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Get your ad eggs into more than one Meta basket

Our regular marketing challenge feature focuses on the complex world of the metaverse. We find out how Maddy Avery, founder of Queensland digital agency Birdcage Marketing, turned around the fortunes of a boutique fashion retailer who had lost access to their Meta Business Manager accounts, including their Facebook ad account – their primary source of online sales.

An Australian boutique fashion retailer approached Maddy asking for help after they lost access to their Meta Business Manager, a platform on which they had been investing over $1 million in ad spend each year.

“Meta uses AI technology to improve the performance of ad campaigns,” Maddy explains. “The AI technology feeds off data about what type of person purchases from your brand and will, therefore, show your ad to people who most closely match previous purchaser’s characteristics and behaviours.”

Maddy points out that the more data there is in an ad account, generally, the better the ads will perform. “From a human perspective, ad accounts with months and months of past campaign data available allow us as an advertising agency to make more informed decisions about ad creative types and offer angles,” she says. “It can usually take three to four months for a brand new Meta Ad Account to start pulling strong ROI, as both Meta and an agency start out with nothing.”

“A diversified strategy is not just a smart move to increase client revenue, it’s also a risk-minimising strategy.”

As this brand came to Maddy having lost access to an ad account with lots of data built up over time, it was without its most effective advertising tool and primary revenue source. So, when Birdcage took on the client, it had to re-establish the account and quickly work on scaling the ad spend whilst minimising the blow to sales.

“Because they had neglected almost every other digital platform in favour of Meta Ads, we were limited with how we could bolster the reduced sales fallout,” Maddy bemoans, a scenario she confronted with a comprehensive review of the brand’s marketing and a new approach.

Birdcage created, for the first time since the client had started trading, a brand strategy that defined their target audiences, their pain points and how their brand was a solution to these pain points. “We also re-set up their Meta accounts and started running ads based on well-performing organic social media posts,” Maddy says. “We worked tirelessly in the first few weeks to test as many angles as possible to understand which were the best audiences, offers and visual ad creatives.”

A more diversified approach
Having managed to stabilise the client’s Meta Ad Account, Maddy and her team worked to diversify the brand’s revenue streams by commencing marketing on more digital platforms. “Guided by the audience, we focused on Pinterest Ads and engaging the very neglected email database,” she explains. “We also leveraged Google Ads and provided organic social media management and coaching to posit the owner of the business as the brand’s hero and ‘muse’, and develop lifestyle content that resonated with the brand’s target audiences.”

Best practice in the scaling of ad spend was regarded as not exceeding 20 per cent every 48 hours, the brand’s Meta ad spend had to remain considerably less than it had been previously. To make up for this, Birdcage focused on optimising conversion rates on the brand’s website so that the new traffic being generated there would result in more conversions, at a higher average order value. This meant that whilst the number of sales were down, the average value of each sale would be up.

“We launched a loyalty program for them to encourage non-customer email signups and repeat purchase behaviour, as well as rewarding customers for leaving reviews, which provided us with user-generated content to be used in further marketing,” Maddy says. “We also launched automated email marketing flows for new email signups, abandoned cart audiences and post-purchase actions.”

A turnaround in fortunes
In the first month of Facebook ads on the new account Birdcage created, the brand realised $103,593.95 in revenue, a return on ad spend of 5.6 times – a rate Maddy describes as “unheard of” for a brand new account.

Within three months, the new strategy had helped the brand increase its average order value by 20 per cent, to $131, increase sales attributed to email marketing to 44.1 per cent online revenue, increase sales attributed to Pinterest Ads to 8.9 per cent of online revenue, and increase website traffic by 20 per cent.

The issue Maddy was confronted with and the solution she devised to counter it strongly reinforce her belief that brands should not be putting “all their eggs in Meta’s basket” when it comes to advertising. “A diversified strategy is not just a smart move to increase client revenue, it’s also a risk-minimising strategy should a client be locked out of any digital platforms,” she avers. “The key to full-funnel, omnichannel success is a solid brand strategy that pulls the varied campaigns together. Without understanding the subconscious drivers of your target audiences, you cannot effectively communicate with audiences and maintain consistent messaging, offers and visuals.”

Maddy is also keen to stress that marketers need to be aware of Meta Ads best practice rules around account setups for clients, and their policies. “There are too many clients having their accounts restricted or losing access to them altogether,” she warns.

The story was originally published on Inside Small Business.

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