The Economist came to us with a problem: traditionally they had relied on print subscriptions to drive growth for their business, but with print on the wane they needed digital to pick up the slack. That means The Economist is very clear about what it wants out of social platforms: to reach non-subscribers and give them samples of The Economist’s content to eventually convert them into subscribers.
The Economist set the challenge for Society to use paid social channels to deliver new subscriptions for under the average lifetime value of a subscriber.
What We Did
One thing The Economist has in spades is great content. We took all the creative we could get our hands on – such as weekly issue covers, quotes and imagery from articles – and created thousands of combinations of unique ads. We produced a clear week-by-week plan for optimisations, testing everything from targeting to bid styles, and following to the letter.
Our methodology has proven so successful, our budgets have risen with every quarter we’ve been live, and we’ve expanded to be live on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We shifted perceptions and proved it’s possible to run a strong always-on direct response campaign on paid social channels.