This is the story of how a company outlawed from advertising reached an unprecedentedly large audience, organically. This includes Facebook advertising. Corona Cigar Co. is the Internet’s largest and easiest to use virtual cigar store, offering you the finest international hand-made cigars, humidors and cigar accessories at the absolute lowest price.
With four storefronts in Florida: Downtown Orlando, Dr. Phillips, Lake Mary/Heathrow and Tampa, Corona is an established and well-respected business. So why are they banned? In 1970, President Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act which banned the advertising of tobacco products in the United States. Facebook is required to follow this law.
As professional marketers, we agree with these policies. They are in place to protect the American public, especially youth. However, the occasional cigar is an experience; a simple pleasure and at Corona, it’s the ultimate experience.
What they wanted
To use Facebook advertising to promote the products and company outside of restrictions in order to re-engage customers, reach a broader audience and generate new leads. The Corona Cigar Co. Facebook page had about 23,000 fans, however, they weren’t experiencing the engagement that a page with thousands of likes should (think, 6 likes on the average post).
How to promote a banned product on Facebook
To do this, you have to get creative. In order to inspire organic engagement and shares, the quality of the content must be optimal. How do you do this? Hire a professional.
Instead of showing the cigars themselves, we showed “the product of the product.” The Corona Cigar Co. storefronts are more than a store. Each is a carefully crafted atmosphere for friends, fun and business. So, that’s what we showed. We decided we would figure out how to do this without Facebook advertising.
How to Get Organic Engagement on Facebook
We produced three professionally shot and edited videos and strategically uploaded each to the Facebook page. Each garnered over 6,000 organic views.
The Facebook Live feature was invaluable in this campaign. When the stream begins it sends a push notification to fans of the page – something no other post can do – that grabs attention and entices the user to tune in at that very moment. Learn more about Facebook Live, How to Effectively Use Facebook Live.
Immersive Virtual Reality is the future of social media. We’ve started early, with Corona Cigar, it was incredibly effective. Within 24 hours of posting this 360° video it had over 3,000 views.
This image received over 25x the average engagement of every photo posted to the page over the past year. The interactive aspects draw in the user by appealing to the curious nature of a person. Learn more about Virtual Reality in Social Media: Virtual Reality is the Future of Social.
Giveaways weren’t a new concept to the company, they had been doing them for years. But, they never received as much attention as they could have.
“They knew how to drive the Ferrari just fine, they just didn’t know how to race it.” – Miguel Delarosa, Project Manager, YBV
We rose their contest to a new level by embedding it straight into Facebook and dramatically cutting down the steps to enter. As of today, the contest has over 3,000 entries.
Here at YBV, we make things happen others might think aren’t possible. Challenge Accepted.
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