LinkedIn has already started to sweep the B2B marketing world, with 94% of business marketers using it in one way or another. But are we all utilizing it properly? It’s all very well having a profile, but there’s loads you can do with LinkedIn to boost business lead generation, assert credibility and grow your brand footprint. If you’re just using LinkedIn to run a profile, then you’re missing a major marketing trick. 43% of B2B marketers have sourced customers from leads generated on LinkedIn, and many marketing departments are starting to see business lead generation through LinkedIn as a channel in its own right.
Let’s look at LinkedIn in detail, why we should all be using it for marketing, and the best ways to generate high quality leads using the social media platform. If lead generation is on your mind, then check out our latest free eBook- it’s packed full of ways to evolve your business lead generation and help you see the results you dream of!
LinkedIn- What is it?
A question worth addressing, even though it’s likely we’re all familiar in some way with the platform and what is does.
LinkedIn is a social media platform that wholly focuses on business networking and discussion. You create a personal profile and fill it with what is, in essence, an interactive version of your resume, linking to the business pages of your present and past employers, your college, school etc. You can make connections with people you know or plan to work with, and endorse (or be endorsed with) skills ranging from social, to managerial and technological. The platform also allows you to share posts, follow individuals, join groups and instant message. And that’s just basic LinkedIn! There are plenty of extra additions you can utilize if you’re planning to use it for marketing, needless to mention the opportunities to run paid advertising campaigns.
It’s a constantly growing platform with endless possibilities for those looking to use it for B2B marketing, so let’s make sure we’re getting the most out of it!
Why use it?
It’s all very well us talking about LinkedIn and what it does, but as B2B marketers, we need to look at the facts- why should we use it? We’ve done our research and deciphered four key reasons-
1) Audience size- LinkedIn has over 500 million members, and they’re aiming for 3 billion! 61 million of them are senior level influencers, and 40 million are in decision-making positions. This gives you a huge amount of global reach in your prospecting efforts- all those people are there at your fingertips!
2) Usage- This is a huge amount of members, but what if they only log on once a month? No worries there! 40% of LinkedIn’s active monthly users are on the platform daily consuming content and interacting with businesses. Added to this, every month, 63 million different people use their mobile to access their LinkedIn account, meaning it not only has an enormously active membership- they’re also using it on the move (and maybe out of work!).
3) Age group- This is a huge positive for LinkedIn. It’s the only major social media platform with an equal number of members aged 30-49 as it does aged 18-29. This eliminates the fear that social media only appeals to millennials (it does have 87 million millennial members, 11 million of which are decision makers), and lets us know that business decision makers are not only very present on LinkedIn, but indeed very active!
4) Focus- This is the true strength of LinkedIn- its business focused! A true B2B social media tool if ever there was one. People login and use it to search businesses, engage with businesses and learn about the future of their business and industry. 55% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn to search for venders and research their solution, so a presence on the platform is essential. Added to this, the information LinkedIn gathers and displays is intensely useful for B2B marketers. You know a prospect's organization, industry, job title all at a glance; this makes it easy to carry out specifically targeted marketing, aimed at those you can be sure will have an interest or even a need for what you offer.
5) BONUS! It works- Companies that use LinkedIn to generate leads see it produce 80.33% of their social media leads (Facebook and Twitter only providing a combined total of 19.46 %!). It’s also cheaper! 90% of B2B marketers reduced their cost-per-lead by upping their LinkedIn activity above any other social media.
But how do I use LinkedIn to generate leads?
Now we know why you should be getting your LinkedIn strategy in check, here’s some tips on how to get started!
- Profile – Start at the beginning. Your profile is crucially important if using it to boost B2B marketing. Think of it like a website, it needs to have no gaps in information, professional images and a regularly updated feed of content. Include a CTA too- it can be as simple as “message me to learn more about human resources tech”- but it’s there, and it encourages conversation.
- Business page – If your business doesn’t already have a page on LinkedIn-then get one going! This is the page that all your company’s employees can attach to and anyone searching your business will go to. Make sure it’s packed out with as much information as possible, from contact number and organization details to images of your logo and a CTA. For many B2B buyers, this may be the first time they come across your brand, so get across what you do, and why you’re the best.
- Personal messaging- Much like an email campaign, using the LinkedIn “Sales Navigator” you can get a message to an individual’s inbox. This cannot be automated in the same way an email campaign is, however, you can use an advanced search function to bring up a list of prospects that match your buyer persona exactly- so you know who to message! One SaaS organization saw their LinkedIn Inmail messaging bring them 11x more leads than an email campaign. It’s got to be worth a try!
- Group sharing – LinkedIn also lets you get your message out to the masses. With ready-made groups, you can search an industry, or job title and get a huge amount of people who have opted into a group to share and discuss information about that subject. This is the perfect place to promote your product/solution and grow your brand awareness. Companies have seen 86.3% of LinkedIn leads generated come from sharing your brand on groups and interacting with the comments. Make sure the group is relevant to your buyer persona, and you’re good to go!
- Content upload- Out of all the LinkedIn users, only 3 million of them share content weekly. This is a tiny number looking at the platforms membership- so there’s definitely a niche to fill when it comes to posting content. Whether it’s on your personal profile or in groups, you need to get your content out there. Every week, there are 9 billion impressions on the LinkedIn feed from content alone- think of the exposure!
- Referrals and connections – This is useful for both marketing and sales. Use an add-on like LinkedIn Helper to aid you in making connections with people from specific industries and job titles, then you can message them personally and spark up a conversation. Add your current clients too- every connection you make opens up an average of 400 people you can network with; and as 91% of your clients are happy to make a referral (but only 11% of sales people ask for them), request one! You never know how many leads you might generate.
Social media isn’t just for the young generation to make the most of- it’s for everyone! And LinkedIn continues to ensure it’s a platform B2B organizations everywhere can benefit from. The chances are, you’re already using it, and if you’re not- you definitely know enough to get started now, we'd say it's on of the best B2B marketing tools out there!
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Free guide - Effective multi-channel models for marketing and sales is full of ideas about how you can use LinkedIn to revolutionize your B2B marketing strategy! Download for free today...