STUDY: How Facebook Incentives Boost Brands 38%

Incentivized marketing on Facebook is hardly new, but a new study released today reinforces the concept that potential consumers pay more attention when they're receiving something in return.

Brand perception increases an average of 38 percent when incentives are offered on Facebook.

Incentives have been a staple in marketing long before social networking came about, but the benefits of this practice are quantified in a study released today by market research firm Knowledge Networks’ KN Dimestore subsidiary.

It polled more than 30,000 consumers who interacted with eight brands’ incentive ads in the financial services, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, e-commerce, and technology sectors during June and July.
Digital advertising technology outfit SocialVibe developed the ads involved in this study, which found:

  • 91 percent of respondents said they sought to discover the brand message when interacting with incentivized engagements, rather than just taking advantage of the promotion.
  • 48 percent said that while they were drawn in by the incentive, they interacted further with the brand and its message.
  • Brand perception increased an average of 38 percent, with a low of 18 percent and a high of 77 percent; results were positive for all the brands.
  • Consumers who engaged with an incentivized ad were 161 percent more likely to visit the website of that brand and 36 percent more likely to seek out that brand while shopping at stores.

Some specific examples worth mentioning are:

  • A major movie studio targeted Zynga game players with a campaign offering them virtual currency in exchange for interacting with an ad for a recent blockbuster theatrical release. KN Dimestore then found that 32 percent of consumers who followed through with the engagement and collected the virtual currency also purchased tickets to the film — a rate 22 percent higher than the total for consumers who did not complete the engagement.
  • When asked to compare participating brands with their competitors in terms of purchase consideration, the brands that enticed customers to engage by using incentivized ads fared well, with two CPG companies seeing increases of 56 percent and 110 percent, respectively, compared with the rest of the group, and a television show also faring well against its competitors.

KN Dimestore Vice President of Sales Benjamin Theriault said:

This study clearly shows that the value-exchange approach works to impact every stage of the purchase process. The study results exceeded what we anticipated — these ads delivered very strong results in brand lift, and the response rates were some of the best we’ve seen. The unique opt-in ad units provided an opportunity for us, and for the brands that participated in the study, to engage consumers in a one-on-one conversation to understand how they interact with incentivized ads.

SocialVibe Chief Executive Officer JaySamit added:

There’s been a debate around value-exchange advertising that stems from an unfounded assumption that consumers looking for the incentive will merely “sit through” an ad simply in exchange for the benefit. The KN Dimestore study shows without a doubt that not only does incentivized advertising work, it works better than any other form of brand advertising out there. People go online with a purpose, and most forms of advertising, such as display and pre-roll, are disruptive and not additive to that experience. The way to capture a consumer’s real attention is to respect their time commitment through the value-exchange approach.

Readers, what types of incentive ads have drawn your attention? David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.