This is an excerpt from the ebook, Could LinkedIn Be Your Lead Gen Secret Weapon, authored by Tricia Akins and Bruce McDuffee.
Most business people think of LinkedIn as a networking tool, which it is first and foremost. However, the real power of LinkedIn is the potential for generating qualified leads for your sales pipeline. Like most digital marketing tools, there are free and paid versions of LinkedIn. And the free version works well in many cases. But LinkedIn offers some paid ways to gain exposure for your business, too. You can pay for clicks or impressions to get your message in front of a much broader audience with Text Ads, Sponsored Content or Sponsored InMail. Other options include signing up for premium subscriptions such as the Business or Sales upgrades.
Many business owners and executives are simply too busy to figure out how LinkedIn can generate leads and grow your business. We are all inundated with advice about why the latest social media channel is the magic bullet for lead generation. But, LinkedIn is different. It is the number one professional network in the world, and research shows it leads other social sites regarding business to business (B2B) sales conversions. If you are a targeting a B2B audience, I strongly encourage you to reconsider LinkedIn as part of your sales success arsenal.
- LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate... almost 3 times higher than both Twitter and Facebook.
- LinkedIn drives more traffic to B2B blogs & sites than other social channels.
- 91% of professionals feel that LinkedIn is a credible source for professional content.
- 92% of B2B marketers leverage LinkedIn over all other social platforms.
- The demographics for LinkedIn’s 500+ million members are impressive! This makes it a valuable tool for companies that want to target an educated, influential, accomplished and affluent audience; 61 million senior-level influencers, 40 million decision makers, 10.7 million opinion leaders, 6.8 million C-level execs, 3 million MBA graduates
- LinkedIn is currently available in 200+ countries and 24 languages, so if your target market resides outside the U.S., take note!
- Basic membership is free.
LinkedIn as a Content Marketing Tool
There are a couple of ways you can share content and updates about your business or professional life on LinkedIn: Posts and LinkedIn Publishing for articles. Both of these are shared with your connections automatically. When they engage with your content, it then gets distributed to their connections, too!
Similar to other social media networks, LinkedIn Posts are a great way to share quick updates, photos, images, and links. Download this checklist for making post creation faster & easier.
Sharing your content, such as new or re-purposed blog posts, can be done via LinkedIn Publishing. Think of this as a blog on your website. This is not only effective for creating visibility for yourself, but also highlights your expertise and thought leadership. You can add images, videos, and links to your article on LinkedIn Publishing. Again, all at no cost.
LinkedIn Company pages cannot access LinkedIn Publishing. See best practices for LinkedIn articles on tips for creating articles that engage readers the most.
A best practice is always to keep all your updates business related. LinkedIn updates differ from other social networks in that they are business, not personal, updates. Now that you understand how leading salespeople use LinkedIn, you’re ready to leverage it for lead generation. If you are still unclear as to how to use LinkedIn on a daily basis, Walker-Stanley Communications can help. LinkedIn can have a strong ROI by shortening your sales cycle, reducing competition and generating more sales - definitely worth your time investment.