The Karate techniques of running your campaigns

Theory is important but the most crucial learning happens when you put theory to practice, assess your success, correct your mistakes, and test new strategies. That’s why case studies are full of valuable information; you can learn more from seeing a real-world example! In this case study we will review a currently running campaign and go over its niche research, campaign preparation, and ad tracking.

Step 1. Research your audience, narrow it down to a niche

  1. Audience: We started off by looking into hobbies and interests but focused on the ones where we noticed passionate fans and/or hobbies that could be considered a “lifestyle”. While searching for different hobbies in Google, we came across communities and blogs devoted to Martial Arts. Here is an example: Martial Arts Planet.
  2. Niche: Members of the forums seemed to be quite passionate and engaged in discussions. We noticed that Karate was one of the hottest topics, so we decided to target Karate lovers. Anticipating that this niche might be too broad to target, we decided to narrow it down further by thinking of a design that will appeal to women specifically. Therefore, our design needed to include words like “woman”, “girl” or “lady”.
  3. Test your target audience: To test that this target group has enough (but not too many) members, we used Facebook’s Audience Insights tool: we decided to target females located in English-speaking countries: the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US.  We selected ‘English (All)’ as the Language in Advanced settings. We set the chosen age group to 18-55. We included 18-year-olds to encourage greater engagement.

We performed some research on Google to identify sport clubs, magazines, specific terms, karate streams, championships, organisations, forums, and celebrities related to Karate to optimise our targeting. The final target group size was 110,000 (which is within 50-150k target group range) and it included the following interests:

Step 2. Think about your design

People who practice martial arts tend to be well disciplined, serious about martial arts and physically tough so our design needed to appeal to this mentality;  we chose a design that highlights strength but also includes a note of irony (humour factor).

Our chosen design text was: “Rule #1: Don’t piss off the girl who knows Karate”

The design is female-centered and uses colors that appeal to the target niche: black, white and red. The design features only 2 colors to keep the base cost low (and allow a higher profit margin). Our default product option was a black Standard Crew Neck Womens T-shirt because we targeted women. We also included a Sweatshirt, Full Sleeve and Unisex T-shirt options to give potential customers a wider product choice.

Step 3. Create your FB ads

In order to target a new niche we need to create a new Facebook (FB) page. Pre-populating a niche-specific FB page is not necessary, however it is advised to post a couple of pictures/magazine articles to make your page appear more credible. After populating our page with content it was time to set up and launch the FB ads.

The ad image was generated using Ad Factory and we decided to use a Page Post Engagement (PPE) ad and create a Dark Post (i.e., a post that will not appear on the FB page). In the description, we made sure that we included the campaign URL and several calls-to-action (words that will encourage people to share/buy/tag/like).

The budget: We decided to test this campaign with a budget of £7 per day. Our daily reach at this level was calculated by FB as 1,400 – 3,600 people.

The launch details: We set the launch time to 4pm BST to make sure that UK-based buyers would see the ad as they started coming home from work. We ensured that the ads would be served only in the Mobile and Desktop Newsfeed and only for those using a WiFi connection as this is when potential buyers feel the most secure using their credit cards.

Step 4. Monitor the ad campaign

After the ad had been live for 2 days, we spent £18.82, reached 4,854 people and generated 195 impressions and 226 clicks. The target group was very engaged; its members were discussing the shirt in comments and sharing, tagging, and liking the post. The ad’s Click Through Rate (CTR) was 4.45%, we had a good Relevance score of 9/10, and the Cost Per Engagement (CPE) was at a sustainable £0.10. Our ad generated 3 sales. The initial FB stats were good, however we needed to look into more reliable data which can be found in a FB ads Report.

The measures we were particularly interested in are:

  • Website Clicks – we had 16 website clicks which is quite a low number. Therefore, despite the high level of engagement and design appreciation, only 16 people were interested enough to visit the campaign page. The majority of the website clicks came from the 18-24 and 35-44 year old groups with the vast majority coming from the UK. There were no website clicks from New Zealand, so we could consider removing this country from the target group.
  • Cost per Website Click – since we had a very low number of clicks to our website, the cost per click was much higher than we would have liked – the average cost was £1.18.
  • Unique CTR – the average Unique CTR was lower than the initial CTR – 3.09%. However, it was higher for the 35-54 year old age groups.
  • Reach – our initial target audience was as big as 110,000, and we managed to reach 4,854 people. The majority of its reach was in the UK, the US and Canada; therefore, these are the countries where our potential buyers would be.
  • Frequency – 1.05 frequency means that almost everyone saw our ad only once. When ads are launched, the frequency level will be 1 and our aim is to keep it below 2.
  • Cost per Checkout – FB had not recorded any sales; however, we knew that there had been 3 orders placed, which means that people reached the campaign page organically.

What happens next?

These results indicate that even though we have managed to generate a consistent level of engagement which led to the initial sales, our ad targeting was not as effective as we thought it would be because all the sales are coming from organic impressions. At this point, the best thing to do is review the campaign; look at the age ranges, target countries, interests, budget and adjust the ad accordingly. Consider monitoring the ad for the next 24 hours and analyse the results again. If you don’t achieve any sales from the ad within the first 24 – 48 hours it’s best to stop the ad campaign and try another niche or design. Success can depend on your ad type, niche audience, design, etc. so keep testing markets and designs until you find a winner!