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Find & Convert Pierogi Fans with PPC, Paid Social & SEO

Complementary paid campaigns, SEO optimizations and web development work garnered impressive traffic and brand awareness for Alexandra’s Pierogi’s ecommerce site.

Alexandra’s Pierogi is a beloved Chicagoland food brand launched by Polish immigrants over three decades ago. Owned by parent company Alexandra Foods, Alexandra’s Pierogi offers a range of frozen authentic Polish specialty foods across delis and markets in the Chicago area.

When Alexandra’s Pierogi came to VisualFizz, they were getting ready to launch a new ecommerce site designed to bring their offerings straight to consumers’ doors. VisualFizz developed and executed a strategy to drive traffic, increase brand awareness, and boost sales for their new ecommerce site.

This case study covers the creative services VisualFizz provided for Alexandra’s Pierogi, including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, paid social media advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and web development.

The Challenge

Alexandra’s Pierogi is a well-known brand among Chicagoland European and specialty grocers, but no one knew they were about to expand into the direct-to-consumer market. With a new ecommerce store launched September 2022 (at the beginning of the VisualFizz partnership), Alexandra’s Pierogi wanted to capitalize on the holiday season with buzz-worthy advertising campaigns to drive Pierogi enthusiasts to the ecommerce storefront.

The VisualFizz Solution

VisualFizz strategized, developed, and managed highly focused paid advertising campaigns and complementary organic SEO optimizations and web development improvements to help drive masses of food-loving shoppers to the Alexandra’s Pierogi website. The goal was to start with campaigns and services that would offer the biggest and most immediate impacts on ROI.

PPC, Paid Social, SEO & Web Development for Alexandra’s Pierogi

VisualFizz took a strategic approach toward driving ecommerce sales. In December 2022, the team launched targeted paid search and social campaigns and then determined how to best support website traffic and sales goals with SEO and website updates.

PPC Campaigns

To create effective PPC ads, VisualFizz spent an extensive amount of time researching similar competitors. Here’s what the team found:

  • No apples to apples comparisons – Very few online competitors exclusively sell pierogi, and the largest competitors were specialty online stores like Goldbelly.
  • Pricing varied wildly – Some competitors included the entire price upfront (including product, shipping, and the all-important dry ice cooler), whereas others listed the product price only. Some competitors included the item price plus shipping upfront and added the cost of the dry ice cooler upon checkout.
  • Product quantity also varied – There was no consistency in how much product was considered “standard.” Some companies offered quantities of 3 to 4 packs while others sold in quantities of 8 to 10+.

Armed with these competitive insights, client feedback, and a solid understanding of the niche target audience, VisualFizz launched a paid display campaign and three paid search campaigns to target consumers.

  • Targeted display campaign – Showed personalized ads to highly relevant consumers and informed them about the option to buy online.

VisualFizz developed and deployed three paid search campaigns to cast a wider net for potential buyers:

  1. Brand name – Promoted the online store to users already familiar with Alexandra’s Pierogi.
  2. Non-branded relevant searches – Targeted shoppers looking for pierogi (brand-agnostic).
  3. Flavor variety – Oftentimes, shoppers search for a favorite pierogi flavor/filling, so these ads featured each of Alexandra’s Pierogi flavors.

New Brand Slogan & Campaign Strategy

VisualFizz developed a custom campaign to showcase Alexandra’s Pierogi’s core values of family, quality, and tradition through the concept of “Pierogi Make People Happy.” This campaign aimed to resonate with the hearts of the company’s audience by highlighting the warmth and joy associated with enjoying pierogi together. The campaign was launched during the holiday season, which resonated with the purchasing habits of their customers.

To achieve this, VisualFizz planned and crafted a range of visual content tailored for social media platforms and the company’s website. With a focus on reaching Alexandra’s Pierogi’s target audience, VisualFizz recommended running the campaign for two months in targeted locations, utilizing Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.

The overarching goal of the “Pierogi Make People Happy” campaign was clear: increase online sales through a strategic mix of boosted and paid social strategies to ensure maximum visibility and engagement. From compelling product reviews to innovative ways of incorporating pierogi into menus and holiday celebrations, the proposed content themes were designed to captivate audiences and inspire them to indulge in Alexandra’s Pierogi.

PPC Campaign Results

These campaigns ran for 4 months and were extremely successful at increasing awareness and traffic to the store.

  • Nearly 15K clicks
  • Click-through-rate (CTR): 7%

Benchmark CTR in the food CPG sector typically averages around 3%, so the VisualFizz team was thrilled with these results.

Campaign Challenges

Despite the very strong CTR, the site saw a high bounce rate during the checkout process. For a food item that is considered a specialty snack or small meal, the price and volume requirements of buying through the online store were too high for most users.

Recommendations

Moving forward, the VisualFizz team suggested the following solutions to customers balking at the high price:

  • Offer free shipping at a specific price threshold
  • Explore alternative shipping solutions to reduce costs
  • Refine PPC campaigns to target users willing to make bulk purchases

Paid Social Media Marketing

VisualFizz ran multiple paid social campaigns across Facebook and Instagram. The team targeted shoppers in large markets across New York and Pennsylvania with a variety of interests, ranging from Polish cuisine to foodie content to recipes and more.

The VisualFizz creative and social teams developed a variety of assets to deploy over a 3-month period. Each campaign ran for 1 month and highlighted a range of creative angles, from holiday-specific content to highly appetizing product beauty shots to family-focused lifestyle imagery. In addition, some ads included a coupon code in the description copy.

Paid Social Campaign Results

The following results reflect an average of each of the three paid social campaigns.

  • Average cost-per-click (CPC): $0.50
  • 11,194 clicks to the ecommerce store
  • Average CTR: 2.25%

Overall, the Facebook and Instagram ads encouraged great engagement and were well-received by their various audiences.

Campaign Challenges

  • Availability – The products were only available in certain states, which caused customer confusion.
  • Price – Shipping with dry ice spikes the overall product price to the tune of about $50 more per order. The client received pushback from customers about the price and as a result received fewer online orders.

Recommendations

The paid social campaigns ran into similar challenges as the PPC campaigns regarding price barriers. Beyond offering free or cheaper shipping, VisualFizz offered the following recommendations moving forward with future social campaigns:

  • Create additional ad assets ahead of time to quickly deploy A/B tests as needed
  • Experiment with local campaigns in the future to get additional store foot traffic

SEO Strategy & Web Development Support

In addition to harnessing the insights gained from the PPC and paid social campaigns, the VisualFizz SEO team performed extensive keyword and audience research to create a robust SEO strategy. Much of the web development work VisualFizz completed was done hand-in-hand with SEO recommendations.

Highlights of VisualFizz’s SEO and web development goals and work include:

  • Boost organic traffic – Developed a keyword and on-page strategy to boost organic traffic to product landing pages.
  • Improve revenue tracking – Added additional tracking (Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and Google Ads) to help the client track revenue to specific landing pages and channels. The team added tracking for form submissions, phone number clicks, and product purchases.
  • Increase wholesale sales – Worked with the client to boost wholesale sales through the website, including a dedicated landing page and inquiry form for B2B sales. Based on our work and recommendations, Alexandra’s Pierogi also added a portal for wholesale customers to login and order directly from the website.
  • Improve UX – Provided a list of UX improvements for the client’s website with the goal of making it easier for customers to purchase products. Recommendations ranged from bug fixes to usability improvements.
  • Fix SEO issues – Helped the client’s developer remove duplicate versions of the homepage, which were negatively impacting SEO results.

SEO and Web Development Results

  • 112.04% increase in users across all channels
  • 59.23% increase in page views across all channels

In addition, organic search resulted in 69.25% of all web-based product sales revenue in 2023. This number will be used as a new benchmark moving forward for the brand’s ecommerce site.

Alexandra’s Pierogi Gained Invaluable Customer Insights

VisualFizz delivered impressive results and best-in-class content for Alexandra’s Pierogi’s paid campaigns and SEO strategy, but a high price barrier proved to be difficult to overcome when it came time for shoppers to click “Place order” on the brand’s ecommerce site.

Alexandra’s Pierogi took VisualFizz’s recommendations to heart and now offers free shipping on all orders. This change will likely drastically improve online shopping orders and provide users with a more enjoyable experience.

Create High-Performing Campaigns with VisualFizz

Next time your business needs to generate awareness and leads, let the VisualFizz team handle everything for you. VisualFizz is home to expert digital marketers and creatives that deliver exceptional work that holistically fits within your company’s ecosystem. Fill out the form below to get started!

Alexandra Pierogi

About

The story of Alexandra’s Pierogi begins in 1989, when Polish immigrants Mark and Alexandra Dembicki arrived in America with a dream of starting their own business. The couple opened Alex’s Deli in 1992 and pierogi quickly became their star item. The Dembickis wanted to share their delicious pierogi with a wider audience, so they rebranded as Alexandra Foods Company in 1995 to bring the product to a retail audience. Word spread, and Alexandra’s Pierogi made their way in delis and markets throughout Chicagoland. The company has diversified its offerings over the years to include a variety of authentic Polish dumplings, blintzes, pyzy, and more.
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