Leisure marketing: Haven’t run a Facebook ad yet? Maybe you should wait.

February 18, 2011

Advertisers will spend double what they did last year on Facebook ads. But are they getting their money’s worth?

Webtrends just completed a study that determines how effective Facebook ads are.

All told, advertisers will spend $4 billion on Facebook ads this year, more than double the total from last year. But is it worth the cost?

Web analytics company Webtrends analyzed over 11,000 Facebook campaigns and measured Click Through Rates (CTR), Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Thousand (CPM) and Cost Per Fan (CPF).

The verdict:  Costs are up, click through rates are down.

  • From 2009 to 2010, Web Trends estimates the CTRs for Facebook ads went down 19%, the CPC increased 81% and the CPM went up 41%.
  • The CTR declined from 0.063% in 2009 to 0.051% in 2010.
  • Ad rates increased from 17 cents per thousand impressions in 2009 to 25 cents per thousand in 2010.
  • By comparison, online display ad costs range from $2 to $8 per thousand on other sites, so Facebook ads are still a good deal comparitively.

Does that mean you shouldn’t advertise on Facebook?  Not necessarily.

  • Decreasing CTR and increasing CPC rates are a typical pattern for display ad networks, because the audience is becoming more savvy.
  • Ads are growing more expensive because many of them are sold through an auction system that’s getting increasing competition as more advertisers turn to Facebook.
  • Webtrends believes companies that get a head start by adding millions of fans now are going to end up spending much less money than other brands later.

Acquiring a fan is just the beginning of marketing on Facebook.

“On Facebook, the magic of marketing happens when brands activate their fans in ways that inspire people to share those messages with their friends.”

That’s according to Facebook spokesperson Brandon McCormick who was recently quoted in an article on the subject by the Digits blog of the Wall Street Journal.

The Webtrends study also found that CTRs increased with age and gender.

  • Men and women ages 18-24 have the same CTRs, but women 55-64 are 16% more likely to click through than men of the same age.
  • The study confirmed earlier research by DDB which found that because people are on Facebook for fun, brands that are more fun to discuss on a social network do better.
  • That has translated into higher CTRs and lower CPCs for these more social brands.
  • The highest CTR and lowest CPC were registered by tabloids and blogs, media and entertainment brands, ecommerce and travel brands.

Other findings of the research:  Cost per fan, click through rates by gender and education, and faster ad burnout rates

  • The cost of advertising on Facebook to encourage a user to become a “fan” on the brand’s Facebook page is $1.07.
  • Facebook fans without a college education were more likely to click through to an ad as college educated visitors.
  • But fans who attended college are twice as likely to click through if a friend liked an ad.
  • Ad burnout is much higher on Facebook, with the typical life of an interest-targeted ad being 3-5 days.
  • Friend of fan targeting can increase the life of a Facebook ad by 2-3 times.

Have you started advertising on Facebook? If so, what kind of results are you getting? Have you increased or decreased your expenditures as a result?

You can find a copy of the Web Trends study here.


Leisure marketing: Is it time to jump off the internet banner wagon?

December 10, 2010

Has your rush to get into banner ads blurred your vision?

A recent study suggests leisure brands may be  wasting too much money on internet banner ads.

Only .2 or.3%  of people who are served an online banner ad actually click on it.

Translation:  Out of every 1,000 people who see your banner ad, only 2 or 3 will click through to read more. What’s more, click through rates have dropped 97.5% since the 1990s.*

A recent Harris Poll of over 2000 U.S. adults found that 4 times as many people say they ignore internet ads than TV spots.

  • 6 in 10 say they ignore internet ads.
  • Yet fewer than 2 in 10 say they  ignore TV spots (14%).
  • Less than 1 in 10 ignore radio spots (7%).
  • And just 1 in 17 say they ignore newspaper ads.

Although the results were very similar between men and women, there were some interesting differences between age groups:

  • 1 in 5 Americans over 55 say they ignore TV ads the most compared to just 14% of those 45-54 year olds.
  • Younger Americans are more likely to  ignore radio ads the most (11% of 18-34 year olds versus 6% of adults 55 and older.
  • Almost 1 in 2 Americans ages 35-44 say they ignore internet banner ads.

If most people aren’t reading your online ads, what can you do?

We reviewed recommendations from several experts in the field, and offer six ways to improve your readership.

  1. Buy leader boards and skyscrapers together, and create intersecting messaging between them. Make your online ads hard to ignore by creating one message across two ad spaces on the same web page.
  2. Design your banner ads to attract immediate attention. People scan web pages for useful and interesting information. Moving and unusual pictures pique people’s interest better than static photos.  Buying
  3. Rotate your banner ads more often. If you run the same ads over and over again, website visitors develop what’s known as “banner blindness.”
  4. Match the content of your banner ads with the site you are advertising on. Visitors to a website are interested in reading content that matches their interests. If you’re advertising a hotel, make sure it’s not on a website devoted to camping enthusiasts.
  5. Create a deal. Online shoppers love a bargain. Create a trial offer, a big discount or a free offer.
  6. Use a testimonial. Research has shown that people trust the recommendations of current users of a product over the marketing verbiage created by the company selling the product.

Connect your online advertising to traditional media.

Here at CCT Advertising, we’re finding that many of the leisure marketing specialists we work with are having better click through rates with their online advertising if:

  • They start with a mass media campaign led by TV, outdoor or radio ads.
  • They follow up with online ads to drive traffic to their websites when prospective customers are doing online research.
  • They create an ongoing dialogue with their customers using Facebook and other social media.

How are you making your online advertising more effective?

How does the effectiveness of your online leisure marketing efforts compare to your offline marketing?  What tweaks have you done to improve your click through rates?  Tells us about it.

*If you’d like to read more on this subject, check out our recent post: 10 Little Known Facts About the Power of Online vs. TV Ads


Leisure marketing: 10 valuable resources for social media novices.

November 12, 2010

10 timely articles to help you plan a new social media program.

The Social Media Safari Question #7:

“My staff and I are starting a social media program from scratch. Can you direct me to some previous posts you have written that would help guide us?”

Gladly.  Here are 10 relevant posts to help leisure marketing specialists like yourself get up to speed on social media.

They’ll show you how to plan your social strategy, point you to some of the leading gurus, discuss budgeting and measurement, and outline some of the best social media success stories.

  1. 10 leading experts help you plan and execute your social media campaign
  2. What leisure marketers can learn from history’s greatest social media screw ups
  3. 20 tips for overcoming your fear of blogging
  4. Leisure marketing to the 57 million Americans who have tried social gaming
  5. 5 ways your leisure marketing could incorporate location-based services
  6. 33 simple ways to measure your social media campaigns
  7. Advanced social media tools for listening to your customers
  8. The most powerful online leisure marketing machine is not a machine at all. It’s Lady Gaga.
  9. The Star(bucks) of leisure marketing is also the (Star)bucks of social media
  10. Leisure marketing at its viral best: Hi-Tec Sports

Looking for more answers to your social media questions?  Check out these other posts in our 10-part Social Media Safari Series:

  1. Does social media really work for marketing leisure brands?
  2. How much should I budget for social media?
  3. 10 social media campaigns that produced real results.
  4. 2 social media success stories utilizing limited budgets.
  5. What Coca Cola, Starbucks and Oreo can teach you about leisure marketing on Facebook.
  6. The Top 10 social media thought leaders.
  7. 11 ways businesses are using Twitter to promote their brands.
  8. If Twitter can save Conan, it can certainly revive your leisure brand.
  9. 15 valuable resources for social media novices.
  10. 20 ways to make sure your leisure marketing campaign goes viral.


Travel and leisure marketing: 10 little known facts about the relative power of online vs. tv ads.

September 17, 2010

As any travel and leisure marketing pro will tell you, the internet and social media have breathed new life into the way we all do business.

But one of my favorite bloggers, The Ad Contrarian, recently published a few facts that threw some cold water on my enthusiastic embrace of all things new and different.

And reminded me that as a marketing professional, it’s my responsibility to remind my readers that the old way of doing things isn’t necessarily the wrong way.

So in the spirit of creating a dialogue on the pros and cons of this brave new marketing world, I present the other side of the argument:

The Ad Contrarian’s Top 10 Unknown Facts About Advertising

1.  99.9% of people who are served an online display ad do not click on it.

2.  TV viewership is now at its highest point ever.

3.  96% of all retail activity is done in a store. 4% is done on-line.

4.  DVR owners watch live TV 95% of the time. 5% of the time they watch recorded material.

5.  99% of all video viewing is done on a television. 1% is done on-line.

6.  The difference in purchasing behavior between people who use DVRs to skip ads, and those who don’t: None.

7.  Since the 1990s, click-through rates for banner ads have dropped 97.5%.

8.  Since the introduction of TiVo, real-time TV viewing has increased over 20%.

9.  Baby boomers dominate 94% of all consumer packaged goods categories. 5% of advertising is aimed at them.

10.  TV viewers are no more likely to leave the room during a commercial  break than they are before or after the break.

Sources:
1. DoubleClick, Benchmark Report, 2009
2. Nielsen Three Screen Report, Q1 2010
3. U.S. Department of Commerce, Q2 2010; Nielsen Three Screen Report, Q1 2010
4. Duke University, Do DVRs Influence Sales?
5. Nielsen Three Screen Report, Q1 2010
6. Duke University, Do DVRs Influence Sales?
7. Li, Hairong; Leckenby, John D. (2004). “Internet Advertising Formats and Effectiveness”. Center for Interactive Advertising. And DoubleClick, Benchmark Report, 2009
8. NielsenWire, Nov. 10, 2009
9. Marketing Daily,  July 22, 2010
10. Council for Research Excellence, May 10, 2010


How Harry Potter helped U.S. travel marketing take a giant leap forward.

July 7, 2010

The curtain went up in a big way on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

When the Harry Potter inspired attraction at one of America’s best theme parks opened to the general public,  the enchantment wizards and witches at Universal Orlando did not disappoint.

The most highly anticipated theme park attraction in years.

Although dozens of new attractions opening at theme parks across the U.S. every year, none created as much anticipation, or delivered as much on expectations as Universal did when it opened its Harry Potter attraction.

What’s included in the attraction.

The creators of this $200 million theme park within a theme park spared no expense to immerse visitors in detailed and exacting re-creations of Hogsmeade, the mythical village of the wizardry world.

These include the Hogworts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the streets and shops of Hogsmeade.

There’s also a working version of The 3 Broomsticks, a pub that serves Muggles the same food and drink Harry enjoys, like Butter Beer.

How The Wizarding World re-created Harry Potter’s world.

The park achieved visual parity with the Harry Potter movies by enlisting the services of Alan Gilmore, art director for all 4 Potter movies.

According to Gilmore, “Overall, I think the detail, the absolute rigorous pushing of detail is beyond compare.  Everything is correct.  Our mantra was authenticity.”

Here’s the best part.

The opening roused Disney, that slumbering dragon of theme park magic, and ignited a new war of inspiration between these two entertainment leviathans.

Which is leading to a whole new generation of breathtaking, movie-inspired attractions.

If you’re a travel and attraction marketing professional, make a note of this event. And vow to use The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as inspiration to raise the bar for bravery and innovation in your little corner of the travel and attraction kingdom.



Leisure marketing at its viral best: Hi-Tec Sports

June 12, 2010

Are you interested in using viral video as part of your leisure marketing mix?  “Liquid Mountaineering” by Hi-Tec Sports, an English manufacturer of waterproof shoes and hiking boots, is a textbook study on how to produce viral right.  No wonder this video got over 4 million views worldwide.

There are 3 crucial elements that makes this video work:

1. Hi-Tec has a great product with a simple benefit.

2. They chose an agency who had developed great broadcast for another leisure brand.

3. They created a scenario that fascinated outdoor enthusiasts.

Of course there’s a lot more work that goes into producing successful viral campaigns than just good production. According to a recent case study from go viral, one of the world’s most successful viral video production companies, they use the following strategy to help their clients’ videos go viral.

Go viral’s four stages to a successful viral campaign strategy:

  1. Create intriguing content that speaks the language of your target audience.
  2. Use Comscore, Technorati, and other site ranking tools to find the most popular and influential websites, blogs and forums to your target audience.
  3. Seed your video in the most relevant online environments, and reach out to online influencers who are most likely to stimulate interest among a larger community.
  4. Continually maintain and activate the content in broader video sharing and social environments, to generate the momentum necessary to reach critical mass.

Before you shift all your leisure marketing budget over to viral, be aware that even with the best advice, the odds of your video going viral are  completely unpredictable. That’s according to Tim Hwang, an internet culture expert who was recently interviewed by CNN for their article “What makes videos go viral?”.

Which is not surprising when you consider that people have uploaded more content to You Tube  in the last 60 days than the 3 original television networks have produced in the last 60 years.

Want to see how Hi-Tec helped their athletes walk on water?  Watch “The making of Liquid Mountaineering” video.

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