We caught the scrapbooking bug when the Bradford Group tapped us (my digital agency, Marketing Highway) to help build their new scrapbooking business. But what really took us all by surprise was…
…the success of the social media – especially the Facebook channel. Fans, ‘likes’ and brand interaction have taken a viral spin – it’s just wonderful when a plan comes together!
In the third quarter of 2009, The Bradford Group introduced its first scrapbook kit continuity program; Lisa Bearnson’s My Family, My Joy Scrapbook Kit Collection. Lisa Bearnson is a popular and authoritative scrapbooking personality, a founder of Creative Keepsakes magazine and former host of a QVC Scrapbooking show. Based on the product’s success, Bradford decided to expand its scrapbooking/paper crafts portfolio in 2010 under the “Memory Keeping Collection” umbrella.
The Memory Keeping Collection Web site was launched in the second quarter of 2010. It was designed to be an online community for scrapbookers, with tips, ideas, and products, and well as blogs by Lisa Bearnson and other accomplished practitioners in the world of scrapbooking and paper crafts. The site’s purpose is to position Memory Keeping Collection as a credible resource for scrapbook enthusiasts, enhance relationships with continuity program customers (typically generated through direct mail and print advertising), attract qualified prospective customers, and create incremental online business.
The Bradford Group has experienced success in selling scrapbook kit collections by direct mail to highly-qualified lists and print ads in targeted magazines. However, the number of good mailing lists is limited, and the universe of scrapbook-oriented publications is small…and decreasing. A new source of qualified prospects was needed. Thus, Bradford Group sought to generate self-identified scrapbookers via online media.
Traffic to the MKC site was not meeting expectations in the months following its launch. Without increased traffic, the desired online community of scrapbookers could not get off the ground. The establishment of this community was vital to Memory Keeping Collection’s perception of credibility. Lacking the backing of a publication, TV show, or retailer, Bradford needed some way to build trust and authority with scrapbookers.
The Facebook Solution
In the third quarter of 2010, it was decided to test Facebook as a way to generate interest and participation in the Memory Keeping Collection community. Posts would position Memory Keeping Collection as supportive of scrapbookers, with ideas, inspiration, and conversation designed to help crafters get better results.
Facebook friends were invited to enter a promotional giveaway (a chance to win a Cricut™ cutting machine). By submitting contact information, entrants were added to the Memory Keeping Collection prospect database for future contact by mail or email.
The Facebook Launch was supported by a carefully orchestrated campaign plan:
- Facebook pages were created to reflect the Memory Keeping Collection personality of friendly support and service to the scrapbooking audience. First-time visitors were met with a Welcome Page, highlighting the benefits of “liking” Memory Keeping Collection. The Cricut Giveaway was promoted on the Welcome Page, Product Page, Specials Page, and twice per week in Wall posts.
- An editorial calendar of posts was built and maintained throughout the Launch Campaign. Relatively heavy frequency in this period conveyed an impression of activity, attractive to would-be friends. The calendar assured a good mix of popular topics, open-ended questions, blog references, and product pitches. Monitoring of audience response informed posting plans as the campaign progressed.
- Two weeks following the launch of Memory Keeping Collection’s Facebook presence, existing Memory Keeping Collection customers were contacted by email and postcard with an invitation to join us on Facebook…and refer their friends.
- Around the same time, we began testing Facebook ads targeted to Facebook users with “scrapbooking” (and related terms) in their profile. Three ad treatments were created, with the winning version rolled out for the remainder of the campaign.
- An online news release announcing the Memory Keeping Collection online community, Facebook site and Cricut Giveaway, was distributed via PR Newswire.
- Memory Keeping Collection Friends (“Likes”) increased from 0 to 4,096 in less than eight weeks; the site recorded 3,408 active users in this period.
- Daily post feedback – showing audience engagement – increased 65% in the last month of the campaign.
- Within four weeks, Facebook became the leading referral source to the MKC site. Monthly Web traffic increased by a factor of 3.23 (a 224% jump) in terms of site visits, and a factor of 2.82 (a 182% jump) in terms of page views (October vs. August).
- Monthly online sales volume at the MKC site doubled (by a factor of 1.9) by the end of the campaign (October vs. August).
- Of the three Facebook ads tested, one – “Express Love” – performed 3.5 times better than the others in terms of click-through rate and became the control, with an average cost per click at $0.29.
- Approximately 2,900 Facebook Friends entered the Memory Keeping Collection Cricut Giveaway. In other words, approximately 2,900 qualified scrapbookers volunteered their contact information to the Memory Keeping Collection for marketing purposes.