A First-Person Account of a Facebook Blueprint Live Training Session

In an ever-changing industry like social media, continually educating yourself is part of the foundation of success.

In 2016, I had come across a class in social advertising that seemed like it would be a great fit for me. I got there, excited and ready to learn something new, sat down, and as the instructor began to talk, I realized, I could teach the class. And I did. Frustrating to say the least. I went home and continued to educate myself in my typical manner of constantly reading, paired with a healthy mix of trial and error.

I started my career at Response 6 years ago, this June (time flies when you’re having fun and learning so much). Starting out, I was learning the ropes of being a community manager, trying to absorb everything I could. And boy did I learn a lot. When they say the customer is right, trust me, that couldn’t be more true than when it comes to social and the amount of eyes on your social platforms. When you assume a role as a Social Media Manager, you’re no longer ‘you.’ You have to become the brand.

As I continued down my career path, I shadowed our social media manager at the time, learning the ropes of stepping up into the role as a paid media manager. I had no idea how many opportunities there were in social media. Really all you really need to know, is where to look but at the time, Facebook had not come out with Blueprint E-Learning Courses or their newest Blueprint Live events. Educating yourself in the social media space was mainly through reading articles, especially anything published by the platforms themselves.

Luckily, at Response we have assigned account managers at Facebook. They guide us with new and existing product updates, direction, strategy, and optimization opportunities on campaigns. We’re given an account manager on a quarterly basis. This quarter, we were appointed an account manager who I would say is one of the best in the game. She is beyond knowledgeable in the products FB offers. Our account manager invited me to a Facebook BluePrint Live training session at their New York offices and it was one of the most productive sessions I’ve attended.

When you walk into their offices, you’re blown away by the art and design within the space. You can tell that they want to inspire creativity with their space. Following a yellow brick-esque walkway to where our training would be, at first glance, I knew this was going to be so much more informative and worth my time.

Our instructor was a woman named, Isadora. She runs these Blueprint Live training sessions all around the world. She was accompanied by another coworker from Facebook. Quieting us down, Isadora started by having everyone in the room, introduce themselves, what agency they work for, their position, and finally, our favorite Instagram picture. It was an interesting icebreaker as it really got us all connected quickly.

We were placed into groups and given a project brief, each group with a different industry client. Our group was given a fictitious automobile company, “Akemia”, known as the safest luxury automotive brand on the road, using the tagline “Life Made Better”. Akemia was looking to position themselves as having an equally safe SUV, as its competitors, without sacrificing luxury. We were tasked with building a holistic Facebook media plan based on this brief. We had to define the clients business challenges, the campaign objective, delivery of strategy, target audience, and KPIs for measuring success. At the end of the day, our groups would be presenting our holistic media plan to our class presenters, who all worked for Facebook. No pressure, right?!

Although the brief outlined the problem the client was facing, what the client felt were the leading factors to increase conversions to purchase, and who they thought their audience was.

The first task was to identify the key product features that we would like to emphasis in our ad campaign and add them onto one of the boards on the easel.  

  • Kid-friendly
  • WiFi
  • Additional storage
  • Luxury interior/exterior
  • Family friendly add-ons
  • Safety features
  • App to build their dream car before they buy

Our minds were going 1,000 miles per second thinking about how we wanted to showcase these features in our campaign, VIDEO, CAROUSEL! Oh, so many options. But we had to slow down, take more time to think, and see what we could be missing. So often, we are face down in what we’re doing that we miss some key factors. This type of group work and thinking brings to light strategies and insights that are viable to a campaign reaching its goal.

We moved on to the next task, targeting. We were given a set audience of who Akemia wanted to target with this campaign.

  • Affluent women & men, 30-45, with 1+ children in the household
  • Target to focus on: Parents, Aspirational Affluents, fitness freaks, appearance & nutrition interests, in the United States

Provided on the table was Facebook insight data about the clients Facebook followers. From this insight data we created a core audience to target and also leveraged their existing database of 500,000+ emails.

We had a budget of $500,000 over a 3-month period to come up with a plan.

We decided that using a Brand Awareness campaign objective would allow for Akemia to be top of mind when the consumer is in the mindset of shopping for a new SUV. We wanted to use existing assets to create carousel ads that would showcase the features of safety and luxury, targeting these ads to our core audience. We used our custom email audiences to retarget the customers who had visited the website to use the customization app, in hopes of converting them to schedule test drives. Those that did not schedule test drives, were then retargeted with lead forms which would allow for sales representatives from Akemia to contact them to discuss their needs and bring a more personal touch to their experience.

With such a large budget, we had to consider where we would allocate the funds going down the funnel of our campaign. We split out the budget to be heavy ($300K) within our core audience adset because these were new people we were trying to reach. We then allocated $150K to our retargeting email audience because we wanted to be able to reach the large audience we had, and felt that their intent to purchase was high since they had gone through customizing their SUV and knew that if we could push them into the dealership to test drive, we would have a higher chance of conversion. Finally we allocated $50K to the lead form adset, because we felt there was less of intent to convert.

By placing pixels on the website customization app and schedule test drive buttons, we would be able to see how many people were converting to customize their SUV and schedule test drives, allowing our group to base our success metrics on total conversions and overall ad recall of Akemia.

After laying out the plan, two group representatives went up to present our campaign strategy to three Facebook employees. We were evaluated on deliverable of ad sketch, aligned media strategy, definition of audience and targeting strategy and clear method of matching KPIs to measurement of solutions and performance.

If you ever have the chance to go to a hands on Facebook Blueprint Live event, I highly recommend you to go. The knowledge and experience was worth it all. I went in already feeling like I had a great grasp on Facebook advertising, but walked away with more of an understanding on how important your Facebook strategy is to reach your goal.