In this brief interview Jake Wengroff, the Global Director of Social Media at Frost & Sullivan shares the results of the first seven months of using a custom branded Channel for lead generation. With over a 50x ROI, this is an example any professional services firm should aspire towards.
Why Did Frost & Sullivan Upgrade to SlideShare Pro?
We wanted more from SlideShare. It was doing wonders from the brand and engagement perspective. It made our content accessible to audiences we wouldn’t reach through traditional channels, so we saw the potential for social distribution of content.
We were aware for the Pro services as they have evolved. Before SlideShare created Pro, you could do lead capture and pay on a cost-per-lead basis. When we first tested it, we blew through our budget in two days. I was shocked. Taking a look at the leads that were captured I was sold. And then we took advantage of lead capture through a custom branded Channel.
What Are The Business Results?
For the past seven months, we’ve sold over $125,000 from leads generated through a $299 per month investment in a customized Pro Platinum account. 3,233 leads were generated and 1,335 of the leads were qualified according to internal criteria. That’s quite an ROI for social media.
How Did You Build Support for Going Pro?
In the next few months we had to build the business case in the organization, eventually leading to sign-off by the Global President of Frost & Sullivan. The business case was how its going to drive revenue. Not some ephemeral social goal.
It took time to get other groups like corp communications and regional marketing people around the world on board. The eighteen people are in hybrid roles as regional directors and in corporate communications who help assemble and distribute content. There was a large variance of content based on what should be shared and not. We needed to explain what we were doing with SlideShare, how it complimented how they traditionally worked and what they need to think about.
What was new was sharing content more openly than before, and understanding how sharing a little more got a lot back in the form of business leads. We used same content guidelines that already existed. Its all previously presented content, so it was publicly distributed, but never published before. Now the 18 people across the world know its part of the process to publish on SlideShare.
How Did You Make SlideShare Operational?
The biggest learning was was making it relevant to our existing business systems. Namely establishing a process for getting the leads into our CRM system and having a team process them. This then meant that qualifying reps needed to know about SlideShare to understand where the leads came from and how to value them. When we did this, we made SlideShare operational — and effectively aligned it with existing processes to grow revenue.
One of the first leads was an existing client. The account manager wasn’t that happy at first, as they expect their customers to always go directly to them or through the corporate website. But customers and prospects often go to the web first and discover things on SlideShare. The customer expressed high purchase intent through the lead and later made the additional purchase.
What Can You Tell Us About Your Content Strategy?
As I already noted, the first step was auditing existing content and publishing processes. And determining which content can be shared openly with lead form optional, or form gated.
You can’t have an effort to produce content for only one end-point. Content can’t sit in one place. I don’t have the bandwidth to create content just for on SlideShare, or any other channel.
We put some client content on our Channel as well, passing metrics and leads to them. Its another outpost for them. IBM, Sprint and others. For some of them, our contacts hadn’t heard of SlideShare. Some like it just because its social media, some skeptical because they had a low volume of content for it, but they all got how it could generate leads and engagement under our brand. They want our Channel to not just be a marketing or ad channel for client and we have to use editorial judgement to keep it that way.
What Is Your Biggest Takeaway Thusfar?
The people you work for don’t care about driving Facebpook Likes or Twitter Followers — you have to show how it effects the bottom line. When you show how this integrates with your existing systems and processes that have been there for years, you will be the the hero. Sure we have more engagement, but the ability to monetize that engagement has really helped me. That is what SlideShare has allowed me to do.