Joint Study from Adaptly, Refinery29, and Facebook Points to Strategically Changing Ad Creative
New York (July 15, 2014) A new study by Adaptly, Facebook and lifestyle website Refinery29 has found that in digital advertising, sequencing ads that take individual consumers down the marketing funnel achieves better outcomes than a sustained call to action (CTA) message delivered over the same period of time. In fact, sequencing ads on a personalized level increases overall view-throughs by 87% and conversions by 56%. Conducted in May 2014, the research was designed to help inform advertisers about how to improve their creative diagnostics, optimal frequency and sequencing within Facebook
“As fundamental as this question is, it’s amazing that so little has been published on the topic of sequencing vs. sustained messaging,” says Nikhil Sethi, CEO at Adaptly. “And although the research findings might sound like an obvious outcome, some advertisers may find it counterintuitive to elongate a campaign as a way to more gradually bring their audience through the purchase funnel, rather than more immediately delivering a call-to-action. But we have proven that this classic brand-building approach it is both effective and efficient, even for direct response advertising.”
Adaptly deployed a campaign in Facebook’s News Feed to encourage people to sign up for for Refinery29, a website that inspires millennial-minded women to live a more mindful, artful and enlightened life. Refinery29 and Adaptly created a Facebook Custom Audience using Refinery29’s best email subscribers. From the Custom Audience, Adaptly built a Facebook lookalike audience of over 2 million people who were also likely to become high-value customers. Facebook assisted with splitting the audience into three treatment groups.
Refinery29 designed 3 creatives for each treatment group and Adaptly tailored the campaigns. The sequenced group was delivered across 12 days, split evenly across each stage to “walk” people down the brand funnel: 1) top of the funnel ad for brand message 2) middle of the funnel ad for consideration 3) bottom of the funnel ad for call to action. (see Group 1 below) A similar-sized audience was targeted with 3 CTA-focused ads each delivered for 4 days and with similar bidding strategies to the sequenced for CTA campaign. (see Group 2 below)
When Adaptly compared all 6 creative executions individually, the “consideration” creative, which provided a piece of sample content a person would expect from Refinery29, generated the most view-through and engagement with the landing page. The first call-to-action ad in the sustained CTA group was the runner-up and the call-to-action ad in the sequenced for CTA group tied with the second call-to-action ad in the sustained CTA group.
However, people who saw all 3 of the ads in the sequence converted at higher rates than those who had seen just 1 or 2 of the ads. People who saw even just 1 of the ads converted at higher rates than people in the control group who saw no ads. Having been “walked down” the conversion funnel, a step-by-step journey from awareness to consideration to conversion, consumers are more receptive to converting.
* Rates are calculated based upon all people who had the “opportunity to see” 1, 2, or 3 ads as appropriate.
** The interaction between the two ads provided a statistically significant amount of information to a model predicting the likelihood of conversion.
“Beyond traditional media, digital mediums offer a unique opportunity to bring individual consumers down the marketing funnel by serving ads in sequence. They also enable marketers to have more control over the frequency and pacing of their messages on a person-by-person basis,” says Daniel Slotwiner, research director at Facebook. “This type of targeting enables advertisers to leverage their existing customer relationship management (CRM) databases to find potentially high-value consumers. On Facebook, for example, where people express their unique identities, brands can target their audiences precisely, and tailor their interactions with people in a way that can build lasting and powerful impressions.”
“Quality and engagement are critical when developing a customer-base with real lifetime value,” says Melissa Goidel, chief revenue officer at Refinery29. “By telling the Refinery29 story during the acquisition process, and building awareness and consideration before driving to conversion, we were able to increase our return-on-investment and ultimately acquire a more informed and qualified subscriber.”
A whitepaper containing the complete detailed results of the research study can be found at www.adaptly.com/research1
Refinery29 (www.refinery29.com) is the largest independent style website in the United States and the fastest growing media company on the 2013 Inc. 500 list. Through its 24/7 original editorial content, global and local newsletter editions, and engaged social community, Refinery29 inspires millennial-minded women to live a more mindful, artful and enlightened life.
Facebook (www.facebook.com) was founded in 2004, and its mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
Adaptly (www.adaptly.com) is a social media advertising technology company that provides marketers with an operating system for planning, managing, and analyzing cross-network social media advertising. Fortune 100 brands leverage Adaptly’s software and strategic services to optimize some of the most recognized social advertising campaigns on the web.