Our client came to us in 2021 looking for new and innovative ways to simply increase the volume of Sales Qualified Leads.
Following a successful first year of the partnership and growing the client’s initially slim advertising accounts into ones delivering a consistent and rising number of leads, they set us some ambitious targets for the year ahead.
Our client wanted to grow an additional 6% in 2022, equating to a target of 30,869 SQLs, a challenging but achievable YoY increase.
Making things more difficult was the ongoing energy crisis, making the client no longer the cheapest solution on the market. This meant we would have to work even harder to compete in an ever-increasingly competitive marketplace.
Reaching a wider audience of potential customers via paid search and paid social was determined to be the most effective method of growing the number of SQLs. We focussed on Google, Bing, Facebook and Instagram – both growing the reach of these accounts, while doing so at a profitable level.
The tactical work required a thorough awareness of the target audience but thanks to our existing long-term partnership, we were already able to accurately understand their demographics, searches, and interests.
With paid social, we also used learnings from the previous year’s work and kept our core audiences, while refreshing posts and growing our prospecting strategies.
In paid search, much of the success came from accurate expansion of the target keywords. We grew the total number of keywords in the account from 350 keywords to 3500 (+1000%). We then built very specific ads for search terms using these. The keywords were a mix of wider funnel terms and more niche long-tail keyphrases from those close to the point of conversion.
We targeted broader, upper-funnel search terms meant to reach a wider audience, and managed to do so without sacrificing profitability by keeping these within tCPA and generally only using search terms which had premeditated intent.
Google’s Performance Max launched mid-way through the campaign, throwing up additional challenges. We used this to our favour, exploiting the new full-funnel targeting approach to identify high-value targets based on their audience signals (interests, demographic, life stage, etc.).
Despite the use of automation and reduction in control offered by Google, we were still able to squeeze more performance from the campaign thanks to a wealth of data available, and extensive ad copy and creative optimisation.
Performance data on channels, platforms, and specific keywords was closely monitored, as well as using previous years’ seasonality, conversion rate and sales capacity data. This meant we had constant awareness of the macroeconomic factors influencing this market – significantly, ongoing concern over increasing energy prices. Each time this hit the news, conversion rates spiked as our audience hit our targeted upper funnel search terms which we allocated increased budget.
A/B testing helped determine the best way for us to use content across social channels. We extensively tested the use of different copy on landing pages to see which bought the highest conversion rates.
Even more important was the creative we used. Ensuring consistent branding and copy across all channels was key, so to maximise on this we matched the right format to the right objective, with ongoing analysis and A/B testing used to inform refreshes where required. We utilised new formats and scalable methods of implementation and as a result, refreshed both imagery and messaging on both channels to continue growing an engaged audience.
It became apparent that within social ads, a specific type of visually striking image worked well. Knowing this, we tested and subsequently introduced several variants of this creative, which consistently were the top-performing ads in the whole campaign.
Moreover, we performed comb throughs of search keywords to find the best performing categories, then created and tested tailored assets to suit these trends. This proved very effective.
The campaign proved incredibly effective, well outperforming targets.
The target SQLs of 30,869 SQLs was a 6% YoY growth compared to 2021,
The campaign performance was so strong by June that targets were readjusted for July-September, to a new stretch target of 35,000 SQLs (a 20% YoY increase),
The paid search campaign went from strength to strength as we unlocked additional incremental leads from new keywords, new campaign formats and development of winning previous strategies.
We hit the stretch target with a month to spare until the end of the season. And in total the campaign achieved 52,857 SQLs. This was 51% higher than the stretch target, and a staggering 81% increase YoY in SQL volume.
Ultimately, the campaign was so effective that activity was paused in mid-September because our client’s sales team had more leads coming in than they had capacity to deal with.
Over six months of working together we achieved:
Our partnership continues to this day, and the Marketing Director at our client had the following to say about our work:
“I’ve been very impressed with the Bonded team, they’ve really helped to deliver on our business growth targets. Technically strong and great to work with – highly recommended.”
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