The holidays are fast approaching, and while this time may be stressful for marketers and business owners, it is also one of the most opportune times of the year for many businesses across industries. Some of the biggest shopping days of the year – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year’s – all take place within a short, two-month period when consumers are prepared to make a purchase.
During the holidays, many companies increase their ad budgets to boost their exposure during this important shopping season and drive more traffic to their website. Many small and medium sized businesses are just not able to match the sheer number of ad dollars that larger businesses can put into their holiday ad campaigns. So how can these smaller businesses compete with larger advertisers?
Facebook ads, of course!
Below, I’m going to talk a little bit more about what you need to be aware of when it comes to advertising on Facebook during the holidays as well as provide you with a few tips for boosting ad conversion with your holiday Facebook ad campaigns as part of this Facebook ads guide.
A Facebook Ads Guide for the Holiday Season
What You Need to Know About Facebook Advertising & the Holidays
If you have never done much with your Facebook advertising during the holidays or you are new to the world of Facebook ads, it’s important to note that the holidays will affect a Facebook ads guide in a few key ways:
There are more people shopping for holiday purchases online.
More people are shopping online for the holidays than ever before. In fact, Adobe predicts that online holiday sales this year will reach $91.6 billion. This means that there are people out there ready to buy your products online, and many of those people use Facebook. According to Facebook, there were 1.18 billion daily active users in September 2016, a number which has increased 17% since last year. This many daily active users consistently logging into Facebook presents an attractive opportunity for companies that want to reach more online customers during the holiday shopping season
There is increased competition for limited Facebook ad space.
As the holidays get closer, there is more and more competition for limited Facebook ad space. Not only are advertisers competing with bigger brands, but they also have to compete with smaller businesses who are taking advantage of the power of Facebook ads. The good news for SMBs who want to advertise on Facebook during the holidays is that the biggest ad budgets don’t always win Facebook auctions, as the system is based on a variety of factors in addition to price.
Increased competition on Facebook leads to higher ad costs.
While more brands are competing for Facebook ad space, this can cause ad costs to increase. In a recent study, Facebook showed that CPM skyrocketed in Q4 due to increased competition, with fluctuations in ad pricing occurring on key shopping dates such as Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the last Saturday before Christmas. Retail and e-commerce advertisers saw the biggest spike in CPM between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, and mobile apps experienced a continued increase in ad costs as the holidays got closer. Advertisers should be aware of these increases and adjust their Facebook ad budget accordingly during the holiday season.
3 Tips for Holiday Facebook Ad Conversion
Now that you know what you can expect from the Facebook ad landscape during the holidays, it’s time to create your plan of attack. Use my Facebook ads guide tips below to help you build better holiday ad campaigns on Facebook and increase conversion rates.
1. Create a custom audience of leads who have already shown interest in your brand.
Though Facebook ads can be effective in introducing consumers to your brand for the first time, you will see greater conversion rates during the holiday season with those leads who already have a pre-existing relationship with your brand. When targeting Facebook users by interest or demographic, you are reaching people who have not already viewed your content or engaged with your brand. The same is true for facebook lookalike audiences. Though they are similar to your existing customers, they have not yet interacted with or shown interest in your company.
If you want to get the most bang for your Facebook advertising buck this holiday season, you want to make sure that you engage leads who have already shown an interest in your brand. You can do this by creating a Facebook custom audience based on those who have visited your website, took action on your app, or engaged with your content on Facebook. By making these leads a part of your pre-holiday Facebook ad strategy, you can capitalize on previous marketing and engagement efforts and boost overall conversion rates.
2. Don’t wait until the holidays are already here to roll out your Facebook ad campaign.
The sooner you start to invest in Facebook ads, the better your results will be. As you can imagine, consumers don’t start making purchases on the actual holiday, so it is important to be visible to leads and customers on Facebook well before the holidays hit. Building brand recognition through both Facebook ads and engagement posts will increase the chances that consumers will remember your brand while they are shopping for the holidays.
You also want to invest in Facebook ads often throughout the holiday season. Rather than spacing out your ad spending, identify which campaigns are performing well and start scaling your spending. Remember, Facebook advertising costs start to slowly creep up in December as Christmas approaches, so you will want to invest in Facebook ads more in November while consumers are making purchasing decisions and starting their seasonal shopping.
3. Spend your Facebook ad budget more strategically.
If you are a smaller advertiser with a smaller Facebook ad budget, the good news is that spending more money does not necessarily lead to more conversions. Spending your ad budget more strategically will help you compete with larger companies who have more to spend. By understanding how the holidays impact your campaign and structuring your ads effectively, you can increase conversion rates without increasing your ad budget.
One thing to keep in mind while structuring your Facebook ad campaigns is choosing the right ad objective per platform. The two lead capture campaigns that Facebook offers are lead ads and website conversion. Though there is no difference in total cost per lead between these two options, the platform you are using can impact results. One experiment showed that lead ads performed better on mobile and website conversion ads were more effective on desktop.
Do you have any special tips or tricks you use during the holiday season to boost Facebook ad conversion and add to this Facebook Ads guide? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.