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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Baldoni

Facebook Ads Case Study: Adoption from Foster Care

Originally published on on July 11th, 2018


At the Ad Council, we’re incredibly grateful to receive media support from Facebook for various campaigns. While we run plenty of promotional assets, we often have the opportunity to run measurement studies that inform best practices for the greater marketing community. Last year, we conducted a Facebook Brand Lift study for our Adoption from Foster Care campaign with AdoptUSKids. We ran two different assets against a website click objective. The first was a 30-second cutdown of our laugh-inducing ““Morning Time” PSA, while the other was a longer emotional story about being adopted from foster care. Our goal was to understand which video would do a better job convincing potential adoptive parents to go to and learn more: a short, funny video or a longer, more emotional one. Here’s what we learned based on our campaign objectives:


The Winner: Morning Time PSA For this Facebook campaign, our primary metric was link clicks—we wanted to see which of the two videos would drive more traffic to our partner site. The lighthearted, comedic approach of the Morning Time PSA proved to be the more effective method to driving clicks. This ad unit drove 9,000 more clicks to site and almost 100,000 more sessions than the longer emotional appeal. The Takeaway: Comedy is the key to clicks—funny, engaging content will leave people wanting more. Reactions The Winner: Tie! The two videos were just about tied for the amount of reactions (Likes, Loves, Hahas, Sad Faces, etc.) they received—each hovered around 40,000. However, the two were varied in the types of reactions they received. Emotional Storytelling got mostly ‘Love’ and ‘Sad’ reaction, while Morning Time got ‘Like’ and ‘Haha’ reaction—which showed that they were impacting the audience in the ways we intended them to. The Takeaway: Watch how people are reacting to your video, and make sure those reactions align with the intention of the creative. Time Spent on Site

The Winner: Emotional Storytelling While the “Morning Time” video drove incredible traffic to the AdoptUSKids site, those who came through the Emotional Storytelling video were more likely to stick around and request information. In fact, they stayed nearly a minute longer than their PSA counterparts and were more than twice as likely to complete the campaign goal by requesting more information. The Takeaway: A longer video shows people exactly what they’ll find on your site and they’ll be more engaged and informed once they arrive. Views The Winner: Morning Time PSA It’s well known that social media users have short attention spans, and when it comes to Facebook Ads, the shorter the better. Our test confirms this – 400,000 more people watched the 30-second Morning Time clip all the way through than they did the 2:40 Emotional Storytelling video. The Takeaway: If you want people to watch your video all the way through, keep it short. Shares The Winner: Emotional Storytelling While the two videos may have tied for reactions, the Emotional Storytelling video beat the Morning Time PSA by over 3,500 shares. Buffer reports that 84% of Facebook users share content because it raises awareness on issues they care about. The deeply personal, emotional appeal of the longer video inspired people to share the video to their Facebook News Feeds, resulting in over a million more impressions than the shorter length video. The Takeaway: People are moved by stories, and love to share what moves them. With all the conflicting advice being shared about marketing on Facebook, it can be difficult to know what methods are best for your brand. There are tons of variables to be considered, but your final product should ultimately depend on your campaign goals. If you’re looking to pack a punch with a humorous or informative point, a shorter video would be ideal, but if you’re looking for people to engage with your content on a more emotional level, a longer, more poignant video seems to be the way to go. However, as we learned in this partnership, both videos were incredibly successful in driving traffic, engagement, and goal completions—so don’t be afraid to integrate different video types into your Facebook marketing strategy.

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