Facebook Lead Ads Case Study: Garden & Gun Land
Last May we had the pleasure of working with Garden & Gun Land to launch their new website and brand – an extension of the lifestyle brand and magazine Garden & Gun.
Armed with a shiny new site boasting stunning imagery and curated collections of the nation’s (now the world’s) best sporting properties, they tasked us with driving traffic and generate brand awareness for their two main audiences – consumers (buyers) and brokers (real estate agents). With these goals in mind, we worked closely with the Garden & Gun Land team to launch a paid media campaign using Google Adwords and Facebook.
The budget was initially weighted more towards Google Adwords, but as we analyzed conversion data and audience performance metrics (from Google Analytics) we quickly realized that Facebook allowed us to reach more people for a lower cost – while driving a massive increase in brand engagement.
The creative planning for the ads was simple: highlight the gorgeous collection of sporting properties. To do that, we worked with the Garden & Gun Land team to create a series of brand videos, carousels that allowed users to browse through curated collections, and custom ads designed to showcase the truly unique listings. Below are a few examples.
Facebook’s advanced targeting options allowed Garden & Gun Land to reach a variety of audiences, including remarketing lists (people that have visited the Garden & Gun Land site OR the Garden & Gun site), custom audiences based on magazine subscriber data, and additional lifestyle segments that we knew were interested in fishing, hunting, and real estate.
The results were immediate. In the first full month alone, Facebook drove more than half of total sessions to the site. People were completing key goal conversions after clicking the ads and the cost per conversion and cost per click were much lower than Google Adwords.
Number wise – they were hitting the mark. Branding wise – they were hitting it out of the park.
And remember their brand engagement goals? The conversation never stopped in the comments section of the Garden & Gun Land ads. Seriously. Page notifications were so frequent that they drained our phone batteries. Here are a few examples of the chatter taking place underneath the ads:
*Names blurred to protect privacy of commenters*
Since launching this campaign, our teams have continued to make changes and test what works. Here’s a quick list of what we’ve learned:
- A good image goes a long way on Facebook. Listings with photography that really wows us tends to wow Facebook as well.
- Keep your ad creative fresh. Nobody wants to keep seeing the same thing in their feed. We have continued to test new design layouts and highlight new properties. A steady supply of new photography from the Garden & Gun Land team really helped.
- Continue to tweak your targeting. We learned that some of our audiences, while engaged with the content, might be “dreamers” but not “buyers.” Once we built that initial audience, we were able to narrow our targeting to be sure we were capturing actual potential consumers and not just the dreamers.
Since Facebook ads launch, we’ve seen Garden & Gun Land’s Facebook page audience skyrocket (without running any “likes to my page” campaigns mind you). Here’s a quick visual example:
Here you can see that indeed most of the Facebook page likes generated were from these ads.
It’s great to see metrics like these because it means these people are beginning to recognize the brand, enjoyed seeing their content, and wanting to keep up with future content.
Facebook provides a pretty unique ad platform in that it allows you to see what the people who see your ad think. Just like any other platform, you can crunch numbers and dig into the account to pull performance metrics but what makes it unique is the ability it gives us to see the conversations it sparks. This of course does not happen with every Facebook ad account, but it’s pretty nice to see when it does.
Let’s Take This Up A Notch: Facebook Lead Ads
After the success of the standard Facebook ads, we wanted to collaborate with the Garden & Gun Land team on something new. Facebook lead ads are Facebook’s newest ad format, allowing you to generate newsletter signups, info requests, and other “lead” type inquiries directly from the news feed.
Garden & Gun Land had recently started a monthly newsletter highlighting their latest sporting properties. They wanted to grow their subscriber base, so we worked with them to test the Facebook lead ads.
They started with a simple newsletter ad targeting people who had already visited the Garden & Gun Land website. Here’s what it looks like:
Lead ads are simple to make: they require the same basic info as any other ad, with the main difference being your form options. You can choose from several built-in fields (name, phone number, etc) that are pre-populated by Facebook – making the signup process very simple. You can also customize the ads with “context cards” which are just bullets highlighting your offer, and add up to 3 custom fields.
The results? Hundreds of email subscribers in just over one month.
After subscribing, many visit the site and spend additional time and often complete other key on- site goals.
Managing An Influx of Email Signups
Your new Facebook lead ads can be exported from the Power editor into an excel file, but with so many coming in, it became time-consuming to export and then import into their marketing automation platform.
To streamline the process, we used the Facebook Ads API and hooked it directly up to Sharpspring (using their API). Now leads go directly into their CRM, which kicks off the appropriate notifications and thank you emails to the new subscribers – all in a matter of seconds.
If you can’t tell, we’re pretty excited about Facebook’s ad platform and looking forward to sharing more success stories. Thanks to the Garden & Gun Land team for letting us work with them on such a fun project.