By Jon James
LinkedIn is not only a professional networking platform but also a powerful marketing tool for organizations. With over 500 million users, LinkedIn is among the most influential social media networks.
When used appropriately, LinkedIn has numerous benefits for businesses including increasing exposure, boosting quality business connections, attracting new business, enhancing knowledge base, and gaining credibility. Additionally, LinkedIn is useful in lead generation because it opens doors for a flood of potential customers.
Lead generation is a central aspect of any business that aims to drive consistent and reliable revenue. Wpromote State of B2B Marketing Report reveals that 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to generate leads. 62% of these marketers contend that LinkedIn generates two times more leads than the next highest social media platform.
Regrettably, the report also reveals that generating enough leads is the biggest challenge in digital marketing for B2B marketers. When a business cannot generate enough leads from LinkedIn, its sales and ROI are compromised. Therefore, companies need to devise strategies and best practices for lead generation on LinkedIn. Below are seven best practices for successful LinkedIn lead generation.
1. Be Active in LinkedIn Groups
Among the best ways of harnessing the marketing power of LinkedIn is by joining relevant groups. Currently, LinkedIn has approximately 2.1 million groups. This means that you can get a group that is relevant to your profession or industry. When looking for a group, ensure it meets these two criteria. First, make sure that your prospective customers frequent it. Second, ensure that the group is active; it makes no sense to join an inactive group. Assess the number of people posting in the group and the amount of discussion the posts evoke.
Joining a group by itself is not enough; make sure you are active. It is best practice to look for questions you can answer, and answer them in a useful and detailed manner. When you deliver value and show expertise in your answers, prospects will want to learn more about you. They will visit your profile to know more about you and what you do. This can lead to a dialogue on how your offerings can help the prospects.
2. Optimize your profile
It is best practice to optimize your profile on LinkedIn to generate leads. Fill out your LinkedIn profile entirely because it increases the probability of receiving inquiries. Research shows that firms with a complete profile are 40 times more likely to get inquiries.
You should also optimize your page and content. Optimizing your page means that it displays visually appealing content, and the content ranks well for SEO. You can also optimize your page by incorporating proper keywords, creating projects, devising a vanity URL, and updating it regularly.
3. Utilize Advanced Search
LinkedIn is a social networking site and hence has enormous amounts of data on their users. You can make use of this data by utilizing advanced search filters. With this feature, you can search for people based on their location, company, and age.
B2B marketers can use this feature to generate more leads by searching for prospects based on demographics. The advanced search feature is more superior when you have a paid account. It allows you to search for in-depth data like company size and seniority level. For instance, a B2B marketer can search for users with specific job positions such as CMOs and sales directors; his target audience.
You cannot succeed in social media marketing without engaging your audience. On LinkedIn, it is best practice to engage users to generate leads. One of the ways of engaging your audience is publishing relevant, insightful and exciting content. The content can be personable stories, interviews, or industry insights. Content not only generates leads but also presents you as an industry leader.
Your content should be engaging, intriguing, and non-salesy. Importantly, diversify your content to include videos, images, and links. Including a link in your post increases engagement rates by 200%. Remember that in LinkedIn, you reap what you sow; the more you engage, the better.
5. Use InMail
InMail is among the marketing features that make LinkedIn stand out. It allows you to send a message to a user whether or you are connected to them or not. You can use InMail to communicate to a prospect when you don’t have any other channel of communication. Also, a prospect is 30 times more likely to respond to an InMail than a cold call. So what are you waiting for? InMail that prospect you’ve been trying to meet unsuccessfully.
Notably, when writing your message, ensure it is useful, concise, personable, and focused on the recipient –not your offerings. The main shortcoming of InMail is that it is only available on paid accounts.
6. Try Sponsored Updates
Sponsored updates let you post content to other users’ feeds even when they are not following your page. Many companies have used sponsored updates successfully making it a LinkedIn best practice.
The good thing about sponsored updates is that you decide who will see your updates. You can use location, job position, company and seniority to target your updates. For example, you can decide that only sales managers and CMOs can see your ads for better targeting. A sponsored update can be a video, presentation, or infographic; the choice is yours. It is a great tool to disseminate branded content to a wide audience and get leads coming.
7. Keep your audience in mind
If you want to generate many leads on LinkedIn, it is best practice to keep your audience in mind. LinkedIn users aim to build legitimate and professional relationships. If you don’t help your audience achieve this goal, you don’t benefit them.
In line with this, stay away from sales jargon and shallow marketing pitches because they don’t help your audience. Instead, focus on offering value-adding information, and you will be amazed at the leads you generate.
Although LinkedIn is one of the most overlooked and underrated social media marketing platforms, it has great potential for lead generation among other benefits.
LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B marketers to capture and convert leads by using industry best practices. This article outlines seven best practices for successful LinkedIn lead generation that increase the revenue and profitability for your enterprise. Contact Ignited Results to learn more about LinkedIn lead generation.
Jon James is a certified inbound marketing consultant and co-author of “Leadership For a Lifetime with Tony Morris.”