I’d like to welcome Robert Dempsey as the newest {grow} contributing columnist. Here is an amazing story as his first post!

A brand new indie movie is being released in Los Angeles in one week. The goal is to tell as many locals as possible – online – and fill that theater. What do you do?

This is a true story of a movie industry client that came to Gunner Technology – a company I work with – that had one week to get as much exposure for an upcoming movie launch as possible.

Here’s what happened.

The movie is a comedy called Meeting Spencer starting Jeffery Tambor and Melissa McGraw.  In this case study, we focused on launching a week-long Facebook ad campaign that delivered some stunning results that ultimately grew visits to the client’s website by more than 150% per day, garnered more than 400 views of their movie preview, grew Facebook page likes by more than 200% … and filled the theater.

A Star is Born

Here are the tactics of the campaign:

  • Uploaded the latest and best version of the movie preview to YouTube, and optimized it for the movie and the names of the actors
  • Complete overhaul of the movie website, including new graphics, embedding the YouTube movie preview on the homepage, putting the best movie reviews under the preview, and adding a call to action below that. Basically this was a single page designed to show off the movie and get people to the theater.
  • Added a splash graphic with the movie location and show times to the home tab of the Facebook page (using the Involver app).
  • Created a highly targeted Facebook campaign for people in and around LA that liked everything — and I mean everything — to do with all of the main actors
  • Every 18-24 hours we updated all of the Facebook ads based on what was getting the clicks.

Let’s look at the specific results delivered, and the lessons learned from the week.

Campaign Stats

The entire campaign was from Sunday, April 17 to Sunday, April 24. Here’s the complete rundown of the results:

  • 1,194 page views on the website (after a complete makeover)
  • 452 YouTube video views
  • 766 clicks on Facebook ads
  • 130 more Facebook page likes
  • People in seats.

Not too shabby for a single week.

3 Lessons From The Campaign

Lesson #1 – Facebook Ads Have The Lifespan Of A Mosquito

The biggest lesson overall is that the lifespan of a typical Facebook ad is 24 hours. This means you need to be A/B testing ads continuously and ruthlessly killing off the ones that aren’t getting the clicks. The more clicks you get the lower your cost per click (CPC). In our case the average CPC was $0.50. That, in a word, is awesome for anything pay per click.

Lesson #2 – Have A Splash Page

Ironically I have no splash page for my Facebook pages, but I always create one for my client.  In this case, while not a goal of the campaign, we increased Page likes by 212%. Not too shabby for something we weren’t even going for. We used Involver to quickly upload our splash page graphic. Took about 5 minutes.

Lesson #3 – When At First You Don’t Succeed

When creating the ads for your campaign and selecting the targeting options, the automatic drop-downs that Facebook provides don’t always work. If this happens, log out and come back in an hour or two. I tried three different web browsers and none of them worked; I waited an hour, came back, and was able to create the campaign.

What Have You Found?

Have you use Facebook ads for PR or to send people to your website? Any additional lessons you can share?

Let us know in the comments below.

I’ll see you there!

Robert Dempsey is the Itinerant Entrepreneur. He combines technology, psychology, and marketing to help his clients build their empires using strategic marketing. You can find him at http://BuildMeAnEmpire.com

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