How We Used Data to Boost Engagement by 916%

Frida Kahlo’s work, life and mythic presence have an unmatched influence on art, culture and fashion in modern day life. Stone Ward had the opportunity to boost the engagement of our audiences in a strategic and meaningful way with the exhibit Photographing Frida: Portraits of Frida Kahlo on display at the Arkansas Art Center (AAC).

The big idea

As a cultural icon and a prominent force in the feminist movement, we developed a social media contest, #FindYourFrida, that tied directly to International Women’s Day. Leveraging a targeted paid social strategy, Stone Ward was able to connect with women, giving them the opportunity to win a private tour of the exhibit and lunch at AAC’s restaurant, Water Color at the Park. To enter, contestants were required to like the AAC’s page and tag three females in their lives that inspire them, celebrating both Kahlo and International Women’s Day.

Campaign goals

Because Photographing Frida was the first of its kind at the AAC, we were tasked with two goals: raising awareness and driving traffic to the exhibit; and increasing the AAC’s paid social engagements by over 400 percent.

A unique challenge

Although Frida was a Mexican-born citizen, her influence transcended more than just one language and culture. This required the media and its targeted placements to be bilingual, a unique identifier of the #FindYourFrida contest. The bilingual aspect of the campaign was one of the main barriers to our research as we had to discover shared habits, interests and media usage of both English- and Spanish-speaking individuals.

Execution

We had to start with data-informed research to discover who our target audience was. Data should be the backbone of your plan, and should always be the first step towards developing campaigns. When doing your own research, be cognizant of your own biases when pulling data. You may think you have an idea of your target audience, but it’s best to rely on the strongest data points to help inform your decision-making.

By diving into data provided by Scarborough (Nielsen) utilizing the Boolean search function, the media team built an audience of English- and Spanish-speaking individuals who were 18+ in central Arkansas. This unearthed a picture of the target audience, showing they had interests in fashion, museums, art and photography. Digging further into the data also revealed they were heavy users of Facebook and Instagram.

With Facebook and Instagram being conducive to shareable content, both platforms would directly reach the audience where they spend time on social media; and would offer the possibility of a viral effect using the hashtag #FindYourFrida. This allowed the contest to grow organically, even beyond the paid media.

As data is accumulated in any campaign, it’s best to actively dig in to find out what’s working and how to improve performance. While the initial target audience was adults 18+, we discovered women 35+ resonated the most with the ads, which led us to skew the targeting towards this demographic.

Exceptional Results

By utilizing a strategy backed by research, data and brainpower, the campaign exceeded the AAC’s digital goals. By the time the #FindYourFrida contest wrapped up on March 8, it surpassed the original engagement numbers by 916%.

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