Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage, and virtualisation technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As a connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT.
In Australia, Stella Kordonis, the senior manager of Regional Marketing, ANZ heads up Red Hat's small but agile marketing team. As the Australian arm of a global multinational, they have a wealth of content at their disposal. The challenge facing this team is curating that content to reach new audiences through social channels, as well as making it relevant to the target audience to achieve their regional goals.
Like many IT companies, they have a passionate community of technical experts who love what Red Hat helps them achieve. However, it requires a different approach to communicate those benefits to the business decision makers and senior executives.
In July 2015, Red Hat ran a test program of LinkedIn Sponsored Updates and InMails using some locally created research on cloud adoption in Australia and New Zealand. This InMail trial was a success with a 61% open rate and a click through rate (CTR) of 8%, which is double the LinkedIn benchmarks. The new contacts that were generated at a low cost-per-lead (CPL) and more importantly, the quality of the leads was high and proved that with LinkedIn, Red Hat was able to reach the business decision-makers effectively in Australia and New Zealand.
This success led to an extension of the Sponsored Content campaign into a yearly program of work. This program is not the typical short-term “campaign” approach. Stella explains,
“This program is different as we are not taking a product-led approach, but are using more thought-leadership content in an ongoing and consistent manner. We are also constantly reviewing the performance of the assets not just from a CTR perspective, but also the engagement, the cost per click (CPC), conversion rates and then the drill through to our marketing automation platform to look at how many of those conversions turned into sales opportunities… with the ultimate goal of return-on-investment (ROI) attribution.”
“This means that we are always fine-tuning the Sponsored Content, reworking the ad copy and creative, and testing the performance. We don’t have the capability in-house in ANZ to manage that so we work with an agency Bright Inbound, who proactively manages our Sponsored Content campaigns and InMails,” said Stella.
As well as measurable benefits, Red Hat is also seeing intangible benefits by getting access to and having more engagement with senior decision makers, via thought leadership assets.
This program has also highlighted to the sales team the benefits of social media and has encouraged them to participate more. This improved visibility of the sales team on social media, helps them become trusted advisors, providing helpful and engaging content that aligns to their customer’s journey.
Red Hat has learned a lot about the types of content that performs well and the best practices for executing Sponsored Content and InMails. This program continues to run in 2016 with an increased level of sophistication around measurement. Red Hat is now tracking the performance of content assets by target market segments, to fine tune the performance and to set-up lead nurturing streams that are relevant for the segment and their stage in the buying journey.