Beyond sharing updates on your company page, there are also thousands of LinkedIn groups on a variety of topics where professionals go to gain industry insight and interact. These groups present a great opportunity for businesses to put themselves right in front of potential leads and engage with them directly.
Unfortunately, far too many marketers neglect LinkedIn groups in their marketing strategy.
A big reason LinkedIn groups are left out is that companies don’t understand how to utilize them properly, but with the right strategy in place, you’ll quickly find that LinkedIn groups are a key component of generating leads for your business.
This article will help you get started.
Choosing The Right LinkedIn Groups
The obvious first step of this process is finding the right group to post in.
You have two options: you can either create your own group, or join already existing groups, but your primary goal is lead generation, it may be more worth your time to opt for the latter option, as it will have an established audience to work with. Starting your own group can work for lead generation as well, but it will require a bit of time to setup, grow, promote, and ultimately maintain.
But what groups should you join?
When searching for LinkedIn groups to generate leads, look into:
For obvious reasons, joining groups where your buyer persona is already a member of can significantly aid your lead generation efforts by putting your message right in front of them. You can use a few different methods to find groups your buyer persona is a member of. Try groups created by competitors or ones your existing customers are already members of. This will give you a good idea of what qualities to look for, and you can expand your search from there.
Groups relevant to your industry:
Being an active member of groups within your industry can grow your network, increasing the chances of shares your content generates and may also help reach your buyer persona in the awareness or consideration stage. Many people join these types of groups in an effort to learn more about your industry and how it can benefit them -- it’s a great place to get in on the ground floor!
What About Private LinkedIn Groups?
In recent years, LinkedIn made all of its groups private, meaning you have to request membership and be approved before you start posting. This was done in an effort to improve the quality of the conversations taking place and also prevent spam so don’t just join every group mindlessly.
Before requesting to join a group, consider a few important factors.
First, check the group size. Groups that are too small can decrease the potential number of leads you can reach while in groups that are too big, message can get lost easily.
In most situations, I would recommend going with the larger groups then evaluating the activity taking place before posting. If the group is active and the conversations are ones you can contribute to, go for it, but if there’s little activity or a lot of spam being posted already, you may want to look elsewhere.
Next, make sure you check the group description carefully.
Some groups have strict rules against any kind of promotional content, or they might have a different purpose than the group name leads you to think. The last thing you want to do is peddle your message to people who aren’t interested and get banned.
What to Post in LinkedIn Groups
Once you’ve found a handful of groups, here are a few strategies to take note of that will help you connect with potential leads and drive traffic to your website - without coming across as another spammer.
Be Educational, Not Promotional
Above all, you should make sure all content you share in LinkedIn groups serves to educate its members.
The key to getting your audience to listen in LinkedIn groups (and avoid getting banned) is to be helpful, not just self-promotional. Because many groups have specific rules against promotional posts, you need to ensure that the content you’re sharing is valuable to the group.
For example, instead of sharing your company’s service pages or BOFU offers, focus on blog posts geared towards the awareness or consideration stage of the buyer's journey or even sharing content from other sources.
A good measure of how much of your own content to share is to follow the 80-20 rule.
Essentially, this means that 80% of the time, you should focus on activities that will add value to the group with activities like posting industry information, offering your opinion on posts, asking questions, etc. The other 20% can be spent sharing your company's content, as long as it will bring value to the group.
Like on all social media platforms, it’s important to add to existing conversations. Whether it’s commenting on a post, sharing a link, asking a question, or directly answering another, make sure that what you publish is relevant to the audience and topic at hand.
By posting content relevant to the group, you’ll attract more eyes and clicks and also across as helpful rather than spammy. This way, you’ll be seen as a valuable participant in the group, not just someone looking to gain leads.
This interaction will build trust with your members, and lay a strong foundation should they convert in the future.
Tailor Your Message to Each Group
If you’re a member of a string of related groups, chances are some members will overlap between groups. To avoid sounding like a robot, mix up how you’re posting in each group based on the group description, the kind of content people post, and the overall “tone” of the group.
Doing so will make your message resonate more closely with what the group members want to learn about, and increase your chances of generating clicks and shares.
Use Compelling Copy
As with any social media marketing strategy, one of the key factors to encourage click throughs is to lead with a headline that will entice your audience to share, click, or interact with your message in some way.
However, because LinkedIn is meant to share thought-provoking, professional content, you have to take extra steps to ensure your message doesn’t sound spammy.
Headlines that sound like click-bait will not only alienate your audience from engaging with that post specifically, but it will also diminish the your legitimacy as a member of the group in your posts moving forward.
To share use the following tactics to share content in a engaging, helpful manner:
Ask a question
Emphasize value they’ll get out of the post
Ask for feedback
Analyze & Adapt
The key to a successful inbound marketing strategy is analyzing your results and improving. Check periodically to see which of your LinkedIn group posts performed the best, or what groups generated the most leads.
Adapt your strategy based on these metrics, and you’ll not only improve your strategy overtime, but become a pro in LinkedIn Group marketing in no time.
All in all, the key to an effective LinkedIn Group strategy starts with understanding your buyer persona, and providing them the information they need to make an educated decision about your company.
By following these simple rules, you’ll be able to successfully generate more interested leads for you business, and even be on your way to establishing thought leadership in your industry.