Looking for new and better ways to generate B2B leads in 2021?
One of the golden rules of sales is to fish where the fishes are. And in today’s online world, the fish are on LinkedIn.
With more than 760 million users, LinkedIn has become a mecca for B2B professionals to connect, share and refer. It’s not just entry or mid-level managers either— 26% of B2B decision makers use LinkedIn. And companies that utilize the platform to garner leads achieve a huge amount of their overall social media marketing leads through LinkedIn!
Almost every niche and industry has a presence on this social media platform, and savvy B2B salespeople are taking advantage of its features to make a difference in their sales pipelines.
You may understand that LinkedIn is a good source for leads but have no idea how or where to start when it comes to generating them on the platform. Or you may want to use LinkedIn for outreach, but you’re afraid of being grouped in with all of the other salespeople who are doing it the wrong way.
So, what’s the answer? How can you generate well-qualified leads on LinkedIn and still remain a respected, value-driven salesperson for your organization?
In this blog, we’ll look at 6 proven best practices that will help achieve your goals while simultaneously building trust with your audience. These tips will help you form a bulletproof LinkedIn lead generation strategy to keep the warm leads rolling in.
But first, let’s look specifically at why LinkedIn is such a powerhouse for generating B2B leads:
Why Should I Use LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation?
LinkedIn’s audience is much more specific than other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. This is one of the biggest reasons it is such a powerful lead generation machine—especially for B2B.
These stats should give you a little insight into the average LinkedIn user:
- Half of college graduates are LinkedIn users.
- Nearly half of the LinkedIn users take home more than $75,000 per year.
- LinkedIn is slightly more popular with men, who comprise 57% of its user base.
- As of 2019, the platform had 90 million senior-level influencers. Decision-makers were at 63 million and opinion leaders at 17 million
- B2B blogs and websites get 90% of their social traffic from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, with around half of it coming solely from LinkedIn.
Looking at these stats, it’s clear to see why LinkedIn is so beneficial in B2B lead generation. It offers direct access to high-level decision-makers and leverages the power of connections for warm introductions. Now, let’s look at exactly how it’s done.
How to Generate Leads on LinkedIn
Follow All of Your Current Clients
People use LinkedIn to connect with other professionals in their industry or niche, or people with similar professional interests. What this means for salespeople is that your best customers are probably connected with a lot of other potential great customers on LinkedIn.
What does this mean?
For salespeople, it means that your customer’s list of LinkedIn connections is one of the best prospecting tools available to you. In order to see this list of connections, you should connect with each one of your current customers. Make this part of your client onboarding process so you can ensure that no connections slip through the cracks.
Once you’re connected with your prospects, they’ll likely see (and hopefully) engage with your updates and posts. And if they do, LinkedIn’s algorithm is more likely to show your post to their connections as well.
This helps you get in front of your ideal prospects without any ad targeting or outreach required!
Be Engaging and Be Engaged
Posting engaging content on LinkedIn is important as it helps you get noticed. As we mentioned above, the more engaging your posts are, the more attention LinkedIn’s algorithm will pay to your post. However, it’s also vitally important to be engaged.
Using LinkedIn as a megaphone to promote all of your news, updates and thoughts is not the best way to leverage a social platform. At its core, LinkedIn is a social network, and its users are meant to be social as well! Sometimes, it’s easier to get noticed by commenting, sharing or adding to posts from users you admire than it is to continually post updates to your own channel.
Not only that, but engagement also invites engagement. If you consistently post thoughtful comments and insights on the posts of those you follow, they’re more likely to do the same.
So, don’t be a broadcaster, be a resource. Use LinkedIn to share your values and make deeper connections with your ‘connections’.
If you want to reach a very niche or targeted group of LinkedIn users without running ads, groups are a great alternative.
LinkedIn groups are closed pages that focus on a specific niche or interest. In order to join the page, you have to ask to be accepted. When you’re joining a LinkedIn group for prospecting purposes, be sure that you’ll have value to offer and will contribute to the group, then join under your own name (not your company name.)
Once you have been accepted into a group, fight the urge to create a post about your company, product, or service. This is a surefire way to either be ignored or to be kicked out completely. The purpose of LinkedIn groups is to share knowledge, not to be an advertising outlet.
Instead, look for opportunities to be a resource, answer other member’s questions or share knowledge and/or expertise you have. If the opportunity presents a natural way to work in a link to your website, go for it, but don’t be overly pushy.
Continue sharing content and adding value to your group on a regular basis. Soon enough, other members will start to notice your contributions and want to know more about you and what you do. After a quick peek at your profile, they’ll learn about you, your company and exactly what value you may provide to them – what problem you may solve for them.
Be Consistent with Updates – but Focus on Quality over Quantity
As we have stated, being ‘noticed’ on LinkedIn takes consistency. Posting at regular intervals is more likely to help you get noticed.
However, posting simply for the sake of posting is not a good LinkedIn strategy. The age-old rule of quality over quantity applies here. Remember, you’re looking to build trust and a relationship with your connections.
When it comes to posting an update on LinkedIn, make sure you have a strategy for what you’re trying to achieve with each post. Do you want to drive traffic to a certain webpage? Are you looking for engagement? Are you promoting something? Once you know your goal, tailor your post to meet that goal.
Here are a few other posting best-practices to keep in mind:
- Posts with images get 200% more engagement than those without
- A study concluded that updates with links got up to 45% more follower engagement than the posts without links
- The optimal length for a LinkedIn post is 25-40 words.
Another important factor to keep in mind when creating your posts is SEO.
Use Basic SEO Best Practices
When users are searching for a particular type of post or information on LinkedIn, they normally turn to the platform’s internal search bar. This means, keeping certain common keywords and phrases in mind when crafting your LinkedIn posts and information for your profile can help you get found more easily by the types of prospects you most want to engage with.
Think of the content you put on LinkedIn the same way you think of content for your website or blog— LinkedIn is like Google, and you want your profile to be the top result.
Try Out Sponsored Posts or LinkedIn Ads
One of the things that makes LinkedIn so special is its advanced targeting capabilities. If you’re looking to run an ad or a sponsored post on LinkedIn, you can target users by fields like:
- Job Experience or title
- Interests and Traits
- And more…
You can even target followers of a certain competitor or lookalike audiences of different LinkedIn pages. LinkedIn also gives you the ability to upload and use your own custom audience for your LinkedIn ads. Matched audiences have had great success on the platform, showing a 32% increase in post-click conversion rates and a 4.7% decrease in post-click cost-per-conversions.
More Ways to GenerateB2B Leads
Developing and implementing a winning strategy on LinkedIn can take significant time and effort. If you want to free up time for your sales reps to utilize LinkedIn, think about bringing in a partner who can help you fill your pipeline through other means of prospecting like cold calling and B2B appointment setting services.
The experienced team of Business Development Specialists at Leads at Scale can help you generate well-qualified warm leads and warm sales appointments so your sales team can focus on closing more sales and you can grow your business.
Interested? Learn more here.