Global paid media campaign beats regional LinkedIn benchmarks by a mile

When you’re running a global campaign that needs pinpoint-accurate targeting in regional markets, you need an expert paid media strategy—and ongoing refinements to stay on target.

Here’s how we partnered with one leading IT company to make big gains in the Asia Pacific region for one of its global lead-generation campaigns.

What worked in different regions. World map with three text boxes: Direct messaging, Specific images, Compelling evidence.

Background

The Yesler paid media team was working with this client already when the company asked for our ideas on creating a regional strategy for a global lead-generation campaign. The client had worked with other agencies in the past for similar projects but wanted to get our take on how to best reach prospects in the Asia-Pacific (APJ) region.

The campaign used a document download of a relevant industry report as its conversion point; the goal was to get the highest conversion rate and lowest possible CPL.

“Three things that I love the most: Yesler is agile, strategic, and hands-down the most customer-centric agency that I’ve ever worked with.”

VICE PRESIDENT

Global IT enterprise

Strategy

When Yesler creates a global paid-media strategy, we segment the market into regions, identifying and researching the audience in each, ideally by job title, company size, and mindset around relevant business challenges. We pinpoint key demographics, zeroing in on what digital media the target audience consumes, and consider any geographic or cultural differences that might come into play. And we determine which stage of the buyer’s journey the client’s content applies to, to help match the audience’s mindset. It’s also a matter of choosing the best channel based on the action we want prospects to take. Finally, once a campaign is live we test and refine key elements, looking for ways to keep pushing performance and reach. Our best practice is to keep questioning assumptions (even ours) and optimizing to deliver the best results.

For this campaign, our team looked into ways to help the client to go beyond a basic audience demographic. We defined an ideal audience based on in-depth analysis, then adjusted campaign content and delivery to address regional interests and differences in online content consumption. We recommended:

Choosing a different channel to reach prospects in the APJ region, concentrating on Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Australia. This would help focus ad targeting and increase CTRs and conversions. We recommended using LinkedIn, a platform dedicated to business professionals, for precise targeting and quality leads

Customizing the ad creative to each specific market to provide the most interesting and valuable experience for prospects.

Bypassing the original campaign landing pages. Instead, we suggested using embedded LinkedIn lead-generation forms for downloading the report—forms with fewer fields than on the original landing pages. Our thinking was that if prospects didn’t have to share as much information, they’d be more likely to convert and download the report, lowering the drop-off rate.

A/B testing ad creative to optimize performance. We laid out our proposed testing strategies and why we thought they’d work, including which elements would be tested and when and why we would pause ads based on specific performance data.

  • Choosing a different channel. LinkedIn

  • Customizing the ad creative. World map with 4 ad boxes pointing to different countries.

  • Bypassing the original campaign landing pages

  • A/B testing ad creative. Graph with Box A and Box B.

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Solution

Before launching the campaign, we worked with our client to target and localize its messaging by pulling data points from the report that would appeal most to its audience in each region, based on our analysis. To demonstrate our preferred approach—how deep, detailed, and analysis-based our optimizations could go—we chose one market (Japan) for further research and customization. Here, we divided the main campaign into several smaller, sub-regional campaigns. Our strategists identified the target audiences down to details like “manager seniority or higher, at companies sized 501 employees or more, with jobs ranging across marketing, sales, media and communications, support, and IT.”

For A/B testing on the new ads, our team used between 3 and 6 versions of each with slight variations. After running the versions against each other long enough to be sure the results would be statistically significant, we paused the lower-performing ones. By monitoring and testing this way, we could refine the ads to drive the greatest number of conversions at the highest conversion rate and lowest CPL.

As we learned more about our audience’s response to the campaign creative, we changed our bids on LinkedIn ad placements to better reach this highly targeted group of prospects. We based these changes on audience volume, the number of conversions and click-throughs, relevancy scores, and other related factors.

Results

Here’s a high-level snapshot of how the optimized campaign broke down by region.

Australia: This audience responded best to ads with interesting statistics or other measurable findings.

Japan: For this market, ad copy with certain images worked best.

Singapore: The best-performing ad here had the most direct messaging and creative; it didn’t tease report findings or pose a question to encourage clicks. The most effective creative featured metaphorical imagery instead of data points or lifelike photos.

Thailand: As in the Australian market, the winning version may have resonated best with our audience due to the interesting stat featured in the ad creative.

The project was a resounding success. We think it’s because we looked beyond target job titles and industries, and kept testing and refining. This work led to further engagements with the client and prompted an invitation to our Director of Digital Media & Analytics to present on paid media strategies at an annual company marketing kickoff event in January 2018.

402

leads generated from campaigns

47%

below LinkedIn CPL benchmarks

1

master class on paid media given

Finalist

Best Paid Media/Content Marketing Integration

2018 Content Marketing Awards

Finalist

Best Use of LinkedIn for Content Marketing

2018 Content Marketing Awards

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