Do you know LinkedIn good enough to crack the code for B2B success? Most marketers are familiar with LinkedIn basic features, but not all of them know it well enough to leverage the network for lead generation. Social selling has been around for a while, but in 2016 creating social relationships to drive business is a top priority for anyone in B2B marketing.
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With all these millions of professionals in one place, surely there’s some way to open up the floodgates to leads, isn’t there?
Sure, you might accidentally catch a few falling leads, but in order to really win you need to do your own prospecting, LinkedIn style. How do you cut through the crowd of job seekers, and find the qualified people to do business with?
In this article, we will show you 5 smart ways to use LinkedIn for B2B marketing.
1. Enhance your company’s LinkedIn page
In order to make leads from LinkedIn, you have to be intentional. Leads don’t just fall into your lap. You work for them.
The best way is to turn your business or company page into a lead generation page. This is a course reversal from the typical company page, which shows basic information and facts about the company. Who reads that stuff anyway?
Your company page is a pipeline for LinkedIn leads to visit your actual company website.
What you can do is structure your company page in such a way that it leads up to a conversion action. The conversion action is a clickthrough to your website, either in the company description or Recent Updates.
First, use an image that gets attention or creates interest.
The header image is the first way to attract a user’s interest.
Second, create a clear and compelling pitch in your company description.
This is where many companies falter. The company description should not be a dry explanation of how much you grew, and how many offices you’ve opened. That’s not the stuff of lead generation.
Instead, you want to speak directly to your target audience, and invite them to convert.
The most important part of your company description is the first two-ish lines, because that’s all that LinkedIn displays. In order to read the rest of the description, the user must click “see more.” You’ve got to grab the user with your first couple of sentences, or they won’t read all that sparkling copy you created.
That’s the path of the user who is interested in finding out more about your company — a prospect. It’s up to you to make your company website as conversion-ready as possible.
Third, make your Recent Updates section clickable and conversion-focused.
Just in case prospects don’t click through your company website on the company information section, you want to get them in the Updates.
As long as you’re regularly posting updates, you’ll have an active and engaging feed. The best way to gain leads from this section is to post updates that are directly aimed at your target audience. You can post blog updates, link to your infographics, and share other information, but keep this in mind: You’re looking for clickthroughs from information-seekers.
2. Create a showcase page
LinkedIn created showcase pages for companies to promote individual brands that are extensions of the company.
Showcase pages are the perfect way to segment your inbound LinkedIn traffic. If you can create a business unit that is directly connected to a specific target audience, then you are in a position to create a Showcase page.
From your company page, click “Edit” and “Create a Showcase Page.” See complete instructions here.
Showcase pages were basically custom-made for B2Bs to better generate leads. LinkedIn writes, “It makes sense to create a Showcase Page when you want to represent a brand, business unit, or company initiative. These pages are intended develop long term relationship with a specific audience.”
3. Use Advanced Search
So far, I’ve explained two inbound techniques for gaining leads. Now, I want to explain how to go out and find your prospects. They may not come find you, but you can go find them.
LinkedIn’s advanced search gives you an incredible way of identifying the exact type of people who you are targeting.
From the LinkedIn header menu, click the search people icon, and the advanced option.
Even without the upgraded LinkedIn membership, you have a great filter for narrowing down your search.
4. Search Groups
Searching for people is a very detailed and granular approach to looking for leads. It’s a great approach, but there’s another one: Groups.
A great way to find blocks of leads is to search for groups, join these groups, maintain some level of activity in these groups, and nurture leads in that way.
Simply perform a simple group search using relevant keywords.
5. Publish Content
LinkedIn has a powerful content publishing platform. When you first log in to the site, click on the pencil icon within the status update bar. You’ll be able to access a writing platform.
Write about changes to your industry, your thoughts on upcoming business legislation that impacts your niche or an article about the lessons you’ve learned as a business owner. There’s no limit to what you can write about. The idea is to showcase your knowledge. Show the B2B world that your business knows its stuff.
— Social Network Bible (@SocialNetBible) September 14, 2015
LinkedIn members who are publishing report that they’ve experienced a lot of success.
Do you have positive experience with B2B marketing on LinkedIn? Please share with us in the comments.