According to statistics, B2B companies get the majority of their leads from three different initiatives: email marketing, SEO, and social-media marketing. But if that’s the case, why does data from InsideSales suggest that these same companies are relying too heavily on social-media marketing when compared with how many leads it actually generates?
Possibly because marketers aren’t leveraging social media to its fullest potential.
Take LinkedIn, for example. There’s an argument to be made that there’s no better social platform for B2B marketing than this business networking site. But unlike Facebook, where the ad manager is fairly straightforward, LinkedIn remains a bit of a mystery for many marketers. Not to worry, because here we unveil some in-depth strategies to leverage LinkedIn to generate more qualified leads.
Add a great header image
Humans are visual creatures, so to attract your audience’s attention you need to appeal to them visually. The principal way to do this regarding a LinkedIn page is to add an attractive header image. That means using bold colors and cool graphics to hook the viewer, and then holding their attention with interesting content.
For example, maybe your company offers a cloud data solution that saves clients’ money on storage. Adding a couple specific figures and percentages of exactly how much cash they’re saving will whet your audience’s appetite and compel them to read further. So long as you hook them initially with that logo, image, and graphic, you’ll likely have their attention. That’s the point when you want to get them to take action of some kind, which brings us to step number two.
Optimize your company page with CTAs
LinkedIn at its core may be a social media site, but that doesn’t mean your company page needs to be a bland overview of your profile information. No potential leads are going online to read company profiles anyway, so how do you capture their attention? Simple: invite them to take action. Just like you want to have a CTA on the homepage of your website, so too do you want to have one on your LinkedIn company page. So, either in the company description or recent updates sections, add a CTA that directs viewers to your website, or to a mailing list signup in exchange for free content, or to an interesting LinkedIn post. The point is to get those leads to take some kind of action as opposed to just perusing biographical information.
Create a compelling pitch
Expanding on the point above, this pitch should be front and center in the “about us” section of your LinkedIn profile page. It used to be that only the first couple lines of the “about us” description were visible before clicking on the “see more” drop-down tab. However, now you have a couple (short) paragraphs to work with. But even though there’s more text visible on LinkedIn now, you still don’t want to waste it.
Many successful companies use their “about us” section to tout their growth, or boast about how many offices they have in various countries. While this may seem impressive on the surface, it does nothing to hook your target audience. It’s best to follow the lead of companies like SalesForce. If you go to their LinkedIn page, you won’t find any bragging. Instead you’ll find a simple and direct explanation of what they offer and whom it’s for: “Our mobile cloud technologies help companies connect with customers, partners, and employees in entirely new ways.”
In other words, their “about us” section is nothing more than an effective pitch to their target audience, and that’s just what yours should be too.
Make your updates clickable
As stated above, the goal of your LinkedIn page is to get prospects to click through and become qualified leads. In order to do this, you need to give them as much to click on as reasonably possible. To appeal to those prospects who are still looking at your LinkedIn page beyond the “about us” section, offer useful, relevant, and clickable info in the “recent updates” section of the page. This can be adding updates that link to a company blog, white paper, video clip—anything so long as its relevant to your brand and useful to your audience.
For examples you can look to the profile pages of many B2B companies that are doing clickable updates right. One such example is Accenture. The global professional services powerhouse uses their “recent updates” space to link to everything, from their website to blogs to video interviews to Twitter hashtag campaigns.
Find leads using LinkedIn’s filter search
If you don’t like the waiting that goes along with seeing if your inbound strategies pay off, then you can always strike out and search for qualified leads on your own. Doing this is a simple matter of using LinkedIn’s advanced search filtering. The basic filters are located at the header menu on LinkedIn’s home page, and with this you can narrow down searches by location, connections, and company. If you click on the “all filters” tab at the right-hand side of the menu, you can then narrow down even further, by such things as industry, past companies, school history, and more. If you’re specific about whom you’re looking for, then this simple filtering should net at least a few qualified leads.
If there’s an overarching theme to how to attract qualified leads via LinkedIn, it’s to keep your audience engaged. Keep them clicking and keep them wanting to know more about your brand. To do that, you have to know your audience, what they want, and communicate succinctly how you will deliver what they need. LinkedIn, when used right, is the perfect delivery device to do exactly that.