What Can $500 in Facebook Advertising Get You?

With the right content, audience, and strategy, $500 in Facebook advertising can do wonderful things for your campaign.

If you’re an avid outdoors lover, you’ve likely heard of REI’s #OptOutside campaign. If you haven’t, here’s the gist: Instead of feeding into the Black Friday frenzy, REI encourages people to #OptOutside. Forget shopping — go explore the outdoors and enjoy this magnificent earth we live on!

In 2016, Camping With Dogs joined the #OptOutside movement. But we wanted to do a little more than promote the message through photos. We produced a video (which you can see below) that had two driving forces:

1. Encourage people to #OptOutside

2. Demonstrate just how much dogs value quality time with their owners in the great outdoors

To accomplish the second objective, we filmed the video from the dog’s perspective:

A video like this can’t go without amplification. So we decided to put $500 behind it. What did that get us?

We reached over 1 million users with an average cost per 10-second view of $0.002 and an average cost per engagement of $0.001. That’s 1/10th of a penny.

While it’s customary to amplify video content under a video views campaign, we decided to run an engagement campaign instead. Our reasoning: we knew that the video was naturally going to get video views because of the visually appealing and easily digestible nature of the concept. And while we value video views, we also wanted Facebook to deliver our ads to users who were going to engage with it by liking, commenting, and sharing — not users who were just going to view the video and move on without taking action.

REI #OptOutside Campaign_CWD Video

We targeted 4 different audiences: users who like REI, users whose purchase behavior indicates they own a dog and are interested in outdoorsy brands, all Camping With Dogs fans across the globe, and a lookalike audience of people who are fans of Camping With Dogs. In just 10 days, we reached over 2 million users. On average, they viewed 24% of the video; 554 users became fans of our Facebook page; and 46,044 chose to engage through reactions, comments, and shares.

In short, our ads performed well in front of the audiences we targeted. We got our content flowing into the right channels, allowing the video to organically catapult into the feeds of users we weren’t even targeting. That’s why we chose to run these ads under an engagement campaign — so we could target the users who were most likely to share the video, placing it in their friend’s newsfeeds, and their friend’s friend’s newsfeeds, ultimately causing our viral reach to surpass paid reach (illustrated in the chart above).


Ultimately, the content performed well because it was timely, relevant, and reliable.


Timely: The content was published in early November, when brands were starting to push Black Friday messaging, and REI was pushing their #OptOutside campaign.

Relevant: It spoke to a very specific audience.

Reliable: A combination of the trust Camping With Dogs has with its audience and with REI -who already has great brand equity with our fans- made the content trustworthy, providing a halo effect around the content.

The trifecta of these three things made the campaign a huge success for both Camping With Dogs and REI.

Looking to create a campaign for your brand that produces similar results?