How to Generate Leads on LinkedIn: Insider Insights From The Vice President of Marketing
Social media is an invaluable tool for endeavors like lead generation and market research. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the traditional go tos – social media marketers have also begun to explore different ways to leverage the social capital of TikTok influencers for content creation. These aren’t the only social media platforms, of course, but they are the most popular. This is a double-edged sword. One the one hand, relying on the tried and true is a great foundation for a stable social media marketing strategy. But what about the underutilized platforms? They have a great deal of untapped potential for lead generation – untapped potential that your competitors could take advantage of if you aren’t careful. And adding them to an existing social media marketing strategy is a great way to further complement the structure that you’ve built.
LinkedIn is one such platform, which we can’t help but find surprising. After all, it’s intended to help professionals connect with each other, develop their skills, and seek out new opportunities. It’s especially useful for anyone in the world of B2B business and entrepreneurship, but even B2C businesses can take advantage of all it has to offer.
So how does one capitalize on LinkedIn’s potential? We’re glad you asked. Read on to learn more about what LinkedIn can do for you, straight from their very own marketing VP.
A Page from the Playbook
LinkedIn has a free product, LinkedIn Pages, that you can use to properly introduce yourself to the online world. It’s a place to showcase your identity, give others a feel for your branding and design, share original content, and your business’ contact information. Each one of these benefits can enhance your image and reputation, inspiring others to learn more about you and see what you have to offer, but that space for contact information serves an additional purpose. Presence alone is a great way to legitimize yourself, but having a website of your own looks good too. Your LinkedIn page can create a backlink to your website to boost your referral traffic numbers.
Exercise Executive Authority
So what about the faces of your company? The talent you wish to highlight? They’ll be visible on your LinkedIn Page, but that alone isn’t enough. Your executives and other important figures need to take time to cultivate a strong presence on the platform, which is arguably more important than building a Page. They’re going to bring that page to life, after all, with unique content that’s shared on their own profiles as well. Your Page is the place for surface information, but your employees are what will make it stand out.
Company leaders don’t need to focus on contributing their content elsewhere, of course. They can use their own personal profiles to post content they create themselves -which also goes on your page- as well as share content that matches their personal brand. This content can come from your website, or it can be content from credible sources. Better yet, they can share content that’s been written by someone on LinkedIn and tag them in it. You would be amazed at just how much a simple ‘Very insightful piece by [tag person here], thanks for sharing your thoughts!’ can accomplish.
Competent Content, Not Contentment
Let’s take a moment to focus specifically on content creation. It’s arguably the cornerstone to social media marketing, no matter what platform you’re using, and an important element of SEO. LinkedIn allows for both video and written content, which opens up a whole host of opportunities. Webinars and live events skyrocketed in popularity during the height of the pandemic, and their attractiveness persisted even when things started to slow down and the world began to reopen. Content consumers like convenience, so being able to watch from the comfort of their own home on their preferred device is always an appreciated gesture.
Written content can be treated much like a blog post on your own website (called an article), or used in short form content similar to a status update. This is nothing like the Facebook-style status updates but they can address the same subject matter in a more professional tone.
- Facebook appropriate- ‘OMG can’t wait to go on vacation next week, work is stressing me out’
- LinkedIn equivalent- ‘Burnout is very real and can be a serious detriment to your mental health, according to WHO. Remember to prioritize your health and well-being’, followed by a linked from a credible source such as WHO or NPR
- Facebook appropriate- ‘I seriously have the BEST mom ever!’
- LinkedIn equivalent- ‘Always take time to appreciate the important people in your life. A little gratitude goes a long way,’ followed by a nice looking family photo (used with permission, of course)
- Facebook appropriate- ‘Working from home is so rough lol. What are y’all doing to stay focused? I get soooooo distracted watching reality TV and get nothing done. #thestruggleisreal’
- LinkedIn equivalent- ‘Working from home has introduced a lot of challenges that traditional office jobs didn’t prepare us for. What are you doing to stay productive and proactive in your home office? #productivity #workingfromhome’, followed by a poll so people can answer the question
Your content strengthens your brand, showcases professionalism, and can even start some productive and intellectually stimulating conversations. Little communities can form around the things that you share. If someone Likes your content, keep an eye out for them in the future to see if they engage again. Multiple interactions suggest a lead. And remember, whenever one of your followers Likes something that you share, some of their connections will see it in their own newsfeed even if they aren’t following you. This further expands your reach, since people are more likely to pay attention to any content that their connections are engaging with.
Strength In Numbers
Speaking of communities, there are pre-existing spaces that you can use to identify leads and see the latest news your industry is abuzz with. LinkedIn has groups just like Facebook, and these can be used to nurture relationships with other industry professionals or potential clients. Pay attention to what your target market is saying in these groups – they’re sharing their pain points here, and simplifying your market research. You should remain especially vigilant if you work in direct sales so you can offer a high value solution that’s hyperfocused and tailor made to meet their needs.
As far as industry members go, this is a great place to spark conversations with like-minded folks and learn new things from those with more experience than you. It’s also a place to share your own ideas and let people get a feel for what you’re all about and what you have to offer. We strongly advise against shameless self-promotion, but we do encourage you to find creative ways to work your company into the conversation without sounding like you’re making an elevator pitch.
- Don’t say ‘That is an interesting idea. At (your company’s name here), we address these situations by utilizing methods such as…’
- Do say ‘That’s a problem our office is familiar with. We have found great success through (insert your solution here), but we’re always open to new ideas. I’ll keep your suggestions in mind. Thanks for sharing it!’
Or worse, sounding desperate.
- Don’t say ‘We have a similar product that we’re going to launch in January. If you have the time to take a look at our landing page I would love to hear your feedback’, followed a link to your landing page
- Do say ‘I noticed that your landing page has (unique or interesting feature about their landing page). That’s not something I see very often, but I think you’re using it in a very clever way. It’s sure to add a lot of value to the customer experience.’
These might be CEOs or thought leaders that you’re talking to, but behind their job title or reputation is another human being just like you. No one comes to LinkedIn to flaunt that stuff (and if they do, they really shouldn’t), so never feel intimidated or think you’re not ‘good enough’ to chime in.
Speaking of numbers, let’s talk about your budget. LinkedIn is free to use but it does have a variety of additional features and tools that you can pay for. Before you clutch your wallet in fear, keep this in mind- any money you put into your business should yield ROI. If it doesn’t, something is amiss. In other words, always spend wisely.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a tool that offers both a demo version and a free trial, so you can give it a whirl before purchasing it. As far as LinkedIn lead generation goes, it’s one of the best products. Why? It identifies and recommends leads to you. There’s an advanced search feature that you can use to look up leads and companies that can connect you with prospects. It even integrates with the CRM software you’re using.
If the idea of paid advertising or additional site features causes you to worry about breaking the bank, remember that you don’t have to do it. It’s just another technique that you can use to cultivate leads. Not having the budget for it doesn’t mean your approach is inferior, but trying to stretch your budget will cause more harm than good.
It goes without saying that your sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page (pun not intended here), but that can be more challenging now than ever before. We’re seeing a huge shift in consumer behavior which has impacted both marketing and advertising. Not only do both of your teams need to keep up with the changes, they need to keep in touch and make sure that their work is in alignment.
Consistent, Not Predictable
Stay consistent with your communication, your brand, and the tone of the content that you share on LinkedIn. Customer loyalty is built on reliability, and if you’re actively communicating here then they’re more likely to be active somewhere else (i.e. your website’s sales page). A brand is needed to build a reputation, and reputation can’t be built on something that’s inherently unstable. If your content is constantly changing subject matter and tone people will get confused; if you follow a rigid formula every time then people will get bored. Predictable and Inconsistent are two ends of the engagement spectrum; Consistent is the happy medium you need to aim for.
Speaking of consistency, we absolutely have to make mention of one other very important group of people – your existing customers and clients. Trying too hard to hunt down new leads is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make; if you’re constantly looking for new leads your existing customers will abandon you, and you’re essentially trading in the old for the new.
These existing customers are the reason that you reached the level of success that you have, and they’re going to propel you forward. Lead generation is a priority but it can never come at the expense of brand loyalty. If leads can see how well you treat your existing customers and clients you’re going to have a much easier time converting them.
Now, let’s apply this to LinkedIn. This platform is designed for networking above all else. Any other benefits come from networking efforts and strategies. And a great strategy to start with is asking for recommendations from existing clients. It accomplishes multiple things. First, your clients will feel valued and respected – reinforcing brand loyalty as a result.
Second, any recommendations they make for you are warm leads. They’re coming from a credible source which can pre-qualify these recommendations for you, so to speak, much like LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You already know some of their pain points and their priorities, making it easier to write up a personalized message. Anything that reads like a script is an immediate turn-off.
Three, LinkedIn is a hotbed of spam, gimmicks, and pushy sales people. A message received from a stranger is easy to ignore, but a message received from a connection of a connection leads to intrigue. These leads can look at your Page and your employee profiles to learn more about you and see if you’re worth their time. Better yet, if they know who made the recommendation they can refer to your client and ask for more information. This gives them reassurance that you can be trusted to help them out, and that you already know how to give them the value they deserve.
Taking advantage of LinkedIn’s core values of professionalism, growth, and networking is nothing new, but it is something that not nearly enough people are doing. Figuring out the best way to utilize its potential can be difficult, especially for smaller businesses who are laying the groundwork for the social media strategies. There’s another powerful tool that you can be using to optimize the strategies you implement- a long-term partnership with a growth strategist that prioritizes your growth goals and unique vision. You’ll have access to more resources, a wider talent pool, and can start building up the momentum you need to become an unstoppable authority figure in your industry.
If you’re ready to take the first step towards gold star branding and design, contact Gold Lion Tech today. We can’t wait to hear from you!