One of our online retail clients issued us a challenge: Devise and execute a social media strategy that helps us not only reach consumers who are new-to-brand, but also cultivate true ‘brand advocates’ whose loyalty to the brand will drive them to spread the word online.
Even for well-known brands, long-term customer value relies on cultivating consumer interaction and keeping interest active. While clear social media content and communication plans are essential, social media advertising programs help ensure that branded content reaches a critical mass and drives value.
For our client, we chose Facebook as the primary advertising channel to align with its existing communication strategy. Our goal was to increase post reach in order to attract new-to-brand and brand-lapsed consumers, and reinforce existing relationships with additional exposure. We also wanted to increase page likes and shares (showing engagement with our ads) and indirectly drive online purchases.
Precision Dialogue created a combination of Facebook newsfeed ads and promoted posts. Rather than taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach, we fine-tuned our ad targeting for every single piece of content to reach audiences most likely to be receptive and thus engage with the brand’s content. For example, content likely to be appealing to young parents was targeted to Facebook users who had identified themselves as parents and were within the desired age range. We created multiple targets and A/B tested their efficiency to ensure that the best-performing ads carried the most spend.
We layered in several seasonal promotions and contests and ran sidebar ads in addition to the other two formats to gain further reach.
Results for 2013 were excellent. Our paid advertising program amplified the organic (unpaid) reach of content, with total daily reach increasing from 10,000 people per day to over 70,000 – or 18 million people per year. This reach yielded 350,000 ad clicks, 175,000 page likes and 30,000 website visits. Ultimately, Facebook-referred online sales increased by 60% over 2012 – and at the highest average order value of any referral source.
As was clear from likes, page engagement, post engagement, and shares, targeted Facebook advertising reached people who were interested in the brand and interacting with it. In addition, testing different targeting methods helped to provide information about the most-engaged groups of consumers, to drive more cost-effective targeting for other digital advertising initiatives.