If your LinkedIn page sounds something like this – “We’re the best in XYZ industry for XYZ reasons” – it’s time for a LinkedIn B2B marketing overhaul! There’s a lot more to LinkedIn than job recruitment or connecting with folks you met once at a networking event and then never talked to again. LinkedIn is the best lead generation tool for B2B social media marketers. More than 80 percent of B2B leads come through LinkedIn, compared to just 12.7 percent on Twitter, 6.7 percent on Facebook, and less than a fraction (0.2 percent) on Google+, reports Kissmetrics.
So how can you maximize your LinkedIn for B2B marketing lead generation effectiveness? The key is to make your time on LinkedIn less about your business’s services and more about the customer experience. Ask yourself the following:
- What can I do for my customers that no one else can?
- How can I use LinkedIn as a platform for spreading this message to my customers?
When you think of LinkedIn as a publishing platform, rather than just a networking site, suddenly your entire perspective on LinkedIn B2B marketing changes.
Your mission in 2016 is to use LinkedIn for B2B marketing to raise your business’s profile, strengthen your brand, and establish your company as the premiere service provider. Here’s how:
1. Turn your company page into a lead generation machine.
Write a clear, compelling company pitch in the description. This is not the place to talk about how many offices your business has or how many clients you serve. This is the place to focus on your value proposition. Keep your pitch concise and compelling. Remember, on LinkedIn only the first few lines in your description will be immediately visible. Leads will have to click “See More” to read the entire blurb. Those first two lines are all you have to hook your lead and get them interested in learning more. Make them count!
2. Make the “recent updates” section conversion focused.
LinkedIn is a dream publishing platform for all those white papers, blog posts and eBooks you’ve written that are now languishing on your company blog. Use LinkedIn to promote your content. Focus on headlines and images. On LinkedIn, articles can live or die based on a savvy – or not-so-savvy – headline and image selection. That’s because a large amount of real estate is dedicated to titles and images, and much less to article snippets. Include search terms in your headline to bring leads directly to your content.
3. Numbers don’t lie.
Struggling to strengthen engagement once leads get to your website? Worry less about the number of pageviews and more about how much time is spent on your content pages. Chartbeat found that readers who spend three minutes or longer reading a story are 50 percent more likely to return to the brand’s website at some point in the following week. If you notice that readers are bouncing off the page after the first few lines, consider what element about the content is lacking. Is the material relevant and meaningful? Do you offer actionable recommendations? Did your headline on LinkedIn promise one thing but the content on your website delivers another? Readers who find their way to meaningful content during a site visit are more likely to return again and again. Use LinkedIn to put this meaningful content in front of your leads so they get the right message at the right time.
LinkedIn alone won't keep your B2B pipeline bursting with leads. However, as part of a broader inbound lead generation strategy, LinkedIn can help bolster your brand's credibility and bring leads directly to your company website. Once they're on your website, it's up to you to keep them moving through your sales funnel.