When building your LinkedIn strategy, one of the first items to consider is your campaign objective. There are a lot of questions to answer when deciding which objective is best for your strategy, such as what your goals are for running LinkedIn ads. If you’re looking to drive leads, you’ll want to use one of two Conversion objectives — lead generation, which creates forms directly in LinkedIn, or website conversions, which sends people to a landing page in order to complete a form. Today we’ll be discussing the differences between LinkedIn lead gen forms and direct to site campaigns and how you can choose the best objective for your campaigns.

linked in ads conversion objectives

What are LinkedIn lead gen forms and direct to site campaigns?

LinkedIn lead gen forms allow users to submit their information while staying on LinkedIn, rather than being directed to a website form fill. When creating a lead gen form, you can customize the fields you want to collect, including work email, phone number, job industry, and company size. LinkedIn will auto-populate a user’s contact and profile information into the form, making the form fill process quick and easy. Because of this, users are more likely to submit their information, and you’ll usually be able to generate a higher number of front-end leads.

Direct to site campaigns are built to send users interested in submitting their information to a specific landing page. Not surprisingly, people who are willing to go to your website are usually more interested in learning more information about your company. They show higher intent by traveling to another page, and this interest and intent is reflected by higher quality leads on the back-end.

Which campaign is best for your strategy?

As a general rule, we’d typically expect for lead gen forms to drive higher volume and less expensive front-end leads that are lower quality. Website leads will usually be more expensive on the front-end but higher quality on the back-end (and lead to lower cost per opportunities). Additionally, website ads play an important role in increasing website traffic, which expands your remarketing pools. If prospects are taken to your website, they can more easily educate themselves about your offering, which will increase the number of quality users throughout the funnel.

That said, here are a couple tips to consider before diving into your LinkedIn strategy:

  1. How big is your sales team? If you decide to optimize toward lead gen forms, can your team handle and properly follow up on a higher volume of leads?
  2. If you just launched LinkedIn and need to gather data quickly, it might be worth starting with lead gen forms so that you have more data to optimize toward as you’re ramping up.
  3. If budget allows — test it! Launch a few different targeting options with both lead gen and direct to site campaigns. Assess performance once you have viable data on the backend.

While LinkedIn account strategy will vary for each business, we typically recommend moving toward website leads as an objective in the long term, to promote high-quality users and full-funnel health. At the end of the day, LinkedIn optimizations should focus on the data being gathered on the back-end, as quality leads are what will drive overall growth for your business.

For more guidance on LinkedIn strategy, download The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Advertising or contact our team.