Why Aren’t B2B Marketers Running Better Lead Generation Programs on LinkedIn?


By Susan Tatum

October 14, 2014

According to a recent survey, lead generation ranks as the top objective for B2B companies’ digital marketing programs, with 41% of respondents choosing it as their top goal. No surprise there. But interestingly, in the same survey, only 17% chose brand and product awareness as the top goal for digital initiatives.

Digital Goals

If lead generation is the top priority and awareness not so much, why then do so many B2B companies run simple brand maintenance programs on LinkedIn and call it a day? Why doesn’t every B2B company take that extra step and turn on the lead generation faucet? Really focus on lead generation.

In my experience there are three reasons B2B companies are missing this opportunity. Do you see yourself in any of these scenarios?

1. You don’t believe (or didn’t know) social media can be used to generate leads.

When I talk to marketing pros about the numbers and quality of leads our clients are generating on LinkedIn (with our help, of course), they’re often shocked. They had no idea LinkedIn can be used to deliver such numbers.

I blame that on the masses of social media “experts” who claim social channels are only good for creating brand awareness and/or communicating with existing customers. Whether they do this because they don’t understand lead generation and how to apply it to social media or they just don’t want to be held accountable for easily measured ROI, when it comes to LinkedIn, they are missing a big opportunity.

2. You think you actually are using LinkedIn for lead generation.

An unfortunate number of B2B marketers (greater than 80%, according to LinkedIn) are stuck in brand maintenance mode; and I find that many of these marketers believe they’re using LinkedIn for lead generation. But any leads generated from a typical brand awareness program are pretty much luck. The numbers won’t be big enough to get anyone in the boardroom to take notice.

Brand maintenance/awareness programs typically consist of company and showcase pages, status updates, publishing content on the LinkedIn publishing platform, some group participation and much tracking of followers, likes and shares. If you’re interested in why these programs don’t generate leads, take a look at this article: Why Most B2B LinkedIn Programs Fail to Generate Leads.

3. You know you’re not using LinkedIn for lead generation, but don’t know how to get started.

In the grand scheme of lead generation, LinkedIn is certainly a new channel; and as with any other new marketing opportunity it takes some work to figure it out. The successful lead generation programs we run at The Conversion Company did not happen overnight. We’ve been designing, implementing, experimenting and fine-tuning these programs since 2011, which is a very long time in the history of LinkedIn as a complex B2B marketing vehicle.

Like any other marketing program, you have choices when it comes to getting started with lead generation on LinkedIn. You can figure it out for yourself, add the skills to your staff, or outsource to a pro. The best route for any company depends on budget, existing resources and how much time you’re willing to take to get results.

Here’s what will happen when you get serious about LinkedIn lead generation.

Getting a powerful LinkedIn program up and running will realistically take 45 to 60 days, and most of that time will be spent on developing your strategy, updating profiles of the program participants, locating your target prospects and – in the case of a program from The Conversion Company – setting up a custom LinkedIn group. From that point, you’ll find that:

How to get started

The first step in any LinkedIn program should be to set objectives, identify your target prospects and create a plan to get you where you want to go. If you’re a technology or other B2B company interested in learning more about how to get help with your LinkedIn program, just contact The Conversion Company. We can help.

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