How The Economist Increased New Subscriptions with Marin's Social Campaign Management
On October 23rd at this year’s International Performance Marketing Awards (IPMA) in London, Marin Software took home the gold, winning Best Paid Social Campaign for our innovative work with The Economist. The IPMA is the largest and most prestigious ceremony in the world for paid advertising.
With Marin’s experts leading the way and tapping into our social campaign management technology, The Economist boosted new subscriptions by 66% through a highly targeted Facebook video campaign. The results shattered targets while generating a 72% lower CPC than image-based ads.
How We Did It
The goal of the campaign was to increase the number of subscriptions to The Economist across 24 countries, including the UK and the US. Along with boosting new signups, The Economist wanted to improve the outlet’s profile as a trusted source of news within social platforms, and to keep conversion costs as low as possible.
The strategy was to focus on converting those who had expressed interest in The Economist by continuously engaging with them. We used two specific ad types—Facebook link posts and animated video ads—to engage readers and encourage them to subscribe.
The team’s tactics ensured a prizewinning campaign:
Dynamic Product Ads
The Economist used Dynamic Product Ads (DPA)— traditionally used only in e-commerce—to target people who’d read an online article on Economist.com. The reader would then receive subscription offers based on the themes of the article. This was an industry-first use of DPA in EMEA.
Unique to Marin: Managed Social Advertising Rules and Ad-level Bidding
The Economist used automated ad pausing to maintain a below-target cost per subscription. The Marin platform automatically paused ads that spent over a set threshold without converting, resulting in more efficient budget allocation.
With managed rules and automated bid management, The Economist increased the reach of its video ads in strong-performing markets, and paused under-performing video ads in other markets. This strategy delivered the maximum number of subscriptions within a target cost per acquisition. In fact, it reduced cost per subscription by 12%.
With ad-level bidding, The Economist achieved granular bidding capabilities on the ad level on Facebook—as opposed to the ad set. This allowed for maximum control over delivery and optimization to meet results.
Video and Animated Covers
The industry is currently mad about video. To ride this trend, ad creative included animated magazine covers and video that provided a much higher engagement CTR of 1.24% on video ads compared to 0.51% on link posts. The Economist also used video carousels to showcase multiple covers in one ad format.
We’re proud to have partnered with The Economist to achieve not only record-breaking performance but also a big win at the IPMA! To find out more about how Marin can help your team realize similar results, get in touch today.