3 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Association Ad Sales Prospecting!
Social media has evolved. It’s no longer just a way for students and young adults to communicate with each other, it’s now become a viable way to promote and market products and services for brands and in some cases even associations. But social media can be more than a communication platform for your brand. It can also be valuable resource for filling your B2B and association ad sales pipeline.
There are plenty social networks and all of them function in different ways, thus appealing to different audiences. Research has shown that while Facebook, and increasingly Instagram, are effective lead generation tools for B2C brands; it is less effective when trying to reach B2B customers.
B2B organizations have had more success with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the most popular social network for business professionals. By comparison, 65% of B2B marketers have generated a customer through LinkedIn, more than Facebook at 43% and Twitter at 30%. But only 47% of B2B marketers are on LinkedIn, as opposed to the 90% on Facebook.
Using LinkedIn for Ad Sales
LinkedIn offers increased efficiency for your ad sales prospecting by doing three primary things:
- Creating a vehicle to connect with potential prospects
- Offerin an additional resource for researching companies and their staff
- Lead nurturing for future follow-up
Using LinkedIn for Ad Sales Prospecting
If you have not done so already, begin by creating an individual profile. If your organization or association does not currently have one, encourage the marketing team to create a company page.
To Connect :
Connections: Once you’ve created a profile, begin your ad sales prospecting by start connecting. Begin by searching for people you know: friends, current and past coworkers, former college classmates, even family members. The great thing about LinkedIn is that once you are connected to someone, their connections become 2nd degree connections. The site encourages you to use your connections to facilitate introductions to people they know, but that you don’t. You cannot, however, message 2nd degree connections directly. You must request an introduction from a 1st level connection.
Groups: LinkedIn’s Groups feature allows you to join virtual communities on the site. Most of the communities are grouped by industry or occupation and feature message boards for you to post and/or answer questions, share articles, tip, etc for other members. You can also join groups for industries that you are looking to target in your ad sales prospecting.
There’s an additional benefit to participating in LinkedIn Groups. Remember in the paragraph above when I said you can’t connect with a 2nd degree contact, well this is one of two exceptions. If you are in a group with someone, you are allowed to contact them directly.
For Research Prospects:
Research is one of the most important parts of your ad sales prospecting process. It can also be very time consuming. Sometimes you know what companies you want to reach out to, but just don’t know who the right person. LinkedIn has really great search capabilities to remedy this issue.
You can research companies and employees by position, industry, location, etc. Perhaps you just need info about a company or person for an upcoming sales pitch? LinkedIn is a great place to start. Profiles include summaries of their professional careers, education, awards, clubs, memberships, etc. This information can be the starting point for crafting a personalized pitch just for them and their specific needs. It can also be useful in building a rapport or breaking the ice before a pitch.
To Track and Follow-up:
Over the years, LinkedIn has increased its functionality and added features that allow you to use the site kind of like it’s own CRM. Once you’ve connected with a prospect, there are tabs where you can leave yourself internal memos, set reminders, leave a note on how you met and more. When you converse with someone through the network, that conversation remains on their profile. You can go back to their profile in the future to refresh your memory about your last conversation.
For an association or B2B organization looking to grow your sales funnel, LinkedIn offers many valuable features. The access alone is worth the consideration. Certainly there are premium versions that offer more robust features to streamline how you prospect, research, and nurture ad sales leads. The more tools in your arsenal the more you are able to increase your reach and build your revenue.
Another easy way to grow ad sales revenue is to let us do it for you. AdBoom Advertising provides ad sales management services and consulting in the digital and print publications of association and B2B organizations. Contact a member of our ad sales team to learn more about how we can help ignite your non-dues revenue.