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The innovative social strategy that achieved 43x ROAS for West Elm – and won a Facebook award

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As COVID-19 continues to impact businesses around the world, brands are looking for advertising strategies that are cost-effective and generate much-needed revenue.

Influencer-generated content is emerging as a solution, not only because these digital creators can keep delivering content alone, at home and without relying on expensive crews, but because it’s incredibly effective.

West Elm is a homewares brand that has excelled in its use of influencer-generated content. Their innovative spring campaign, strategised by influencer and content platform, Vamp, just won Facebook’s APAC Partner Innovation Challenge and generated more than $43 for every $1 spent. 

Here’s how they did it. 

Challenge

West Elm wanted to raise awareness of their spring collection in Australia, build social engagement among their target customer base and drive online sales. Furniture are big ticket items and, to convert a social scroller into a shopper, the content needed to be highly engaging. They needed creative and social ads that could standout – and a strategy that would get them in front of their target customer.

Strategy

To generate awareness, build engagement, increase buying intent and drive sales among target customers, a bank of captivating mobile assets were needed. Vamp chose creators from within their community who could produce high-quality images of the range in their own homes. 

Traditional homeware shoots would require multiple photographers, studios, set designers and stylists. In comparison, the content creation for this campaign was incredibly streamlined, fast and cost-effective.

Organic reach has become an unpredictable element in social campaigns. With huge amounts of content competing for attention, only high-quality assets will stand out. But even for the most engaging post, there’s no guarantee it will land with its intended audience. That’s why for the second phase of this campaign, Vamp took these assets and transformed them into highly engaging ads for Instagram and Facebook slideshows, vertical videos and collections, plus Instagram Stories.

Vamp were able to leverage existing knowledge and data around the brand’s audiences, as well as the ad creative, formats and placements that prove most effective for the brand’s social funnel.

Results

This campaign benefitted from a double-mobile optimised approach. The influencer content was mobile first and created with social audiences in mind. Then the transformation into social ads added another element of sound and animation, using techniques proven to capture the attention of mobile users. The average engagement rate was 36%, which is 37x above the industry benchmark. 

A highly targeted paid media strategy – combined with ad formats that allowed customer to browse and go straight to purchase – translated into sales for West Elm, generating $43.21 for every $1 spent. 426,352 people reached, 893 purchases, conversion value $717,303.34 and cost per engagement $0.11.

“We are so pleased with the results of this campaign” said Chantal Jesson, Manager, PR & Brand Marketing, Williams-Sonoma Australia. “Our partnership with Vamp continues to drive enormous value for us, not only in terms of ROI, but from a resourcing perspective. Based on the success of this campaign, we will continue to use Facebook ad formats in Vamp campaigns. We can rely on them to produce compelling ad-ready content, and then to optimise media performance – ensuring success every time.”

Lessons

Amplifying existing content, to make it work harder and reach further, is a tactic aspect time-poor, budget-poor marketers could emulate. In this campaign, animating elements of previously static images helped bring the content to life in Instagram Stories and slideshows. Other brands could use this strategy following social campaigns that had generated content for an amplified result. 

In this campaign, high-performing content – combined with a tailored strategy – enabled an effective social funnel, driving from awareness to sales in a relatively short time. This is something other businesses could achieve with the same strategy

Aaron Brooks is the Co-Founder of influencer marketing and content platform Vamp.

Aaron Brooks, Vamp
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