Study: For Facebook advertising success, make your ads follow the marketing funnel

When it comes to Facebook advertising, it’s better to have your ads perform a different function everyday, rather than repeat the same message

A recent study, titled “The Science of Social Media Advertising” conducted by social media marketing platform Adaptly and lifestyle blog Refinery29 compared the results of a sustained advertising effort to a sequence of ads designed to take the viewer through different stages of the marketing funnel. Each ad was equipped with a call-to- action (CTA,) but the CTA’s for the funnel-focused ads each performed a different function. In this case, the end goal was to sign up for Refinery29’s newsletters.

The sequenced ads trumped the sustained messaging by a big margin, recording greater overall view-throughs by 87% and conversions by 56%. 

Refinery29 designed three creatives for each treatment group and Adaptly tailored the campaigns. The sequenced group was delivered across 12 days, split evenly across each stage to “walk” people down the brand funnel and eventually to get them to sign up after viewing a 1) top of the funnel ad for brand message 2) middle of the funnel ad for consideration 3) bottom of the funnel ad for call to action. (see Group 1 below) A similar-sized audience was targeted with three CTA-focused ads each delivered for 4 days and with similar bidding strategies to the sequenced for CTA campaign. (see Group 2 below). 

In essence, the sequenced ads asked customers to do a different thing at each stage, while the sustained ads repeatedly asked the customer to do the same action over a period of days.

“Although the research findings might sound like an obvious outcome, some advertisers may find it counterintuitive to elongate a campaign as a way to more gradually bring their audience through the purchase funnel, rather than more immediately delivering a call-to-action,” says Adaptly CEO Nikhil Sethi. “But we have proven that this classic brand-building approach it is both effective and efficient, even for direct response advertising.”

Here is the comparative performance of the two campaigns:

The results of the study highlight how important it is to have a clear-cut strategy when it comes to CTA-focused ads. Viewers get tired of seeing the same thing in their already cluttered news feeds, and for an ad to stand out, it has to target a viewer at the right stage of their engagement with the brand. While initial branding and awareness efforts can be effective, for them to truly translate into revenues, the ads have to narrow their focus to capturing the highly engaged consumer, instead of continuing to pursue a broad reach of moderately engaged potentials.

Click here to download the entire report from Adaptly and Refinery29.

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