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How to Generate Leads on LinkedIn: 2024 Ultimate Guide

LinkedIn - it’s one of the biggest social media platforms and one of the most powerful tools for B2B lead generation.

It’s a social platform that provides a vast network of potential leads for businesses to tap into. For businesses, it offers the opportunity to connect with potential clients and boost their revenue.

In particular, LinkedIn’s advanced search filters allow businesses to narrow their search to specific industries, job titles, and company sizes, making it easier to identify potential leads.

But getting a good grasp of LinkedIn lead generation takes time.

Here’s the good news:

You can skip the research as we’ve done all the hard work for you!

In this post, we’ll cover the ins and outs of LinkedIn lead generation to help you optimise your LinkedIn profile, target the right leads, generate more qualified leads, and measure success.

Scroll 👇 for everything you need to know about LinkedIn lead generation strategy in 2024!

How to optimise your LinkedIn profile for lead generation

To help you better optimise your company’s LinkedIn profile for lead gen, we’re sharing our best five tips that will move the needle from week one:

1. Using social proof alongside your pitch

Let’s face it...

Simply sharing a case study on a social media platform isn’t enticing enough for most potential customers.

However, when you pair a testimonial with an informative sales pitch, you can largely influence the decision-making process for your leads.

Plus, this can greatly impact the perception of your company on LinkedIn. That’s a lead generation win-win!

But let’s go beyond posts.

A key tip for optimising your company profile remains showcasing positive reviews and recommendations from satisfied clients. Doing this...

  • Adds credibility to your company.
  • Serves as a powerful form of social proof for potential leads who may be researching your business.

Figma, for instance, lists its top-rated features on its profile as per G2 reviews:

LinkedIn lead generation

2. Use rich media

People want to see your product in action.

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s product media features. Use them to showcase your products or services.

Upload photos, videos, and presentations. Provide visual content that captures your audience’s attention and highlights your offerings.

Here’s an example from Jira’s product page:

LinkedIn lead generation

3. Highlight your newest features or top achievements

Nothing says you’re dedicated to developing your product or offering stellar customer support than actually showcasing this on your profile.

The Cognism team does this on their own LinkedIn company page by regularly posting new content, resources, product updates, events, and more:

LinkedIn lead generation

4. Take the burden off your sales team’s shoulders

88% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.

This means that leads don’t even need to talk to your salespeople to be interested in a product or even make the final purchase decision.

LinkedIn allows you to feature people who are already using your solution.

The Ask people about this product section works by listing users that meet two straightforward criteria:

  1. Are part of a lead’s network.
  2. Have included your product as part of their skill set.

LinkedIn lead generation

This makes it easier for leads to find a person they trust and get an honest review of your product. All this without your team’s intervention.

5. Answer all of their questions from the first interaction

“Sure, but how much does it cost?”

A common sales question you can answer directly on your LinkedIn product page.

Tip:

Simply include a Plans and pricing section to offer more clarity to your potential customers:

LinkedIn lead generation

How to target the right leads on LinkedIn

Once you’ve nailed your product page, defining your ideal customer profile (ICP) is crucial when it comes to targeting the right qualified leads on LinkedIn.

This involves identifying the characteristics and traits of your ideal customer, such as their job title, industry, company size, and location.

By having a clear understanding of your ICP, you can refine your search and tailor your messaging to attract the right leads on the platform.

Additionally, you can use LinkedIn’s advanced filters to further narrow down your search and focus on profiles that align with your ICP.

This approach can save you time and effort, as you’ll be connecting with potential customers who are more likely to be interested in your products or services.

Note:

Understanding your ICP will help you create more personalised and relevant content for your LinkedIn audience. This increases the chances of converting them into valuable leads.

Want to narrow down your search on LinkedIn even more?

Use advanced search filters and Boolean operators.

Start by identifying your target audience and what industry they’re in.

Then, use the advanced search feature on LinkedIn to filter your search results based on specific criteria such as location, industry, job title, and company size.

LinkedIn lead generation

You can use Boolean operators such as “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT” to combine keywords and refine your search even further.

This will help you target leads who have the right qualifications, experience, and interests that align with your business goals.

Tip:

Choose keywords for refining your search.

This is recommended for an advanced lead generation round as it can help you find potential leads who don’t have a complete profile yet.

How to generate LinkedIn leads with content

Content marketing is fundamental for establishing your brand as an industry thought leader on LinkedIn. Creating new content (both as a company and through individual employees) is the most effective method for spreading the word and attracting new leads.

By consistently sharing high-quality content, you’ll build credibility and trust with potential customers. You’ll establish your company as a go-to resource for industry insights and information.

But here’s the catch:

Posting alone won’t help you get in front of new leads.

So what can you do?

1. Work with B2B influencers

By partnering with B2B influencers, you can tap into their existing audience, potentially converting them into new customers for your business.

It’s important to carefully research and choose influencers who align with your brand values and target audience. Communicate clearly; establish mutual goals and expectations that’ll ensure a successful partnership.

Sometimes it’s as simple as inviting them to attend your podcast or event and asking them to share their thoughts publicly on LinkedIn.

Here’s an example from Cognism’s partnership with one of LinkedIn’s top sales voices, Morgan J Ingram:

2. Stay engaged

Stay engaged on LinkedIn by liking, commenting, and sharing content from connections and industry influencers regularly.

This shows your support for others. It keeps your profile active and visible to your network.

3. Be everywhere

Join relevant groups and participate in discussions. Showcase your expertise and network with like-minded professionals.

By participating in LinkedIn group discussions and offering insights, you’ll establish your company as an industry leader, attracting potential connections and opportunities.

You can also attend regular networking events or LinkedIn live sessions to be part of relevant industry discussions. And if you haven’t yet:

Host webinars, workshops, or online events on topics relevant to your target audience!

Promote these events on LinkedIn and encourage attendees to connect with you afterwards. Your goal is to keep the conversation going!

Here’s an example of a Cognism live event promotion on LinkedIn:

4. Stay relevant

Social listening is just as essential as social speaking!

Always stay informed about the latest trends, developments, and news in your industry. Social listening helps you pay attention to your target audience’s interests and concerns.

The big benefit of social listening is:

You can then proactively address trending topics and timely issues in your industry through your content. Share your perspectives, insights, and solutions to provide value to your audience. Position yourself as a knowledgeable authority in your field.

Here’s a simple approach from the Encorsa team that pulled common concerns to solve them for anyone interested in a similar solution:

5. Promote engaging content

To ace marketing on LinkedIn, you really only need a consistent posting schedule and a diversity of content formats (e.g. text, images, carousels, videos).

Devise a LinkedIn content calendar with a schedule of posts for the week/month. This ensures you have regular content to deliver.

Meanwhile, having a wide variety of content formats lets you test and see what resonates best with your audience.

For comparison, this event announcement got minimal interest:

Meanwhile, this carousel with expert tips received significantly more engagement:

Tip:

You don’t need to create something new every time. Repurpose your existing content; for example, you can turn a blog post into a LinkedIn carousel.

How to target LinkedIn leads with ads

Most businesses simply create a LinkedIn ad and hope for the best. In today’s industry, that’s not enough.

To truly reach and engage with your desired audience, there are a few key tips to keep in mind when targeting leads with LinkedIn ads.

Firstly, it’s crucial to clearly define your target audience and their specific characteristics, such as job titles, industries, and interests.

This will help you narrow down your ad targeting to those who are most likely to be interested in your product or service.

Just like with organic content, it’s important to share compelling and valuable content in your ads. You want to capture your audience’s attention straight away and encourage them to take action.

Some good LinkedIn ad ideas are:

  1. Offering a solution to your customers’ pain points.
  2. Showcasing your expertise in a particular field.
  3. Promoting an event or influencer insights.

Here’s one of Cognism’s best-performing ads - note how it...

  • Calls out marketers straight away.
  • Promotes free resources that this audience would find useful.
  • Provides proof that the resources are useful in the form of campaign statistics.

How to build your LinkedIn audiences

When running ads on LinkedIn, your audiences are everything.

There are four things to look at when building out your audiences:

1. Job titles

This is especially important as LinkedIn users are constantly updating their job titles.

Best practice is to update your job title targeting every month. The reason for this is new titles related to the same role pop up on a regular basis.

If you do this, you’re much more likely to reach the right people.

Focusing on job titles will also allow you to exclude certain roles based on funnel conversions.

Tip:

Talk to your B2B sales team to see who is coming into the funnel but not going anywhere.

For example, if Account Executives download content but don’t progress any further, exclude them from your targeting. Don’t waste time chasing irrelevant leads!

2. Industry

When looking at the industries you want to target, you’ll want to refine your ICP.

This will ensure you’re not wasting money on leads that aren’t going to convert later in the funnel.

You should also consider using industry-specific campaigns by including content that’s tailored to different industries.

3. Audience expansion

Often, LinkedIn will offer you a wider audience with a click of a button.

We advise not to do this!

Here’s why:

We tested audience expansion with Cognism’s ads and found that the results were poor.

If you’re targeting Sales Directors, LinkedIn will hone in on the “sales” part and likely send you SDRs, who, of course, are not your target.

4. Company lists

This is a really under-used part of audiences regarding LinkedIn ads for lead generation.

How it works is that you can upload lists of your leads that haven’t converted into customers. You can then retarget them with content through LinkedIn to make sure that they’re seeing your ads.

How to choose your targeting method

There are two different targeting options on LinkedIn.

1. Conventional targeting

This generally covers your top of the funnel lead generation with an audience size of between 50-100k.

Conventional targeting usually involves wider industry targeting and is grouped by seniority of job function.

The content you’re offering your audience here is always gated.

The other option to consider is:

2. Target accounts

This approach focuses on top, middle, and bottom of the funnel audiences, which are generally smaller - between 20 and 50k.

This approach may appear to be a bit more expensive, but if you’ve got hyper-detailed contact lists, you’ll be reaching people who are the most relevant to you.

This means you’ll see your cost per lead balance out.

In this approach, you’ll want to use a hybrid of gated and ungated content, but because your goal is lead generation, your focus should be on gated content.

Check out the latest LinkedIn user stats to discover better audience targeting.

When you’ve settled on your audience and the approach you’ll take to target them, it’s time for the next stage 👇

How to experiment with your budget

When it comes to LinkedIn ad budgets, you want to maximise whatever amount of money you’re spending in the best way possible.

We recommend a $15 daily spend per campaign on LinkedIn.

Of course, you can spend less and spend more; it depends on your budget. It’s best to have one good marketing campaign on a decent budget rather than having three campaigns on smaller budgets.

There are two ways in which you can be billed for your LinkedIn ads:

1. Maximum delivery

This is the default billing system on LinkedIn. It bills on an impression basis.

The benefits of this approach are that it’s easier to get started and you have a higher reach.

The downside is that your leads come at a higher cost.

2. Manual bidding

You’re only billed on ads per click with manual bidding.

It’s cost-effective and limits your maximum cost per lead, but it’s far more complex.

If you’re just starting out, we recommend using maximum delivery. However, for a more long-term B2B marketing strategy, you should switch to manual bidding.

Starting out on maximum delivery means you can test and iterate what your maximum cost per lead should be, and that paves the way for your manual bidding.

Next, it’s on to the ad itself.

How to create effective LinkedIn ads

There are three things your content ads will always need to do:

  1. Demonstrate value - give the viewer a reason to complete the form.
  2. Steal attention - the ad must instantly grab the eye.
  3. Be relevant - it must mean something to the viewer or they’ll just scroll straight past.

When devising a new LinkedIn ad, keep it creative and concise. Give the reader a snippet of your content’s value and make it as clear as possible.

Finally, you must make every space in your ad relevant.

This means highlighting things like the reader’s job function, their ambitions, and their targets.

The more relevant information there is, the more likely they’ll be to convert. Be bold and clear at the same time!

Remind the lead why they’re looking at the ad and why they need to click through.

To do this, you should ensure your ads are:

  • Attention-grabbing.
  • Worth their time.
  • Calling out the things they want.

Tip:

You can even look at your competitors’ LinkedIn ads.

Simply go to their LinkedIn page, click “ads” and evaluate their offering to see how it measures us to yours.

Speaking of measuring... 👇

How to measure the success of LinkedIn lead generation

Several factors determine the success of your LinkedIn lead generation campaign.

Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and track marketing metrics such as website visits, engagement rates, lead conversion rates, and sales.

Regularly monitoring and analysing these KPIs lets you identify areas for improvement. Always make data-driven decisions that improve your ad strategy and drive successful results.

Use your existing data to optimise your company’s LinkedIn lead generation strategy. Start by identifying what’s working and adjust your approach accordingly. 

For example:

B2B data can highlight which tactics and techniques are generating the most leads, meaning you can double down on them.

Conversely, if the metrics from a specific lead gen activity are in the red, then it’s time to change it up.

This may involve:

  • Tweaking your LinkedIn messaging.
  • Targeting specific demographics, ideal audiences or industries instead of general ones.
  • Investing more resources or budget into certain lead generation campaigns.

By constantly monitoring and adapting based on data, you can ensure that your company’s LinkedIn lead generation strategy is always as effective as possible. It will ultimately lead to a higher quantity and quality of leads for your business.

How Cognism aids LinkedIn lead generation

Cognism ensures a successful lead capture strategy beyond your organic or paid content.

With our innovative technology, you can easily identify and target your ideal audience, engage with them through personalised messaging, and track their interactions to measure the effectiveness of your lead capture efforts.

For many sales reps, Cognism’s Chrome Extension is their go-to tool for LinkedIn prospecting.

Here’s how it works:

                
                   
      

The extension empowers users to thoroughly research prospects via their LinkedIn profiles. It provides valuable data points such as business emails, direct dials, co-workers, company intelligence, and intent signals.

Moreover, representatives can efficiently import a large volume of contacts directly into platforms like Salesforce or Outreach.

Plandek’s sales team uses the Chrome Extension daily - with it, they improved their data quality by 85% and worked with accurate email addresses that generated a deliverability rate of 95%.

Michael Wong, Head of Marketing at Plandek, said this about the Cognism Chrome Extension:

“It’s proven to be a game changer when dealing with the task of exporting a sizable contact list of 5,000 individuals.” 

“Cognism allows for a weekly export of high-intent accounts and contacts directly to our CRM, so it’s significantly freed up my time.”

Cognism’s intent data is also invaluable when it comes to furnishing direct insights. It gives you access to timely knowledge that can propel you miles ahead of the competition.

How does intent data work?

This feature tracks online behavioural signals from businesses, indicating their interest or intent to purchase specific products or services.

Kelly Services used Cognism’s intent data to generate 28k leads. Their Sales Development Manager said:

“I typically use the Chrome Extension in tandem with Sales Navigator.” 

“First, I search for potential contacts on Sales Navigator, identifying individuals I want to engage with. Then, I visit their LinkedIn profiles to assess their relevance.”

“Using the extension, I select the people I’m interested in and create a list sourced from Cognism, which seamlessly integrates with the Chrome extension. With a simple click, I add these selected individuals to my list.”

By analysing signals such as website visits, content consumption, and social media engagement (including LinkedIn), Cognism identifies companies actively seeking solutions in various industries.

This data provides valuable insights to sales and marketing teams. It enables them to prioritise leads and tailor their LinkedIn outreach to businesses most likely to convert. A win-win for sales efficiency and effectiveness!

But don’t take our word for it - back to Kelly Services:

“In such a short time, our mailing list has grown from nothing to 28,000 contacts, and a huge part of that is down to Cognism.” 

“Not only have we increased our brand awareness, but we’re already in the final stages with a potential client since using intent data.”

Book your Cognism demo

LinkedIn lead generation: the last word

What are the biggest drivers behind a successful LinkedIn lead generation strategy?

For us, it’s between defining your ICP and refining your targeting strategies to connect with leads who align with your business’s goals.

By following the takeaways above (and staying updated with the latest trends and innovations in sales and marketing!), you can elevate your LinkedIn lead generation efforts and drive meaningful results for your business.

Once you’ve nailed your ideal persona, you’ll be able to consistently share high-quality content aimed directly at them. Working with influencers, you’ll be able to establish thought leadership.

With this lead generation strategy, you’ll be well on the way to attracting new leads and nurturing lasting relationships with your ideal audience.

Follow Cognism on LinkedIn

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