The growing prominence of LinkedIn use by B2B organisations means it is a powerful lead generation platform. Daniel Tolliday offers four tips to help B2B marketers best use LinkedIn
It can become increasingly challenging for B2B organisations trying to get the most out of LinkedIn. This article will show you how LinkedIn can help shape your company’s online presence by engaging followers while ultimately generating leads for your organisation.
LinkedIn’s use by Australian B2B marketers is growing substantially each year. According to research conducted by Green Hat, 68% of participants cited LinkedIn as their key social media network in 2011. As you will see below, by 2014, this number grew drastically to 88%.
LinkedIn has evolved into a powerful lead generation platform. Some of its features, such as LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Pulse can be used as a means for positioning your organisation as an industry leader, solidifying your position in the market. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.
1. Become more active in LinkedIn groups
You’d be surprised at how many organisations simply don’t bother participating in LinkedIn Groups. Sure, they will be happy to post their content in target groups and hope that people will click through to the website – but the reality is they’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to stimulate discussion, increase thought leadership and facilitate the lead nurturing process.
Perhaps the most important aspect of being active in LinkedIn Groups is identifying which ones to join and knowing how to contribute to them. Start by short listing the most relevant groups to your industry and location and narrow down the list by pinpointing groups with the most activity. Pursuing inactive groups is obviously going to waste your time.
Examine each group’s statistics to rank them from best to worst. Don’t select too many; this way you can be active in the ones that matter the most. By clicking the gear icon you will have access to information such as where members are located, their job role function and level of seniority within an organisation.
When you have finally selected a list of target groups, you can start actively participating in conversion. Just remember not to come across as being too ‘salesy’. Instead, provide value first and position yourself as a subject matter expert.
2. Utilise the LinkedIn publisher tool
This tool really is an untapped resource for B2B organisations. If you’re not sure what it is, the LinkedIn publisher tool – also known as LinkedIn Pulse – is a feature that was opened up to all LinkedIn users in 2014. Similar to a blog, you can write an article and publish it to LinkedIn. Your network is notified of the post and it is exposed to readers from all around the world. To amplify, share it across your social media channels for maximum reach.
One important thing to remember about LinkedIn Pulse is that long-form content performs the best. By consistently publishing quality long-form articles, you’re opening your organisation up to a whole new world of opportunities for lead generation.
Best of all, you are free to include links pointing to useful sections of your website (or others) and can even include images and videos to further increase your chances of engagement. Be certain to also include relevant keywords in your post to give it the best chance of being found by prospects searching for your organisation’s area of expertise in Google.
3. Optimise your LinkedIn company page
The humble company page is one of the most commonly overlooked parts of LinkedIn. What many organisations don’t realise is that this page can be an effective way to send targeted traffic straight to their website. And while the majority do include basic information about their organisation – such as the industry, location and even the size of their company – to get the most out of LinkedIn they should also include information about how they can help visitors reach their goals and become more successful.
Give potential leads a reason to visit your website by offering an incentive. Sure, it’s great to show your human side by featuring images of your employees and showcasing your work – but this can often do very little to generate leads. Consider using the banner section to offer your most valuable content, like an eBook or white paper your audience is likely to find useful. The more useful the content, the higher the chance they will want to visit your website.
Frequent updates are equally as important. When you regularly share information linking to your website, visitors will engage with it and build trust with your organisation. Remember to also include clear call-to-actions and post your updates often – at least once a day is a solid starting point.
But even more importantly, ensure your employees are actively engaging with your company page and sharing posted updates with their own followers to help amplify your content.
4. Keep active!
Having a presence on LinkedIn isn’t simply about having a company page and posting a status every now and then. Your organisation must engage with audiences to build meaningful relationships that have the potential to transform into leads and sales.
The tips mentioned in this article are a good starting point, but the best way to succeed with LinkedIn is to use it every day and provide as much value as possible. It won’t happen overnight – but your organisation could be generating hundreds of leads quicker than you thought possible.
This article was originally published on Niche Media’s Marketingmag.com.au and authored by Daniel Tolliday, inbound editor at Green Hat.