Facebook has become one of the first social media platforms to reach maturity from an ad buying perspective. Gone are the days of having your organic reach carry your brand as more and more companies look to monetize their digital presence through paid ads. As Facebook ad prices continue to rise year over year, brands are being forced to find new and innovative ways to optimize their campaigns for efficiency and maintain profitability. Today we sit down with Paid Social Media Manager Joe Chavez to discuss his latest breakthrough on the Facebook platform.
Host: Thanks for joining us. Today we’re going to be discussing a menswear brand in the athleisure space. Joe, can you speak a little bit about the brand’s goals and what Hawke did to help them reach them?
Joe: Absolutely. We were looking to get their cost per purchase holistically down from $50-60 to about $30. They had been converting at that $30 mark a few years back, but Facebook ad costs have risen every year and it was clear we needed to make some optimizations in terms of campaign structure to get them back on track. What I ended up doing was breaking out different campaigns for new vs. returning users. I did this because it was becoming increasingly unclear what we were paying for a new customer as opposed to just an additional purchase.
Host: If you’re even mildly playing in the space, you know about prospecting vs. retargeting advertising. Can you talk about what these guys were doing before COVID-19 and how they’ve adjusted?
Joe: So traditionally speaking it's pretty common to see Facebook campaigns to be broken out between top, middle and bottom funnel. The middle funnel is where things tend to get messy. Are these people known converters for the brand or have they not purchased yet? What we ended up doing to try to get clarity around this topic was building out different funnels for prospecting re-marketing (specifically focused around getting new customers) and then loyalty where we then had opportunities to upsell different products like accessories. We connected the data to their email service provider to get further clarity, and it just opened up a whole new strategy for us. We know we want to market best sellers to people that have bought into the brand, and having those insights has allowed us to curate our strategy better and increase conversion efficiency.
Host: And this strategy that you’re speaking to seems to be more evergreen. Would you say this is something that you would be able to execute after COVID-19 is over?
Joe: Yes, we’ve actually had such success with it lately that we’ve scaled up our efforts and really focused on creative testing while our competitors have been more defensive in terms of ad spend. It’s worth mentioning that just because CPM’s are going down because everyone is at home on their devices doesn’t mean you’ll get the CPA or return on ad spend that you want. We have to now, more than ever, keep user attention. Consumers have time to go through your creative. One of the things we’ve been doing recently is spending 3-4 hours going through a piece of creative and exhausting our A/B tests until we have every insight possible about a specific creative. A lot of people don’t know you can up to 10 creatives in a carousel. A lot of times you’ll only see 2-3, but we’ve been maxing it out with 6-7 creatives.
Speaking a little bit to my creative process, I usually start by going to a client’s product description page and really dissect what makes the product unique whether it be features, benefits, reviews, etc. After that, I’ll take certain images and touch them up with these different value props and load them all up into a carousel so that the consumer gets a more holistic view of what the product is like. I believe that this does a good job of keeping the consumer’s attention for longer, which makes a world of difference when everyone is at home on social. Repeating this process across the client’s various best sellers has been huge for us.
Host: Awesome. So talk to me a little bit about the initiative’s sustainability. Have you seen consistent success? When have you needed to pivot? What are the changes you’ve made after that initial success from your competition dropping out?
Joe: Yeah, talking about our specific stats, for a while we saw a steady increase in return. It got to the point where we really wanted to focus on driving revenue, so we ended up doubling our ad spend budget and after awhile saw a dropoff in performance. There were other factors affecting the bottomline like certain promotions not running. I always say that no account is perfect, and these issues are pretty common in marketing. You can’t expect to increase budget and return simultaneously, as that almost never happens. Overall, we’re still seeing a big increase in revenue, which the client is happy about.
Host: Got it. Totally agree with you, you can’t expect your return to stay consistent as you figure out how to scale. Has your return been in line with Pre-COVID numbers?
Joe: They’re actually a little bit above where they were before COVID-19. As a business owner, you get used to those numbers being in a good place for a few weeks, and that becomes the new normal - no pun intended. But yes, we’re doing better than we were before COVID.
Host: Can you talk to me a little bit about what your plans are for the next few weeks or months? Obviously, none of us know what that will look like, but how are you setting yourself up to be nimble and reactive to certain trends?
Joe: We’re beginning to build out different campaigns for products we know are big in the summer. We’re focusing a lot on shorts and some of our top best sellers. It’s important to get that contingency plan in place in case the parts of your campaigns that are doing well start to regress.
The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we do business, but many businesses have not recognized the surplus of underpriced attention that has come to fruition caused by many businesses pulling back their marketing budgets combined with a number of people still captive in their homes spending time on social media. There is a huge opportunity to take advantage of this change in the Facebook and Instagram marketplace as long as you have solid acquisition and retention strategies in place for your business. If you want to get a sense of what these strategies might look like for your business, Hawke Media offers free Facebook audits alongside our free holistic marketing consultation. If you’re interested, fill out the form below, and one of our strategists will give you a call.
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