The holiday season is peak sales time for most eCommerce retailers.
If you haven’t started thinking about how your Facebook advertising plan is going to lead you through this peak season, now’s the time to start.
So here’s our advice when it comes to maximising eCommerce sales results from your Facebook ads this holiday season…
Plus, don’t miss my free guide on how to write the perfect ad!
Time to make a plan
The 4th quarter of the year (September to December) is not just the most lucrative sales season for eCommerce retailers…
It’s also the most competitive time of year to advertise on Facebook. So being strategic is more important now, than ever before.
Maximising your results this festive season is unlikely to come from one campaign on its own. It’s going to come from an integrated approach to attracting and engaging your audience, and then giving them a reason to buy.
Things really start to heat up around the Black Friday promotional event at the end of November. Which means you don’t want to leave your run too late. You’re best to start now and then scale up.
For a step by step approach to planning your Christmas marketing, check out this Podcast episode.
Build your audiences
Getting started doesn’t need to be going ‘all in’ on conversions campaigns. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
Going straight for the sale to a cold audience rarely works, but especially not at such a busy time of year when customers are seeing many more marketing messages per day than at other times!
Instead, now is a great time to start building up strong warm audiences.
This is valuable, because as competition intensifies, it can become expensive to reach your target marketSo knowing that you’ve got an engaged audience (that knows, likes and trust your brand) will help your activity succeed.
We recommend using either post engagement, traffic or video views campaigns, as an efficient and cost effective way to win over your audience and capture them for your future retargeting.
Build up your Christmas messaging
I’m someone who can’t even think about Christmas until the last birthday in my family is done and dusted (my 2nd son on 25th November, which is leaving it kinda late…)
But realistically, that’s not how it works in business.
Christmas is a long game. You have to get involved early – but if you go too hard too early with the baubles and tinsel, you run the risk of losing momentum. Or even causing your audience to switch off.
We find a staged approach to your Christmas messaging to be more effective. It’s a bit like starting to hum some carols at first, before you whip out the Michael Bublé Christmas gold, closer to Christmas.
Give customers a reason to buy
When it comes to your ad creative, or your marketing in general, you might start by featuring different gift-related products, with messaging around different gifting situations or gift recipients.
And the closer we get to our date with Santa you might ramp this up by rolling out additional incentives, like free gift wrapping, free express shipping, or other offers. Along with using images that look more Christmassy.
Watch your relevance score
As we get to the pointy end of the year, the number of advertisers actively promoting on Facebook increases dramatically.
One thing you’ll notice is that the brands with the bigger budgets are dropping some serious cashola on their FB ads. (Well, “der” you may be thinking!)
What this means for those with smaller ad budgets is important:
Facebook ads are an auction process and all advertisers are competing for a slice of the newsfeed pie.
The space on the newsfeed devoted to ads is finite. Therefore, ads will generally go to the advertiser willing to spend the most.
HOWEVER, there is one way you can still compete, and that’s by having the highest relevance score.
What’s a “relevance score”?
Inside your Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll see a ‘relevance score’ marked against each ad. The score is out of 10, with 10 being the best.
Basically, it’s a rating of how relevant your ads are to the audience. A higher relevance score usually means lower costs on your ads so more people will see them.
Also, if your ads have a high relevance score and another (big) brand has a low relevance score, then your ads should be shown more often than theirs.
If you have a low relevance score, your audience targeting may be off, OR your ad creative (images and text) or offer are not resonating with your audience.
Here’s the best way to help improve your audience targeting.
Use custom audiences
Rather than boosting posts to your Facebook page, or targeting broad interests, it’s time to start using Facebook’s custom audiences in your targeting.
Two of the best for eCommerce include uploading a CSV file of your email subscriber list, and people who have engaged with your Facebook or Instagram pages.
Email list custom audience:
Page engagement custom audience:
Both these two custom audiences are HIGHLY targeted with your warmest audience.
Once you’ve got these two custom audiences set up, then you want to create Lookalike audiences.
Basically, this allows Facebook to use its sophisticated algorithm to find other people similar to those very warm audiences.
Use dynamic product retargeting ads
One of the coolest options in Facebook Ads Manager, is the ability to show ads to people featuring the specific products they viewed on your website.
This means, you are showing images of the products people literally just looked at on your website, along with some text about your Christmas special offer (if you have one).
It’s a bit of a fiddle to set up – you need to be using the Facebook Business Manager, and then you need to set up a Product Catalogue.
If you’re on Shopify, it’s dead simple. Or if you’re on WordPress, the easiest way is to get the plugin Pixel Your Site.
These ads are INCREDIBLY effective at converting to sales at a great price! So definitely worth the effort.
Test different creative
A lot of people ask me, ‘what images should I use? What text should I write in my ads?’
Well, Facebook has just rolled out a cool new feature called Dynamic Creative.
(It’s not available for everyone yet, but check to see if you have it – you’ll find it in the Ad Set level of your Facebook Ads Manager.)
Basically, this Dynamic Creative feature allows you to test different creative elements, such as images, text, headings and buttons. And the best bit is, Facebook automatically tests the different variants, to produce the most cost efficient results.
If you don’t yet have the Dynamic Creative feature in your Ads Manager, never fear. You can still test different ads by using different images, text and headings. You’ll just need to set them up manually.
Use my FREE template to create the perfect Facebook ad
Rather than waste time staring at a blank page, grab my free ‘Perfect Facebook Ad Template’ specifically for eCommerce marketers!