e.l.f. Cosmetics used a new omnichannel measurement strategy to assess the impact of running Instagram and Facebook video and photo ads to boost brand awareness and purchases, which revealed $1.2 million in incremental online and in-store sales.
Since 2004, e.l.f. Cosmetics has made high-quality, affordable cosmetics and skincare products that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. The brand attracts highly engaged audiences across its digital platforms, and its products are available at leading retailers such as Target, Walmart and Ulta Beauty.
in incremental sales from brand and direct response strategy
incremental return on ad spend from brand and direct response strategy
lift in ad recall
lift in brand awareness
The cosmetics brand wanted a way to boost brand awareness and increase sales both online and in-store, and to measure the results across both sales channels.
e.l.f. Cosmetics had successfully run Instagram ads to boost online sales and wondered whether people who saw the ads also purchased at retail locations. The brand’s Facebook team recommended that e.l.f. try a new omnichannel measurement strategy consisting of a Facebook brand lift study, a Facebook conversion lift study and a Nielsen Catalina in-store sales lift study. Nielsen is a Facebook Measurement Partner, and works with retailers to connect people who saw Instagram and Facebook ads to the actual purchases they make in-store, and then measures the incremental in-store sales lift.
The beauty brand and its performance marketing agency, Tinuiti, used this strategy to measure the ads’ impact on the account level across a large number of simultaneous campaigns. Some campaigns used the brand awareness objective, while other campaigns used the direct response conversions objective. All ads included a Shop Now button that linked to the brand’s website.
Brand awareness: The team built video ads with humorous creative, including one showing dogs whose fur was being blown out in slow motion, with the text overlay: “That feeling when you learn that e.l.f. is vegan and cruelty free.”
Direct response: These photo and video ads were product-focused, including one showing a woman applying a range of e.l.f. products, with the text overlay: “Shop our most iconic products online or at any e.l.f. retailer” and displaying logos for Walmart, Ulta Beauty and Target.
The team showed the ads to US and Canadian millennials and Gen Z audiences—including those with an interest in cosmetics, skincare, or makeup tutorials—and to lookalike audiences of people with characteristics similar to e.l.f.’s high-value customers. The brand delivered the ads across Instagram feed, Facebook News Feed, in-stream video, Audience Network, Instant Articles and Marketplace feed.
The beauty brand then re-engaged with recent website visitors and purchasers, as well as those who clicked on the button in the initial ads, by showing them a new ad with a button that linked to a specific product page of interest.
e.l.f. Cosmetics measured the results of its December 6, 2019–February 27, 2020 campaigns with Facebook brand lift and conversion lift studies, plus a Nielsen Catalina in-store sales lift study, which revealed:
$1.2 million in incremental online and in-store sales from brand and direct response strategy
1.8X incremental return on ad spend from brand and direct response strategy
23-point lift in ad recall
6.3-point lift in brand awareness
8.9-point lift in brand favorability
4.3-point lift in consideration