Recognized as one of the top professional services firms, BDO USA provides a variety of assurance, tax, and advisory services through more than 60 offices and over 700 independent alliance firm locations nationwide. Like many large organizations, they face complexities and barriers when it comes to driving consistency and alignment.
In 2020, BDO’s marketing team believed that there was an opportunity to connect their advertising strategy to the organization’s full-funnel objectives. Here’s what they did to achieve a unified and cohesive strategy.
- Define and build a holistic advertising strategy to achieve full-funnel objectives.
- Invest in LinkedIn’s platform with a nimble test-and-learn approach, leveraging tailored creative to engage specific audiences.
- Leverage new advertising tools and unique retargeting capabilities.
- Share success with internal stakeholders to gain support and make data-driven decisions.
- Increased website pageviews by 110%.
- Boosted clickthrough rates by 175%.
- Drove more than 1K new leads
Communicating the Value of LinkedIn Ads Internally
In large and complex businesses like BDO USA, there are often different business lines with competing priorities, budgets, goals, and KPIs. A key priority for BDO’s social media strategy, led by Andrea Platt, Social Media Senior Manager, and her team was to convey the value of LinkedIn as a primary advertising platform in order to foster alignment and secure consistent budgets across various service lines, industries and campaigns.
One critical component was establishing the bottom-line impact of investing in LinkedIn. When the conversation moved past impressions and clicks, and toward the full-funnel benefits of retargeting and Lead Gen Forms, stakeholders throughout BDO were more apt to invest.
“These are B2B decision makers, these are the influencers. These are our buyers.
This is the right audience and where we want to be.” –
Andrea Platt, Social Media Senior Manager at BDO USA
Integrating with Marketing Automation Platform (MAP)
Another action that helped demonstrate LinkedIn’s value was the data integration with BDO’s marketing automation platform (MAP). Integrating with the firm’s MAP enabled teams to track leads and interactions more seamlessly.
“Marketo and LinkedIn are integrated,” Andrea explains. “New leads automatically are added to our database and scoring model. This allows us to determine their level of engagement and add them to relevant nurture email campaigns. We can also determine the number of new contacts we are acquiring from our LinkedIn campaigns. people we’re getting from LinkedIn versus return users.”
This integrated system made it easier to manage and customize audiences built through Matched Audiences via uploaded lists and retargeting.
Investing in Testing
At the core of BDO’s advertising strategy is a repository of high-quality content that is acutely useful to their target audience. This includes:
- Flagship surveys providing unique industry insights, such as their CFO Outlook Survey
- Forward-looking guides and analysis, including their “What’s Next for Work” report
- Webinar and podcast series, such as Tax Innovation Webinar Series
BDO’s challenge was identifying the best ways to get this content in front of the right people to spark engagement and action. To determine the best course of action, they tested different variables and arrived at data-driven conclusions.
“Thankfully we work very collaboratively and many teams are open to new ideas and approaches ,” Andrea says. Using this approach they uncovered learnings that shaped their strategy.
- Conversation Ads proved to be a powerful tool for allowing members to choose from BDO’s robust content library.
- Lead Gen Forms created a seamless lead generation process and delivered cost efficiency.
- Video Ads, which were creatively leveraged to run brief animations, drove high engagement. The audience engagement proved incredibly valuable [CB2] when retargeted and resulted in follow-up actions.
“Video ad retargeting has been a game-changer. We’re able to net a much larger qualified audience —
10 times the size we get from a website retargeting campaign.” –
Andrea Platt, Social Media Senior Manager at BDO USA
Tips and Takeaways for B2B Advertisers
As the BDO team continues to build upon their LinkedIn advertising success and refine their strategy, Andrea offered the following advice to marketers following the same path:
- Dedicate resources to experimentation. “Having support to try new ideas, like A/B testing, trying new things out, and testing theories is key,” she believes. “There are some things that we didn’t expect to have that big of an impact, and they did.”
- Stay up to date on new LinkedIn features and tools. Part of BDO’s experimental mindset led them to continually try new features and functionalities. The animated video ads exemplify their breakthrough using this approach. You can bookmark this page to stay on top of all new releases.
- Get granular with audience analysis. Take advantage of Campaign Manager reporting to draw actionable insights around segmented buyers, decision makers, and influencers across different industries. “We’ve got a variety of campaign groups set up in Campaign Manager, which help us get even closer to understanding the impact on specific audiences.”
Your audience of B2B buyers, influencers, and decision makers is on LinkedIn. Click on over to Campaign Manager and start reaching them. And subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog to stay abreast of B2B marketing trends.