Advocacy Campaign Report
Week of November 21, 2022
Thank you for your interest in this pro-DRS advocacy campaign. This is the fifth weekly report for the 2022 Q4 advocacy campaign.
Some helpful keywords and terms to frame this information are below:
Impressions: ad views; number of times the ads are displayed on device screens. Does not reflect unique number of people who saw the ads.
CPM: Cost Per 1,000 Impressions - a primary advertising cost metric.
CPC: Cost Per Click.
CTR: Click-Through Rate - the rate at which people saw the ads and subsequently clicked on them.
KPIs: Key Performance Indicators - these include the terms listed above and are basic gauges for measuring campaign progress.
WoW: Week over Week - refers to changes in performance metrics from one week to the next.
All currency is listed in U.S. dollars.
Reddit ads were launched this week beginning on Monday, November 21. Due to a part of the budget for Twitter being re-allocated to Reddit, week five saw a decline in site visits driven by the ads.
Altogether, the ads drove a total of 1,017 site visits (24% decrease), at an average cost of $1.65 per site visit (34% increase):
Impressions increased by 38% and the average CPM decreased by 26%, largely as a result of the Meta ads. Total clicks declined by just 7%, but average CTR declined by 33% due to low performance from both Meta and Reddit ads.
The site also saw a 28% decrease in weekly unique visitors, mostly from direct and ad-driven traffic. Despite this, weekly unique return visitors declined much less dramatically, and has begun rising again to the healthier levels seen in previous weeks.
The lowest performing ads on Meta and Twitter were paused in week five and since then, performance is improving going into week six.
(Facebook and Instagram)
Week five showed an unexpected break in the trend Meta had previously sustained in increasing weekly site visits, dropping from 70 in week four to 30 in week five (57% decrease). Weekly spending remained unchanged, so cost per site visit subsequently more than doubled, from $4.66 to $10.98:
Total impressions served increased by nearly eight-fold, which is peculiar, and caused CPM to drop by 87% (from $8.29 to $1.07). Total clicks decreased by 30%, while CTR decreased by 91% and CPC increased by 45%.
This is all certainly anomalous, given the trends Meta was exhibiting up through week four. In light of the performance trending downward through week five, the lowest performing ads were paused later in the week to allocate the budget to the higher performing ads. This may have made a significant positive impact, as more than half of the site visits for the week happened at the end of the week on Sunday, November 27.
In week five, 42% of clicks came from people age 65 and older, split nearly equally between men and women. French users continue to show the most engagement with the ads, and have delivered 80% of clicks for the week, and at the lowest cost per click. However, people in the U.S. delivered the highest click-through rate of 0.61% for the week, followed by people in Norway at 0.44%.
Yet again, Grandma’s Recipe was the highest performing ad in driving the most site visits through week five (see ad previews here), delivering 23 of the 30 total for the week from Meta. The average cost per site visit of $5.39 from this ad was also less than half of the total weekly average of $10.98 for Meta in week five.
This was the first week of the Reddit ad campaign. It was anticipated prior to launch that they may not perform as well as ads on other digital platforms, as Reddit in general has historically low performance for basic ad campaign KPIs. As can be seen from the first week’s data, this was also the case for the DRSGME ads, which delivered just seven site visits for the week:
There is only a week’s worth of data, therefore not many conclusions can be drawn yet. This is compounded by the fact that Reddit does not self-publish any of their advertising benchmarks like many other platforms do, so gauging success can be challenging since there is no data to use for comparison.
Reddit does state in their ad campaign guidance to “aim for performance of ~0.1% - 0.3% CTR”, and the campaign did achieve a higher than expected CTR of 0.289% its first week, so this is a positive result. Additionally, the initial cost per click was estimated to be $1.00, and initial CPM to be between $1 and $5. The first week instead delivered a cost per click of $0.70 and a modest CPM of $2.02.
However, the $48.04 cost per site visit is higher even than the $38.88 initial cost delivered by Meta during its first week, and is consequently the highest for the campaign to date.
Reddit ads were introduced into the larger campaign this week and the budget for those was re-allocated from part of the Twitter budget. As a result, site visits delivered by Twitter in week five declined from 1,269 to 980 week over week. However, the decrease in weekly budget and spend aligns closely with the decrease in weekly site visits (-24% and -23%, respectively), while cost the per site visit remained stable:
An additional positive change week over week was CTR increasing from 12.7% to 15.5% (an increase of 22%), reaching the highest CTR the Twitter ads have seen since campaign launch. This is despite a 24% decrease in impressions served and a 7% decrease in clicks week over week.
As with Meta, the lowest performing ads on Twitter were paused in week five, to allow the campaign to focus on serving the higher performing ads for the remainder of the campaign duration.
Sweden was again the country delivering the most site visits in week five, at 38% of the week’s total. However, while France delivered the second highest number of site visits by country in week four, at 21% of the week’s total, that dropped to just 6% in week five. Instead, Belgium continued its WoW increase, going from 13% to 21% in week five, followed by Denmark at 18%.
The top performing ads in week five showed a break from the previous weeks’ trend, with the carousel ad featuring Couch Man, Seedling, and Grandma’s Recipe being the front runner (see ad previews here). This was followed by the carousel ad featuring Ringo, Lady Yellow, and Ethel, with the Static Ethel ad coming in third.
Site traffic by unique visitors declined by about 28% week over week, mostly as a result of fewer direct visits as well as reduced traffic driven by the ads. Athough, the average session duration (time spent on site per visit) increased by 28%, returning closely to the weekly average seen in prior weeks.
The ads drove a specific mid-week dip in site visitors, particularly on Thursday, November 24, but finished out the week on an upward trajectory, peaking on Sunday, November 27.
Interestingly, while traffic from the ads dropped on Thursday, total site traffic spiked for the week on that day, mostly as a result of direct and organic social referral visits:
Although overall traffic dropped a bit in week five, unique return visitors that were driven to the site from the ads declined by only 9%. This rose to a relatively steady daily rate after the start of the week, returning to levels closer to what has been seen in previous weeks:
Although IBKR and Fidelity are the most viewed broker guides, week five saw an unusual spike in views of the guides for Vanguard, a U.S.-based investment management company. In fact, this guide saw the second highest number of visitors on any day so far in 2022 on Sunday, November 27, and received over 82% of visitors in week five on that same day:
Conclusion and Next Steps
Although week five is marked by some lower performance metrics than in previous weeks, the optimizations that continue to be made to the ads show significant improvement for the campaign going into week six.
The Reddit ads' performance is not anticipated to be as high as the Twitter or Meta ads based on the historic performance of Reddit ads in general. However, the multi-pronged outreach approach through various mediums is key for increasing awareness amongst a larger audience, where there may otherwise be no overlap.
A basic DRS explainer video was also added to the home page at the end of week five, which will likely have a noticeable impact on site traffic in the coming weeks.