When it comes to B2B marketing, LinkedIn Ads is probably the most popular platform for social media advertising (SMA). And rightly so: because unlike other social networks, LinkedIn’s advertising platform specializes in career-specific targeting of users. Especially for generating leads, LinkedIn Ads is THE platform. Together with our partner Zalando Gift Cards, we were not only able to generate numerous leads, but also successfully optimize the campaigns and significantly reduce the cost per lead (CPL) in this way.
Founded in 2008, Zalando SE is now Europe’s leading online mail order company for fashion and cosmetics. The Berlin-based company connects customers, brands and partners in 17 countries – with the goal of becoming the “operating system” for fashion.
For our partner Zalando Gift Cards, we were able to generate over 100 leads in a short period of time (with a 64% lower CPL) and more than double the conversion rate! There is no witchcraft behind this, but five decisive factors. You can find out what they are here:
1. Campaign goal: Lead generation
For lead generation, it is recommended to use LinkedIn’s native lead generation option. This enables advertisers to integrate a lead form directly into the ad. A potential customer can thus leave his contact details directly on the platform and does not have to be redirected to an external landing page first. On the one hand, this makes it easier for the user to fill out the form, and on the other hand, it usually results in a significantly higher rate of completed lead forms.
The right targeting is crucial for success in lead generation. LinkedIn Ads offers advertisers numerous targeting options. These include the size of the company, the industry, the various fields of activity, or even the exact job title of a user. For our customer Zalando, it was particularly important to target decision-makers. In other words, precisely those users who would not only find Zalando’s offer interesting, but were also in the appropriate position to actually fill out the lead form and thus make an inquiry. To ensure that we would reach exactly these people with our campaigns, we geared our targeting, in addition to a few other criteria, to users who 1) worked in relevant fields of activity such as marketing, business development, sales or HR and 2) had at least 3 years of professional experience.
3. Suitable ad creatives and clear benefit formulation
Another highly relevant factor for lead generation is the use of suitable creatives and the formulation of a clear benefit. In order to find out which advertising media and formats are best suited for the respective target group and to which message users respond best, we tested a wide variety of creatives and advertising texts for our client Zalando. This enabled us to significantly increase ad performance.
4. The lead form – as much as necessary, as little as possible
Lead forms for LinkedIn Ads can be customized with numerous standard questions and custom data fields. Name, company, job title, email and phone number are among the most common questions.
The goal of our client Zalando was to generate as many leads as possible, but at the same time they should be of high quality. After initially finding that some of the leads generated via LinkedIn were not converting, we therefore expanded the lead form to include the question “How many coupons do you need?” This measure did reduce the number of leads generated via LinkedIn. However, we were able to successfully screen out all users who had no actual interest in Zalando’s service, thus significantly increasing the quality of the inquiries.
5. Testing & optimization
For sustainable success with LinkedIn Ads, you can’t avoid continuous testing and optimization of your campaigns. The most important levers for campaign optimization are: Targeting settings, ad creatives, ad formats, and the interaction between upper and lower-funnel campaigns.
Through testing and optimization, we have so far succeeded in 1) generating over 100 leads for our client Zalando, 2) reducing the average cost per lead by 64%, and 3) increasing the conversion rate by almost 2% (from 1.73% to 3.69%), more than doubling it!
Conclusion: Used correctly, LinkedIn Ads can achieve great success with lead campaigns. However, important factors must be taken into account: First, the targeting options should be used in such a way that exactly the right users are addressed. Furthermore, the ad creatives and text messages should be adapted to the target group through testing. Finally, the lead form should be designed in such a way that as many leads as possible are generated, all of which simultaneously meet the respective quality criteria.
By taking these factors into account, our performance marketing team was able to successfully help Zalando Gift Cards generate numerous leads.