Julianne Watt is a sales and marketing analyst at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy.
According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2017, 63 percent of marketers find generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge. In that same report, sales representatives find identifying good leads as one of their primary struggles.
While marketers and salespeople alike find generating quality leads to be challenging, LinkedIn offers plenty of new features that allow you to prospect and gain leads.
Sure, Facebook is larger, but LinkedIn reached 500 million business professionals in early 2017 and HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate (compared to other large social platforms) at 2.74 percent. That's almost three times higher than Facebook and Twitter.
While LinkedIn is one of the few social platforms that still allows your network to see your organic, unpaid content, the saying still goes, “you must spend money to make money.”
One interesting offering unique to LinkedIn is Sales Navigator. This paid outbound-lead-gen sales tool touts a variety of benefits, including its ability to integrate with several CRMs.
In addition, Sales Navigator’s Lead Builder allows you to target the right buyers and companies by providing advanced filtering with over 22 categories including demographics, company role and tenure, and company type – allowing you to get laser focused on the nuances of your target market.
With your precise target market selected, a filtered list of companies or leads will populate. If you save an individual as a lead, you’ll get notifications whenever they make a move on LinkedIn, allowing you to understand and better serve their needs and wants. In addition, the service provides additional lead recommendations based on the target market you've identified.
Depending upon what level of Sales Navigator you purchase, LinkedIn can cross compare your leads to your connections, helping you easily see mutual connections you may have with your targeted prospects. Then, with a simple click, you can ask your network for those referrals. If you don’t happen to have a mutual connection to a targeted lead, LinkedIn allows you to InMail them directly.
In order to generate inbound leads, LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms can be added to your Sponsored Content. Sponsored Content is simply a paid update (or ad), posted via your company page, that targets a specific audience. When a user clicks on the ad, a form is pre-populated with their basic contact information and sent to you. It's a great way to grow both your email subscriber base and your prospect database.
As with any new platform or advertisement you invest in, don't invest a lot upfront until you have time to measure your effectiveness and ultimately the ROI. Review LinkedIn's robust reporting to understand what's working and what's not. Make refinements, improve your ROI, and then increase your investment.
Julianne Watt can be reached at redrovercompany.com.