Deadline for Closing of Facebook’s WhatsApp Acquisition Pushed Back by One Year

WhatsApp650Facebook announced in its Form 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week that it was extending its deadline to close its acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp by one year, to Aug. 19, 2015.

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Case Study: Banana Republic uses lookalike audiences to find best shoppers

banana republic

 

When Banana Republic opened its doors in 1978, it quickly grew into a global brand set on making and keeping modern professionals stylish. Dedicated to helping customers achieve both professionally and personally, the company offers versatile apparel that can be styled for virutally any occasion.

Challenge:

While Banana Republic’s customer base is loyal, it is also aging. The company’s goal was to reach a younger demographic that would be new to the brand. It also hoped to increase its return on ad spend during the competitive holiday season. Custom audiences looked like the perfect tool to help Banana Republic find its current customers on Facebook. Lookalike audiences helped the retail chain expand its reach by finding new shoppers with attributes similar to its younger customers.

Solution:

Banana Republic decided to target its top customers. It had seen success with online retargeting programs in the past, but it hadn’t launched a pure online acquisition campaign to reach customers new to the brand. The campaign ran from Nov. 13, 2013, to early January 2014.

The company determined that Facebook was the ideal platform to assist it with reaching holiday shoppers.

To execute the campaign, the retailer worked with Booyah! Advertising, a digital performance-based agency, along with its internal e-commerce, creative, customer-relationship management, measurement and brand teams.

The teams’ collaboration allowed the company to identify characteristics of consumers who were more likely to buy more from them.

To reach the right people during the holiday season, Banana Republic used custom audiences and divided its customers into various segments:

  • Lapsed: those who had not purchased from Banana Republic in the past 12 months, but who had purchased at least twice in the 12 months prior;
  • Prospects: those who had never purchased from Banana Republic, yet were on Banana Republic’s email list; and
  • Top tier: those who had spent over a designated threshold in the past 12 months.
  • Lookalike audiences: Lookalike audiences allowed the retailer to create a target audience of people who may not have purchased from Banana Republic before, but had attributes and online behaviors similar to the retailer’s top tier customers.

The company also leveraged Facebook’s native keyword targeting capabilities to reach women who liked fashion, media and travel. To drive additional holiday sales, the retailer presented each of its custom audiences with tailored offers.

The campaign tested various creative within the ads and targeted several different segments of male and female shoppers. The advertising team also carefully measured each ad set to see which messages and images drove higher click-through rates. The team found that:

  • Placing the Banana Republic logo at the top of ads increased visibility and drove more conversions;
  • Winter wear images delivered more engagement than festive holiday clothes;
  • For images, product close-ups performed better than models; and
  • Action-oriented calls to action, such as “GET THE LOOK,” drove higher click-through rates than more passive copy, such as “Dressed to celebrate.”

Results:

In the end, the campaign was a success.

Banana Republic received a nearly four times return on its ad spend than other display advertising channels. And Facebook became the company’s top-performing channel for new customer acquisition during the holiday season.

Perhaps the clincher: The retailer had a 60 percent higher click-through rate using Facebook lookalikes compared to other display media.

SEC’s Inquiry on Facebook’s IPO Done in May; No Enforcement Action Recommended

SECLogo650The Securities and Exchange Commission notified Facebook in May that its inquiry into the company’s initial public offering was complete, and no enforcement action would be taken, the social network reported last week in its Form 10-Q filing with the SEC.

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SPMD SHIFT Q2 report: Which verticals grew on Facebook?

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Facebook’s Q2 performance has earned rave reviews, but how did advertisers do?

SHIFT, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, broke down Q2 ad performance by vertical. Some highlights:

  • SHIFT saw entertainment achieve the highest CTR in Q2 at 1.8%, with CPG not far behind at 0.9%.
  • SHIFT saw Auto and Entertainment achieve the most efficient CPC in Q2.
  • Auto had the highest increase in CTR in Q2 compared to Q1 with a 48% increase.
  • The top five verticals through SHIFT’s platform (Auto, CPG, Entertainment, FinServ and Telco) achieved 200% or more increase in CTR year over year.
  • The increase in CTR across the board means advertisers are reaching the right people at the right time, and as a result they are taking action.

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The ultimate guide to measuring earned media value on Facebook

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Brands ask this question all the time — how do you measure the value of earned media on Facebook?

Some just multiply by $5 per thousand impressions (or whoever can provide the highest earned media value multiplier) to report the highest figure. Not the most sophisticated approach, but it might be good enough for companies that sell sugar water. Certainly better than pure fan count, since EMV correlates more with engagement than the size of the fan base.

But unless you can tie EMV (Earned Media Value) to actual sales, you’ve got some level of hocus pocus here.

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Infographic: Are brands shifting to owned media instead of Facebook?

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Jun Group, a content distribution platform, released data this week that shows brand advertisers have shifted their digital goals away from Facebook and YouTube to promote their owned online destinations.

According to the data, the share of clicks driving consumers to brand owned and operated sites more than doubled from 2012 to 2013, increasing from 28 percent to 57 percent. Facebook and YouTube, which represented 31 percent and 38 percent respectively, declined to 10 percent and 24 percent over the same period.

Mitchell Reichgut, CEO of Jun Group, said in a press release:

This shift towards owned content from social channels represents the convergence of a few big trends. First, as advertisers spend more developing branded content and digital experiences, they want to drive audiences directly to those destinations. At the same time, social platforms have made it more complicated for brands to communicate with fans.

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Infographic: Inside a large-scale Facebook advertising campaign

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You’ve seen major advertising campaigns from big brands land in your News Feed.

But how did they come to fruition?

SocialCode, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, has handled social  campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world. They’ve worked with more than 30 percent of the Fortune 100 list. The company recently developed an infographic, showing how brands work with agencies to create engaging and interesting ad campaigns on Facebook.

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Facebook’s future looks bright: video, Audience Network and mobile are keys

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Facebook is knocking on the door of bringing in $3 billion in a single quarter — and that might just be a stepping stone.

The company announced Wednesday that Q2 was its highest-performance quarter to date, with revenues of $2.9 billion and worldwide growth in revenue-per-user. They’re just getting started.

Much of Facebook’s economic growth of late has come from mobile. The highly-touted mobile app install ad has led to more than 350 million app installs, and the ad format is moving beyond games and into retailers and consumer packaged goods verticals. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that U.S. users spend an average of 40 minutes per day (including 1 of 5 minutes on mobile), but he wants a bigger slice of the digital media pie.

Mobile now accounts for 62 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue, and that figure could rise in the next couple years as Facebook develops more relevant and targeted video ads in concert with Audience Network — both of which are still in their infancies.

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How to navigate the Facebook ad campaign maze: part I

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Now that summer is here, it’s a good time to reflect on the past six months of Facebook advertising. The year started with a mega deal — the company’s $19 billion cash-and-stock deal for social messaging app WhatsApp — and has evolved along with the way with the introduction of more advanced direct marketing-based ad targeting features and tools.

What’s been clear throughout each of these announcements and changes to its advertising platform is that Facebook is no longer just an engagement or branding platform for marketers. Now, it is a highly diversified engagement plus direct-response performance-based advertising platform.

Facebook now offers advertisers a growing set of ad solutions that help generate real, measurable business results. By implementing these ad types, marketers can begin to realize the full customer acquisition benefits of Facebook advertising.

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Facebook’s Q2 2014 in charts: best quarterly revenue, now at 1.3B users

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 1.25.20 PM

Facebook, after a momentary (and expected) dip in Q1 2014, is back to posting record numbers in Q2. The company had its most successful quarter to date, drawing more than $2.9 billion in revenue and growing to more than 1.3 billion users around the world.

We’ve talked about the effect of the World Cup on Facebook advertising, and it shows: revenue grew in every area of the world, with big quarterly gains in Europe and Asia.

Facebook’s userbase continued to grow, as well. Overall, Facebook has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users and 829 million daily active users. On mobile, Facebook continues to trend upward. In Q2, Facebook reported 654 million mobile DAUs and a little more than 1 billion mobile MAUs.

For a closer look at Facebook’s Q2, look at the charts below.

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