Digital Marketers are responsible for all inbound marketing.
Note: Some of the following labels only exist on the Digital Marketing Programs project level.
#digital-marketing: General digital marketing conversation and questions
#dmpteam: Discussion for DMP team members
All digital campaigns are executed with the help of our digital agency PMG (learn more about PMG here). The only exception is account-centric Paid Display which is handled directly through Demandbase, but PMG still handles regular Paid Display. For GitLab digital initiatives, PMG provides:
GitLab DMPs work directly with PMG within the GitLab Digital Advertising project, which is strictly for DMP & PMG communication only. To learn how PMG is involved in the paid digital request process, please refer to the DMP Request Workflow section below.
DMPs can recommend specific types based on your campaign goals. The most common type is Paid Social based on robust targeting criteria and successful performance in reach and lead volume.
Paid search are text ads on Google and/or Bing search engines to drive people to specific GitLab landing pages as they are looking for information on search engines. We do this by bidding on targeted keywords and phrases based on the assumed intent of the person and matching that intent with a related landing page.
Display ads are banner ads that we mostly run are through the Google Display Network. Banner ads will show on websites that have Google Adsense set-up on their website. There are no specific websites we show banner ads on - we earn the ad space by bidding on placements based on specific targeting criteria such as demographics, topics, and interests. On occassion, we run banner ads on websites through direct buys. This is handled more in the publisher program.
Paid social ads are ads that we show on social platforms. The three social media platforms that we primarily advertise on are Facebook/Instagram, LinkedIn (this includes LinkedIn InMail & Conversation Ads), and Twitter.
Publisher sponsorships are when we engage a specific publisher in order to purchase placement on their web properties. Generally, we make sure the publisher's website(s) and audience closely match the profile of who we want to advertise to before engaging with the publisher. Additionally, we want to make sure the programs that are offered by the publisher align with our goals.
Each paid channel has its own unique design specifications and recommendations for their ad types to ensure ads can run at their optimal performance. If you do not yet have creative assets secured for your campaign, the design team can use this section as their guide when producing your creative.
If you would like to request a paid digital marketing promotion in paid search, paid social, paid sponsorships or other paid marketing to support your event, content marketing, or webcast, asset, etc. create an issue in the Digital Marketing Programs Repo and then follow the Paid Digital Request template. If you are specifically requesting a Demandbase campaign, create an issue with the Demandbase Campaign Request template.
If you request a digital marketing promotion you probably also need a marketing campaign and should consult with the Marketing Program Managers.
utm_campaignname in reporting (minus spaces, underscores, and special characters)
1. Paid Ads (Search, Social, Display)
2. Publisher Engagements (Content Syndication, Hosted Webinars, Lead Generation Packages, and Sponsorships)
LinkedIn InMail Ads (also known as Message Ads) are static messages delivered directly to LinkedIn member inboxes, creating a personalized ad experience between the user and GitLab. These ads are highly effective for middle-funnel campaigns, targeting specific individuals with custom tailored content relevant to their persona and/or organization. Since many users also have LinkedIn notify their personal or work email address when they have received an InMail, this results in up to 2x higher open rates and click throughs than traditional single email campaigns. Unlike our main paid digital bid type of costs per click, we pay for the message open which generally costs around $1 - $1.50 each. However, when a user shares the ad to other users, those users' opens and clicks are free. As a result, the free sharing feature allows our campaigns to obtain greater reach at a lower cost. This is especially useful in Account Based Marketing campaigns; a manager receiving an InMail to attend an upcoming GitLab webinar can share with other users in their organization. InMail/Message Ads can be used to re-engage and nurture accounts with upcoming events, new content assets, or by simply opening the conversation.
Conversation Ads are similar to InMail Ads in terms of placement, costs, and targeting, but instead of a static message, the user is able to engage through a sequence of messages prompted by specific CTA buttons, creating an interactive experience with GitLab. Conversation Ads are delivered directly to the LinkedIn member’s inbox, starting off with an intro message offering a variety of CTA buttons and proceeding through a custom sequence with each button click, resulting in several layers of interactions. LinkedIn reporting features visualization into engagement through the message flow, highlighting which messages & CTAs users found most relevant and where conversation drops off. These CTAs can click through to the next message (“Tell me more”), click out to a relevant landing page (“See case studies”), click out to an event registration page (“Register now”), or open an lead generation form (“Sign up now”). Conversation Ads are essentially a Choose Your Own Adventure interaction that provide target audiences with more options and provide us with more audience insights.
If you are requesting InMail or Conversation Ads, create an issue in the general Paid Digital Request template.
InMail & Conversation Ad campaigns must have a designated sender in order to send messages on behalf of GitLab, putting a friendly face to the company name. The ads displayed in a member’s inbox will appear to be sent from the designated sender, which allows for increased personalization and message relevance to targeted members.
In order for our digital agency PMG to set up sender permissions, they’ll need to send requests to those whom we want to grant sender permissions, which are typically SDRs but can include a variety of titles & teams at GitLab. Since sender requests can only be sent to 1-degree connections, a member of the PMG team will first send a LinkedIn connection request, then the sender request once the connection is approved. When the designated team member receives a request to be a sender on a LinkedIn Messaging campaign, they can approve or reject this request by following the link provided in the email. The GitLab team member can also use this link to manage their sender permissions and see whether they have sender access for a campaign. Once the GitLab team member has accepted their sender permissions to be added as a sender on the account, they will need to notify the DMP by confirming within the campaign issue.
Although Digital Marketing can generate copy, we highly recommend that the sender, another member of the sender’s team, or a PMM generate the copy to be used in messages since they have more insight & context around targeted accounts, user/buyer persona, and/or the promoted content. When creating an InMail or Conversation Ad campaign, the Ad Copy Template doc (included for both ad types in the Paid Digital Request template) will be cloned for your specific campaign and used as a collaborative space for the sender to generate messaging and other campaign members to edit where necessary. Conversation Ad copy will be more complex, as it includes several layers of messages and multiple CTA options for each layer. Please note that due to the high volume of messages within a given campaign, LinkedIn restricts replies from the target audience to the sender. If the sender prefers replies, they can include a link to their Calendly or email address in the message. One of the key benefits of InMail & Conversation Ads is that you can personalize copy with macros. Macros allow you to pull a member’s LinkedIn profile data and insert them dynamically into your ad for more personalization. Profile data options include first name, last name, job title, company name, and industry.
InMail Copy Best Practices:
Best performing subject lines often use some of the following keywords:
Additional ways that we can test with message tone of voice:
Conversation Ad Copy Best Practices:
All URLs that are promoted on external sites and through email must use UTM URL tagging to increase the data cleanliness in Google Analytics and ensure marketing campaigns are correctly attributed.
We don't use UTMs for internal links. UTM data sets attribution for visitors, so if we use UTMs on internal links it resets everything when the clicked URL loads. This breaks reporting for paid advertising and organic visitors.
You can access our internal URL tagging tool in Google Sheets. You will also find details in this spreadsheet on what "Campaign Medium" to use for each URL. If you need a new campaign medium, please check with the Digital Marketing Programs team as new mediums will not automatically be attributed correctly.
If you are not sure if a link needs a UTM, please speak with the marketer who is managing your campaign to ensure you are not interrupting the reporting structure they have in place.
UTM construction best practices:
We run digital ads on the following channels:
Because everyone at GitLab works remotely, it makes it difficult to restrict ads from being shown to GitLabbers. In a brick and mortar environment, we can easily block IP addresses to accomplish this. Because everyone at GitLab has a different IP address, and even dynamic IP addresses, there is no way to implement an exclusion rule that would block all GitLab ads to GitLabbers.
If you would not like to see GitLab ads, you are able to opt-out of ads as you see them. Below is the process to remove GitLab ads. Please note that if you use both your personal and work accounts on your devices, you will need to exclude from both your personal and work accounts.
Google Paid Search: When you see a GitLab text ad in Google search engine results
Google Display: When you see a GitLab ad on a third-party website
Facebook: When you see a GitLab ad on Facebook
LinkedIn: When you see a GitLab ad on LinkedIn
Twitter: When you see a GitLab ad on Twitter