Find a New Approach: Rethink Your LinkedIn Marketing and Social Selling Approach

Recent research shows that most LinkedIn programs do not drive revenues.

In fact, studies show that only 1 in 5 sales, marketing and business leaders are able to clearly demonstrate a social media ROI.

I believe this is because these leaders are focused on brand awareness, brand engagement and the top of the funnel.

LinkedIn marketing is simply becoming a numbers game. My recent LinkedIn marketing study shows this.

I asked sales and marketing leaders as well as some well-recognized, trusted social media marketing experts and firm owners: What metrics are most important to you? What are you paying attention to?

Most of the sales and marketing leaders and social media experts chose clicks, profile, and platform post views, website traffic and superficial metrics like shares, comments,and likes. They chose these metrics over:

  • Next step actions beyond the click, like and comment
  • Marketing qualified and sales qualified leads
  • Revenue:

That’s why most of the sales and marketing leaders were mainly getting visibility and reach and that’s about it as depicted in the graph below:Linkedin Marketing Results graph

The sales and marketing leaders who were regularly driving demand and creating sales opportunities (not leads but actual opportunities that went past the initial interest stage) were focused on revenue objectives. They understood that you can’t measure the ROI of brand awareness and brand maintenance and that it’s not enough anymore to gain visibility.

If I haven’t given you enough reason to rethink your LinkedIn marketing and social selling approach yet, here are five more reasons:

Related Article: 4 Secret Ingredients For LinkedIn Content Marketing Success

1. 87 Percent of Leads Do Not Convert

Forrester reports that 99 percent of leads do not convert. LinkedIn reports that 87 percent of leads do not convert. So why are business leaders and marketers so focused on lead goals when it comes to LinkedIn marketing and social selling? If your intention is to grow the business or organization, shouldn’t your focus be on generating customers and revenue?

The way to focus on customers and revenue is to focus on the complete funnel – not just the top of the funnel and the volume of leads that are going into the funnel. Marketers need to take a pipeline marketing approach, make decisions based on revenue generation instead of leads and optimize all aspects of the LinkedIn marketing program to widen every stage of the funnel. And, throughout each stage, add value to the potential buyer.

Forrester reports that 74 percent of buyers choose a vendor who has worked with them to turn a vision into a clear path to value. The only way you will be able to show buyers how you can help them turn a vision into a clear path to value is by focusing on the complete relationship.

2. Buyers Want Change in How They Are Marketed to on LinkedIn

In a recent webinar hosted by LinkedIn where they discussed InMail strategies, they mentioned that an InMail sent from a specific person at LinkedIn had an open rate that was 10 percent to 20 percent better than an InMail sent directly from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. This demonstrates to me that B2B buyers are looking to engage with experts within a company rather than the company itself even if it is LinkedIn.

The click-through rate to the webinar opt-in page that the InMail promoted was 50 percent less for the message sent by the individual at LinkedIn than the one sent by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

LinkedIn members expected a promotion from the company but they didn’t expect nor want a promotion from someone who is supposed to be a subject matter expert. This tells me that if you want to reach, connect and engage with more key decision makers, then experts need to reach out, not the company, and provide up-front value.

Buyers are no longer willing to engage with companies that only provide gated content. Buyers want you to work harder to earn their trust and interest before they give you an opt-in and a right to market to them further.

Related Article: Stop the LinkedIn Madness: Succeed Where 995,000 Have Failed

3. Inability to Articulate Value Is Leading to Failure in Achieving Sales Goals

According to a survey by SiriusDecision, sales leaders for the past four years in a row have said that the No. 1 barrier preventing salespeople from achieving quota is their inability to articulate value. And according to a recent survey of executive buyers by Gartner, customers agree. Only 34 percent of executive buyers, for example, feel that salespeople can articulate value.

On LinkedIn, we’re not seeing business value being communicated to prospects on the LinkedIn profiles, within the content being pushed out and within messaging. For example, our own studies revealed that nine out of 10 LinkedIn profiles do not articulate value to their intended prospects. Take a look at this example of a LinkedIn profile:Example of LinkedIn profileWhere is the value to the potential buyer that will give me a reason to actually connect, accept an Inmail and want to further a relationship? Where is the value that will pique my interest and have me asking questions on how the company can help me?

4. Business Leaders Can Get a 12 Percent Conversion Boost With Their Challenger Sales and Marketing Approach

Because of the impact a challenger approach can have on your sales success, many business leaders and sales and marketing professionals are taking this approach on LinkedIn. But they are falling short on creating the urgency they need to convince prospects to change because they are just challenging the prospect’s status quo with surprising information and data.

As Tim Riesterer (Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Corporate Visions) mentioned in a recent Sales and Management Magazine article, “You need to create risk and at the same time show how you are uniquely prepared to resolve the risks you’ve identified.”

In his article, he discusses a study that showed how a risk + resolution message enhanced the messages behavioral impact by 9% compared to the risk only and resolution only messages.

The paired risk and resolution message also generated a 12 percent boost in emotional responses, relative to the other conditions. The reason for this boost: It challenged the status quo and showed prospects what a new, safer alternative looks like and how it resolves their most important business problems.

Related Article: Not Just LinkedIn: How to Brand Yourself Online When Job Hunting

Now, Are You Ready to Re-Think Your LinkedIn Marketing and Social Selling Approach on LinkedIn?

Inside my LinkedIn community, we’re challenging these common approaches plus others including taking a scattershot approach instead of following an account based marketing strategy on LinkedIn. Join my group, Get Help with Linked Strategies, and see how other sales, marketing and business leaders are driving demand and sales using LinkedIn.

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