Facebook Paid Advertising Tips to Increase Revenue
When Adam Moyer founded “Knockaround“, a San Diego-based sunglasses company in 2005, he was the first person to ‘like’ his company’s Facebook page. Fast forward a decade later – Knockaround now has more than 395,000 likes and their Facebook paid advertising efforts drive 20% of their total revenue.
Moyer, originally from Virginia was an art student at the University of California, San Diego when he decided to start a sunglasses company as a side project.
At the time, Facebook had only been around for about a year and the social platform was just starting to gain traction as a networking tool for college students.
Although Moyer’s company started out small scale, he quickly recognized there was a substantial market for affordable sunglasses and he had an opportunity to build a thriving business.
What began as a one-man operation in Moyer’s art studio, has since outgrown two warehouse spaces, and is now stationed at their new headquarters in downtown San Diego.
The company has been featured in a number of well-known media outlets, such as GQ , Hypebeast, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Complex Magazine, and The Today Show.
Thanks to their brand awareness efforts, Knockaround has also caught the attention of celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Natalie Portman, Matthew McConaughey, and Jessica Alba.
What is so unique about Knockaround is that they’ve been engaged with Facebook’s platform (both on the organic side and the paid side) for many years. They’ve experienced first-hand the platform’s algorithmic shift and it’s evolution as a networking tool to an ecommerce channel.
We spoke with Jakob Bechgaard, Digital Marketing Manager at Knockaround, LLC to discuss how Knockaround leverages Facebook’s extensive paid marketing capabilities to increase the company’s bottom line revenue and build successful brand awareness.
Bechgaard manages a number of digital marketing-related efforts for the brand including but not limited to Facebook ads and paid search.
He works directly with Knockaround’s team to generate marketing creative and messaging, manage budgets, and report on the outcome of their advertising efforts.
Q. Tell us about Knockaround and the products you advertise?
A. The whole concept of Knockaround was to create and sell affordable sunglasses, that were still high quality but came in a variety of styles and colors.
That is what inspired the name of the brand, because if you lost them, or broke them – you could easily buy another pair. (FYI: Knockarounds are typically priced from $10 to $30 each).
We were one of the first companies to successfully market affordable shades with a “brand” behind it. They weren’t just another cheap pair of sunglasses you could buy at the gas station – it was a brand with a lifestyle presence, good customer service, and collaboration efforts.
What started out as a basic sunglasses line has expanded to include new models, and other accessories, such as belts and duffel bags.
We currently have 6 frame styles, in a variety of colors, with different lenses. We also offer a Custom Shop – which allows our customers to build their own shades (based on preferred style, color, logo placement, etc.)
Once a month, we offer a limited edition pair of sunglasses, and when they sell out – they’re gone and can’t be purchased again.
For collectors and unique eyewear connoisseurs, the ongoing Limited Edition sunglasses series offers a chance to own Knockarounds produced in small quantities, with rare colorways, special detailing and packaging, and themed companion objects.
Those limited edition specials have become very important to our business. Sometimes they sell out in minutes. Collaborations are also a big driver of business.
We’ve collaborated with a wide variety of people and companies—from Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, POW! WOW!, Illest, Benny Gold, Pacifico, Green Flash, and Pepsi. We choose to work with brands that we like, and are a good fit with the company.
Q. What has been the impact of Facebook paid ads vs. organic efforts on your business?
A. Initially the organic side of Facebook was a huge driver of revenue, especially back in the day before Facebook changed the algorithm. Companies had more exposure and there was a lot less competition. Now, there are so many businesses competing for inventory.
As Facebook changed the way its algorithm and advertising worked – we got less and less exposure from our organic Facebook efforts. This was when our Facebook paid advertising efforts became really important.
In order to get the same exposure we once had on the organic side, we had to invest and optimize our paid marketing efforts.
Unfortunately, on Facebook you can’t always get that exposure for free anymore.
Facebook advertising allows us to still reach people that organically have shown interest in Knockaround. We used to be able to reach those people organically and now we still can reach them, but through paid ads.
A big advantage of Facebook is that you can advertise to people that have actively shown an interest in your brand.
Q. Which Facebook campaigns have you seen success with?
A. We often run static posts and carousel ads. In my experience, there’s not really one ad type that works better than another – it really depends on what campaign we’re launching and whether it’s product specific. For example, for a product feature – we would build a carousel ad and show that product in different scenarios or from different angles.
But if the campaign objective is more to promote general brand awareness or drive traffic to the site – we typically use more lifestyle shots in a traditional format.
Often what we do is run one of each ad type to test what performs better. Testing is one of the biggest advantages of Facebook.
Q. Does Facebook drive revenue or is it more of brand awareness tool?
A. It’s a combination of both, but it’s a definitely a huge revenue driver for us. We use Facebook advertising a lot to drive direct response and get conversions on our website. We do run some brand awareness campaigns, where it’s not necessarily the objective to convert a short term sale, but it’s more to generate awareness and in the long run – grow our company.
But, we primary push for direct response and focus on ROAS (return over advertising spend) to determine a campaign’s success. We want to know if we put in $10 – what do we get back?
We also frequently use boosted posts. It’s kind of a hybrid between organic and paid efforts. Especially because of our business model, (limited editions and featured collaborations, which are pretty short lived) those campaigns are a huge driver when we have a new product release.
Typically, we boost a post and that will drive measurable engagements – so we can see how many sales we generated from that post.
Q. What are 3 Facebook Paid Advertising Tips for Retailers?
1) Know Your Audience: I think a lot of it comes down to very basic marketing, where Facebook is not necessarily different from anything else. It’s important to understand who your audience is in terms of demographics and where they are. First of all – are they on Facebook? What’s the age group? Gender? Typical interests, hobbies and occupations?
Facebook has a lot of really good targeting tools (ex: demographics, geotargeting, interests, etc.) and knowing your audience allows you to set up relevant and impactful campaigns. And of course, analyzing your Facebook data on an ongoing basis will provide a lot of insight into your core audience and its characteristics.
2) Know Your Objectives: Because of the way Facebook ads are set up, choosing your objective will be the first thing you decide on whether that be to increase brand awareness, drive a direct response, install your app, sign up for an event or generate a lead. And once you have identified your main objective, it can be helpful to break it down even further. For example, are you trying to reach new customers unfamiliar with your brand? Or are you trying to re-engage previous customers that haven’t bought from you in a while?
It all comes down to: What are you trying to do?
3) Test & Measure Results: Track your ROI and know what your KPIs are. That ties back to, what are your objectives? If it’s direct response, you’ll want to see the revenue you get out of it compared to the cost. If it’s lead generation – what’s the cost per lead? If it’s awareness, you probably want to look at post engagement or CMP and for video views track your cost per view.
Once you know all of those things you can test and optimize based on what you find. I think, for testing it can be hard to get started because it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the huge amounts of marketing literature that advocates testing everything, down to the tiniest details.
But, you also have to be realistic – sure if you have the resources or are working with an agency then you can test everything but I think it’s important to start testing at a high level, for example different images or incentives, and not get bogged down by too many test variations at first.
Q. What do you envision as the future of Knockaround’s Facebook advertising efforts?
A. We’re getting more into video ads, behavioral targeting and dynamic ads. These have all been around for a while but now there are more and more tools available to make your campaigns more targeted and contextual.
Especially on Facebook – there are so many great targeting options to make the messaging more personal compared to other platforms which rely on algorithms and ‘guesstimation’ to try and match the right audience with the right message or the right product.
On Facebook, users have actively identified themselves in terms of location, demographics, interests, occupation etc.
Combining this user provided data with other data sources, such as users’ past website behavior, allows us to increase the relevancy of our Facebook ads. We strive to constantly improve the ‘customer journey’ and ensure that there’s consistency in the messaging throughout all touch-points, across all channels.