Vitamin D in the news – Healthspan


We saw the opportunity for PR and PPC to combine forces, using trending health topics to inform bidding behaviour for Healthspan.

The challenge

We were seeing a reduced spend on above-the-line (ATL) advertising and declining visibility of Healthspan’s brand name. This was leading to a decrease in brand searches and sales over time.
As well as this, there was a steady drop off in new customer numbers due to an ageing target audience (50+), so we had to think laterally, and devise an efficient strategy to meet ambitious year on year targets.

The opportunity

By bringing the strengths of PPC and PR’s core competencies together, we identified a major opportunity to capitalise on media generated spikes in vitamin supplement demand.
Our most lucrative opportunity came in February this year when the BBC broke a story about vitamin D pills having the potential to reduce the likelihood of getting a cold or falling foul to the flu.
The PPC team worked closely with the the PR team, using news insights collected by the team on a daily basis to become more reactive than ever before.

What we did

Our PR team monitor and report back news insights on a daily basis. Rather than just allowing this to inform their PR work, they passed these over to the PPC team as soon as any new and relevant health news broke. In this instance, it was the news that the BBC were to announce overwhelmingly evidence for the positive effect of Vitamin D on cold and flu.
The paid search team were able to take advantage of the huge increase in searches for Vitamin D supplements in a variety of ways.

-Campaign preparation is always key. We planned our account structure meticulously, segmenting our keyword themes and bidding structure to allow us to react quickly on what was converting with a positive ROI.

-With a universal data delay in Google Adwords, we needed to find a way to see performance stats in real time, and for this, we created custom reports in Google Analytics. This allowed us to see what was happening minute-by-minute to make the correct adjustments for the full duration of the spike. This was an example of the human element going beyond the benefits of automation.

-We used clever techniques such as labelling of keywords depending on the user intent, and this allowed us to apply bid adjustments based on this pre-set structure. Where automated bidding rules usually take several days to learn and react, we were able to make changes in minutes.

-We associated our ads with the piece of news by adding review extensions at the bottom of ads with included a quote from the BBC article. This leveraged the emotional reaction of the news, whilst positioning our product as a direct solution. This was further enhanced with an on site banner that was created to link the copy with the landing page the user would be served when clicking on the ad.

-Our use of remarketing lists and second chance messaging allowed us to convert those that we had originally failed to convert on the first attempt. When we see how long the success lasted for in the results section, this proved the effectiveness of this technique.

-We also built out temporary higher funnel keywords that captured consumers in research mode and on mobile devices. This may not have lead to direct acquisition, however, placed Healthspan in the consumer mind for future purchase.

The results

Overall our collective efforts were a success, which ultimately stemmed from what we often explain as our main USP to our clients – a human managed approach. If we had relied on a bid management software – as many agencies do – then our campaign would have been nowhere as effective as keywords and bids would be assessed less frequently. Here are the stats.

15x the average daily sales
18x the average daily revenue
14% reduction in cost per sale
Increased level of sales for 12 days after the news broke

Looking to achieve a successful campaign, run by a collaborative team? We’d be happy to oblige.

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