Using LinkedIn to Generate Leads and Build Your Business

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By Vee Tardrew - January 08, 2014

If you think LinkedIn is purely used for recruiters and job hunters, think again. In fact recent studies have shown that LinkedIn is the preferred social media platform for B2B lead generation and 65% of respondents in a Marketing Charts survey claim that they have acquired a customer through LinkedIn. And yet, only 47% of B2B marketers say they are actively using LinkedIn. 

According to LinkedIn there are in excess of 184 million unique monthly users. That is a very large pool of potential prospects! So how do we, as marketers, tap into this Social Media Marketing platform to unlock business opportunities on social media? Let's run through some tips.

Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups

Find relevant industry groups and use them to develop an understanding of the pain points and issues your target audience are experiencing. Provide useful and valuable input with regards to solutions without obtusely pushing your specific products or services. Strive to become a valuable resource and contributor to the community and the opportunity for conversion will happen.

You can find groups related to your interests by searching for key terms in the Search Bar, and then selecting the "Groups" tab once your search has come up. You'll be presented with a number of groups related to your interests, and you can join these groups to follow or contribute to various discussions and content. This is also where you'll get to natively market your company's content. By actively following conversations in the groups, you can identify situations where your company's content answers specific questions or pain points, and post links to your website. Not only are you talking to your buyer persona directly, but you're also answering their questions in real time with valuable content.  

You can also showcase your favourite groups on your LinkedIn page. This is a great way to guide your target market into a community where you are actively participating. 

Use LinkedIn Ads

While inbound marketing does not traditionally comprise paid advertising, there are certain exceptions. LinkedIn advertising can be a very effective lead generation channel for B2B. Professionals using the platform are more open to business offers, and the more relevant the better. 

LinkedIn supports text based, image and video adverts and allows marketers to target ads to users by job title or function, industry or company size or even members of particular LinkedIn groups. They can be placed in various locations for different reasons, like this:

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This is well suited to B2B marketing , as you can target users by their professional interests without any hang up on lifestyle interests. LinkedIn's ad campaign creator, while perhaps not as slick as FaceBook's, is very easy to use and allows for granular targeting.  It  looks something like this:

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As with any targeted online campaign be sure to create a dedicated landing page or pages for your LinkedIn adverts and be sure to test and tweak for best conversion with A/B testing and analysing your analytics.

Are you using LinkedIn to build your business and generate leads? What are some of your tactics? Share in the comments below. I'd love to hear your success stories and lessons?

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Teamwork.

It's a lot more rewarding when you work with like-minded individuals who keep you in-the-loop, are keen to share knowledge and who are passionate about turning-out a kick-ass product.

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