, a laptop, photos, and eyeglasses.

Amplifying your presence at any event with social media: a three-step guide | before

Let us set the stage. Your company is hosting/sponsoring/attending an event or conference, and you’re preparing email blasts, signs, flyers, booklets, speaker bios, giveaways, meals, booth design, A/V setup, accommodations, scheduling… Ready? Not quite. If you aren’t including social media in your event strategy, you might as well forget about the rest.

It might sound extreme, but if you aren’t using social media to drive awareness and attendance, the other efforts you’re making are far less effective than they could be. [Read: you’re wasting resources and money.] Now that we’ve got your attention, we’ve got you covered with our three-part checklist, which tells you exactly what to do and what to consider before, during and after an event.

BEFORE AN EVENT

Questions to ask:

  • Is your organization hosting, sponsoring, or simply attending?
  • Is there a link to an event information or registration page?
  • Will your organization have a booth? If so:
    • What are the dates and times that your booth will be staffed?
    • Where is the booth located? What is the booth number?
    • Will you be hosting any activities, presentations or giveaways at your booth?
  • Are there any speakers, presenters or panel participants from your organization? If so:
    • Do you have their high-resolution headshots?
    • What is the title or topic of their presentation?
    • What is the date, time and location of the presentation?
  • Are there any partner relationships you want to highlight through the event? If so:
    • What are their social media account handles/names?
  • What is the most essential element of your company’s involvement with the event?
  • Who will be posting to your brand’s pages during the event?

Things to do:

  • Create shareable social images with:
    • The event name and booth details
    • Speaker headshots and presentation details
  • In advance of the event, start teasing out your company’s involvement through social media (including links, booth, presentation and speaker details).
  • If the person (or people) posting to your brand’s pages will not be on site during the event, create a WhatsApp group for those on the ground to quickly and easily share photos and information from their phones with your social team back in the office.

Up next:

Amplifying your presence at any event with social media: a three-step guide – during

Amplifying your presence at any event with social media: a three-step guide – after

 




Other resources we like:

An iPad featuring a form sits on a desk, surrounding by accessories.

You’re not collecting leads because your form sucks

One of the most common questions we get is “how do we drive more leads?” (demand/sales, whatever). Brands spend months and thousands of dollars creating downloads, webinars,  and sales to drive new leads. But we find much less thought is put into the biggest point of friction: the actual form.

Here are three of the biggest reasons a form will fail to convert:

1. You are asking for too much.

  • Avoid optional fields. Stick with the fields you need (and only the fields you need) in order to simply meet your goal.
  • Limit required fields. Visitors can (and will) make up information for fields that are required and may be uncomfortable filling out. Or worse, just leave.
  • Do not ask for billing information (especially for a free trial) or equally invasive information.
  • Do not be too picky about the format of the submitted content (for example, May 22, 2018 is the same as 05/22/18 or 5.22.18, etc.).

2. Your form is not worth filling out.

  • Is there a clear value proposition/motivating reason for user to fill out the form?
  • Add a thank-you page or pop-up message upon completion of the form.
  • Reassure users that you will not spam them or disclose their personal information.
  • Make your call to action text clear when they send you their info (not just a submit button, but something like “sign me up”, “download”, “start”, “register”).

Studies show that using SUBMIT reduces conversion by 3% (Source: Unbounce).

3. Your form is not user-friendly

  • Add real-time validation to the form. If there is an error in a form field, have the form alert the user as they’re filling it out, not after they’ve hit the ‘submit’ button.
  • Make it mobile-friendly. For example, leave enough room between fields so that someone using a touchscreen can easily select one field without accidentally activating another.
  • Use social media lead forms that pre-populate info when a user is logged into the platform.

 




Other resources we dig:

Hands holding an iPad with analytics on the screen.

Three glamour metrics we hate and what to use instead

Actionable metrics are the only ones that matter to your business. Endless spreadsheets and glamour metrics will turn off stakeholders before they give your reporting a chance.

At MeetBrief, we’ve created a number of custom metrics that inform our Demand, Interest and Engagement scores to help us keep things crisp.

But when we need to dive into the weeds for a client, there are a few easy wins:

Instead of Pageviews: Engaged time

Pageviews. Do not report on them. Ever. It’s a terrible metric that should die. Instead, use something like engaged time (we use a plug-in for Google Analytics called Riveted) to give a better idea of how much time visitors are spending with your site and its content.

Instead of Open Rate: Click-Through Rate

Gauging the number of people who have opened your email is okay, but 99% of the time brands are hoping to drive some type of action or click on a specific piece of that email. Use the number of click-throughs as a better indicator of how successful your email campaigns are. Most would rather have 500 opens with 250 click-throughs than 1000 opens with only 220 click-throughs.

Instead of Social Followers: Engaged Users

As each social network gets more complicated with how their algorithm decides to serve your organic audience, fan and follower numbers become less important. Pages with 50,000 fans may only reach 500 engaged fans through a given post. Engaged users is a vastly superior metric to gauge long-term growth.

 




Other Great Resources:

Kissmetrics: 8 conversion metrics to track

A lemon and mint beverage in a glass.

Clickbait headlines, and seven other easy ways to lose 10 pounds today

Part Art, Part Science

Since 80 to 90% of visitors exposed to your content will only scan your headline, creating a killer headline is easily the most important factor in determining the success of your content.

Creating the ideal headline for your content is one part art, one part science, and no one rule of thumb applies to all brands. Testing and measurement are key to understanding what resonates with your specific audience.

7 ideas to try:

  1. Start with a proven formula: Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise
  2. Listicles: The top 10 reasons they aren’t just for BuzzFeed
  3. Mention your target audience: Three tips CMOs need to know
  4. Tease a list item: PB&J and the six other best sandwiches ever created
  5. Play off negatives: Avoiding increases in bounce rate
  6. Mention the length up front: Understand UTM tags in 5 minutes or less or Long read: …
  7. Reference your experts: Three tools our CSO uses to keep his laptop secure

 




Other resources we like:

Man working at a desk with laptop, notebook, and pen.

Four tips for breaking through writer’s block (in order to blog)

If you think blogging is just for for angsty teens, think again.

It’s a great way for you to bring exposure to your organization’s brand, while also helping to build your own credibility and reputation in your field. And if done through LinkedIn, blogging can be a relatively easy way to get your expertise and opinions out to a community of half a billion users.
Research has shown that brand messages reach 561 percent further when shared by employees versus the same messages shared through official brand social channels. And they’re shared 24 times more frequently when they come from employees versus the brand.

Bottom line? Blogging has an effect on just that — the bottom line. On average, companies with blogs produce 67 percent more leads per month. It stands to reason that individuals who blog about professional subject matter should see an uptick in leads or improved outreach.

Okay, so now you’re convinced and ready to blog. Get going… Wait! You don’t know what to write about?

We’ve got some advice to help you break through the writer’s block:

  1. Write about what you know. What does your team come to you for answers about? What do others look to you as an expert?
  2. Write about something you want to know more of so that you’re learning AND educating at the same time.
  3. Use conversations with your clients or colleagues as inspiration. If you’re regularly discussing an issue, chances are you’re not the only one. Someone else could probably benefit from the additional insights and discussion.
  4. Look to your organization for content that you can put your own spin on when you summarize or react to it. Odds are your only semi-original message will get more traction than the one distributed by your organization. Employee advocacy for the win.