IR wanted to reduce the cost per lead, accurately track performance across the entire customer journey, and reach a focused audience.
IR is a leading global provider of performance management software for critical IT infrastructure, payment, and communication ecosystems. Their solutions help organizations keep their most important systems running by identifying vulnerabilities before they become problems.
Three years ago, the company’s global marketing team began to shift their primary focus from event marketing to content marketing, which led to many new opportunities, but also some new challenges to solve.
For starters, the company’s software mostly caters to a focused B2B technology market, with their clients typically coming from large enterprise organizations. This meant the team had to target a very small audience – an audience that had proven difficult to reach on the various marketing platforms they had tried. “We have to keep our targeting really tight,” says Nik Love, Global Digital Manager at IR. “But many of the channels we used just couldn’t provide that level of targeting.”
The IR team was also under a lot of pressure to make sure that every dollar spent on marketing yielded real results. They needed a marketing solution that would allow them to closely monitor performance and make changes on the fly, so they could quickly optimize or shut down low performing campaigns to minimize waste and maximize ROI.
Soon after pivoting to a content-focused strategy, IR’s global marketing team was drawn to the targeting capabilities of the LinkedIn platform. “It can be quite difficult for us to figure out who is the right person to target,” says Love. “But with LinkedIn, we can really drill down to the right people by overlaying different targeting filters, including skills, interests, and group memberships.”
IR also leveraged LinkedIn’s geotargeting filters to support the efforts of sales teams across regions. “In addition to all the other layers, I can divide the campaigns I run by region – which is just fantastic for us,” says Stuart Matthewman, Global Head of Demand Generation at IR.
To ensure their marketing dollars are being well spent, the IR team tracks campaign performance, diligently monitoring and optimizing campaigns based on what’s working and what isn’t. The team frequently experiments with ad creative and messaging – running multiple ads per campaign, then gradually turning off the underperformers. “We’re careful with our media spend,” says Love. “Monitoring lets us identify the strategies and initiatives that work best – and then repeat that success.”
The IR team says that, while their initial Sponsored Content campaigns produced solid results, they really accelerated performance after working with the LinkedIn account team to simplify their landing pages and make them mobile-friendly.
Having discovered how something as simple as mobile-friendly design could have such a significant effect on performance, IR then decided to test LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, a solution that allows marketers to quickly and intuitively set up pre-filled forms to capture leads directly on LinkedIn. “Compared to our traditional landing pages, Lead Gen Forms are much more intuitive and seamless,” says Love. “As a member, you don’t have to leave the app, so it’s a better experience for users.”
The IR team’s marketing efforts with LinkedIn have yielded record-breaking results for the company and helped take their pipeline revenue to new heights. Notably, conversion rates have nearly doubled, thanks in large part to Sponsored Content campaigns. “If someone comes to our landing page from LinkedIn, they typically convert at a high rate,” says Love.
The team also significantly reduced their cost-per-lead, a metric IR uses as a barometer for gauging overall performance. “We’ve really carved off a large amount of money there, which is fantastic,” says Love. In FY17, the team reduced their cost-per-lead by 44%, bringing the cost down from $135 to $78 per lead.
In addition, results with Lead Gen Forms have been encouraging. In just a few months, the team was able to achieve the same results with their new program as they had with their heavily optimized landing pages, which had taken 12+ months to refine. “The Lead Gen Forms are such a great base to work from,” says Love. “We can’t wait to see what happens as we start to optimize them the same way we did with our landing pages.”
The team at IR is happy with the progress they’ve made with their content marketing efforts. And with their commitment to continual experimentation and optimization, it’s likely the record-breaking results they’ve seen so far are just the beginning.