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Pathmatics Blog

Flowers For Spring: Plant Startups Focus on Facebook and Instagram Ads

April 18 2022 by Pam Gutierrez

Spring is the time of year when plant shops are at their busiest. From February to May, florists spend most of their time creating flower arrangements and shipping plants for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day. 

As such, spring represents a crucial time for plant shops to set themselves apart from the pack. That’s no small feat, given the number of plant startups that have been sprouting up online in the last few years, each selling the same proposition: better flowers delivered quicker. 

We know that boutique plant startups like The Bouqs Company, Farmgirl Flowers, Bloomscape and The Sill are advertising mainly on Facebook and Instagram. With similar channel strategies, let’s look at how these four businesses are setting themselves apart in the digital space. 

The Bouqs Company

The Bouqs Co.’s top creatives in 2021 and early 2022 highlighted bouquets for seasonal holidays and special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and birthdays. We also noticed Bouqs advertising fresh flower subscriptions starting at $40/month to “keep happiness blooming after the holidays”. 

The direct-to-consumer flower delivery service has spent $1.9M on digital ads in the last 12 months — twice as much green as any of the other online plant shops we looked at. As you might expect, April ($325K) and May ($149K) are big months for Bouqs to advertise. The time between November and February is also a period of high spend for the flower delivery company, peaking at nearly $451K in December 2021 — its highest month overall. 

The Sill

Throughout 2021 and early 2022, The Sill wasn’t as concerned with specific holidays as much as promoting plants as an everyday pick-me-up. 

Its top creatives ranged from an Instagram ad showcasing indoor plants to boost your mood and bring tranquility to your space, to a Facebook post with the words “Plants Make People Happy”. Ads feature clean images of potted plants set on a simple background, allowing shoppers to envision the plants on their own windowsill.

Like Bouqs, The Sill spent most of its $977K budget around the spring and winter season — two times of year when people are looking to freshen up their homes and might be in the market for a new plant. May was The Sill’s highest single month of spend at $136K, followed by a slump in the summer months. Spending picked up again in November and remained high throughout the end of the year before slowly tapering off. This also coincided with a holiday sale of 50% off plants, planters and decor. 

Bloomscape

Like The Sill, Bloomscape offers “plants delivered to your doorstep”. Its spending timeline closely mirrors The Sill’s, with high spending in March, May, and December. However, that’s where the similarities end. 

Up-and-comer Bloomscape’s $169K budget is much smaller than more mature startups like The Sill or Bouqs, but it still manages to set itself apart through its fresh approach to digital ads. While all of the other brands we looked at advertised mainly on social media, Bloomscape was the only brand to leverage desktop video as a major part (46%) of its strategy. Its top creative is a 30-second video that shows people bringing in boxes of plants from their front porch. The video opens with the words, “What if this spring, the garden center came to you?” and highlights the variety of houseplants, potted flowers, herbs, and garden tools available for delivery. Bloomscape ran several variations of the ad from March through June on sites like Daily Mail, Mental Floss, and Family Handyman. 

Farmgirl Flowers

At $139K, Farmgirl Flowers had the least advertising spend in 2021 and 2022 of the four brands we looked at — but what it lacked in budget, it made up for in creativity. 

The California-based bouquet delivery service advertises almost exclusively on Facebook, and fully 80% of its ads are aimed at female audiences, whereas most other brands targeted men and women equally. And while Farmgirl Flowers did increase its spend around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, most of its spending actually happened at the end of summer leading into fall. Nearly $95K of its $139K budget was spent during the months of August, September, and October — a time of year when most other flower brands are quietly waiting for the winter holidays. 

So why is Farmgirl advertising so heavily in late summer? Looking at its top creatives, the brand is promoting two popular flowers — ranunculus and peonies — that only bloom for a short time each year. The fact that these flowers are not available year-round is what makes them so special, and Farmgirl highlights this with messaging like “Ranunculus are FINALLY baaack!” and “This is your last chance to get peonies before the season is over.”

While Bouqs and The Sill outspent their competitors, brands like Bloomscape and Farmgirl Flowers prove that you can do a lot with a small budget. The best way to maximize whatever budget you’re working with? Pathmatics Explorer, the marketing intelligence tool that helps you understand how your competitors are advertising so you can make smarter marketing decisions. To learn more, schedule a custom insights session!

About Author
Pam Gutierrez

After she earned her BS in Business Administration and Marketing, Pam spent time in the non-profit industry developing skills in digital marketing and creating digital content for two years. She then made the transition to content marketing for San Francisco start ups.

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