It seems the patent office wanted number 11 million to be special, not soy

The US Patent Office issued utility patent number 11 million today, granting the milestone number to a patent entitled “repositioning wires and methods for repositioning prosthetic heart valve devices within a heart chamber and related systems, devices and methods.”

Even without understanding exactly what that means, it just screams progress, doesn’t it? Prosthetic heart valves? Surgery? This truly is the future that the patent system enables.

There have, however, been accusations that the patent office cherry-picked which invention would get the most notable number in years (patent 10 million was awarded back in 2018), aiming to give it to something exciting, rather than bland like, say, a soybean.

Could it really be true? To see if that was the case, I looked at the patents that were granted before and after it, to see if they really were as boring as Twitter alleged. And I found that they absolutely were. The prosthetic heart valve-related patent is, in fact, c-c-c-combo-breaking what would otherwise be a string of six soybean-related patents.

That’s not all, though. I looked back at patents 10,999,990 through 10,999,999, and before the soy starts, there’s a string of patents about corn, sorghum, and cucumbers. Yeah, it’s not a lot sexier. Going the other direction, patent 11,000,005 is for an edible (non-soy) bean called COWBOY, and 11,000,006 is about a tomato variant. Then things just start getting weird, with pet doors and farm equipment.

Whether the patent office purposefully stole soy’s thunder probably isn’t something we’ll ever know for sure, but to me the evidence is pretty compelling. The Patent Office sure made a big deal about 11 million on Twitter, tweeting about it more than a few times. Surely it must’ve known it wouldn’t have been as exciting if the celebrated patent had been one of six soybeans.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for any funny business around patent number 11,111,111 as this is, obviously, a very serious issue.

Taking an invention from idea to the marketplace

When Dr Fransisco Velasco started work on a Covid ward, he found himself commuting to work with his laptop and notes in a bin bag.

His brand new rucksack was made of canvas and could not be sterilised at the end of each day.

The doctor, based in Mexico, decided to contact the British company behind the bag and tell them about the problem. His girlfriend told him not to bother, as they probably wouldn’t care. Undeterred, Dr Velasco wrote a lengthy message.

Sarah Giblin, the owner and designer of RiutBag, responded immediately.

She told him: “I’m the designer, and I am so heartbroken you can’t use your backpack. Please give me half an hour of your time to tell me what you need.”

Dr Velasco spoke of the difficulties of his job, sharing details he had kept from his family, not wishing to worry them.

“He needed a stranger to listen,” says Sarah, who was contending with worries of her own.

Sarah’s bag company is a microbusiness that she runs herself from Manchester. She keeps in touch with a loyal customer base through social media and runs Kickstarter campaigns to fund her new designs.

But when the pandemic struck, with no way to travel for fun or commute to work, people had stopped buying bags and Riutbag was struggling.

  • However, after speaking to Dr Velasco, Sarah hunkered down with her sketchpad to design a rucksack that could be sterilised.
  • After researching ambulance bags and speaking to first responders, she chose a material similar to tarpaulin, found on lorries. On the sides of the bag, she added mask and hand sanitiser holders.
  • And there it was: RiutBag’s first Covid-era product line.
  • Sarah isn’t alone in having found inspiration in adversity.
  • Lockdowns have presented unique opportunities and challenges for many product designers and inventors.

More Technology of Business

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  • Shopping in 10 minutes: The new supermarket battle
  • Could electric tattoos be the next step in body art?
Made in Britain, a non-profit organisation representing the UK’s smaller manufacturers, told the BBC its membership jumped 130% this year compared with before the lockdown. By March 2021, the number of patent applications registered with the UK Intellectual Property Office increased by 6% from the previous year to 4,295. Time to reflect, changing job circumstances and anticipation of new products consumers may want to buy after lockdown have proved a fertile ground for British inventors.

Why did these people start businesses in a pandemic?

But like many product designers working during Covid, Sarah has also faced new administrative challenges.

For the last seven years, she has travelled with her designs to the warehouse she works with in south China. Normally she’s there at the end of production to make sure that every bag has the right fit, sturdiness of the zips, and matching seams.

Now, stuck in her Manchester studio, Sarah was unable to give her merchandise the in-person inspection.

My production manager in China is my eyes and ears when I’m not there and we really trust each other,” says Sarah.

After seven product attempts, or prototypes, the warehouse made the newest version of a RiutBag. Dr Velasco gave feedback on each of the samples. And the laptop backpack was released to the market in April.

“I could have kept designing that bag for the next 10 years, but we called time,” she says.

Tom Pellereau won the BBC show The Apprentice in 2011. He agrees with Sarah’s sentiment: the hardest part of inventing is deciding when to stop fiddling and start selling.

“I’m never happy to bring a product to the market until I know it’s fantastic,” he says.

Luckily, Lord Sugar, who is a director at Tom’s company STYLIDEAS, helps push his products to market.

“He’s quite terrifying and also he really knows what he is talking about,” Tom says.

This autumn Tom will release a new product to follow up his make-up brush cleaner. His invention, which took four years to develop, is currently confidential and the details of its release will be announced soon.

At one point, he ordered plumbing parts off the internet and cut them to size to improve a part of one of his cosmetic inventions. He admits that his house has cupboards full of make-up brushes and beauty tools.

The most important piece of advice he offers to inventors is to ask for feedback.

“You really have got to listen to what people think, otherwise you don’t actually know if you’ve got something that people would be interested in buying.”

Another piece of advice from Tom: don’t quit your day job. It can take a product 10 years to come to market and make money. During that time, inventors need to plan on how they will stay afloat financially.

“You need to try to be in the game for as long as you can,” he says.

Tom moved back in with his parents for five years while he developed the curvy nail file that made him famous.

He remembers how fellow engineering grads had taken up jobs with investment banks, bought houses and went on lovely holidays.

“And I was living with my parents and seeing their photos on Facebook.”

One technology that might have hastened Tom’s journey, had it been available when he was starting out and developing product prototypes, is 3D printing.

When inspiration struck John Docherty, it cost him just £70 to send his designs to Torus Technology, a company near his home in Shropshire.

The boxing and martial arts teacher had learned from his sensei that if he needed to throw a punch, it was good form to wrap his hand round an object of some sort, rather than use a tightly clenched fist.

Boxing gloves typically feature a bit of foam that performs this purpose. But after 30 years of combat and countless injuries to his hands and wrists, John started to question whether the design might be improved.

Then, when lockdowns hit, he was furloughed.

“I was at home with my partner and my little boy. There was a fun atmosphere that felt creative. And I suddenly had time to focus on this little invention,” he says.

He drew and got printed a grenade-shaped cone of silicone rubber meant to be stuffed into a boxing glove. It maintains the structural integrity of the hand when it lands a punch.

Another local production company called Protolabs agreed to manufacture his Boxing Hand Grenade.

John’s invention has garnered the attention of professional boxers and influencers on social media.

Filippo Di Nardo, considered the Ferrari of boxing glove makers, has agreed an exclusive deal to build John’s “grenades” into his gloves.

“I pinch myself every day and wonder why nobody else has done this,” says John.

How to Make Money on YouTube

How to Make Money on YouTube (Without a Million Subscribers)

YouTube stars are today’s self-made celebrities—people who have earned an audience by creating content geared toward teaching, entertaining, reviewing, and being awesome on the internet.
Most of these small-screen celebs do what they do just to do it, to scratch an itch for creating things and being in front of an audience.
Making money might not be your reason for starting a YouTube channel, but the opportunities to earn are a pleasant surprise once you realize how many of them there are.

  1. Who makes the most money on YouTube?
  2. Who’s going to watch your YouTube Channel?
  3. How to make money on YouTube
  4. How to “sell” without annoying your audience
  5. Are you ready to monetize your YouTube channel?

Who makes the most money on YouTube?

According to Forbes, these 10 channels were the top earners on YouTube from June 2017 to June 2018:
  1. Ryan’s World, $22 million (22.4 million subscribers)
  2. Jake Paul, $21.5 million (19.7 million subscribers)
  3. Dude Perfect, $20 million (47.1 million subscribers)
  4. DanTDM, $18.5 million (22.3 million subscribers)
  5. Jeffree Star, $18 million (16.5 million subscribers)
  6. Markiplier, $17.5 million (24.5 million subscribers)
  7. VanossGaming, $17 million (24.9 million subscribers)
  8. Jacksepticeye, $16 million (23 million subscribers
  9. PewDiePie, $15.5 million (102 million subscribers)
  10. Logan Paul, $14.5 million (19.9 million subscribers)

This list might leave you with a lot of questions about how these YouTube stars earned their fortunes. Let’s explore some of those questions.

Do you get paid for uploading videos on YouTube?

Content creators aren’t paid by YouTube for the videos they upload. Neither are videos monetized by default. For you to start making money on YouTube, you have to enable monetization in your YouTube account settings. From there, you have options to join the YouTube Partners Program or have your videos listed on YouTube Premium.

How do you make money from YouTube?

There are a few takeaways from Forbes’ list, putting aside the millions of dollars made and subscribers gained.

First, YouTube channels can be monetized even if they don’t have millions of subscribers. Your earning potential isn’t determined solely by the number of subscribers and views you have, but also by the level of engagement you generate, the niche you cater to, and the revenue channels you explore. That’s not to say subscriber count doesn’t matter—check out our tips to get more subscribers on YouTube.

Second, this list of top 10 earners might give you the impression that the millions of dollars made comes directly from YouTube. In fact, each of these channels has its own line of merchandise. These channels found and built their audiences first, before launching their own merchandise. If making money on YouTube is in your marketing plan, the first step is the same for everybody: have a clear understanding of your target audience.

Who’s going to watch your YouTube channel?

Building your own audience puts you in a great position to monetize content in a variety of ways. But you’ll only be able to take full advantage of the opportunities you have if you understand the makeup of your audience.

For many YouTubers looking to monetize, the more niche your channel, the better position you’ll be in to work with brands looking to target specific audiences (more on that later).

You’ll want to pay close attention to:
  • The gender of your audience, to see if its skews toward one particular group.
  • The age range most of your audience falls into.
  • The geographic location—countries or cities—where your videos are being watched.
  • Your audience’s overall engagement, or “watch time.”

With this demographic information at hand, you’ll have a better understanding of your own audience and be able to work better with brands. All demographic insight can be pulled from your YouTube analytics, but to compare your own channel against others try a tool like Social Blade.

With that out of the way, we can start talking about the different ways your YouTube channel can make money.

How to make money on YouTube

Like learning how to make money on Instagram or via blogging, your audience might unlock your YouTube channel’s earning potential. But when you create multiple revenue streams, through side side hustles or businesses, it’s easier to monetize. Luckily, there are several ways to accomplish this—let’s take a deeper look at each of these streams.
  1. Become a YouTube Partner and earn money from ads.
  2. Sell products or merchandise.
  3. Crowdfund your next creative project.
  4. Let your audience support your work through “fan funding.”
  5. License your content to the media.
  6. Work with brands as an influencer or affiliate.

1. Join the YouTube Partner Program and earn money from ads

The first revenue stream you’ll likely explore is ads. Whether you want to earn money on YouTube without creating videos or as a content creator, joining the YouTube Partners Program and setting up monetization is a vital step. You can apply for monetization once you’ve hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the past year.

How to enable monetization on YouTube

  1. Sign in to the YouTube account you want to monetize.
  2. Click the icon for your account in the top right corner.
  3. Click YouTube Studio.
  4. In the left menu, select Other Features > Monetization.
  5. Read and agree to the YouTuber Partner Program terms.
  6. Create a new AdSense account or connect an existing one to your channel. (You need an AdSense account to get paid.)
  7. Set your monetization preferences.
Once that’s done, head back to the dashboard and click the Analytics tab on the left side. From there, you’ll need to choose Revenue from the tabs at the top, then scroll down to the chart Monthly Estimated Revenue to get an idea of your predicted revenue.

How many views do you need to make money?

The number of views you get doesn’t correlate to revenue earned. If your video gets thousands of views but no one watches or clicks the ad, you won’t make any money. This is because of YouTube’s criteria for billing advertisers: a viewer must click an ad or watch the ad in full (10, 15, or 30 seconds) for you to get paid. However, with the release of YouTube Premium, you no longer need to rely on advertisers to create engaging or enticing ads to earn revenue.

Check out YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a paid membership program that allows fans to watch and support their favorite content creators without ads. For creators, not much changes, as they will get paid for content consumed by non-members on YouTube along with content on YouTube Premium.

Creators are paid for YouTube Premium based on how much members watch their content. Consider revenue earned from YouTube Premium as a secondary revenue stream in addition to what you’re already earning through ads.

While it’s easy to set up, earning money through advertising as a YouTube Partner is far from the most lucrative revenue stream you can create for yourself.

Why you should look beyond ads for revenue

YouTube recently received a lot of backlash due to its decision to be more transparent about advertising on the platform and what qualifies as “advertiser friendly” content. Essentially, many creators feared that, due to the nature of their content, they would lose out on the ad revenue that helps support their channel. According to YouTube, your content could get excluded from ad revenue if it includes:
  • Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
  • Violence, including displays of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
  • Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity, and vulgar language
  • Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use, and abuse of such items
  • Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters, and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown
But the reality is that YouTube has been demonetizing content that it doesn’t deem advertiser-friendly since 2012 via an automated process, without warning and without the content creator’s knowledge. Now, the situation is actually better, as creators are notified when their content is flagged and can contest any time they feel a video was mistakenly excluded from YouTube’s advertising network. Advertising might be a common means of generating passive income for creators, but the trade-off is that YouTube gets to keep around a 45% share of ad revenue. In short, YouTubers should explore other revenue streams to sustain their creative hobby. Below, we’ll share how to earn money from YouTube without AdSense.

2. Sell products or merchandise

There are plenty of products to sell that can help you make money through your YouTube channel. Making and selling merchandise—t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, snapbacks, you name it—has a benefit beyond revenue. Merchandise increases your exposure by putting your online brand and personality out into the offline world and deepens the relationship between you and your fans as they literally “buy” into what you’re doing.

How to “sell” without annoying your audience

Many of the above strategies for monetizing involve promoting products or campaigns (e.g., crowdfunding a video series). But you’ll want to make sure your promotions don’t sabotage the integrity of your content. “Selling out” is a real concern for a lot of creators. But if you never ask, you’ll never get. There are a number of “placements” you can choose from for promoting products or campaigns.

Record a call to action in your videos

“If you liked this video, then hit the Like button and subscribe.”

Many YouTubers include a call to action along those lines at the end of their videos to grow their viewership. By suggesting the intended action you want them to take, your audience is more likely to take it.

You can adapt this approach to direct your audience’s attention to a revenue-generating opportunity.

Add well-timed YouTube cards to your videos
Whether it’s part of your deal with a brand or you’re promoting your own products, YouTube Cards offer an eye-catching way to get the attention of engaged viewers.

You can set them to pop up at just the right moment, when they’re most relevant and least distracting to increase their impact.

Add links in your video descriptions
You can funnel viewers to your store, Patreon page, Kickstarter campaign, or other revenue-focused part of your online presence by adding links to your video descriptions.

If you’re a video creator who wants to focus on generating revenue as an affiliate marketer, look at Unbox Therapy. Unbox Therapy specializes in product reviews, and it uses affiliate links in their video descriptions to make money via YouTube audiences. The channel is signed up as an Amazon affiliate. It places these unique links—pointing to the reviewed product on Amazon—in video descriptions. If the viewer purchases the item via clicking that link, the affiliate will earn a small percentage of revenue share paid to them by Amazon.

Promote your offer on other platforms

Just because your content is hosted on YouTube doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking advantage of all the other distribution channels out there. Spread the word about new campaigns or discounts on Twitter, Facebook, and any other profiles you own. The more places your message lives, the greater the chance it’ll be seen. So it’s always a good idea to grow your following beyond YouTube with social media marketing.

Are you ready to monetize your YouTube channel?

What compels most creators to create is rarely money. It’s the thought of making something for the world to enjoy. But ironically, that puts them in a great position to actually make money in a content-obsessed world. While the hard part for many businesses is getting and keeping their audience’s attention, YouTubers have already figured that bit out. All that’s left is to get creative—to channel the entrepreneurial drive to explore ideas—with how you choose to monetize your passion.

Frequently asked questions about making money on YouTube

There are several ways you can make money on YouTube:
  • Become a YouTube Partner and earn money from ads.
  • Sell products or merchandise.
  • Crowdfund your next creative project.
  • Let your audience support your work through “fan funding.”
  • License your content to the media.
  • Work with brands as an influencer or affiliate.

You need 4,000 watch hours to join YouTube’s Partner Program to make money from ads. However, the number of views you get doesn’t correlate to revenue earned. If your video gets thousands of views but no one watches or clicks the ad, you won’t make any money.

You need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the past year to join the YouTube Partner Program and earn money from ads.

What is digital influence and influencer marketing

How To Launch A Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign

I constantly have to remind my members and subscribers that utilising a good influencer platform should not be an option. Celebrity and influencer association should be part of every company’s marketing plan. In today’s world celebrities and influencers dominate social media, news headlines, TV channels and people’s conversations, with celebrities gracing the cover of every magazine and getting a stronger online presence than ever through their social media following. Using social media as their online currency, brands can be made or broken through as little as a tweet or a social media post.
But does influencer outreach really work?
The answer is yes.
The truth is people don’t buy a product based on how great it is, they buy it based on the power of the brand and that power of the brand is based on the person endorsing it. Now more than ever before the power of digital influencers , influencer marketing and celebrities endorsing your brand are key to exponential growth.
Have you ever been SERIOUSLY frustrated as you truly believe in your product and business.
You know what I am talking about.
You see the vision
You know the product is amazing
You know exactly where it should be
You know it can change the world
But
You’re stuck!….
You don’t know how to get it out there, you don’t know to get press, you don’t know how to get media attention it deserves as people no longer trust brands in the way they used to, they trust people.
Take buying a new phone for example. When looking for a new phone we’ll search up reviews online, but there are so many models out there… Apple, Samsung, Sony, Huawei and more. Product reviews begin to contradict one another with a huge amount of information overload.
Instead, we reach out to friends or family to gauge their opinion, or we might look at what others on social media are using, with a strong influencer coming from…yes, you guessed it. Influencers themselves!
Big corporations want you to think you need enormous venture capital to align yourselves with these big influencers. BUT it’s not true.

So Let me ask you a question……
If someone offered you the opportunity to exponentially grow your brand through endorsement would you take it?
If someone gave you every contact imaginable to scale your business would you take it?
If someone then gave you the influencer outreach tools to use this would you take it?
If someone offered the email templates to get a response from these contacts would you be interested. Our incredible new platform gives you all of this, but first I want to show you how to use it and why you need to use it.

Three years ago, the average person needed to see an advert six times before they responded to it, that number has now risen to an average of 16 exposures, because of this the world of marketing, advertising and media has undergone an enormous power shift in recent years, driven by consumers’ demand for more authenticity from brands. The rise of digital influencers and celebrity influencers has gone through the roof. One of the main drivers of influencer marketing is the fragmentation of consumer attention but also we are no longer just interested in watching television, our attention is spread across various digital channels, with a major focus on social networks. Other huge platforms such as YouTube and Instagram are currently seeing a lot of the influencer marketing spend but platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are also on the rise every day.

With the emergence of this new type of marketing, technology is being developed to improve the effect and reach of influencers. Existing influencer platforms are becoming more sophisticated in matching brands to influencers. People come to our site for influencers’ insights now almost as much as celebrities. As well as providing the influencers’ contact details, users are now equally interested in the demographic data which allows companies to determine the influencers that are right for their brand. You might think a set influencer is perfectly suited to your business, but actually what is key is how relevant their audience is to you, so, providing the user with clear data on the interests of the audience, their location, their spending habits and social status is of equal importance.

What is influencer marketing

Digital influence is the ability to create an effect, change opinions and behaviours, and drive hopefully measurable outcomes online. Digital influence is largely a phenomenon of social networking. The everyday internet user is subject to a barrage of noise and content. Many digital influencers are famous for just being themselves, documenting their lives as normal people. In a sense being famous for not being famous. Or at least this is what it looks like on the surface. Wrong! Nobody is an overnight success, they just weren’t famous before. It takes years to create a successful brand and following. Unlike traditional celebrities, they may not have a team of people behind the face that makes it all happen.

The advantages and disadvantages of influencer marketing

Advantages
Targeted Posts at a specific audience– Influencer marketing allows users to target a particular audience. Fashion, travel, fitness, lifestyle, etc are e-commerce rich categories with plenty of Instagrammers and other influencers doing amazing work in these areas. Patent 2 Product VIP also allows you to break down their audiences by location and demographics, making sure that your targeted buyers get the message to the right audience . Make sure you target influencers that know how to talk to their audience in the correct way.

Creators of content – Influencers are creative people who know exactly what their followers want to hear and see. They can be an integral part of the campaign creation and execution processes.

Trust amongst followers- Influencers have great trust amongst their followers, and anything they promote is often more authentic , also if you promote your product to someone that is an expert in the field you are promoting then you may get a better response than just promoting with a celebrity

Reach and micro influencers- The one thing that marketing teams are after is reach. They pay influencers with enormous followings to promote their products. The truth is you will show up in your family and friends feeds way more than Kim Kardashian ever will. Because that’s the way the algorithms on Facebook and Instagram work. Because of this micro influencers get an average of two to five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers. According to Chris Gonzalez CEO of social ad platform Gnack ‘Their content will be organically performing better on the platform due to the inherent superior engagement.

Disadvantages

New Industry – No one has much of an idea how any of this is supposed to work. The workflows are still experimental, and the processes are far from optimized. But marketers have seen tremendous results working with influencers, and that’s why we continue the struggle, fine-tuning our strategies as we go along.

Difficulty searching for The Perfect Influencer – Influencers can have anywhere between 5000 to a few million followers on social media. They might be right for Instagram and not be so active at Snapchat or vice versa. They can have a massive following of precisely the kind of people you want to appeal to and live right outside of your brand’s peripheral vision.

Hard to evaluate the effectiveness and influencers may have fake followers.

Taking a chance on the influencer. Often influencer marketing involves taking chances on people that aren’t quite as established as celebrities yet, but it is a world which is harder to ignore.

Find the right celebrity suited to your brand, here’s how to do it

The key thing is to identify the celebrities and influencers that are likely to be most suited to your brand. Patent 2 Product VIP allows you to identify the celebrities and influencers that fit with your brand through allowing you to search by profession but also to identify the celebrities audience, who are these people that are searching for a ‘set celebrity’ what are their interests, where do they live. If for example you are a travel business or travel brand, and you are interested in a set influencer you ensure that influencers audience is also interested in travel. Patent 2 Product VIP gives you this detailed break down by key demographics.

The more celebrities and influencers you write to, the better your chance of a productive outcome. If you have not heard back, you can always follow up – doing this via phone conversation or even a handwritten letter generally yields the best results. Remember that celebrities and their agents are being constantly bombarded with PRs.

1) Get to know the celebrity or influencer

This is one of the key things I would always suggest anyone does when gifting to a celebrity or influencer. Actually get to know what the celebrity likes and the sort of things they are likely to promote. As well as what they like, look at what their problems are and how your brand can solve them. When Estée Lauder first started out she gifted celebrities – the company is now worth $5 billion with Kendall Jenner the current face of it. Other smaller brands, such as Rodial, gifted to Kylie Jenner. She Instagrammed the product to her millions of followers, and sales went through the roof, from just the cost of one product. We’ve just launched a really unique tool where you can compare the social following of different celebrities, in the form of growth charts, so you can see which celebrities have risen the most that week in terms of following. You can also compare celebrities in terms of social rank and brand influence. Influencers now represents new opportunities for brands to reach consumers through channels that they trust. Consumers attitudes have changed. However the celebrity pull is also still strong and represents some of the most memorable campaigns and adverts. I believe both areas need to be explored , there is no set rule as to which is more effective, as they both do different things and will create different results amongst different businesses. The key is in identifying the correct ambassadors and endorsers for you your business. For those that are serious about exponential growth from celebrities or influencers, I encourage you to try our recently launched Handbook PRO which allows you to reach thousands of celebrities and influencers very quickly through targeted campaigns.
Top celebrities (and influencers) get approached by hundreds of people and companies weekly, wanting their support to endorse their product, support their charity or attend a high profile event. This means that being able to successfully communicate with the celebrity of your choice is crucial. If you’ve been concerned in the past that you can’t grow your brand through endorsement, or maybe you’ve not felt your product is good enough, then let me tell you, it is possible, you can do this and get incredible results. You just need the right person to show you how to do it. Big corporations want you to think you need a lot of venture capital or some enormous brand, but this is not true. Whether you have a big brand, or have recently set up your own small brand at home with just you, whatever situation you’re in we can help and we really want you to fulfil your dreams. So that is what I am here for today: I know you have a ideas for big reach for your brand or service, and I want to help you fulfil this through influencer alignment.

2) Outline the goals of your influencer campaign

You’re basically using someone else’s platform to increase your own platform. Before you create the content, before you find an influencer, and before you do anything, you need to clearly outline the goals of the influencer campaign , so you have clear goal , focus and vision of what you’re trying to achieve.
You need to carefully consider
  • The social media platform you choose
  • the influencer you partner with and the level of engagement you are likely to get from that influencer
  • The type of content they will create — all of these factors will come into play once you’ve clearly defined your goals.
The goal should focus on 4 parts the influencers demographic data, the average engagement you are needing to get from that influencer, what the influencer will help you achieve and how they will achieve it. All of this information is available here

3) Customise your product for a celebrity or influencer.

Juicy Couture is another great example of a brand that grew from noting they set up the company with $200 and grew it into a multi million pound business with the likes of Madonna and Paris Hilton frequently wearing their products. The owners Gela and Pamela turned it into a multi million pound business, and the growth was largely down to celebrity gifting and sending out personalised gifts. They sent out a personalised hoodie to Madonna and it went all around the world, so they then sent them to Cameron Diaz with ‘Cameron’ on, and one to Drew Barrymore with ‘Mrs Green’ on, as she was married to ‘Tom Green’ at the time. Any time someone got married the business women sent them personalised tracksuits.

3) Create a niche product

Some of you may feel you’re a real expert in skin products, or dating or weight loss. But the money is not in the submarket. To make your product stand out and get noticed you might want to consider choosing a niche. What can you offer people that is special and different? The goal is to carve out a unique spot. The mistake people often make is they start looking at niches in their field and a good one and go with that. The problem is they are jumping into an existing niche, and if they are the fifth or sixth person in that niche its the waters are already muddy. I suggest you choose your own new niche product. Carve out your new spot, and offer them something really different no one else is likely to have given them or spoken to them about.

4) Approach a celebrity or influencer in person.

This can be a tricky one and may sound scary- the last thing you want is to be taken away by security. Be respectful and know your boundaries! Just being photographed with a celebrity or influencer can do wonders for your reputation even if it’s not directly related to the product. Find out where celebrities and influencers will be appearing, for example club nights, book signings or charity events. It is possible to find out where celebrities and influencers may be from Patent 2 Product ‘What’s On’ page, here.

5) Product placement at gifting suites or product placement at high profile events.

These gifting suites are often organised by PR or gifting companies and you will have a ‘booth’ at the event or place your products in attendee gift bags. These often require hefty fees (thousands of pounds) to participate and anyone who walks into the gifting suite can pick up a free sample of your product. This means you can often get a photo of a celebrity or influencer holding or using your product, but the disadvantage is that you don’t have control over who that is. While celebrity gifting can be great for PR, not all products are suited for this. In order for your efforts to pay off, here are the types of products that are a good:
  • Apparel (clothing, jewellery, etc.) that the celebrity can be photographed wearing
  • Beauty Products
  • Handbags
  • Footwear
  • Perfumes
  • High end Liqueurs
  • National chains dealing in spas, massage, manicures and beauty treatments.
  • Children’s items, like toys and clothes
Additionally, get your product into goody bags, such as The Glamour Woman of the Year Awards. More often than not, if you provide products, you get invitations to attend the event. You can view all high profile events in our diary.
What’s the cost and lead time? To get your product at a gift suite or event there’s a range in cost, anywhere from £500-£3000 per each gift bag item or basket. If you want to appear inside the gift suites where you can have a booth display and a representative on hand to interact with the celebrities the cost can run anywhere from £5,000 and up. The cost of main sponsorship is considerably higher at around £50,000 and up.
When is the best time to get in touch with vendors?
If you’re interested in say the Academy Awards, then March is a good time to start getting in touch with vendors. The Golden Globes takes place in January, and most of these spots are sold out by the Summer time.
Why is it worth getting my product in gift bags?
Having your items selected can really boost business in the following ways:
  • The chance of a high profile celebrity or influencer being photographed using or wearing the product.
  • Have celebrities becoming future customers
  • Posting on social media relating to your product at the event
  • Mentions in media releases
  • Mentions in the press that your product was selected to be in the gift bag
  • Opportunity for celebrity spokesman or endorsement and to engage the celebrity with our products you may have e.g. you could include a note with your product such as ‘We would love to introduce you to the other lines in our collection, please do drop me an email and we would love to send you some more products.

What sort of events work?
There are loads of different events that would work, our events section has a ton of great awards, all which generally have gifting. Key events include BAFTAS, Emmy awards, Grammy awards, Actors Guild Awards, Toronto lm festival and the Oscars. Don’t do just one event and then give up if you don’t get the exposure you want. The better the product and the more suited it is to the event the greater the chance that you will get the response you are after. Patent 2 Product features all celebrity events for branding here
What sort of products work in goodie bags?
If you want to get free PR then your product should have a novelty factor that piques press interest. This year’s Vampire Breast Lift® cream in the bags of Oscar attendees is a case in point. Admittedly, it’s difficult to come up with a bizarre plastic surgery procedure at home. However you can always take a common household object and sell it at a 2,000% mark-up. This year’s goodie bag also included a roll of $275 luxury loo paper. This year’s Oscars gift bag also contained personalised M&M’s; perhaps appealing to narcissism – this could be a worthwhile strategy.

What sort of events work?
There are loads of different events that would work, our events section has a ton of great awards, all which generally have gifting. Key events include BAFTAS, Emmy awards, Grammy awards, Actors Guild Awards, Toronto lm festival and the Oscars. Don’t do just one event and then give up if you don’t get the exposure you want. The better the product and the more suited it is to the event the greater the chance that you will get the response you are after. Patent 2 Product features all celebrity events for branding here
What sort of products work in goodie bags?
If you want to get free PR then your product should have a novelty factor that piques press interest. This year’s Vampire Breast Lift® cream in the bags of Oscar attendees is a case in point. Admittedly, it’s difficult to come up with a bizarre plastic surgery procedure at home. However you can always take a common household object and sell it at a 2,000% mark-up. This year’s goodie bag also included a roll of $275 luxury loo paper. This year’s Oscars gift bag also contained personalised M&M’s; perhaps appealing to narcissism – this could be a worthwhile strategy.

6) Gift your products to celebrity and influencers or event their assistants.

Sometimes taking the indirect route can work – contact the celebrity’s assistant. It’s the assistant who is likely to write back via email etc – these people are the gate keepers and the celebrity communicates with them every day. Some celebrities even end up in personal relationships with their assistant, for example, Kristen Stewart and her assistant Alicia Cargile.

Grab their attention; this is usually the first thing the celebrity and agent will read. It’s important to get them interested and get them out of their current environment or activity. For example:

Relate it to them early on.

Who/position: Who are you? Introduce yourself very briefly. Show/tell why they should they listen to you.
What: What do you have? Introduce your product or offer briefly. It’s important not to just go on about the opportunity; show how you deliver value.
Why: Why do you need it? Explain the benefits of your offer and ideally relate it to them.

I read your interview in xxx magazine, where you said you have dry skin, or you don’t wear make-up, If you’re struggling with ‘dry skin’ then I would love you to try this because it will help …

I read your great interview in xxx on xxx and I’ve got a question for you

I’ve got this great face cream that’s going to really radiate your skin

I read your interview in [xxx] magazine, where you said you have dry skin, or you don’t wear make-up. If you’re struggling with ‘dry skin’ then I would love you to try this because I think it will help.

Call to action: Ask for something small – If you like it let me know and I would love to keep sending you more.

The process is about sending a great product that’s going to add great value to someone. So instead of screaming for attention, you attract attention by giving value before there is a hint of asking for anything in return. Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers. Giving something as a whole is a lot easier than trying to pay for promotion, throughout this entire sequence you’re layering in all the mental triggers. Since you’re sending a free gift, you will hit the reciprocity trigger and by showing your knowledge of the topic and your position, therefore you hit the authority trigger. The more you reach out to them, the trust will become stronger between you and that person resulting in more feedback and hopefully their thank you’s will help build a community and endorsement.

Patent 2 Product PRO platform allows you to send targeted campaigns to numerous celebrities and influencers in one go, and customises the campaign so the email seems personalised to the person you are contacting even if you are reaching out to lots of people in one instance.

7) Use celebrity and influencer testimonials

If you’re struggling to get your product off the ground and noticed, or perhaps people are visiting your website and interacting with your content, but they aren’t actually buying your products . Or maybe people are getting halfway through your checkout process and then leaving. If this is the case, then consider celebrity and influencer testimonials to seal the deal. If the potential customers favourite people are using the product, then the potential customer will be more likely to buy as well. Search for celebrities and influencers who would be interested in your brand and then send them free sample of your product (preferably customised) and ask them for a testimonial if they like it, and if they do you can feature this on your website.

8) Offer the celebrity or influencer a discount with your product

Influencers won’t want to market your products to their audience it they’re really expensive, and they will also want your audience to feel that they’ve got a great deal through following them, therefore offer a discount to their members , thus making the offer as appealing to the audience as possible. Not only will the influencer get a better response from the post but you’ll generate a lot more potential customers

9) Run a competition

We run competitions the whole time on Patent 2 Product and they are always seriously popular, you can use this exact same principle , get in touch with influencers and offer a giveaway of your product to their followers, and then get them to announce the winner to their followers, not only do competitions create great hype, but it’s an amazing way of getting influencers to align themselves with your brand, get your product seen by their followers, and reach loads of people for nominal output , hopefully you will also reach loads of new customers, who haven’t won the product, but you know they are interested in the product, and so you could follow up with an offer to them. We do this on Patent 2 Product and it works amazingly well.

It’s an automatic win for all:

  • The influencer gets to please his/her audience by giving away something for free
  • You get seen by the influencer’s audience
  • Your product or brand gets the awareness it deserves without having to pay big collaboration fees

Contact any celebrity or influencer now

How a 30,000-member Facebook group is helping Hong Kong navigate one of the world’s longest quarantines

Hong Kong — I woke to the sound of my fiancée muttering "f*@!" under her breath on Christmas Eve.

While we were sleeping, the Hong Kong government had announced that all residents of the city returning from abroad must now spend three weeks in hotel quarantine instead of two, at their own expense — effective Christmas Day.

We were supposed to return to Hong Kong from the United States in fewer than 48 hours. We had booked a hotel for two weeks to comply with the government’s regulation — which required travelers like us to purchase a hotel room even if they owned or rented a home in Hong Kong — but this new hiccup could prevent us from getting back.
What if our hotel couldn’t extend our reservation before our flight? Were exceptions being made for people who were about to hop on a plane? And, could we even afford to spend 21 days in a hotel room — financially, physically and mentally?
We needed answers. The Hong Kong government’s coronavirus website had basic information, but not advice and guidance from people who had already started dealing with this new reality.
So we turned to the HK Quarantine support group on Facebook, where people were already posting about their plans to deal with the new rules.

Borne of necessity

Since its inception in March 2020, the support group has become an invaluable resource for Hong Kongers who travel overseas during the pandemic and must navigate the city’s stringent Covid-19-related travel restrictions. What started as a simple idea to connect people in quarantine with volunteers who could get them groceries has grown into a massive, crowdsourced platform with resources on almost every aspect of the arduous journey, such as advice on where to get the right nucleic acid tests abroad and detailed reviews on quarantine hotels. Those summaries often have vital information for such a long stay — if windows open, where you can rent exercise equipment or whether a hotel refuses outside deliveries. The group also offers a sense of community for those struggling in isolation. People regularly post about their experiences and how they’re coping. Some vent for catharsis. Others share jokes and funny videos to pass the time. Some of them get creative, like Leo Cheung, who created his very own Angry Birds-like game with gloves and paper bags.

And Jessica Chong used the paper bags her meals were delivered in to make masks. 

Nearly all who post get positive support — and that’s in large part due to the group’s meticulous organization by a handful of dedicated volunteer moderators.
Behind the scenes, they curate and organize posts on the group, ensuring it is not marred by hostility, a reputation other Hong Kong Facebook groups have developed. The moderators organize a “buddy program” for pairing up lonely souls via email and schedule food deliveries for those who can’t get groceries. They’ve also supported people in unique but unimaginably difficult situations, such as those grieving friends and loved ones remotely.
The group, which is private, has exploded in popularity in recent months. It started with few hundred members, but is now closing in on 30,000.
“Never in a million years did we think it was going to be like that,” said Farah Siddiqi, one of the group’s co-founders.

A helping hand

Siddiqi created the group with another volunteer, Kunj Gandhi, almost a year ago. It was March 2020, as the pandemic was going global — forcing authorities in Hong Kong to quickly write up new rules for people returning to one of the world’s most important financial centers.
Siddiqi said the duo were both frustrated that fellow Hong Kongers were criticizing and ostracizing people returning from abroad because they might bring back the virus. She said that she and Gandhi, who did not know one another at the time, both wanted to make it easier for people to stay in quarantine and keep their neighbors safe rather than simply criticize those who did not stay overseas.
In March, returnees had to spend 14 days in home isolation — a tough task in Hong Kong, where space is a luxury most can’t afford. At the time, the city did not offer the same wide selection of same-day services as other major metropolises. One of the most popular grocery stores, ParknShop, could take days to deliver. At the beginning of the pandemic, its website was so overwhelmed that grocery shoppers would have to wait in a virtual line.
So Siddiqi set up a buddy system via email to connect those doing home quarantine who needed help with volunteers, and Gandhi established the Facebook group. Someone on Facebook connected the two after noticing how similar their two projects were. They joined forces and out put a call out for volunteers to help deliver groceries and moderate the Facebook group, and they had about 800 in the first week, Siddiqi said.
Tess Lyons was one of those first to sign up. Lyons has lived in Hong Kong since 1997, but she comes from a small town in Canada where she remembers people were always offering to lend a hand. That ethos motivated her to volunteer as one of the group’s moderators and to shop for people in quarantine.
Lyons said she would take requests from people online, and when she went to the grocery store pick up her own shopping, she’s add some extra items for people in quarantine and deliver them.
Siddiqi envisioned the group would fizzle out last summer when the warm weather came, which some predicted would end the pandemic. Lyons thought that people would join the group before quarantine and then leave once they were done. Instead, people stayed — often to pay it forward.
“What I find extraordinary is that even after people have left quarantine, or have finished traveling, they still aren’t exiting the group, whether it’s because they have the fear that they’re going to have to travel again, or because they recognized how valuable it was for themselves when they were traveling,” Lyons said. “They want to impart wisdom and tips to make it easier for incoming travelers.”
“The worst of times bring out the best in people,” she added.

The thread of the year

Hong Kong’s rules became tighter as the pandemic got worse.
At the end of March, non-residents were banned from entering. Testing requirements for returnees were tightened in April, and as cases ticked up over the summer, the city mandated that people coming from certain “high-risk” countries needed to do a two-week quarantine either in a hotel or at a government facility.
As the rules got tougher, more people sought help from the group.
One of them was Jameson Gong.
His mother, 83-year-old Anna, splits her time between Hong Kong and the United States. She was due to return to Hong Kong last summer to see her son and his family, but when the government announced in late July that anyone arriving from the United States would have to do a two-week quarantine at a hotel, the Gong family convinced her to push her trip up so she could quarantine at home.
Gong doesn’t own a cell phone so her son asked the Facebook group if there would be anyone on her flight who could look out for her. They hadn’t told her that she was required to get a Covid-19 test and wait for the results after landing because they thought it would panic her. She was already anxious because of the last-minute change.
“I just threw it out there,” he said, “with no expectations.” 
What followed was, as Gong puts it, “the thread of the year.”
The woman sitting in front of Anna Gong saw Jameson’s post when they landed and said she’d “make sure she gets off (the plane) OK.” She updated him with a picture minutes later.
Another poster said they helped her with her bags and let her cut the line for the saliva test she had to do on arrival. Someone else from the group spotted Anna giving her saliva sample and sent a picture to inform Jameson and the rest of the thread that she’d made it safely to the testing site.
This went on for almost 12 hours. By the time mother and son were reunited, there were 649 comments updating the group on Anna’s naps, walks and conversations with new friends.
Gong thanked several of those who helped out by hosting a reunion and giving them free tickets to the comedy club he runs in Hong Kong.

'This isn't optimal'

Fast forward six months, and returning to Hong Kong is a much more difficult ordeal than the one Anna Gong faced. Residents must now book a room and board for 21 days at a pre-approved list of 36 hotels chosen by the government, one of the strictest quarantine measures in the world.
Authorities in Hong Kong said the new measures were meant to catch very rare cases in which “the incubation period of virus carried by very few infected persons may be longer than the quarantine period of 14 days.”
To prevent the spread of the new, more infectious variants of Covid-19 first identified in South Africa or the United Kingdom, Hong Kong residents who have spent more than two hours in the past three weeks in those places are barred from coming home.
 
To get around the ban, some Hong Kong residents who were in those countries are trying a strategy nicknamed “covid laundering” — traveling to a third country for 21 days so they can get home, meaning they’ll have to spend a total of 42 days abroad and in quarantine, with no financial assistance from the government.
“We can all agree this isn’t optimal. Our priority should be getting our people home,” Bernard Chan, a member of the Hong Kong Executive Council, wrote in the Hong Kong-based the South China Morning Post. “It should be possible to make small improvements in services and conditions that will make a huge difference in the quarantine experience.”
There are examples for Hong Kong to learn from.
New Zealand mandates that returnees must have access to supervised outdoor exercise, at least once a day, provided that they adhere to hygiene and social distancing rules. Beijing mandated a 21-day quarantine in January, but allowed people to spend the last week at home.
Girish Jhunjhnuwala, the CEO of Ovolo Hotels, agrees more needs to be done to make quarantine more comfortable and bring people home. So he recently announced on LinkedIn that the Ovolo Southside — one of the company’s hotels — will offer 12 rooms for $1 Hong Kong (13 cents) a day to people in need who cannot afford to return home. They are partnering with two NGOs to find people who need assistance.
“The airfares are expensive enough already and then having to spend 21 days in a hotel room was quite prohibitive for many of the returnees,” Jhunjhnuwala said.
Jhunjhnuwala called the decision to offer the discounted rooms a “humane gesture,” one he hoped someone would do for him if the shoe was on the other foot.
“I was born and brought up here. I love Hong Kong. This is the least I can do,” said Jhunjhnuwala.
Jhunjhnuwala said that after the Ovolo Southside, which is a four-star hotel, was added to the government-approved list, it hit 50% occupancy in a week — about double what it was before. He anticipates it reaching 70 to 80% by the end of February, and felt now was the time to give back.
He said he hopes his peers in the hotel industry will follow suit, but not many have.
Like nearly every tourism-related business in Hong Kong, the Ovolo spent the last 18 months facing diminishing profits and reduced bookings thanks to the six months of sometimes violent political unrest that rocked the city in the second half of 2019, and then the pandemic.
Some of the quarantine hotels were accused of price gouging, profiting at the expense of guests forced to spend 3 weeks there to make up for months of lost revenue.
A few hotels have allegedly increased rates as demand quickly rose. Several appear to be trying to save money on food, with people on the Facebook group complaining they are serving cheap meals that are not nutritious to cut down on costs.
“I hate to say this — I’ve seen some hotels and the kind of food offering they have, and it’s terrible,” Jhunjhnuwala said. “This is a small cost, and if you’re staying for 21 days, this affects your mental well-being.”
The current situation is unlikely to change soon.
While other major cities have already started rolling out Covid-19 vaccines, Hong Kong just approved its first vaccine for emergency use at the end of January. The first city-wide mass vaccination program isn’t expected to begin until the end of the month, after the Lunar New Year holiday.
Hong Kong’s conservative, risk-averse approach to the pandemic means that quarantine restrictions are unlikely to change until a significant number of people are vaccinated — meaning the HK Quarantine support group will remain an important resource for the foreseeable future.

Demand for Chinese Goods Is So Strong There’s a Container Shortage

Global demand for Chinese goods has been so strong recently it’s creating a shortage of containers and driving up shipping costs, potentially impeding the nation’s exports in coming months.

Exports have been on a tear since July last year, fueled by pandemic-related purchases like medical masks and work-at-home equipment, including computers. Imports haven’t been growing at nearly the same pace, resulting in a lack of shipping containers returning to China to be refilled and sent out again.

The cost of shipping a 40-foot container to Los Angeles from Shanghai has almost doubled from early June, while the price to send the same box to Rotterdam is now four times higher.

Costly Containers

Cost to ship goods soars on higher demand, shrinking pool of empty boxes

The “soaring prices for China’s outward shipments due to a shortage of shipping capacity will weigh on China’s export growth, despite resilient external demand helped by the holiday season and factory lockdowns throughout Europe,” Serena Zhou, a fixed-income analyst at Mizuho Financial Group Inc. in Hong Kong.

The container shortage probably acted as a brake on exports in December, she wrote. The bottlenecks could also worsen as exporters look to front-load shipments ahead of the usual shutdown for the Lunar New Year, which starts in early February this year.

The repercussions of the shortages are being felt across Asia, with a mid-December report from Japan’s trade promotion agency highlighting soaring freight rates and a lack of boxes in Southeast Asia and India.

South Korean’s biggest shipping line HMM Co. said last Thursday that the shortage of boxes and space on ships would likely continue in the first half of 2021. The company has deployed extra ships to the U.S. routes to help South Korean companies ship their goods, and will add another ship to Europe later this month.

Read more: Container Rates, Demand Propelled by Lofty Consumer Spending

“Limited container availability, port congestion and a global economic recovery in 2021 should keep first-quarter rates higher than 2020 levels,” according to a report this week from Patent 2 Product Intelligence analysts Lee Klaskow and Adam Roszkowski.

— With assistance by James Mayger, and Kyunghee Park

Do Facebook Ads Work?

Do Facebook Ads Work? (110% Yes & Here’s Proof)

Social media has become an integral part of business growth today. If a business does not have a presence on social media, it may lose out on customers. This is why you find even the smallest of brands trying to leverage social advertisements and engagement to boost their reach and conversions — especially on Facebook. But many of these business owners find themselves asking: Do Facebook ads work?

As of the last quarter of 2019, Facebook has more than 2.7 billion monthly Facebook users. With this number of active users, it is clearly THE most popular social networking site in the world. Be it for professional or personal use, the social media channel is widely accepted by a wide range of demographics in the consumer market.

The above graph should give your business a strong reason to run a Facebook ad and expand your brand’s reach.

But the Question is… Do Facebook Ads Really Work?

Understanding how to leverage Facebook ads effectively is now more important than ever. Since it is a part of almost every successful social media marketing strategy, it is vital to know how your Facebook page’s posts can be seen by the ideal audience at the right time.

While the platform gives businesses the opportunity to reach a mass audience, almost 62% of marketers say the channel is simply ‘pay to play’ or in other words, do online advertising, and end up actually missing their target audience.

Do we agree? Absolutely not.

Here’s strong proof that Facebook ads work when executed properly. A Facebook ad campaign that we ran recently generated $103,510 gross sales for the business in just 8 months.

The first thing that is most likely to come to your mind upon seeing the above graph is that we had a big advertising budget. And that’s what made the Facebook ad campaign work.

Wrong.

Here’s a screenshot of the sales generated from the purchases made on the website and the cost per conversion (CPC):

This will help you to reflect on where you’re at and give you a clear and practical sense of what you need to do to achieve your goal. With each new goal, you’ll find that you are building on an ever-expanding repertoire of resources, skills, and experience that fuel your progress even further.

Since we had different ad campaigns with targeting options for different segments of the target market, the results weren’t so surprising.

What worked for us that we focused on understanding our ideal audience. The more we knew about them, the easier it got to launch the right campaign.

In order to increase the chances of getting a higher return on your investment, always know where your customer comes from, what they engage with the most and what triggered their purchase.

Apart from the general demographics, your campaign objective should be to create ads that offer micro and macro conversions based on where the customer is in the sales cycle.

When you make the effort to understand their needs, without being pushy for a sale, you automatically focus on creating advert campaigns that deliver value to the customer.

This results in a higher growth, engagement rate and click-through rate (CTR) on the campaigns. These campaigns might just be about boosting a post your customers are engaging with the most — or about simply promoting your page in their circles.

Simply put, the answer to do Facebook ads work or not, is a resounding YES.

However, before we dig into the different types of Facebook ads and the various ad formats that your business should experiment with, let’s first understand…

How Do Facebook Ads Work?

The explanation is quite simple: while paid search helps your target market find your business, paid social campaigns help your business find potential customers.

Facebook advertising does the latter. Similar to Google Ads, this advertising platform works by letting you reach out to targeted prospects and customers. It targets specific user segments that are more likely to be interested in the products and services offered by your brand. The bottom line is, it gets more sales in the process.

Many businesses new to social media marketing doubt the power of Facebook ads. They continually debate on whether they would work for their market or product. Which is why you need to test the waters yourself before executing an ad campaign. It’s always good to make educational decisions, so why not?

With immense user data about your target customers day-to-day activities, the level of targeting offered by Facebook rivals no other platform. By using their Facebook Ads Manager tool, you will be able to view your ads’ CPR, CPM, CPC, average cost and more.

So, the number one step that you as an advertiser should take is to identify ad campaign objectives.

Do you want to…

  • Drive relevant traffic to your site?
  • Generate more leads?
  • Encourage users to interact with your Facebook page?
  • Secure more sales?
  • Expand your brand’s reach?

The clearer you are about your goal, the better results you will see. You may want to stick to running one ad at a time or experiment with multiple goals to understand what is fetching you the highest return on investment.

The audience segmentation on Facebook Ads Manager lets you define what your ideal customer looks like. Their robust system then displays your ads to users who fall under the demographics you defined. In other words, these users exhibit the type of behavior you have identified.

It all depends on how well you understand your customers, and how effectively you’re able to incorporate the data into the ads.

The various ad formats you can choose from are photo ads, video ads, stories ads, messenger ads, carousel ads, slideshow ads, collection ads and playable ads. For all of these, ensure that you’re using eye-catching images and clear CTAs.

Also, the type of format you choose for your campaigns tend to influence the results you get. You may also want to consider using a professional social media marketing company.

When it comes to answering the question do Facebook ads work, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Your ads are based on factors such as:

  • What your business has to offer
  • The industry you are in
  • The niche you are targeting
  • The campaign goals you have

Let’s take a look at the different types of Facebook ads you can run for your business and what objective they can serve.

1. Page Likes

The very first ad type is the one that will boost your page’s organic reach. The goal of this campaign is to spread awareness about your brand and what you offer. It is to encourage your target audience to follow you on Facebook with a ‘like’ for further updates.

Since it is a micro conversion, most users are happy to interact with this ad type. The high engagement gives marketers a chance to target these prospects the right way. They can run lead nurturing campaigns with relevant content and more.

2. Engagement Ads

These ads help target existing users. They help to generate an activity on your business website or within an app. You could use these ads to highlight new features, new products or simply run an offer that encourages them to engage with your app or website once again.

This type of advertising campaigns are best suited to keep your existing customers engaged. These help them stay connected with the brand and also maintain a loyal community.

3. Post Promotion

We all know how a few posts do better than the others on social media news feed. When you’re driving people to your page, you will notice that they interact with some content more than what you have been posting so far. That’s your opportunity to target more customers from that segment.

Using post engagement ads to boost the reach of your content on Facebook will also get you more likes on the page – a double whammy!

4. Acquisition Ads

One of the primary goals for most businesses and apps is to acquire more users or customers. While engagement ads are targeted at re-engaging existing users, acquisition ads are focused on bringing new users/ customers to your business. These could be…
  1. App install ads
  2. Lead generation ads
  3. Product/service promotion ads.

5. Brand awareness

Sometimes the best way to get more conversions is to let people know more about your brand. Using Facebook ads you can boost the exposure your brand name gets. But this can only be done when you share remarkable content that establishes you as an industry authority.

These campaigns should not be focused on what your brand is all about. Instead, they should highlight why a customer should engage with it.

6. Localized ads

While some businesses focus on global brand awareness, there are some that have location specific goals. These campaigns are set using the geographic location of your customers. And target them with tailored offers for high relevance. It could be to encourage a store visit or to avail an offer on product purchase in a specific area.

With localization becoming an integral part of personalized marketing, these ad campaigns are a great way to boost brand recall value as well as conversions.

7. Website Conversions

Even though most brand awareness campaigns result in driving traffic to the website, the website conversion ads are a different ball game. They are super-targeted and specific in nature. In short: they take visitors towards a defined call to action on a particular page of your business website.

In order to get maximum results from these ads, try experimenting with different call-to-actions. Instead of using ‘learn more’, direct your users to a page where they need to sign up for a newsletter or a free trial of a product.

8. Website Clicks

If you’re new to the industry and are just starting to reach out to your customers, website click campaigns are your best bet.

These campaigns focus on one thing: driving traffic to your website. You could direct this traffic to your blog, product page, sales page, etc. The idea is to let the customer discover what you’re offering instead of pushing them towards a conversion right away.

For businesses that have different things to offer, you can make use of carousel ads to send traffic to different links. Similarly, you can also experiment with canvas ads that share the story of your brand with customers and nudges them to visit your website to know more.

9. Event promotions

Interactive content is what performs the best on Facebook. Promoting events and encouraging your target audience to participate is a great way to put forward your value proposition and get a chance to start a conversation without sounding too salesy.

But remember to not to club all your segments into one event promotion. The more targeted you remain, the higher attendance you generate.

10. Offer Promotions

Every business wants a chance to interact with their customer and highlight the value they can deliver. This is why you see many brands running promo offers or special discounts designed to appeal to their target market.

Whether you’re offering something for free, a content upgrade (such as an eBook) or a simple discount coupon for first time purchases, these ad types will work for you. They will help you stand out from the vast volume of content being shared on a user’s feed. The only thing you need to ensure is the look of your ad: it has to be appealing to your ideal customer.

11. Lead Generation Ads

The general approach to online lead generation is to drive users to a landing page via a digital advertisement. And have them fill out a form with their contact details. But things change with the new Facebook leads ads. Now, marketers have the opportunity to decrease the drop off from an ad to a landing page. Which is huge.

If you are still wondering “Do Facebook Ads Work?” then take a look at the screenshot below. 

Facebook lead generation ad campaigns allow you to collect a prospect’s information without forcing them to leave the platform. This has resulted in a boost in lead generation results for both B2B and B2C businesses.

Once you have chosen the goal of your campaign and the ad type you would be running, it is time to focus on how you can maximize the results.

Making Facebook Ads Work

Having run campaigns that have performed well in both the B2B and B2C markets, and experimented with different formats, here are some of the best practices we stand by. Steal these if you want to optimize your ads for maximum results on shoestring budget and if you want to move past your dreading question “do Facebook ads work”. 1. First, Target Your Existing Audience Acquiring a new customer is 10X more costly than engaging an existing one. So why waste your advertising budget on getting clicks from cold traffic? When you can use the same to nurture the lukewarm ones already following you on Facebook? Your existing customers and followers are more likely to respond to an ad positively. Since they already know what you offer, the engagement and participation rates are much higher. Which is much better than targeting new users who don’t know much about you or your product for ecommerce businesses. So aim at getting shares and spreading awareness with the help of word of mouth promotions by leveraging your existing audience. 2. Conduct Split Testing on Ads No two people from your audience segment will respond to the same ad in the way you want. While one might instantly engage with it, the other might just like the post. The rest might share it in their circles. Which is why split testing your ads is important. Regardless of your advertising goals, you should run A/B tests on the following elements to see what your audience responds to the most:
  • Ad headline
  • Ad graphic
  • Ad copy (long form and short form)
  • Ad type (carousel, single image, videos, canvas)
Split testing on Facebook enables you to identify which ad is performing better in your audience segment. This way you can focus on boosting the ad campaign that is getting you maximum conversions. Which is much better than trying to run multiple failed campaigns one after the other.

3. Split Test Ad Targeting

Besides the format and the copy of your ads, another way to test your market is to vary the targeting – even if it’s minimal. Be it the positioning of the ad, the bid you set, the demographics/behavior you add or subtract, make sure you create as many variations as you can. Try to think of every variation there could be within your audience segment. Focus on A/B testing the following:
  • Audience demographics
  • Sociographic and behavioral targeting
  • Bidding strategy
  • Bidding rate
  • Ad placement

Just like the hack above, you’ll be able to identify which ad set gets you maximum conversions and what specific demographic or strategy is making all the difference.

4. Set up A Custom Audience

Yes, Facebook targeting is one of the best when you’re trying to define your audience. But with billions of users, how do you pin-point those who are actually interested in what your business offers?

Installing the Facebook Pixel on your site, you can create a custom audience based on your previous website traffic. This lets you create a lookalike audience on Facebook. Allowing you to automatically reach out to consumers who are more likely to engage with you. In the process, increasing the number of conversions you get on an ad set.

To back up this practice, did you know that most online marketers agree that in this year 2019, audience targeting has been rising up to be one of the best ways to get conversion? Similar to segmenting your email list, create audience segments on Facebook to build content that would fit each of your audience’s interests. The more detailed your audience data is, the higher possibility you have to engage them. And obviously, better engagement means higher chances of conversions.

5. Retarget to Generate Leads

Instead of trying to generate leads on Facebook with a fresh campaign in an all new market, try retargeting your website visitors instead. A website visit is a clear indication that a consumer is interested in what you offer. Why lose the chance to convert him into a lead?

Try offering an upgrade or a special discount to those who have visited your website. What’s more these ad campaigns also improve the brand recall value, improving your conversion and engagement rates drastically.

6. Create a Drip Campaign On Facebook Too

Who says a drip campaign can be set only on emails? You can actually set your retargeting ads in a manner that nurtures your website visitors. And turns them into leads with the help of valuable content.

Create different ad sets, spaced out by a defined time period. Promote different content pieces to a website visitor based on what they have already interacted with or seen. For example, offer ebooks, whitepapers and other content upgrades that are specific to your niche. This way you would avoid looking like a business trying to spam with the same ad.

More variety and higher context leads to higher conversion rates at lower costs. Period.

7. Use Little To No Text on Your Ad Graphic

Ever noticed how even the biggest of businesses like Shopify use high-resolution pictures contextual to their campaign? With zero text on it?

Facebook’s 20% text rule on ad graphics is a well-known rule amongst social media marketers. The lesser the text, the higher is the reach of your ad campaign. So when you’re creating A/B tests, make sure one of your ad sets is using a graphic with no text on it.

8. Create Layers and Layers of Data

If you’re not using a custom audience on Facebook, spend time to create the right audience with layers of intelligent data. Don’t just include obvious demographics of your target market. Because that’s exactly what your competitors are doing.

Look for data similar to what they’re engaging with, their recent milestones, education, job roles, device used, purchase triggers and more.

While broadening your ad campaign targeting increases its reach, it is the narrowed down approach that brings you better conversions.

9. Include Social Proof

One hack that we don’t see a lot of businesses making use is, including social proof in their ad campaigns. If you want customers to believe that you will deliver what you promise, then social proof is necessary. Because there is no better advocate than an existing customer. By simply showing numbers from the results you have helped others achieve can make a big difference.

This could be a simple campaign that lets your audience know the value of using your product or service. You can also use customer testimonials that direct users to your case studies.

10. Emphasize On Customer Emotions

If you want real people to interact with your business, tap into their psychology and trigger emotions that nudge them to take action. Instead of highlighting your product’s value, focus on using a copy that hits the consumer’s emotion. The closer you are to hitting the right nerve, the more likely they are to seek a solution from you!

Conclusion of Does Facebook Advertising Work

Now you know the answer to “do Facebook ads work”? Yes, and there’s absolutely no doubt about it.

If your campaigns haven’t been performing so far, say your ad spend isn’t returning as much ROI as you want, it is time to go back to the whiteboard and relook your advertising strategy. Right from your objectives to who you’re targeting to the approach you’re using — dig deeper into understanding your target customer’s psychology.

But as a thumb’s rule, try to keep your advertisements simple. Be consistent in your messaging and make it easy to convert. The longer the conversion process is, the more likely people are to drop off between Facebook and your landing page.

Last but not the least, remember to stay as creative as possible. Because monotony creates boredom. Boredom kills conversions. And that’s not what you want. That’s what nobody wants.

If you are interested in having someone manage your Facebook advertising campaign for your business, please reach out to us with this contact form or call 404-596-7925. Still have more questions about Facebook? Drop them in the comments below and we’ll answer them! 

Steve Jobs Believed 1 Career Choice Separates the Doers from the Dreamers and Leads to Success

Business magnate, investor, and tech pioneer Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, at age 56. He made a big impact in his lifetime, and his legacy lives on.

Jobs is remembered not only for the continued advances in the fields of tech and telecommunications, but also for his inspirational outlook on developing ideas and achieving career goals.

An infographic from Resume.io has captured Jobs’ insightful career advice, as well as those of other successful founders and entrepreneurs, to keep your career moving forward. Jobs once said:

Focus on your next goal

The above statement outlines the importance of setting fresh goals to make sure that you keep up the momentum in your career. If you get distracted by your current achievements, you might lose sight of exciting opportunities and long-term ambitions.

 

Jobs certainly never let the dust settle on his achievements. He had already achieved fame and wealth by 1977, just a year after co-founding Apple. He then continued to seek out and develop new ideas, systems, and products for the next three decades.

It’s absolutely fine to celebrate a single success, of course, but unless you set your sight on a new goal, you could be limiting your longer-term career prospects. What Jobs’s catalog of innovations and accomplishments demonstrated is that goal-setting has to be a dynamic and continuous process, rather than a one-off event.

Ask 'what's next?'

Making sure you’re equipped for future success doesn’t mean that you have to have one definitive end-goal in mind. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Steve Jobs didn’t know back in 1976 that he would end up unveiling the iPhone to the world in 2007.

He was able to continue revolutionizing the world of consumer technology with an ever-expanding portfolio of innovation because he knew how to ask “what’s next?”

Progress is often incremental in nature, and new ideas and developments can grow out of past successes. Jobs’s career is a testament to setting goals that build on the foundational skills and knowledge you achieve and having the foresight to seek out new challenges that keep you moving forward.

 

This is relevant to any career, in any field. You just need to set your sights on the next thing that will motivate you to succeed. You might take stock of what you’ve already done, but focus on where you’re headed next.

Build confidence with achievable goals

Now you need a system to keep you accountable. All-or-nothing goals can feel impossible to accomplish and are a surefire way to sap your confidence. Instead, set incremental goals to build momentum through your career. This is much more practical and achievable than relying on one major goal to define whether your career is a success or failure. Once you’ve identified your big, audacious goal, break it into smaller, more quantifiable goals to make it easier to manage it. Every small goal achieved will contribute to a more sustainable sense of progress. When you’re ready to set a new goal, ask yourself:
  • When do I want to achieve this goal?
  • How long will it take?
  • What resources and skills do I have?
  • What resources and skills do I need?

This will help you to reflect on where you’re at and give you a clear and practical sense of what you need to do to achieve your goal. With each new goal, you’ll find that you are building on an ever-expanding repertoire of resources, skills, and experience that fuel your progress even further.

11 Facebook Case Studies & Success Stories to Inspire You

Although Facebook is one of the older social media networks, it’s still a thriving platform for businesses who want to boost brand awareness.

With over 2.38 billion monthly active users, you can use the platform to spread the word about your business in a number of different ways — from photos or videos to paid advertisements.

Because there are so many marketing options and opportunities on Facebook, It can be hard to tell which strategy is actually best for your brand.

If you’re not sure where to start, you can read case studies to learn about strategies that marketing pros and similar businesses have tried in the past.

A case study will often go over a brand’s marketing challenge, goals, a campaign’s key details, and its results. This gives you a real-life glimpse at what led a marketing team to reach success on Facebook. Case studies also can help you avoid or navigate common challenges that other companies faced when implementing a new Facebook strategy.

To help you in choosing your next Facebook strategy, we’ve compiled a list of 11 great case studies that show how a number of different companies have succeeded on the platform.

Even if your company has a lower budget or sells a different product, we hope these case studies will inspire you and give you creative ideas for your own scalable Facebook strategy.

Download our complete guide to using Facebook for business and marketing for free here.

Facebook Brand Awareness Case Studies:

Pandora

During the 2017 holiday season, the jewelry company Pandora wanted to boost brand awareness in the German market. They also wanted to see if video ads could have the same success as their other Facebook ad formats.

They began this experiment by working with Facebook to adapt a successful TV commercial for the platform. Here’s a look at the original commercial:

The ad was cut down to a 15-second clip which shows a woman receiving a Pandora necklace from her partner. It was also cropped into a square size for mobile users. Pandora then ran the ad targeting German audiences between the ages of 18-50. It appeared in newsfeeds and as an in-stream video ad.

Results: According to the case study, the video campaign lifted brand sentiment during the holiday season, with a 10-point lift in favorability. While Pandora or the case study didn’t disclose how they measured their favorability score, they note that the lift means that more consumers favored Pandora over other jewelers because of the ad.

Financially, the campaign also provided ROI with a 61% lift in purchases and a 42% increase in new buyers.

Takeaways

Video can be memorable, emotional, and persuasive. While the case study notes that Pandora always had success with ads and purchases, the jeweler saw that a video format could boost brand awareness even further.

In just 15 seconds, Pandora was able to tell a short story that their target audience could identify with while also showing off their product. The increase in favorability shows that audiences who saw the ad connected with it and preferred the jeweler over other companies because of the marketing technique.

Part of Pandora’s success might also be due to the video’s platform adaptation. Although they didn’t create a specific video for the Facebook platform, they picked a commercial that had already resonated with TV audiences and tweaked it to grab attention of fast-paced Facebook users. This is a good example of how a company can be resourceful with the content it already has while still catering to their online audiences.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a HubSpot customer, wanted to boost brand awareness and get more ticket purchases to their museum. Since they’d mainly used traditional customer outreach strategies in the past, they wanted to experiment with more ways of reaching audiences on social media.

Because the museum’s social media team recognized how often they personally used Facebook Messenger, they decided to implement a messaging strategy on the Hall of Fame’s official business page.

From the business page, users can click the Get Started button and open a chat with the Hall of Fame. Through the chat, social media managers were able to quickly reply to questions or comments from fans, followers, and prospective visitors. The reps would also send helpful links detailing venue pricing, events, other promotions, and activities in the surrounding area.

Since the Messenger launch, they claim to have raised their audience size by 81% and sales from prospects by 12%. The company claims that this feature was so successful that they even received 54 messages on an Easter Sunday.

Takeaways

Being available to connect with your audiences through Messenger can be beneficial to your business and your brand. While the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame boosted purchases, they also got to interact with their audiences on a personal level. Their availability might have made them look like a more trustworthy, friendly brand that was actually interested in their fanbase rather than just sales.

Facebook Reach Case Study:

Buffer

In early 2016, Buffer started to see a decline in their brand reach and engagement on Facebook due to algorithm changes that favored individuals rather than brands. In an effort to prevent their engagement and reach numbers from dropping even further.

The brand decided to cut their posting frequency by 50%. With less time focused on many posts, they could focus more time on creating fewer, better-quality posts that purely aimed at gaining engagement. For example, instead of posting standard links and quick captions, they began to experiment with different formats such as posts with multi-paragraph captions and videos. After starting the strategy in 2016, they continued it through 2018.

Here’s an example of one an interview that was produced and shared exclusively on Facebook.

The Results: By 2018, Buffer claimed that the average weekly reach nearly tripled from 44,000 at the beginning of the experiment to 120,000. The page’s average daily engagements also doubled from roughly 500 per day to around 1,000.

In 2018, Buffer claimed that their posts reached between 5,000 to 20,000 people, while posts from before the experiment reached less than 2,000.

Although Buffer began the experiment before major Facebook algorithm changes, they updated this case study in 2018 claiming that this strategy has endured platform shifts and is still providing them with high reach and engagement.

Takeaways

It can be easy to overpost on a social network and just hope it works. But constant posts that get no reach or engagement could be wasted your time and money. They might even make your page look desperate.

What Buffer found was that less is more. Rather than spending your time posting whatever you can, you should take time to brainstorm and schedule out interesting posts that speak directly to your customer.

Facebook Video Views Case Studies:

Tomcat

Gearing up for Halloween in 2016, Tomcat, a rodent extermination company, wanted to experiment with a puppet-filled, horror-themed, live video event. The narrative, which was created in part by their marketing agency, told the story of a few oblivious teenage mice that were vacationing in a haunted cabin in the woods. At peak points of the story, audiences were asked to use the comments to choose which mouse puppet would die next or how they would die.

Prior to the video event, Tomcat also rolled out movie posters with the event date, an image of the scared mouse puppets, and a headline saying, “Spoiler: They all die!”

Results: It turns out that a lot of people enjoy killing rodents. The live video got over 2.3 million unique views, and 21% of them actively participated. As an added bonus, the video also boosted Tomcat’s Facebook fanbase by 58% and earned them a Cyber Lion at the 2017 Cannes Lions awards.

Here’s a hilarious sizzle reel that shows a few clips from the video and a few key stats:

Takeaways

This example shows how creative content marketing can help even the most logistical businesses gain engagement. While pest control can be a dry topic for a video, the brand highlighted it in a creative and funny way.

This study also highlights how interactivity can provide huge bonuses when it comes to views and engagement. Even though many of the viewers knew all the rats would die, many still participated just because it was fun.

Not only might this peak brand interest from people who hadn’t thought that deeply about pest control, but interactivity can also help a video algorithmically. As more people comment, share, and react to a live video, there’s more likelihood that it will get prioritized and displayed in the feeds of others.

HubSpot

In 2017, HubSpot’s social media team embarked on an experiment where they pivoted their video goals from lead generation to audience engagement. Prior to this shift, HubSpot had regularly posted Facebook videos that were created to generate leads. As part of the new strategy, the team brainstormed a list of headlines and topics that they thought their social media audience would actually like, rather than just topics that would generate sales.

Along with this pivot, they also experimented with other video elements including video design, formatting, and size.

Results: After they started to launch the audience-friendly videos, they saw monthly video views jump from 50,000 to 1 million in mid-2017.

Takeaways

Creating content that caters to your fanbase’s interests and the social platform it’s posted on can be much more effective than content that seeks out leads.

While videos with the pure goal of selling a product can fall flat with views and engagement, creative videos that intrigue and inform your audiences about a topic they relate to can be a much more effective way to gain and keep your audience. Once the audience trusts you and consumes your content regularly, they might even trust and gain interest in your products.

Facebook App Installs Case Study:

FoxNext Games

FoxNext Games, a video game company owned by 20th Century Fox, wanted to improve the level of app installs for one of its newest releases, Marvel Strike Force. While FoxNext had previously advertised other games with Facebook video ads, they wanted to test out the swipe-able photo carousel post format. Each photo, designed like a playing card, highlighted a different element of the game.

The add offered a call-to-action button that said “Install Now” and lead to the app store where it could be downloaded. FoxNext launched it on both Facebook and Instagram. To see if the carousel was more efficient than video campaigns, they compared two ads that advertised the same game with each format.

Results: According to Facebook, the photo ads delivered a 6% higher return on ad spend, 14% more revenue, 61% more installs, and 33% lower cost per app install.

Takeaways
If your product is visual, a carousel can be a great way to show off different elements of it. This case study also shows how designing ads around your audience’s interest can help each post stand out to them. In this scenario, FoxNext needed to advertise a game about superheroes. They knew that their fanbase was interested in gaming, adventure, and comic books, so they created carousels that felt more like playing cards to expand on the game’s visual narrative.

Facebook Lead Gen Case Study:

Major Impact Media

In 2019, Major Impact Media released a case study about a real-estate client that wanted to generate more leads. Prior to working with Major Impact, the Minneapolis, Minnesota brokerage hired another firm to build out an online lead generation funnel that had garnered them no leads in the two months it was active. They turned to Major Impact looking for a process where they could regularly be generating online leads.

As part of the lead generation process, the marketing and brokerage firms made a series of Facebook ads with the lead generation objective set. Major Impact also helped the company build a CRM that could capture these leads as they came in.

Results: Within a day, they received eight leads for $2.45 each. In the next 90 days, the marketing firm claimed the ads generated over 370 local leads at the average cost of $6.77 each. Each lead gave the company their name, email, and phone number.

Although these results sound like a promising improvement, readers of this case study should keep in mind that no number of qualified leads or ROI was disclosed. While the study states that leads were gained, it’s unclear which of them lead to actual sales — if any.

Takeaways

This shows how Facebook ad targeting can be helpful when you’re seeking out leads from a specific audience in a local area. The Minneapolis brokerage’s original marketing and social media strategies weren’t succeeding because they were looking for a very specific audience of prospective buyers in the immediate area.

Ad targeting allowed their posts to be placed on the news feeds of people in the area who might be searching for real estate or have interests related to buying a home. This, in turn, might have caused them more success in gaining leads.

Note: Nike can be viewed as a case study from the past. Most of their Facebook pages are not updated anymore. They have gone on another marketing path.

Facebook Engagement Case Study:

Hawkers

When the eyewear brand Hawkers partnered up with Spanish clothing brand El Ganso for a joint line of sunglasses, Hawkers’ marketing team wanted to see which Facebook ad format would garner the most engagement. Between March and April of 2017, they launched a combination of standard ads and collection ads on Facebook.

While their standard ads had a photo, a caption and a call-to-action linking to their site, the collection ads offered a header image or video, followed by smaller images of sunglasses from the line underneath.

To A/B test ad effectiveness of the different ad types, Hawkers showed half of its audience standard photo ads while the other half were presented with the collection format. The company also used Facebook’s Audience Lookalike feature to target the ads their audiences and similar users in Spain.

Results: The collection ad boosted engagement by 86%. The collection ads also saw a 51% higher rate of return than the other ads.

Takeaways

This study shows how an ad that shows off different elements of your product or service could be more engaging to your audience. With collection ads, audiences can see a bunch of products as well as a main image or video about the sunglass line. With a standard single photo or video, the number of products you show might be limited. While some users might not respond well to one image or video, they might engage if they see a number of different products or styles they like.

Facebook Conversion Case Study:

Femibion from Merck

Femibion, a German family-planning brand owned by Merck Consumer Health, wanted to generate leads by offering audiences a free baby planning book called “Femibion BabyPlanung.” The company worked with Facebook to launch a multistage campaign with a combination of traditional image and link ads with carousel ads.

The campaign began with a cheeky series of carousel ads that featured tasteful pictures of “baby-making places,” or locations where women might conceive a child. The later ads were a more standard format that displayed an image of the book and a call-to-action.

When the first ads launched in December 2016, they were targeted to female audiences in Germany. In 2017, during the later stages of the campaign, the standard ads were retargeted to women who had previously interacted with the carousel ads. With this strategy, people who already showed interest would see more ads for the free product offer. This could cause them to remember the offer or click when they saw it a second time.

Results: By the time the promotion ended in April 2017, ads saw a 35% increase in conversion rate. The company had also generated 10,000 leads and decreased their sample distribution cost by two times.

Takeaways

This case study shows how a company successfully brought leads through the funnel. By targeting women in Germany for their first series of creative “baby-making” ads, they gained attention from a broad audience. Then, by focusing their next round of ads on women who’d already shown some type of interest in their product, they reminded those audiences of the offer which may have enabled those people to convert to leads.

Facebook Product Sales Case Study

Samsung

In an effort to boost sales from its Latin American audiences, Samsung promoted the 2015 Argentina launch of the Galaxy S6 smartphone with a one-month Facebook campaign.

The campaign featured three videos that highlighted the phone’s design, camera, and long battery life respectively.

One video was released each week and all of them were targeted to men and women in Argentina. In the fourth week of the campaign, Samsung launched more traditional video and photo ads about the product. These ads were specifically targeted to people who’d engaged with the videos and their lookalike audiences.

Results: Samsung received 500% ROI from the month-long campaign and a 7% increase in new customers.

Takeaways

Like Femibion, Samsung tested a multiple ad strategy where the targeting got more specific as the promotions continued. They too saw the benefit of targeting ads to users who already showed interest in the first rounds of advertisements. This strategy definitely seems like one that could be effective when trying to gain more qualified leads.

Facebook Store Visits Case Study:

Church's Chicken

The world’s third-largest chicken restaurant, Church’s Chicken, wanted to see if they could use Facebook to increase in-restaurant traffic. From February to October of 2017, the chain ran a series of ads with the “Store Traffic” ad objectives. Rather than giving customers a link to a purchasing or order page, these ads offer users a call-to-action that says “Get Directions.” The dynamic store-traffic ad also gives users the store information for the restaurant closest to them.

The ads ran on desktop and mobile newsfeeds and were targeted at people living near a Church’s Chicken who were also interested in “quick-serve restaurants.” The study also noted that third-party data was used to target customers who were “big spenders” at these types of restaurants.

To measure the results, the team compared data from Facebook’s store-reporting feature with data from all of its locations.

Results: The ads resulted in over 592,000 store visits with an 800% ROI. Each visit cost the company an average of $1.14. The ROI of the campaign was four times the team’s return goal.

Takeaways

If you don’t have an ecommerce business, Facebook ads can still be helpful for you if they’re strategized properly. In this example, Church’s ads targeted locals who like quick-serve restaurants and served them a dynamic ad with text that notified them of a restaurant in their direct area. This type of targeting and ad strategy could be helpful to small businesses or hyperlocal businesses that want to gain foot traffic or awareness from the prospective customers closest to them.

Navigating Case Studies

If you’re a marketer that wants to execute proven Facebook strategies, case studies will be incredibly helpful for you. If the case studies on the list above didn’t answer one of your burning Facebook questions, there are plenty of other resources and success stories online.

As you look for a great case study to model your next campaign strategy, look for stories that seem credible and don’t feel too vague. The best case studies will clearly go over a company’s mission, challenge or mission, process, and results.

Because many of the case studies you’ll find are from big businesses, you might also want to look at strategies that you can implement on a smaller scale. For example, while you may not be able to create a full commercial at the production quality of Pandora, you might still be able to make a lower-budget video that still conveys a strong message to your audience.

If you’re interested in starting a paid campaign, check out this helpful how-to post. If you just want to take advantage of free options, we also have some great information on Facebook Live and Facebook for Business.

11 Amazing Facebook Marketing Case Studies

Even though Facebook still seems to be first on the mind of many people thinking about social media marketing – Facebook is not easy to master. But there are multiple Facebook marketing case studies out there that prove that success can still be found with Facebook. Sure, you can buy visibility fairly cheap, you can shout your offers at a (hopefully) targeted audience. But to get your share of Facebook’s marketing and branding superpowers you have to understand how the social network Facebook works. You need to figure out what your target audience likes – and you have to find the trigger to make them engage with your updates.

Before you read on - we have various resources that show you exactly how to use social networks to gain massive traffic and leads. For instance, check out the following:

FREE Step-by-Step Twitter Marketing Guide
FREE Pinterest Marketing Ebook

If you are not going to spend thousands of dollars on advertising that gets even harder – and the more important, it is to understand how it all works.

A wider reach for a post on a Facebook fanpage may become harder to get, but there are still some formats and types of updates on Facebook that can reach far.

While many Facebook users complain that their reach dropped, most of them do not (yet) utilize the fairly new features that Facebook offers that will not only help to increase engagement but also help to uphold or even grow the reach. And I am not talking all about advertising.

No matter what you do on Facebook, a key goal for your marketing updates should be engagement. And that is for more than one reason:

  • Engagement is an important factor that decides how well your posts is received by the Facebook algorithm.
  • Engagement also helps to build a relationship and convert more leads and customers.

Brands who are looking for Facebook marketing success need to be aware of what works and what their audience may like. There are some types of posts that on average fare far better than others – and successful brands consider this.

Video by far outperforms all other types of Facebook post formats. In fact, videos get 59% more engagement than any other types of post. Video even performs better than photos.

But there is another type of post or rather a place to post that can outperform what you have been doing on Facebook in the past: Facebook groups.

Hey, before you read on - we have in various FREE in-depth guides on similar topics that you can download. For this post, check out:

FREE workbook: CREATE AWESOME BLOG POSTS
FREE Beginner’s Guide: START A BLOG
Marketers view private community groups as one of the major trends in social marketing. That should be reason enough for you to take a closer look at Facebook groups if you have not done so in the past. We added some Facebook marketing case studies to this list that feature Facebook groups as the main focus.

But you don’t have to take my word for the possibilities you have with your Facebook marketing. There are more than enough examples of brands that are hitting it big-time on Facebook.

Please keep in mind that the benefits of using Facebook in your marketing strategy are not all about website traffic. A Facebook marketing strategy can also be about engaging with your target audience, increasing customer loyalty, lead generation, and interacting with your customer base. And Facebook is still one of the best social media platforms to achieve all of that.

Here are 11 examples of brands that win big with their Facebook marketing. Even if your situation is different, your budget not even worth mentioning and your existing fanbase a fraction of the brands in question – you can still learn from these amazing Facebook marketing case studies how to leverage the Facebook audience!

1. Starbucks – Case Study for Facebook Groups

The first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte was sold in a test campaign in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada, and Washington, D.C. in 2003. It was an instant success. In the fall of 2004, the drink was rolled out nationwide. It is said that Starbucks made more than 1.4 billion $ just off this drink.

The pumpkin spice latte remains a seasonal drink to this day – and is eagerly awaited for fall 2020.

But what has Pumpkin Spice Latte to do with Facebook marketing? A lot.

In 2018 Starbucks launched a Facebook group for Pumpkin Spice Latte. The group is called “Leaf Rakers Society.” It is a group to celebrate fall – remember, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is a seasonal drink that can only be bought at Starbucks in fall…

The number one reason for Starbucks’ social media team for starting this group may have been the shift in the algorithm on Facebook. That shift meant that brands needed to focus on engagement and meaningful interaction instead of just posting. And for many brands that meant a new strategy that focused more on the Facebook group than on Facebook fanpages. For Starbucks this group had more benefits:
  • for their seasonal drink, this group kept the love and excitement alive all-year-long.
  • They do not post, they do not have to be active. The group members keep the group alive.
  • They do not have to spend a dime in advertising – the popular topic allows them to do brand building based on member activity.
  • They can build anticipation for the re-release of their famous drink every year by simply recommending new fall- and pumpkin-spice-lovers to the group – even from other social networks like Twitter.
  • Listening to their customers who keep talking about beveryge recepies and Starbucks products they get valuable insights into what their audience loves or hates, how they can improve – and maybe even get new ideas for the nest super product to sell
  • All considered, the Facebook group for pumpkin spice latte lovers seems to do the trick for Starbucks.

2. Tomcat – Facebook Video Case Study

Facebook video and Facebook live video may sound a little intimidating and scary. So much may go wrong. And if it goes wrong everybody can see it.

But with a little creativity and some additional boost, there are awesome marketing results on the line.

So how about Halloween, mice, and a horror movie that develops as the audience comments on the video? This is an extraordinary example of creative content marketing utilizing one of the major trends in social media.

Tomcat is a company that focuses on rodent extermination. For Halloween 2016 they created a live video event featuring some mice in a haunted cabin. At some points in the story, the audience was asked how the story should develop: Which of the mice should die next and how should it be killed.

The video got 2.3 million unique views and an insane amount of 21% of viewers actively participated. the fanbase of the Tomcat Facebook page grew by 58%.

3. BuzzFeed -Facebook Live dance battle

This is another example of how brands can use Facebook live to engage with their audience and build brand awareness.

You probably all know BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed used Facebook live to host an interactive dance battle called “Dance Craze Battle: Live” that asked the audience to vote on the performance of the dancers via the comments.

But they asked for even more engagement.

Instead of following a predefined schedule and guideline for the moves to be performed, they asked the audience to suggest dance moves that the dancers had to perform. And the audience complied, making the dancers perform things like “the crying college student.”

Between rounds, Buzzfeed took the opportunity to talk to the contestants and make their team more human.

In the second round of the battle, the viewers could see how the dancers performed their suggestions.

The engagement on the live videos helped keep the audience interested.

4. Hubspot – Facebook group example

In March 2020 the inbound marketing company Hubspot created a Facebook group for Marketers called Marketer to Marketer.

As with the Starbucks Facebook group for fall lovers, the Hubspot group is NOT a group to market Hubspot products. It is also not a Hubspot support group.

In fact, the group description explicitly states that the group is not monitored by the Hubspot support team.

Hubspot answers the why to the Facebook Group themselves: To build a community around their target group (=marketers.) Plus, since the reach for Facebook posts steadily declines they needed a new way of increasing engagement around their brand and product.

The impact of the group? Hubspot has close to 2 Mio followers on their Facebook fanpage. The group has just over 3200 members. The difference is too large to measure the impact of the group on Facebook engagement, reach or traffic.

However, they get direct access to members from their target group. They can interact and engage and earn valuable insights into the questions and topics on the mind of their marketing audience.

The Hubspot Facebook group is still very young but it already turned into a self-sustaining community. But it still needs ongoing promotion to keep it growing and prospering.

5. Real Estate – a Local Facebook Marketing Case Study

Looking at the other case studies, you may get the impression that you have to be a global player with a huge budget to utilize Facebook marketing. That is why I added this case study about a real estate company that wanted to increase local leads.

For this they used lead generation ads – this type of ad on Facebook already includes a contact form for which you can choose the questions to add.

The agency case study tells that the campaign generated 370 local leads in 90 days. Each lead cost 6,77$ on average.

Before you jump on the Facebook advertising train, please note that the case study does not disclose any ROI or value for the lead. I have no proof whatsoever that any dollar was ever earned with these leads.

And that is a major problem with lead generation on Facebook and you need to measure your results carefully: Leads need to make you money otherwise you will be on a straight path to bankruptcy as you pay for each lead in hard money.

6. Nike

Sure, Nike has a corporate page on Facebook. But Nike has so much more. They have specialized Fanpages for various sports like basketball, football, running, tennis, etc. Also, Nike has some pages for activity like the Nike+ Run Club. They have Nike Women. Plus they have several accounts for various products.

Why are they splitting up their marketing power this way?

Because it lets them target their audience much better. They can provide more value to the people. The sports channels give you news from your favorite sports without annoying half the audience with news from sports they are not interested in.

I have been part of the running initiative a while back when Nike had Women’s runs in various cities including my home town Berlin. These runs were perfectly organized inbound marketing campaigns that encouraged the participants to share photos and videos from the event all over social media. Nike even provided several on-location photo booths to make sure there where thousands of branded photos being passed around social media. And sure I was a fan of the related Fanpage eager awaiting updates on the next run.

With all these accounts – what is Nike talking about all day? What is their content strategy? Not their products – or not only their products. Nike products have a minor role in all this branding effort. No need to be overly promotional. A large number of updates is about news from sports or athletes that still builds brand awareness.

Note: Nike can be viewed as a case study from the past. Most of their Facebook pages are not updated anymore. They have gone on another marketing path.

7. TOMS One-For-One Strategy

The One-For-One Strategy is incorporated into TOMS: For each pair of shoes someone buys at TOMS, they will give another pair to someone in need. The same goes for eyewear. For a bag, TOMS will finance one secure birth for a mother and child. This strategy gives a lot of possibilities for stories to tell – each product in itself is a call-to-action to do something good. And this type of marketing campaign works on Facebook. They can announce new partnerships and products – people will like them and allow leveraging the good deed that is always included.

8. State Bicycle

Maybe it is because I am into sports myself – I love how State Bicycle work their Facebook page: Sure they have product updates. They also have announcements for races and news from the biking world.

What really gets their engagement going is their content strategy of photo contests, photo shoots and photos they share.

If you want to learn more about this Facebook marketing case study, you can find >more details in this report.

9. Tough Mudder

I am not so sure whether I first heard about Tough Mudder from friends – or if I first saw an ad from them on Facebook. Maybe it is because I know people who participated, or because Jonathan may take part one day. But they surely caught my attention on Facebook. Tough Mudder is an obstacle course challenge that takes place all over the world. And they rock Facebook. They are using several country accounts besides the main Facebook Fanpage. They post a mixture of videos, images, and articles around the tough mudder races. Of course, they have the huge advantage of video footage directly from the challenges. And these videos surely get a ton of engagement – who does not admire those tough mudders?

Also, they use Facebook advertising – as said before, I saw those ads multiple times. And maybe one day I will dare to go for one of the challenges… Let me first finish the Berlin Marathon in September 🙂

ToughMudder also uses Facebook video and Facebook live to cover its events. Since the Corona pandemic, there have not been any ToughMudder events but you can find some of the past videos.

They not only cover events but also live stream bootcamps.

10. FitBit – Facebook marketing case study

This is more an example of a content marketing strategy with the aid of Facebook. FitBit mainly shares their own blog posts on their Facebook fanpage. And they manage to get high engagement. Nothing going viral but solid likes and shares.

How they do it?

They do not concentrate on their products. They share posts from the FitBit blog that cover everything fitness and healthy living related. And that topic simply rocks on Facebook.

Plus they are responsive in the comments.

Whenever a fan shares a story or personal experience in the comments, FitBit is there to comment and appreciate the openness.

That kind of interaction scores high with fans.

11. Always #LikeAGirl

I can still remember seeing this campaign for the first time. And it lured me in – as thousands and millions of others.

Always offers sanitary products for women, and in 2014 they decided to change the meaning of #likeagirl. At the center of their campaign was this powerful video.

The campaign achieved what it was meant to achieve: it connected the brand „Always“ with millions of teenage girls and young female adults with a strong message that empowered them and made them proud to be #LikeAGirl.

Final Words about Facebook marketing case studies

While Facebook isn’t up front on the list of hottest marketing trends, there are still thousands of brands successful on Facebook. And not all of them base their success solely on the size of their advertising budget. They succeed because they understand how Facebook works – and what their audience on Facebook wants and likes.

The biggest trend – and probably your biggest chance for marketing success without breaking the bank – currently are Facebook groups and Facebook video or rather Facebook live. That is why we added some Facebook marketing case studies that focus on Facebook groups and Facebook videos.

Before you jump into Facebook marketing and spend thousands on advertising because you read somewhere that Facebook marketing can only be successful if you pay for it – take a close look at some of these case studies and figure out what really makes them successful. It is the content they use, the engagement they drive, and fit between their updates and their target audience. Once, you understood what works for others figure out which marketing tactics resonate with your audience!

That is what Facebook marketing success is based on!

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