As a marketer, you no doubt know some of the top social media websites to use for lead generation. I bet you’ve heard the importance of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter by now – and if you use all three as part of your lead generation strategy, you might think you’re ready.
However, if you are not using LinkedIn, you may be missing out on an important opportunity to grow both brand awareness and sales, especially if you are a B2B company. In fact, studies have shown LinkedIn is the highest-paying, organic social channel for B2B businesses, and 82% of B2B marketers say they find most success on the platform.
These statistics are particularly useful when we consider platform-specific demographic data. The average Instagram user flips through their feed like photos of their friends, looks at the story of their favorite star and occasionally uses the platform to find and buy products.
Alternatively, the average LinkedIn user is on the site specifically for professionally targeted content. They are already looking for information to grow their business. So you should meet them where they are.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. Without a clear strategy, the task of generating leads on LinkedIn can feel challenging. Justin Shriber, Vice President Marketing at LinkedIn, was interviewed as part of HubSpot’s “Advertising, Behind the Screen” campaign. Check out the full series of interviews here, or read on to learn some of his key takeaways, as well as additional tips on using LinkedIn for lead generation.
LinkedIn lead generation strategy
To freshen up, lead generation refers to any activities and strategies that you use to attract potential customers. Generating leads is important because nurturing them can turn prospects into paying customers who use your products and increase sales.
LinkedIn’s typical audience is made up of professional decision makers with purchasing power who will help you speak directly to prospects who may become paying customers. The following explains how you can use LinkedIn for lead generation.
1. Make sure your executives have a strong LinkedIn presence.
When you’re first starting out on LinkedIn, knowing how to make your first efforts can be difficult. Should you create a compelling LinkedIn Page and start posting content to your company’s feed right away? Or should you publish all vacancies first to attract new talent?
Shriber suggests a different strategy: “We definitely want to grow small businesses that strive to get bigger, and we’ve put together a game book to make that happen. The game book always starts with the individual LinkedIn profiles of employees in the Companies and especially the managers in the company. “
“”[Executives are] Trendsetter. They can make statements about what they stand for and, in many cases, develop a strong following in a relatively short amount of time. ”
Take into account the executives in your company and their current presence on LinkedIn. Could they contribute more thoughtfully to LinkedIn groups in your industry or post more frequently on their feeds? Most likely, your executives are doing more to grow their LinkedIn following.
For example, let’s take a look at Sallie Krawchecks, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, LinkedIn Activity:
Krawcheck uses LinkedIn wisely and uses the platform to promote their own investment firm’s content while liking or sharing other relevant financial content aimed at women. Ultimately, Krawcheck uses LinkedIn to build a personal brand and help their followers find valuable content related to investing and women in finance. Ideally, your leaders should do the same.
2. Build a powerful LinkedIn Page for your business.
Once you’ve made sure your own executives have a strong LinkedIn presence, it’s time to build a formidable page.
You should make sure that your page is active and has thought-provoking content and posts related to conversations that are already happening on LinkedIn.
Shriber Notes – “Once you have a strategy for your executives and their presence on LinkedIn, the second step is to think about your company’s presence on LinkedIn. We have a product called LinkedIn Pages that is incredibly powerful for businesses.” want to establish their place in the professional community of the world. “
“”[LinkedIn Pages is] a free product, “adds Shriber,” and ultimately it’s a place where you can stage the content you offer and really promote all the benefits you have for people who want to follow you. ”
He continues, “So if you get to a good LinkedIn page you will find information about what the company is doing, but also some of the thought guides that are going on right now. There will be both video content and the written word.” Comments from executives, but in many cases information obtained from other sources. They don’t have to come from just the marketing group or some internal source. “
3. Post relevant content and updates.
To make sure that your LinkedIn Page and profile are strong, you should publish various types of content, including videos. With this industry-relevant content, you can position yourself as a knowledgeable source and establish relevance and credibility with potential customers.
When you are recognized as an insightful, valuable resource, you begin to build connections with like-minded professionals who match your ideal client profile. If you post frequently, you will be included in their feed on a regular basis, and familiarity will make it easier to initiate further conversations.
Assuming that the connections you have on LinkedIn are professionals in your industry, they can take you to new audiences with the content you post. If you like your connections on a post you’ve created, it might show up in a new lead’s feed. That lead will find that your mutual connection liked your post, vouched for your credibility and authority, and may ask them to send a connection request.
To make sure you’re creating content that users want to see, follow your page analysis to find out what they think most resonates with and create accordingly.
4. Join LinkedIn groups that your clients and customers are in.
At its core, LinkedIn is a social platform like any other. Just like on Facebook, users can create groups that focus on industry-specific interests. You should join these groups and have conversations with other professionals.
You can post content and updates to stimulate discussion on relevant topics, or simply talk about the services you offer. If you’ve joined groups wisely, your prospects can see what you’re saying and recognize you as a source of valuable information.
You can also use groups to learn more about your audience. When members are active, learn from what they say and discover common industry weaknesses and how leads want to address these issues. Use this information to your advantage and create targeted value propositions when addressing your customers’ needs directly.
5. Use paid products to ensure your content reaches your target audience.
Companies with small marketing budgets may be wary of spending money on paid campaigns on LinkedIn. You often ask: We have a small marketing budget and want to use it wisely. Where should we spend it? Given that LinkedIn is the highest paying and organic channel for B2B businesses, it is well worth spending your money on the platform.
Shriber told me, “Once you’ve created this powerful LinkedIn page, companies usually realize that the audience that consumes information is incredibly valuable and different from what they find on other platforms.”
He adds, “We have a number of paid products that you can then switch to to add content to the LinkedIn feed. Now you have a number of followers or a number of target members that interest you. All of a sudden, they see that Your content will show up in the feed itself, and there are some really rich ways to turn that engagement into actual activity. “
While LinkedIn has a native ad management service, you can also use HubSpot’s ad management tool to create, organize, and run advertising campaigns on LinkedIn. You also get access to high quality reports that explain ad performance. This allows you to optimize a strategy that meets the needs of your customers.
6. Make sure you have a strong sales and marketing focus.
You are probably all too familiar with the recent change in consumer buying behavior. These days, customers do advance research online and typically use marketing content to make their buying decisions before they even contact a sales rep.
Shriber describes the shift as follows: “What you are seeing now is that as consumers learn about the products and services they need and dig deep into the sales process before they reach out, raise their hands, and get smarter, consumers get smarter say they do. ” do you need help.”
He adds, “It’s up to marketing to really meet the needs of customers who are researching and investigating, and then seamlessly relaying those needs to the sales force so that sales have context for the journey customers have already made. “
“I have a number of customers who have come up to me and said my salespeople know my target customers better than my marketing group. They have been in business for 20 years and know all of the key people, so I’ll use them to create awareness.” and building a brand in a way that has historically been reserved for marketing. ”
On the flip side, of course, marketers play a bigger role in closing a deal. Shriber said to me, “For example, imagine you’re sourcing and trying to negotiate a contract. In the past, this was the domain of a sales professional, but today savvy marketers know you’re there in the sales process.”
Adds Shriber, “You are able to reach out to this procurement person, submit relevant content related to validating the solution, why it is valuable, what other customers are saying, and suddenly this marketer has been playing a key role in closing the deal . “
All in all, it’s important to align your sales and marketing teams as they play an equally valuable role in finding prospects and closing deals, and today they overlap more than ever.
Find strategies to better align your sales and marketing departments in this ultimate guide to sales and marketing.
7. Use the connections to current customers and customers.
The main attraction of LinkedIn is networking. You should use this feature to your advantage for lead generation.
Connect with current clients and customers on LinkedIn and learn who their industry connections are as they may be relevant to you too. If you have relationships with existing customers that you connect with, ask for recommendations, testimonials, or just learn how to get in touch with a connection that matches your customer profile.
Since LinkedIn is a professional network, such requests are less intrusive, spammy, and salable than calling someone after they find their number online. Leads can receive your connection request, search your profile, and view your mutual connection as a guarantee of trust.
Also, when connecting with new leads, use Warm Outreach. This means that you already know a little about them and can immediately come up with suggestions that relate to their interests and add value to them from the start.
8. Ensure a consistent presence on the platform.
Like all of your other social media websites, LinkedIn requires consistency. If you publish an article once a week and then unsubscribe, you are not establishing yourself as a consistent presence with your connections. You also want to communicate with your leads consistently. Disappearing in the middle of a conversation isn’t looking good and does the opposite of getting them interested in doing business with you.
As mentioned above, platform analytics can help you understand your audience’s interests when your posts are getting the most attraction, and create a strategy that will keep you present and visible on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can help you attract your ideal customers
If you don’t use LinkedIn, or don’t use it often enough, you are likely missing out on important opportunities to grow your business.
Shriber told me, “We really tried to think through the full spectrum of what might interest you, from building a brand to generating leads, whether you are a small business or a large company – and we made playbooks that dealing with these issues. ” You where you are and help get where you want to go. “
Learn more from Justin Shriber and other advertising guides by accessing an exclusive series of interviews with LinkedIn, Google and Facebook.