How To Succeed At Facebook Advertising

Gordmans opened two new stores in Minneapolis and promoted them with several Facebook campaigns, working with BlitzLocal.com.

They created two different types of campaigns: one advertising an event, and another advertising a tab. Both were targeted at the city level. Because the scope was so narrow, tests included adding the city name as part of the ad image itself. Overall though, these ads definitely helped in garnering more visitors.

Sponsored Stories Outperformed Regular Facebook Ads

There are two types of sponsored stories – a sponsored like, which targets friends of your fans, and a Sponsored post, which shows messages to existing fans. Gordmans ran a highly targeted sponsored like ad:

  • within the regions where the retailer has its 68 retail locations
  • female demographic
  • keywords related to bargain-hunting

While most Facebook ads are lucky to get a 0.05 percent clickthrough rate, this campaign drove a .4 percent CTR on the first day, which fell by 45 percent within 48 hours to .2 percent.

Generally, anything at or above 0.1 percent is highly optimized. Sponsored likes also cut the cost per click by 70 percent and cost per fan by 83 percent overall. That’s like getting a 77 percent discount off from Facebook.

In two days, this ad drove 515 clicks for $76 and gained 418 new fans. That works out to 18 cents per fan and a click-to-conversion rate of 81 percent.

Most brands out there are getting fans at between $2 and $10, the former via self-serve and the latter via premium ads. $0.18 for a new fan, one that is giving your brand permission to talk to them, is a great cost of acquisition.

Gordmans found the key to success with Facebook advertising is leveraging the endorsement of their existing fans. People are far more likely to click on events that are associated with what their friends are doing.

Highly Engaged Content Equals Positive Fan Growth

The creative refresh demand of social requires you to be able to iterate much quicker, to refresh your content and creative much more quickly than other types of online marketing. Gordmans knew they needed to rotate ads to keep them fresh. Facebook ads are typically served to the same users multiple times, often in the same day, so they quickly tune-out repeat ads.

Gordmans also used the Webtrends Apps platform to develop fresh and engaging applications rewarding customers for engaging through fans-only promotions.

While apps have about a 10-to-14 day shelf life before people start to drop off in interaction, ads have around three-to-five days before you see a dramatic drop off. But because Gordmans’ wall postings resonated well with the brand, only five percent of fans have unsubscribed from the page.

Geo-Targeting Works

The average human attention span is about 30 seconds. In fact, successful Facebook advertisers try to relate images to their audience, for example by serving an image of a local landmark or in Gordmans case including the city name is another way to garner more attention.

By injecting the city name in the ad image in conjunction with the geo-targeting, the ads were more appealing and relevant.

Gordmans found that geo-targeted ads with the city name on the ad image performed better than the ads without it. With geo-targeted ads that offered fans the opportunity to check in and claim deals, Gordmans was able to drive customers to their brick and mortar stores.

More Earned Media At A Cheaper Rate

By measuring the number of impressions the Facebook page generated over time, then estimating a $5 cost per impression, we can determine the earned media value of the brand.

Earned media represents impressions generated for free, from efforts outside of the traditional ad spend, which includes viral and word-of-mouth publicity such as likes and shares.

This type of exposure has a high quality because it leverages the trust of friends. With over 38 million impressions over a period of 79 days, at the aforementioned $5 CPM, we get $190,000 earned media value for that time period, which represents how much ad spend would have been required to achieve the same number of impressions via paid media.

Extended out over a year’s time, the value is $879,000 per year, or $4.5 million in perpetuity, assuming we’ve applied a 20 percent discount rate to the projection of earned media over time.

What’s Next?

Now in the works is a new Facebook places strategy – to drive check-ins, shares, and coupons.

Gordmans has had a lot of success in running Google Adwords campaigns with a focus on letting users redeem coupons. Running similar campaigns on Facebook will reinforce the Google campaigns, and with Facebook’s social twist tied into the coupon redemption strategy, they expect to see excellent results.

Veronica Stecker, is marketing and social media planner at Gordmans. Dennis Yu is co-founder and chief executive officer of BlitzLocal.com.

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