Data management solutions company AvePoint provides the only full suite of SaaS solutions to migrate, manage and protect data in Microsoft 365. Recently, the company sought to ramp up its marketing on a global scale, specifically surrounding its #ShiftHappens conference, in its second year – now a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The AvePoint team sought to bring awareness to the event and maximize its success. “LinkedIn was so helpful, especially when we had to move to virtual for our #ShiftHappens conference. It’s a new brand, so we needed to have all our channels working, to make sure we had a good critical mass of people,” said Michael Segner, Director of Content Communications at AvePoint.
AvePoint sought to target (and retarget) – across more than 10 countries – professionals with relevant job descriptions, driving interested leads to valuable capture points: e-book downloads, webinar registrations, and product demos.
AvePoint pursued a conversation ad campaign for its #ShiftHappens event. “We started running #ShiftHappens ads two months ahead of the event. We kept the targeting a little bit tighter and pumped [the event] a little bit slower,” said Megan Hoel, Community Manager at AvePoint. “Then, when we were getting close to the event, we expanded the audience because we wanted to get more awareness, more leads.”
To improve click-through rates, the company employed both geo-specific and career-specific targeting. “The main [criteria] were job functions, company size and the region,” Hoel explained. “LinkedIn has been great, giving us one platform where we can push up ads for all these different regions and keep everything under our main account.”
AvePoint used LinkedIn ads to streamline the conversion process, reducing the total number of steps to conversion, thus improving completion rates and reducing cost per click. “Our ads have one button that goes straight to a form and another button that goes to another message. We’ve noticed a lower cost per lead, since people aren’t leaving the conversation,” Hoel said.
Where the global completion rate on conversation ads is 8.67%, AvePoint saw a 33.59% completion on German ads and a 32.59% completion on French ads when using local language targeting.
For every dollar we spend, we’re getting $5-$8 back, and we can track it by region. LinkedIn makes it easy for us to see where our money is going and where it’s coming back.” – Michael Segner, Director of Content Communications at AvePoint.
With a budget of $105,000 for its conversation ads campaign, AvePoint captured 1,481 leads. The company saw 37% average completion rate for Lead Gen Forms.
Making a Global Impression
To appeal to its global addressable market, AvePoint ran regional ads in US/CA, Australia, Singapore, France, Germany, UK, and a cohort called Region 4 (Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden). Ads were tailored to each region, with language-specific messaging and job duty targeting vs. job title targeting, which can be ambiguous across countries.
AvePoint also utilized a combination of Sponsored Ads and InMail ads. “InMail is to email as conversation ads are to chat. Email converts at a high rate for us, and so does InMail. It’s a very similar medium and it works really well,” Segner said.
Keeping Lead Gen Affordable
“Cost per lead is a big goal for us, especially since we’ve been watching it drop over time and with our targeting efforts. Our goal is to keep it down,” Segner said. Over the course of its campaign, AvePoint has watched its cost per lead drop from $200, to $100, to $80, and lower for many of its geo-specific campaigns.
The company prioritized heavy refinement of its targeted lists and continual A/B testing of specific ads. “We’ve been using lists more as target audiences, because we’ve been able to get very high match rates. We’re utilizing ads that actually pump targeting to certain lists,” Hoel said. AvePoint has also benefited from LinkedIn’s list matching tools.
Removing Barriers to Conversion
AvePoint relied heavily on LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms to accelerate the time-to-conversion. The team leveraged strategic value propositions to specific groups – e-books, webinars, and free trials – to entice clicks, then quickly capture lead information
“If they’re on mobile, they can press a button and submit the information from their profile and then it flows through and connects to our Marketo instance without the lead ever having to leave LinkedIn, without having to fill out a very long form – it’s really, really powerful,” Segner said.
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