Social Programmatic To The Rescue

– 18 May 2023

Display marketing has long been a tried-and-true method for increasing reach and driving clicks to a website. But what happens when your standard display creatives fall flat and fail to drive the clicks you need to make your campaign a success? 

That’s exactly the challenge our team faced when working with a client on a product purchase campaign. We knew that display marketing was a crucial part of any 360 digital marketing approach, but we needed to find a way to make it work for our client. We needed an out-of-the-box approach that would break through the clutter and engage the target audience. 

We decided to introduce a social programmatic campaign that leveraged the brand awareness from previous display campaigns to drive more clicks to their website. By using existing social media assets, we hoped to save the client money and achieve our target. It was a bold move that required careful planning and execution, but we were confident that it would pay off in the end.

Join us as we delve into the details of our case study and explore how we transformed a struggling campaign into a success story.

The goal

Our aim was to achieve a click-through-rate (CTR) of above 1% for the client’s banner ads, while keeping the cost per impression (CPM) between R25 to R30. Our team believed that meeting KPIs was a crucial first step, but we also recognized the importance of pushing boundaries and exceeding expecations.

We needed to keep a close eye on our KPIs, re-evaluating and readjusting them regularly as the campaign progressed. Knowing our client’s ambitious plans for the future centered around product purchases, we committed to continuously enhance our KPIs and deliver even more remarkable results. After all, our client’s triumphs are our triumphs too.

The challenge

As the marketing team for this particular client, we knew we had our work cut out for us. The dreaded “banner blindness” had set in, making it difficult to attract prospective audiences and drive them to the website. Our average CTR was stuck at a measly 0.5% – and that was on a good month!

Despite our best efforts to optimise and experiment with Custom Bidding and exclusion lists, it seemed like nothing we tried could break through this barrier. With a tight budget, increasing the CPM was not an option as it would limit our reach. The truth was, we were stuck. We couldn’t send users to the purchase page if we could hardly get them to the home page.

But even with our backs against the wall, we knew that there had to be a solution out there – a way to grab our audience’s attention and drive them to our client’s website. It was clear that we needed to approach this problem from a new angle.

Our strategy

We knew that standard display banners were not going to cut it, so we started exploring other display advertising formats. Native ads seemed like a promising option, but working with a separate creative agency to develop new assets proved to be a difficult task. We had to work with what we had, and that’s when we turned to social programmatic marketing.

Luckily, we were already running paid social campaigns for our client, so we had existing social assets that we could repurpose for display. We were excited to see if this would be the solution we had been looking for.

We set up the first campaign using a Facebook post and immediately started seeing better results. Within the first week, we had already reached our 1% click-through rate (CTR) goal and exceeded it. However, we knew we couldn’t celebrate just yet. We continued to closely monitor the campaign’s performance and made minimal optimizations to allow the engine to learn and suggest effective changes.

The results

After two weeks, we were thrilled to see that our approach was working. We had maintained the 1% CTR and it was even increasing on some days, reaching as high as 3%. By the end of the first month, the CTR was sitting at a staggering 2%. This was the highest CTR we had ever seen on any of the client’s display campaigns!

What we had learned

This success proved that our programmatic approach was effective and it was the format of the display ads that needed to be changed. We had previously advised the client to introduce new formats due to creative fatigue, but this win with social programmatic gave us the evidence we needed to prove it.

The experience changed our perspective on programmatic display and made us more open to experimenting with other formats. It also gave us the confidence to convince hesitant clients to try new things. We realised that we may be witnessing the end of the era of static banners and the birth of a new era of engaging formats.

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