A whooping 88% of technical buyers find LinkedIn valuable, so it is no surprise that TREW Marketing clients are seeing success leveraging the platform as part of their marketing strategy.
On this episode of our March LinkedIn Miniseries, TREW Marketing Account Director Erin Moore walks me through specific examples of how TREW clients have seen success leveraging LinkedIn. Each client's business is different and so are their goals, including start-up disruptor looking to educate the market on a new way of designing a product, an electronic components supplier using a meaty white paper to generate leads, and an engineering association running a contest to improve of their dataset storage solutions. For each example, Erin outlines the campaign goals, calls-to-action, and results achieved. We also touch on other LinkedIn success in sales and recruiting.
Erin provides specific examples of budget spend, leads generated, and cost per lead which can be helpful datapoints when approaching your first/next LinkedIn Ad campaign. She also offers advice on how to make sure your investment pays off.
Did you enjoy this episode? Watch more episodes from our LinkedIn Miniseries!
- Erin on LinkedIn
- HubSpot Article: How to Use Hashtags on LinkedIn
- Content Marketing, Engineered podcast interview with Erin: Why You Think You Need a Custom Website, But Don't
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for B2B businesses, and in our space, a whopping 88 percent of engineers and technical buyers find LinkedIn to be either somewhat or very valuable. So it's no surprise that TREW Marketing works with our own clients to leverage the LinkedIn platform.
Today, you'll hear from a TREW account director of how clients have found success leveraging LinkedIn as part of their marketing strategy.
Let's do this. Welcome to Content Marketing, Engineered. Your source for building trust and generating demand with technical content. Here is your host, Wendy Covey.
Hi and welcome to Content Marketing, Engineered. On each episode, I'll break down an industry trend, challenge, or best practice in reaching technical audiences.
You'll meet colleagues, friends and clients of mine who will stop by to share their stories. And I hope you leave each episode feeling inspired and ready to take action. Before we jump in, I'd like to give a brief shout out to my agency. TREW Marketing. TREW is a full service agency located in beautiful Austin, Texas, serving highly technical companies. For more information, visit trewmarketing.com. And now on with our podcast. Hey, everyone.
Well, I'm here with Erin Gleeson, account director for TREW Marketing. And today she and I are going to discuss how TREW clients leverage LinkedIn as part of their marketing strategy. Welcome to the show, Erin.
Thanks, Wendy. I'm excited to be here today. I'm super excited to have you. And I know that you and I both share a love of dogs and cats. And I'm bringing this up because those of you watching the video may see I don't know if you can see this big ol' scratch on my nose. Can you see that a little bit?
I got swiped by the kitty.
I've had a couple of times because we had a puppy last year where I've had to use makeup a little bit strategically to cover up where she just poured me in the face or got a little too, too excited with that owner.
How are your pets doing today?
They're great, it's a little bit of a gloomy day over here, the dog didn't want to get up, but she's you know, she's she's pretty happy overall. I took her on a run yesterday, and the poor girl still has her winter coat. So she is not used to it being like seventy something and human. She she fainted before I did, which is not typical at all. So. Well, you will have to acclimate her.
They will. Cool. Well let's dove in. And before we go into these examples that you've compiled for us, how does LinkedIn just in general fit in with the overall marketing mix for true clients?
Yeah, so LinkedIn is a really powerful tool in a bunch of different ways. But the main way that we see clients using them on the marketing side is really content promotion. A lot of them are using it. Kind of the same way you would use email where you're reaching a targeted often an audience with email. They actually sign up with LinkedIn, they are following you and they're using it to promote evergreen pieces of content, then even behind the scenes information to kind of just continue having those touch points with a relevant audience who is pretty much already signed up for it.
So it's kind of like keeping your leads warm, essentially. And then a couple other clients would augment this in other ways, and they will use it as a employee tool to really motivate their employees to share more behind the scenes information, kind of cultivate that community feeling. And then, of course, others will use it more with paid advertising traditionally. So those are kind of the main ways that we see people using it.
OK, good overview. So let's dove into some of these examples that you put together that start with number one.
All right. OK, so I'm going to give a little bit of background around who the company is anonymized, what their overall goals are for, specifically LinkedIn, not for the entire marketing program, but for the LinkedIn pieces of it, and then kind of run through what we saw in terms of results. And for all of these, I believe I pulled in before results just so we had a kind of comparison metric because. It's always a little bit more helpful, I think.
So this first one at the startup, we've been working with them for about a year. They are a startup in a field where the reigning technology is about one hundred plus years old. It's very dominant. They are right. They're very disruptive technology. So a lot of their challenges as a company are around, first of all, building awareness because, again, they're a small company and some of their competitors are these huge multibillion dollar global corporations. So it's gaining that awareness that there is an alternate approach.
They've got 12 plus differentiators over the dominant tech, including things like your overall performance and reliability. They really are a better choice without being a higher price. So there's there's a lot going for them, but there's also a lot against them in terms of just having such a substantial, robust competitors. So a lot of their goals are around awareness and then just creating that credibility so that people know that this is a real technology. It's proven it's not some experimental thing.
So with LinkedIn, we've done a lot of work building up their overall marketing, overall press and specifically for LinkedIn. We actually haven't done advertising for them. We've focused completely on their actual company page and then also on employee engagement. So we've built up the basics of their page. We filled out all the information. We made sure the branding was there. We've done messaging for them. We made sure that carried through on their LinkedIn page. They did their website recently.
We've made sure that the content matches the design. So all of the basics just to make sure it feels cohesive. And then on top of that, we've been posting regularly some of their content, some of their evergreen stuff from their press just to make sure that we we kind of have that baseline of content and that they have a good public showing. But the real differentiator in why they've been successful is that their executives have gotten really involved in the strategy.
So, again, I've mentioned a lot of their goal is around thought, leadership and credibility. Their president and their VP of business have a little competition going to see who can drum up more engagement and more support. And this has worked really well. So they've both been able to really establish themselves as thought leaders. They come from the industry. They've already got that that network there. And they've actually been able to push a lot of traffic, not just to the company LinkedIn page, but to the website.
And they've been able to drum up a lot of followers and a lot of interest and engagement. And then on top of this, we also did an employee training. So we we kind of taught their employees the basics of just setting up your profile of the information that they should have, what they could pull from that was corporate and then just gave them some tips on, like resharing post and engagement just to kind of get everyone doing the legwork. So, yeah, pretty robust.
Not not a lot of anything other than that in terms of advertising, but I'll give you some results on that. So we started focusing on LinkedIn in June of twenty twenty. The first half of that year they had four hundred and nine LinkedIn followers. They saw an average of twenty three website referrals from LinkedIn each month. So not a whole lot of traffic. And then by the end of the year. Again, this is a big focus and this is a big focus of their backs.
They had eight hundred and seventy one followers, so they more than doubled within six months. And we saw an average of one hundred and sixty eight referral visits to their website each month. It's a big increase in six months. Yes, exactly, it became a huge, huge source of referral traffic for a really qualified visitors, and some of them converted to new contacts that weren't previous in that database. So it was really successful in terms of creating that awareness and engagement and visibility for the company and for the executive team.
And you knew those numbers. People can take metrics different ways, but knowing which company you're referring to, it's a startup that's really relatively unknown in the industry and a very niche product. Right. There's an infinite number of people that are going to be interested in this. So to have these sorts of numbers is is very impressive. And yet I find it also interesting, Erin, is, you know, we're right here in the middle of this March LinkedIn Madness mini series.
And one of the things that kept coming up in previous episodes is the idea that the spokesperson for the company should play really active role in driving engagement on LinkedIn. And so the company, you know, you still see people follow company pages and look for content, but really that gold is in those spokes people getting active. So I think that stands out as a success of this for sure. Yeah, I definitely agree. And it's hard to to attribute just overall awareness to LinkedIn, but this is just a piece of their overall marketing mix.
Like we've mentioned, they've been doing a lot of work with PR, with Web, with their messaging, with investor marketing. And they've seen huge increases in just overall like traffic to their website and overall leads that they've generated for the products that they are selling now. We've seen a lot more press coverage and more substantial press coverage. So I think all of it works together. And it's definitely not LinkedIn by itself. It's not in the silo. There's a lot of different elements that have been working towards it.
But it's been really interesting to see how it's been a prominent piece of this. And it has really led to a kind of cultivating this awareness and and credibility.
Yeah, I imagine knowing some of our other clients, not every technical executive is bought into spending their personal time on this. And I'm making an assumption here that it's those executives not true marketing behind the scenes posting. Right. They're doing it themselves. It's very authentic. Is that the case, Erin?
That's the case. Yeah. We post to their their core company page. But it's really those really it's two individuals. Like I said, it's their their president and their vice president who are making really engaging posts. And I will say it helps that they're both very bought it. You know, the president has the patent on all this technology. He's the one who has to really get down there and sell kind of the value of the technology to investors and to potential customers.
And the vice president's responsible for actual sales and really drumming up interest in the solution that they're providing. So this is just one of the many ways that they've really kind of dug in and got their hands dirty. But it's much more successful than one of our our more generic company posts, I think, to content, because we're not there, we're not behind the scenes. We can't talk about the journey that we had to this product. We can't share photos of the team working on it.
We're the first time the prototype arrived. And that's stuff that they can do. And that's been really, really effective in getting people to really engage with this brand.
Yeah, and it's definitely not something an intern can easily do, even if they are on site either. So good. No, great.
Now they need that access and they need that. They need to be enabled to do all of this. So, again, it's a lot easier if you're kind of in the leadership of the company than it is for other people. But, you know, if you equip your marketing manager to do some of this, that they can be just as successful driving some of that awareness. Absolutely.
All right, cool. What else do you have for us? All right.
This next one's a little bit more typical of how our clients use LinkedIn advertising specifically. I always like to say when people come to us for ads. First thing I ask about is the goal, it seems a little silly to spend a bunch of money, which Willington adds can sometimes be pretty expensive, seems silly to spend that money if you're not getting tangible leads because. You know, you're paying for website claims, you're paying for awareness and visibility and those those metrics just don't mean very much.
So this one, this company, a large global company, we work with one specific division. They make electronic components and we work with them on content development and promotion. A lot of those topics around like 5G or stuff like that. So when we ran this LinkedIn ad, for them, it was lead generation and new contacts in that topic Area four that are 5G topics. And the specific audiences, I believe they did it by persona. They kind of out of their personas in their and crafted messages for them.
So we used a piece of content that's now Evergreen that was pretty new at the time, but it was just a white paper covering RF filtering for five applications. It's still up on their website today. This was a year and a half, two years ago. And as for the results, it was a very, again, targeted reach driving people to this white paper, it was a very simple ask. Here's here's the topic. Download it. And the content was published about five months before the ad ran.
It had received in that five months thirty one total form submissions and led to 18 new contacts. This ad ran for less than two weeks and it generated fifty three submissions and 50 new contacts. So for companies who want to reach that new audience and who have a really enticing offer, this doesn't work with every piece of content. There's plenty of content that just is not that engaging to an audience who doesn't know you. But for this white paper, it was general enough.
It was valuable enough and maybe enough that it was a really good offer to reach those new people in that very targeted audience and convert them into no leads yet.
Fifty three new leads in two weeks. I would say that's a big success right there within evergreen content that already existed. I've yet to find it interesting that you mentioned you so you did organic post with the content first before moving to advertising. Right. Yeah, and there were a couple of other promotion tactics in terms of putting on the website, I actually don't know if this was in an email newsletter or anything, but those are kind of the typical things that we would do.
Yeah, it got a little bit of traction. And I mean, when you look at the metrics report, it goes from like a very small line that spikes up during that two week period when all of these people engaged with it very quickly. So you can see this is a good example of a short term and it didn't run for very long. They got a lot of engagement. So it spent its budget really quickly, but it also hit its goals really quickly.
And it ended up being a huge, huge contributor of actually reaching the goal for that white paper in terms of drumming up new contacts and.
To listen in on a previous episode during this series, I brought on Illington advertising expert and I was asking him what's the minimum budget to be able to get traction and have an impact?
And and, you know, and I get the feeling from his response that he's working with perhaps larger companies than this example that that you're providing this particular division. So, you know, he felt like 5000 is a good budget. And almost like, you know, I know we've been working more with 500 to 1000. So I'm curious if you could share a budgetary range that you feel is worthwhile when you're going do this really targeted audience, like you mentioned, what is an electronic component for 5G?
You know, that's pretty Nichi, right? It's pretty specific. Yeah. So that specific ad in, like I said, a little under two weeks spent just under five hundred dollars. And again, it's a good data point.
That that was a good omen for that short time period with so much activity, most people, when it's only one version, could kind of expand that five hundred, maybe up to a month. Again, if you're getting a lot of traction, you're going to run out of budget. Some people will aim for more like the 750 range. I will say for one on version a thousand with our really niche audiences tends to be a little high. They don't spend that money and that you're doing to add versioned, you're AB testing where you're running two different personas.
That's where I really suggest having a thousand dollar budget for a month long period because otherwise it's going to be too limited to run those two different campaigns.
OK, good, good data point. And when I think about the cost per lead that was achieved by that two week campaign, that's fantastic.
I have that also. That is under twelve dollars per noncontact. Wow. That's insane. Right.
Which is fantastic. And we've run this before with other companies where again, the content wasn't as compelling and that jumps up to five hundred dollars per lead because I got one new contract or one new lead or ninety dollars. So it's it's important to trial to try a couple of different things and really think about why your offer is and also maybe keeping it that short time period just to see if it gets traction before you spend your entire budget on a piece of content that just really isn't engaging because we've seen it kind of pan out both ways.
And then the incredible thing about these digital tools is you can monitor in real time and use these metrics to tweak things or to pull out early or double down whatever it is. And that's just not something that was available to marketers 20, 30 years ago when I started out.
So of it not yet, but I'm past the 20 mark.
So I remember back and I, I still remember when I started in PR measuring the physical amount of text, a mention got in like a print newspaper or magazine for impressions. And there was like formulas on how many impressions, two inches were in a certain circulation. Yeah, I it's come light years and said we actually have meaningful numbers now. Yeah.
And Nauset trade shows would be OK. Skin any badge doesn't matter. Could be the janitor. It could be like the people across the hall that just want the little Trotzky, just scan every badge and the cause.
They're still like three hundred dollars or something. Oh my gosh. With those vivia anyway. All right. What's next. I know you have another one for us OK.
Yep. This is my last one. So we've gone over using kind of an organic strategy with a lot of the blame game that we've gone over LinkedIn advertising for an ever growing piece of content. This one is going to be Willington advertising for a time restricted event. So thinking of like a webinar or a live event or a conference, this happens to be a little bit different than our typical client. So they are a global company. We work with one specific division and they are a online data repository.
It's a technical kind of educational site. And they have this dataset repository where people can upload their research and it's accessible to be searched by students, by other people doing research, by the general public and a lot of cases. But this. The data storage is something that you can go down a whole rabbit hole on, but there's a lot of different pricing options and capabilities anyway. So they their goals are a little bit different than our typical client.
They go for things like increasing their daily users because again, this is a newer solution where there are already existing solutions. They're trying to drum up usage of it and awareness of it. So a lot of their goals revolve around kind of that the baseline usage of it and awareness of it. So daily users, cumulative users and then, of course, dataset uploads. So if there's no information there, there's nobody's going to go visit. So they really key into how many of these datasets they're going to be uploaded.
So our account director worked with them to increase the number of datasets. She actually introduced a dataset competition. So this was a tiny, restricted event. They had two months that they would publicize it or something like that and try to drum up these entries. And then there was a prize at the end for the winning entry that got the most views or whatever the metric was. But they introduced this and they use LinkedIn as one of the ways of attracting attention.
So looking at the ad, they actually ran two ads back to back in different time periods, so in twenty nineteen they had about three hundred and forty data sets uploaded throughout the entire year during this campaign, which was the very beginning of twenty twenty. The first ad led to 40 new data sets. The next led to fifty two. So this campaign alone of two ads back to back generated ninety two submissions, which was more than a quarter of submissions of all submissions from the year before.
So that immediately shot their numbers up twenty seven percent. And because of the dataset competition and other stuff that they were doing, I mean they more than doubled their submissions for that year. Wonderful.
What a great idea to run a contest around this. I know it was it wasn't me. I wish I could take credit for it, but it was it was a great idea. And it's still being run to this day. They do of these quarterly contests and it is still drums up. A lot of interest and engagement.
So why do you think it did so well? Is it, as you said, the time sensitive nature of the offer? It's the time sensitive, and I think it was also reaching, again, very relevant audience, and that's why I like Lincoln so much when it comes to advertising. Google ads, they're fine. They can be really good in some situations. But I, I think the real value of LinkedIn is that you can sit there and say, I want to look for people who studied these certain niche topics like semiconductors.
There's nothing else that you can target to study semiconductors. You can have interest in Google, but it's a little bit different. And so you can really get to that very technical audience you want. I mean, that's completely possible. Things like Facebook. And it's just it's such a good job of reaching people based on not just location and not just things like degrees and job titles, which I never use because every job title is different. But it lets you really get through to like, what specifically did they study?
What are their skills in? What is their experience level? Am I reaching directors or am I reaching in terms like I don't want to reach interns, let's exclude them so you can get really granular with that information where you don't have that in other platforms. And I think that's what helps to be so successful is they really got specifically to researchers, which would be a hard group to target and a lot of other tools. Absolutely.
It would be on your own database or maybe working with a media partner. But this is another avenue that perhaps people don't think of so well. These are excellent examples.
And I know we could probably just sit here all day and talk about the ways, different ways true clients are using LinkedIn. But just real quickly, are there just other ways that come to mind or other goals that clients have where they found success in LinkedIn?
Sure, so we covered marketing ways that people use LinkedIn. There's also plenty of business use cases. We've had a client. I mean, I've certainly been reached out to on LinkedIn via prospecting. It's not my favorite way of being reached out to. But we had a client in their specific industry. They thought a lot of success by just making these really just authentic connections with people in their industry, starting conversations, interacting with them and going, hey, here's what we do.
If you want to talk about it, let me know. They were able to drum up continuously several meetings a week, which is crazy. Very small company to sales people. And they this is kind of a continuous stream of new leads and sales qualified people who are often themselves into talking to a salesperson. I haven't heard a lot of stories of people being that successful with prospecting on LinkedIn, but I think it was just the way they went around it, where it was.
It was very personal. It was the guy himself connecting to somebody and making that real connection and not coming in hot with a hey, here's what we do. Are you interested? Just starting with smaller messages. No one was getting to know someone, right? Exactly. I mean, people just tune those out. So that was really interesting.
Earlier in this series, you'll have to go listen to Susan Tatums episode. It's called Stop the Sales Noise. And her biggest pet peeve is the automation technology that's being abused by these salespeople, right. Where they send a massive amounts of connection invitations. And then it has that generic response. And I get inundated and I always if if I out of them is a connection and then I get one of those auto responses, I immediately remove them. I mean, it's so annoying and ineffective.
So your advice to mirror image. It it makes sense, I mean, it is it is noise right now and it's breaking through via marketing and in your sales outreach. So thinking about how you make it really relevant and personal and like, why do people care? And I think that's a thing that nobody or not nobody, but a lot of people don't ask that. They they are sitting in their own company. They think it's the most important thing in the world.
They think it's great and everyone loves it. But why does your customer or why is the person reaching out to care about it? And I think this company did a really good job of that, of making it about like a mutual engagement. Hey, here's here's what we do. Tell me more about your company. Oh, that's great. I'd like to talk about that. So some of it, too, with them forming partnerships and then finding vendors for certain things.
So it wasn't just sales again. It was it was connection based and really getting to know people in the industry who could be customers but could also be a supplier or could be a partner.
It's a good frame of mind. So how can I form of. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So that's one good example of a business case. And then the next one is Trews. Lincoln has kind of its job platform. We actually recently hired a marketer who found a ceiling when he was not in our network. He didn't previously work for a technical company, but we were looking for a very specific, HubSpot focused role. So we we were able to go outside of that technical kind of a pool of candidates.
And he found us through LinkedIn. And he's been a fantastic addition to our team. And I'll note that's actually how I found true four years ago with Chris.
Really? I didn't realize that, Erin. Yes. Yeah. So we've got two people on the team who found through the LinkedIn job postings. That's why I always posted them. Yeah. I'm like, I found it this way. So if we want people who don't already know about us and we want to go outside our typical avenues a little bit, it's a good it's a good resource for that.
So I know a lot of people talk about how for B2B companies, Facebook is kind of the place where you can pick company culture. In LinkedIn, you're offering your B2B type of content, but you just talked about recruits looking at LinkedIn as well. So is there a place for culture post as well so that you're feeding that goal?
Yeah, definitely, there's we always will sit down and we're really thinking about social strategy and what kind of identify who those core audiences are. Same thing you would do with the website where if you're really trying to get investors, you're going to have really robust content about your teen background and what your technology does and just kind of shoring up some of the the more teen related pieces. And the technology really becomes an engineer and an investor and an engineer and a potential candidate are looking at very different things.
So we think about that with social. And if people are really looking for, hey, we're trying to grow our 18, 20 percent in the next year, we need to really be reaching out to these younger engineers. We need to be engaging people with certain skills that we do kind of factor that into their social strategy and say, OK, great, we're going to want to make sure that you've got really strong culture information on your page, whether that's, you know, a good selection of behind the scenes photos from your team and maybe you're sharing your community volunteer days or your team get togethers or whatever it is that you do that's related to your culture.
Let's make sure we're including that. And there's also the opportunity to kind of build that out on the job side. I know they're introducing a lot in terms of employee engagement with employees. Are there for bigger companies where you could have like an employee hub. So LinkedIn is very aware of this being a big area of growth going forward. But, yes, we definitely factor that in. And think about if you're trying to attract job candidates, let's not focus on just technical information.
Let's put some softer things in there, that kind of show who you are as a company and not just what information you produce. Great.
And it all goes back to, like you said, your business goals and that that tidied up a nice vote there. You don't jump straight into LinkedIn strategy without having that overarching view, so. Right, exactly.
It's not a one size solution. You kind of have to tailor it for what are you specifically trying to achieve? And then let's let's even pick the channels, because there's certain people we've done this with where pretty much everyone thought LinkedIn. I feel like LinkedIn is a requirement at this point. Not everyone's on Facebook, not everyone's on Twitter, not everyone is posting videos to YouTube and has a really robust YouTube strategy. So we kind of pick and choose based on goals and what people are trying to do to say, you know what, you're trying to attract younger engineers.
You're trying to really build yourself up as a technical expert. You're going to want to really invest in more video. So we'll we'll kind of go a level deeper and do it by platform as well, and then frame out content and personas by the platform for who they're trying to reach and what they're trying to do.
OK, well, Aaron, this was a wonderful wrap up of all of the things that we covered in previous episodes, whether you realize it or not, on this mini series, it's great. Put it putting it all in action and showing results. So I appreciate you pulling together those examples and sharing those today.
If listeners want to connect with you and learn more, where can they go? Yeah, they can find me on LinkedIn, so there's there's a lot of Aaron Gleeson's and a lot of Aaron Morris, which is my my married name now, but if you look up there and more into marketing, you can find me or Aaron Gleason more is kind of the URL. Of course I'm on Truth website. So if you want to just learn more about me in that capacity, you can look up my bio, my blog post, things like that.
But yeah, that's that's the easy way to find me. Great.
And I guess finally, any parting advice for marketers looking to either put a toe in or just improve how they're leveraging LinkedIn? I would say, and I've I've kind of said this before, but your and efforts are really only as good as the content you're sharing. So if you're sharing a white paper that nobody cares about, you could have the most robust strategy. You could have a great post for it. But it it's not a topic people aren't interested in and they're not going to do anything with it.
So I think it's really thinking about what you're sharing and put the effort into developing great content and it'll make the promotion of peace and the peace so much easier and more successful. Great advice.
Thank you so much, Aaron. Appreciate you being on today. Great.
Thanks for having me, Wendy. Thanks for joining me today on content marketing, engineered for show neutze, including links to resources, visit to Mercanti Dotcom Slash podcast. While there, you can subscribe to our blog, Inari newsletter and order a copy of my book, Content Marketing Engineers. Also, I would love your reviews on this podcast. So please, when you get a chance, subscribe and let me review on your favorite podcast subscription platform. Thanks.
And have a great day.