Platforms Series: Get to Know Nextdoor
Published: April 30, 2018
Author: Kevin Vlcek
This week on the blog we’re talking platforms: emerging ones in the industry, new tricks for some old favorites, and finally some established platforms that, for some reason you may not be using, but you really should be. To start us off, read on to get a crash course on Nextdoor and their advertising options from Account Lead Kevin Vleck.
Nextdoor is a private social network for your neighborhood with real name/address verification, and discrete neighborhood boundaries. It is used to share recommendations, classifieds, events, crime/safety concerns, and more within your neighborhood.
Nextdoor by the Numbers
- 160,000+ Neighborhoods, 80% US Coverage, 74% Homeowners, 77% Married w/ Kids, Average Household Income of $100K/year
Is Nextdoor Right for Your Brand?
- Do you focus on hyperlocal audiences?
- Does your target market value word-of-mouth suggestion from trusted peers?
- Do you struggle with Brand Awareness in certain markets?
- Are you open to CPM buying models?
If you answered yes, to any of these, then check out the testing results from one of my clients below and decide whether or not Nextdoor is right for you!
Nextdoor Case Study: Childcare Service Industry
Hyper-localization has previously played a key role in my client’s success on SEM, so we decided to test lead acquisition on Nextdoor. Because Nextdoor is an exclusive social platform for neighborhoods (read: you can only interact/have access to conversations within your own neighborhood), we hoped it would be a good fit for our client, whose business is child-care related and historically has relied on word-of-mouth.
My client’s main demographic is families with young children, and 80% of the Nextdoor user base fits this description, so it was a no-brainer to try advertising to such a highly qualified audience. My client ended up being one of Nextdoor’s first advertisers to utilize their “Flex Product.” This gave us the opportunity each day to purchase any leftover inventory, using a CPM buying model ($11 CPM), to promote our Sponsored Posts.
We chose to run our test in our top 11 Designated Marketing Areas (DMAs); my client’s service isn’t available nationwide, and this was the minimum amount of markets Nextdoor would allow. We began the test with a $25k budget (2.5MM impressions) and immediately saw stellar direct response results within the first few days, from a conversion and CPA perspective. Because of this we ended up extending the test budget to $45k (4.5MM impressions).
The test ran for a total of 3 weeks until our IO ran out; we drove over 2,000 conversions at a CPA of $7. This was less than the usual average on SEM, which was one of the client’s lowest paid CPAs out of all their marketing channels. A major component of the success, in addition to the conversion growth and CPA, was the incrementality component. After full test analysis, we found that 83% of website sessions that came from our Nextdoor ad campaign were brand new visitors!
After the smashing success of the first Nextdoor test, we decided to launch another one, using the same creative and same DMAs with the “Flex Product.” The results of our second test, though successful for the client KPIs, were surprisingly wildly less efficient…
Engagement rates (clicks) were 20% lower, conversions were 34% lower, and CPA was 59% higher. We knew from historic performance cross-channels that seasonality wasn’t playing a role in the performance. Our data suggested that creative fatigue and/or DMA over-exposure may have been our culprit, so these should be taken into consideration when running a lengthier test on Nextdoor. From these learnings, I would recommend any brand advertising on Nextdoor to update their creative after ~3 weeks of running, or changing DMAs dependent on performance.
Other Things to Note
– Nextdoor does not currently offer native conversion tracking, so you’ll have to track your conversion events via manual UTMs for your ads and track success through Google Analytics.
– You cannot A/B test creative on Nextdoor yet, but you’re able to switch out creative during your flight period if you choose.
– There isn’t a UI for you to check-in on performance yet, so you have to heavily rely on receiving reports from Nextdoor reps. From my experience, though, they’re usually very responsive and provide a report on whatever cadence you wish.
– Finally, with the “Flex Product,” it’s nearly impossible to pace out budget because you’re buying remnant inventory, so it all depends on what other advertisers don’t buy each day. Some days, you will spend $500 and others, upwards of $10,000. It can be a little nerve-racking, but with consistent reporting and vigilance you can avoid overspending. If you don’t have the ability or desire to use a product that requires this level of attention, Nextdoor offers other products that are more expensive, but provide you with concrete flight dates and prioritized delivery and target virtually every user in your markets or nationwide.
Interested in advertising on Nextdoor? Get in touch!