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Optimising your LinkedIn presence for lead generation

Author's avatar By Katy Howell 16 May, 2013
Essential Essential topic

How to benchmark your LinkedIn 'marketing funnel'

For B2B companies now realising the phenomenal lead generation opportunities offered by LinkedIn, a bigger question now looms;

 “How do I optimise my presence to make it efficient and effective”

LinkedIn success requires an investment of time and resources

Jan Vermeiren’s Four steps to getting more from LinkedIn reveals the intensity of activity required to harness the valuable opportunities on this business network.

Reading through his Ebook, you can see the detail and granularity required to achieve success. It becomes clear that, as you adopt these best practices, LinkedIn requires attention. You can't just dip in and out.

Like all social media, you need to devote constant and focused attention if you are going to succeed in creating value.

Where are you in the LinkedIn adoption maturity cycle?

As businesses adopt LinkedIn as a lead generation tool, the investment of time and resource increases commensurately. Companies move from an ad hoc approach to one that is more managed as they scale up to answer questions, join discussions and pilot campaigns to test the waters.

As LinkedIn deployment becomes integral to the lead generation mix, organisations typically become more embedded in the network. The greater your results, the more deeply you are involved in discussions, groups, creating content and answering questions – delivering the value to your customers that will generate more referrals and  ultimately leads. As your presence matures and your programme formalises into an integrated, goal focused initiative, you also need to balance lead generation with resource and time. Fine tuning your activity to enhance performance ensures efficiency, maximising your ROI.

Structure your LinkedIn activity to manage performance

Instead of thinking about LinkedIn in terms of tactical elements, such as groups, profiles or content, examine the whole flow of your actions from content to qualified lead.

For example, how does content travel through groups, what are the triggers that develop connections and what motivates a connection to make contact?

By putting a structure on the way information, engagement and motivations to connect flow through to deliver a lead, you can create a path of activity you can measure, evaluate and optimise.

Thinking of your LinkedIn activity as a funnel helps you understand how to harness activities that motivate your connections and bring you leads; also identifying the most valuable actions for future growth and relationships.

Benchmarking through 'the funnel' creates tools to supercharge your presence

Improving performance requires effective benchmarking.

Measuring activity as you progress through the funnel isolates the content that works, the relationships that generate leads and even the influencers who will advocate your brand.

And, like all online marketing, this framework allows you to test and optimise. For instance;

  •  Does content delivered as graphics inspire more shares than a white paper?
  • Does one specific group increase data capture on your landing pages?
  • Or are there an optimal number of discussions to maintain your presence and be useful?

Suggested benchmarking approaches

Benchmarking aims to evaluate the effectiveness of your LinkedIn activity and to focus on whatever delivers the best outcomes. Suggested benchmarks include:

  •  Front of mind
    • What type or format of content inspires the most likes, shares or discussions
    • What is the optimal frequency of content
    • What discussions increase reach, connections and followers (to the company page)
  • Lead nurturing
    • Which of your connections have the most amount of influence
    • What discussions are regularly useful to your prospects
    • What is the optimum number of posts in groups
  • Lead generation
    • What groups/ discussions generate the greatest click throughs to your website
    • Which landing pages maximise data capture and from which activities do they come
    • What activity drives the most qualified or quality leads.

Of course, every organisation will have different goals and requirements across the funnel. But, by looking at the way you acquire customers, you can quickly determine which activity delivers you the greatest value in the most efficient way.

Thanks to Katy Howell for sharing her advice and opinions in this post. Katy is MD at immediate future, helping brands like Sony, Indesit, Tealeaf, Festo, Staples and JD Williams adopt, integrate, and deploy social media. You can follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

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By Katy Howell

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