Do you want to increase sales, while decreasing the length of your sales cycle? Whether you are a construction company or a goods distributor, a well-executed LinkedIn strategy is your solution for B2B lead generation.
If you are a business that sells B2B and you are not on LinkedIn already, you are missing out a huge opportunity to build brand trust and generate leads for your company. This massive social network of professionals has made it easy for businesses to highlight their expertise and heighten brand reputation, resulting in a shorter and easier sales process.
Follow these 7 easy steps to kickstart your LinkedIn lead generation strategy:
Step 1: Optimize your individual profile
Before you set up your LinkedIn company page, you will need to have an individual profile. Don’t be tempted to jump into creating your company page before you have completely finished your personal profile. Your personal page will be traceable to your company, so you want to make sure it reflects the best professional image possible. The process for setting up a company page will be the most streamlined if you register your personal account under an email address at your business domain.
When you set up your personal profile and add your employment information, your headline will automatically default to your current job title. Make sure that you manually edit your headline to be more descriptive, and better reflect your personal brand.
Step 2: Get Connected
Now it’s time to add all of your business contacts. If you go to Contacts- Add Connections, you can invite your existing email contacts. Tap into your existing social networks, by posting a link to your profile on your Facebook or Google+ pages asking your friends to connect on LinkedIn. Create a new email signature that includes the LinkedIn icon that links directly to your profile.
Step 3: Optimize your Business Page
To create your company page, go to: Company- Add a Company. Upload a professional looking logo and a header image, and complete the about, specialties, and company info fields. Ensure that you are using all of the keywords that you want your company to be found for, as LinkedIn company results are starting to display in Google searches (I’ve even seen them display before company websites on occasion).
You can post status updates as a business page manually or through HootSuite. Use the status updates to share blog posts and press releases.
Step 4: Add Products/Services
You can add up to 25 products and services to your LinkedIn company profile. Use these spots to highlight your most popular products/services, and include a good descriptive blurb about how your offerings make your client’s lives easier. Make your products pages even better by adding a video clip via YouTube, and add yourself (or your colleagues) as the employee contact for the particular offering.
Step 5: Connect with Target Businesses
You probably already have an idea of some companies that you want to target. Make sure that you personally follow their company pages, and post comments or share their posts if relevant to your field.
You can also use the search function to locate other prospects in the industry that you target.
Step 6: Join & Participate in Groups
LinkedIn groups allow you to engage in two-way communication and share your expertise with other professionals. Having a strong presence in groups is a great way to increase your brand awareness. Although participation is as an individual, and not a company, as you engage with other members, they will be interested to click through to your personal profile, and will become familiar with your company’s brand name. You can also use groups to share any content that you may have that is relevant to discussion, directing group members to your company page for recent blog posts, whitepapers, etc.
You can also use the search function to discover groups where professionals from your industry are congregating and communicating. Browse the groups that show up when you search the industry that your target client is a part of, and join the most active and most relevant groups. Don’t get stuck only joining and engaging with the largest groups, especially if your services are geographically limited.
You can also create your own group. For a boost in SEO value, create a group named with the keywords that you’d like your business to be found for on Google. Invite existing customers and connections, and maintain a good level of activity, and your group will grow in little time.
Step 7: Show your Expertise in Answers
An additional way to use LinkedIn to establish your reputation as the industry expert is to participate in LinkedIn Answers. To find this section of the website, go to: More-Answers-Advanced Answers Search. Now refine the open question results by keywords related to your industry, and submit answers to any questions that you can provide good insight into. You can even cite resources (read- your website or blog) to support your contribution.
If you want to learn more about using the web to drive B2B lead generation, download our free guide.