As Lead generation strategy makes or breaks a business. Without new leads coming into sales funnels, a business can become trapped in a feast-or-famine sales cycle that never meets revenue goals. It’s a frustrating scenario that happens all too often. A business needs to choose its target audience, marketing channel and technique carefully to have steady revenue to provide stable growth.
A common mistake in choosing a target audience is to overlook quiet-yet-powerful social media marketing resources like LinkedIn. In the B2B sales world, LinkedIn actually has the greatest potential to provide high-quality leads that convert. In fact, most sales professionals and managers have seen LinkedIn and even have their own profiles.
What most have not considered is putting the powerful social networking tools on LinkedIn to good use for lead generation. Why should your business use LinkedIn lead generation? Here are six excellent reasons why you need to start using this resource and several strategies to get you started.
What is Linked In?
LinkedIn is the de facto social media platform for business professionals worldwide. Originally founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, the site officially launched in May 2003. Hoffman was working out of his living room at the time. But, he had already served on the boards of tech powerhouses like Google, Ebay and PayPal. His connections allowed him to garner enough funding to go public on the NYSE. LinkedIn also possesses next-level integration with Google services, which is easily explained by his history with the company now known as Alphabet.
LinkedIn predates YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. From Day One eleven years ago, it has focused solely on connecting the world’s professionals for productivity and success. Membership was slow to gain ground until 2004. That’s when the service added an address book upload feature that allowed members to invite their colleagues and friends to the network.
By 2006, LinkedIn had over five million members. Today, it commands a membership in excess of 500 million users. That staggering number alone shows that LinkedIn is an invaluable lead generation resource. However, there are still more compelling reasons to make use of LinkedIn.
Six Reasons You Need LinkedIn Lead Generation
There are many reasons to choose LinkedIn to start generating high-quality leads. The most important reason is that LinkedIn is the online platform for professionals to grow and develop their business skills. Some visit seeking industry information, others seek mentors and guides to help them manage their careers.
Bottom line, if your business offers solutions for working professionals, LinkedIn is the best place to find leads. Still not convinced? Here are six more compelling reasons to start drawing leads from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is Made up of Professionals With Access to Purchasing Power
A significant component of cultivating leads that convert is making connections with decision-makers at potential client businesses. An estimated more than 20 percent of LinkedIn’s user base is empowered to make buying decisions for their respective companies.
Given the current number of users, that’s roughly 61 million senior executives/influencers and 40 million decision-making executives. LinkedIn is the most used social media platform for Fortune 500 companies. So, it provides a significant source of leads that have a high potential to convert. Not using LinkedIn could be a serious blunder.
LinkedIn Users are Among the Most Active Online
With a total user base of 500 million, at least half of LinkedIn users log in and interact with the community monthly. Better still, out of those 260 million monthly users, 44 percent log on daily. The potential for engagement and conversion is astronomically higher than other lead sources.
LinkedIn Leads Have Higher Conversion Rates
Over one hundred million decision-makers have a proven track record of conversion. LinkedIn’s blog recently ran a data analysis that found 80 percent of B2B leads generated via social media are found on LinkedIn. That significant case study has been corroborated by analytics think tanks like Simplus (a Salesforce partner) and NetBrain Technologies Inc.
Simplus’ findings indicate that 70 percent of their website form fills are sourced from LinkedIn. NetBrain states they doubled their click-through rate using LinkedIn ads with a 94 percent conversion rate. Hence, the numbers definitely add up for using LinkedIn as a major lead generator.
LinkedIn Leads Have a Lower Cost per Conversion
One key benefit of using LinkedIn to generate leads is that there are a wealth of free options available. Even paid lead generation strategies are less expensive than search engine PPC campaigns or ads on other social media platforms. Additionally, analytics giant HubSpot recently conducted an aggregate study of LinkedIn Sponsored content.
Their findings indicate that while individual ads cost more per click than Google Ads, they also convert at double the conversion rate. Let’s say you budget $1,000 for ads: LinkedIn statistically generates 11 conversions for $90 apiece, whereas Google Ads would generate eight conversions for $125 each. Clearly, the smart ad money is on LinkedIn for increased conversions.
LinkedIn is Practically Custom Built for B2B Sales
LinkedIn provides second to none marketing tools for B2B lead generation as ads can be targeted using industry sector, size and name. Furthermore, additional filters like job title, function and seniority can also be factored into targeting metrics. Facebook Ads is the only platform that even comes close to this degree of selection. The primary drawback is that few Facebook users include their employer and job title on their profiles. All in all, LinkedIn is a far better resource for its marketing tools alone.
LinkedIn is The Perfect Choice For B2B Marketing
Ninety-four percent of marketers use LinkedIn to disseminate their content and materials per the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn. So, either the majority of marketers are wrong, or the majority of marketers know a good thing when they see it. Regardless, LinkedIn is a lead generation resource you disregard at your own peril.
LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies
Now that we’ve firmly established the reasons why you LinkedIn lead generation, let’s examine some strategies to get you started.
Publish Or Perish
Blogging and publishing professional articles are the most effective ways to demonstrate value as an expert in your industry. Curated content that anticipates and answers prospect questions instills confidence that your solution is the right one for their needs. Moreover, publishing articles shares your content with connections and followers in their feeds and notifications. Users not already in your network can also follow you from your content. Best of all, if you make your profile visible, your article is searchable via the site and off-platform. There are few strategies so powerful for establishing your company as a thought leader without LinkedIn users needing to navigate away from the site.
Keep Content Current
Posting daily updates is another effective strategy for keeping your brand and products/services at the forefront of users’ and followers’ minds. Moreover, your content will appear in user home feeds, serving as free advertising. To keep your content fresh, here are a few methods you can use:
- Refit content from other social media platforms for LinkedIn posts.
- Connect users to existing blog posts or site resources.
- Steer users to the most recent edition of your newsletter.
- Showcase your take on the latest news and trends in your industry.
Fresh content is crucial, but don’t overlook existing content posted elsewhere as a resource for keeping your followers and network up to date. You want to establish an “authoritative” image when it comes to the latest information and news in your corner of the business world.
Be Active in the LinkedIn Community
LinkedIn Groups have a proven track record for developing leads via community engagement. Groups are where you can build relationships with other luminaries in your industry while sharing insights and discussing mutual interests. One caveat about groups: don’t join a group and immediately begin hard-selling your product to members. It creates a disingenuous first impression and can cause potential leads to block you. Always take your time developing those professional relationships before making any type of sales pitch.
Engage With Your Targeted User List
Your marketing department should already have ideal customer personas or a targeted audience to help you find potential leads. Search for users that fit these criteria, and make a list of promising leads. Focus on engaging with these prospects via LinkedIn through comments, likes and shares. After sufficient interaction has taken place, invite them to connect. You are far more likely to grow your network on LinkedIn if you have some prior interaction with prospects.
Once you do form that connection, continue to engage with that prospect. Engagement could be as simple as endorsing them for skills they post or extending congratulations when they make an announcement. Gradual engagement builds strong relationships, and it means prospects are less likely to reject your sales pitch later on.
Stay in Touch With Current Clients
Steady sales revenue depends on repeat business. So don’t forget to keep engaging with existing customers via LinkedIn after you’ve closed a deal or two. Leaving a recommendation on their LinkedIn page or endorsing skills/expertise are great ways to show your appreciation for their business. More importantly, it keeps your brand at the forefront of their mind.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence LinkedIn is the premier source of B2B lead generation for social media. If you are not using LinkedIn to drum up business, you need to get started right away. Use our free strategies, and consider which paid strategies are right for your business. Looking to get the most bang for your buck? Our team has the social media savvy and experience to help you put your business on the LinkedIn map. Contact us today for more details.