By Lindsay Venoitte
By Lindsay Venoitte
The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) recently completed another social media campaign. The main goals of the campaign were to build awareness of wood pellets as a sustainable and viable source of domestic heating and collect comments about wood pellets from Facebook users.
Four different messages were used to get Canadians interested in learning more about wood pellet heat:
- Affordable and toasty: enjoy stable pricing and save money by heating with premium wood pellets
- Sustaining body and mind: do your part for the environment and reap the benefits by heating with sustainably-sourced wood pellets
- Supporting local economy: look no further than your local pellet mill to experience the long-lasting warmth of pellet heat
- Wood pellet myth or fact? Think you know the facts about heating your home with wood pellets? Think again.
The messages were aimed at Canadians outside of major urban areas through Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Facebook’s Audience Network. The ads were viewed over 490,000 times over a four-week period this past fall, with over 5,000 link clicks to woodpelletheat.ca. Quebec residents led the total amount of clicks, followed by Ontario and B.C. residents.
The ‘Myths’ ad, which ran in English only, led the pack in link clicks. This page was recently created to address some of the common misconceptions about wood pellets based on comments Facebook users left on ads during WPAC’s first social media campaign in 2018. Based on comments left in the 2019 campaign, there was a noticeable decrease in misconceptions about wood pellets. This page is currently only available in English but will also be translated into French.
The ‘Supporting local economy’ ad, which garnered the most response in the 2018 campaign, continued to perform extremely well this year. The ad was served in both English and French. The Job Smart page on woodpelletheat.ca was the most visited page during the campaign.
During the campaign, woodpelletheat.ca, a website developed by WPAC to provide reliable information about wood pellet heating to Canadians, had over 7,500 page views. Over 50 per cent of the page views came from users on mobile devices.
From a Facebook engagement perspective, Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia residents completed the most actions on the ads served in English. Unsurprisingly, Quebec residents completed the most actions on the ads served in French.
Of the 500 comments collected from the Facebook ads, the majority of them could be placed in one of these three buckets: positive experiences with wood pellets and appliances, price increase concerns, and environmental comments. Facebook users left their comments on the ads, although the comments were not necessarily linked to the message in the Facebook ad.
Here are some examples of the comments users left:
- “We love our wood pellets, we pay $5.57 a bag but you have to shop around, some are $7.50. One bag a day gives us a great heat!”
- “We have four pellet stoves, three in the house and one in the garage. Makes a big difference in our electric baseboard heating bill. 4,000 square foot house”
- “Used to be $2.00 a bag and now up over $6…”
- “The price of pellets have gone up but so has everything else”
- “My stove holds 40lb of pellets and will last between 24-48 hours. I can leave the house for the day and come back and the house is warm. I can go to sleep and wake up and the house is warm…”
One of the key learnings that came from the 2019 social media campaign is that Canadians need resources that will help them compare the cost of heating their home with wood pellets against other heating alternatives. These costs vary widely across the country. There are several online calculators available that can help Canadians do this.
WPAC has now completed two social media campaigns. The campaigns have proven to be cost-effective to not only raise awareness about heating with wood pellets in Canada, but also encourage conversations about wood pellet heat among neighbours. We look forward to keeping these conversations going in the future.