Who's #1 FloWrestling

Facebook Case Study On FloSports

Note: This case study was originally published on Facebook. (View a second Facebook case study here)

INTRO

FloSports is a direct-to-consumer, subscription-based sports media company headquartered in Austin, Texas. The company operates a growing network of dedicated sports websites –FloWrestling, FloGymnastics, FloTrack and more – and focuses on live programming, original documentaries, technique videos, breaking news and other in-depth coverage and storytelling.

With the goal of growing the sports, the athletes and the fans, FloSports’ challenge is to reach avid, casual and passive fans and convert them into subscribers.

OBJECTIVES

  1. Build brand reach and engagement
  2. Drive traffic to FloSports sites
  3. Grow subscriber base

STRATEGY

Starting in November 2015, FloSports placed added emphasis on video uploads across its brands’ respective Facebook Pages, publishing nearly 400 videos per month natively to Facebook, up 200% from the previous quarter. The videos range from trailers for its original documentaries, to highlight clips, to hype videos for upcoming live events – all with links to a sign-up page. Since implementing the strategy, FloSports has grown to 20 million views per month on Facebook and is driving people to its websites, where they can then subscribe. Facebook accounted for nearly 17 percent of referral traffic in the first quarter, up 21 percent from the same time period the previous year.

To complement the growth in video content, FloSports tweaked their Facebook ads strategy at the end of January 2016 by taking their campaigns in-house. They stopped ad spends on static graphics in favor of boosting their top performing posts relative to organic reach.

In addition, FloSports built new website custom audiences (WCA) based on existing prospects and subscribers in each vertical and then created lookalike audiences to target with ads. By using the Facebook pixel, FloSports also created WCAs for each of its sites comprised of users who had visited each site in various time frames. The shorter the time frame (e.g. 1 day), the hotter the lead.

FloSports also began monitoring campaigns closely to adjust the budget mid-stream to capitalize on ads that were driving the lowest CPA and pause ineffective campaigns.

RESULTS

The mix of more video uploads plus assigning budget to selected posts resulted in more consumption on a per post basis. Avg. video views per Facebook post across FloSports’ network grew 12% in Q4 2015 and Q1 2016 vs. Q3 2015. In Dec. 2015, FloSports set a new company record for Facebook avg. video views per post, and in March 2016 FloSports set a company record for total Facebook video views network wide.

The ad dollars had a multiplying effect. Total reach in Q1 2016 grew by 1.3x network wide vs. the preceding three months, and paid reach contributed to 4% of total reach (vs. 2% in Q4 2015). In the same time frame, shares per post, likes per post and comments per post grew by 7.0x, 5.0x and 4.0x, respectively.

Meanwhile, the growth in video content published to Facebook only served to increase traffic to FloSports’ sites. Sessions from Facebook as a percent of total traffic to FloSports’ sites grew from 14% in Q1 2015 to 17% in Q1 2016.

When comparing the performance in the 15 weeks (Jan. 25 – May 8) following the new Facebook ads strategy to the prior 57 weeks, the avg. CPA dropped 59% to $24, and return on ad spend grew to 169% from 11%. Other metrics, such as CPC and CPM, declined 71% and 75%, respectively.

  • 22% increase in paid subscribers over 3 months
  • 5.3x more engagement per post in 2016’s first quarter
  • 169% return on ad spending


“Our video content is our biggest asset, and we’ve learned that our video distribution strategy is not a zero sum game. We’re reaching new audiences of people at a faster rate than ever, and Facebook gives us excellent visibility into how our content produces engagement and awareness, which translates to website traffic and, ultimately, conversions. Our average weekly spend on Facebook has risen six-fold this year, and it’s no coincidence that FloSports is having its best year yet.”

Nick Schenck, SVP of Customer Acquisition & Marketing, FloSports