A recent surveyof nearly 2,000 B2B marketers found that LinkedIn is the most valuable marketing channel — even better for getting leads and networking than Twitter and Facebook. The LinkedIn platform has a reputation as a place for professionals — more so than the other social networking sites — and remains an ideal channel for corporate storytelling. Marketing firms, including Mod Girl’s team of digital marketers , use the following strategies to get the most bang for client buck out of their LinkedIn B2B marketing efforts.
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1. Make the most of your experience with a premium account.
If you have the budget for an extra $59.99 a month, give LinkedIn’s 30-day trial premium membership a whirl. With a business account, you’ll be able to access advanced search results for leads, view the expanded profiles of everyone on the site, send email to 10 – 25 people beyond your network, and see who has viewed your profile over the last 90 days. With the Sales plan ($79.99/month), you’ll also receive custom lead recommendations and sales insights. According to Fast Company, you should consider the upgrade if you’re looking to expand your business network, land a job, recruit talent, or conduct sales.
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2. Set up your page to attract leads.
Your LinkedIn profile should show prospects what you do and how you can help them. Craft statements that establish street cred and talk about benefits, rather than features. Answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” More specifically:
– Add obvious searchable keywords to the specialties tab.
– Choose a thought-provoking cover photo that tells your business story.
– Speak directly to your audience and invite them to learn more.
– Place emphasis on the first two lines so prospects click to “see more.” You want to use this space to identify target audience, submit a value proposition, or introduce a service.
– Tell people what you’ve helped your clients achieve so they know what type of results you are capable of achieving for them.
– Make it easy for people to find your contact information.
– Include links to your best content pieces: eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, etc.
– Tell people what to do. Use call to action phrases.
– Use the word YOU more than I.
– Maintain an active, engaging “updates” feed with links to blogs, infographics and groups.
Here is a screenshot of my Linkedin profile, which I am constantly tweaking for greater performance. Use it as a guide to help you craft your ideal Linkedin profile that speaks directly to your prospective clients:
Click to enlarge
If you want to see my entire profile, connect with me:
3. Participate in groups.
Visit the Interests tab to access a list of recommended groups that may fit your business. Join a few of these to post discussions, participate in relevant conversations and show off your business acumen. You can participate in up to 50 groups, so choose wisely. Make sure you select groups that are medium-sized and “very active” so your comments are more likely to be seen. You can also start your own group to gain leadership and recognition within your industry. Check out Social Media Examiner’s post on “How To Build A Thriving LinkedIn Group.”
4. Publish original content that demonstrates thought leadership.
Apply for access to LinkedIn Publisher, which will allow you to post long form content and exponentially increase your audience size. This is an ideal way to showcase your knowledge. Share lessons learned in the field, comment on upcoming legislation or current news stories pertaining to your industry, write about industry trends or changes, and offer advice. LinkedIn offers a number of suggestions for thought-provoking posts. Be sure to lead with a catchy headline and quality image.
LinkedIn essentially created showcase pages for B2B marketers to generate better leads, segment inbound traffic, and create long-term relationships with prospects. Get started by clicking “Edit” and “Create a Showcase Page” from your company page. A showcase page is a little different than your profile, as it: offers a larger hero image, provides a two-column newspaper format to highlight your content, and centers focus on your homepage link.
You might create showcase pages to highlight:
– Products or services
– Types of customers
– Offer help and support
– Share customer success stories and testimonials
– Feature individual stores
– Focus your recruiting efforts
For more advice on rocking your LinkedIn showcase page, check out this article from Social Media Today.
6. Find leads using advanced search.
Sometimes prospects come to you. Other times, you’ve got to take the initiative and see what you can dig up. LinkedIn’s advanced search lets you find the most qualified leads. From the header menu, click the “search people” icon and check off the “advanced” option. Focus on the center column, which lets you filter your search by location, connection level, current and past companies, industry, school, and nonprofit interests. Once you find criteria that works, click on “save search” in the upper right corner to maintain access to a steady stream of B2B leads. You can save up to three searches and set alerts to new members who meet your needs.
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7. Use email to connect.
You want to avoid direct sales pitching in your emails — rather, keep them low-key, but informative. A good initial mode of contact is to reach out to someone to join your group or read your content. A sample email announcement might read: “Greetings, Just posted an article on how to improve your LinkedIn B2B marketing in 8 steps. Thought you might be interested. Here’s the link. Regards.”
When new members join your group, send out a welcome email, let them know you’re there for assistance, and ask to add them to your professional network. Build rapport with group members by emailing about what’s happening in the community, common business pain points, and invitations to consultations or webinars. Be sure to see who has been viewing your profile; reach out to these people and see if they’re interested in receiving more information or working with you.
You’ll find people will email you out of the blue for more in-depth answers to questions raised in the group, so be sure you’re checking your inbox on a regular basis. Not every conversation will convert into a sale, but the important thing is that you’re making the connection, providing value and flexing a bit of expertise that makes an impression that could lead to a future sale.
LinkedIn ads appear as text and a photo along the sidebar or as plain text at the top of the page. You’ve got 25 characters for the headline and 75 characters for the description, so make every letter count. Your photo will be 50×50 pixels set against the white LinkedIn background. You can text several variations of each ad to see what drives the most click-throughs and leads. Payment can be arranged as cost per click or cost per 1,000 impressions, starting at a minimum daily budget of $10/day.
You can use LinkedIn ads to promote:
– Company pages
– LinkedIn groups
– Contact forms
– Call-to-action like webinar signup, downloading content, or requesting a free quote
You want the content of your ad to have a sense of urgency, be useful to readers, showcase a unique benefit, and explicitly detail the action you wish viewers to take. Lead with a question or exciting headline, provide a brief description of your offering, and wrap with a clear call-to-action.
Mod Girl Marketing Boosts LinkedIn Leads For B2B Marketers
If you require further assistance with your LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy, we’d love to help! Contact Mod Girl Marketing for a prompt response to your biggest digital marketing queries. We offer one-on-one consultations, as well as fully implemented marketing plans, depending on your need. Our professionals have over a decade of experience working with B2B platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, not to mention a proven track record of improving search visibility and sales conversions. We look forward to learning more about your company to see if our services are a good fit!