How to Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation

What began as a professional networking site, LinkedIn has evolved into the premier social platform for B2B lead generation. How do you go about using the social networking site to generate leads for your business?

When we first meet with potential clients, their biggest challenge is often finding a consistent strategy for generating leads.

Identifying the problem is always simple, if only the fix were that easy. If you’ve been struggling to generate leads for your business, don’t worry. We’ve all been there before. We all know the struggle.

Lead generation is critical, but finding the strategy or platform that works best for your business can be overwhelming. Your competitors may utilize email marketing, Facebook, or Google Adwords, or perhaps live chat (you may have tried some of these strategies yourself). While there are plenty of methods you can use to generate leads, one of our favorites is LinkedIn (apparently we’re not alone in our thinking, as more than 80% of B2B leads from social media come from LinkedIn).

However, how do you use LinkedIn effectively for this purpose?

Below are some of our best tips on how to use LinkedIn for lead generation.

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Did Your Organic Rankings Crash After the Latest Google Core Update?

On May 4, Google announced its latest core update. In the weeks since its release, here’s what we know and what to do if your website was negatively impacted.

The stock market often exhibits volatility in reaction to a significant event (maybe a global pandemic, for instance). Google search engine rankings react in a similar fashion. Over time, your rankings have probably gone up or down ever so slightly, then when something significant occurs, such as a Google Core Update, your rankings might plummet.

As a business owner or marketer, why should this matter to you? Well, a loss in rankings often leads to a drop in website traffic and potentially a decline in new leads or sales. So, what should you do if your rankings were negatively impacted by Google’s latest core update? For starters, let’s try to understand what exactly a Google core update is, and why this most recent update was so impactful.

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4 Ways to Improve Customer Engagement with Live Chat

Customer engagement is vital to any business. When thinking about customer engagement, you need to go beyond the typical level of service and support many customers have come to expect.

Your customers want to feel important. They want to feel like they matter to you. They may even want to feel like the most important person in the world, if only for a moment.

It needs to be clear you value your relationship with them and not just the money they spend at your business. You need to establish an emotional connection between your business and your customers.

In a traditional brick and mortar setup, this is simple. A level of personal touch can be easily achieved – a greeting at the door, the ability to answer their questions in real-time, and so on.

How can you translate that level of service and care over to your website?

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Adapting Your Marketing Strategy During the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

From practicing social distancing to continually washing our hands and now wearing masks, the Coronavirus has caused us all to shift the way we normally operate. For business owners and marketers, this includes adjusting your marketing strategy.

Life as we know it has been flipped upside down. A month or so ago, your ad campaigns were probably humming along. You may have been on your way to a trade show, or attending an in-person meeting with a prospective client.

Since then, a lot has changed. Now is the time to proactively look for new avenues to generate business, while also maintaining relationships with your existing customers.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate this unprecedented time, specifically as it pertains to your digital marketing strategy:

Consumers Spending More Time Online

We’re all stuck at home. With no restaurants to go to, or sporting events to attend, Americans are spending more time online. What does that mean for you as a marketer? Hopefully its pretty clear. Now is the time to put yourself out there. If you’re not running ad campaigns, it’s as good a time as any to jump in.

Many of our clients run pay-per-click ads and the latest trend we are seeing is that paid ads are becoming cheaper. It makes sense because the way these ad networks make money is through an auction system. With less competition to help drive up the cost for ads there isn’t as much competition for the inventory, so the cost per click decreases.

Industry Conferences and Trade Shows

Industry conferences and trade shows were likely a major part of your marketing spend. These events are relied upon, as they are a core part of our business when it comes to generating new business and nurturing relationships with existing clients. Now, most, if not all, of these events have been canceled or postponed for the foreseeable future.

So, what should you do moving forward?

Moving towards virtual events and digital engagement will be a key difference-maker in maintaining growth in the coming months. Another tool to consider – LinkedIn. It’s underrated as a lead generation platform, and for its ability to communicate your value to current customers.

What You Can Do In the Meantime

Sometimes we simply don’t have the time to look at all the things we are doing on a daily or even a weekly basis. We often take the mindset of “set it and forget it.”

While that may have worked for Ron Popiel, that’s never a good strategy to take when it comes to your marketing.

While keeping things in perspective, now is a good time to review and potentially revamp your digital marketing strategy. Maybe you’ve been putting off redoing your website or maybe you haven’t updated the content of your ad campaigns for a few months.

Over these next however many months, most of us won’t be making that daily commute to work each day, or a few days on our calendar have been cleared. Now’s the time to use those extra hours to get a head start.

In a nutshell, it is a perfect time to work on your business, not in it.

The Human Element: Treat Your Website Like a Trade Show Booth

Blurred, defocused background of public event exhibition hall. Business trade show or commercial activity concept

We’ve been helping companies add a human element to their website for over 17 years. If there is anything we’ve learned, in the B2B sales and marketing environment, one thing remains constant — people like to do business with people.

In the past year, attending trade shows has become a key component of our marketing strategy. In the digital age, it may seem strange for a trade show to serve as a crucial aspect of a marketing strategy, but what we’ve found is people crave the human connection. A trade show provides the perfect opportunity to add a human element to your brand and build trust with potential customers.

Why should your website be any different?

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How to Optimize Your Profile on LinkedIn

Generating leads with LinkedIn starts with an engaging profile. If you haven’t updated your job experience since you were an intern, or your profile picture is from your days as a baby-faced undergraduate, it may be time to make a few changes.

Your LinkedIn profile. If you’re like most people, you set it up one time when you were looking for a job, promptly forgot your password and probably haven’t tried to log back in since. If that’s the case, you may be missing out on LinkedIn’s full range of capabilities.

While it’s still a good place to find a job, in recent years, LinkedIn has grown as a platform where companies can connect with prospects and generate leads. If you’d like to start using LinkedIn in this fashion, it starts with a revamped profile.

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Lead Generation For Manufacturers From a Website Live Chat Strategy

Lead generation manufacturers

In a world where website visitors are growing increasingly impatient, manufacturers have the difficult task of selling complex products and services online. What makes website live chat a lead generation strategy worth adopting?

For manufacturers, the search for a consistent strategy to generate leads can feel like a never-ending quest. As an industry, manufacturing can represent many different types of companies. Some manufacturers produce smaller products that require little interaction with the buyer. Others produce complex products that require longer buying cycles. This makes it difficult to find a one-size fits all strategy that will work no matter what the product. While website live chat has always had the reputation as a solid customer support tool, it is starting to gain traction as an effective strategy for generating leads. Here is how live chat can aid manufacturers in their quest to generate more leads online. Read more

Why Manufacturers Are Hesitant to Try Live Chat

Although live chat has been around for some time, manufacturers can be reluctant to diverge from the standard way of doing things. What will it take for an old school industry to finally buy-in?

Live chat has been around for quite a while – we’ve been providing 24/7 live chat for over 16 years – it is still an emerging best practice for many companies and especially for manufacturers. I learned on a recent marketing podcast that if something is considered a “best practice”, it means all your competitors are already doing it. An emerging best practice however, is something you can do to give your company a competitive advantage. In this article, I’ll discuss a couple common misconceptions companies have about live chat and share the top 5 benefits a manufacturer can expect from implementing an online chat program into their website. This article will even discuss how a manufacturer who might already be using a live chat software can take their program to the next level.

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Chatbots vs. Live Chat: How Artificial Intelligence Affects Website Visitors Experience

Chatbot conversation on smartphone screen app interface with artificial intelligence technology providing virtual assistant customer support and information, person hand holding mobile phone

With artificial intelligence on the rise, so too is the consumer’s desire for instant gratification. So which software do most website visitors prefer, chatbots or live chat?

As businesses look to artificial intelligence to enhance customer service, it is increasingly difficult to find the right balance between automation and human support to deliver the service customers demand. One of the more prevalent tools marketers are looking to is chatbots. With the ability to provide customers with instant responses, answer basic questions and resolve complaints quickly, it is easy to see why chatbots are viewed as a tool that enhances the customer experience. Innovations like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat and WhatsApp have contributed to making this a popular method of communication for many consumers.

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Why You Need a Comprehensive Lead Generation Program

1) In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions. (Source: Gartner Group)

Buyers are more and more afraid to make a significant business decision on their own. Some of these fears are justifiable and some are not. The reality for your growth is learning how to market to and sell to a team of buyers. You must be perceived as a credible business partner and be able to get engaged with and understand the frustrations and challenges of different personality types involved. Every buyer needs a certain type of information, as well as a certain amount of information, in order to make a decision.

2) Today’s sales process takes 22% longer than 5 years ago. (Biznology)

Not only are the sales more complex due to the “team of buyers” discussed above, but budgets have also tightened over the last decade and companies have been operating leaner than ever. In addition, B2B sales environments have become much more competitive due to globalization and the internet. These factors and more have caused the sales process to drag out longer than in the past.

3) 93% of B2B purchases start with an internet search.

It’s simple. If you want to grow your business, you must be found when people are searching the internet. People will search using the products and services you provide and they will search based on a challenge or need they have. Either way, we work with our clients to ensure there are ‘motivation matching’ landing pages and content to match the searches being conducted. We collaborate with our clients to develop content that answers questions their potential customers are asking.

4) B2B buyers are typically 57% of the way to a buying decision before actively engaging with sales. (Source: CEB)

You must be visible in multiple channels so that your buyers become aware of you and visit your website. It is a necessity today to have a world class website that conveys credibility and communicates a strong, clear value proposition. The most important job a website has is to convert visitors into sales leads which then turn into revenue.

5) 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decisions. (Source: CMO Council)

When was the last time you added fresh, engaging content to your website that provided value to your potential customer? Do you put time on the calendar to meet with your sales and marketing team? Your buyers are spending more time doing their research prior to engaging your sales team, so you must help them learn who you are and how you can solve their problems. Plus, an educated buyer can help shorten the sales process.

6) 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information from a series of articles versus an advertisement. (B2B PR Sense Blog)

The primary objective of any advertising or awareness campaign should be to drive buyers to rich, relevant content on a landing page or on your website. In doing so, you can test which content resonates most with your buyers. This is not to say advertising can’t drive a return on investment. In fact, all campaigns should have built in, isolated tracking mechanisms to determine the overall effectiveness of the ad-spend.

7) 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they actually believe it. (Source: Edelman Trust Barometer)

We have all heard about the importance of “Top of Mind Awareness”. As previously mentioned, you must be able to communicate a strong value proposition. You must also have a compelling company story, a mission, and credible experience that help your buyers decide you are the company that is right for them. Once all that is developed, you then must be consistent with your distribution of your messaging in as many places and platforms as possible. Part of the work here is gaining an understanding of where your target buyers are doing their research.

8) Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)

There are some great tools available to allow you to share your expertise with your target buyers. There is tremendous revenue value in educating your buyers about all the facets of your company and your capabilities. Putting this strategy in place is one of the most challenging initiatives a company can take on. In recent years, the market has become saturated with email marketing software – many of which are very good. However, all too often we hear stories from business owners and/or marketing directors who have invested for months in these software platforms expecting huge results, but in turn, were sadly disappointed when they didn’t fully utilize their investment. Why didn’t they? They did not have their lists segmented – or didn’t even have lists. They did not have supporting content created. They weren’t able to get the sales team involved to really think through a nurturing process that would fit into their sales process; this is almost always due to a lack of time. So, you must plan ahead first, and then invest in the software. Plan the work, then work the plan.

9) Top sellers use LinkedIn 6 hours per week. (Source: Jill Konrath)

Your target buyers are almost guaranteed to have a profile on LinkedIn. One of the most under rated aspects of LinkedIn is the messaging capabilities. Messages that get sent from LinkedIn –not inMails that are paid messages – get opened. This allows you to break through the “noise of email”. LinkedIn also provides quality information about your potential buyers. Herein lies the challenge for most marketing and sales professionals. Doing the research, the content development, the posting, and the outreach on a consistent basis takes time. Lots of time. However, this go-to-market strategy should absolutely be part of your B2B sales growth.

10) 84% of CEOs and VPs use social media to make purchasing decisions. (Source IDC)

Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick’s chief reputation strategist said, “Chief Executives are decidedly testing the social waters.” By increasing their online presence, CEOs are demonstrating that they “care about attracting the best talent, understand the need to better humanize themselves and are more in-tune with where their stakeholders are,” among other things. When you look at your LinkedIn connections, you should see your influence growing continuously among your peers and more importantly, your target buyers. Top executives in charge of revenue growth have always seen the value of networking and building relationships. Now more than ever, LinkedIn is readily available to help them do this globally at a much more rapid pace.

Contact us today to find out more.