When it comes to LinkedIn B2B lead generation, it’s easy to make a case for how valuable the platform is for businesses. However, most articles offer vague advice and leave marketers wondering what actionable steps they can take to start getting real traction with LinkedIn.
In this guide I’m going to cover both organic and paid strategies and dive deep into how you can positively disrupt your lead generation process using LinkedIn.
But first, let’s understand what LinkedIn has transformed into during the recent years. What was once a tiny networking site, has now evolved into a global platform with over 575 million users, with 61 million of those users being senior level influencers. Moreover, it’s home to more than 200 million business profiles in over 200 countries and is the most used social platforms of Fortune 500 companies.
Why Focus On LinkedIn B2B Lead Generation
First of all, it’s fertile ground given the fact that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. Secondly, 78% of B2B marketers rate LinkedIn as the most effective social platform for helping them achieve specific goals. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though!
Generate Leads Through Content Marketing
Ready for a shocking fact that’s going to get your lead generation gears turning? Only 3 million users share content weekly and only 1 million members have published an article. So, let’s think about this. There are 9 billion content impressions in the LinkedIn feed each week, all of which are coming from less than 1% of users.
That’s a massive opportunity to bring awareness to your brand and drive consistent leads by creating valuable content that’s relevant to your target audience.
LinkedIn’s User Population Is A B2B Marketer’s Paradise
It’s no surprise that 59% of B2B marketers generate leads on LinkedIn, compared to only 26% on other platforms. It’s home to 6 million C-Level executives and is responsible for 45% of social media traffic to company home pages.
Still not convinced? 40% of members login each day, making it a great place to catch the attention of decision makers and build quality engagement around your brand.
Take Your LinkedIn B2B Lead Generation Efforts To The Next Level
To successfully build a consistent pipeline of leads with LinkedIn you’ve got to adopt a holistic approach. This means everything from profile optimization to having a strong LinkedIn paid advertising strategy and engaging content that resonates with your target demographic.
Alright, now that we’ve established that LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B, let’s move into some tips and strategies you can implement now to start profiting from LinkedIn.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
I know right about now you’re sarcastically saying, “How exciting!” However, before you can build a pipeline of leads, you’ve got to have a profile that builds trust and authentically showcases your brand’s value proposition.
Take A Profile Photo That Crushes Mediocrity
According to sociolinguist, Albert Mehrabian, 55% of a person’s message is transmitted by their appearance. This is why it’s important to choose a profile photo that’s professional, memorable and unique.
Notice in the above example, Tony’s profile picture is unique, memorable and successfully represents his brand. Many still take the path of stuffy, corporate pictures and fail to realize that what makes people relatable is uniqueness. The question you’ve got to ask yourself is “how will my profile picture stand out from the crowd?”
Create A Relevant Yet Catchy Headline & Cover Photo
Your headline is one of the first things people see when they visit your profile. Moreover, they will also see the beginning snippet of it in the LinkedIn feed. If written right, this can catch the attention of potential clients and influence people to want to learn more about you.
So, what about your cover photo?
Your cover photo is another great opportunity to articulate your value. For example, if you have an impressive accomplishment such as being named a top LinkedIn voice, this is prime real estate to spotlight that.
Write A LinkedIn Summary That’s Primed To Convert
Your profile summary is one of the most important parts of your profile. This is where you can:
- Tell your story in a way that resonates with prospects on a human level.
- Feature key selling points that help build buyer consideration and create demand for your products and services.
- Showcase your personal brand and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
- Give people real reasons to choose you over your competition and lead up to a clear call to action.
- Take advantage of the gallery feature and include valuable links, photos and presentations that motivate potential buyers to convert into customers.
Skill Endorsements & Recommendations
Giving prospects the opportunity to see what people are saying about you is an enormous resource to help build trust. In terms of LinkedIn B2B lead generation, it’s critical to remember that we conduct business in a market with endless options. Differentiation and social proof make a huge impact on if buyers will move to the next step of the sales funnel. Use this to your advantage and brag a little!
Include Your Experience, Licenses And Certifications
We all know people buy from people they feel comfortable with. You can positively impact your LinkedIn B2B lead generation efforts by telling your story through your experience and credentials. Prospects have questions and this is one opportunity to answer them. Every buyer is asking themselves, “Is this person or company a good fit for me and my objectives?”
Use the description area of each position featured on your profile to:
- Talk about verifiable results that you’ve produced for your clients.
- Discuss what key problems you solve for people.
- Use storytelling to appeal to people on an emotional level.
- Articulate your company’s culture, mission and values.
Turn Off People Also Viewed
When potential customers visit your LinkedIn profile, you want their attention to remain on you. Hiding the “People Also Viewed” section helps to avoid distracting buyers with an invitation to check out your competitors.
To change this setting navigate to the “Setting & Privacy” section of your account. After that, switch the “Viewers Of This Profile Also Viewed” option to “No”.
Turn Your LinkedIn Company Page Into A B2B Lead Generation Tool
It’s never been more important for companies to build an engaging company page on LinkedIn. Today, 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn when making purchase decisions. This is a huge opportunity for you to keep your brand top of mind with your customers and influence buyer consideration.
What steps can you take to implement some LinkedIn company page best practices?
Step 1: Design An Attention Grabbing Cover Image
Your cover image is one of the first things you can do to build interest in your brand. Use this prime real estate to give prospects a reason to want to learn more about your products and services.
NOTE: The recommended size for a cover image is 1536px X 768px.
Step 2: Company Tagline & Overview
Alright, now it’s time to roll out the value proposition! Use your tagline and company page overview to show potential buyers what you’re made of.
Aim to answer these questions:
- What does this company offer and why is it important to me?
- Why should I spend time learning more about this brand’s offerings?
- Does this company’s culture and values align with my own?
- What makes this company different from their competition?
NOTE: Be sure to include your website link and take advantage of LinkedIn’s new “custom button feature”. Every company page should have a clear call to action and an opportunity for clients to take your conversion action.
Step 3: Create Content That’s Valuable To Your Target Audience
Step 4: Create A Showcase Page
Showcase pages were created to be an extension of your company page. They give companies an opportunity to showcase a specific brand, business unit or initiative. Think of showcase pages as a way to target specific niche audiences and share tailored content that’s designed to speak directly to that demographic.
Create Content That Inspires Action
Without consistently creating content, it’s difficult to generate leads. The LinkedIn feed should account for at least half of your LinkedIn B2B lead generation strategy. Through creating engaging content, you’ll build relationships with your target audience, start meaningful conversations and ensure to keep your personal brand and company offerings top of mind with the people who matter most.
So, with 94% of B2B marketers using LinkedIn to distribute content, what types of content and what strategies can you implement to start getting some hype around your brand?
In August of 2017, LinkedIn released LinkedIn video to it’s members after having beta tested it during the previous months. Since then, video has become the dominant content type on LinkedIn in terms of engagement and giving brands the opportunity to tell their story.
What can B2B marketers do to dominate with video?
As a marketer one of the first things you can do to generate leads using video is to have a strong LinkedIn advertising strategy and leverage sponsored content. LinkedIn Video Ads coupled with Lead Forms is a fantastic way to captivate your audience regardless of what stage of the buyers journey they’re in. In addition, they’re very effective at generating demand for your products and service.
Tips To Succeed With Organic LinkedIn Video:
- Tell your story and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Purchase decisions are made at the table of relationships. Share your failures, lessons, life experiences and how your journey led you to where you are now.
- Break up your video content into bite size pieces. Unless a person’s commitment level is high, it’s unlikely that they’ll watch a 10 minute video.
- Ensure you have high quality audio, sound and subtitles.
- Have a clear message and avoid jargon. When it comes to video, few things are more important than getting right to the value.
Text Posts & Articles
Despite video coming to the forefront of how people share content on LinkedIn, text posts still perform really well. Beyond that, articles shared on LinkedIn can seriously help in the way of getting indexed within search engines like Google.
What are the facts about text based content on LinkedIn?
Article titles with 40 to 49 characters get the greatest number of views
Articles with 8 images perform best
“How To” Post Generally Perform Better Than All Other Posts
Divide posts into 5 headings to attract optimal post views
Cross promote your LinkedIn content on other social platforms
The LinkedIn Document Post Feature
Released in late 2018, the document post feature allows users to share posts with document presentations, white papers, e-books and more. For B2B marketers this is a great way to share case studies that help bring people from the awareness stage of the funnel into the desire and action stage.
A few more pros of the sharing document posts:
- You can fit a ton of valuable content in your post without having it look overwhelming to potential readers.
- Add an extra layer of depth to your brand storytelling efforts with supporting information that can potentially enhance the credibility of your message.
- Satisfy people that are interested in your offerings but aren’t ready to take the next step and visit your website, complete a form fill or make a phone call.
With over 80 million users and 18 million uploads, Slideshare is an excellent way to distribute content. Yet, only about 17% of B2B marketers use Slideshare in new product launches. This is fertile ground for B2B marketers that aren’t afraid to go against the grain and do something different. Whether you have a tutorial or a product overview, Slideshare is a massive resource to raise awareness and expand your reach to new audiences.
Engaging Others: The B2B Marketer’s Secret Sauce
The LinkedIn Engagement “Do’s”
- Engage in relevant, active groups that extend your reach and connect your with new potential customers. (Don’t forget to create your own LinkedIn group as well)
- Respond to comments with thoughtful answers and truly take the time to build meaningful dialogue with your audience.
- Ask questions, share insights and help others who are in need even if there’s nothing in it for you. It’s important to inspire people on a human level.
- Engage other people’s content! I cannot stress this enough. Supporting others and adding value to other people’s content places your personal brand deep within LinkedIn and shows that you genuinely care about building an engaged community.
- Have a hashtag strategy that helps index you well on LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn Engagement “Don’t’s”
- Don’t engage in banter, even if you’re passionate about the topic. Arguing on a global platform is bad for any business.
- Avoid getting in the habit of just liking content. Sure, a like is nice but a comment gives substance to your voice.
- Try to stay away from heated topics that could draw negative attention to you, your brand and others you network with.
- Do not make every piece of content about your product and service. Having everything you publish in terms of content be centered around your products gives off the impression that all you care about is the sale. Let people know who you are as a human being, what your story is and what you’ve been through in your life. Reliability is key!
Have An Outbound Connection Strategy
Part of engagement is connecting with others. This may be potential clients, partners, future employees and much more. However, when your focus is generating B2B leads, things get a bit more complex. You want to be selective on who you send outbound connection requests to. After all, your goal is to build an audience that wants, needs and has a reason to engage with what you offer.
Tips For Sending Outbound Connection Requests
Tip 1: Always send a personalized invitation
Sending a personalized invite starts the business relationships off right by showing the person that they were worth the few seconds it took to write them an introductory message.
Tip 2: Ask yourself, “Can I add value to this person’s business?”
With 46 million decision makers and 8.2 million C-Level executives on LinkedIn, you’ll never be at a loss for people to approach. However, your products and services aren’t for everyone. Put some thought into if you can really bring something to the table. Take the time to go to their profile, look at their activity and see if they’ve expressed a need for what you offer through their content, etc. Curiosity and being genuine pays big here!
Tip 3: Use Advanced Search
The LinkedIn advanced search feature helps you leverage specificity in your search to find potential customers and valuable connections. It allows you to filter by industry, company, geographical location and much more. Any solid B2B marketing strategy is targeted and this is your change to do just that.
NOTE: Don’t forget to save the searches you see as valuable so you can refer back to them in the future while prospecting.
Tip 4: Know Your Buyer Persona
What do your customer’s do for a hobby? Where are they primarily located? Where are their behaviors online? What verticals historically convert best for your brand and each individual offering? Knowing who your customers are and what’s important to them gives you an advantage over other B2B marketers, it also puts you in a position to have a much stronger value proposition and more meaningful conversations with prospects.
Take Advantage Of LinkedIn’s Advertising Options
Sure, you can be fairly successful with LinkedIn B2B lead generation organically, but it won’t be near your full potential. LinkedIn offers a robust selection of advertising options and audience targeting methods that are extremely effective for B2B marketers.
In fact, 41% of B2B marketers say that LinkedIn is the most important social media platform to them.
Types Of LinkedIn Advertising
Using LinkedIn sponsored content allows you to run native ads in the LinkedIn feed and put your content in front of buyers who are ready to do business with you. Further, you can build your target audience using LinkedIn profile data and your own first party data.
A Nielsen report, showed that 36% of people trust video ads. Not only that, but the people who enjoy watching video ads increase their purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139%.
Through LinkedIn Video ads you can:
- Build brand awareness with your target audience.
- Drive quality new leads and positively impact customer acquisition.
- Accurately measure the true profitability and effectiveness of your video campaigns and gain a deep understanding of your ROI/ROAS.
- Generate demand for your products and services.
- Tell your brands story and feature customer success examples to help build trust and impact brand recall with your most valuable audiences.
By using Sponsored InMail you can send personalized messages to high value prospects regardless of if you’re connected or not. Sponsored InMail is great for boosting registrations for webinars, getting people to RSVP to your event or to begin dialogue with the people who matter most to your business right at the moment when they’re online.
With Dynamic Ads, LinkedIn gives marketers the opportunity to personalize the advert experience with features like their profile data, picture, company name and job title. Moreover, you can optimize your dynamic ads for specific objectives such as brand awareness, driving traffic and generating leads.
This positively impacts your b2b lead generation efforts by making your ads relatable, personable and inviting. When people see elements of your ad that are familiar to them, it breaks down their barrier and gives your brand the perfect opportunity to motivate buyers to convert.
Programmatic Display Ads
LinkedIn works with a variety of quality DSP’s (Demand Side Platforms) and allows for their ad inventory to be bought via a private or open auction. Beyond that, you can retarget past website visitors using your first party data, create lookalike audiences and much more.
How does buying ads programmatically using LinkedIn impact lead generation?
- When you buy ads programmatically you have the opportunity to work with DMP’s (Data Management Providers) who have troves of data on people’s browsing behaviors, interest and intent signals.
- You add an extra layer of value to your remarketing campaigns.
- Avoid bot traffic and ad fraud as LinkedIn invests quite heavily in brand safety.
According to Social Media Today, content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than when shared by brand channels. That’s why programs like LinkedIn Elevate exist.
Elevate helps companies curate relevant content that will engage their target audience and make it available for employees to easily share it across social channels. Employee advocacy is a massive untapped marketing tool and should most definitely be in every B2B marketers tool bag.
Text ads are fantastic for driving quality traffic to your landing pages and generating quality leads. LinkedIn offers many different bidding options including click and impression based bidding. Moreover, they offer in-depth analytics on each campaign to help you as a marketer understand where your campaigns are driving the most value.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
On average social sellers see a 45% increase in opportunities upon implementing Sales Navigator. As a B2B marketer, Sales Navigator can serve as an excellent resource for you to prospect with specificity.
How can B2B Marketers benefit from Sales Navigator?
- Hone in on the right prospect and decision makers.
- Keep track of high value leads and start warm conversations with buyers.
- Integrate Sales Navigator with your CRM for seamless lead management.
- Source companies that are a good fit for your products and service accurately.
- See people who have viewed your profile over the last 90 days to monitor if high value prospect are displaying intent signals and are primed to convert.
In conclusion, I hope this article makes a profitable impact on your brand, team and marketing strategy.
Thank you for reading.