How to use LinkedIn for B2B marketing? Are you facing a challenge with long B2B sales cycles and unprepared leads that hinder your ability to acquire high-intent customers? If so, you're not alone. While marketers are busy creating engagement strategies for leads at the awareness stage, sales teams are focused on closing deals, leading to a disconnect between the two teams.
there is a solution to this problem - well-aligned teams working together to streamline the sales cycle.
This is where lead nurturing comes in as a vital buffer.
Lead nurturing is an effective strategy that brings B2B marketing and sales teams together to achieve a common goal - building strong relationships at every stage of the sales funnel.
Doing so helps shorten the sales cycle and increase the likelihood of closing high-intent customers.
In this article, Qedge, the Sitecore implementation partner, with many Sitecore experts, will explore the important role of lead nurturing in lead generation and how it can be leveraged on the most popular platform for B2B leads - LinkedIn. With the right lead nurturing strategy, you can turn your unprepared leads into high-intent customers and achieve greater success in your B2B sales efforts.
Importance of lead nurturing in the B2B lead generation
What’s all the hype about lead nurturing? Here’s a breakdown of its effectiveness on inbound and outbound lead generation:
Inbound lead generation is a crucial part of any B2B marketing strategy.
Its main goal is to attract potential customers to your website using various inbound methods such as blog posts, paid ads, lead magnets, website content, and more. However, not every lead that is attracted to your website will convert to a customer.
To effectively nurture inbound leads, it's important to understand the various decision-making stages that prospects may be in. These stages can be broken down into three categories: Top of the funnel (TOFU) - Awareness stage, Middle of the funnel (MOFU) - Consideration stage, and Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) - Decision stage.
TOFU leads may not show immediate interest in your product or service because they are still trying to understand their pain points and look for solutions. Instead of applying sales tactics, the best approach is to build a relationship with them and offer insights about their needs.
MOFU leads are more informed about market solutions for their challenges than TOFU leads. They are looking for more information about solutions. To attract them, it's important to show them how your solution stands out using educational resources such as articles, webinars, podcasts, and targeted offers.
BOFU leads are the closest to making a decision and sealing the deal. To effectively convert them, it's important to offer free trials, live demos, case studies, and other resources that show them where your solution fits into their workflows and helps them reach their goals.
So where does lead nurturing stand?
Lead nurturing is an effective way to help potential customers understand the value of your product or service. It involves using various inbound strategies such as educational resources, email nurturing, remarketing ads, and leveraging potent B2B channels like LinkedIn to engage potential customers.
For example, imagine that an SDR receives an email outreach from your company and downloads your eBook titled, "The Ultimate Guide on How to Generate More Leads in 2023." While they may not be ready to try your LinkedIn outreach tool, this is the perfect opportunity to use your educational resources to nurture them down the sales funnel.
You can guide them to your article "10 Reasons Why You Should Engage in LinkedIn Outreach" using a targeted email marketing campaign. Once they realize the value of LinkedIn outreach, you can lead them to your second article "5 Best Tools for LinkedIn Automation", which explores the top tools for automating their LinkedIn outreach.
Inbound lead generation, coupled with effective lead nurturing, helps build a healthy connection with potential customers from the start. By educating them and guiding them toward purchasing decisions, you increase the likelihood of converting them into valuable customers.
Why is LinkedIn a significant platform for B2B lead nurturing?
What makes LinkedIn a gold mine for B2B lead nurturing strategies? Here’s what does:
Data is easily accessible
LinkedIn is home to a vast network of professionals and companies worldwide, with over 930 million users and 58 million companies. This makes it highly likely that your prospects regularly access LinkedIn, which presents an opportunity to leverage its vast amount of data for lead nurturing.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a powerful tool designed for sales and marketing teams to access important data and reach the right decision-makers. With this tool, you can fetch data beyond ordinary professional credentials, such as prospects' backgrounds, interests, and skills. This information can be used as a foundation for lead nurturing, enabling you to create targeted content and have personalized conversations that build personal connections from the get-go.
By leveraging LinkedIn's vast amount of data, you can gain valuable insights into your prospects' interests and preferences and tailor your lead nurturing strategies to meet their unique needs. This approach helps to build trust and establish a long-lasting relationship with your potential customers, increasing the likelihood of converting them into valuable leads.
Building trust is essential when it comes to lead nurturing on LinkedIn. Unlike emails or phone conversations, LinkedIn allows you to connect with prospects in a more personable way, which can help build trust more quickly.
To build trust among high-intent leads on LinkedIn, it's important to use targeted content and messaging and optimize your LinkedIn company profiles. Sharing customer testimonials, case studies, and past results on your page is one of the best ways to nurture leads on LinkedIn. This type of content provides social proof that your product or service is effective and can help establish trust with potential customers.
Additionally, engaging with prospects through personalized messaging and commenting on their posts can help build a personal connection and establish trust. This approach shows that you are genuinely interested in their needs and are willing to engage with them on a personal level.
Setting objectives is an essential part of any successful lead nurturing campaign on LinkedIn. Objectives help you define your goals and determine the metrics you need to track to measure success.
When setting objectives for your lead nurturing campaign on LinkedIn, it's important to focus on specific outcomes that align with your overall business goals. For example, you may want to increase awareness around your product or service by gaining more newsletter sign-ups, increasing engagement on posts, or networking on LinkedIn groups.
Once you have set your objectives, it's time to measure success. This involves tracking key metrics such as post engagements, the number of conversions on LinkedIn groups, sign-ups from LinkedIn users, and more. By regularly reviewing these metrics over a fixed period, you can determine whether you have achieved your objectives and make any necessary adjustments to your lead nurturing strategy.
Increasing the quality of leads
What's more important to you, 100 inquiries from prospects or 1000 irrelevant followers? The quality of leads is more important than the quantity. And LinkedIn makes that happen.
If you don't have a foolproof interaction plan and a targeted LinkedIn content strategy, you'll miss several opportunities to identify and nurture top-tier prospects.
LinkedIn content and conversations that are well thought out provide value to confused prospects and convert them into sales-ready leads.
Lead nurturing is an effective way to decrease customer acquisition cost (CAC) by preventing potential leads from being lost in the top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) and middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) stages and converting them in the near future with a smaller marketing budget.
By nurturing leads through the sales funnel, you increase the likelihood of converting them into valuable customers, which reduces the overall CAC. This is because lead nurturing focuses on building relationships with prospects and guiding them toward a purchasing decision, which can be more cost-effective than traditional marketing and sales methods.
For example, by providing valuable educational content and personalized messaging, you can gradually move prospects down the sales funnel, increasing the likelihood of conversion. This approach helps to reduce CAC by focusing on high-intent leads who are more likely to convert, rather than casting a wide net and spending marketing dollars on unqualified leads.
Driving pipeline and revenue
Personalized outreach sequences combined with a solid LinkedIn content plan can form a well-fueled pipeline with more incoming leads. This approach can help to increase the ROI and revenue of your lead nurturing campaign, as LinkedIn is often more cost-effective than other nurturing channels.
By leveraging LinkedIn's platform for lead nurturing, you can engage with high-intent leads in a more personalized way, which can increase the likelihood of conversion and reduce the overall cost of customer acquisition. Additionally, a solid LinkedIn content plan can help to establish trust and build relationships with potential customers, which can further increase conversion rates.
Compared to other nurturing channels, LinkedIn can be more cost-effective due to its targeted approach and ability to reach decision-makers directly. This can result in a higher ROI and revenue for your business, as you can focus your marketing and sales efforts on high-intent leads who are more likely to convert.
so, how to use LinkedIn for B2B marketing? B2B Leads Tactics
Adding the “Nurturing” tag
Adding the "Nurturing" tag to conversations is an effective way to ensure that potential leads will not be lost in the shuffle on LinkedIn.
When dealing with hundreds of prospects across platforms, it's easy for potential leads to slip through the cracks. With so many types of messages and notifications on LinkedIn, it can be challenging to stay organized and prioritize sales-worthy messages.
By adding the "Nurturing" tag to conversations, you can easily filter and prioritize leads that require follow-up and further nurturing. This approach helps ensure that potential leads are not lost in the shuffle and that you can focus your efforts on high-intent leads that are more likely to convert.
Additionally, using tags on LinkedIn can help you stay organized and streamline your lead-nurturing process. By tagging conversations based on their status or priority, you can quickly filter and find the conversations that require your immediate attention.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile for your ICP
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile for your ideal customer profile (ICP) is crucial for successful lead nurturing on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile should stand out from the crowd, show authority, and convince your target audience to take the next big step.
Here are some tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile for your ICP:
- Use a professional profile picture and cover photo that reflects your brand and industry.
- Craft a compelling headline that showcases your expertise and value proposition.
- Use keywords throughout your profile that align with your ICP's interests and needs.
- Use bullet points to highlight your skills, accomplishments, and experience.
- Add multimedia content to your profile, such as videos, images, and presentations, to showcase your work and expertise.
- Include customer testimonials and case studies that demonstrate your ability to deliver results.
- Engage with your audience by posting relevant content, commenting on posts, and sharing valuable insights.
Build a smart lead nurturing sequence with engagement actions between messages
Building a smart lead nurturing sequence with engagement actions between messages is an effective way to establish a friendly connection with potential customers on LinkedIn.
Being overly salesy with every interaction can be off-putting to leads, so it's important to build relationships on a solid foundation of friendliness. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for establishing this type of connection, as it allows you to engage with potential customers in a more personal way.
In addition to sending messages and scheduling meetings, you can also engage with potential customers by reacting to their posts, commenting on their achievements, visiting their LinkedIn profiles, endorsing their skills, and sharing their posts. These engagement actions help to build rapport and establish a personal connection with potential customers, which can increase the likelihood of conversion.
Set up message campaigns for your 1st-degree audience
Setting up message campaigns for your 1st-degree audience is an effective way to nurture your LinkedIn connections and increase the likelihood of conversion.
Your 1st-degree audience is already connected with you on LinkedIn, which means they are past the awareness stage and may be more receptive to your messaging. By sending them introductory messages, highlighting commonalities, and appreciating their insights, you can build stronger relationships and increase the likelihood of conversion.
Here are some tips for setting up message campaigns for your 1st-degree audience:
- Personalize your messages - Use the recipient's name and reference previous interactions to make your message more personal and engaging.
- Highlight commonalities - Point out shared interests or experiences to establish a connection and build rapport.
- Appreciate their insights - Acknowledge the recipient's expertise and insights to show that you value their opinion.
- Provide value - Offer helpful resources or insights that align with the recipient's interests and needs.
- Use a clear call-to-action - Tell the recipient what action you would like them to take, such as scheduling a call or meeting.
Use LinkedIn polls to identify the best way to nurture leads
Using LinkedIn polls is an effective way to identify the best way to nurture leads and engage with your ideal customer profile (ICP).
- Creating interesting and engaging polls that are specifically targeted to your ICP and targeted MQLs can help you gain insights into their preferences and pain points. Here are some tips and examples to create effective LinkedIn polls:
- Use storytelling to capture your audience's attention - Add context to your poll's description by highlighting the intention behind the poll. This can help to capture your audience's attention and encourage them to participate.
- Find your ideal customer's pain points with a poll - Create a poll with your ICP's common pain points and ask them to comment on a point you may have missed. This can help you gain insights into their pain points and tailor your lead nurturing strategy accordingly.
- Reply to comments - Responding to comments on your poll can help to establish a personal connection with potential customers and encourage them to engage with your brand. Move comment discussions to messages to nurture leads and build stronger relationships.
Provide valuable and educational content
Providing valuable and educational content is an effective way to establish your brand as a trusted authority in your industry and nurture potential leads on LinkedIn.
Promotional emails and messages can quickly become overwhelming for potential leads, so it's essential to offer them something of value for free. Valuable and educational content gives your leads a reason to stay connected with you on LinkedIn and can increase the likelihood of conversion.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for sharing resources with knowledgeable audiences. By creating in-depth, relevant LinkedIn posts for your ICP and sending hyper-personalized messages with links to useful sources, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field.
For example, if your ICP is a Product Marketing Manager and their common pain point is around product positioning, you can create a content strategy to publish regular posts on this specific topic. This approach can help to address your ICP's pain points and provide valuable insights that they may not find elsewhere.
Using AI tools like ChatGPT can help you create LinkedIn posts quickly and efficiently. For the above example, you could use the prompt - "Create an engaging LinkedIn post within 200 words for a Product Marketing Manager looking for the latest tips in excelling product positioning."
Share case studies, whitepapers, and articles that are informative
Sharing informative articles, whitepapers, and case studies is an effective way to establish your brand as a trusted authority in your industry and nurture potential leads on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is not limited to short posts - you can create and publish long-form articles and whitepapers and feature them on your page. Long-form and thought leadership articles can showcase your expertise and help to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Additionally, sharing case studies and success stories of your past clients can add credibility to your claims and help nurture potential leads in the consideration stage. These types of content provide valuable insights into your solutions and demonstrate your ability to deliver results.
Here are some tips for sharing informative articles, whitepapers, and case studies on LinkedIn:
- Make the content relevant to your ICP - Ensure that the content addresses your ICP's pain points and interests.
- Provide actionable insights - Offer practical insights and tips that your audience can apply in their own work.
- Use visuals - Add images, infographics, and videos to make your content more engaging and shareable.
- Share regularly - Consistently share informative content with your audience to help establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.
Utilize LinkedIn’s native video and live-streaming features to showcase products or services
Creating engaging videos is an effective way to showcase your products or services and nurture potential leads on LinkedIn. With LinkedIn's native video and live-streaming features, you can create and share videos that grab viewers' attention and increase the likelihood of conversion.
Here are some tips for creating engaging videos on LinkedIn:
- Make the videos relevant to your ICP - Ensure that the videos address your ICP's pain points and interests.
- Provide practical insights - Offer actionable insights and tips that your audience can apply in their own work.
- Keep it short and sweet - Create concise, attention-grabbing videos that are easy to consume and share.
- Use visuals and graphics - Add images, infographics, and animations to make your videos more engaging and visually appealing.
- Leverage LinkedIn's native video and live-streaming features - Upload existing videos or create videos on the platform itself. Use LinkedIn Live to live stream to your profile followers and soft launch new products, upgrades, or services.
Use LinkedIn Events to host live Q&A sessions and webinars
LinkedIn Events allows you to host events and reach a large audience of potential customers. Hosting Q&A sessions for closed groups or webinars on trending domain topics can help you engage with potential customers and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Here are some tips for hosting live Q&A sessions and webinars using LinkedIn Events:
- Choose a relevant topic - Ensure that the topic is relevant to your ICP and addresses their pain points and interests.
- Invite expert speakers - Invite industry experts or guest speakers to add credibility and value to your event.
- Promote your event - Use the InMail feature to share the event with your target audience and distribute the invite across other marketing mediums for more reach.
- Provide valuable insights - Offer practical insights and tips that your audience can use in their own work.
- Encourage interaction - Encourage attendees to ask questions and participate in the discussion to increase engagement and build connections.