When everyone and their grandmother knows that content is king, getting B2B leads on LinkedIn through posts becomes a race where everyone runs at 9.6 m/s. You can put in the effort but the returns won’t always show. However, the great thing about B2B marketing is that when there is a glut of marketers on a platform, opportunity lies therein. If only you can find a way to stand out.
LinkedIn Is Emerging as a B2B Lead Magnet And Everyone Knows it, So?
Linked has over 610 million users and a majority of them are professionals (with the occasional mad man in the market) and plenty of decision-makers. As with any social media platform, the algorithm that distributes content identifies posts that are popular or those showing potential and shows them to more people. Hence, marketers with an active following will-by virtue of algorithmic shenanigans-get more visibility.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that if you are new to the platform, you won’t get any leads through posts, it will just take longer and require more effort and consistency. LinkedIn groups on the other hand-with thousands of members-level the playing field.
Posting on LinkedIn Groups Won’t Get You Leads
From LinkedIn search bar, there were 1,851,850 groups at the time of writing this post. Ideally, if you join the active groups with at least 100k members, which are specialised to your niche, the odds of landing prospects increases, however, if you look closer, you’ll notice that posts do not always encourage engagement. Here are a couple of screenshots from Fintech groups that prove my point.
Here are posts from Fintech-Financial Technology group with 194,515 members, I scrolled through 20 posts on this group; only saw one like and 0 comments.
Here are screenshots from another niche group: FinTech 20/20 with 119, 102 members.
The posts here fared a little better; out of the 20 posts I scrolled through 5 had likes, but still, none had comments. Look closer at the type of people posting; a CEO here, a vice president there, a marketing manager promoting content. Just the type of people that B2B marketers consider leads, however, everyone is busy trying to get the other to look at them.
Think of LinkedIn groups as open-air markets; everyone is selling posts, there’s a large supply of leads (decision makers) but a shortage of likes, comments and attention as a whole. What is the savvy thing to do as a marketer here? Just pay attention to other people’s posts, paying attention gets you paid.
Comment Strategically-Qualify Leads
Vet the people behind the posts on the basis of 2 things: their position in the company (are they the decision-maker?) and the type of company they work for (do they fit your client profile?). If you find someone that ticks these boxes; like their post, read/skim through their articles and leave a thoughtful comment. The typical, ‘nice article’ or ‘interesting’, won’t do here, go in-depth, ask for clarifications, support the highlighted issue with your own data: demonstrate expertise. Yes, it takes time but the reason you qualify leads before engaging them is to make it worth it.
Why does this method work? If you have ever posted on LinkedIn or any other social media channel, you can relate to the feeling of always wanting to go back and see if someone engaged your post. The feeling you get when you see a well-thought-out comment under your post. Exciting, right? Unlike likes (pun intended), in-depth comments encourage conversation, which is the main aim of LinkedIn anyway.
Follow Through With Your Lead
By commenting, you have managed to turn someone’s ‘content-bait’ and made them interested in you instead. So now what?
A study by sales training company Rain Group found that it takes 8 touches on average, for a prospect to agree to a sales meeting-or related conversation. Hence, the next step for you should be to increase these touchpoints by offering more value before bringing up a product or service.
LinkedIn restricts the ability to send direct messages from free accounts to other members. Even with LinkedIn Premium, for instance, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, InMail messages are limited to 20. However, being part of the same LinkedIn group bypasses this restriction. You can send InMail messages to members of the same group.
On the other hand, I prefer engaging with prospects’ on their posts within the group, before jumping into their inboxes. Why? For the simple reason that these groups have admins who wouldn’t hesitate to remove you, should there be reports that you have been spamming members inboxes.
Share Content With Leads
Find content that is related to the prospect’s posts and send them a message; don’t sell anything, just open up room for further discussion. This can work well if you already have a ton of blog content lying on your company website that you can share (if you don’t, you can hire a writer to help with that ).
Alternatively, this can also be the time to send them a connection request with a personalised message:
“Hey I enjoyed our conversation on—, I think it’d be interesting to connect, how about it?
After you’ve connected, you can onboard them into your company’s sales funnel; whether it’s giving them access to a free lead magnet, a free trial or if you prefer going for the jugular, shove a product down their throat.