How to Find Success with LinkedIn Lead Generation
Lead generation is the most important goal for 85% of B2B content marketers. On the flipside, while Linkedin is popular, it’s also a very challenging platform with 46% of all lead gen ads failing. Even with compelling content to draw leads in and a persuasive sales team, filling the pipeline with high-quality leads is never an easy task. The question then becomes: how do you stand out from the crowd and get the right people to pay attention?
Thankfully, there are proven methods that work to increase your pool of B2B leads and drive sales. In the following, we’ll provide a slew of actionable insights and ideas on how to approach, cultivate and close leads on Linkedin’s highly competitive platform.
Why use LinkedIn for B2B lead generation?
LinkedIn was designed to be a social media platform for professional networking. While the site has added features to broaden its appeal to a wider user base over the years, its core value proposition remains its business-oriented community, unique among the other major social media sites. B2B marketers can hunt for leads using business demographics like industry, company, and position on LinkedIn, among an audience who is there to find business solutions.
It makes intuitive sense that LinkedIn and B2B marketing would make an effective combination and the numbers back it up. Among the major social networks, LinkedIn is by far the most effective for B2B marketers, with a conversion rate nearly triple that of either Facebook or Twitter.
Lead generation on LinkedIn is effective because it holds the audiences that B2B marketers most desperately need to reach. 33% of the individuals who make B2B purchasing decisions research their purchases on LinkedIn. That means many of those 61 million decision-influencing users are actively seeking out information that will help them decide whether to purchase a solution like yours.
The leads you need are out there. They want to see your content marketing. They’re looking for you. What you need is a plan to connect them with the right messaging at the right time. The following tips will help you to make that connection.
5 Ways to Find Success with LinkedIn Lead Generation
1. Optimize Your Company LinkedIn Profile
There are two important things your LinkedIn profile can accomplish. First, it can help draw in new leads by containing relevant, searchable information that will elevate you to the top of the LinkedIn search results when people look for the kind of solutions you provide. Second, it can help you make an excellent first impression on your visitors.
According to LinkedIn, you can get up to five times more page views if your profile is completely filled out and active with regular updates. Take the time to fill out every section of your profile and use high-quality images. Include important keywords in your description, but keep it natural-sounding and don’t overdo it. You may also want to keep a cleaner, more focused profile by hiding the “People Also Viewed” section.
Remember, a completed profile is not a museum installation. Keep it fresh with updated projects and new posts – and stay alert for ways to make it even better.
2. Take Advantage of LinkedIn’s Lead Generation Tools
Every B2B marketer knows the power of good lead generation tools. LinkedIn comes with its own set of tools that can help maximize your lead generation success when used correctly.
Sales Navigator is an essential toolkit for lead generation. It includes powerful filters for searching and segmenting your target audiences, greater visibility into users’ connection networks, a recommendation engine, messaging features, and a content delivery and tracking platform called PointDrive.
LinkedIn’s native messaging platform only works between connected users. To cold message somebody, you have to hope they accept a connection request first. InMail is a premium messaging feature that allows you to bypass this restriction. Since there are sending limits on InMail, messages sent through it tend to be more thoughtful and targeted than spam email – and recipients actually read them. InMail messages are a great way to introduce yourself to a new lead you’ve found on LinkedIn.
Sometimes you know the leads are out there, but you can’t manage to zero in on the individuals. The way to shout your message from the rooftops on LinkedIn is through LinkedIn Ads, and the highly specific targeting options help ensure that the right people will hear it. LinkedIn Ads also gives you access to a secret weapon: Lead Gen Forms.
3. Use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms are forms that can be included in various Ads formats. Like a typical lead capture form, they ask the recipient to provide some contact information or other useful data in exchange for something of value, like an ebook, a free demo, access to a live event, or other content. What’s unique about LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms is that they auto-populate with the recipient’s profile data.
This seemingly minor convenience can make a big difference in conversion rates when a user can submit a form by simply clicking on a confirmation button and without having to type anything. It’s even better if that user is on their mobile device. Campaigns based on Lead Gen Forms can win conversions at two or even three times the rate of standard content marketing campaigns. Make sure your offer is timely, appealing, and carefully targeted for the best results.
4. Engage Your Prospects
Similar to other social media platforms, LinkedIn rewards activity by making accounts that post content regularly more visible. You can double your engagement rate simply by posting to LinkedIn at least once per week. Posting high-quality content at peak browsing time such as weekday mornings and early afternoons is one of the better ways to do this, but short comments and reactions can add up to make a difference, too.
In addition to posting content in your feed and commenting on others’ posts, two other LinkedIn features can significantly boost your engagement. LinkedIn Pulse is a content marketing newsfeed within LinkedIn that accepts self-published content, such as company announcements or blog posts. It’s ideal for posting valuable, informational content about your offering.
LinkedIn Groups are small communities where users can discuss particular topics. Participating in Groups is a good way to get noticed, gain followers, and develop your topic authority, but keep in mind that it can backfire if you’re too sales-y.
5. Make LinkedIn into a Sales Funnel
One nice thing about LinkedIn is that the platform doesn’t make it difficult to direct users to your website once you’ve got their attention. That means you can feel free to set up conversions that will link people to your company homepage or any landing pages you might have set up for a particular offer.
From there, you can use tools like Trendemon to capture leads, track their activity, and provide the perfectly-timed nurturing that will move them along through their buyer’s journey and deeper into your sales funnel.
Alternately, you can use a social selling model to take the conversation offline and have your sales team make the deal. Either way, using LinkedIn as a powerful top-of-funnel element in your B2B marketing and sales strategy is essential to successfully convert the leads you find there.
From LinkedIn Lead to Customer
When it’s time to do business on social media, LinkedIn is where people log on and get down to it. 38% of B2B marketers were able to attribute revenue to LinkedIn, more than three times as many as any other social media channel. It’s the ideal place for B2B sellers to find their next leads online. By following the tips in this article, you’re sure to find increased success with LinkedIn lead generation, leading to increased sales and marketing ROI.
As important as new leads are, they’ll slip right out of your funnel if you don’t provide them with the content they need as they progress through the buyer’s journey. Using an attribution-based lead generation tool like Trendemon on your website will help you nurture the leads that continue to research your company after you’ve made first contact with them on LinkedIn, and fill your pipeline with new customers.