Social media marketing is the way of the future for gaining connections and pre-qualified leads. But for many, social media marketing begins—and ends—with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Some professionals never stop to consider the overall power of LinkedIn, using it as a portfolio more than anything else. If you’re guilty of this, then you are missing out on the lead generation opportunity of a lifetime. In fact, check out these stats from LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Blog:

“59% of marketers generate B2B leads on LinkedIn, compared to 26% on other social platforms, 78% of B2B marketers rate LinkedIn the most effective social media platform at helping their organization achieve specific objectives, and 9 out of 10 customers reduced their cost per lead with LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms.”

This means that whether you are looking to acquire warm leads for your business or create lasting business connections, LinkedIn is the best strategy in the B2B world. The question is how does LinkedIn help generate these connections and leads? And how can you set lead generation goals you are sure to accomplish in your own marketing strategy?

Below, we’ve compiled all of these answers and more so you can succeed in your LinkedIn lead generating strategy starting today.

How LinkedIn Helps Generate Connections and Leads for Businesses

To understand how LinkedIn helps generate leads and connections, think of this platform as less of a portfolio and as more of a “cool kid’s club,” so to speak. The more you engage and showcase your skills, the more people join your group and the more chances you have of acquiring leads and connections.

For instance, if you’re always talking about how much you love data analysis around the office, odds are that your coworkers would ask for your input on their data-heavy projects. So take this same mindset and turn it outwards, instead. If you are a salesperson or business owner on LinkedIn, by continuously being involved in posts related to your industry, you’ll prove yourself to be a thought leader in your space. You can get more people to connect with you in this same industry and generate opportunities with clients you would never have acquired otherwise.

We discuss this idea further in our article Marketer’s Guide to Teaching Your "Seasoned" Sales Team LinkedIn, but one quote that perfectly encapsulates this is one from Gary Vaynerchuk: “$1.80 LinkedIn strategy for growing on LinkedIn: 1. Search things that matter most to your world. 2. Read the post. 3. Leave the most relevant comment.”

With this said, by simply posting relevant content, searching for content related to your industry, and being engaged with it frequently, you can acquire new connections and leads without ever even having to send a pitch in the process.

Furthermore, three tips you may want to consider in your LinkedIn marketing process are using video marketing strategies, joining groups related to your industry on LinkedIn and taking advantage of LinkedIn’s long-form posting platform. Lets dig in!

Tip #1: Video Marketing on LinkedIn

Video marketing is not just for YouTube anymore. In fact, according to Neil Patel:

“A staggering 84% of buyers reported that they had been convinced to buy after watching a brand’s video. And that same study found that 97% of businesses believe that their video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.”

There are many ways to create highly successful LinkedIn marketing videos that will generate both leads and connections, but the best video formats are tutorials, daily routine coverage videos, testimonials, brand explanation videos and responses to news related to your products, services, demographics, or industry.

With these videos, you can attract more potential clients and connections, show your genuine and trustworthy side, and prove how knowledgeable you are in your particular industry.

Tip #2: Joining Groups for More Brand Reach

Although commenting on relevant content and being engaged in your industry’s top influencers’ posts are both good tactics, you can also increase your reach by joining LinkedIn groups related to your demographic or industry, as well.

For instance, if your company is an investment software business, you may want to join groups related to investment, business, finances, and entrepreneurs. In this way, you can engage with your target audience, show your knowledge and insight, and also make new connections that agree with your opinions and the information you provide.

Tip #3: Taking Advantage of Long-Form Posting

Although long-form posting requires you to write like a creative and create engaging content which may be difficult for a salesperson or business owner to do, this format is slowly becoming one of the most successful ways to market your business (or yourself) on LinkedIn.

If you find this particular tip interesting and potentially useful for your business, the first step is to look at other LinkedIn influencers in your industry for a reference as to what content is popular and what is not. Compile a list of subjects where you are a subject matter expert, and develop your unique insights on these topics. Begin to use this informative LinkedIn long-form posting guide by OkDork to create a post that is guaranteed to do well with your target audience and business connections.

Don’t forget to continuously respond to comments once the post is published. You want to give the impression that you are available, friendly and easy to work with both as a service provider and a connection.

Now, all that is left is determining what goals to set for your LinkedIn lead generation to continue to grow your business and expand your opportunities through this social media platform.

How to Set LinkedIn Lead Generation Goals

When setting these goals, you should always start by determining what you want to see most from your leads. Are you looking to increase sales, get more social media engagement or increase traffic to your website? Or maybe you’re simply hoping to connect with other people in your industry for potential business opportunities down the road?

No matter what you choose, the next step is to find the best way to analyze your success in this specific goal. For instance, if you are hoping to increase sales, your conversion rate is key. By measuring your Linkedin ROI, you can find exactly how much work or money you put into LinkedIn for the profits you received in return.

Similarly, if you are hoping to get more social media engagement, you will want to analyze your post engagement and how many people have viewed or added your profile since you began your LinkedIn marketing strategy. If you are not receiving new connections or engagements from certain posts, you may want to reconsider what you are sharing, posting, or engaging with and restructure accordingly. Look for what is performing well, find the common thread and produce more content along the same lines.

Lastly, if you are simply looking to get more connections, you will want to consistently measure how many people you are connected with and how valuable they are to you and your business. For instance, it is not hard to get more connections on LinkedIn per se, but valuable connections are the name of the game. To achieve this, you will want to review how to build a valuable LinkedIn network and will want to continuously ensure that your connections and your content fit within these guidelines.

By analyzing these main measurements and keeping them intact, you can achieve your lead generation goals and build your business, brand image, profits, and opportunities exponentially through the power of LinkedIn marketing alone. Now, instead of using this powerful tool as nothing more than a portfolio, it’s time to use it to its full potential and see the true and clear results it can provide you with in the process.

If this strategy seems like a lot to handle, always remember that expert help is just a form-fill away! The digital and social media marketing professionals at Ironmark can guide you through finding the right lead generation strategy for your unique business goals.

Written by Lynne Kingsley

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