Inspiration from six brands transforming awareness levels on LinkedIn

The stories of six campaigns unlocking growth and profitability through brand awareness

May 15, 2019

Inspiration from six brands transforming awareness levels on LinkedIn

Brand awareness: it’s difficult to measure, it’s complicated to relate to the bottom line, but it’s extremely difficult to drive measurable bottom-line results without it. As marketers focus ever-more closely on their contribution to revenue-based metrics like customer lifetime value and profitability, the powerful impact of brand-building on those metrics is becoming increasingly clear.

Whether you work in B2B or B2C, it’s far easier to generate leads, raise the quality of those leads and close deals if people recognise your brand and have a good idea of what you stand for. But building awareness isn’t just about making sure people have heard of you. Increase those awareness levels further and the benefits keep piling up. Being the first solution that comes to mind when potential customers realise that they have a need means that you can pull those prospects towards you rather than spending on chasing them and pleading for attention. In complex B2B sectors, recognition helps to reassure the different members of wide-ranging buying committees. It literally makes you the no-brainer option.

We’re seeing more and more brands developing their strategies for building relevant awareness on LinkedIn. They do so through an approach to targeting that can reach all of those with a potential role in buying their category now and in the future. And they do so through impactful use of video and other creative formats that is intriguing, distinctive and connects on an emotional level.

These are the stories of six such brands driving significant business gains by investing in building awareness on LinkedIn. Ulysse Nardin, Matmatch, Acciona, Audi, Saxo Bank and Comarch are very different brands targeting very different audiences for very different reasons. However, each of them is already seeing measurable benefits from the awareness that they have built on our platform.

Here’s how they go about it – the essential elements in building awareness on LinkedIn:

Defining compelling propositions

Each of these six businesses approached building awareness on LinkedIn with a clear idea of what they wanted to be known for, and why it should matter to their audience:

Knowing what relevant reach looks like

Awareness building is a long-term play with benefits that extend over years. Effective awareness targeting needs to reflect this – it aims to include all those with a potential role to play in buying from the brand both now and in the future. LinkedIn provides the ideal platform for generating such relevant reach at scale through a range of innovative targeting approaches.

Acciona’s video campaign, “Business as Unusual” asked the investment community to re-examine their strategies with regard to their impact on the planet – and consider partnering with one of the world’s leading providers of sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy. LinkedIn targeting enabled the brand to reach all of the different stakeholders involved in such decisions – and to do so at impressive scale. More than 1.2 million professionals in Acciona’s five key markets saw the brand’s films with 16% watching the 60-second videos through to completion.

For Audi, defining relevant reach for current and future luxury auto buyers in the Middle East demanded local insight – and the ability to translate that insight into effective targeting on LinkedIn. “You can’t make the same assumptions about the age of likely buyers as you would in European markets,” points out Brian Zhanda, Manager, Performance for Audi’s media agency, PHD. “In the Middle East, people with the income level we are looking for are often much younger.” PHD and Audi worked with LinkedIn to target government-related industries with the highest proportion of likely buyers, and built a second segment of high-net-worth individuals to target in parallel. The team then used the LinkedIn Insight Tag to check the seniority level of people clicking through to the Audi site, and confirm that they were likely luxury auto buyers.

LinkedIn’s customised audience segments provide a valuable tool for awareness campaigns. Ulysse Nardin leveraged the mass affluent professionals and traders segments to reach those with the income level to explore luxury purchases, but who may not fit the profile of established luxury buyers. This was exactly the type of expansion audience that the brand was looking for.

Finally, Saxo Bank was able to use LinkedIn’s Lookalike Audiences feature to automatically create target segments with key similarities to its existing customer base. This provided a powerful means of building awareness efficiently in new markets for its trading and investing technology.

Tailoring budgets and bidding approach

Awareness strategies can aim to leverage moments of particular relevance and opportunity to build powerful connections – or build over time through repeated exposure. Both approaches have proven effective on LinkedIn.

Ulysse Nardin’s awareness-building campaign leveraged the opportunity presented by the Salon International de Haute Horologie (SIHH), the major showpiece event in the luxury watchmaking calendar. By reaching out beyond a traditional luxury audience at this point, it was able to use the occasion in a distinctive way.

Comarch leveraged a broader range of brand-building opportunities to address the lack of brand recognition that had previously restricted its growth opportunities in France. The Polish digital innovation business targeted its awareness activity around pivotal moments in the year for its different customer segments, enabling it to maximise the impact of a limited budget.

To build momentum at scale, Matmatch adopted an always-on approach, with Sponsored Content targeting engineers and designers in key sectors, and driving awareness among those considering different material options. A similar approach to the business’s key audience of suppliers built awareness of a new way to find customers. On both sides of the engineer-supplier relationship, Matmatch was then able to retarget those engaging with its awareness content and drive leads among an informed audience.

Creative distinctiveness in high-impact formats

Brand distinctiveness is the essential foundation for awareness. Put simply, your content and advertising can’t increase awareness if people don’t remember which brand they’re from. High-impact creative formats like Video for Sponsored Content and Carousel Ads provide the canvas to establish distinctive visual impact – and they can be used in very different ways.

For Acciona, awareness came through the energy and epic scale of its films, with dramatic landscapes that stood out in the feed and clever audio branding through consistent use of the Tears for Fears track, Mad World. For Matmatch, distinctiveness came through consistent use of the same visual style for animations and infographics, with the brand’s striking purple colour acting as an immediate identifier. Audi leveraged its luxury A8 model’s distinctive interior features, while Comarch married impactful statistics with a distinctive bright colour palette.

Driving emotional connection at scale

Brands that can appeal on an emotional level have a distinct advantage when it comes to building influential, long-term awareness – because stronger memories form when emotions are involved. However, engaging emotion can involve very different approaches in different categories. Comarch generated trust among its audience of retailers by sharing original research with valuable insight about their customers’ expectations. “We needed to be seen as experts with valuable knowledge to share,” explains Chief Marketing Officer, Matthieu Lacroix, “the type of company that a business would want to work with for ten years or more.”

In Matmatch’s awareness campaign for suppliers, concern about missing out on opportunity was the dominant emotion. “Don’t miss the boat,” one execution urged. For Ulysse Nardin, the dominant emotion was one of individualism and challenging convention. The Freak X’s striking imagery aligned with the brand’s long-running free-spirit positioning, and drove an engagement rate far above luxury sector benchmarks.

Being the talked-about brand

The value of moving beyond awareness to become the most talked-about brand in a category makes organic sharing a significant metric. Not only does it multiply the impact of a campaign’s budget; it also suggests all-important saliency. Sharing among professional peers on LinkedIn suggests that a target audience sees a brand’s activity as relevant and resonant.

That’s why one of the key results generated by Acciona’s awareness campaign on LinkedIn was an earned media ratio of 98%, with organic sharing on LinkedIn almost doubling reach and impact. It’s a powerful indicator of the level of active awareness that the brand achieved.

Activating awareness for ROI

Awareness is a valuable, long-term marketing objective in its own right. However, these campaigns also demonstrate how building on awareness through more direct demand generation activity can deliver more immediate, short-term Return on Investment (ROI):

  •  Acciona reached over 1.2 million relevant professionals in its key markets with a view-through rate for video content of 44% and a completion rate of 16%.
  • Nielsen research for Comarch showed significant increases in brand awareness and perceptions, which contributed to filling the brand’s new business pipeline two years ahead of schedule.
  • LinkedIn’s awareness campaigns delivered a customer base of more than 150,000 for Matmatch in less than a year, and increased the business’s supplier pipeline by more than 10x.
  • Ulysse Nardin’s campaign reached over 172,000 relevant LinkedIn members.
  • Targeting Lookalike Audiences delivered a view-through rate of 34% for Saxo Bank’s video content, with a completion rate of 26%.
  • Audi’s launch film for the A8 was watched by more than 300,000 potential luxury auto buyers, with 80% watching more than half of it. Demand generation activity subsequently generated an open rate of 66% and click-through rate of 5.7%.

These are just some of the most recent stories of brands driving long and short-term benefits by investing in building awareness on LinkedIn. You’ll find more on our Customer Stories hub.