President & CEO of Corberry Digital Marketing Agency, a full-service digital marketing agency offering web design, SEO, PPC, social & more.
Social media offers one of the most effective opportunities to find new business. Millions of potential customers are online every day — all you need to do is capture their attention, right? The truth is it’s not that simple.
Many businesses spend thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns that get thousands of interactions, but if these leads aren’t qualified, it’s a huge waste of time and effort.
The top marketers know that to sustain a business, you need a steady stream of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) — warm leads that have shown interest in your product or service. This means they are much more likely to become a customer than someone who has never shown interest.
And when it comes to B2B businesses, LinkedIn is, in my experience, the most effective platform for getting MQLs.
In this article, I’ll cover a simple process of generating MQLs through LinkedIn that our agency has found to be incredibly effective.
Examples of MQL Actions
An MQL is someone who has engaged with your brand or marketing efforts by performing actions like:
• Downloading trial software or free content.
• Engaging with your social content regularly.
• Signing up to your mailing list.
• Adding items to their shopping cart.
• Repeatedly visiting your website.
• Clicking on a paid ad.
• Contacting you to request information.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start when working out the number of MQLs you already have every month.
The goal of your marketing plan should be increasing the number of people performing these MQL actions every month so you have a steady stream of potential leads to turn into paying customers.
Benefits of Using LinkedIn to Acquire MQLs
Before we dive into the specifics of getting MQLs through LinkedIn, let’s look at why LinkedIn is a great platform to use for this.
1. Professionals With Purchasing Power
In 2019, nearly 20% of LinkedIn users were senior members of companies with purchasing power. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly 90 million senior-level executives and around 40 million employees with buying power. It’s also the most-used platform of Fortune 500 companies for finding talent.
2. Active User Base
Of the roughly 500 million LinkedIn users, multiple sources claim that around half are active every single month. And of those active users, almost half (40%) log in every day. That impressive engagement rate means you have a much better chance of getting your ideal clients’ attention.
3. Proven Lead Generation
According to LinkedIn, 80% of B2B leads are generated on LinkedIn. It’s proven to be one of the most effective social media platforms for getting MQLs.
4. Lower Marketing Budget
Although ads on LinkedIn do have a higher cost per click than Facebook or Instagram, they’ve shown to have an impressive 6.1% conversion rate, on average. Meaning your ad spend will likely be less in the long run while generating better leads.
5. Tailored to B2B Lead Generation
LinkedIn marketing is made for B2B lead generation. Targeting is so niche-specific that you can narrow your search down by industry, company size and even company name, not to mention job title or seniority.
How to Identify MQLs Through LinkedIn
With millions of active users, you might be wondering how you can begin narrowing down your search and identifying MQLs on LinkedIn. The last thing you want to do is market to the wrong people.
Here are a few tips to help you find and connect with the right people:
1. Create a strong brand message.
Before you begin any marketing efforts on LinkedIn, make sure your profile and messaging are crystal clear. Do your customers instantly know what you offer? Is it clear who you work with? Does your brand messaging stand out?
If you’re unsure, check out some of your competitors’ LinkedIn pages to see what they’re doing well with and what you could do better.
2. Join groups.
There are thousands of industry-specific groups on LinkedIn where business leaders go to keep up with industry news and bounce ideas off each other. Become part of a few niche-specific groups and add value where you can. This will show your potential clients that you know what you’re talking about.
3. Ask for referrals.
Ask previous clients to refer you on LinkedIn and refer other businesses you work with in return. Most potential clients will look at your referrals as social proof before they decide to do business with you. Not having any may be a red flag that is another barrier for them to overcome when making that buying decision.
How Do You Get Qualified Leads Through LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has many opportunities to connect with your ideal clients and generate qualified leads. Let’s look at some of the key lead generation strategies you can use to increase your MQLs every month:
• Reach out and connect with prospects through direct messaging with personalized messages.
• Create content that answers questions your buyer has on their buying journey. How can you offer value that shows you are the expert in your niche?
• Share your content with prospective buyers via direct messages or as a status update.
• Run paid campaigns to generate awareness of your product, service or brand.
• Follow up with potential leads found on other platforms by sending connection requests and providing contact information.
• Use LinkedIn automation tools to put the process of lead generation on autopilot. The right tools allow you to personalize outreach and target your ideal clients, helping to increase MQLs. We use Zopto for this, but there are plenty of alternative options on the market, including LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Phantombuster.
Attract More MQLs to Your Business
When used strategically, LinkedIn can be one of the most effective ways of generating MQLs for your business. And because the platform is filled with millions of business leaders with buying power, you can typically get better results with less time and marketing spend.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?