AFM 2022 Leverages Paid Social in Global Visitor Marketing Campaign

Nov 11

AFM 2022 Leverages Paid Social in Global Visitor Marketing Campaign

Last week, we joined thousands of filmmakers, producers, directors, writers, buyers and other film industry professionals from a record 87 countries who converged in Santa Monica for the 43rd edition of the American Film Market, one of the world’s preeminent film events.

After two all-virtual years due to the pandemic, it was great to see everyone back again in person at AFM, stand in the crowded lobby of the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and watch the industry come together for six days of deal-making, screenings, networking, parties and conferences, which featured over 100 speakers.

We also enjoyed collaborating with the show organizer once again on its global digital advertising and want to share an important part of this year’s campaign: the hybrid social strategy.

In addition to running organic posts across major social platforms, AFM invested heavily in paid social to amplify its messaging, access high-fidelity, privacy-compliant targeting and leverage its relationships with industry thought leaders and influencers.

Here is an inside look at how Encore client, AFM, activated its paid social strategy on one platform, LinkedIn, which has 875 million members in 200+ countries and territories. 

AFM ran a multi-month campaign synced to its LinkedIn Company Page, which generated 4.5 million impressions and helped it surpass 33,000 followers on the platform.

Scaling Reach, Richer Targeting:  AFM used paid social ads on LinkedIn to reach new audiences and gain much more visibility than it could have achieved with an organic-only strategy.

Paid social also provided richer targeting via LinkedIn’s own first-party data.  Capitalizing on LinkedIn’s granular targeting capabilities, AFM used a layered targeting strategy, which included group, industry, seniority and location filters, to specifically reach its desired audiences around the world and minimize wasted ad spend.

To be sure, finely targeting LinkedIn’s audience comes at a cost – it was among the more expensive ad inventory AFM purchased. 

However, the thousands of likes, comments and other social sharing actions generated by the campaign materially enhanced the cost metrics as there were no incremental costs for these actions which translated to very a favorable effective cost-per-engagement (eCPE). 

This was one of the reasons AFM was willing to pay the higher ad costs on this platform. 

High-Value Content: AFM focused on delivering high-quality content to maximize audience engagement, which also helped reduce its CPCs/CPVs as content relevancy factors into LinkedIn’s ad auction system along with bid value in determining which ads are served to members and the ultimate price you pay.

AFM’s content strategy included creating and curating content, delivering a mix of content that appeals to different segments of its audience and involving industry thought leaders and influencers.  All paid posts were also run as organic content. Assets were refreshed across the flight window to keep the target audiences engaged.

The combination of paid social and high-quality content has certainly helped drive the growth of AFM’s community on the platform, now at 33,000 followers, which provides a targeted audience for messaging and helps to stretch its marketing budget as there is no incremental cost to reach this audience.

Multiple Formats, Video Outperforms: AFM used different formats i.e. articles, webinars, graphics and video to maximize appeal.  While video certainly has higher production costs than other formats, the investment was well worth it.  Video had the highest engagement rate of all formats and very low CPVs meant a lot of engagement for the ad spend.  AFM used LinkedIn native video to help maximize engagement – native video autoplays in the feed (non-native does not) which is more attention-grabbing. 

Engaging Intro Text & Visuals: AFM introduced each post with tight target-relevant copy, offering enough to engage users but not so much that it turned people away and resulted in key messaging being truncated.  High quality visuals were used to make posts as compelling as possible.  Multiple hashtags were employed to maximize discovery.

Deeper Media Analytics: Paid social provided access to analytics dashboards that are much richer than available for standard organic social and insights that can only be gleaned from running campaigns at scale i.e. data sets from a content asset that generates more than a million impressions have a much different level of meaning than one that generates several thousand impressions. AFM uses this data to gain insights into its content, optimize campaigns in real-time and help shape strategy.

AFM’s blended organic and paid social strategy provided opportunities to target potential attendees in ways not possible with pure-play organic social, scale reach quicker and maximize its ad spend.


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