How to Boost LinkedIn Sign-ups by 520% With Voice-of-Customer Research – A Case Study
Outsized is the world’s first platform to match top independent talent across Africa and Asia with progressive financial services companies and management consulting firms. The scale-up is geared to build a fair talent market that works for both sides.
We were lucky enough to work closely with the founder & CMO, Niclas Thelander, a talented consulting expert cut from the same cloth as his clients.
For the right professional, Outsized changes lives. They provide unmatched opportunities to work for some of the best companies in the world. The problem? The right professionals don’t know it yet.
In 2020, mandatory lockdowns changed our idea of work-life balance forever. What eventually followed was a trend people started calling “The Great Resignation”. Here’s what happened in simple terms: millions of people across the world quit their jobs or were (very) seriously considering it. According to the Telegraph, half of Britain’s workforce considered changing jobs in the last 3 months of 2021.
If we peer closely, here’s why it unfolded: the pandemic fundamentally changed how people value their time. Knowledge workers stopped avoiding the truth – that their soul-killing 9-5 jobs had become intolerable. They started envisioning a better life for themselves through a career change or a switch to freelancing/independent consulting (whatever you prefer to call it).
At the same time, smart companies realised that they’d double their efficiency by hiring talented independent consultants for specific projects without carrying the costs of permanent employees.
The Outsized founders predicted this trend before it went mainstream. They had spent their careers building solid relationships with consulting and financial services companies. And the companies were sold on the idea of an agile workforce. The gap lay in convincing the independent talent.
They needed a team to get this message to the right independent consultants and 9-5’ers sitting quietly on the fence, needing that push into freelancing/consulting. This is where we rolled in…
The Goal: accelerate high-quality freelancer sign-ups in 6 months
The solution was 2-fold:
1) get the right message 2) to the right people (at the right time).
And the right message is never sitting in your head, waiting to be unleashed by a jolt of inspiration. It’s found in the words of your customers, competitor’s customers, prospects and online forum lurkers.
It’s called Voice-of-Customer Research
To maximise conversions, you have to locate your customer’s raw, unfiltered thoughts and then reflect those thoughts to them. When you do that, they see themselves in your message. And that’s huge for conversions.
“On the copy side, The Social Effect got what we did quickly. They were able to translate that into succinct messages. From the overall engagement, it was the copy side that stood out to us.”
For Outsized, we considered 2 audiences with vastly different dreams and fears:
- Existing freelancers
- Dissatisfied permanent employees. They need some convincing to make the jump to freelancing.
So how do you join the conversation these audiences are having?
Using customer surveys, forums like Reddit and Discord, and tech review sites like G2, you mine the uncensored words they use to describe their pain points and dream states. Then you sort this data according to common themes. The theme that occurs most frequently is what’s most important to your audience.
The best part?
You’ll find your message in the customer’s real language. No more blank pages, guessing at clever words that’ll resonate and drive conversions. Instead, you use this Voice of Customer research along with persuasion frameworks, A/B testing, and some creative juices to bring these words to life. Now you have personalised ads ready to run.
We used multiple social channels to boost sign-ups, however, LinkedIn rose to the top with its pinpoint targeting capabilities. LinkedIn is unmatched by other platforms because its members have professional incentives to keep their profiles accurate and up-to-date. As a result, it’s designed to get you high-quality, precise leads with less budget.
We used LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Recruiter to discover what independent talent or unhappy 9-5’ers were calling themselves. We then honed in on technical and industry-specific skills and did what we do best: use a test-and-optimise approach to whittle down the best strategy and results.
Outsized saw a 520% increase in average weekly sign-ups
“We really enjoyed working with The Social Effect team. We felt that although we had a limited budget, we were treated as an important client. Although not specifically included in the scope of work, thanks to the research process, we got good, actionable insights and tips on how to improve the user experience and messaging on our website, too.”
Compared to other advertisers, Outsized consistently beat the average by taking a personalised approach. We saw a 520% increase in average weekly sign-ups and 10x the LinkedIn benchmark for conversion rates.
Beyond lead generation, the campaign raised widespread brand awareness which snowballed the number of sign-ups. Outsized has since built a successful organic and paid social presence on LinkedIn to keep the awareness spreading, spearheaded by its Content team.