Four out of five LinkedIn users drive business decisions. This group has twice the buying power of the average online audience, with conversion rates three times higher than other major ad platforms.
As a result, 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for lead generation. This is an ultra-competitive environment, but also a platform where sophisticated marketers create an excellent experience for prospects—the type that fosters long-term business relationships.
The key factor in these relationships? Trust.
In a time when ethical business practice is seen as more important to company trust than competence, you know that we are in an important moment for B2B marketing—especially on LinkedIn.
Building that trust takes time, but the steps are very achievable. Here are five ways B2B marketers can create trust on LinkedIn.
Optimize your profile, make it search-friendly and attention-grabbing. The essentials are a professional headshot, a title that defines your role and area of expertise, a high-resolution background image that represents your company, and a description summary that portrays your expertise and accomplishments.
Essentially, you want to show the world you’re the real deal and give prospects a reason to connect. Make sure to include relevant keywords so that leads can find you organically, and use the ‘Featured’ section to highlight projects and accomplishments that link back to your company.
Before buyers even contact a sales team, they’re already up to 90% through the buying process. So it’s down to your marketing strategy to help them narrow down their options. LinkedIn is the ideal content platform for this, as you can provide original content on your company page, publish long-form posts, use Showcase Pages to display thought leadership, and SlideShare to publish visual content.
LinkedIn’s native group search and advanced search features allows you to filter prospects by location, current/past company, industry, language, and nonprofit interests. You can also go to the ‘People’ tab of any given company page which will reveal a list of potential contacts.
If you want a subtle way of introducing yourself to lead or prospect without directly requesting a connection, you can simply follow them without the need to message them at first. This works well, particularly for top-of-funnel prospects who might not be ready for a conversation.
Requests without a personal message are easier to ignore than those which display knowledge of the prospect. According to a study by Qualifio, personalized marketing improves customer loyalty by 47% and satisfaction by 36%. And customization boosts profits by an average of 20%.
After connecting, follow up with a prompt welcome message, as this shows you’re not mass-requesting connections. It’s not a numbers game, and to create interest in your connections, you have to show a real interest in them.
Don’t send out irrelevant, script styled messages to your connections. This can come across as self-serving. Instead, you should always try to provide personal value that speaks directly to the person you’re messaging. Frame your points in a way that’s conversational but meaningful. There’s a huge need for this, as only 28% of companies use target audience language in their content.
According to LinkedIn, 55% of decision-makers in executive roles use LinkedIn to determine which organization to work with.
Regular engagement helps you reach these leads, builds brand awareness, and positions you as a thought leader. For example, every time a connection has a significant event, Linkedin notifies you. This provides a great opportunity for you to send messages of congratulations on a new job, project, or achievement—paving the way for you to offer value-based messages down the road. You should also re-share other insights related to your brand or industry. Also, remember that LinkedIn is a business platform, so make sure your contact list, activity feed, and profile are open to everyone.
An effective way of proving you’re a thought leader is to engage in conversations, comment on posts, and keep up with trending news among professionals. Companies that post updates on a weekly basis receive two times more engagement.
So instead of constantly bombarding followers with information purely related to your company, you’re subtly engaging in meaningful conversations to position yourself in front of your prospects.