Working Ranch Video Goes Viral on the First Try
A sponsored post garners 2 million views after only a day on Facebook.
Henderson, Nev. — Working Ranch magazine broke the internet on Monday. In just 24 hours, the magazine’s first and only piece of sponsored content went viral, garnering nearly 2 million views, and bringing in 400–500 leads and dozens of sales to the unsuspecting advertiser.
The three-minute video, produced by advertisers Safety Zone Calf Catchers, shows an ATV/UTV attachment which helps beef processers easily capture calves for routine maintenance like vaccinations and ear tagging.
At press, the Facebook video had 3,000 comments, 40,000 shares, and almost 2 million views.
That’s a lot of views for the Abundant Life Media brand, which has a print circulation of 55,300, and around 85,000 followers on Facebook.
Most of the comments tag other people as a reminder for them to watch the video. Some commenters expressed their need for such a product. Others use the video comment section to discuss animal welfare.
While it’s common for the brand to receive a dozen likes and comments on a Facebook post, this is the first time in Working Ranch's history that a post has gotten so much traction.
The page is mostly populated with niche references from editor/publisher Tim O’Byrne, asking how the readers are doing in a weekly post inspired by radio broadcaster Paul Harvey’s “It’s Friday” segment. He signs all of his posts, “Tim”.
Otherwise O’Byrne says the Facebook page is managed by “Cook House Rules.” Users are expected to be polite and avoid bickering. In return, O’Byrne keeps posts to a minimum, noting that his reader-base of rural farmers is often mistrustful of content and advertisements. He credits the success of his page to the personal tone of its content, as well as the infrequency of posts.
“You don’t want them to think that you’re selling out,” O’Byrne tells Folio:.
But with the consistent engagement of Working Ranch magazine’s post, O’Byrne and his team decided it was time to monetize.
To minimize annoyance to its Facebook followers, the magazine will only post one piece of sponsored content at the beginning of the week, which will stay on top of the page until O’Byrne posts again on Friday. Advertisers aren’t allowed to buy space on sequential weeks, and can only buy sponsored content up to five times a year.
Safety Zone Calf Catchers had worked with the magazine before, posting a video in 2015 which also got thousands of views before the magazine pulled it down over fears that it was violating Facebook’s sponsored content rules. This time, O’Byrne said, Working Ranch crossed its t’s and dotted its i’s.
While the company would not disclose the price of the post, CEO Drew Lawler tells Folio: that "it wasn't nearly enough." The ad was sold without any contingency bonuses in case the piece went viral. So with hundreds of Calve Catch leads at $2,095 to $2,895 a pop, it’s likely the advertiser’s ROI is anything but bovine.