Published: 16 November 2020
multi-channel campaign for leading skincare brand Avene.
This year has been different in many ways but the need for quality skincare products has not changed especially for teenagers and young adults continuing their battle with acne-prone skin.
Eau Thermal Avène had created an exciting new product to launch under their existing Cleanance range. The new product promises to take ‘over the counter’ treatments to a whole new level with results in just 7 days!
The big question was how to reach those that need it most? It's a niche audience group but with a broad age range of 13-30 years old that makes quick wins harder to find.
Our strategy had to take several things into account. At its heart sat the audience's ‘need-state’ and by definition, this segmented them as suffering from problematic skin. We then layered on the distinct age range subsets around specific behaviour and finally, we had to navigate some complex legal guidance so as not to make over claims or use language associated with the term ‘acne’ which is a default for many big brands that bulldoze the market with terms like ‘acne treatment’ or ‘acne cure’.
As with many product launches, there were three core objectives - raise brand awareness, educate consumers on the Avene’s unique proposal, whilst ultimately converting that into sales at their selected stockists.
Our start point was running in-depth keyword research to identify the themes and topics that interested our audience sets, and what mattered most to each of them. This helped shape our content strategy and enabled us to determine alternative key ad terms that did not include the word “acne”. It also helped ensure the landing page content was conveying the correct message to both teenagers and young adults.
We also developed our creative work in line with audience needs. Utilising a number of techniques to hit the right spot, from casting to match the customer for relevance through to use of formats (eg animated GIFs) to cut through the noise and create more “funky” feel. Although we were unable to use words such as “acne” in the solution it was important within the contextual targeting as a search intent term.
Because of the different audiences, we carefully selected the most efficient and effective channels to reach the audience. This meant testing a new platform for Avene - Snapchat - and we insisted on a granular campaign structure to ensure a clean separation between audiences. We designed two phases to the campaign in order to make the best use of the budget and nudge the prospective customers through the funnel.
Phase 1 (awareness-raising)
A twin-pronged approach to create buzz and familiarity via hard targeting in paid advertising on social platforms and programmatic display. We also supplemented this with more generic paid search to cast a wider net and intercept consumers actively searching for acne, problematic skin solutions.
All prospects were directed to relevant content on a new landing page, encouraging them to find out more and react to explicit CTAs driving them to the stockist (Boots) to buy. The new landing page served the dual-purpose of educating customers about the new product but also helping paint a picture of how to use this product alongside the others within the Cleanance range form the ultimate impact on revenue.
Phase 2 (traffic driving)
The second wave was simply to retarget those who engaged with the campaign earlier in the funnel and present a shortened experience, driving them straight to Boots.com to make a purchase. This was done across social media, paid search retargeting (RLSA) and branded paid search.
Because the product was new the campaign was also supported by an in-store and online offer of 25% off to encourage a valid customer trial.
Channel mix was crucial
Instagram sat at the centre of our campaign. The power of its Custom Audiences to reach lookalikes but also then to create cross-selling opportunities across the range based on interests. We also used it prospecting and retargeting via Carousel and Story ads to showcase the product and test engagement levels between ad formats. Later, in phase 2, the most engaged audiences from other channels were served Instagram ads promoting the whole product collection. This more tactical ad format enabled us to reinforce the messages from phase 1, and drive highly engaged traffic on to the next stage of the customer journey - purchase.
We took advantage of Programmatic Display and ran pixel placement 2 weeks prior to the campaign going live to identify the most relevant audience. Paid Search was important, for both prospecting and retargeting, to scoop up ‘bottom of funnel’ traffic searching for the brand, product and generic terms (such as ‘acne treatment’, directing them straight to Boots.com to buy - heavily promoting the limited time BOGOHP offer to motivate purchases.
Although an established tactic, Snapchat was new for this client but our ability to appeal to the teenage audience relied on it. We also used Snapchat to retarget teenagers who had previously engaged in the ad, creating a simple ‘swipe up to buy’ message for immediate conversion opportunities.
The campaign smashed our targets by 3.5x creating a very healthy 8,332,690 impressions, achieved across all channels, which converted into sending 13,588 people to Boots to access the product.
Snapchat was our top-performing channel for teens generating an avg. 1.21% CTR compared to an overall CTR on Instagram of 0.13%. We achieved 25% lower eCPSU (effective cost per swipe up) for the teen audience than for young adults meaning we paid less per click, allowing us to increase our reach. We fell short of the agreed CTR KPI for Instagram with the data showing the channel to be far less successful than originally forecasted but this provided key learnings for phase 2 and enabled us to be agile and further refine as the campaign unfolded.
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