How did Bill Waterhouse of Birmingham, Alabama get a $450,000 contract for his company? How did the Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas attract 10,680 new corporate decision-makers and get them to spend more than eight minutes each on their website? They both leveraged the many marketing and sales opportunities on LinkedIn.
Brian Carter's third book, LinkedIn for Business: How Advertisers, Marketers and Salespeople Get Leads, Sales and Profits from LinkedIn is filled with strategy and tactics for business-to-business companies who want to grow their revenue with social media. And it has answers for everyone in your organization, from marketers to salespeople to executives.
Here are 7 tips from Carter's new book:
1. Help your company's employees spiff up their profiles with keywords, a catchy headline, and more recommendations. Carter recommends: "Some of your future customers may see one of your employees on LinkedIn before they hear of your company." So, do your employee profiles look good? Are your employees showing off your company's latest whitepaper? What about your blog post and videos?
2. Create your own "volunteer brand army." While not every employee wants to be a marketer and not all can write, some will want to blog or network in LinkedIn Groups. Your marketing department can harness this extra social media power to enhance your brand's image and increase your leads.
3. Leverage LinkedIn ads, groups and answers to raise your company's visibility. If people aren't aware of your company and its solutions, they can't and won't choose it.
4. Generate leads by distributing your content in your own LinkedIn Group and on your LinkedIn Company Page. Find out what kind of content people are already sharing in your niche and share it or create similar content. Use tools like InfiniGraph to find this content. The more compelling infographics, white papers and other content you share, the more your influence and distribution lists grow.
5. Find new people to sell to with Advanced People Search and by watching your newsfeed for who your connections are meeting and recommending. Use InMail, Introductions or Jigsaw.com to contact these people.
6. Add LinkedIn ads to your advertising mix. They have low CTR like Facebook or any display ad, and can be expensive per click, but they target people by job title and company better than Facebook or Google ads. Get better LinkedIn ad CTR by testing more images -- and these 50x50 images are small, but you can use symbols, logos, and zoomed-in faces to get better results.
7. Add lead nurturing to your marketing funnel. Companies like Eloqua, Marketo, and Hubspot can help you coordinate your content marketing with lead scoring and automated emails to ready prospects before they talk to your salespeople. Increased sales efficiency boosts your organization's ROI.
This is a book your company could order ten copies of, and then still pass around amongst coworkers. The upside is that this book is good for many parts of your organization. The downside is that each role is given only one part of the book. To be sure, it makes sense for marketers to read the salesperson's portion, and vice versa, so that these two departments can be on the same page. And it makes sense for executives and managers to understand what everyone will be doing with LinkedIn. This is an excellent book for organizations in the early stages of implementing LinkedIn advertising, marketing, sales, as well as marketing automation.
Follow Ekaterina Walter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Ekaterina