Facebook Ads is the Secret to Sales Growth

23 October 2019

A new era is well underway. That is the era of the health-conscious consumer. This has given rise to whole food companies looking to take advantage of this rapid growth in the fresh food market.
Riverford is a perfect example of this. Starting out in 1987 on a Devon farm, Riverford was founded by Guy Singh-Watson where he delivered organic vegetable boxes to local customers. Fast forward a few decades, and it currently stands as a nationwide business with 4 farms and a long-term commitment to being the obvious choice for consumers that would rather purchase organically grown, fairly priced sustainably delivered food - instead of standard supermarket vegetables.

What was Riverford’s goal?

Their main aim was to generate brand awareness with new audiences and then convert them into regular customers. Having already used heavy discounts as a way to attract new customers, they felt it was fairer to offer the same price to both new and existing customers, and so they decided to differentiate themselves based on their ethical values instead. 
“Choose Riverford” was the strapline for their new year campaign. They identified Facebook and Instagram as important strategic pillars for promoting their brand messages as widely as possible whilst encouraging audiences to think about their food choices. 
The planning started even before the campaign began. Riverford created a microsite where potential customers could receive more information about the brand and positive actions that were being taken to tackle a range of ethical issues. What’s interesting is that Riverford came up with 2 opposing messages: “Choose Riverford” and “Don’t Choose Riverford”. This meant that Riverford could highlight the benefits of organic, sustainably produced vegetables with the hidden negatives of buying vegetables from large corporation supermarkets. 
During the next phase, Riverford showed a series of Choose and Don’t Choose messages in the form of video ads across social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network, whilst using the video views objective. These were displayed to lookalike audiences, which are based on existing customers with the aim to generate brand awareness and engagement with the overall campaign messages. A series of ads in a carousel format was then shown to the same audience, this was designed to encourage more consideration. 
After a short while, the microsite started to see more traffic. Riverford then used video ads with the conversions objective to inspire people who had visited and browsed the microsite to sign up for a vegetable box delivery. 

And the results?

The campaign was a remarkable success. It attracted lots of new customers, whilst Facebook alone generated 1.5 million video views. The campaign ran for over 4 weeks at the start of 2019 and resulted in:

    • 1.5 million video views generated by the Facebook campaign


    • 860,000 people reached across the UK on Facebook and Instagram


    • 29% increase in new customers, compared to the previous year

Interested in learning how companies in the food/beverage industry can be more successful on social media? Click here!
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