LinkedIn has transformed networking for working professionals. The platform is the primary source people turn to for many professional needs, from sales leads and content, networking, hiring and much more. With over 706 million users, almost 50% of whom are regular monthly users, LinkedIn is the platform brands need to be on to engage with B2B prospects and potential leads.
Why Does LinkedIn Matter for Marketing?
A staggering 63 million LinkedIn users are senior decisionmakers at their respective organizations. These are the people that can take an actionable decision on your pitch. If you’re looking for onboard content or marketing people, LinkedIn is also a great option: 94% of content marketers and 89% of marketers who actively use LinkedIn to generate leads. 64 percent of social media traffic to corporate websites originates on LinkedIn, meaning it is often the first point of contact leads have with your brand.
The numbers tell the story. If you work in the B2B space and you want to generate leads, linkedin search should be your first choice. But how do you optimize your LinkedIn profile to capture the audience’s attention? How do you get leads to reach out to you? In this article, we’ll be looking at actionable tips you can leverage to turn your LinkedIn presence into an inbound lead magnet.
Don't Treat LinkedIn Like Other Social Platforms
Unlike Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, LinkedIn isn’t meant to facilitate communication for the sake of communication. LinkedIn is all about professional networking with a purpose. Most LinkedIn users have a clear objective: connect with the right decisionmakers and partners to expand their professional prospects.
This doesn’t mean that LinkedIn is a purely transactional platform. Users tend to use the LinkedIn platform to consume content that is of interest to them, especially if it helps with problems they’re facing. They’re also on the lookout for people and businesses with the skillsets that can help them succeed. Top sales and marketing professionals leverage these needs to generate leads and build long-term relationships.
You can broadly divide LinkedIn lead generation approaches into two types: inbound and outbound. Inbound methods are designed to draw people to you. They involve sharing content and being seen as a thought leader in your particular domain. Your followers and those in your network who are interested in hearing what you have to say eventually become your future prospects. Outbound approaches generally involve messaging, InMail, and other LinkedIn features that let you directly connect with relevant people and share details about your products or services. We’ll be looking at outbound LinkedIn marketing in a later piece. For now, let’s look at what it takes to build a great inbound marketing presence.
Thought Leadership is Key
Every week, LinkedIn users rack up over nine billion content impressions. However, fewer than one percent of LinkedIn users share content more than once a week. In a situation where very few people are actually creating content, your thought leadership opportunities are immense. LinkedIn invests heavily in its content capabilities with dedicated editorial teams and an algorithm that favors content from your own network and company pages instead of mass influencers and viral material. This means that the content you share goes out to the people most relevant to you.
LinkedIn is a great platform for you to share your professional wisdom and outlook to an audience that’s interested in this. LinkedIn currently allows a variety of content formats including short posts, native articles, native video, slides and blogs and videos from other sources. LinkedIn also gives you good analytical capabilities to track and measure the engagement you are getting on the content. Consistently posting insights, measuring performance and iterating will help you build a dedicated audience interesting in your thought leadership.
When you’re starting out, make sure you create original content that resonates with the network you have built. It is important to keep one thing in mind though – you might not see a lot of likes and comments on your posts in the beginning or even after the first couple months. But be assured that there is a silent audience that follows your content and there could be potential leads in this audience too. Many users are passively consuming content and assessing your value as a partner. They might not currently have a requirement for the product or service you offer, but that might change and you’ll be at the top of their contact list.
Focus on Two-way Engagement
LinkedIn is all about building relationships, both for right now and the future. One of the critical things to keep in mind while you are trying to establish your presence is that it is important to engage with others and their content too. You can’t just post your content, sit back, and expect your targets and connections to engage with you. You need to actively engage with them, too.
One of the best ways would be to offer help to those in need. Can you offer your mentorship to a younger professional? Can you create and share content with members of a group on topics that you are an expert in so that they can learn too? Can you help those in need find jobs by sharing an “Open to work” post?
Follow the golden rule on LinkedIn: engage with others the way you would like to be engaged with. This is key to becoming a thought leader and a trusted partner on the platform.
Consistency and Persistence Matter
Your profile won’t transform into a lead magnet overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence to build a LinkedIn presence that consistently generates inbound leads. You need to create content that is interesting and helpful for your audience on a consistent basis. Stick to a dedicated schedule where you have to spend time on LinkedIn every day to both create content as well as to engage with others.
Consistency is key. Using LinkedIn in a start-stop manner won’t do much to benefit your profile. Remember that the quality of content you are sharing matters. Don’t share something just for the sake of sharing it. Be authentic, too. Your content should speak about who you are, and project a unique voice.
LinkedIn, if used intelligently, has the potential to be a gamechanger for your lead generation strategy. But building a LinkedIn profile that stands out and turns into a source of great inbound leads requires planning, effort, and proper execution. You need to be consistent, authentic, and most importantly, offer solutions to the problems faced by potential leads. There are millions of content creators on LinkedIn, so you need to offer something of value that your audience actually wants to engage with. Being original and solution-oriented is your best bet.
Dedicate time each day to build your LinkedIn profile, reach the right people, connect with them personally and engage with those in your network. Be persistent without being pushy and you'll see those inbound leads start to come in all by themselves.
If you’re wondering how to get started on your LinkedIn marketing, talk to the experts here at Flying V Group. We help organizations transform their LinkedIn marketing strategies and consistently generate inbound LinkedIn leads. Drop us a line here!
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.