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Effective tips for generating free B2B leads from LinkedIn

Effective tips for generating free B2B leads from LinkedIn

By Rameez Ghayas Usmani is a Digital Marketing Executive at PureVPN. 

Here are a few simple tips, tactics, and things to avoid in order to maximize free leads using LinkedIn B2B marketing techniques.

Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing relies on you tailoring your efforts depending on your client. While generalized approaches are a norm in Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing, it can be disastrous in the B2B arena. However, constantly tailoring your marketing efforts and materials to fit each client’s needs can be time-consuming, and expensive. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution that more marketers need to focus on: LinkedIn B2B marketing.

While LinkedIn has been around for quite some time, most B2B marketers have only recently started taking it seriously as a marketing tool. You might still be wondering why use LinkedIn for B2B marketing at all when regular methods work fin? Well, as far as targeting specific businesses and clients goes, there can be no better platform. It allows you to mass market and tailor content simultaneously.

Source:  https://www.webfx.com/social-media/how-to-generate-leads-on-linkedin.html

Source:  https://www.webfx.com/social-media/how-to-generate-leads-on-linkedin.html

But it takes more than just a good marketing pitch to succeed in LinkedIn B2B marketing. So, here are some tips, tactics, and advice on how to maximize your chances of acquiring new clients on LinkedIn.

Create the perfect profile

It’s easy to create a profile. But how to create the perfect profile? As it turns out, not that difficult. With attention to some small details, you can create a profile that helps you stand out and catch the eye of your potential clients.

A professional picture

It may seem like common sense but we all know someone that’s had a less than appropriate picture on all their social platforms, including LinkedIn. As a study has shown, a proper picture can give your potential leads an early insight into what kind of a person you are.

So, don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on getting a good photographer that can create the best picture that would help your LinkedIn B2B prospects.

A short but on point profile summary

LinkedIn for B2B marketing prospects is the perfect place. It narrows down the serious contenders that are willing to communicate directly with potential leads. These leads are usually generated via a funnel. This funnel displays the highlights, or “a profile summary” from your account.

If they find this profile summary interesting enough, they’ll likely examine your whole profile. So, as you can see, this is a whole process. And the only way to start this process is by having a profile summary that’s both interesting and compelling enough to pique the interest of your potential clients.

There are a few simple but important rules to keep in mind when writing your summary:

  •         Use a friendly tone and be approachable.
  •         Tailor the summary according to your desired client pool.
  •         Emphasize your past achievements
  •         Don’t overdo it, keep it simple.

Headlines matter

LinkedIn has a featured called headline that is placed directly alongside your name and your profile picture. The conventional wisdom is to include your current job title and company in that space.

However, if you’re fishing for LinkedIn B2B leads, you can use this feature for so much more. For instance, if you’re hoping to catch the eye of a product manager from other B2B companies, be creative with this headline.

How? Well, instead of writing your role, go for something like “Guy That Increased XYZ company’s sales 140% in 2019”. You need to remember that you’re not the only prowling LinkedIn for B2B marketing. The best way to distinguish yourself from your competition is to illustrate what makes you a better option than others.

Join the right groups

One of the best avenues to maximize your leads from your LinkedIn B2B efforts is by joining the right groups. If you’re someone that has been using LinkedIn for some time, you’ll likely have seen a plethora of these groups that focus on specific interests, as well as, needs.

There are several benefits to joining a LinkedIn B2B group. The first one is that every other user on there is a potential client. Even if you don’t manage to find clients, you’ll likely develop crucial contacts and connections that’ll help you in the long run.

This “network” can also help you find other potential parties that might be interested in what you have to offer. So even if you don’t find a direct client through these groups, you’ll likely find contacts that can point you in the right direction.

linked-in

 

Furthermore, these groups are heavily moderated by professionals. While using LinkedIn for B2B marketing is nothing new, blatant promotion of products and services is discouraged. Instead of simply presenting your product or service, you’ll have to build a narrative for your product. This helps you interact with potential clients and establish a rapport with them.

Lastly, when all is said and done, how do you know which groups would be the best one to join? This is where you don’t want to think as someone that has a product/service to offer. Instead, put yourself in your client’s shoes. What questions would you potential clients be asking? And where would they likely go to have their questions answered?

group-rules

A handy tip: focus on the keywords. Search for these keywords and the resulting groups are your best bets to start. Additionally, ask other members which other relevant groups would they recommend?

Utilize company profiles

Your LinkedIn B2B lead generation efforts could use optimization on both your personal and company pages. A common LinkedIn B2B marketing mistake made by users is focusing too much on their personal pages and ignoring the company page.

You need to keep in mind that after all is said and done, your potential clients will still likely tend up browsing your company profile. If they are left unimpressed or not as impressed as they were with your personal profile, they might start having doubts about a deal.

Your company profile should reflect all its achievements and why it can be trusted. Furthermore, you’re likely to generate more leads if your personal profile has links to your company profile and vice versa. They must complement each other. Doing so can consolidate your LinkedIn B2B lead generation efforts.

Optimize your profile

Your profile, both personal and profile, needs to stand out from the rest of the competition.

Your profile should tell a story

Achievements are important, listed them is even more important. But, in the end, they won’t matter much if you don’t present them in the proper context. If you were able to achieve a significant increase in your company’s sales, you need to paint a complete picture and tell them what challenges you faced, how you dealt with them, and what you wish you could’ve done differently.

Source: www.socoselling.com

Source: www.socoselling.com

This goes the same for your personal profile as well. It needs to tell a story. All your personal accomplishments need to present a narrative of how you were able to build on one successful venture after another.

Use Linkedin’s matrices

Like I said earlier, once you get serious in your LinkedIn B2B marketing efforts, the possibilities are nearly endless. The platform offers a tremendous number of tools that, if used properly, can yield promising results.

Make sure that all your employees have your company name in their profile descriptions. It may allow potential clients to see the dedication of your team as well as the talent they’ll be dealing with. Other ways to maximize the use of LinkedIn for B2B is by uploading all your promotional content on your LinkedIn, getting testimonials from previous clients, and marketing these testimonials properly.

Keep growing

At the end of all this, the prospects you’ll achieve via LinkedIn are only as good as the efforts you put into. LinkedIn, like other platforms, constantly changes its platforms and the way its users interact with one another. This means, what works today may not work tomorrow.

Hence, you must keep growing and updating your practices. Whatever changes LinkedIn mat bring in the future, there will never be any compromise on the quality of your content. So, make sure whatever content you put online is original and adds something unique.

All the ways, tactics, and tips discussed in this LinkedIn B2B marketing guide are free and easy to use. This should be enough for you to take LinkedIn seriously and make it a highlight of your inbound and outbound marketing efforts.

Business

Return to work: Flexibility, preparation and communication are key

Return to work: Flexibility, preparation and communication are key 1

By Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half UK

As lockdown restrictions ease for the foreseeable future, conversations across the business world are starting to turn to how employers can safely and seamlessly prepare for their workforce to return to the office.

Research from Robert Half has found that over half (54%) of employees are worried about working in close proximity to their colleagues, while a similar proportion are eager to return to the office due to loneliness working from home (45%) or concerns about missing out on career opportunities (30%).

Unsurprisingly, after everything companies and their employees have done to successfully adapt their operations and working practices to social distancing rules over the last few months, immediately returning to the old ways of working will likely neither be sensible or practical. With safety being the key priority for the ‘new normal’ of office life – communication, flexibility and preparation should be the main focus areas for employers.

With this in mind, what are the challenges and opportunities that employees anticipate as they prepare for the return to work, beyond government and industry supplied health and safety best practice? Furthermore, how can employers best support their staff during this period?

Keep people at the heart of change

It is important to recognise that your workforce has been working through an intense period of uncertainty and change for months, which can be incredibly unsettling. On top of this, working for weeks in isolation without the usual physical interactions with team members could be potentially detrimental to employee engagement and mental wellbeing.

Having adjusted to keep staff connected with one another from a distance with virtual team building exercises, video calls and daily check-ins, as teams begin working in hybrid models with some in the office and others remote, staff engagement will need to adapt again.

Managing people with greater sensitivity and maintaining positivity throughout will be crucial. To help instil a sense of normality and engagement, encourage maximum collaboration between individuals (in accordance with social distancing rules), and make sure teams feel part of company goals and opportunities through regular meetings and communication – no matter their location.

Continuing to invest in technology and offering flexibility will also be important to ensuring that people can continue to work remotely or on-site, either in accordance with their own wishes or as part of your staggered return-to-office plan.

Communicate, communicate, communicate (and listen)

Reassuring staff that they are able to safely return to the office will require continuous communication. From expectations of the physical office, to expectations of how to operate within hybrid teams, these new expectations and new workplace requirements should be communicated to all staff clearly to avoid confusion.

Regular email updates, updates on the company’s intranet and social media channels, as well as frequent town hall meetings (either online or in a smaller setting) could be key elements of an effective communications approach.

Also, consider a feedback channel to allow staff within the team to offer thoughts on their experience of returning to the office and any suggestions on improving the process. Whether on a company-wide basis or a team-by-team approach, schedule regular check-ins to engage with employees’ questions and concerns.

Maintaining open communication channels with your team will be essential for keeping up employee morale and ensuring clarity. For example, if some employees aren’t comfortable with coming to the office every day, then they should have plenty of opportunities to voice their concerns and have them dealt with promptly, respectfully and fairly.

Staggered return-to-office planning

Depending on the size of business and density of office space, maintaining home working arrangements across teams on an alternating basis could make it easier to implement safe social distancing. This involves select teams working remotely while others work on-site on any given day.

An alternating approach to remote working might also reduce the risk of staff feeling pressured or overwhelmed by an immediate return to the office five-days-a-week. After all, some families might be juggling temporary disruptions to childcare arrangements and public transport systems will likely become crowded again. So, a transitionary period will help everyone adjust to post-lockdown office working.

Finally, if you have developed your technology infrastructure to facilitate remote working, you would do well to continue to leverage these new capabilities as in all probability, a mixture of remote and at-office work will be needed for some time.

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Business

Contis enters RBS Capability and Innovation Fund bid seeking £35 million for disruptive SME growth strategy  

Contis enters RBS Capability and Innovation Fund bid seeking £35 million for disruptive SME growth strategy   2

Leading payments provider, Contis, has applied for two grants from the RBS & BCR Alternative Remedies Package, totalling £35 million.  

Unlike most applicants who will deploy funds through a single brand, Contis is taking a completely different approach. The funding will be used to drive fintech innovation in the UK by developing an off the shelf, B2B electronic and card payment technology platform for SMEs. With Contis’ powerful tech stack and regulated status, this will empower hundreds of fintechs to support the SME market with groundbreaking technologies, payments and lending capabilities. Contis today services over 800,000 consumer accounts, 14,500 business accounts and processes £4bn in transactions per year, demonstrating a proven track record.   

UK businesses are facing a challenging economic environment with the impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit. As large corporations and entire sectors are affected, SMEs will play a vital role in the recovery. Contis’ approach is completely disruptive, offering three channels to maximise support for SMEs and sole traders, through three unique brands, all powered by APIs from Contis’ modular and configurable engine. 

1.       Canvas for Business 

Contis is a super-vendor in the world of fintech, offering payments through proven banking rails and card scheme capabilities including issuing pre-paid, debit and virtual cards. They’re linked to digital delivery like Apple Pay and Google Pay, and a trusted tech stack that boasts 99.99% uptime.  

With funding from the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF), Contis’ technology and regulated services will be made available to the whole fintech community, enabling them to provide dedicated SME accounts with the latest leading-edge capabilities delivered via Contis’ wholly owned, secure, cloud-based technology and apps. Contis’ solution has a firm eye on the need for SMEs to compete internationally, particularly after Brexit, and offers FX integration as standard.  

Canvas for Business will increase competition by providing fintechs serving the SME market with technology that outstrips the big banks. Contis will also provide credit referencing capabilities and empower fintechs to lend to their SME client base through Contis’ own credit licence. Without the constraints of legacy systems, it will enable simple connectivity to accounting and payments solutions, as well as to unlimited future innovations.  

2.       Engage for Business 

Over 150 Credit Unions currently use Contis’ Engage service and technology, and hold an estimated £400 million in undeployed cash reserves. Developed with CIF funding, Engage for Business will enable Credit Unions to launch business accounts and payments products for the first time, and allow excess funds to be redeployed in the SME sector through business support loans. This will revolutionise access to funding for sole traders and small businesses. 

3.       Freedom for Business 

With CIF funding, Contis will also offer large scale SMEs a direct-to-market solution where Contis holds the relationship and provides a bespoke offer to meet the business’ exact needs. 

Contis’ application to the Capability and Innovation Fund is focused on creating the widest possible impact for UK SMEs by fulfilling their accounts & payments needs and driving innovation in SME financial services. 

Through the grant, Contis will empower over 200 fintechs and Credit Unions to provide credit, simplify payments integration into everyday business needs, offer digital credit referencing, provide budgeting tools to SMEs, enable automated payments, give predictive insight on cash flow, provide rewards to SMEs on spending, and much more. 

Peter Cox, Founder and Executive Chairman of Contis said: “Our mission is to democratise payments and financial services for all SMEs, so they’re spoilt for choice with innovative and affordable solutions that meet their exact needs. Our approach, based upon proven technologies, will broaden and disrupt the services available to SMEs far beyond the capabilities of existing providers such as the big banks.  

“By driving competition and innovation, while improving the availability of funding, our approach will increase the services on offer to SMEs and make them more affordable, therefore becoming easier for every entrepreneurial person with vision to run their own businesses.” 

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Business

Four years of digital transformation in four weeks: UK lockdown puts pressure on brands to digitally deliver

Four years of digital transformation in four weeks: UK lockdown puts pressure on brands to digitally deliver 3

Nearly a third (32%) of consumers would switch providers if a brand’s website is unavailable for more than 24 hours

A study released today reveals the scale of omni-channel pressure brands now faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, as consumers flock to apps and websites to as the priority destination to transact with brands.

The UK has experienced a huge leap in use of online services thanks to lockdown, with the public appearing to have less concern for the availability of a brand’s physical location. Research by Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) uncovers a “window of availability” that UK businesses now have before consumer loyalty changes:

  • If a brand’s website is down for 24 hours – 32 percent of consumers would switch provider
  • If a brand’s app is down for 24 hours – 28 percent of consumers would switch provider
  • If a physical store is closed for 24 hours – 20 percent of consumers would switch provider

The results by industry paint an interesting picture of the availability timeframes brands are expected to adhere to:

  • For online retailers, excluding grocery retailers – 23 percent of consumers would switch provider if they could not access online services for 12 hours, rising to over a third (34 percent) after 24 hours
  • For financial services and entertainment streaming platforms – 21 percent of consumers would switch provider after 12 hours, rising to 33 percent after 24 hours
  • In the case of online grocery shopping – 20 percent would switch provider after 12 hours, rising to one third 33 percent after 24 hours

The findings also highlight that as digital reliance increases, so will consumer expectations towards availability in the future. Over the coming two years, a third (33 percent) of consumers expect online financial services to always be available, rising to 35 percent for streaming services.

“UK consumers have become reliant on the constant availability of online services, and lockdown has only served to heighten this,” comments Chris Huggett, SVP, EMEA at Sungard AS. “What used to be a choice between physical and digital has now firmly accelerated into digital environments across various industries. As online worlds continue to outpace bricks and mortar as the face of businesses, ensuring constant availability and clear communications on downtime will be key for brands to build trust and loyalty.

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