A quick Internet search brings up tons of articles on using social media to drive traffic to your website, and the strategies to get it done. While these may have some truth to them, to get the best result, they need to be combined cohesively with your marketing strategy across all channels. This is especially the case for B2B lead generation.
If your company provides B2B products or services, you absolutely must make use of LinkedIn. Partly because it’s 467 million users constitute a virtually endless pool of potential leads. LinkedIn consistently drives more traffic to the websites of B2B companies than any other social network. Here are some of the tactics to use on LinkedIn to maximize its value to your company.
How to Use LinkedIn to Increase B2B Lead Generation
Optimize your LinkedIn profile
You’ll be connecting with people you don’t know, so you need to make a good first impression. Optimize your LinkedIn profile, so what the user reads reflects favorably on you, and your message is clear.
Along with your company name, include your title so that people will have an idea of what you do. To be taken seriously, you should also have a professional looking profile photo, if possible taken by a professional.
Most people need a visual representation of who you are before they consider connecting with you. Include a link to your blog and website in both your personal and company profiles.
Create useful content
To funnel traffic to your blog for B2B lead generation, you’ll need to produce high-quality articles that interest to your LinkedIn followers. Your content should relate to your business expertise, goals, and objectives, while also having significant appeal to your target audience. Be a resource and be helpful in your sharing!
Create Groups and engage in Groups
Groups are the awesome sauce of LinkedIn. Join several and get involved in the conversations. If you don’t see any groups that fit, create your own group. Be advised, this will call for more work on your part. You’ll have to establish guidelines for what can be posted in the group, and you’ll have to serve as its moderator.
You’ll want to promote your group to make it visible to others and to attract the kind of followers you want. The whole idea behind creating a group is to invite people who have the potential to become leads, and ultimately customers. These leads can be used to bring in more leads by connecting with friends and other contacts who have similar interests and preferences. Again, in the group it is all about bringing value by sharing helpful, resource-rich articles, some of which (but not exclusively) should direct to posts on your blog. Also be sure to curate other quality content.
Share blog posts with specific individuals
In LinkedIn, you can send emails to everyone in your network. But sometimes it’s better to ping just those people you think would be interested in your article. By personalizing the message, you can make each of these recipients feel special, and often that’s enough motivation to have them click through. The good thing about this strategy is you’re sending article links to specific people only when you feel confident the article will be of interest to them. Be sure not to spam, start by building relationships.
Publish your own content
One of my favorite parts of LinkedIn is the publishing platform. It’s basically a blogging platform that has the SEO power of LinkedIn behind it. I use blogging with LinkedIn twice a week to publish my own content. It gives me a chance to reach and be seen by top level execs and professionals connected to me. It gives me leads and the opportunity for partnerships and interviewees for my podcast.
It’s quick and easy to use. But just like blogging you’ll need to be consistent and persistent to realize any success with LinkedIn Publisher.
Follow LinkedIn Influencers
LinkedIn influencers are just what they sound like – people who have tremendous influence over the thoughts of large numbers of people within LinkedIn. For instance, news media gurus and highly placed political candidates. By creating a list of influencers and sharing their articles with your network, you are indirectly positioning yourself as an industry leader, thereby enhancing your reputation.
By making intelligent comments on articles created by influencers, you and your company receive greater visibility. Influencers’ articles are some of the most widely read content on LinkedIn.
Identify your target audience
Before you can effectively target your prospects, you have to clearly identify who they are, both in terms of your primary targets and your secondary targets. Once you’ve identified who these groups and individuals are, you can develop your LinkedIn strategy around them.
For instance, you can join groups which cater to their interests. Then create fresh and interesting content which appeals to these individuals in terms of their wants, needs, and pain points.
When you get around to making contact with your ideal targets, you can use LinkedIn features to connect with them. One of the handiest tools is the built-in search function provided by LinkedIn. It allows you to seek out members by their title, location, or industry.
Obviously, it’s not enough to simply make contact with people you’re targeting as potential leads. Like any relationships in real life, LinkedIn contacts need to be nurtured, so they have a chance to develop into full-blown customer relationships.
One of the building blocks of nurturing is to be as engaging as possible by including personal remarks and viewpoints in your content, asking questions of your readers, and telling stories. This practice is shown to be far more memorable and effective than the mere recounting of facts.
LinkedIn can be a very effective medium for making connections with the right kind of audience for your business in addition to pure B2B lead generation. But it does have its limitations. Since your ultimate objective is to make sales, the bottom-line value of LinkedIn is to secure the audience which you can funnel to your website to close the deal.
Wondering how to grow your incoming leads on all your social media platforms? I’ll give you the game plan! Check out my new book, “Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation”. I’ll take you through step-by-step how to harvest leads from your social media networks. Learn more about it here.