LinkedIn Introduces Lead Generation Forms for its Mobile App Advertisers

Generating leads advertising via mobile devices has historically been a challenge for marketers. Users are hesitant to click an advertisement that takes them off an app or site they’re visiting. And for good reason, as landing pages tend to be slow, and some aren’t even optimized for mobile, making users pinch and squeeze their smartphone’s screen if they want to view content.

Additionally, most ads take you to a landing page that requires information such as an email address in order to receive a piece of content marketing, such as a white paper or ebook. Think, when was the last time you got excited to fill out a form on your phone?

Mobile ads that take up your whole screen or pop up are even worse. People will watch a video on their smartphone, but conversions are difficult and tracking even tougher.

So, it’s no wonder the most popular ad-supported apps are looking for ways to take away the friction that’s so prevalent in today’s environment. Enter the native lead generation form. Facebook and Twitter are the most recognized solutions for this tactic the past few years.

How’s it work? Basically, advertisers can choose to have a user opt-in to downloading something without making them go to their own landing page outside an app. Keeping Facebook users on Facebook, for instance, is a good thing. Because social platforms already have data, such as an email address, the process of sending someone to a landing page on a different domain becomes obsolete.

Lead Gen Forms by LinkedInWhile Twitter and Facebook blazed the trail, LinkedIn has been slow to follow their lead. That changed this week, however, as LinkedIn now has lead generation ads.

“Lead Gen Forms make it easy to collect leads from the nearly 500 million professionals, influencers, and business decision-makers who use LinkedIn,” said Divye Khilnani, product manager at LinkedIn, via blog post. “When members click on one of your ads, their LinkedIn profile information automatically populates an in-app form that they can submit instantly — without having to type in their info by hand.”

Frankly, this should’ve happened years ago, because the B2B platform that is LinkedIn really lends itself to lead generation ads. Twitter, a more consumer-focused platform, doesn’t make nearly as much as sense LinkedIn. (Twitter is rumored to be looking to make cuts to its menu of ad options, by the way.)

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Vendors looking to target HR professionals, and specifically recruiters, should embrace LinkedIn’s lead generation forms for the mere fact it’s where that demographic lives-and-breaths. “Fish where the fish are,” goes the popular marketing lesson.

LinkedIn claims 80 percent of its member engagement with sponsored content happens on smartphones, but it may be even higher if we’re talking about recruiters, a group that spends so much time on the professional networking platform.

“But it’s the quality of the leads that our customers say they value most,” added Khilnani. “LinkedIn’s professional audience and accurate profile data help them collect leads that are more likely to convert into qualified prospects or sales opportunities.”

Currently, advertisers must download their leads from LinkedIn and then upload them to their CRM or email marketing platform of choice. However, LinkedIn says they’ll be adding direct integration into solutions like Marketo, Oracle Eloqua, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

The ads only appear on LinkedIn’s native applications for smartphone users, most popularly on Android and iOS.

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.