The brief


Appian is a low-code automation platform for building enterprise software applications. Appian came to Search Laboratory following a period of huge growth as they needed an agency to support lead generation activity for predicted further growth across ten territories and five languages.

We identified a need to use their data to consolidate activity; by identifying which assets and channels worked best in each market and moving budgets accordingly, we could improve lead generation while keeping CPA low.


This case study won the award for the Best in Paid Search and Biddable Media category at the Best in Digital Awards 2021.


The BEST in Digital Awards 2021 logo with the award Search Laboratory digital marketing agency won for their work on their client Appian.


increase in PPC leads


increase in paid social leads


increase in site sessions from social media



  • Increase the number of qualified leads generated while reducing CPA
  • Increase social media community size and relevant traffic through social media (across four languages)

The strategy




We work with Appian across the following territories (PPC and paid social in all markets, organic social in the last four):

  • North America
  • Canada
  • UK
  • APAC
  • DACH
  • France
  • Spain
  • Italy.

Prior to starting work, our inhouse team of international digital marketers conducted keyword research and a thorough market audit in each territory to identify insights such as: industry nuances at a local level; competitor USPs; preferred first language; appropriate CTAs; appropriate use of extensions based on search terms and converting keywords.

While the overall strategy remained the same across all territories, we used these insights along with the number and cost of leads to shape the strategy in each market.

Paid search


The first step we took was to connect Salesforce and Google Ads, as this would allow us to import Appian’s MQL data and use this to optimize campaigns. Appian is a lead generation company and prospects are required to fill out a form to move along towards a sale. Not all form fills lead to a final sale, and due to the nature of the sales cycle, there is a delay in knowing which form fills lead to sales. This makes bidding based on MQL data difficult.


reduction in CPA


increase in leads

We used historical data to understand the conversion rate of form fills for each region and calculate a target cost per form fill and used this to optimize campaigns in real-time.

Appian offer multiple products and solutions, and it is important that we match the right asset to the right search intent so as to improve CTR and CVR. We conducted a competitor audit and analyzed historical campaign data to gather insights on which assets worked best for which keywords and searches and used this to optimize our campaigns.

Paid social


We worked with third-party data providers to improve the quality of our B2B targeting across Facebook and LinkedIn. We also moved to ‘in-platform lead generation’ across both channels, reducing the amount of work required by a user to fill in a form and therefore lowering the CPA.

Finally, we onboarded a lead enrichment system which allowed us to score leads and qualify them. This information was fed back into Salesforce, allowing the team to follow up on leads which are valuable while spending less time on lesser qualified leads.


reduction in CPA


increase in leads

Organic social


Our organic social strategy needed to create brand awareness, cultivate leads and engage with clients.

We introduced a mix of localized and global upper funnel content including blogs and videos which would interest those in the research phase of the customer journey. We also began sharing user generated content (to engage with clients and prospects), customer success stories, case studies and in-depth whitepapers (to cultivate leads).

High-performing content was promoted to relevant local audiences to boost reach.


increase in site users from social


increase in site sessions from social


increase in fans


monthly growth in engagements

Everything you need to know to grow your business internationally


This blog is part of our wider B2B Playbook that is designed to help B2B businesses with all aspects of their digital marketing from leveraging data, acquiring more traffic, creating assets that resonate and succeeding internationally.

If you’re thinking of expanding into international markets, the international section is for you. Here we review everything you’ll need to take into consideration when going global.

Ready to go global?