Mederma taps ShareThis to deepen consumer engagement
Mederma, a marketer of over-the-counter products that treat scars and stretch marks, wanted to go beyond its customary use of keyword search and online display advertising to tap into a network of influencers who would be predisposed to share information on the subject.
The company and its agency worked with ShareThis to amplify a search and display ad campaign that ran concurrently and offered a coupon toward purchase of the products. Tapping into the ShareThis network of more than 400 million unique visitors across nearly 800,000 Websites, the campaign targeted consumers likely to share content with friends on social networks, or to respond to content after hearing about it from friends.
Catching people when they are in the process of sharing can be powerful. “The traffic these people drive is 50% more engaged than search traffic,” ShareThis CEO Tim Schigel told eMarketer. “More engaged means more page views per visit.”
Strategy. ShareThis created “social topics” from keywords relevant to the product and identified 12.5 million consumers in the ShareThis network based on their sharing behavior around these topics.
Mederma’s agency, Empower MediaMarketing, then targeted a ShareThis display ad campaign to 2.5 million of the identified consumers. The ad led to a landing page with testimonials and a call to action referring consumers to the coupon. ShareThis ran influence-segmented online creative against identical control creative during the campaign.
“We wanted to see how social behavior would lift campaign performance and help Mederma connect with influencers.”
—Jim Price, president, Empower MediaMarketing, in an interview with eMarketer
Results. After the one-month campaign, Empower found that 50% of influencers converted to a coupon download page, compared with 25% for Mederma’s customary search campaigns, and 10% for its contextual display campaigns on hubs like WebMD. The people who avidly responded to the shared content were deemed highly valuable.
Next Steps. While it’s too soon to assess the coupon redemption rate, Empower has recommended that Mederma apply the sharing strategy to another campaign. ShareThis will refine its data model to include a broader set of sharing signals and Empower will experiment with the creative next time—running different executions for influencers and receivers of the shared content. Based on this pilot campaign, Empower recommended that Mederma allocate part of its search budget to ad campaigns targeting sharing behavior.
Key Takeaways. Marketers that tap into content-sharing on the Web may find it an effective way to increase engagement and connect a brand to influencers.
“It fits somewhere between social, search and display. It revolves around a socially driven signal for sharing.”
— Heidi Perry, vice-president of marketing, ShareThis, in an interview with eMarketer
In addition, sharing helps identify influencers who are topically engaged. Influencers and the people they share with are valuable—just how valuable is something ShareThis is working to quantify. The behavior and influence of content-sharing consumers can be an effective tool for marketers, serving as a kind of hybrid of search and display.
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Check out today’s other article, “Online Video Viewing Shifts to Long-Form Content.”