If you have a LinkedIn account then you’d know you can’t go a day without being spammed by multiple desperate sales reps with empty LinkedIn profiles. Spamming LinkedIn prospects in this way might get you some sales but it’s hardly a basis for a solid and productive marketing campaign. What’s needed is a well-considered strategy that takes into account the processes involved in converting a prospect to a customer.
There are numerous strategies that agencies, sales teams, and business owners can employ to help turn more of your prospects into customers. Below we take a brief look at 5 methods that any marketing campaign should employ
Have a Solid Marketing Strategy in Place before You Start Executing
There’s nothing wrong with using LinkedIn outreach for marketing per se. Indeed, a study has shown that LinkedIn lead generation can be 277% better for generating leads than Twitter and Facebook.
However, such a strategy should always be a part of a larger, overall strategy and you should decide what your strategy is before you even get started.
There are several aspects that any successful marketing strategy should include:
- Research Your Customer Base: Before you start trying to sell, you will first need to find out who you’re selling to. What is the typical age group of your customer base? What is their income bracket? Which social media channels are you most likely to find them on, and so on. Use your LinkedIn outreach, and other sources, to gather information about your customers and use this information to create a buyers’ persona which is a general characterisation of your typical customer. Your buyer personas should remain a core part of your marketing strategy.
- Set Realistic Goals: Define what your goals are. How many new customers do you wish to convert into sales? How many new prospects from your LinkedIn lead generation campaign do you need to gain enough new customers? With your goals set, you know what you are aiming for and will know when your campaign is not on target. It can be a great idea to use previous campaigns as benchmarks for which goals are ambitious, yet realistic.
Remember to also develop KPIs. Identify the metrics that are most important to the success of your campaign and report on them regularly.
- Develop Your Funnel: Your sales funnel should be the backbone of your campaign. A sales funnel will allow you to envisage the sales journey and know how far along the journey your prospects are. A well-developed funnel will also help ensure all parts of your campaign from LinkedIn outreach to online ads are synchronised with your objectives. Having a sales funnel will also make it easier to identify weaknesses in your campaign.
Engage Prospects According To Where They Are In Your Customer Journey
At any one point, your customers are at different stages in the customer journey. Some will only just have been made aware of your product and will need more education. Some will have questions that need to be answered, and others will be ready to buy if the price is right.
It’s important to engage with your prospects according to how far along the customer journey they are. If you were to try and close LinkedIn prospects that have just joined your sales funnel, for example, then they’re like to object and you might end up losing them altogether. Likewise, if somebody is ready for a sale then they might end up buying from a competitor if you don’t go in for the close soon enough.
Nurturing your prospects according to guide them through the customer journey can be very difficult if you’re working with a large database, but there are some very powerful tools that will help:
- Lead Scoring: Lead scoring means awarding or deducting points to individual leads according to actions they have taken and other criteria. For example, if somebody has been spending time on a particular product page then it’s quite clear that they have an interest in that product. Marketing material that helps to answer questions could move them to the next step of your funnel.
Once your leads are scored, you can then segregate them into groups to make them easier to manage and engage with accordingly. So, for example, leads that have acquired enough points can be placed into the ‘hot’ category, letting you know that it’s time to go in for the sale. Others with few points can be placed into a ‘cool’ category, letting you know that there’s more work to be done.
- Automation: Lead scoring sounds like an effective solution, and it is, but scoring your prospects could also mean a lot more work for you. And how would you even know which actions your prospects have been taking anyway? The answer is automation.
A variety of sales automation platforms are available that will monitor the behaviour of prospects and automatically award or deduct points accordingly. Such platforms will automatically segregate your prospects for you, helping you to treat them as individually as possible.
So far, so good, but automation has even more to offer. Let’s say somebody has just signed up from your LinkedIn outreach campaign and become a new prospect – it’s a great idea to send them a welcome letter along with some information about your products. This could be a lot of work, except that automation platforms can do the work for you. Set the system up to automatically perform a particular action, like sending a welcome letter, according to certain triggers. Not only does this mean a lot less work for you, but it also means the right people are engaged at the right time and in the right way.
You can even automate your LinkedIn lead generation, helping you gather great quality prospects effectively and relatively easily, simultaneously saving you time and giving your overall campaign performance a boost.
Create the Content Your Customers and Prospects Will Want to See
Any marketing campaign needs content and plenty of it. Content is what will cause people to become prospects in the first place and it’s what will help to educate your prospects and allow you to develop a relationship with them.
But not any content will do, of course. For your content to be effective then it will need to resonate with your audience. It needs to appeal to their interests and using the right language helps your prospects to connect with you, and your content needs to be educational while also interesting. A good ethos is to try and create content that’s useful in some way. Try to answer questions and solve problems and this will not only help build your relationship with your clients but will also encourage them to share your content with their colleagues, friends, and family.
Also, consider which type of content you need to use. Video in particular can be very effective at helping to get your message across in a way that’s interesting and easy to digest while blogs and articles are effective at answering questions. Remember that when people are searching online, they’re usually looking for help with something. Know what your prospects need help with that’s related to your product and make sure that your content is there with the solution they’re looking for.
You will also need to consider which channels your content will be published on – where do your prospects hang out online? If you’re trying to reach a younger audience, then popular channels like TikTok will likely be one of your best options. If it’s an older audience you’re trying to appeal then blogs and articles might be the most effective solution. If your client base is made up mostly of professionals, then LinkedIn outreach could be the most effective channel for you.
Use Data to Optimize Your Efforts
Insanity is defined as doing the same thing again and again expecting a different outcome. Instead, use data to see what’s working and what isn’t so that you can focus on what works and maximise your efforts
Today’s marketers are very fortunate in that they have access to something that previous marketers only had in limited quantity: Digital feedback. Today’s marketing platforms give you in-depth data on just about every aspect of your campaign. If it can be recorded, it will be, and presented in a form that makes it easy for you to make decisions.
For example, feedback can include data like which content is achieving the best results for you, and how much your LinkedIn lead generation efforts are contributing to your overall success. The information provided will help you to make changes that allow you to enhance your campaign, maximizing conversions and profit.
Such is the depth of data that online marketers receive that they can also run A/B testing. A/B testing involves testing different configurations of content, like posts created for your LinkedIn outreach campaign.
You can try making changes to the copy, experiment with different images, and even change the colour of your CTA buttons. Once the results are in you can choose to stick with whichever configuration worked best, and then start the process again with another, new configuration. A/B testing lets you continually tweak your campaigns for the best possible performance. It also helps you to adjust to changes in market sentiment and other potential changes that might affect what works best.
Increase Your Inbound Leads
Inbound leads are often the best type of lead because much of the job is already done – they’re contacting you, which means they’re probably interested. The warm nature of inbound leads helps to make them a powerful component of marketing campaigns, and around 82% of marketers who blog record a positive ROI when they use inbound marketing.
Make sure to create content that will help to generate confidence and trust in you and your company; establish yourself as an authority in your field. Effective content will encourage LinkedIn prospects, and prospects from other sources, to contact you rather than you having to wait for them. It will also mean the leads are already warm by the time they contact you, making the customer journey shorter and increasing the number of conversions.
Above is just a small selection of strategies that will help you to convert more of your prospects into paying customers. You must get well prepared beforehand and define what you are trying to achieve. Create your sales funnel and make sure that all the different working parts of your campaign, from blogs and videos to your LinkedIn outreach, are working in unison. Create content with your buyer personas in mind that answers questions and helps solve problems. Also focus on using data to guide your decision-making, and make the most of opportunities like LinkedIn lead generation to bring more qualified inbound leads your way.