ASOS: Reaching a Russian Audience through Social Media

Scaling and engaging customers in a new region.

Case Study

Search is often the default channel for consumers when they reach the stage of being ready to make a quick purchase, and we see this via audience signals of intent. For advertisers however, it can sometimes be too late at this stage to influence that consumer’s purchase, particularly if you’re operating in a new market, and awareness of the brand’s offering is not as high as regional competitors.

Focusing on the earlier stages of the sales funnel therefore, to build awareness and help to place your brand in the minds of consumers before they actually go to make that purchase can be very effective when used in combination with wider search campaigns. On average, Russians spend 10+ hours on social networks every month (second in the world), which represents a huge commercial opportunity for advertisers wanting to reach a Russian audience. Having launched a Russian website and social media presence, ASOS wanted to scale their activity in this market.

Goals & Objectives

Boost brand awareness rapidly among the identified target audience – Females, aged 18-29 and living in either Moscow or St Petersburg..

Acquire 65K new fans on VK (Russia’s most-used social platform) via biddable fan acquisition activity within 4 months, at a specified (and tight) maximum cost per fan.

Program Execution

Having already launched a local website and a social media page on VK, ASOS wanted to scale their online presence in this region. ForwardPMX helped ASOS turn social media not only into a key customer acquisition channel, but one that had a positive impact on search too.

Given the client’s expectations for a rapid increase in the number of fans, and consequent incremental increases in traffic and sales from social channels, a two-phase approach was suggested which separated these goals:

1. Firstly, to concentrate on the fan acquisition campaign, and to meet our target under budget.

2. Secondly, to assess the conversion of our acquired fans into visitors and shoppers via testing commercial campaigns.

For both stages, we continually measured, audited and optimised our activity to ensure that we were delivering the strongest possible results.

For the first phase, a wide variety of targeting methods and tools were tested including VK cost-per-click (CPC) biddable advanced targeting options (these allowed us to advertise directly on the newsfeeds of individuals) and the Paid Post Marketplace options, which allowed us to advertise to relevant groups and communities. We also ran the results from our testing through analysis software to ensure that we were using the most effective methodology.

VK CPC biddable advanced targeting: We tested around 15 different fan acquisition campaigns weekly. As a part of our campaign optimization, we also tested different image variations and ad copy, a mixture of ad formats such as large image, image+text and a “join us” button, together with a mixture of three types of targeting. These included using competitors, the most popular brands sold on ASOS and other fashion-related targeting.

Paid Post Marketplace: We identified the most popular and relevant VK Groups (interest-based communities / discussion boards), analyzed the audience and their individual interests, created tailored posts based on this research and then promoted them within selected groups using VK’s paid post marketplace tool. 

For the second phase, ForwardPMX worked closely with the client to ensure that commercial campaigns run through ForwardPMX on VK were closely aligned with the client’s on-site content, promotions and margin targets.

Lastly, while working on the VK project, the ForwardPMX team remained dynamic and co-operative to ensure cross-channel support between the social and SEO teams.

Results

65k

Fans Delivered at a ‘Cost Per Fan’ (CPF) Which Far Outperformed the Client’s Expectations

75%

Increase in Site Traffic Aided by the Brand Awareness on VK

53%

Increase in Assisted Conversions from VK

29%

Growth in Assisted Revenue

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