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B2B Lead Generation

If you’re not using LinkedIn, your missing out on one of the key tools in the b2b lead generation tool box. A huge 95% of marketers use LinkedIn as a core part of their marketing strategy for B2B leads.

Not everyone has a huge marketing budget, so to help squeeze every drop of lead gen performance out of your LinkedIn presence, we’re going to start with using the free tools.

Note: We’re assuming that you are already producing regular organic content to engage and connect with your audience. This article focuses on turbo charging your lead generation efforts using free targeting and messaging tactics on LinkedIn.

There is no published limit of how many connection messages you can send per day, but we recommend that so as not to spam users (and for your own sanity!) you don’t send out more than 100 per day.

Why LinkedIn Wins For B2B Leads

Look at the chart below, you can see just how dominant LinkedIn is to B2B lead generation campaigns.

Source: Neil Patel

Those 95% of tech marketers aren’t just doing LinkedIn lead gen, they’re succeeding at it. In fact, 80.33% of B2B social leads come from the business platform – completely dwarfing Twitter (12.73%), Facebook (6.73%) and Google+ (0.21%) in terms of conversions.

So the platform works, but how do you nail down those valuable leads?

It doesn’t happen overnight. You need to be dedicated to a multi-channel lead nurturing strategy that requires regular optimisation. (If only there was some sort of agency that could do it for you…)

8 Steps To Organic LinkedIn Lead Generation

Organic B2B lead generation is all about knowing your audience, and being able to efficiently provide them with relevant content. How do you do that?

  • Identify your buyer personas, and
  • Target your audience with LinkedIn search filters

The way targeting works on LinkedIn is through granular filters. You can define audiences by the usual filters like age and gender, but also by location company name, job title, seniority, number of employees, skills, and interests (a new feature added in January 2019). You can then reach them by sending a ‘Connection’ message with a relevant note as to why you are connecting. So let’s get started…

Step 1 – Identify your buyer personas

We’re assuming you know your buyer personas; their demographics, job title, sector, locations and seniority etc.

For absolute clarity and to make sure we target the right people with the right message, we create a mini brief for every LinkedIn campaign whether its organic or paid social using in LinkedIn Inmail.

Here is a sample from a large brief for a client of ours who had organised a skills development conference for technology companies in London. The actual campaign was split into three phases using different techniques.

LinkedIn Connection B2B Lead Gen Brief:

What: Skills Development Conference in London for Technology Companies
Why: Develop your people, improve job satisfaction, attract talent, retain staff
Where: London (plus tech hubs across the UK – see Tech Nation report)
Who: Growing Technology / Software Development / SaaS Businesses
How: Connection Message
Buyer Personas:
– HR Directors
– MD
– FD
– Recruiting Managers
Sales Goals: 500 event registrants
Marketing Goals: Phase 1 – Drive 5000 buyer personas to the event website 3 months prior to event

Using the brief we needed to create different messages for each persona, find the people who matched the persona on LinkedIn and send them the most relevant message. We ran campaigns for HR Directors, MDs and Finance Directors.

The following steps show you how we found the ‘recruiting managers’ within the technology companies.

Step 2 – Search for people

Head to the search bar, and select “search for people”.

This is where you can find anyone from LinkedIn’s vast database of users.

Step 3 – Use all filters

Click “all filters” to go to the full range of audience criteria.

Step 4 – Start with locations

Select your target destination. For our campaign, we want people who are in the UK, which trims the audience size from all of LinkedIn’s 500 million users to 26 million.

You can use the location search bar to find almost anywhere, from countries to individual cities.

Step 5 – Add the industry sector

Select the industry you want to target. We’re looking for people in the Computer Software industry, as they would gain a lot by attending our client’s conference. Immediately, the number of people in the audience has dropped from 26 million to 270,000.

Rather than target a whole industry, you might decide instead to target people working for a specific company. 

In the campaign we ran for the London event, we targeted by sector but also checked the companies named in the UK’s fastest growing technology companies. That way we had a good idea that those we were targeting were going to be open to the idea of adding to their skillset at a conference.

Step 6 – Use job titles

Now we move on to looking at the personal specifics of our audience. We want to ensure that the people invited to my client’s conference are able to make decisions on attending, so their job title is very important. By filtering by the title “Solutions Architect”, we now have an audience of just 1243 people.

From this point, the list of targets is pretty manageable. But you can filter that list even further in an attempt to boost our connection request success rate.

Step 7 – Find mutual connections

Try selecting the “2nd Connection” filter. This means anyone still on your list already has a mutual connection to you.

Top tip: Focus on people who are a 2nd connection to you. The chances of them accepting your connection request are increased if you already have a mutual connection.

Step 8 – Choose your messenger

It’s worth thinking about who the message will be sent by. You could have the best copy in the world, but if a busy decision maker receives a message from an intern with little pedigree, the chances are they aren’t going to spend their time reading it.

Messages should come from someone who is as senior as your target audience to improve effectiveness. The more senior the sender is, the more likely the recipient is to take notice of their message.

Step 9 – Tailor your connection note

You then send each person on that list a connection request with a personalised template message explaining what the conference is about and a link to the agenda.

Even if the person doesn’t connect back or reply, there’s a good chance they’ll at least check out the conference website. If you have your Google Analytics set up correctly you will be able to remarket to everyone who has visited your website. You can even segment website visitors into ‘LinkedIn Audiences’ so that you can retarget them on Google display with a more targeted message.

You only have 300 characters so be efficient with your message. See the example connection message below to get an idea of what you can fit in.

Is your business growing faster than your skill set?
*Client Name* is hosting a skills development conference in London on 28/04 to give tech companies the tools to attract & retain brilliant technical staff.
Interested? Get your ticket here > *bitly link*
Many thanks,


We always use bitly links in the message to drive recipients to our landing pages. These links can be customised and tracked very easily, so we can see where our traffic is coming from and measure the success of campaigns.

Rinse, wash and repeat

Of course, you will want to run this strategy over and over with different filters. In our example case, we might try to attract some delegates over from the USA or Ireland for the conference.

As well as Computer Software industry workers, there might be people in Information Technology & Services, or public sector buyers looking for tech solutions who are interested in our client’s conference. It’s definitely worth trying lots of different job title keywords, such as “Events”, “Digital Transformation” and so on.

Step 10 – Keeping track

Keeping track of those custom audiences is a simple matter of creating a table and updating it as you go along. LinkedIn will remind you whether you’ve already sent a request to the individuals themselves.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you carry out an outbound LinkedIn marketing campaign for B2B lead generation without spending a penny. It takes time, effort, and constant tweaking, but it can be very effective if done correctly.

Our key takeaways to success are:

  • Define your buyer persona early on, and develop it fully
  • Use multiple levels of filtering to make sure you are speaking to your buyer persona
  • Tailor your message template to be relevant, helpful, and open
  • Send the message from the right person
  • Track all your traffic with bitly links and Google Analytics
Insta Stories Update

One of the biggest shocks to the social media system of the last few years is the emergence of Instagram Stories.

Instagram’s attempt to snaffle Snapchat users was launched in August 2016, and now sees more than 500 million daily active users. That’s an insane amount of growth!

Understandably, brands and marketers are keen to capitalise on that captive audience. Now, Instagram has made our job just that little bit easier with the reported introduction of a new feature.

Once the update is rolled out (no news on when that is yet), any footage captured by your instastories camera will automatically be stored away and saved for seven days.

That’s brilliant news for anyone who takes a stunning snap but only comes up with the ideal caption a few days later. Previously, if you didn’t use the media right away, it was lost forever. Now, you can load it up and rework it over and over until your perfect story is ready to unleash on the world.

Benefits For Instagram Marketing

For us, there are loads of possible benefits attached to this new feature.

At Adlantic, we offer live social media coverage of events to clients. Usually, we would manually save all the Instagram Story content we capture on the day (and there tends to be a lot!) to use in later highlight or throwback posts.

With the introduction of this update, the manual work is done for us. We will be able to open up Instagram and post new highlights with ease.

Any content marketers looking to boost the reach of old blogs will also benefit from the feature. You can very quickly and easily access promo footage and reuse it to direct your audience to your website.

An App In Transition

Instagram is part of the Facebook family. The parent brand is not the powerhouse it used to be for marketers, but as influencer culture becomes more prominent, so is the relevance of Instagram to brands.

That matters to those in marketing because it means Facebook is spending more time and resources on Instagram. New features are always in the pipeline, making the photo sharing app a platform constantly in transition.

Where that transition will lead to is uncertain. We could end up with a saturated, clunky platform like Facebook; or an agile and innovative space which clever marketers can use to incredible effect.

Whatever the outcome, we at Adlantic are always searching for the best tricks and tips to improve the way we use Instagram for our clients.

For more news on when the feature goes live, make sure you follow us on Instagram at @theadlantic, and sign up for our marketing updates newsletter.

WeRSM, Instagram Will Now Save Everything Captured With Stories Camera For Seven Days
Social Media Today, Instagram Stories Is Now Being Used By 500 Million People Daily
Social Media Today, The State Of Instagram Marketing 2019 – Part 1: Current Use Of Instagram By Marketers
Buffer, We Analyzed 15,000 Instagram Stories From 200 Of The World’s Top Brands

how to rock world emoji day

🌎😍Want to know what Emojis are and how they can boost your engagement levels on social media? You’ve landed on the right page.

Who won Adlantic’s #WorldEmojiDay competition on social media? Scroll to point No. 8 to find out.

Research shows around 92 percent of consumers use emojis. Using emojis adds colour and fun to every post. Plus you can express yourself without having to type lots of characters into a small screen on your smartphone. Helpful if you have fat fingers, poor eyesight and want to avoid neck strain.

You can read emojis on just about any device because they follow a standard code called Unicode. This means you can use a 🎵 musical note  emoji to your friend in China and they will instantly know you are listening to music – no translation required!

9 things we learned during World Emoji Day

1. Everyone loves Flamingoes & hard cash!

The good news is that 💰money 💷 is already an emoji and Flamingos are potentially about to be released. Go online anywhere and you will see hundreds of petitions and forums you can sign demanding the release of the Flamingo emoji – who knew these guys were so popular?

A formal flamingo proposal was submitted to Unicode in January 2018. Since then, Unicode has released a list of 157 new potential emojis for 2019. 🤞

Our pink feathered friends aside, the other missing emojis in demand were a penguin emoji, a sloth, a wider selection of drinks and more beach/ holiday based emojis.

2. Start a conversation using using emojis 

Fearful of getting engagement wrong on social media? Competitions are a useful tool to help you get the hang of small talk on social. Adlantic’s emoji competition meant we could have an informal conversation on the fun topic of emojis. We could genuinely have a laugh with our audience whilst growing it.

*Notice: We didn’t actually ask our audience to share or RT our post, they wanted to themselves.

3.It’s okay to have fun

Some brands are very rigid about their ‘voice’ on social media and are cautious when it comes to engaging with certain topics. If your brand voice is informative and serious, we’re thinking the CIA or enterprise level security software, then emoji’s are not going to be in your tool bag. ⛏

At Adlantic we stay on top of what’s trending in all sectors. Events like #WorldEmojiDay allow us to be playful, to experiment, test and say thank you. Our casual approach for this competition allowed us to chat with our customers and attracted lots of new faces.

4. Use Hashtags!

Hashtags are great on Twitter and Instagram. They  act like a filter helping you to find the people interested in the same topic. Hashtags are a shortcut to what’s trending in specific locations and globally.

For Hashtags, think speed. Our Director, Alison loves emojis and is fanatical about using tags at work.  We use tags for quickly finding everything from emails, invoices, bank statements, slack messages to project plans. Emojis + Hashtags = 💓⚡

5. Make It Easy

Don’t create too many rules if you want engagement and shares. Some brands ask their followers to enter on every social network, write a story, take a picture, tag their friends and sign up on their website – yawn.

World Emoji Day is fun, so we kept the hurdles to two. 1. Enter by replying in the comments and 2. Closing date of 12pm on Friday.

6. Give People Choices

Be platform agnostic! Everyone is different and prefers a specific social platform. We see a lot of Mum’s hanging out on Facebook where they share tips, angst and very cute baby pictures with relatives and friends. LinkedIn was a no goer for #WorldEmojiDay. It’s for business and users are quick to scorn social fluff.

The network you choose really depends on the age and interests of your customers. And, it will change with time. So keep testing and follow your audience.

We allowed people to enter on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We received the most engagement on Twitter which surprised us. We conclude that this was due to Twitter Hashtags as days like this aren’t usually celebrated on Facebook or Instagram.

7. Be flexible 🤸

People interpreted our how to enter instruction ‘which emoji is missing from your real life?’ in two ways;

The first group used the context as the ‘digital world’ e.g. it doesn’t exist on your emoji keyboard. They replied with new emoji ideas such as a sloth, flamingo etc.

The second group used the context as ‘non digital world’… e.g. I need a holiday – they replied with emojis like palm trees and wine. 🌴🍷

8. And the winner(s) is… 🥁

Megan Grace (@MeganGrace1993) – who wanted a dabbing emoji.

We chose this because this emoji because doesn’t already exist on our smartphones, is unique, fun and if you are watching any kind of sport… it’s kind of handy!

Commendations to;

Lisa Mcalley (@mumof3cherubs) for pregnant emoji
Nick Wilkins (@nick_wilkins1) – for the beard emoji and his great chat!
Rosie (@nicelittlestar) Emma J (@eljack204) Jax Rose (@jax_rose3) for the engagement rings in real life.

Thank you to everyone that took part – you rock!

9. 📈 Impact on Social Performance

Over 200 entries and over 10,000 impressions in three days from a small audience of 1000 people. We also attracted 200 new followers to our social media account on Twitter. Not bad for three days of focused fun. Please note the only budget we used on this was the prize, a £25 Amazon voucher.

social competition results for twitter