LinkedIn is a great place for networking, researching contacts and searching the job market, but how valuable is it as a B2B lead generation tool?
Despite some scepticism over the value of LinkedIn and LinkedIn groups, it remains a valuable B2B lead generation tool because:
- It gives you direct access to an engaged community whilst allowing you to grow your audience. There are thousands of active groups on LinkedIn and therefore should be at least a handful of relevant groups that cater to your industry. If you’re not engaging in the conversation within these groups then you’re missing a trick.
- It allows business leaders to participate in discussions about a challenge or industry issue and share helpful content with peers from all over the world. You may have seen members of your network posting or sharing thought-provoking or purely inquisitive article or questions, and other users provider the answers. Many of these interactions can help further engagement outside LinkedIn. Why not encourage your business thought leaders to start participating on LinkedIn by starting a conversation or by providing someone with a concrete answer to a question?
- It gives CEOs, CFOs, COOs, Managers, Executives – practically anyone – in your organisation a platform to share their views and send readers back to your company website through group interactions or by simply publishing their thoughts via Pulse.
This last option is a double-edged sword of course, and any agreed spokesperson should be responsible for all posts and engagements. We’ve all heard horror stories of social media spokespeople gone bad – regular monitoring and sharing of thoughts and ideas will ensure that your LinkedIn campaign doesn’t go bad.
The one rule is to always generate good content because when you publish content that performs well in your network, it gets seen by your peers. Good content that performs well is also more likely to be promoted to others outside of your immediate network of contacts and seen by a larger audience of professionals on LinkedIn. Tapping into that potential is crucial.
If you’re still waiting in the wings and undecided whether you’re ready to share content on LinkedIn as a mechanism for B2B lead generation, here are some tips for generating good content.
1. Post helpful and educational content. eBooks and case studies highlighting business cases from your business is a good start if you’re struggling with content initially.
2. Don’t always promote your own agenda. Share industry knowledge that you find from around the Web or on LinkedIn – it doesn’t just have to be your own material.
3. Strike a balance between providing comment and providing analysis. No-one will want to hear you bleat on without providing context. Sure, share your views – but healthy analysis of a topic or industry challenge will demonstrate gravitas to your connections.
4. If and when necessary, include a link back to your company website. Remember that it isn’t always necessary. Connections will visit your company website based on the strength of your comments/views/posts.
With a highly engaged community, quality discussions and the ability to generate a decent amount of leads, LinkedIn is still an incredible B2B lead generation tool – but as with all B2B social media, it should be used as part of a wider, coherent content strategy.