Video Tech Company Leverages SEM to Drive Enterprise Leads

Started in 2008 as the world’s first open source video player, JW Player pioneered video on the Web and today has customers in 193 countries, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to individual bloggers. The company’s flagship product, JW Player, is live on more than 2 million sites with more than 1.3 billion unique monthly views.

JW Player LogoIn 2015, JW Player piloted a small-scale, in-house SEM program on Google AdWords to gauge the potential efficacy of using search advertising to drive qualified leads for its enterprise video platform. Though that pilot campaign didn’t yield any conversions, the company felt reasonably confident that, with the proper guidance and management, SEM could be a viable demand generation engine for the enterprise business.

JW Player contacted Spear Marketing Group, a leading B2B demand generation agency, for help. The company chose Spear for the firm’s experience with other B2B technology clients, and also for their unique, holistic approach to SEM, one that focused not just on driving clicks and click volume, but rather qualified sales leads at the lowest possible cost.

Spear’s engagement began with an audit and assessment of the pilot campaign, to gauge what learnings could be gleaned from the experiment, and also to help provide baseline data on which to project Cost Per Click (CPC) and potential ROI. The audit recommended some fundamental changes in strategy and application of SEM best practices across the board, including:

• Tighter ad groups to improve ad relevance and therefore quality score (decreasing CPC)
• Increasing the number of negative keywords to reduce consumer impressions and unqualified clicks
• Aggressive testing of ad copy
• Landing page improvements focused on promoting a specific, tangible offer to drive conversions

“Almost all our SEM engagements begin with some kind of audit and assessment,” commented Howard J. Sewell, Spear President. “Not only does it provide us data to help guide the new campaign and set realistic performance goals, but it also gives the client a clear picture of where we see the most opportunity for improvement. Often we’re pinpointing areas that haven’t even been considered, particularly in areas like landing page optimization and offer strategy.”

JW Player is a company with global reach, but the SEM campaign was launched initially in the US, Canada, and UK in order to achieve a level of optimization before expanding to other countries. Very quickly, Spear was able to make significant improvements. Average Cost Per Click decreased by more than 60 percent. Bounce Rate decreased by more than 80 percent.

More importantly, the campaign started to generate real business results. In the first six months, the campaign generated more than $500,000 in attributed pipeline revenue. The campaign has proved so successful that JW Player elected to expand the monthly media spend by a factor of 6.

“From Day One, we had very specific goals for the campaign – not just for impressions and clicks, but actual ROI,” commented Nikhil Teckchandani, JW Player’s Director of Digital Analytics & Strategy. “What I’ve appreciated in working with Spear is that they share that same ROI focus – which you don’t always see in search agencies. That alignment is a big reason why I think this campaign has been such a success.”

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