It’s safe to say that LinkedIn is one of the best social platforms B2B professionals can utilize to improve brand awareness, network to prospects, and gain visibility of their products or services. If you have a LinkedIn profile yourself, it’s most likely you’ve been on the receiving end of marketing strategies that have been employed by related brands.
As with most things, there are two sides to the coin when it comes to LinkedIn B2B marketing. You’ve either seen marketing efforts or campaigns that were convincing enough to get your nod of approval and moved you to action. Or, on the flip side, some made you cringe or irritated.
So in this post, we list the most effective LinkedIn automation and LinkedIn lead generation marketing strategies to get positive responses from your target audience (without being too pushy).
Before diving into the strategies, let’s first consider why taking advantage of LinkedIn is essential for B2B brands.
LinkedIn was initially launched as a resume and job posting site. However, with time, it’s shifted to be a gold mine for potential leads that businesses can market to.
Currently, LinkedIn has 810 million members in over 200 countries with 22% of the users actively using it daily. Additionally, 61 million of these users are managers or senior-level executives and 40 million are in decision-making positions.
What’s more significant is, 92% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn over other platforms and 80% of B2B leads on social media are from LinkedIn.
These stats show that leveraging LinkedIn for B2B marketing has huge potential for revenue that B2B marketers shouldn’t miss.
Additionally, LinkedIn has been positioned to be a social platform where users can network professionally, thus making it an excellent platform to run marketing campaigns. It provides a great avenue for brands and professionals to engage with others bearing in mind their business goals.
Lastly, it’s equipped with precise targeting through its data analytics engine so that campaigns can be targeted to your ideal customers.
One of the biggest driving factors in using LinkedIn for B2B engagements is the volume of conversions. So, what effective measures can you use to reach your goals? Let’s consider six strategies you can employ.
A cost-free way to have a distinctive advantage on brand awareness is to have a LinkedIn page for your business. Creating a LinkedIn page gives your brand its own space inside the platform where you can post and share content and where leads and customers can comment, like, and share the content to their network. All of this is a great way of increasing your reach.
Not only is creating a LinkedIn company page totally free, the process is straightforward, which makes it really easy to do. Firstly you need to have an individual account so you can create the company page. This makes you the immediate administrator of the company page but you can add page managers later on. It’s best when creating your account, that you use your work/company email address for professionalism and to heighten credibility.
To use your account to create a company page, the requirements are:
Your profile should at least be 7 days old
Your profile must contain your real, first and last name
It should have an “intermediate” or “all-star” rank
You should be listed as an employee of the company under the “experience” section of your profile
You should have a significant number of connections
The company should have a unique website and email - “@gmail.com” email addresses will not be accepted
When these requirements are met, you can move forward to creating the company page. To do this, log in to your profile and then click the “work” icon found on the top right corner of the browser. Scroll to the button until you see the “Create a Company Page” option and click on it.
Choose the page type relevant to your company. It can either be:
Medium to large business
Then simply add a logo, cover image, and company description that will reflect your company. A good practice is to make the cover image visually appealing to catch the attention of users as it's one of the first things they’ll see on the page.
In the description section, make sure the details are up-to-date and any recent awards, recognitions, and certifications should be mentioned to add credibility to your brand.
To optimize it further, leverage target keywords that prospects are using for queries when searching for your products and services. A key to moving them to action is to remember to add a clear ‘call to action’ to direct them to the next action they should make.
If your company is operating in multiple locations, it’s also good to mention this, so that potential users will know if your products and services cover their areas.
As you’re populating the page with posts, ‘pin’ the most important ones, so that users will not miss them and consider including community hashtags to increase their organic reach even further.
Joining LinkedIn groups connected to your brand is an outbound strategy that gives you free niche outreach. Many marketers overlook joining groups when they focus too much on content and ad marketing, but joining groups shouldn’t be ignored.
By actively conversing and participating in group discussions, your brand will get more recognition and you will be in a better position to build trust and credibility. This will allow you to get ‘closer’ to high-quality potential leads and companies that you can do business with.
More and more marketers are seeing the potential of this strategy because as LinkedIn reports, conversations between users increased by 55% from 2020 to 2021.
Professional networking is one of the major purposes of this platform. Unlike other social sites, such as Facebook and Instagram which are mainly for peer connection and entertainment, those who become part of LinkedIn only have business-related interactions in mind. Business tasks and deals are increasingly shifting virtually, giving you more reason to take advantage of this strategy.
One key point to keep in mind is that you can’t join groups using your company page, you have to use your personal profile for this, so it has to look professional and reflect your brand as much as possible.
To find groups, click on the “work” icon to reveal the icon for groups.
You can also take advantage of the search bar on the homepage and type in terms related to your target audience. For instance, if you’re looking to work with specialists such as website developers, you might type in “programmers” or “coders” for example.
Joining groups is part of prospecting for leads. Do it correctly and you’ll be in line to sell millions of dollars/euros worth of products or solutions to your target businesses.
So why is LinkedIn good for this? LinkedIn users expect business-related engagements. When you reach out to them with a proposal or an offer, it won’t come as a surprise; on some level, they are expecting it. Commercial intent is part of the reason why people are using this platform.
With LinkedIn group conversations, you’ll be able to build credibility before you even start marketing to prospects, so a level of trust will already have been built.
Conversing in groups is one way of building rapport and trust before reaching out to potential customers. Another effective way is to provide value using insightful and actionable content. Think of it as an initial investment to get to know your customers’ needs and wants by seeing how they respond and consume your content - a step to building a relationship with them.
Creating blogs and case studies prove to be invaluable tools in content marketing. (You can see Dux-Soup doing exactly this here - with our articles on LinkedIn lead generation tips). Marketers still leverage it because it’s been seen to still be effective in helping you to develop thought leadership. The more you discuss niche topics, the better you’ll be seen as an authority in it. When questions about that niche arise, users will turn to you for insight on the matter.
As you gain authority in thought leadership, not only will your content be trusted, but the products, services, and solutions you promote will too. It will cement your position as an expert in the industry and will build your credence.
Additionally, by creating content, you will stay on your prospects’ radar. Once you make initial contact with them in group discussions or on the first blog they read on your page, you have to ensure that they’ll come back for more by supplying them with a steady stream of actionable content.
As much as you can, publish posts weekly and make status updates become a daily habit. You can even engage further by using simple surveys as your status update. Doing this ensures you keep appearing on your leads’ network. Whether long posts or short updates, the important thing is to keep in touch with your audience to keep your relevance and instill your brand in their minds.
You can publish posts on LinkedIn and also share links to your website to help increase your organic traffic. It’s also opportune to leverage social share buttons on your content. When readers find it valuable, they can easily share it on their social channels (including LinkedIn) and widen their business’ reach even further. Axonify have done this with their Learning Management System blog.
Lastly, value isn’t just communicated via the content you publish on your page or website. By engaging in your connections’ content, you won’t just be able to build rapport, you’ll also be able to draw their interest back to check out your page and content in return.
If you have enough budget for marketing, you can also venture into paid ads. A key thing to remember here is that it can cost a significant amount before you start to find the perfect lead-converting formula for your ads. There will be a lot of experimentation in between so you have to be patient with this strategy.
Is it the best ad channel to leverage though? It largely depends where your target audience usually hangs out. This, too, will be realized as you test out your ads.
Added to this consideration, you should also think about the following factors:
Is LinkedIn the platform that my target audience primarily engage with?
How much reach does my brand have in other media channels like Facebook, Google, Instagram, etc? Is it greater than LinkedIn?
Will my product’s average sale size cover the cost of LinkedIn advertising?
If you answer yes to the majority of the questions, then LinkedIn advertising is something you can invest in.
While you can always adapt paid ads at the start of your marketing funnel, you can also leverage it later when you already have a pool of high-quality potential customers to market to. With LinkedIn, you can also run retargeted ads based on your website visitors.
Through the years, LinkedIn has continuously upgraded its paid advertising functionality. Now it comes with the new Matched Audiences functionality where you can retarget website visitors, email contacts, and existing accounts with ads.
By using ads as a retargeting strategy, you’ll know exactly who to advertise to, which will obviously be more cost-effective for you.
Additionally, when configuring ad settings, be as specific as you can. If you’re offering growth hacking solutions, configure your ads to appear to startups, if you’re offering a calls solution like a predictive dialer, configure the ad to appear to businesses who use cold calling software.
Email marketing is also something you can leverage to build relationships with your LinkedIn connections. As you connect with more people and engage with more users on LinkedIn, send them a direct message thanking them for interacting with you and then invite them to join your mailing list.
LinkedIn has a feature where you can send bulk messages and also provide a contact signup form to capture email addresses. However, for them to be enticed to sign up, you have to offer something valuable. Tell them what benefits they can get by signing up to your email list.
As part of their marketing solutions, LinkedIn also offer sponsored messaging, so you may consider taking advantage of this. With this solution, you can reach your audience in a more personal way. You can also use this to keep prospects engaged by interactive messages that offer free trials or educate users about your services. Using it will accelerate the lead pipeline.
The last invaluable tool you can use for LinkedIn B2B marketing is its events feature. You can leverage this in two ways:
I. Create An Event
Create an event to pool together your prospects in one place. You can use this to slowly inch in your pitch while offering them interesting activities that they can engage in.
II. Scrape For Events
Scout for upcoming relevant events on LinkedIn. Joining them will increase your network and get you closer to prospects you can nurture. Once you join an event, you’ll see who else is attending and you can filter the list to connect with highly relevant prospects. With LinkedIn automation tools you can send automatic connections requests, or automate profile visits and download your LinkedIn list to Excel.
The key to making a success out of events is first identifying who your target market is and second, ensuring that they’ll be present in the events you’ll be participating in. If you’re hosting the event, provide something that will tease their interest to join.
Once you can make a success of this, you can then move forward and design a personalized outreach strategy for those who you identify as high-quality leads.
You’ll only know if you’ve reached your goals if you have metrics that monitor your marketing performance. When your marketing strategies are underway, run performance monitoring features along with it.
Tracking your progress will allow you to:
Understand which strategies are working and which aren’t
Find the blockers for poor-performing strategies and work where improvements are needed
Improve your brand messaging and the way you reach out to suit their preferences
Determine your acquisition costs and ROI
Depending on your B2B marketing goals, whether its brand awareness or driving engagements and conversions, some of the KPIs you can use to track performance are:
Impression, reach, and views
Likes, shares, and comments (engagements)
For this, you can use LinkedIn Analytics and Google Analytics to track website activity that’s generated from your LinkedIn B2B efforts.
Select some LinkedIn lead generation strategies to start with, preferably those that don’t involve heavy spending like ads. This way, you’ll make the most value for your marketing budget.
As a ballpark idea, startups who need more brand awareness can start with company page creation, outreach using group conversation engagements, and content creation. Large companies with more generous marketing budgets can leverage ads.
Whatever you decide to start with, the key factor to consider when leveraging LinkedIn B2B marketing strategies is if your target audience is spending much of their time on this platform. Unless they do, you’ll be wasting your time and effort for minimal results.
Don’t forget - prospects with commercial intent are proven to be ‘hanging out’ in this platform, so it’s just a matter of narrowing down your audience to those relevant to your brand.
Try out these LinkedIn lead generation strategies yourself and see how it helps to scale your reach, increase your volume of engagements, and boost your number of conversions! And who knows - maybe you too could soon be looking at 100,000+ visits per month!
Burkhard Berger is the Founder of Awesomex. Looking for his next challenge, Burkhard set up the company, to investigate ’how to build up organic traffic from 0 - 100,000 visitors per month, without investing huge amounts of money on SEO’ - using the business as a ‘real-time case study’ he focuses on growth through backlinks and SEO - using his experience in Affiliate Marketing to ‘find the missing traffic’.
Handle your entire sales pipeline, track your performances, and in the end, close more deals.