Providing a content freebie to your audience is a primary driver of traffic and lead generation for your business. Giving your potential clients something before they have asked for it? What better way to set up a positive relationship for follow-up engagement.  Before you dive into the world of LinkedIn, take a look at our guide to ensure you are making the most of your time online.

Why Use LinkedIn?

LinkedIn can provide the ideal client or customer for almost any B2B business. Here’s why:

• LinkedIn is the preferred social network for CEOs and boasts over 500 million users. This does not come as a surprise considering that studies show that over 75% of social media B2B leads are generated through LinkedIn.

• The site is widely considered the only acceptable social platform for many businesses – in fact, in most workplaces it is the only social network that can get through the filter.

• LinkedIn articles are regularly being published by businesses because it’s a hub of potential customers and partners. But even more than that, LinkedIn makes it easy to directly engage with potential customers, which is the best reason for putting it front and centre of your B2B lead generation strategy.

• Influential marketers have gained 64 times more comments, 52 times more likes, and 24 times more shares on their articles than average users.

Getting Started

The best way to get started with generating B2B leads on LinkedIn is to become familiar with the platform and confident in your interactions. Use it often, grow your network and post regular updates so you’re always on the radar of your community. Use it to speak to people openly on posts or directly through paid upgrades like InMail (which allows you to contact anyone on LinkedIn even if they’re outside of your network). This element takes time to implement however once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature.

Join groups relevant to your industry and target audience. Start off by just getting involved in discussions – build a reputation as someone who makes insightful contributions and comments. This will help with word-of-mouth, which is still a powerful lead generation tool. Marketing yourself as an individual will encourage your industry to view you as a trusted leader. LinkedIn users respond more positively to actual people over brand pages.

Trusted leaders such as Justin Trudeau, Naomi Simson and Ellevest’s co-founder and CEO Sallie Krawcheck made it on to LinkedIn’s report on the top influencers of 2017. The result of the trust they have earned is high engagement from their LinkedIn community. Krawcheck’s “A letter to young women, in the age of Trump” was re-shared over 3000 times. What started as a letter to her own daughter was read by more than 470 000 people proving again that authentic and timely content trumps all.

Engaging with Your Audience

When posting content or updates it is imperative to give your readers a compelling reason to share the post with their network. Having your articles shared amplifies the reach of your content. Try including a hook that will not only get your readers engaged but will encourage them to re-share the piece. This could be an anecdote from a conversation with industry leaders, an exclusive quote, business achievements or namechecking an influencer whose work has inspired you.

However, the most important thing you can do is to meaningfully engage your audience. The best leads come from making a human connection by making your audience feel valued. You don’t need to spend all day saying “thank you for your comment” to everyone who posts, especially if you’re getting lots of comments, but a simple thank you to the first few comments will certainly encourage more. Try to ‘like’ every comment—it’s the most efficient way to acknowledge your audience—and leave more considered replies to comments that give you an opportunity to push home your message.

Taking the time to engage with your audience in the comments section is the best way to develop brand advocates who will share your content with their networks and help project your message. It also makes your business look more approachable.

Start Collecting Leads

Finally, it is time to start collecting leads. Take a look at who is checking out your profile, who is reading your content and who is regularly engaging with your posts. These are your leads. LinkedIn also has their own Ads platform with an optional feature called Lead Collection which allows advertisers to collect leads directly through their LinkedIn Ad campaigns. This is an easy and efficient way to build up your lead generation list.

Generating leads through LinkedIn can be hard at first but once you’ve got a good routine of content creation and develop basic good habits of logging in regularly and engaging meaningfully with your audience it’ll get easier and become an instinctive part of your marketing strategy and the one avenue of lead generation you can’t do without.