LinkedIn helps marketers, sales teams, and CXOs leverage a more professional setting than other social platforms, and more curated and contextual conversations to drive business growth. By leveling the communication playing field, it solves information asymmetries and helps businesses and decision makers connect on a more one-to-one basis. What does this mean for your outbound marketing efforts, though?
For organizations and professionals looking at LinkedIn to generate leads, there are number of great strategies that can help you reach the right clients with your compelling service offerings. We’ve already looked at how to transform your LinkedIn profile into an inbound marketing magnet. In this article, we’ll be looking at outbound marketing on LinkedIn. How do you succeed? And how do you strike the balance between marketing outreach and value-added two-way communication with your audience?
What Should You Prioritize: Inbound Or Outbound?
LinkedIn offers great prospects for inbound and outbound marketing. LinkedIn company pages and strong personal profiles are great ways to share relevant content with your audience and your connections, driving engagement. By posting regularly and engaging with your audience, you can quickly build up a following of professionals and decision makers within your domain, a massive source of potential inbound leads.
Your followers or connections who are passively or actively following and engaging with the content you share will most likely reach out to you when a need arises because they have seen how you work and the solutions you provide. What about outbound marketing?
For outbound, you need to rely on your connections, messaging, inMail and the ads functionality that LinkedIn offers. Let’s dive in and take a look at how you can use LinkedIn as a tool for outbound marketing. We’ll also look at how to strike the balance to maintain a healthy, long-term relationship with your LinkedIn audience.
Your LinkedIn Connections are Critical
Your connections are your greatest asset on LinkedIn. Building connections and relationships with these connections is critical. You need to invest time and energy into this for your outbound marketing efforts. Sending a connection request with the stock request message often leads to suboptimal results. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Personalize your connection request message. Tell leads how you know each other and why you are connecting. If you have met them at a conference or interacted with them before, give them this context. If you are connecting with them for a particular reason, then provide this reason.
- Before you connect, be sure that you have a great profile they can scan through. It is critical to have a fully completed and regularly updated profile with information that reflects both your work and your background. For someone who does not know you, your profile along with your message is their first impression of you and your brand.
- Try to engage with them prior to sending a request. If you have come across a relevant post they shared, like or comment with added insights. Look through their profile and identify ways that you can help them. This extra bit of research will give you context about the lead and whether or not they’re truly worth engaging.
If all goes well, your lead will accept your connection request. Getting connected will let you message them and also see their posts on a regular basis.
Starting a Conversation
Once you have established a connection, the next step is to start building a valuable, two-way relationship with them. There are a few ways to kickstart this process. A more long term and strategic approach would be to continually engage with them, offer help when you can, and open a channel of communication with them. Do this before you offer value and your lead is more likely to consider your pitch. Here are some of the ways you can nurture a long-term relationship
- Show that you care about their content. Follow their posts, comment on them with your views, and engage with the content they share. Simply reacting to a post is also great.
- Offer help when you can. Are they looking for references or information which you can help with? Can you share articles or other content that they may find interesting?
- Focus on just building the relationship. It would serve you well to do this on a sustainable long term basis and without any expectations. Remember, relationships last. Even if a lead can’t help in the short term, they might move to a different role or organization where they can provide you with value. Follow up with them and see if they need your support. Your patience will pay off.
In certain cases, approaching leads with a direct pitch that highlights the value you offer is also a great option. This works well if they have a need which you can satisfy with your product or service. Keep an eye out for posts from your connections where they’re on the lookout for specific products and service providers.
This approach might seem to be more transactional, but it can actually lead to more meaningful conversations with the right leads. You can reach out to leads through LinkedIn messaging, use InMail to communicate with people your network, or directly send them an email.
Continuity and Equal Value Are Important
For real long-term outbound marketing success on LinkedIn, it is important to think beyond transactional relationships. You need to balance your outbound approach with genuine value and help that you offer, no strings attached.
Thought leadership is a great way to do this. Share original and relevant content that is useful for your connections. Going beyond just helping build a relationship, this would also help you establish yourself as an authority on the domain.
A business relationship becomes successful when both parties get some value out of it. You need to be focused on offering help and being a reliable partner, beyond transactional conversations. Imagine a situation where you have made a pitch and the contact has turned down the offer. Here, still continuing to be a trusted and reliable contact will hold you in good stead when there is a need that comes up later. A shut it and forget it approach would be detrimental to your credibility and long term success.
LinkedIn offers you a great platform for your marketing initiatives. It is perfectly suited to nurturing professional connections and relationships that enable revenue growth for your organization. The focus is always on building long term relationships. This is what will give you the edge in the big picture.
When it comes to outbound marketing on LinkedIn, it’s important to strike a balance between audience engagement and cold pitches, ads, Inmails and other formats. Remember to provide value whenever possible. A successful outbound marketing campaign on LinkedIn can generate leads, boost your visibility, and drive revenue. Also, keep in mind that you also have the opportunity to engage with LinkedIn clients outside of the platform. If you want to reach out over direct mail, it's a great idea to export your leads with a tool like Wiza.
Are you looking to get started with LinkedIn Marketing? At Flying V Group, we have years of experience helping organizations and professionals generate consistent leads and revenue from LinkedIn. Talk to us to know more!
Thank you so much for reading Outbound Marketing with LinkedIn: Striking The Balance. We really appreciate it! If you have any questions about our article, or can suggest any other topics you think we should explore, feel free to let us know.
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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.