Harnessing LinkedIn Lead Generation Adverts for B2B

Laura Caveney
16th September 2021

It’s 2021 and lead generation is still the biggest challenge for marketers according to Hubspot.

LinkedIn lead generation forms are one option for B2B marketers to get their product over the line.

As competition for ad space grows and attention share decreases, LinkedIn’s lead generation form ads offer an alternative with minimum hassle for users.

Another instalment of our expert panellist series, we spoke to Emilia Lingwood from Blueclaw Media. Emilia, Paid Lead Expert at digital performance marketing agency Blueclaw, shared her insight on lead generation for B2B with LinkedIn ads.

Let’s get stuck in.

What are LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms?

Similar to Facebook’s lead generation adverts, LinkedIn also offers lead gen forms to make advertising easy.

Lead gen forms come pre-filled with LinkedIn profile data, letting members send you their professional info with just a couple of clicks. And even better, they don’t have to leave the social platform to become a lead.

According to LinkedIn the average conversion rate for lead gen forms is 13%, which is five times higher than the average conversion rate seen on landing pages.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

Let’s hear from Emilia for her insight into some of the most asked questions regarding LinkedIn paid advertising, in particular lead gen forms:

Who would benefit most from paid ads on LinkedIn?

“Many B2B businesses would likely find LinkedIn an effective advertising platform. Although LinkedIn Advertising is generally more expensive than the likes of Facebook and Twitter Ads, the targeting options for B2B really give it the edge. Any sector from tech to finance or consulting to recruitment should consider LinkedIn Ads.

Due to the higher CPMs (cost-per-thousand impressions), ads on LinkedIn are better suited for higher value products and services. Businesses only offering products or services under the £200-300 mark probably won’t see as high success with LinkedIn advertising. To get a significant conversion rate for a positive return on ad spend, they would need an incredible offer to see success.”

How should paid advertising on LinkedIn be approached as part of a wider strategy?

“Paid advertising on LinkedIn can complement content marketing very well. By taking the additional step to promote on-site content, the business can begin to capitalize on the content marketing strategy whilst waiting for the search engines to catch up and start rewarding organically.

It’s very common for businesses to do content marketing / PR activity and it’s also common for a business to do PPC. Both have their benefits, but it’s not as common as you would think for the two to be used in tandem. If budget is available, you can really reap the benefits from taking this extra step.

Another option to consider is using LinkedIn ads in conjunction with the customer journey. We find that creating content campaigns first, and then serving a highly targeted lead gen form can up your conversion rates.”

What should B2B marketers consider in terms of targeting when creating lead gen forms on LinkedIn?

“LinkedIn has some unique targeting options that are geared towards B2B. You can choose to target members by specific LinkedIn groups, interests, industry, and more.

You can even target by company name, which is great if you have a strong understanding of the companies that make up your existing customer base. Then, you can go after similar companies, or ones that are currently in your sales cycle to give them an extra nudge.

LinkedIn ads targeting options

LinkedIn also has a useful forecasting tool which loads as you select your audience targeting. It estimates the CPM, impressions, clicks and leads that you will get for the set budget. It’s not an exact science but gives a good estimate.

The narrower an audience is the more expensive it tends to be so keep this in mind, although how desirable the audience is for others to target also comes into play.”

How should marketers lead gen forms approach budget?

“Advertising on this platform is costly (£15-£30 CPMs depending on the targeting options), but targeting options are superior and generally more effective as users have a professional incentive to keep their profile information up to date.

It’s also generally a more trusted platform. Business Insider also found that social media users are more receptive to ads on platforms with high digital trust.

I recommend a budget of at least a couple of thousand pounds to get you started. This is to make the time for the campaign set up worthwhile. It is best practice to test 2-3 audiences with the same ads so you can determine which works better. You can then begin to optimise the campaigns by allocating more budget to better performing audiences and pausing weaker performing ones.”

LinkedIn lead gen form ads

LinkedIn organic content is varied, what works best for paid lead gen forms?

“It’s not a new thing to promote lead magnets on LinkedIn. As with all marketing, getting the content right is about aligning content to your goals. Know what appeals to what audience at every stage of the buying cycle.

Trying to attract new audiences with product-led ads is unlikely to yield much interest. These ads are too bottom of funnel for people who haven’t ever come across your brand before. The only get around is if you’re promoting an amazing offer.

For B2B businesses that have a long sales cycle, running ads to promote gated long-form content can work well. Offer a useful nugget of insight in return for contact information. This is a much more seamless way of engaging with a new audience. Try an informative video, data-led content or a whitepaper. Once users have interacted with these gated content ads, you can then begin to re-target with more product-specific ads.”

What should marketers look at to measure success with LinkedIn lead gen forms?

“Just like with any marketing activity, you should set your KPIs to align with the goals of the ad campaigns.

For lead gen forms on LinkedIn, obviously the number of leads is the main KPI. But, you can go beyond that.

By integrating with marketing attribution tools like Ruler, you can see which leads from your ads close into sales. This is a great way to learn what parts of your marketing is working.

Other secondary metrics can also give an indication of what aspects of a campaign are working well and what aren’t. For lead gen forms, I’d always encourage you to optimise for revenue and number of leads.”


LinkedIn lead generation forms are a great opportunity to get your product front of mind to a very targeted audience. By tracking revenue generated, you get a true return on your ad spend, and visibility on your lead generation. Ultimately, you’ll see a huge impact your bottom line.

Find out more about the work Blueclaw do to support B2B businesses generate leads across paid social, SEO and more. Or, get started with marketing attribution by booking a demo of Ruler Analytics.

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