You have a great product. You know that it can compete in the market. But none of it really matters if no one knows about it. That’s why companies with the most quality leads grow and win. In this article, we will unpack one of the most effective platforms for B2B lead generation.
Insight: LinkedIn isn’t just great for job seekers. It’s also a prime resource for B2B customers.
Data: 79% of business marketers believed that LinkedIn was an effective source of generating leads. (LinkedIn, data from 2017)
Actionable Takeaway: Optimise your personal LinkedIn account and your company page to attract and generate B2B leads.
Why LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation?
It’s hard to imagine a single platform more effective for B2B than LinkedIn. As of 2018, LinkedIn has more than 562 million professional users across more than 200 countries and territories. It’s considered to be the most effective professional networking platform — and was valued at $26 billion when Microsoft purchased it in 2016.
While other platforms are more social, statistics show that LinkedIn is more effective for B2B marketers and B2B organisations. Through LinkedIn, you acquire a direct line to decision-makers.
Here are a few important statistics:
- Approximately 45% of LinkedIn content readers are upper-level managers, which includes the C-suite, managers, VPs, and directors (IronPaper)
- LinkedIn lead generation may be up to 277% more effective than either Twitter or Facebook (HubSpot)
- Only 6% of the top 10,000 most shared posts in the last five years were written by influencers, showing that the platform is still open for new users (ContentMarketingInstitute)
- LinkedIn accounts for 64% of all social media referrals to corporate websites (DigitalImpact.co.uk)
- 38% of B2B marketers stated that LinkedIn is generating revenue for them, not just leading to connections (DemandWave)
- 50% of B2B buyers will use LinkedIn when making their business purchasing decisions (LinkedIn)
- 80% of B2B leads now come from LinkedIn, and 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a platform for distributing their content (LinkedIn)
- 65% of marketers have brought on a B2B customer on directly through LinkedIn (DigitalImpact.co.uk)
- 50% of LinkedIn members are more likely to make a purchase from a company they have connected with (DigitalImpact.co.uk)
- 87 million millennials are currently on LinkedIn, something important for businesses targeting this market (AdWeek)
Of course, that doesn’t mean LinkedIn is a magic bullet: you still need to use it the right way. Nearly every business currently has a presence on LinkedIn — and that includes your competition. If you want to get the most out of the platform, you need to stand out.
Transform Your Personal LinkedIn Profile into a Killer Lead-Generation Tool
Before posting content, sharing content, and connecting with others on LinkedIn, you need to optimise your personal profile. Every business is represented by the individuals who work for it, especially those who are high up on the chain of command. As a business owner, you’ll be under heavy scrutiny.
CMO of Social Marketing Solutions, John White, gave this great advice for sales professionals, and it rings true for everyone who are offering services for B2B clients:
If you are an entrepreneur or in a sales position and your LinkedIn profile looks more like your resume and talks more about your past than your present, you are leaving leads on the table.
Here are a few tips for your personal profile:
- Make your profile public. And don’t forget to add a custom URL. You want your profile to be accessible, easy to find, and easy to search for. When properly optimised, your LinkedIn profile may become the first search engine hit for your name.
- Have a professional photo taken. Your LinkedIn profile photo should be a headshot of only you, taken in the style of a professional headshot for a corporate website. There should be no question as to who you are, especially if you have a fairly common name.
- Connect with your colleagues. LinkedIn was initially designed for networking, and it’s still the best place for it. Connecting with current and former colleagues is a good way to appear more trustworthy and reputable while also expanding your reach into their social circles.
- Publish content. Write about business-related topics that you’re knowledgeable about; this will help establish you as an expert within your space. Remember that you should never post anything on LinkedIn that you don’t want connected to yourself in public. That includes comments on other content.
- Don’t just treat your profile like a resume. While it’s important that your profile should have your prior work experience and your skills, it should also show information about your current company and how your company provides value to your clients. Remember that it will often be the first stop for those who are looking to see your qualifications and your company’s as well.
- Show your value as an expert. The summary section is a great place to showcase what you can do as an expert for your current company. Incorporate keywords that your prospect clients could be searching for. End with a call to action — visit our website, subscribe to our blog, get in touch — so your potential clients know what to do next.
Remember that your personal profile will often be reviewed by other professionals and potential clients before they connect and engage with you. Keeping it updated and well-maintained is critical for giving the best first impression.
Also, don’t forget that any content that you post is likely to be seen as not only coming from you, but also from your company.
Optimise Your Company LinkedIn Page for B2B Lead Generation
LinkedIn is clearly the best platform for B2B lead generation and sales, but how do you begin making those sales?
You can do this by optimising your company’s LinkedIn and by measuring your success with LinkedIn’s detailed data collection.
Focus on building a large-enough presence on LInkedIn, and you will eventually attract and find clients and top talent.
Like all social media, this requires some work; you will need to build a following on the platform over time.
Here are a few tips for optimising your LinkedIn and measurements for success:
- Upload your company’s logo and banner. The more personalisation you place on the page, the more professional it will appear. Make sure any images are uploaded in the right resolution.
- Add basic information about your company. LinkedIn will want to display how large your company is, where it’s headquartered, and when it was established. Fill in as much information as possible so your company can be properly indexed.
- Create a solid “About Us” section. Take some time to describe your organisation and its purpose, including its story and its company culture. Your company bio should be detailed and snappy, with a tone that resonates with your brand voice and identity.
- Get your management on LinkedIn. Having your senior leaders on LinkedIn improves your organisation’s overall exposure. Management may also be encouraged to post valuable content and share the company’s content as is relevant.
- Make it easy for them to visit your website. For your social media visitors to truly become leads, they need to give you their email addresses or other contact info. And the easiest way to do this is to…
- Share valuable, relevant content. As with your personal account, you should be both posting and sharing valuable content on your LinkedIn business account. Think about the topics that your B2B customers are most likely to be interested in. Post consistently, and don’t forget to add links that direct them to your blog or anywhere on your website.
- Connect with your employees and add endorsements. LinkedIn isn’t just a business network, after all; it’s a social network. By connecting with employees, customers, and vendors, you can increase your overall level of engagement. Your employees are 70% more likely to interact with your posts than other users, and that will improve your signal-to-noise ratio.
- Use your analytics data. Your analytics data will help you measure the amount of engagement that you achieve through LinkedIn. In turn, this will help you improve your engagement and conversions. You can change your LinkedIn and B2B marketing strategies and track whether the changes improve your outcomes.
- Pay attention to the types of interactions. Whether you’re getting likes, shares, or clicks, you need to pay attention to the type of interaction you’re acquiring. You don’t just want people liking your material; you also want them following your links and engaging with the content.
- Promote your LinkedIn account elsewhere. Make sure your LinkedIn account is listed on your other social media accounts, your website, and on print media such as brochures. This will encourage current and prospective clients to connect with you.
Get the Most Out of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the platform of choice for executives for a reason; it’s effective. Your clients are already on LinkedIn; you just need to reach them.
For many businesses, that will involve cleaning up your business account, updating your information, and posting valuable, timely information that your clients are likely to be interested in.
If you make sure that your LinkedIn account is active and professional, you’ll be able to use it for generating sales leads.
If you’re going to be investing time and money into your social media strategy, spending some time on LinkedIn is the best first step. LinkedIn is designed specifically for businesses and professionals to network and find each other; your success is its success. As you improve your LinkedIn account, you’ll be able to reach even more significant levels of engagement.
Step Change is a strategically led marketing agency. We’re facilitators and problem solvers who believe the best solutions in business start with marketing.
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