Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has been a tool with the foundation of being a platform for more. Nowadays, LinkedIn operates as a networking platform for professionals, a job posting and hiring site, an educational tool, as well as countless other functions that are driving sign-ups on the site by more than 2 people every second. As LinkedIn continues to evolve, a new opportunity is presenting itself for businesses on LinkedIn: lead generation. We’ve identified three key ways that you and your business can get ahead of the curve with the new development of using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool. (Already using LinkedIn for lead generation? Check out this article for tips on how to improve lead generation on LinkedIn.)
Lead Gen Form feature
A unique tool that LinkedIn now offers for business pages is called Lead Gen Form. This tool allows for message and content integration on the Sponsored ad material you are sharing. What does it do exactly? Not only does it add a CTA to your content, but it also allows for the collection of data that are pre-filled using the information on a LinkedIn user’s profile. From there, it can be imported into LinkedIn’s CRM tool for monitoring gathered leads as well as tracking overall campaign success. Lead Gen Forms are easy to use and take the effort out of form-fill landing pages because the data automatically is sourced from a user’s LinkedIn profile. The templates are easy to work with and allow for customization, making it an easy tool to use. The entire tool is accessible through LinkedIn business manager.
Discussions and Groups
One of the earlier developments of LinkedIn was the introduction of Groups. These chat modules allowed for a platform of discussion and networking with individuals under a certain umbrella such as “Digital Marketing”, “Business Management”, “Nonprofit Leadership” and so many more. These groups provide an opportunity to share articles, get feedback about projects, and engage in discussion about important topics within that area of expertise. When it comes to lead generation, you can use these groups to engage with others who may be in need of your company’s services as well as bring awareness to your company in this field. This is a great way to generate natural conversation about your brand as well as increase brand awareness by establishing yourself as a reliable presence in your niche. The use of groups and discussions for lead generation allows these conversations to turn into a warm lead right from the start because you have an established history and open dialogue with them.
Create Shareable Content
The last tool we want to mention for lead generation is content creation. More specifically, the creation of content that is shareable. You can do this by utilizing the article feature on your LinkedIn profile to share informative, reactive content that others will want to read and then share with others that can benefit from what you’ve written about. The important thing to remember when writing these is identifying the correct balance of brand presence within the article. If the reader can’t go more than a few sentences without being bombarded by a mention of your company, they’ll be less likely to pass on the article. By writing articles relevant to your industry and to the needs of your client base, you’ll be able to put your company in front of others who are likely to be researching that topic, effectively labeling yourself as a credible source on the subject. The use of articles on LinkedIn is still a relatively untapped aspect of the platform. In 2016, only one million of the 303 million users on LinkedIn had published an article, making this a clear avenue for content distribution without having too much saturation to compete against.
There are so many unique ways to use the tools we have in social media to really build an online reputation for your brand, especially through LinkedIn. Using this platform for lead generation can look like a variety of different things; it’s just a matter of finding what will work best for you and your business. Whether you are using the Lead Gen Forms tool, engaging in industry discussions, or creating distributable content, the most important takeaway is to look beyond LinkedIn’s abilities as a networking tool and understanding how you can use it as a tool for lead generation to grow your business.