Founder of iScribblers, a content writing agency for technology and SaaS. companies.
In the B2B space, lead generation through LinkedIn dominates all other social platforms.
For starters, as per the latest lead generation statistics:
• 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn
• 45% of marketers have gained a customer through LinkedIn
• LinkedIn generates 2X more leads than other social media channels
LinkedIn is a staple of the B2B marketing funnel. From raising awareness about your brand, building engagement to gaining customers, LinkedIn is the most effective online channel for lead generation for B2B brands.
Benefits of LinkedIn as a lead generation platform
For businesses, social media is a powerful tool to drive consumer engagement and boost sales. LinkedIn specifically has the following three benefits:
1. An extremely active user base
LinkedIn has 690 million users spread across 200 countries. From them, 303 million are active monthly users from which 40% log in daily! That indicates a significant number of potential leads for your business to engage with regularly.
Jean Spencer, the global content marketing strategist at Microsoft sharing her insights on LinkedIn as a platform where business decisions are taken.
Source – RankWatch
2. Convert more leads for less $$
Simplus, a Salesforce partner, realized that 70% of their website form fills came directly from LinkedIn.
Besides, any paid strategy on LinkedIn converts more leads for less.
HubSpot conducted a study on its US customers who utilized both HubSpot and LinkedIn Sponsored content. They found out that even though each click on Adwords cost them only $3.35 as compared to $5.74 per click on LinkedIn, the latter garnered more clicks making money spent worthwhile.
That is why, despite a stark difference between the CPC figures, the average conversion rate of Google Adwords for B2B marketers is 2.58%, whereas, on LinkedIn, it is 9% globally.
3. Target your potential customers granularly
LinkedIn offers targeting options such as company size, name and industry, and job function, title, and seniority. This makes it easier for you to pinpoint who you want to target and subsequently increase the chances of garnering more ad clicks and conversions.
However, LinkedIn leads don’t get generated by accident.
The competition for your audience’s attention is fierce. It helps to understand the LinkedIn best practices and how to stand out from the crowd.
How to generate leads from LinkedIn? 5 Proven strategies
Based on my experience, growing a personal network on LinkedIn takes time. Often, it takes years to reach a stage where you can turn LinkedIn into a lead generation tool.
Here’s how to do it right:
#1. Optimize your profile for maximum engagement – Optimizing your profile on LinkedIn grabs the attention of the leads. You should use a combination of:
• Personalize your URL on LinkedIn
• A high-quality and friendly headshot
• A clear background image highlighting your brand, team members or a lead magnet
• Add your contact information
LinkedIn recently launched a “featured section”. In this space, you can add blogs, videos, landing pages, and presentations.
In the “About” section, talk about your top skills. Balance it with statistics and add your personality.
In the next section, you can talk about your experiences, along with adding keywords throughout your profile.
For example, if you are a SaaS copywriter, use the same keyword in the headline as well as the about and the experiences section. Creating an engaging LinkedIn profile is the first step to B2B LinkedIn marketing.
#2. Connecting with the right-people – Shorten your sales cycle by identifying the decision-makers who could give you business. If you are selling a marketing automation software, send a connection request to the Head of Marketing or CMO.
The goal is to engage with, connect, and attract your target audience simultaneously. A combination of likes, comments, and shares work well. You can then take the conversation to direct messages. While you are finding and nurturing leads, stay away from direct selling.
The key to creating a winning LinkedIn outreach strategy is to personalize it. Don’t fall into the trap of sending cold messages that get ignored straight away.
Here’s a screenshot of my connect requests on LinkedIn. The majority of them are irrelevant.
Instead of a spray and pray approach, personalize every outreach by offering something of value to the contact.
Here’s how I personalize my LinkedIn connection requests.
• Having a compelling reason to connect. This could be being a part of a Slack community/having found their article useful/a blog mention.
• Speaking to them individually. I ensure that my message is speaking directly to them. The message addresses their challenges.
• With the help of Expandi, a LinkedIn automation tool you can send personalized connection messages to your prospects at scale. It allows you to filter your ideal prospects, automates the connection invites, and tracks the performance of the LinkedIn prospecting campaign.
Personalized outreach on LinkedIn sends a signal that the receiver is not just a name in your Excel Sheet and that you are willing to help them.
#3. Maximizing your profile’s visibility by posting content, videos, and updates – Do you know how the LinkedIn algorithm works?
To get your profile seen by as many people as possible, be an active participant on the platform. That’s how you rise in the algorithm.
I do this by publishing articles, updates, statuses, and commenting on others’ posts.
LinkedIn is my favorite platform because I don’t have to write text-heavy articles or spend hours being active. Even a simple 3-line status or wishing “congrats” boosts my visibility to people who aren’t following me.
I follow a rule, to make sure that my content solves the questions my audience has. The answers help them achieve their goals and solve their problems. The content is a mix of what I’ve experienced and accomplished.
To stand out on LinkedIn, don’t step back from establishing your viewpoint. Give more, look for ways to help people, and build relationships.
Going a step ahead, I schedule a week’s worth of posts using LinkedIn marketing tools to be consistent and relevant in the minds of my connections.
#4. Promote your latest blogs, lead magnets, and webinars – Don’t miss the opportunity to funnel your followers to your landing page. Because, unlike Facebook, LinkedIn doesn’t limit the reach of posts that lead people off the platform.
You can promote your podcast, reports, lead magnets, blog posts, and webinars.
The only challenge here is to soft sell. Frame your promotions as educational and informative.
Source – Andy Crestodina’s LinkedIn profile
In this post, Andy shares what he discusses in the video so that the viewer knows what to expect. He also tags people who were a part of the video.
Like Andy, you can combine multiple content formats to generate leads on LinkedIn that direct the reader to the landing page.
#5. Consider running LinkedIn lead generation ads – Considering that 65% of B2B companies have used LinkedIn ads for customer acquisition, you cannot ignore LinkedIn advertising.
Source – LinkedIn
Also, LinkedIn ads are made for lead generation, allowing marketers to target audiences based on their company size, title, and industry.
You can choose from the following LinkedIn lead generation ads:
A. Sponsored content
This refers to all native ads that you see on your LinkedIn feed across desktop and mobile. The formats include single and carousel image ads and video ads. Promote your gated content to build a lead-generation database, or get the target audience to sign up for a consultation.
Direct Sponsored Content that allows you to run an ad on a post without publishing it on your company page. You can create multiple post variations for different target audiences, without spoiling your company page feed.
B. Sponsored InMail
This allows you to send direct messages to particular profiles. With Sponsored InMail, you can send custom invites to events and webinars, promote a service or product, or encourage the prospect to download a whitepaper or eBook.
Source – LinkedIn
Social Media Examiner reports that the average open rate of a sponsored InMail is 50%. That means if you pay $0.80 per InMail, only 50% of recipients will open it out, of which an average of 3%-4% will click on the offer (or link) inside.
That is not so bad, and if your budget permits, do give it a shot!
C. Dynamic ads
Dynamic enable you to create a database on the platform itself, without pushing the user to go off-site. Plus, LinkedIn automatically populates the form with the user's data, increasing engagement as there is no need to spend time sharing contact info.
Source – LinkedIn
You can choose from follower ads, spotlight ads, and job ads for maximum engagement.
D. Text ads
Text ads are compelling for beginners because they can be created in minutes. You can tailor the message to the prospects you are targeting.
You pay only for the ads that work – pay per click (PPC) or cost per impression (CPM).
Of course, it is advised to put a LinkedIn ad campaign for your company instead of your personal brand.
How are you generating high-quality leads on LinkedIn?
B2B lead generation on LinkedIn is booming because you can approach your leads directly, on a platform where they are present. Through promotions, you can then push them to your website.
By merely being present on LinkedIn, you will not be able to generate leads.
You will require a strategy to score LinkedIn leads. These tips shared above will maximize the visibility of your profile and company pages to your target audience.
How does your LinkedIn lead generation strategy look like? I would love to know what works for you. Please share in the comments.
Cover image courtesy - Unsplash.