- LinkedIn is known to be the most professional social media/networking platform out there, applicable for businesses not to advertise their brand and sell products, but to find relevant people for their businesses, attract them and turn into customers or partners.
- So, overall, LinkedIn is a great channel for lead generation, right? But how exactly can you leverage its great potential to actually acquire leads?
- In order to get the answer to this question, continue reading. We’ll give you the best one.
Content marketing is the primary driver for traffic and lead generation because content is a no-strings attached freebie; it gives people something before they’re asked to make a purchase and the modern consumer responds positively to this type of marketing.
Great content marketing is about the quality of the content but almost as importantly, the vehicle for delivery and the follow-up engagement. For B2B companies the right audience is almost always found on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn is the preferred social network for CEOs and boasts over 400 million users. It is an effective tool with studies showing that over 75% of social media B2B leads are generated through LinkedIn.
- The site targets social networking among professionals and is considered the only acceptable social platform for many businesses – in fact, in most workplaces it is the only social network that can get through the filter, perhaps because you’re far less likely to be playing Farmville or Candy Crush, or looking at your cousin’s holiday photos on work’s time!
- LinkedIn articles are regularly being published by businesses because it’s a hub of potential customers and partners.
- More than that, LinkedIn makes it easy to directly engage with potential customers, which is the best reason for putting it front and centre of your B2B lead generation strategy. Influential marketers have gained 64 times more comments, 52 times more likes, and 24 times more shares on their articles than average users with of LinkedIn’s top writers generating an average of 54,000 new follows in 2016.
The best way to get started with generating B2B leads on LinkedIn is to become familiar with it:
1. Use it often
Use it to speak to people openly on posts or directly through paid upgrades like InMail (which allows you to contact anyone on LinkedIn even if they’re outside of your network).
2. Grow your network
Join groups relevant to your industry and target audience. Start off by just getting involved in discussions – build a reputation as someone who makes insightful contributions. This will help with word-of-mouth, which is still a powerful lead generation tool.
3. Post regular updates so your network is always aware of you.
Market yourself as an individual and become a trusted leader in your industry.
People respond better to people than brand pages with nameless and faceless people controlling the feed from obscurity.
Trusted leaders such as Zenith Media’s Tom Goodwin, Socialbakers’ Jan Rezab and Boston’s top marketing consultant, Katie Martell, made it on to LinkedIn's report on the top influencers of 2016.
The trust they have earned helps them get huge amounts of engagement and kick-start debates that encourages shares of their articles. Goodwin’s most popular post was how digitisation has changed the trajectory of TV and entertainment consumption.
Katie Martell has become a top ten marketing writer on LinkedIn and is respected as someone who knows what they are talking about. That kind of reputation can be leveraged to convert audiences in customers.
Engaging with your audience
When posting content or updates try to include a hook that will encourage readers to share the article. This could be:
- an anecdote from conversations with industry leaders,
- an exclusive quote,
- business achievements, or
- namechecking an influencer whose work has inspired you.
The idea is to give readers a compelling reason to share the post with their network to amplify the reach of your content.
However, the most important thing you can do is to meaningfully engage your audience. The best leads come from making a human connection by making your audience feel valued. You don’t need to spend all day saying “thanks for the comment” to everyone who posts, especially if you’re getting lots of comments, but a simple thank you to the first few comments will certainly encourage more.
Try to ‘like’ every comment—it’s the most efficient way to acknowledge your audience—and leave more considered replies to comments that give you an opportunity to push home your message.
Taking the time to engage with your audience in the comments section is the best way to develop brand advocates who will share your content with their networks and help project your message. It also makes your business look more approachable.
Start collecting leads
Take a look at who is checking out your profile, who is reading your content and who is engaging with your posts.
These are your leads.
LinkedIn also has their own Ads platform with an optional feature called Lead Collection, which allows advertisers to collect leads directly through their LinkedIn Ad campaigns. This is an easy and efficient way to build up your lead generation list.
Generating leads through LinkedIn can be hard at first but once you’ve got a good routine of content creation and develop basic good habits of logging in regularly and engaging meaningfully with your audience it’ll get easier and become an instinctive part of your marketing strategy and the one avenue of lead generation you can’t do without.
Do you use LinkedIn for lead generation? How does it turn out for you?