B2B lead

How To Generate B2B Leads on LinkedIn: The Definitive Guide

LinkedIn is a goldmine for B2B businesses. How? You can connect with professionals and decision-makers from any industry. LinkedIn is the only platform where you can do this. That makes it a treasure-trove for B2B lead generation when done correctly. 

Emphasis on ‘correctly’. Generating high-quality B2B leads on LinkedIn isn’t easy. You need an informed and structured approach to succeed. You’ll need to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Engage with the right audience. Also, take advantage of the platform’s tools. 

Keep reading to learn how to build an effective LinkedIn lead-generation strategy.

What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers into potential customers. It involves identifying and nurturing potential buyers for your products or services. 

Most lead generation strategies involve:

  • SEO Content marketing
  • Email marketing 
  • Social media advertising 
  • Paid advertising 

And more. 

You exchange the content for contact information, like email addresses or phone numbers.

Then, you’ll use their contact information to create meaningful interactions with potential customers. Doing so nudges them along your sales funnel. 

For example, you could show an ad to a lead while they’re scrolling on Instagram. Another option is emailing an enticing newsletter to pique their curiosity.

When done right, lead generation increases brand awareness and sales. Every business generates leads to build a reliable sales funnel of new customers.

Here’s an example. 

A B2B Real Tech SaaS can generate leads from LinkedIn by posting weekly blog posts. These posts are for an audience of property managers (Their intended customers).

Their blog posts provide helpful information to property managers. This content establishes the SaaS business as a thought leader in their industry. They also conclude each blog post with a CTA asking the reader to provide their email address. 

Next, they email an enticing 50% off offer to each lead. The emails move each reader who provided the email address further in the sales funnel. 

Why Should You Generate B2B Leads from LinkedIn? 

There are three reasons why LinkedIn is excellent for lead generation: 

  1. It’s the only ‘professional’ social media platform. 

You can access all professionals, from junior account managers to CEOs. Your target audience will be on LinkedIn. 

Another benefit is that you’re taken seriously if you post good content. LinkedIn is a serious platform and users look for high-quality professional content. If you can provide it, you’ll stand out. 

Even better, you can reach out to your target audience with direct messages. They’re even likely to respond to you if they’re interested. 

You’re far less likely to receive the same response on Instagram or Facebook. 

  1. They offer great precision targeting tools to reach the right audience. 

Suppose, you only want to hit stage 1 tech startup CEOs in California. 

On LinkedIn, you can filter your search for job title, industry, and location. 

So you can ensure you only target your desired audience. So you won’t waste energy on unqualified leads. 

  1. They have excellent data tracking and technology features 

You can use these analytics features to track your performance and identify areas of improvement. 

For B2B sales, you’ll want their LinkedIn Sales Navigator package. It’ll simplify your sales cycle by providing insights from your LinkedIn performance that you can use to improve your campaign. 

Another significant advantage is that LinkedIn has excellent integration with CRMs and marketing tools. Take advantage of that to simplify data management and lead tracking. 

LinkedIn themselves report that their platform is responsible for 80% of all B2B leads sourced from social media

Challenges for B2B Businesses in LinkedIn B2B Lead Generation

Linkedin is an excellent platform for B2B lead generation, but it’s not easy to succeed there. You’ll encounter several challenges. 

You won’t be the first digital marketing agency to target marketing managers on LinkedIn. Your competitors employ the same strategy. So they’ll contest every second of attention you get from a potential customer. 

That’s just one of the 5 challenges you’ll face in LinkedIn B2B lead generation. 

1. Identifying the Right Audience

You need to identify the right audience for you. These people have a reason to buy from you. So you only want to target them. Targeting other audiences will provide unqualified leads that will waste time and resources. 

57% of B2B marketers cite investing in the wrong audience as their biggest  wasted cost in lead generation. Avoid this by clearly describing your target customer. 

As a B2B business, you want to target decision-makers like CTOs and managers. Target the specific decision-maker who decides whether the company needs your product. 

Suppose you’re a cybersecurity agency.

You’ll want to target the CTOs/ IT infrastructure managers of other businesses. They’re responsible for their company’s data security. They also have the authority to hire a cybersecurity agency if necessary. 

When you target them, you target the person most likely to purchase your services. 

Contrast this with targeting junior developers instead. 

Even if they think their firm should buy your services, they can’t make that decision. 

Hence, they’re unqualified leads.

2. Create Engaging Content 

Your content is engaging if people want to read it.  Engagement is an emotional reaction you create by providing relevant high-quality content. An engaged audience gets hooked by your introduction and can’t wait to finish your post.

Audiences like your brand when you engage with them. Feeling engaged makes them want to interact with you more. Down the road, it also leads to them wanting to buy from you. 

So engagement is crucial for winning on LinkedIn, but it’s not easy. 63% of businesses agree that creating engaging content is challenging. 

To create engaging content on LinkedIn, your content should be: 

  • Authoritative 
  • Informative 
  • Relevant 
  • Easy-to-read 

For example, you could write a LinkedIn post on how IT MSPs can get more clients. 

  • To be authoritative, you need to cite relevant experience or knowledge. If you’ve worked with IT MSPs before, mention that. It means you know their struggles. 

Without providing authority, why would anyone believe what you say? 

  • To be informative, you need to give useful information. Don’t say write generic things like ‘You should have a backup on the cloud’.

    No one benefits from reading that.
  • To be relevant, your audience should be the marketing managers in IT MSPs, not IT technicians. You could write a great post that impresses many IT technicians, but they can’t hire you. 

So don’t impress the wrong audience. 

  • To be easy to read, your post should be clear, concise, and formatted to LinkedIn’s norms.

    You could share life-changing advice on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, if it’s not well-written, no one will read it. 

Here’s an example of a bad LinkedIn post vs a good one. 

B2B Lead
B2B Lead

3. Measure the Quality of your Leads

Not all leads are equal. High quality leads are more likely to buy than low quality ones. You only want the former. So you need to differentiate between the two. 

On the one extreme, you’ll have leads that have the means and desire to buy from you. On the opposite side are leads who can’t and don’t want to. Most leads fall somewhere in between. 

Marketing Sherpa discovered 61% of B2B marketers direct all leads to sales. Of these, only 27% are qualified leads. 

The problem with chasing less qualified leads is wasted resources and missed opportunities. Your sales team has limited time, energy, and resources. So, you want to optimize their use. 

Without lead scoring, they’ll spend time and energy on low-quality leads that coul’ve been spent converting high-quality ones. 

 So you need a way to quantify a lead’s quality. 

You can do this by building a lead scoring system. It’ll assign values to leads based on factors, like their position and behavior. The more desirable their positions and behavior, the higher their score. 

Suppose you’re an Asana consultancy. 

You’ll want middle managers with project management problems at medium-sized businesses. 

So you’ll assign higher scores to leads that fit this profile than ones that don’t. 

Then, you’ll have your sales team focus on the leads with higher scores. 

The goal is to focus as much of your energy as possible on leads closest to your ideal customer.

4. Managing the Long Sales Cycle

The B2B sales cycle is generally longer and more complex than the B2C one. B2B sales involve multiple stakeholders that need to be engaged, unlike B2C ones. 

For this reason, 70% of B2B companies take at least four months to close a deal and another 17% need over a year. 

Suppose you sell a B2B employee performance software. You’ll likely have to engage multiple levels of management, including the head of HR before you can make a sale.

You lose the entire sale if you fail to convince a single decision-maker along the entire chain. 

In contrast, if you sell watermelon, you just need a hungry customer. It’s a straightforward consumer purchase with only one decision-maker: the consumer. 

Adapt to the long sales cycles by having patience and persistence. On LinkedIn, this means you need to consistently post quality content over a long time period before expecting tangible results. 

You need to have the mindframe of playing the long game. Don’t be easily demotivated from not receiving quick results or if multiple leads fail to convert. 

5. Technology Integration 

Technology-related problems are a common challenge for lead generation activities. 

These problems could include a lack of integration between your tech stack. Another example is inefficient software that bottlenecks performance. 

54% of marketers regard integrating data from different sources as a serious challenge. This remains true for LinkedIn lead generation. 

Here’s an example in action: 

Suppose you’re running a business consultancy that emails potential leads from LinkedIn. 

You do so using lead scoring and email automation tools. Each tool is great, but you haven’t integrated them. 

The result is that your email tool emails both qualified and unqualified leads. That defeats having a lead-scoring system at all. 

Integrate both tools so you only email qualified leads to avoid becoming spam. Without doing this, your email addresses domain authority will decline.

How do you do B2B Lead Generation on LinkedIn?

You have the following three ways to do B2B lead generation on LinkedIn

1. Targeted Ads

You’ll use LinkedIn’s targeted ads feature to reach your specific professional audience. Use the advanced targeting features to create tailored ads for factors, like: 

  • Job title 
  • Industry 
  • Company size 
  • Professional Interests 
  • Location 

With such precision, you can target very specific individuals. Say you need the marketing managers of small real estate companies in Colorado. 

LinkedIn will give you a comprehensive list of each one on their platform. 

You can target them with the platform’s various ad formats, including: 

  • Sponsored Content 
  • Sponsored InMail 
  • Text ads 

2. Post Engaging Content

You need engaging content to hook your audience’s interest. Your content is engaging if it makes audiences want to interact with you. 

There are many types of engaging content, like 

  • Blog posts 
  • Videos 
  • Infographics 
  • Case studies 
  • Carousel posts 

You can combine these types too, like including infographics in your blog posts. 

Whichever type(s) you choose, your content should be high-quality and relevant. It needs both to develop credibility for your business. 

Without quality and relevance, you won’t convince potential leads to interact with you. 

Ideally, post diverse content types to appeal to different members of your audience. 

The goal is for potential leads to view your content, gain brand awareness, and interact with you. Interacting with you moves them down the sales funnel. 

Suppose, you run a Vancouver-based accounting firm that targets tech startups. 

You could post bi-monthly blogs about accounting for tech startups. 

An example is ‘Why should your start-up outsource its accounting’. It’ll be around 1,500 words long and include a CTA to contact your firm at the end. 

In the post, you’ll convince founders why they should outsource their accounting. Use rational arguments, since founders are most likely to be convinced by them. Add empirical data, and provide real-world examples to back up your claim. 

Best case scenario, a tech founder reads your article, reaches out, and hires you. 

More realistically, it’ll convince them to outsource their accounting. They’ll need to be moved further in the sales funnel before they outsource specifically to you. 

It’s not enough to occasionally post good content either. You need to consistently and reliably produce high-quality content to maintain engagement. 

Respond to comments, especially questions, to maintain engagement with your followers. 

3. LinkedIn Pages

Your LinkedIn Page can be likened to your business’s digital storefront. It’s where you:

  • provide information about your company
  • share updates about your business
  • interact with followers. 

In short, it’s where potential leads go to learn more about you and potentially interact with you. So you need a discoverable and attractive LinkedIn page to serve as an inbound source of leads. 

A good LinkedIn page has: 

  • A complete business description 
  • Your professional logo 
  • A link to your website 
  • Details of your business, i.e. what it does and for whom.

A good LinkedIn page is concise, exact, and authoritative. A reader should walk away from your page knowing the basics of your business. This includes what you do, why, and for whom. 

They should also have the impression that you’re a legitimate and credible enterprise. 

In contrast, a bad LinkedIn page will be vague, have little to no relevant details, and have little content. It leaves the reader questioning whether the business is fraudulent. 

Here’s an example of a good LinkedIn page: 

B2B Lead
B2B Lead
B2B Lead

Essential Lead Generation Strategies for LinkedIn

Use these 3 essential LinkedIn lead generation strategies 

1. Boost Your Executives’ LinkedIn Presence

Optimize the LinkedIn profiles of your company’s executives. You need this because it lends greater credibility to your business. Followers need to see that your executives take the time and care to appear professional and available. 

To achieve this effect, your executives should: 

  • Have professional headshots 
  • Descriptive headlines with detailed job experiences 
  • Regularly participate in LinkedIn groups and post high quality content
  • Have a strong and consistent presence

An executive profile with these qualities improves your business’s reputatin and visibility, attracting audiences. 

2. Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has groups, like Content Marketers or JavaScript developers. You can join them to interact with relevant members of your industry. 

These groups often have discussions and news feeds. Members will often talk about new developments and industry trends there. So it’s a great place to post your high-quality content to position yourself as an industry leader. 

For example, you could join a freelance writing group. 

In it, you can post how your AI solution helps freelance writers improve the quality of their work. Doing so will generate interest around your product and raise brand awareness. 

You can also collect data from these groups to learn more about your audience. That way, you can better meet your audience’s needs.

3. Leverage Existing Customer Connections

Use LinkedIn’s excellent networking abilities to convert followers and connections into leads. Ask your existing customers and LinkedIn connections for referrals. 

They may know someone who needs your services. After all, 78% of B2B referrals are viable customer leads. 

You have to explicitly ask them since most people don’t provide referrals unless prompted to. 

Referrals make high-quality leads because of the added credibility of whoever recommended you. 

Suppose, you provide cybersecurity services to small businesses in London. 

It’s likely that many small business owners interact with one another. So a previous client could mention you to another business owner who needs cybersecurity services.

This way, you get a warm lead. 

Tip for Improving your LinkedIn B2B Lead Generation

These 4 tips will improve your B2B lead generation efforts on LinkedIn

1. Design your content to be tempting 

Your content needs to ‘hook’ the audience’s attention in the first 5 seconds. Entice readers with a relevant and catchy offer that interests them. 

For instance ‘ Here’s how I broke up information silos at a Fortune 500 company’ is a more interesting headline than ‘During my employment at a Fortune 500 company, I learned how to integrate information silos’. 

More than a few frustrated project managers will be interested in the first headline. The second, not so much. The first one’s enticing because it offers something interesting. You get an anecdotal solution to a common and frustrating problem, information silos. 

The first headline also has a clear value proposition. When you read more, you’ll learn how you could potentially solve information silos, too. The second one doesn’t. 

Plus, it’s about how the author fixed this problem at a Fortune 500 company. So it adds additional credibility. 

Thoroughly research your audience to discover their problems. Then find out how you can solve them. And lastly, figure out how to present your solution in an enticing way. 

2. Balance Information in your Lead Generation Form

There’s a fine balance between collecting information and overwhelming potential leads. Maintain it by employing short, relevant forms. 

People like quick, easy submissions. So include a clear value proposition to remind the reader why they should sign up. 

Something like ‘Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on the effects of AI technology on employment opportunities’ is attractive because it tells the reader exactly what they’ll get. 

When a lead signs up for your newsletter, don’t ask them for much more than their email address and maybe their name. 

If you ask for their D.O.B, address, blood type, and annual income, they’ll probably not want to sign up. 

The exact form length you should use depends on your audience and industry. So the best way to discover it is by experimenting with different lengths till you find one that works with you.

Here’s an example of a good lead generation form. 

B2B Lead

3. Integrate Your CRM

Integrate your CRM with LinkedIn to streamline lead management. These are the benefits of CRM LinkedIn integration: 

  • You can add leads with a single click, ensuring no missing leads.
  • You can centrally manage all your lead data.
  • You can access comprehensive data directly from your leads’ LinkedIn profiles.
  • You can track all LinkedIn interactions on your CRM, including messages and comments.
  • You’ll minimize data entry errors since your CRM automatically updates information.
  • You can share data with team members on your CRM, giving you a unified approach to managing leads. 

For example, you could integrate your LinkedIn with HubSpot’s CRM. You’d need LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator along with either HubSpot’s Sales or Enterprise. 

Check out these learning resources to learn how to integrate LinkedIn and HubSpot. 

4. Monitor Ad Performance

Regularly monitor and analyze LinkedIn performance to identify areas of improvement. You’ll want to track metrics like: 

  • The number of leads 
  • Click-through rates 
  • Form submission rates 

Use this data to better understand what you’re doing wrong and correct it. Here’s an example of what an ad performance dashboard looks like: 

B2B Lead

Say you post ads about digital marketing services that receive many impressions but few clicks. 

This indicates your ad copy may not be sufficiently convincing. 

If after writing better copy, your click-through rates increase, you’ve solved the problem. 

To Summarize 

LinkedIn is the perfect platform for your B2B lead generation. It has access to all the world’s professionals. You get thorough filtering tools to get the right audience. And you can easily build credibility with high-quality content. 

To succeed, you need to consistently post good content and track your performance. Of course, that’s not easy. So hiring a freelance writer with an expertise in social media copy could come in handy. 

Click here to check out my portfolio. 

Author: Ramish Kamal Syed | Editor: Syed Hamza Ali | SEO Editor: Muhammad Waqas Aslam