When it was first introduced, LinkedIn was initially perceived as more of a business listing or online resume channel. People would create profiles, list their careers and career accomplishments, note their skills and strengths, and jot down their work history. Lead generation and similar social media marketing concepts was the last thing people expected to use this platform for.
It’s been years now and, boy. We’re we ever wrong.
LinkedIn has proven itself to be a smorgasbord of robust analytical tools and highly valuable features for marketing strategies. One just needs to know how to use them.
To get you started on that long—but decidedly rewarding—path, here are three ways you can use LinkedIn for incredible lead generation.
Make Sure Your Profile is Optimized
The word “optimized” is an interesting one. The literal dictionary definition is to make the “best or most effective use” of something—i.e. opportunities, resources, situations, etc. This means that you can’t actually call something “optimized” without knowing what the specific opportunity, resource, or situation is.
In this case, “optimizing” your profile would mean ensuring that you’re making the most of what LinkedIn has to offer in the context of making your content search engine-friendly.
By implementing some basic SEO in your LinkedIn strategies, you stand to greatly improve your lead generation. For instance, use some of your chosen keywords in your profile.
Let’s say you offer digital marketing services. You should then definitely include keywords such as “marketing,” “digital marketing,” and “digital marketer” in your profile description. LinkedIn’s search algorithm is extremely similar to Google, so don’t forget to use some long-tail, location specific keyword variations (such as “digital marketer Bay Area, CA”) to generate higher quality results.
A caveat: because it works like Google, you should definitely avoid keyword stuffing your LinkedIn profile. Not only is that bad SEO, it’s also tacky.
You should also make sure you fill up your profile completely. Studies show that LinkedIn users with complete profiles (no blanks, no N/As, etc.) are 40x more likely to receive incoming inquiries regarding their skills or services.
Don’t Forget to Post Regularly
Once you’ve finished your profile, don’t leave it hanging! Keep it active by regularly posting blogs, articles, or updates. Even just uploading something once a week is enough to tell people that you’re here, you’re engaged, and you’re ready to connect. People will be less hesitant about approaching you if you present yourself as someone warm, knowledgeable, and inviting.
You have other options besides posting articles. You can share SlideShare presentations. You can share links to helpful, relevant resources. You can develop downloadable white papers, eBooks, or 30-day guides for free.
As long as your posts are practical and inviting, people will want to connect with you.
What’s more, regular updates will make you pop up on other people’s feeds more. Just as with social media marketing, the more active accounts are prioritized over the ones that hardly ever move. If you want to stay on the feeds of your potential leads, keep the content coming.
Use LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content to Your Advantage
What most business owners and marketers don’t seem to realize is that LinkedIn’s advertising options are great for lead generation. Aside from making your account more active and engaging, advertising on LinkedIn establishes your presence in your chosen industry. It makes you more visible, consequently drawing new people—aka new leads—towards you.
And by taking advantage of LinkedIn’s sponsored content, you positively impact people’s awareness of your brand—not to mention your own reach.
Sponsored content is when your content is published to targeted users that don’t regularly visit your page or follow your LinkedIn profile. It basically ensures that your regular updates aren’t just appearing in front of the same group of people week after week.
With sponsored content, you set the parameters for the target group (ex. Females aged 18 to 35, single moms living in the greater Bay Area, CA, etc.). LinkedIn then takes these parameters, cross-references them to all the profiles in their database, and then pulls the ones that fulfill your requirements.
From there, they make sure that the profiles who have yet to interact with yours get to see your content first.
It’s very similar to social media marketing, and it’s just as effective. Investing in sponsored content is an excellent way to increase your lead generation by creating a consistent stream of brand-new leads and connections.