Wondering how to use LinkedIn to generate and connect with your business leads? It might not be the first company that comes to mind when you think about B2B social media marketing, but LinkedIn is a lucrative platform that can open doors to valuable new leads and enhance any B2B marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll discuss what exactly makes LinkedIn stand out as a lead generation social media platform. We’ll consider the benefits and challenges of engaging and contacting leads on LinkedIn and provide some tips to help you get started.
Why Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation?
Why focus on using LinkedIn for lead generation? What about other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram? Email marketing campaigns? Paid advertising?
To put it simply, LinkedIn attracts a whole lot of professional traffic. It’s where users go to level up in business, explore job opportunities, and stay on top of the professional world. The average LinkedIn user will open up the site to discover what’s going on in their specific industry, seek out new employees, or look for business tools to optimize workflows.
Below are some of the top benefits of using LinkedIn to generate and connect with valuable leads.
1. Its users are professionals with purchasing power
More than 55 million companies worldwide are active on LinkedIn. It’s not surprising then that 33% of B2B decision makers use LinkedIn to research purchases and a whopping 61 million senior-level influences are regularly active on the platform. That translates to a huge number of professionals with purchasing power that your business could potentially connect with.
2. LinkedIn users are extremely active
LinkedIn’s professional user base is really active. LinkedIn has over 722 million members, and 27% of US adults are signed up with the platform. Of those using the platform, 40% access it daily. That means there’s a huge number of potential leads to make contact and engage with every day.
3. LinkedIn lead generation is highly effective
All those decision-makers are definitely worth marketing to. They’re the ones who are most likely to make decisions on behalf of a company, which makes them highly valuable B2B leads.
LinkedIn is the number one platform B2B marketers use to share content, with 94% of them relying on the platform to distribute content. What’s more, LinkedIn makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B business websites and blogs.
How to Use LinkedIn to Generate and Connect with Leads
1. Create a polished company page on LinkedIn
Before you can get started using LinkedIn for your B2B marketing efforts, you’ll need to create a profile for your company. You must make your profile stand out, after all—people don’t read company profiles for fun. Here are some tips:
- Use an attention-grabbing header image to capture people’s attention.
- Create a compelling pitch that sums up what your business does. Speak to your target audience, demand their attention, and invite them to convert to customers. Remember, your page visitors will only see the first two lines of your description (if they don’t click to see more) so use this chance to captivate them from the get-go!
- Ensure the recent updates section of your page is relevant, clickable, and conversion-oriented. An active feed is the best way to engage your audience with relevant content to increase engagement and leads.
Also, consider that LinkedIn allows you to create showcase pages for your business. This is useful if you’re a B2B business that needs to promote various products, brands, events, and other business pages that have their own target audience.
These pages enable marketers to create and promote different types of content targeted towards diverse audiences. In other words, they’re a great way to segment B2B leads down the line as part of your marketing strategy. With segmented audiences, you can target them with content that’s relevant to them and caters to their specific needs and concerns.
2. Research prospects and collect valuable leads
One of the best things about LinkedIn is that it offers a great search tool for finding B2B leads. You can easily find people who work at a company, those with certain job titles, or target decision-makers in your industry.
While researching, you should also look out for trigger events that open up and create opportunities for sales and marketing. Check out this list of HubSpot trigger events for some ideas on how to find and connect with prospects at the right time. Trigger events can be anything from new executives starting at a company, company expansion/relocation, or an announcement regarding a new product/service.
Once you’ve researched your prospective leads, you can start reaching out to them with valuable resources, sponsored content campaigns, or virtually hanging out where they hang out. This brings us swiftly to our next point.
3. Join groups where your leads hang out…
There are over two million groups on LinkedIn. We’re pretty confident you can find one in your business niche! To find them, all you need to do is conduct a group search using relevant keywords. This is a great way to discover leads who are looking for exactly what you have to offer. Once you’ve joined the groups you can establish a presence by posting regularly and start nurturing leads. There are a few things you should consider when searching for groups:
- Your content might get buried in large groups, so medium/small groups are a good way to ensure your content is visible.
- LinkedIn ranks groups according to how active they are, so the top groups are likely to be those where people post and engage more often.
- The groups you join should be relevant to your business and the audience you’re looking to connect with.
4. …and create your own!
One of the best ways to generate more leads from LinkedIn is to create groups of your own. As you join and interact with existing groups, you might identify an opportunity to create a group that positions your business as a leader. As the owner and moderator of the group, you’ll gain recognition as a leader in your field.
Starting a group on LinkedIn is simple, just head to the “Groups” section in the sidebar.
5. Share valuable and relevant content. Again and again
Content is the conduit through which you speak to your audience. We mean really speak to them.
If you’re a growing B2B business, you’ve likely got a content marketing strategy in place already. You can use LinkedIn just as you would any other social network platform to share content, engage your audience, and —hopefully— generate new leads.
You have an editorial calendar in place to plan your content. This way you can plan concerning trending topics and ensure you’re sharing content regularly. That means taking time each day to share thought-leadership content, express your brand’s identity and position, and engage with your audience.
So how do you create thought-leadership content that engages your LinkedIn viewers?
You want to draw attention to your brand without being pushy or using outdated outbound marketing techniques. Instead, you’ll need an inbound strategy that draws your audience in with valuable, relevant, and high-quality content. Moreover, your brand needs to show that it’s an authority in its field. That means creating content that’s backed up by data journalism, has a unique tone of voice, and addresses the topics that are whirling around in your audience’s collective mind.
The content you create needs to be innovative and fresh to stand out from the thousands of blog posts, how-to guides, and listicles that are posted on LinkedIn every day. To be successful in marketing to B2B decision-makers, your content needs to guide, nurture, and produce leads. When it comes to making decisions regarding their own businesses, business leaders look to industry experts who can provide expert knowledge and valuable insights. Below are some ideas for creating content to engage B2B audiences.
- Create original how-to guides—bring something new to the table!
- Numbered lists/checklists that people can download.
- Blog posts/articles that address common pitfalls and challenges and how to overcome them.
- Your opinion on industry trends and any changes that you think might impact your customers.
- Light, humorous content that connects with your audience on a humanistic level.
- Industry-specific research.
- Monthly or weekly podcasts that deal with topics trending in your industry.
6. Target valuable leads with paid strategies
If you have the budget to spend on your LinkedIn marketing strategies, you’ll find the platform offers a few different ways to connect with high-value leads. Here are a few:
- Sponsored content: Why not take your best content to the next level? Sponsored content refers to LinkedIn’s native ads that run in the feed and target specific audiences that are outlined in the sponsored content campaign. You can choose to share image ads, video ads, and more.
- Sponsored InMail: This refers to messages that reach your target audience through LinkedIn’s messenger. You can send InMail that promotes your business’s products or services, shares valuable content and resources or invites users to webinars or live events.
- LinkedIn lead generation forms: Lead gen forms can be attached to any sponsored content or InMail you share with leads. This helps you to collect leads without them having to leave the page they’re on. Moreover, LinkedIn automatically populates the form with the user’s information.
Ready to Start Using LinkedIn to Engage B2B Leads?
When done well, B2B marketing with LinkedIn allows businesses to connect with decision-makers who are eager to get down to business.
That’s not to say that B2B marketing on LinkedIn is simple. You’ll need to have a robust content marketing strategy in place along with a good understanding of how users interact with the platform and where to find the most valuable leads. With the right amount of determination, patience, and passion—you’ll get results.
Want to know more about how to develop a B2B marketing strategy to contact, engage, and qualify leads? We can help guide you through it. Book a free consultation with us today.