Practical Ecommerce

Facebook Advertising: A Case Study

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.

Facebook advertising is nearly essential to the success of any small business’s social media marketing efforts. This case study, from a long-standing client, helps prove the point.

The Client

Savoie’s is a leading producer of authentic Cajun food products.

Savoie’s is a leading producer of authentic Cajun food products.

Savoie’s Sausage and Food Products started as a small grocery store in Opelousas, La., where, 60 years ago, Eula Savoie began making and selling sausage and other pork products. Today, the company is one of the leading producers of Cajun food products in the U.S. and is still located in the same grocery store where it started.

The Problem

Distributors of consumer-packaged goods look at multiple factors when deciding to carry a particular product. One is brand recognition and presence in the market, for which Facebook followers and engagement can play a large role.

As part of a campaign to promote its 60th anniversary, Savoie’s allocated $1,500.00 toward Facebook ads for the purpose of increasing the number of followers to its Facebook page over a three-month period.

The Baseline

Savoie’s Facebook page had 2,757 followers before the implementation of the ad campaign.

Savoie's started with 2,757 likes on its Facebook page.

Savoie’s started with 2,757 likes on its Facebook page.

The Strategy

Savoie’s wanted to target men and women between the ages of 25-64 who were living in Louisiana. Normally, I would avoid using such as wide age range when creating Facebook ads for other small businesses, but people in Louisiana love to cook, so I wanted to capture users who were more than likely to cook for themselves or others.

I also targeted users who had an affinity for Cajun and Creole cuisine or culture, which included interests in Cajun and Zydeco music, grilling and cooking, and food items such as gumbo, red beans and rice, barbeque, and étouffée (a spicy Cajun stew). Other categories unique to Louisiana, such as Acadiana and Cajun French, were also included.

This strategy resulted in identifying a clearly-defined audience that provided an estimated daily reach of 850-2,200 people.

The Ads

Many Facebook users were already brand-loyal to Savoie’s but may not have known the company had an active Facebook page. The ads needed to feature its products and logo prominently, along with photos of enticing-looking food, when possible. It was also crucial to include the phrase “authentic Cajun” in all ad copy since Savoie’s Foods is a certified, 100 percent authentic Cajun product.

My team and I highlighted three of the brand’s most popular products — smoked sausage, rice dressing mix, and roux.

Savoie’s smoked sausage product was featured in the ad campaign.

Savoie’s smoked sausage product was featured in the ad campaign.

The Refinement

We monitored the ads throughout their three-month run. It was apparent early in the campaign that the ad featuring Savoie’s smoked sausage would perform head and shoulders above the rest, so we allocated additional funds to ensure that more people saw it.

We also noticed that users were not engaging with the ad featuring the roux product, so we discontinued it. That freed up even more of the budget to go toward ads featuring the sausage and the rice dressing mix. From that point, very little editing of the ads was required.

The Results

The ads exceeded all our expectations. Here are the results.

Savoie's ended the campaign with 13,526 likes.

Savoie’s ended the campaign with 13,526 likes.

The ads reached nearly 92,000 Facebook users and received more than 11,000 clicks. They drove over 10,600 new followers to the page at an average cost of 11 cents per like.

Part of the success of the campaign had to do with the brand recognition of Savoie’s Foods. Focused targeting of an audience that showed definite affinity to Cajun food and culture also helped ensure we would receive the greatest results at the lowest possible price.

The Present

We continue to run “Like” ads, to increase the number of followers. More recently, we added “Click to Website” ads with the intention of drivingpurchases from the company’s online store.

The Savoie’s Facebook page, run by an in-house social media manager, now has a large group of brand advocates that follow and actively engage with its posts.

Final Recommendations

Facebook ads can be a powerful tool for any small business owner or marketer, especially when accompanied by a smart strategy.

To summarize, here are a few takeaways from the case study:

  • Clearly define your goals before thinking about strategy. Your campaign will not see the success experienced by Savoie’s if you are not 100 percent sure of what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Create a strategy document that outlines the agreed upon goals and that defines your target audience.
  • Be precise in your targeting, without narrowing your audience too much. Don’t just cast a wide net and hope for the best.
  • Refine your ads while the campaign is running. Otherwise, you will waste money on an uncaring and non-engaged audience.
  • Go back to the drawing board if the ads aren’t working.
Rodney Hess

Rodney Hess

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Comments ( 4 )

  1. Carlos Rivera July 7, 2015 Reply

    Awesome case study and results! I am going to copy your methodology. Thank you so much!

  2. Joe July 12, 2015 Reply

    Did the increase in Facebook likes increase sales/growth

    • Rodney July 13, 2015 Reply

      Hey, Joe. It’s a bit too early to tell if their distribution picked up in any meaningful way, but we do have an ongoing contract with them now so I’ll be sure to update when I get the info. Thanks!

  3. rosencrentz December 25, 2015 Reply

    Has there been any measurable increase in sales as a result of spending ad money ?