LinkedIn is the internet’s greatest social media platform for businesses and professionals, all about your network, building new connections, and tapping into your existing network to reach others connected to those you already know. It’s used widely for professional networking and industry link building, but it’s also one of the single best platforms for online lead generation.

If you’re not on LinkedIn, or your presence is limited solely to a seldom updated personal profile, now it’s time to change that. Set up your own detailed company page and ensure that it’s complete with all of the information and links that you need to create an effective brand presence on the platform. It’s time to look at how LinkedIn can genuinely drive new customers to your small business.

#1: Create great content

Effectively, the more that your audience is paying attention to your brand and finding themselves engaged with what it has to say and the value that it offers, the more likely they are to convert. This is the entire basis of content marketing, and LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for it outside of your site’s own blog.

Valuable content, be it informative, educational, insightful, newsworthy, or advice, is a great way of organically growing leads. When it goes right, then audience members who might not specifically be interested in your brand, products, or services will come to read the content. When they find the value in that content, however, they’re more likely to pay attention to the business responsible for it. If they’re in your target audience, it can eventually lead to them converting into customers.

Your posts will appear in your followers’ news feeds and on your Company page, but you shouldn’t be afraid to share it elsewhere, either. You can post links to it (with context and introduction) to Groups, on your other social media channels, and elsewhere. The more eyes you get on your content, the better. Just make sure you identify the value of the post before you publish it. Images, infographics, and videos always help make a post better at catching attention, too.

#2: Get involved with Groups

Outside of adding the connections that you have made in real life, LinkedIn Groups offer the best way to establish your network on LinkedIn. This is where people from your industry, your broader field of work, and adjected industries come together. From sharing industry-relevant news to posting information on trade shows, networking events, and more, it’s a good way to keep your finger on the pulse of the wider world relevant to your business.

The search feature and LinkedIn’s Groups discover tool can help you find the groups relevant to your business, with bigger groups tending to offer the most potential reach (though don’t underestimate the value of leads in a smaller group, where they’re easier to reach.)

Not only can you share your content amongst your group, piquing the interest of potential leads that could be amongst its members, but the connections that you build there could be just as valuable to your marketing strategy. In your Group, you could find brands that may be willing to get into cross-promotional campaigns with you. At the very least, you could find friends willing to lend their platform to boost your own efforts. Naturally, it works better if you’re willing to offer them a helping hand in return, too.

#3: Advertising on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has over 260 million monthly active users, which anyone will agree offers a huge amount of reach compared to most online advertising platforms. Perhaps not as much as Google or Facebook ads, but it’s also a slightly less competitive space, meaning that advertising on LinkedIn can also be a little more cost-effective.

There are two major kinds of paid promotion on LinkedIn. The first is Sponsored Content. This is a form of native advertising that appears only on LinkedIn, allowing you to effectively boost the visibility and reach of your content, helping it reach people well outside your own connections and groups. If a post of yours is seeing high engagement numbers and directly contributes to your marketing goals, then you should consider putting a little funding into it, to see just how far you can run with it.

LinkedIn Ad Campaigns are the other method. One of the biggest advantages of this ad network compared to others is its incredibly targeting capabilities. Since most users on LinkedIn provide information on their industry, skills, associations, and professional interests, this means that B2B brands can very easily target those that are relevant to their business.

There are direct pay-per-click text, video, and display ads that can help draw attention to your business page or content, as well as Sponsored InMail, which takes advantage of LinkedIn’s native email system, sending your content directly to the recipient’s mailbox.

It takes a lot of work to manage an advertising campaign, and expertise that you might not be ready to dip your toe into just yet. If that’s the case, then it’s also worth looking at LinkedIn Marketing Partners. The platform has been built to make it easy to access partners that bring the expertise that you might not have, outsourcing the campaign to them, whether you want them to design your campaign from scratch or to scale and more efficiently manage current campaigns.

Is it time to up your LinkedIn game?

Social media marketing on LinkedIn can be considered most effective for B2B brands, but it’s not necessarily relegated to them alone. Across industries, working professionals could make up a bigger portion of your market than you might think.

It’s important to learn more about the platform and your own efforts as time goes on. LinkedIn’s algorithms are forever changing how they publish and prioritise ads and content. Similarly, your analytics will offer constant insights on what is working, what isn’t, and how you can further refine your strategy.

Either way, there’s no doubting the effectiveness of LinkedIn as tool that can help drive new customers to your business.

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