Lead generation is a priority for any company that wants to drive consistent and reliable revenue. Brands use a variety of sales and marketing tactics to generate leads, including social media marketing.
While business-to-consumer (B2C) companies typically focus on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, business-to-business (B2B) have another weapon in their social media arsenal: LinkedIn, the largest professional online network in the world.
Why LinkedIn Is Key in B2B Lead Generation
Lead generation is the process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a company’s products or services. This process is an essential component of any marketing strategy as it allows brands to identify and nurture potential customers through the sales funnel in order to convert them into paying customers.
Designed specifically for professionals and businesses, LinkedIn is the top paid and organic social media channel for B2B businesses. In fact, 82% of B2B marketers report succeeding the most on this platform, which has more than 900 million users worldwide.
LinkedIn is very effective for B2B lead generation because LinkedIn members visit the platform looking for networking opportunities and content in order to advance their careers or get new business.
The platform allows businesses to target specific industries, job titles and geographic locations, among other user characteristics. In addition, LinkedIn provides users with a range of tools and features designed specifically for B2B companies.
LinkedIn’s typical audience includes professional decision-makers with purchasing power, giving B2B brands an opportunity to reach and communicate directly with potential customers and turn them into paying customers.
Here are some tips on how to use LinkedIn to generate B2B leads.
1. Optimize Your Company Profile
Your company’s LinkedIn profile is the first thing customers see when they come across your page on the platform. It should be complete and up-to-date, with a clear and concise description of your business, your products and/or services. It should also speak directly to your target audience.
Pro Tip: Make sure everyone in your leadership team has a strong LinkedIn profile and is active on the platform.
2. Build a Network
LinkedIn is all about building relationships, so it’s important to connect with as many relevant contacts as possible. Reach out to colleagues, clients and industry peers, and interact with your network frequently.
3. Post Engaging Content
Posting valuable, engaging content on a regular basis is a good way to build your brand and generate leads. Share news, trends and insights that will be of interest to your target audience, and use a variety of formats, such as text, video and photos, videos.
By publishing industry-relevant content, you can help position your company as a knowledgeable source and establish credibility with potential customers.
4. Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is a social platform, so be social. Join groups centered around industry-relevant interests and strike conversations with people who may need or want your products and/or services. Consider creating your own group to showcase your expertise and learn more about your target audience.
Active group members usually share information about common industry pain points and how they wish companies would address these issues. Use this information to create hyper-targeted value propositions when you reach out to them.
5. Use Sponsored Content and Ads
LinkedIn paid content, such as text and display ads, sponsored content and sponsored InMail, can be very useful in lead generation campaigns to ensure that the right people get your message. Consider using the platform’s Sales Navigator, a premium tool that provides advanced search options, lead recommendations and real-time insights to help you find and connect with the right people.
6. Leverage Connections With Existing Customers
You can use LinkedIn’s networking potential for lead generation. Connect with current customers and exchange information. Strengthen your relationships with them. Ask for referrals or references. Get in touch with someone they know who matches your customer profile. However, pushy, spammy and sales requests.
7. Be Present and Active
Just like any other social media platform, LinkedIn requires consistency. If you don’t spend time there, you won’t get to know anyone there. Showing up once in a while, posting an article and disappearing won’t work. You need to communicate consistently with your target audience and your leads.
B2B brands looking to generate leads should not overlook social media, especially LinkedIn. With its massive professional user base and range of tools and features, the platform is a powerful B2B marketing tool.
Do you need help with your B2B lead generation strategy? Our team of digital marketers and social media experts can help you create and execute a comprehensive, results-driven social media strategy. Talk to us.