LinkedIn has established a firm footing as the most trusted social network in the professional world. As such, B2B businesses love to use the platform as a conduit for sales. The ability to engage directly with your audience makes LinkedIn one of your best tools for demand generation.

Publish quality content that reaches your audience

A true demand generation marketing program requires attention and nurturing from start to finish. Creating quality content is a significant part of this. However, one of the main problems with content is that it may not reach your intended audience.

In order to reap the benefits of demand generation, you need to make sure that your content is designed in such a way that your target audience finds it and consumes it.

According to Forrester, 90 percent of the buy-in process is over before a prospect ever speaks to your sales department. This occurs because prospects have already done their online research and have mostly made up their mind based on the content they have seen about your business. This is where LinkedIn comes in.

As a trusted platform, you need to get your content in front of your prospective clients so they begin to trust your brand.

Create content to educate instead of sell

According to LinkedIn, B2B buyers will consume a minimum of 10 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision. This tells you that you really need to provide as much information about your brand as possible before speaking with a prospect about sales. Educate your prospects before they come to you.

Consider how you want your brand to appear and tailor your content to meet that goal before trying to sell.

Develop content that interests your readers

Yes, you may love what a piece of content says about your business or your sales process, but does it interest your readers? Ultimately, users open content that is interesting to them. While you may develop a wonderful piece of content that outlines your offerings and is visually stunning, readers won’t open it if they aren’t interested.

Use LinkedIn Lead Accelerator

LinkedIn Lead Accelerator is a feature that allows you to target your ads. The LinkedIn tool is specifically designed to meet the needs of demand generation marketers. It uses the demographics supplied on user profiles and takes advantage or browsing behavior to determine where a prospect is in the sales process. Using this information, you can customize content to send to each prospect to nurture them towards a sale.

For example, did a visitor just visit your homepage? Or did they visit your product page and peruse your pricing? Obviously, one visitor is closer to a sale than the other. While both visitors represent a possible sale, you want to deliver different content to each to lead them to your end goal—a sale.

Deliver targeted ads with sponsored InMail

The good part about using sponsored InMail is that your prospects only receive a message when they log in to LinkedIn. Your message will be delivered. The tricky part is ensuring you have an effective message that will resonate with potential consumers. However, once you have that figured out, InMail can help you deliver your message to LinkedIn users.

Using these techniques, you will be well on your way to using LinkedIn for demand generation. 

Shawn Herring is chief marketing officer at Torchlite Marketing.

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