Facebook Ads for Indie Filmmakers: Using Facebook’s Funnel with Larger Audiences

I recently wrote about attempting to use Facebook’s funnel to drive sales of my recent documentary film. And about developing Lookalike Audiences.

My first attempt did not go well. But I think that’s because my initial audience is too small. To find out if this was true, I ran a similar funnel for my church’s Vacation Bible School, to see if this funnel would work with a larger audience.

Here are the basics:

We have over 8400 fans on our FB page, plus over 1100 Instagram followers. I also built lookalike audiences for both FB and IG followers. I have a FB Pixel installed on our website. I was able to track some behaviors specific to this funnel.

My ultimate goal was to get more kids to attend VBS. I was trying to do that by driving people to register online through our event web pages.

The Facebook Funnel is a 3-week plan That builds audience the first week, primes the pump the 2nd week, and moves toward conversions the last week.
I was employing this plan with a $200 total spend.

  • Week 1– Brand awareness. I only used the lookalike audiences within driving distance of our campuses. $30 Budget.

  • Week 2– Video interactions, separate ads by campus. The ads were geo targeted t with 25 miles of the church location. There was significant overlap. $80 Budget

  • Week 3– I mixed this up a bit. One campus I had traffic to our registration page as the only goal. The other I split the goals with traffic and conversions. Conversions I set as a lead- someone clicking to register from our website. $90 budget.
  • Results of the ads:

  • Week 1– I had a reach of almost 4,00 and Fb said we saw an increase of our audience by 260. Frequency was about a 2 (Meaning people saw the ad an average of twice.) In my previous attempt with a smaller audience the frequency got up to 7. That’s far too high.
    During this time we had 23 link clicks.Not bad considering I wasn’t trying to get any link clicks.

  • Week 2– Campus 1 had a reach of almost 1500 reach and a frequency of 1.92. 55 link clicks. Campus 2 had a higher budget and we saw a reach of almost 2500 with a frequency of 3.49 (a little high, but acceptable). 130 link clicks. Both campuses reported higher than normal online registrations.

  • Week 3– Campus 1 running a traffic campaign saw a reach of 1279, 54 link clicks with a frequency of 1.88. Campus 2 was running two campaign. The traffic set saw a reach of 2752, 129 link clicks and a frequency of 2, while the conversion set reached 1528 people, with 38 link clicks, a frequency of 2.41, and 13 people clicked to register. As I said before, there was a significant overlap in the geo targeting. There is a community between our 2 campuses that has people who attend both campuses.
  • Both of our campuses said they saw about a 25% increase in online registration. We had never had so many kids preregistered before.

    Using the Pixel tracking functions, I set up some tracking funnels in analytics. I tracked these across both campus location event pages, regardless of campaign.

  • New Visitors Entering at VBS Event Page
    Number People who had not visited the site since the pixel was installed (several weeks ago) who entered the site at the VBS event page: 144,
    Number who from that page initiated registration: 66 initiated registration.
    Conversion rate of 46%.

  • New Visitors Entering on Any Page
    Number of people who had not visited the site since Pixel was installed who entered at any page: Over 2,100
    Number of that group that initiated check out: 169
    Conversion rate of 8%

    But of course, the real measure of success was how well we hit our goal. Did we see an increase in attendance?

    Attendance of kids and adult workers on the first day of VBS was up 17.5%

    In the end we had 1184 kids and adults. The previous year’s high attendance was 981. We increased by over 200. But that number included adult volunteers. Our promotion could have impacted the number of adults as well as kids, but we don’t do this event for adults.

    I dug a bit deeper and pulled numbers from the previous year to compare kids attendance. In 2018 we had 675 kids in grades 1-6. In 2019 we had 826 kids in grades 1-6. That’s an increase of 22.37% in attendance.

    On one campus we had 110 more online registrations than the previous year. I was pointing people toward online registration. I’m sure some of them were found by other promotion. But it’s hard to argue with these numbers when the major difference this year was the focused advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

    The funnel works. At least if you have a big enough audience to begin with. Now, to adjust it to work with smaller audiences…

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