THE ONE IN WHICH YOUR SCRIBE ADMITS HE WAS WRONG
As the astute and faithful reader remembers, last week your relentless scribe went on a tear about Facebook advertising.
Specifically, that tear was about how advertising on Facebook doesn't matter for the small business, especially in an easily ignored, over-saturated medium.
I then asked, "Am I wrong?"
One faithful reader replied, suggesting delicately that yes, yours truly has no damn idea what he's talking about.
His name is Joe Geoffrey, the famous voice guy from the Texas panhandle.
He reached out, saying that Roy Williams and I agree. (Interestingly, that was the second time in a row this very thing has happened.) Specifically, Mr. Geoffrey was saying that Mr. Williams and I are in concurrence that " Traditional 'cost per thousand' can't be beat in radio and TV ads placed locally."
AND REALLY, WHO DOESN'T LIKE TO BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE WIZARD?
But this is in no way about me trying to draft off of Roy Williams' thunder.
To mix a metaphor.
Rather, it's about having evidence to blow my snarky allegations about FB advertising out of the water.
Mr. Geoffrey says he is "Fortunate enough to have a client who likes 'to see what else might work.'"
And that "what else" happens to include boosting Facebook posts.
In particular, they worked together to boost a video prior to Father's Day.
THE BUSINESS IS A SPECIALTY RETAILER
This retailer happened to have an inventory of high-end French pocketknives.
They'd been collecting dust for a year.
Seems their core customer really wasn't all that interested in a gorgeous handmade pocketknife.
Probably because the core customer is a woman who doesn't carry a pocketknife.
And she probably wasn't thinking a lot about buying this pocketknife for the man in her life (which really was the point).
So these knives, ranging in price from 80 bucks to $600, needed to move.
The first thing Mr. Geoffrey and the retailer did?
They created a short video, less than a minute, showcasing the knives.
Nothing fancy, mind you.
Just some closeup shots of various knives in various settings, showing off their beauty and their luster.
Of course, this simple video included some nuanced voiceover by Joe Geoffrey.
The copy was simply written. It said nothing about "all your pocketknife needs." Instead, it played up the emotional appeal of these gorgeous, pocketsize French scimitars, hand wrought of the finest steel and rarest case materials.
They posted this video on Facebook five days before Father's Day.
After paying to boost the post, a few things happened.
FIRST, THEY ALMOST IMMEDIATELY SOLD OUT OF THE LESS EXPENSIVE KNIVES
That happened in two days.
By Saturday, they had moved practically everything, including the most expensive knife in the case.
This dusty inventory that had been sitting around for over a year represented several thousand dollars in product that was wasn't getting any younger.
In five days, it was largely gone.
And what was the media cost for this effort?
A whopping $75.
Didn't see that one coming, didja?
But here's something to take into account.
This effort was not dissimilar to the best of radio advertising.
Here's why: radio is a relationship medium.
The P1 listener has a relationship with the station.
If you don't know, a P1 listener is someone who has you (her favorite station) programmed to the first button on the car radio.
It's the first place the listener turns.
So, when an advertisement on that station catches her attention, she's more likely to feel an affinity for it.
FACEBOOK AT ITS BEST IS ALSO A RELATIONSHIP MEDIUM
In this case, the retailer was already using Facebook as a way to establish a connection with their "P1," so to speak.
They are posting personal stories (as well as ads) and boosting posts for specific categories or brands featured in the store.
According to Mr. Geoffrey, "That goodwill goes a long way."
And his Father's Day pocketknife promotion story is an example of how far that goodwill goes.
The core customer is already paying attention to the retailer's Facebook stories.
The video captured her attention.
AND SHE HELPED PROMOTE THAT PROMOTED VIDEO
Mr. Geoffery says, "The boosted FB video was viewed, shared, commented on and liked close to 12,000 times."
Yes, 12,000 times.
That's considerably less than half a penny per interaction with the video. These people were engaged and paying attention.
He continues, "The store sold knives that had sat in the case for multiple seasons.
"The takeaway; a relevant and clear proposal that we couldn't have afforded to boost via traditional radio or TV (we've tried) and FB gives us an opportunity to build relationship outside the store."
The Fabulous Honey Parker viewed that video, and not only echoed the thoughts about clarity and relevance, but said that she thought it also gave the product some caché--despite being insanely simple.
So what does all this mean?
THE SAME THING IT ALWAYS MEANS
That understanding your core customer is key to building a brand.
That building a brand happens over time, it is not a flash in the pan (says Slow Burn Marketing).
That relationships are key.
And that when it comes time to do a promotion, being clear, relevant and focused is imperative.
The video did not say, "Hey, we also have women's jewelry, handbags and widget waggers on sale!"
Instead, it was laser-focused and solved a problem for the customer in a new and exciting way, to wit: "What do I get him for Father's Day?"
And while solving the customer's problem is what this is always about, it never to hurts to also be able to solve your own problem. In this case, "How do I move these knives?"
All very smart. All very doable.
If you'd like to continue this conversation with Mr. Geoffery, he's happy to do so. You'll find him in the Texas panhandle at joe [at] 2voiceit [dot] com.
Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.