It’s a well-known fact that people just aren’t reading as much they used to. With the rise of social media, which offers seemingly limitless content at users’ fingertips, this decline is hardly surprising. There’s no place within the entertainment realm where the decline in readership is more evident than in the magazine industry, where newsstand purchases fell 6.1% in 2016(1). However, digital magazine purchases rose by 30.0%, demonstrating that the written word can survive—but online and not in print(2). So how exactly can a publisher execute the perfect social media campaign to promote its online content?
A Leading Publisher rose to the challenge, deciding to utilize the impressive reach and targeting abilities of Facebook. With the help of the Unified Platform, marketers were able to deploy a complex combination of ads that was specifically designed to entice users to click onto The Publisher’s website and read more.
The Publisher wanted to drive a wide variety of users onto their website by enticing them with alluring travel articles. Specifically, the goal was to drive conversions, which were defined as a full page load or site visit (not just a click from an ad). To drive these conversions, marketers devised the following strategy:
The Publisher decided to promote eight travel-related articles, all sponsored by a partnering, travel-focused credit card. Designers created images of diverse people traveling across a variety of stunning landscapes around the world to attract adventurous and travel-hungry users. By leveraging the Unified Platform’s Optimizer, which adds a layer of budget optimization on top of what is set up in the native tool, spend was automatically shifted to the highest performing creative and targeting buckets. Marketers could easily track which ads were performing the best in real-time with the Creative View in the Pacing Dashboard of the Unified Platform.
Since the financial services company had released a new credit card that offered travel benefits, it decided that a partnership with The Publisher would help spread awareness, specifically because of the magazine’s popular travel articles. Since The Publisher and its partnering credit card were well-established and had a base of loyal fans, marketers used Branded Content Ads to add credibility to the campaign, capitalizing on the brand equity of both brands. Additionally, fans of each brand were likely to become interested in the partnering brand by merit of association. Above each ad, The Publisher and Credit Card Company had their names displayed to make the connection clear.
Quality Over Quantity:
Initially, the campaign was optimized towards link clicks in hopes that it would identify premium users who would want to visit the site to read articles. However, by monitoring the campaign closely through Unified’s Pacing Dashboard, The Brand found that while the users clicked on the ad, there was a significant drop-off between the quantity of these clicks and the number of page loads. Because they had the business intelligence to identify this issue in real-time, marketers switched tactics to add a Facebook pixel and optimize the campaign towards conversions. This significantly improved the drop-off rate and increased the efficiency of every dollar invested in the campaign.
Even though The Publisher was struggling with falling readership, marketers successfully beat their benchmarks, and achieved the following results:
Lower CPA Than Benchmark.
Lower CPLC Than Benchmark.
Facebook is an incredibly powerful tool for marketers in industries experiencing shifting consumer behaviors. In this case, The Publisher was able to drive more efficient spend with Unified’s unique budget Optimizer, which identified the most desired audience for the campaign goal at the lowest possible cost. Additionally, Unified’s Pacing Dashboard protected The Publisher’s ROI by enabling marketers to course-correct immediately while tracking performance trends in real-time.
The ability to leverage the brand equity of both The Publisher and the Credit Card Company with Facebook’s Branded Content Ads, along with the benefits of the Unified Platform, allowed marketers to boost the credibility of their message. Ultimately, this combination drove substantial traffic to The Publisher’s site.
MediaPost, “Magazine Newsstand Sales Fall Again”
Pew Research, “State Of The News Media 2016”