Win of the week: Facebook’s new custom audiences drive revenue!

Last month we wrote a piece about Facebook improving their targeting game and then we got to work for some of our clients, looking to hit hard in the final month of the year.  We have seen some really nice results early on.

One brand in particular, is our client Birdie’s Slippers. They are a new fashion brand, without a big budget and only sell through one channel, E-commerce. Every dollar is super important at their stage in their life cycle, and they don’t have enough marketing dollars to get into the Google AdWords game.  Facebook marketing is their only allocated spend and they were looking to really glean as much value out of that campaign as humanly possible.

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We started targeting people who engaged with their page over the past 30 days and here you can see we spent $17.36 and earned $336, using this technique on just one piece of creative.

15380365_10158196248710643_1781615209652302970_nWe have done a great job with their content this year, and through collaborations, page post engagements and empowered word of mouth, they have a highly engaged fan page. Even though their fan base is still relatively small, they are engaged and interested which is much more important than total fan count.

Here we took a fun and attention grabbing post and then targeted that audience with a moderate spend. We know this group had already engaged with the brand so there was some familiarity and we then deployed this new targeting technique to move them further down the sales funnel.

Marketers have a real winner on their hands here and they should get involved right away. Brands (and other “traditional” digital agencies) seem to always be looking to pick holes in the Facebook Ads game, which is just insanity. This year, do the opposite – and win!

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Be content, with content marketing funnels.

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If you aren’t all in on leveraging Facebook’s Advertising platform, you are missing out.  Paid Facebook efforts are the most powerful tool in your arsenal these days and you need to be leveraging them on the daily. We have pointed that out here on this blog many times before, and we continue to deploy for our clients on a consistent basis.

The royal flush is to have a content plan, that you then put money behind to help convert users down a marketing funnel. In the picture above you can see that strategy in full effect. Our awesome client Lurong Living, has been a believer in the power of social media for many years now and has been with Sircle for 3+.

They are looking to sell products and subscriptions online, and they want to target a very specific audience and even subsets of audiences with their messages. Facebook has proven to be the real winner (not surprisingly) to do so, and we are constantly driving results through our efforts.

With this one post, we created a very simple recipe (piece of content) that lives on their domain. We then targeted a specific audience with $10 via a boosted post and optimized it for engagement. Typically that would translate to very little reach, as Facebook is objective based and is promoting this to users based on their likelihood to interact with it. The 10,000+ people who saw this piece of content were therefore an ancillary benefit of this initiative. Of greater importance (at least in this instance) were the 685 clicks and 558 link clicks bringing traffic back to the website.

This not only led to direct sales opportunities, but it was a very easy way to build up an audience for our retargeting campaign. Now we know what type of content they consumed and can target them with a very specific Ad that we know they are likely to be interested in.

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This is just a small snapshot of the results of leveraging that funnel mentality. Those conversions produced 4X the spend up front and since the product purchased was a monthly subscription, the lifetime value goes way beyond that.

Yup- It pays to play!

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Win of The Week: $5 in Facebook spend = $424 in revenue!

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We are big fans of paid social and we have shared our POV on the benefits of paying to play on Facebook here before.  With Facebook, sometimes the simplest of tactics can produce some really profound results.

In the image above we created a nice looking (Facebook optimized) piece of native content to help our awesome client Black Halo announce that they have new arrivals on their website. For a fashion brand that regularly releases new lines and updated SKU counts, this makes for some really simple and newsworthy information.  Sure we could deploy some really tactical strategic targeting (and we do of course) aiming at fans of competitors in the dress category, retargeting visitors to their dress pages and/or even members of their email list, but here it was a simple announcement and we just put $5 behind targeting their fans.

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For a brand who has not deployed any Cost Per Like (CPL) campaigns targeting new and unfamiliar users to meet their brand, their fan base is more “real and earned” than most. These are users who actually like the brand and their garments and therefore, new product arrival announcements are of real value.

As a result, $5 in guaranteed delivery to fans led to $424 in new revenue. That revenue was also the best kind, because it was on their own website and at full retail, which means it is the highest margin business they earn as a brand.

Mark that as a win for social media!

 

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Pay to Play on Facebook: Does it Pay?

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Facebook is a beast of a marketing platform, that drives amazing results. Period, end of paragraph.

Brands still struggle to get their head around this for some reason.  Facebook (like most platforms) gave “the goods” away for free at first (and for a long time) and once they grew up and decided it was time to make some money, people freaked out. This is a mistake, because A) of course that was coming, B) you just need to be nimble and adjust and C) if you aren’t taking advantage of this paid platform, then you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

I just think everyone needs a reset of sorts, to help them reassess Facebook in general. There is nothing more powerful in your arsenal and you must incorporate it into your digital plan. Remember, when you pay Facebook, you are unlocking their awesome targeting opportunities and you are guaranteeing delivery of content to a specific audience. Not partaking because you are angry that Facebook transitioned to a pay to play platform is the definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face. DON’T DO IT!

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Take the image to the left for example. This client was running a special on Good Morning America and offering a limited time offer of 50% off, as a way to generate e-commerce sales and acquire new customers. They have a very high retention rate (because their products are awesome) and they wanted to bring in revenue to their site (for a short term $ boost) and to help create some new user profiles, that would likely translate to long term and repeat customers. It is all about Life Time Value (LTV).

To help stoke the flames of this offer, we decided to boost this timeline post to two strategic audiences for $50 each. Fans of the brand (many of whom might not have purchased on the website before) and website visitors, who had not yet purchased on their website. This means they had been to the site, but never consummated a sale.

The results: 22,000+ reached, 378 clicks and (not seen here) $953 in revenue from this one post.

This was a solid investment from an up front ROI point of view, and an excellent way to initiate the life time funnel. Now we can implement some email CRM sequences and engage them in a much deeper conversation with the brand.

Did it pay to play?  Yessir.

 

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Facebook Marketing + Messaging = “A Must” To Win Online

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Facebook is such a powerful advertising medium for any brand looking to share their story on the web.  It offers unprecedented targeting, very cost effective reach and is a proven winner when it comes to driving clicks and conversions on an e-commerce website. We have clients leveraging all three on the daily and are driving ROI’s as high as 13X their spend.

Paid social is a beast, but there are many who are still sitting on the sidelines.  As a result, they are missing out big time!  Many brands abandoned Facebook completely, when it went to a “pay to play” model and we have always run in the opposite direction of those people. We are all in on Facebook Marketing and have talked about our POV on it here in this blog.

Sometimes it is as simple as leveraging page post engagements (boosting posts) to your fans and their friends.  If you have a brand that makes great products, has strong customer service and in turn actually has a community of fans, then no other platform corrals them for you like Facebook. It tees up an opportunity for you to share a message and guarantees delivery to (a grip of) them if you want to put some funds behind it. Why is that a bad thing???

Our client Bombas, is a brand with awesome products, epic customer service and their fans absolutely love them. We chose to leverage the pretty piece of content you see above, showing off their new line of products by putting a nominal spend ($20) behind it and simply targeted their fans and friends of their fans. This $19.83 spend directly translated into $1,721.35 in revenue.  Seems like a good investment, wouldn’t you say?

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As a cherry on top, you can see the comment from one of their fans on the post, thanking them for “listening to their customers” and rolling out these new colors. They clearly exhibited that they care about their community, and implemented changes and improvements based on their feedback.  That is the whole point of social media, isn’t it?

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Facebook Game – Strong

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With organic reach way down, brands have been abandoning Facebook and/or pulling back their focus on The Social Network, which is a huge mistake.  Not only is it still the only true portal for users in the social universe, but the paid platform is the most powerful tool that exists for brands and marketers.  We have talked about how Facebook Marketing cannot be ignored here in this blog before, but let’s explore some ancillary benefits.

When you market on Facebook, you are increasing targeted exposure for your brand.  When new users see your content they will often engage with it via a like or a comment.  Facebook now allows you to invite those users to LIKE your page if they don’t already. It is a great way to bring in new fans, as they just saw a message from you and took an action.  This is an excellent opportunity to strike while the iron is hot and move them into your community.

Some paid exposure could be how they found you OR a simple share or engagement taken, from even one fan could have opened up your content for increased exposure.  Thus strengthening the argument for increasing your community and why even one simple interaction from one fan is so important for your brand. Regardless of how they discover your post, they chose to engage with it, but they didn’t necessarily take that next step and like your page.

The good news is that Facebook has made it very easy to see who liked your post and who is/is not already a fan.

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Just click on the like count, as we did here for a recent post on our client Lurong Living’s Facebook page and then you can invite them to go ahead and become an actual fan. This is really powerful for this client who targets people who are into Crossfit and hard core fitness in general. Often the eyeballs they get on their organic and paid content are fro like minded individuals, who are highly likely to like their content and more importantly, their products. We recommend doing this within 24 hours of their engagement on the post to improve conversion rates.

It’s important to note that people who get an invite to like your page, are getting the invite directly from you, via your personal Facebook Profile as you can see below.  Remember, you may be sending invites to people who are strangers to you personally, but they will know that you are affiliated with the brand.

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The verdict is that this is a great way to increase your fan base and to do so with someone who already expressed interest in something your brand had to say. We boosted the post above for $5 and reached 2000+ people which is very inexpensive and highly targeted exposure. It drove 48 likes to the post and 20 new fans to the page, yielding an effective CPL of $0.25 – which outperformed their CPL Ad Campaign by $0.05.  It would be hard to argue for a most cost effective use of that $5.

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Facebook Lead Ads

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For any business looking to generate leads, you should be investing in Facebook’s Lead Ads.  The social network has simplified the process allowing users to subscribe to your email list with just two simple clicks (SUBSCRIBE/SUBMIT).  The information is pulled right from their profile and every user has an active email associated with their account, so you know the inputs are legit.

You can also require additional fields such as phone numbers, and though more inputs can lead to attrition, we are finding that the performance is excellent.  When you employ Facebook’s powerful targeting along with great creative you can generate tremendous results. Perhaps you want to target fans of your biggest competitor who live in the Los Angeles Area? Create an Ad that speaks to a pain point that you know they are experiencing (high cost, bad taste etc.) and then tell them to provide their email to learn more about how to fix it.

Also if you are doing digital the right way, you already have a re-targeting pixel on your webpage. You track every user who visits the site and clicks on a certain item and then leaves without a purchase. Now you can catch the user on Facebook, showing them the photo of the same product and rather than just sending them back to the site again you can offer them the ability to subscribe to your email list to get notified about future discounts on products just like the one they viewed. Just another smart way to bring prospects further down the sales funnel.

For those who think social doesn’t generate business, Lead Ads provide more evidence that you are wrong.

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Video Content Success!

We preach about the value and need for video content constantly at Sircle Media, and that is because if done right it can really turn into something special. We recently posted this very simple video that we created for our client ginnybakes and it earned massive organic reach for the brand.  The video is under a minute (recommended), was posted on #NationalCookieDay (a trending hashtag for that day) and we pushed it out via Facebook and Twitter. The results:

227,035 people reached (branding opportunity), 5494 actual views (content fully consumed) and 400 clicks to the website, which offers direct sales opportunities and retargeting ammunition for other marketing messages. This was a home run across the board.

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We didn’t even have to pay to boost this particular piece of content, it did the work on its own.  So for those who feel that Facebook is no longer a place to market their messages without paid efforts, think again.  As always, if the content is good – great things can happen.

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Facebook Marketing and Messaging- A “Must Have” Component of A Social Media Plan

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Social media is evolving and I find that most businesses are still struggling with how to understand the necessary functions for their business. First off there is an underlying need to be active and participate in the social conversation and you need to have someone who is actually managing that process.  The day to day facilitationof the conversation, known as “community management” is mission critical for all types of businesses these days.  Whoever is at the helm, needs to be well versed in a few core areas:

1) Social Media Management: The most important piece is the day to day community management for the brand. This includes design and development of content/assets that users/fans/followers of the brand will want to consume and engage with and strategy on how best to use the various social networks to their advantage. It is very difficult to find a person internally that can do all of this effectively, especially at the price most will want to pay for the role. As a baseline a brand should consider this to be a full time position and should allocate a junior level salary to it: At least $2,500 per month ($30,000 per annum). Outsourcing is a great option for guaranteed results.

2) Social Media Marketing: This is the actual marketing component of social media and you will need to allocate a budget that is specifically marketing related. Most small businesses have not really tried to leverage Twitter of Pinterest Ads yet, though both definitely have value and are powerful.  When it comes to social media marketing, I think most have only dabbled with Facebook’s advertising platform.

The data and targeting abilities of Facebook make it one of the most attractive and compelling platforms I have ever experienced in online marketing.  When attacking Facebook Ads we generally recommend a starter test budget around $500-$1000 per month to get a feel for the platform. Depending on the goals of the client we need to assess what type of CPL, CPC, CPA OR reach and impressions we can drive.

We encourage businesses to look at Facebook spending in two distinct categories:

Facebook Marketing: As described above is marketing on Facebook with an allocated budget and some clearly defined marketing initiatives and/or agendas in mind.  Most marketers and CFO’s should feel very comfortable with this, as it is very ROI driven and very measurable via Facebook’s analytics platform, which is very robust.  If you want to track sales, Likes or even reach and impressions on key marketing messages, you can do so very easily via Facebook.  This platform offers low cost marketing, super narrow targeting and very detailed insights = a marketer’s dream.

Facebook Messaging: This is spending to strategically target your Facebook content and statuses at specific audiences.  Even for brand’s who are not spending on “marketing” on Facebook, it is very important to allocate funds to promote your branded messages. Page post engagements guarantee delivery of your posts to different users. With organic reach plummeting, brands are up in arms and some are even leaving Facebook.  As they run away, I encourage my clients to run towards the platform.  A little money goes a long way here and you can craft content and then deliver it to the right eyeballs consistently. Want to:

Target messages to your email subscribers on Facebook?  YES

Target messages to people who visited your website or even specific pages on your website?  YES

Target messages to audiences who’s profiles just “look like” the two audiences mentioned above? YES

Some content you might just want to show to your current fan base and customers, so you can “boost” that to your current fans.  Other content that specifically highlights your Unique Selling Propositions (USP’s) would be great to target at fans of your direct competitors, and they offer that too.  Taking it one step further, perhaps you might want to target specific messages at subsets (i.e. only female fans) and you can also do that without even posting it on your timeline for others to see. These are called dark posts which are hardly new, but are vastly underused.

Bottom-line is that there is so much you can do with some allocated funds on The Social Network, and allocating no budget for either marketing or messaging is a big mistake. It will compromise your online efforts and leave you feeling very unfulfilled.  An investment here will give you highly targeted messaging to real users, who are most likely to care about what you have to say.  No other medium offers that.

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Say Good-Bye to EdgeRank

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Facebook is moving away from the use of EdgeRank to determine fan page relevancy on it’s platform.  They have replaced EdgeRank with a new, updated ranking algorithm, which now focuses even more closely on relevancy, content, quality, and variety. The importance of working to “game” the algorithm remains, but it is now a formula with many more data points to consider.

The first thing Facebook aims for is to have timely and relevant content on a user’s news feed. If the content isn’t interesting to the user, they either won’t engage with it or it might not even show up on their news feed. It is also very important that the content being shown is not in any way begging or pandering. It should be interesting and engaging, rather than just asking someone to “like” the post. An interesting and compelling post will get much more engagement.

A business also must ask themselves whether their posts are interesting enough that the user’s friends will share it with their friends. A Facebook post guiding something to click a link should be more than simply a post with a link in it. It should be engaging and informational and ideally leave people wanting more.  That should lead to a click on that served up link to see what it’s all about. Your content AND the way you introduce that content should be great. One last important fact about how to optimize against the new ranking algorithm, is to have variety in your posts. Some posts should have links (especially because of the new link update), some should have images, and some should simply be text updates. The more variety you have on your page, the more people will be interested.

Facebook is working hard to improve the user experience on the platform. This new and more in depth relevancy formula is a big step in that direction.  The faster a brand can learn how to work within it, the better off it will be! To find out more about how Facebook is updating their new ranking algorithm, click here.

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