Linkedin is the number one social media platform for business 2 business (B2B) services and products. You can search for and find people in specific industries and with specific job roles. The only downside with Linkedin is that it has become saturated with people looking to directly tout and sell their services.
Often you will receive a “connection-request”, which is immediately followed by a copy & pasted sales pitch. This mass-outreach approach rarely works and can be terrible for branding. We will look at how it is possible to sell B2B services on Linkedin with both ads and using organic-outreach.
For both methods, you will need to complete your Linkedin business page and have a specific idea of your target audience.
Organic Lead Generation
First, make sure that your own Linkedin profile is fully completed. Ensure that your job history is filled out, that you have some recommendations on the profile and the “about” section is filled in with relevant information. Spell and grammar check everything too.
Make Sure Outreach is Personal
Business owners and stakeholders want to see that you have made the effort to find out about them and their business.
If you are a niche fitness-marketing agency, looking for clients on Linkedin, you could start by searching “fitness” in the main search bar and then click on “people”. You can then filter the results by location, companies and connections.
Once you have found someone who you would like to pitch too – perhaps a business owner or self-employed personal trainer in this example; click to view their profile. Take a look at the person’s profile, their website and also their Linkedin Business Page; if they have one.
Find something personal that you can use as a ‘hook’ when you message the person. This typically could be something very specific from their website’s blog or business social media account.
For example, you might want to use the following as a draft/template:
I recently saw your tweet about *remote & flexible working, I also think that this is something that more businesses should be doing in the future, especially considering how many employees have to endure long & stressful commutes which are bad in terms of wellbeing*.
I have been meaning to contact you for a while – in regards to your digital marketing strategies. I had a look at your Instagram profile earlier this week and I have a few ideas that I think could help improve the number of leads & brand awareness you are generating.
Are you free for 10 minutes this week?
*Insert your own observation and comment here in regards to the prospect’s blog, website or social media account.
By making the effort to reach out to people personally, you are much more likely to come across as sincere. You are also showing a certain level of respect by sending such as personalised message, which is likely to endear you to the recipient.
Adding your telephone number can also help you to stand out from the crowd as well. It gives the recipient the option of emailing back or just getting straight into it with a phone call. If you are in a different timezone to many of your Linkedin prospects, it can also be worth investing in a 24/7 call answering service from a company such as Moneypenny, to ensure that your potential clients don’t end up going straight to voicemail.
It might be worth noting that this is easier to do with a normal Premium Linkedin account, as you can send messages to prospects without having to connect with them first. At the time of writing Linkedin Premium starts at $29.99 per month.
Lead Generation Form Ads in Linkedin
Linkedin Ads have a reputation for being expensive. With this in mind, Linkedin Lead Gen Form Ads have a shorter ‘funnel’ and prospects don’t have to leave Linkedin to submit their details. Linkedin will autofill forms ads for most users – meaning that they only have to click one button to submit their information.
Many users will click an ad, but then drop out of the funnel and not convert on a website. There can be many reasons for this, perhaps the site is slow to load, perhaps the user is concerned about security – there can be lots of reasons but Linkedin Form Ads can strip out all of these issues. People know Linkedin so they are less concerned about security issues and they can submit details in a few seconds.
We will go through the process of setting up Lead Generation ads step by step.
Please keep in mind that this is an example and may not be optimal for your own business and campaign.
– When you are on Linkedin.com go to the top right – click Work > Advertise
(if you don’t see the “Advertise” icon, you can also go to Work > Marketing Solutions
If you haven’t done so already, create an account for your ads and create a page for your business.
– Click into a “campaign group” – to begin with, this may just be the “Default Campaign Group”.
– Now create the campaign by clicking “Create Campaign”
– Give the campaign a meaningful name, for example, “Lead Gen Form Ads – UK – Single Image”
– For the “Objective” choose “Lead Generation”
– Next scroll down to the section that says “where is your target audience?”
– Choose your target location, then scroll down to “who is your target audience?” and refine your audience by as many different ‘factors’ as you think is relevant.
– In our fitness marketing company example, we have chosen the United Kingdom for the location, and then Health, Fitness & Wellbeing for Company Industry and then Owner, Co-Owner, Principal Director, Director & Managing Director for the Job Titles that we will target:
– Click near the right-hand-side to search for a relevant company, demographic, interests etc and tick the boxes of any that you wish to target.
Keep clicking “Narrow Audience Further” until you are happy that your audience is specific enough. You can always expand the reach and audience later, it is best to be conservative, to begin with.
Linkedin Ads Expert AJ Wilcox recommends audience sizes of 20-80,000. He also recommends unchecking the box that will “Enable Audience Expansion”.
– Choose Ad Format. For this example, we will choose “Single Image ad”
– Scroll down to “Bid Type” and change “Automated Bid” to “Enhanced CPC Bid”
– Uncheck the “Enable Lead Optimization” box
– Bid Amount – for bid amount set a low bid, like $1. Linkedin will then tell you “Bid Needs to be at Least *specific number of dollars* – use whatever Linkedin says is the minimum amount.
Creating a Linkedin Lead Form Ad
– Name the ad – make this meaningful, for example, “Single Ad – Lead Gen Forms – UK”
– Add your business website’s landing page to the “Destination URL” section. This should automatically populate the image, headline and description for you.
– In the Headline, section add the offer. AJ Wilcox suggests putting the offer in square brackets, for example, our headline might be:
[Free Facebook Ads Setup] SportsMania Marketing UK
– If you wish to – change the image. The perfect image dimensions are 1200px by 627px. There is no 20% text rule like Facebook ads
– Now create the form by clicking on “Form Details”
– Choose a “Call to action” – this will populate the text on the ad’s button – here we will use “Learn More”
– Where it says “Form” choose “Create New” – as this is our first form
– Give the Form a name
– Add a “Headline” specific to the form – for example, “Streamline Your Digital Marketing Efforts”
– Add the “Offer Details” – show how your offer gives value. You could highlight your credentials, For example:
“The best fitness industry marketing professionals on hand to streamline your digital marketing efforts, save time & money whilst generating more business. All of our team have degrees in Sports Science and/or Nutrition in addition to years of digital marketing experience. With a passion and knowledge for fitness, our services are second-to-none. We come recommended by top personal trainers including Joe Bloggs.”
– Next, choose the form fields. In this example, we’ll choose “First Name”, “Last Name” and “email”.
– Add a confirmation message such as “Thank you for submitting your information. We will get back to you within 48 hours”.
You can also add a page of your website “Landing Page URL” as a confirmation page once the form is submitted. This can be a good idea for remarketing campaigns that might be used as a follow-up to your Linkedin campaign.
– Click “Create” and then “Launch Campaign”
How to Download Your Leads
– Go to “Account Assets” and “Lead Gen Forms”. Click on the 3 dots (…) and then “Actions” > “Download Leads”
– Alternatively, you can use a CRM like Hubspot or Zapier to download the leads automatically.
And that’s it! Remember to try different ad formats and designs and make data-driven decisions about which ones perform the best.