SEO on LinkedIn

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Online Marketing on LinkedIn and Xing

In 2018, Prime Robotics was a start-up in the warehouse robotics industry. My good friend and CEO of the company approached me to help him get the sales going. The company was so new that they didn’t even have a website, yet. In just a few hours I created the company’s first website. It was rough on the edges but fully functional.

Prime Robotics had one pilot customer with a small robotic installation in a warehouse in Prague. I took a few videos on my iPhone with the robots moving around the warehouse, picking up shelves to bring them to a manned pick station or returning them to their location. Very cool stuff and certainly cutting edge technology at the time.

I put a few of the videos on the website, got myself a premium membership with Xing, the German equivalent to LinkedIn, and started an online sales campaign. Spoiler alert: I repeated this on LinkedIn, similarly successful.

How to write the perfect contact request

Xing allows you to send a message to everyone, but the amount of characters is limited and you cannot send any link with it. For that you have to be connected to that person. Fair enough. So I started sending out messages that read like this:

John,
At Prime Robotics we know that in a warehouse speed is essential. So, at 250 to 600 picks per hour you can save up to 80% warehouse operating costs.
If you accept my contact request, Xing will let me send you a link to our product videos.
Regards,
Dirk Borchers

Every evening I would spend an hour or two scanning CVs on Xing to target the right people. Understanding who would accept my request to connect was crucial, because Xing allows you to have a maximum of 100 open requests, and you may only delete them after 7 days. I identified two main levers to crank up the acceptance rate. Crafting a great initial message was one. Typing the name of the recipient and pasting the message takes a tiny bit longer than just pasting it, but it adds up when you do that a few thousand times. Nevertheless, I believe that this personal touch is very important and so I did it every single time. On top of that, the message had relevance and promised something extraordinary. You have to understand that a human picker can maybe make 20 or 30 picks per hour. A solution that is many times more efficient must raise curiosity in the right circles.

Identifying your target customer

That’s the second lever. Don’t send messages to just anyone. Xing and LinkedIn both have great search and filter features. You can even search through the contacts of your contacts, which quickly became one of my favorite tools. When you send the initial message to a CEO of a targeted company he is more likely to accept you when you already have 5 contacts in common.

There are big logistics companies in which I have more than 20 qualified contacts. These decision makers go into a meeting and tell their colleagues about that robot video they just watched. And then you have 4 or 5 other people who know exactly what this guy is talking about, because they’ve watched it, too.

A whopping 40% of the initial addressees accepted me. To these I would send a reply with the link and an invitation to come to the warehouse in Prague and see the robotic system in action. Quite many came.

After this success I was asked to repeat the campaign in the US where Prime Robotics had just installed a robotic solution in a Philadelphia warehouse. Of course, LinkedIn works a bit differently than Xing, but I more or less followed my playbook from the Xing campaign. The acceptance rate was a bit lower than on Xing, around 35%. Still good.

Ranking #1 on Google

Now, the intention was to get customers to the demo sites in Prague and Philly and that worked out just fine. But as a nice side effect Google noticed the many visitors to our website who also spent some time on it. Visitors with trustworthy IP addresses from DHL, Walmart or the likes. Within 3 months Prime Robotics’ website, still very rough around the edges, ranked #1 on Google for the keywords ‘warehouse automation’ and ‘warehouse robotics’, thus generating even more qualified leads.
Kampot Web Solutions
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