8 Ways to Get More Leads for Your Business on LinkedIn

social media how toDo you want to acquire more traffic and leads from LinkedIn?

According to Experian Marketing Services, LinkedIn received 94M total U.S. visits in December 2012, an increase of 40% in traffic compared to December 2011.

So, whether you’re a B2B and/or B2C company, now is a great time to start leveraging LinkedIn to find and attract your target market.

Here are 8 ways to attract high-quality leads with LinkedIn.

#1: Add a Strong Call to Action and Link

Did you know you can add custom banners to your company page for free? And did you know each of these banners can link back to your site?

You can add up to three different linkable product banners (646 pixels x 222 pixels) to the Products & Services section of your company profile. This is a great way to funnel LinkedIn traffic to a webinar, case study or other type of targeted landing page.

product banner

HubSpot product banner with Request Demo button driving traffic to a landing page.

Many businesses are missing this opportunity. If prospective clients make an effort to visit your Products & Services section, you should provide a simple way for them to contact you by linking to your site or targeted landing page with your banner.

Here are some ways to use these product banners:

  • Highlight customer testimonials and link to a page on your site with more positive reviews.
  • Promote and link to an upcoming webinar.
  • Share a new case study.
  • Highlight and link to a popular blog post you’ve written to help your target market.
  • Showcase and link to a SlideShare deck that would interest your target market.
  • Promote a video about your business.
  • Drive traffic to a squeeze page to collect leads for a new product.
  • Share other social channels where you can be reached.

#2: Add Pictures or Files

LinkedIn has been making it easier for companies to reach their target audience. Last year, they started allowing companies to tailor status updates to specific LinkedIn connections (based on industry, seniority, job function, etc.).

target connections

Companies can target connections with specific status updates based on job function, seniority level, industry, company size and geography.

And now, companies can attach files or pictures (along with links) to their status updates. This helps company status updates “pop” out of the stream, which increases visibility and click-throughs with each post.

email study

Experian promoted a new email marketing case study with a large picture and two links.

To do this, first attach your image. This is an important first step because if you type in your status update and add a link, you will no longer be able to add an image.

paper clip

Click on the paperclip icon to attach your image.

After attaching your image, you’ll have an opportunity to edit the title of the image and description, which can serve as a teaser to get people to click.

Second, choose your targeted audience for your offer. You must have at least 200 connections in the audience list in order to target them with your update.

For example, you may only want to target non-employees with offers.

targeted audience

Click on the Targeted Audience drop-down to choose your target.

Last, type in your status update and append your URL. By following this sequence, you’ll ensure that both an image and URL will appear twice in your status update.

share url

Add your status update and link last so that both an image and URL will appear.

Think about all of the different ways you can leverage these expanded status updates that include an image and two links. You can feature an image of a webinar. You could show off a white paper. You could give a preview image of a YouTube video you want people to watch.

Most companies are not utilizing this new feature, so take advantage of this opportunity to get expanded status updates and more relevant traffic to your website.

Here are some tips to help you provide engaging status updates on LinkedIn:

  • Use the Targeted Audience feature to craft custom content for them.
  • Share a variety of different types of content (images, links, polls, slides, videos, questions).
  • Test long vs. short text updates to see which gets more engagement.
  • Post during high-conversion times on your website; especially in the mornings when LinkedIn engagement activity is the highest.
  • If you’re linking to your website, remember to optimize it for mobile device traffic.
  • Comment on your own post to help boost engagement, and respond quickly to those who engage with your company post.
  • Get employees involved and invite them to share your posts to maximize your visibility on important announcements.

#3: Use the LinkedIn Lead Collection Widget

If you decide to test an ad campaign budget on LinkedIn, you owe it to yourself to add the Lead Collection widget to your landing page.

This little box sits at the top of your website and allows people to easily submit their email address to you with one simple click.

uci contact form

UCI can easily accept email leads with one click of a button.

The Lead Collection widget allows you to acquire leads faster, especially for the increasing number of mobile device LinkedIn visitors who don’t want to bother typing into your website’s contact form.

#4: Create Custom Calls to Action and Content

LinkedIn Products & Services pages can serve up different content based on the profile of the user.

Not only does this allow you to use the right language (based on geography), but also feature only the products and services that might interest certain types of people (based on their job function, company size, industry and seniority). It then allows you to provide the right messaging and links.

dashboard

Dashboard for creating multiple versions of LinkedIn company product pages based on audience types.

Creating custom content for specific LinkedIn members helps you drive them to appropriate landing pages and/or specific phone numbers to reach specific departments in your organization. Creating unique pages only takes minutes, so the time investment to test this out is minimal.

#5: Post LinkedIn Company Status Updates in the Morning

Aside from posting company status updates during high-conversion periods on your own website, you should also post updates during the times of day you get the most impressions on LinkedIn.

Lana Khavinson, senior product marketing manager at LinkedIn, says, “We find that companies get the greatest engagement from morning posts. That said, we are seeing engagement rates increasing in the evening as our mobile and iPad apps keep gaining massive traction. We encourage companies to test posting at different times of day so that they can find what works for them and their target audience.”

The way you’ll find the best times to post is by watching the post impression numbers in your posts.

engagement

Engagement metrics on posts can be seen by admins of company pages. The above illustration is an example of how data appears, but does not show real results.

These LinkedIn post engagement numbers (impressions, clicks and shares) can be seen by anyone who manages your company page, and should be analyzed to figure out what types of posts are driving the most relevant traffic and/or leads to your site.

Also pay attention to what type of content gets the most shares, since number of shares means even more visibility for your business in other people’s LinkedIn streams.

#6: Treat LinkedIn Products & Services Pages Like Landing Pages

Sure you can link to your landing page, but why not also allow LinkedIn members a quick way to ask a question or message you without leaving LinkedIn? This is a killer way to make it easy for customers to contact you for a product or service they are interested in.

jay baer

Jay Baer allows you to message him directly from each of his LinkedIn product pages.

Jay Baer has made it easy for prospects to learn more about his services by linking to his website and allowing people to message him directly from LinkedIn. This is a smart way to pull in prospects and lead information (without people needing to visit your website and complete a form).

Besides, getting a message through LinkedIn and connecting gives you access to prospects’ email addresses. This means they’ll start seeing updates from you, which can help nurture relationships and increase the likelihood of turning prospects into clients.

You can add up to three different people in your organization to receive messages from product pages. To do this, simply go to the Products & Services tab and click on Edit.

edit any page

As a company page admin, you can edit any page by clicking on the blue Edit button.

Next, you’ll find a Contact Us section on the right-hand side of the page. This is where you can add the people in your organization who are equipped to handle questions from prospects.

add contacts

Add the names of up to three different employees to be contacts for a particular product or service.

You might feature someone on your sales team, products team and/or a senior manager (depending the product or service offered). Just make sure the person you assign will be frequently checking LinkedIn for any messages.

And make sure he or she regularly posts about your company to keep any potential leads aware of upcoming webinars, case studies or new products/services.

#7: Send Custom Messages to Your Target Market’s Inbox

LinkedIn Sponsored Inmail is like email marketing on steroids. You don’t need your own list because you just work directly with LinkedIn to identify exactly whom you want to email. Craft your message, add your URLs and then let LinkedIn do the rest.

It’s a great way to build your leads and targeted traffic to your website. Yes, this costs money, but the ability to target specific people in organizations can be worth it.

When you launch a Sponsored Inmail campaign (formerly referred to as Partner Messages), the person you’re trying to reach gets a notification about an important message in their inbox. The alert is also visible on certain pages of your LinkedIn account.

google wildfire message

Google Wildfire sent messages to social media managers about one of their products. This is how it appeared in the inbox.

In these Sponsored Inmails, businesses can share their message and link to their website with buttons and images. In the message below, the yellow buttons and Wildfire logo are linked and tracked.

google wildfire message clicked

Google Wildfire sent messages to social media managers about one of their products. This is how the message appeared when clicked.

A Sponsored Inmail campaign can be just what your organization needs to get eyeballs on a new product or service you want to promote.

#8: Promote a LinkedIn Group Your Target Market Would Be Interested in Joining

If you want to grow your network and leads, you need to provide your insights and thought leadership in relevant LinkedIn Groups where your target market is talking. This doesn’t mean bombarding groups with redundant content and links back to your website. That just makes you look like a spammer (and desperate for attention).

Instead, use these groups as opportunities to learn more about your target market and share insights. Strive to become a valuable resource and contributor to the community.

Companies can showcase favorite groups on their LinkedIn profile, and it’s a great opportunity to guide your target market into a community you’ll be participating in.

Dell promotes their Business Solutions Exchange group to help build a community around services they provide, which is a great avenue for them to show thought leadership, build relationships and earn new business. And this a perfect example of what more companies should be doing.

dell group

Dell promotes their Business Solutions Exchange group to help build community.

As always, never use groups to spam or share irrelevant, self-promotional blog posts. Be useful and provide insights that will help others. This is how you build relationships, and over time you will earn credibility, new business and more referrals.

So what are you doing on LinkedIn? How are you building relationships, creating new business opportunities and earning referrals? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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About the Author, Mike Delgado

Michael Delgado is a digital marketer who loves writing about Google+, online brand management and social media. He's the author of circled.us and the Social Media Community Manager at Experian. Other posts by »




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  • http://mikedelgado.org Michael Delgado

    What has been an effective way for you to build your business in LinkedIn?

  • http://mikedelgado.org Michael Delgado

    What has been an effective way for you to build your business in LinkedIn?

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  • http://www.thewebcitizen.com Ilias Chelidonis

    Creating great content on my blog and then share it on different groups at Linkedin, i believe that is acceptable to share others content, but if you do not produce your own it is hard to convince your followers that you really know what you are talking about.

  • http://www.thewebcitizen.com Ilias Chelidonis

    Creating great content on my blog and then share it on different groups at Linkedin, i believe that is acceptable to share others content, but if you do not produce your own it is hard to convince your followers that you really know what you are talking about.

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Love this post Mike. One of the social media sites that I give particular attention to is LinkedIn and have followed the many great suggestions from Social Media Examiner to ramp it up. Two of those are to create a company page and group. My one question is that I find it a lot easier to invite people to join the group, but the company page is a harder sell when it comes to followers. What do you think is the best way to get people to follow or notice a company page on LinkedIn?

    ~John Lee Dumas

  • http://www.SelfEmployedKing.com/ Mike Kawula

    Active Engagement! Good Article. I normally participate in Groups and individual Profiles, haven’t really been active on the Company page side. To your question great article today on SeoMoz: How to Identify an Online Community for your Business with actionable steps how to engage.

  • http://www.SelfEmployedKing.com/ Mike Kawula

    Active Engagement! Good Article. I normally participate in Groups and individual Profiles, haven’t really been active on the Company page side. To your question great article today on SeoMoz: How to Identify an Online Community for your Business with actionable steps how to engage.

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  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Great coverage on this Mike! It’s getting so difficult to keep up with all the changes, features, and functionality of these networks…and that’s why I love SME!

  • http://www.her-consulting.com/ Evelyne Oreskovich

    I am just in the process of planning an overhaul of my company’s LinkedIn page, so your tips here are timely and extremely useful, Mike! Thanks for the insight!

  • http://rhogroupee.com/ Rosemary ONeill

    One quick question…I’m not seeing the “contact us” widget on the right side of our page. Is this a Pro-only feature perhaps?

  • http://twitter.com/FayeinCbus Faye Stock Oney

    This is a great article, but I do have a question in reference to #1 about the company page banners. How do you actually upload those? The edit mode doesn’t really indicate how to add the banners. I even emailed LinkedIn about this. Thanks for the information!

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottvarga Scott Varga

    Fantastic article Mike but one question on #5. Many of my companies customers are overseas such as EU, China, Taiwan, Japan, etc. When you say morning, would you recommend my morning (US) or the morning where majority of my customers (company page followers) are from? Seems kinda obvious to me but would like to get some other folks thoughts on this.

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  • boxerchick65

    I must be missing something, but I’m not seeing how to create a custom banner from the Products & Services page. Is there a tutorial to this somewhere? Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/whos_that_kmj Katie Jacobs

    I have the same question and didn’t see anything in LinkedIn’s Help Center. Any help would be much appreciated!

  • Swarley305

    Same problem I’m thinking this might only be for Premium (paid) LinkedIn pages

  • Christie G

    I’m having the same issue. No “Contact Us” option.

  • http://twitter.com/iexposure Internet Exposure

    Hi everyone – I’m weighing in because I had this problem myself just a few weeks ago. When you click into the “Products” or “Services” area of your LinkedIn profile, you will see a blue “Edit” button in the upper right-hand corner of that page. You won’t find what you’re looking for if you activate the dropdown arrow in that button. Rather, you’ll want to click directly on the portion of the button that says “Edit”. From there, you will be taken to the admin for your “Product” or “Services” area where you can describe your services, and then add up to three separate banners. I’ve had clients complain about locating this functionality, as well, so hopefully LinkedIn will address this at some point. Hope this helps! — Camella Mendez/iExposure

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  • http://www.makesocialmediasell.com/ jeff_molander

    Thanks but what Step number is it? I see no place to add the banners and links—only:

    Step 4. Add an image of your product or service.Choose an image that represents your product or service. Your image will be re-sized to 100×80 pixels.

  • http://twitter.com/FayeinCbus Faye Stock Oney

    Hi Christie and Rosemary. You have to go to the specific product in order to put in the contact person. So I guess you would have to create your products/services first before this step. I believe that also applies to linking a video to the page. Hope that helps.

  • http://twitter.com/MemphisMarly @MemphisMarly

    Could you elaborate on the Lead Collection widget? It looks like it can only be activated through a LinkedIn ad campaign.

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  • http://twitter.com/Diane_Bianchi Diane Bianchi

    Wow! There are some awesome tips here that I’ll have to try out. Thanks!

  • Kelly Madden

    I uploaded 2 banners and 2 URL’s but they do not appear under my “Services” tab on my Company page…?

  • Alda Maia

    Great article. But about #1 “You can add up to three different linkable product banners” I really don’t see this option on linkedin….

  • Diala Alkhawaldeh

    This is a call to Action! Entrepreneurs that want to drive business by exposing their product or service can benefit from reviewing this brief article.

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  • http://www.leadsandappointments.com/ Anika Davis

    This post is a real eye opener to just how terrible at LinkedIn. Entrepreneurs can benefit from this article especially to those that wants to promote their products and services.

  • http://www.callbox.com.sg/ Jayden Chu

    There is no doubt that LinkedIn is becoming a big factor in the success of our business. Facebook and Twitter can be beneficial, but LinkedIn was created with business professionals in mind. There is certainly less clutter. LinkedIn has evolved over the years and if used properly, is a great way to make connections and interact with potential clients and customers.Thanks for sharing these tips Mike!

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  • Dotty

    Linkedin used to be a business networking site, now its just another aggregator for viral marketing and advertising. Yuck.

  • http://www.kronikmedia.co.uk/ K.Singh, London

    Adding videos, both to your services section as well as status updates also helps as it can get more attention from users. The spotlight slideshow on the services tab is another effective way to drive leads especially as we can link them to external web pages.

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