Case Study: Crayola Overcomes Facebook Algorithm with Co-Created Content

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Brand: Crayola
Location: Easton, Pennsylvania
Vendor: Vivoom
Bottom Line: High engagement levels make fan-generated videos an enticing marketing strategy for brands.

Facebook’s algorithm changes have left many brands scratching their heads as they search for organic ways to connect with consumers on the social media platform, but Crayola found a way to overcome the challenges and land directly in consumers’ news feeds with a user-generated video campaign.

Partnering with the in-product consumer sharing platform Vivoom, Crayola launched a holiday-focused campaign in the fourth-quarter of 2017. Consumers were encouraged to record videos of themselves, using a Crayola-branded filter, and then share those videos across social media as personalized holiday cards.

“We wanted to give the Crayola community an opportunity to wish their friends and family happy holidays in a way that was fun, creative and easily shareable on social,” says Marisa Scurato, digital marketing manager at Crayola. “Our fans embraced the opportunity.”

Scurato says feedback on the campaign was “extremely positive.” In just two weeks, Crayola fans created and shared videos that garnered more than 300,000 views. The average view-to-completion rate for Crayola’s fan-generated videos was 62%, and the click-through-rate was 8%.

“Both [of those] metrics vastly outperformed industry averages,” she says. “The high amount of engagement the campaign received was fantastic.”

Since this was the first branded social creation tool activation for Crayola, Scurato says she wasn’t sure what to expect as far as performance. One of the many surprises was the number of consumers who revisited the experience several times, making multiple videos with unique artwork.

“We certainly believed we’d see our fans engage since many are already keen to share artwork on social media, but we didn’t know exactly how they’d react,” she says. “It was great to see consumers spending additional added value time with our brand, beyond even their initial experience.”

While Scurato says there were no explicit sales targets for this activation, Crayola went into the campaign with the goal of generating as much brand awareness as possible.
“There was no embedded call-to-action directing to purchase products online,” Scurato says. “However, the high engagement levels—CTR and VTC—were very promising should we look to prioritize lead gen through this avenue in the future.”

Having consumers share content themselves also helped Crayola overcome Facebook’s algorithm changes, which favor posts from friends over brands. The strategy ensured that Crayola’s branded content would be seen by the right demographic — friends and family of consumers who currently purchase Crayola’s products. Crayola also shared many of the fan-generated videos across its own social properties, with links to a landing page where viewers could go to create their own videos.

The key to success in these types of initiatives is to favor quality over quantity, says Scurato. While the associated metrics that Crayola collected were useful, the strategy itself wouldn’t have been effective if there wasn’t buy-in from customers.

“We always aim to offer exciting content creation experiences that align with our brand values, and, in turn, empower and encourage fans to share the content that they create with us,” Scurato says. “This activation hit the nail on the head.”

Although the implementation of its most recent campaign was holiday-specific, Scurato says Crayola is always looking for new ways to creatively reach consumers, even outside of the holiday season.

“Crayola is continuously exploring ways to create meaningful and engaging experiences for our community and, in the process, we’ve learned a lot about what our audience wants when it comes to content,” she says. “Our learnings, coupled with Facebook’s recent news feed changes prioritizing content from family and friends, have lead us to favor activations that encourage co-created content like this.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.