Research has shown that LinkedIn is the most successful platform when it comes to lead gen for startups. However, having worked in a b2b digital marketing agency, I can assure you that success on LinkedIn is not automatic – contrary to what some people think.
Most b2b startup digital marketing strategies are misinformed in one way or the other. Such mistakes usually end up being costly. Whether you are a startup or an established business, making the most out of your resources is crucial for your survival and success.
Even for established businesses, sales and marketing teams have to stay on their toes. It is often the case that what worked yesterday suddenly stops working today, and for no apparent reason.
Informed trial and error is common in b2b startup digital marketing strategies. But rather than learning from your mistakes, it is better to learn from mistakes that have already been made by others. This is one of the major benefits of enlisting the help of a b2b digital marketing agency.
This article includes priceless lessons on lead gen for startups and established businesses, gathered from years of experience working in several successful b2b digital marketing agencies.
Why you should prioritize LinkedIn for B2B lead generation
Invaluable Professional Data
An important lesson in lead gen for startups is that business is about trust. Even in b2b, we’re still marketing to people, and people buy from businesses they trust.
Your lead gen efforts will be successful if you can get your target audience to trust you. It is only by knowing the interests and pain points of your target audience that you can create meaningful relationships with them; that you can get them to trust you.
LinkedIn’s wealth of professional data, such as position, skills, and seniority, helps you be relevant and helpful to your target audience in a way that fosters trust.
Most professionals are on LinkedIn to find ways to improve career-wise and make better business decisions. Marketing that is relevant to their jobs won’t be treated as a nuisance, especially if you’re providing real value.
This means that they’re more likely to give you their attention than they would be on other platforms. The only other lead gen method in which the target audience is this receptive is probably seo for b2b.
Seamless Ad Experience
Ads on LinkedIn appear alongside news feed. This creates a seamless experience that gets better results compared to interruptive advertising. Message Ads on LinkedIn are particularly effective because they feel, and often are, more personalized.
Lead Gen for Startups: The Basics, Guaranteed to Maximize ROI
Quality Over Quantity
Emphasizing quantity at the cost of quality is a mistake common in b2b startup digital marketing strategies like seo for b2b. It’s usually costly. You might end up with thousands of leads that ultimately won’t give you any ROI. Moreover, following up on these leads would be a waste of valuable time and resources.
A successful b2b digital marketing agency will always prioritize quality over quantity, which is partly why lead gen campaigns led by agencies generally yield higher ROI.
Full-Funnel Content Marketing
A common mistake that marketers make is to sell to someone who is not ready to buy, or who’s not ready to buy from them. In most b2b startup digital marketing strategies, too many resources are dedicated to the action stage of the buyer’s journey. The awareness and consideration stages are neglected.
In lead gen for startups, when you are kicking off your campaign, you need to work on building your brand’s credibility. Your priority should be establishing trust with your target audience. Your lead gen efforts and budget should be structured accordingly.
Buyers Consume Multiple Pieces of Content Before Making Purchase Decisions
An advantage of LinkedIn is that professionals use it to learn about most job-related areas, including business solutions. This means that if you focus on providing relevant and helpful content to your target audience, you have the opportunity to gain their trust. In the future, you can leverage the relationships you create in this manner to market your products.
Full funnel content marketing is creating and promoting content that matches the awareness, consideration, and decision-making stages of the buyer’s journey. When starting, focus primarily on promoting content for the awareness and consideration stages. This helps you build a certain level of trust and credibility. Once your target audience is familiar with and trusts your brand, you can start promoting decision-making stage content.
Another common mistake in lead gen for startups is under-estimating the value of thought leadership in lead generation. In reality, when a potential customer views your business as a thought leader in your field, they add you to their shortlist of companies to buy from.
It makes sense that businesses would buy products from thought leaders. When you have a problem, you are most likely to seek out an expert to help you.
Positioning yourself as the top expert in your field should therefore be a priority, not only when you are starting your lead gen efforts but also as your business grows.
The Difference Between a Thought Leader and a Subject Matter Expert
It is worth noting that being a thought leader is different from being a subject matter expert. Thought leaders, in addition to being subject matter experts, have certain characteristics.
First, they are constantly creating content. Second, their content adds value to the target audience in a unique way. When you read content written by a thought leader, you are likely to say, “I hadn’t seen it that way.”
Additionally, they’ve perfected the art of creating great content. A subject matter expert doesn’t necessarily care if his content can be easily understood. On the other hand, a thought leader makes the complex appear easy.
When promoting content as part of your lead gen efforts, be a thought leader, not a subject matter expert.
Layering Your Targeting
LinkedIn has a robust targeting mechanism that makes it possible to be relevant in your marketing efforts. You should avoid relying on only one filter. Using multiple filters strategically will help you get to the right targets while maintaining a sizeable audience. Test different filter combinations to get the perfect one for your business.
Use the Cool Features of LinkedIn Marketing to Maximum Advantage
Knowing what’s working is an important part of ensuring success in b2b startup digital marketing strategies. In addition, tracking performance against previously set goals helps gauge success. You should use the conversion tracking ability in LinkedIn to track performance and optimize your strategy.
An especially useful feature is the ability to measure post-view events, which are actions that someone takes some time after viewing your ad. This gives a more complete evaluation of the impact of your ads.
Lead Gen Forms
Most people find form filling cumbersome, especially on phone. Lead gen forms solve this problem by auto-filling an individual’s information based on their LinkedIn profile. That way, it’s easy for members of your target audience to answer a call to action on your advert. This leads to more conversions.
When people have already shown interest in your business and product by visiting your website, it’s easier to acquire them as leads. The Website Retargeting feature has additional capability that makes your work more effective. For example, you can target people who have visited a specific page on your site or who have downloaded a resource.
Account and Contact Targeting
LinkedIn allows you to retarget people who’ve had previous contact with you, not only on your website but also elsewhere. This is usually more effective. For example, if you already have contacts from your mailing list, you can upload them to LinkedIn and the ads will be directed at them. Account targeting enables you to target specific accounts, for example, those belonging to a certain company.
LinkedIn is the most effective platform when it comes to lead gen for startups. One reason for this is the wealth of professional data on LinkedIn. Decision makers on LinkedIn are also in a more receptive mindset for business solutions compared to other platforms.
By following such basic principles as quality over quantity and full-funnel content marketing, you can make the most out of LinkedIn. The platform also has a range of features, such as website retargeting and lead gen forms, which enhance the lead generation process. You should make maximum use of such features.
For the best lead gen results, use LinkedIn to complement other b2b startup digital marketing strategies such as seo for b2b.