The holiday season far the busiest, and most profitable, time of the year, and as an ecommerce store owner, you want to do everything you can to convert that holiday cheer into holiday sales.
But, we also know how overwhelming the fourth quarter can feel at times as a consumer. The seemingly endless barrage of cars with bows and puppies in snow might be adorable, but it can have the unintended effect of driving oversaturation and reducing sales. We’ve talked about holiday advertising and the nudge factor before, but here, we’ve created a Facebook ads guide to make sure you have the most effective holiday season ever using Facebook ads.
Why Invest in Facebook Ads?
This year, online holiday sales are projected to reach over $90 billion. $90 billion! These customers are spread all over the world, across all demographics, and there is no better way to reach them than Facebook. With over 1 billion daily active users, Facebook presents the easiest and fastest way to reach any potential customers.
However, because Facebook ads can be so successful, the price goes up the closer you get to the busiest part of the season, Black Friday through Christmas. If you don’t already have a Facebook ads strategy – it is time to get going!
You know your brand better than anyone, which is important, because using the best type of ad for your product will be key as you develop your Facebook ads strategy. Here are some of the most common types of advertisements and what types of products they’re best for:
These are best for generating brand awareness. If you chose to go with photo ads, the most common type of Facebook ad, make sure you have a photo that will stand out on the timelines as your potential customers scroll past. Also, you want a crisp picture that meets Facebook’s recommended image size of at least 1200 x 628 pixels. And, don’t forget about the caption! You want a concise message with a clear call to action for your new customers.
Videos are great if you have a product you’d like to explain or an engaging story to tell. Some of the most effective videos show your product in action or have interviews with satisfied customers. Video ads are the fastest growing segment of Facebook ads but make sure you have the production value that matches the quality of your product. High quality images are much more affordable and accessible than high quality videos. If you choose to go with videos, don’t skimp on production costs as the better your video looks, the more product you’ll sell.
Carousel ads allow you to create an interactive ad experience for your customers. You can add up to 10 images or videos, headlines, and links to the ad. This is a great option if you had a wide range of products that you want to show to your customers. If you are a men’s clothing store and want to showcase your wide variety of accessories – this is a great option. It would be less great if you sell one type of cutting board. Again, make sure your videos and photos are high quality. If you don’t have 10 great images or 10 great videos – this is not the type of ad for you! It is better to have one great photo ad than one average carousel ad.
If you are a new store, or one that is looking to grow into a new market, lead ads are a fantastic way to quickly generate leads and expand your email marketing outreach. Lead ads allow you to include a form with your ad that you can collect information from your customers – without them leaving Facebook. Your customers simply press a “Submit” button and you receive a form that is prepopulated with their name, email, and phone number. Pretty sweet, huh? These ads can also be customized to fit your needs. There are several call-to-action buttons and you can even invite your customers to sign up for an event or party or sign up for an exclusive offer.
You might know these as a local awareness ad and they allow you to target a specific geographic location for your Facebook ad. Reach ads can be great if you have a brick and mortar location or if you sell location-specific merchandise. Or, maybe you sell personalized coffee mugs and you have partnered with coffee shops in cities across the country for a promotion. Products that have local ties build some of the most devoted customer bases so anything you can do to build a connection with your community, or your customer’s community, is great for business.
As we talked about in a previous post, hopefully you’ve got your holiday promotions schedule all set. Offer claims allow you to target specific customers with specific promotional offers. Maybe you want to give a 20% off to new customers or a buy one get one promo for a specific product line, you can allow customers to claim these deals right from their newsfeed. This is a great way to increase conversion and track the success of your advertising.
Here’s a pro tip: create a unique promo code for Facebook users to claim so you can see exactly how many customers are coming from this type of Facebook ad.
One important aspect to consider for each type of ad: mobile optimization. Each year, more and more customers are shopping from their phones and if your ads don’t look great on a desktop and mobile device you’re missing out scores of potential customers.
Also, as a quick reference, we’ve included a few dates you will want to remember to use some of the above advertising options to boost sales:
How To Boost Facebook Ad Conversion
By now, you know how effective Facebook advertising can be, you know the types of ads you can run, and you know when you should run them. But how we do we convert all those customers?
Start your campaigns early. It is never too early to advertise on Facebook. Even if it not specifically holiday related, your ads build brand recognition and increase the likelihood of conversion during the holiday season when you’re advertising more. You’re also more likely pick up a few extra customers who like to get their holiday shopping done early. It’s a win-win!
Have A Plan And Stick To It
What are you trying to achieve with your holiday ad campaign? Are you looking to find new customers? Are you looking to retarget old customers? Are you introducing a new product line? Whatever your reason, build your strategy around that and stick to it.
Once you know your strategy, you can select the type of ad that makes the most sense for your business. If you’re looking to build brand recognition, start with photo ads. They’re the most affordable and quickest way to advertise on Facebook. If you’re looking to tell the story of your brand, you might want to consider a video ad. If you’re looking for to grow your business’s email list a lead ad is perfect. By having a strategy, and knowing your options, you’ll also be able to more effectively stick to your budget.
Target Specific Audiences
We’ve talked about segmenting your audience before, but what about targeting customers similar to ones you already had? Luckily, with Facebook, you can do this easily with Facebook lookalike audiences. When you create your custom audience, Facebook’s algorithm also identifies customers that look similar to your target audience and can advertise directly to them.
To create these groups, simply use the data from your Facebook pixels to find other people are similar to those who have made a purchase on your site. Or, you can use the same data from your mobile app if you have one. A third option, is targeting Facebook users who are similar to the fans on your Facebook page. These users are just like your current customers and are more likely to convert – saving you time and advertising dollars!
Improve Your Ad Copy
A final, and often overlooked aspect of your Facebook advertising strategy, is how your advertisements are written. Mistakes are unprofessional and will drastically reduce conversion so don’t be afraid to review two or three times before clicking publish.
You also want to make sure your ads match your brand voice. If you sell koozies, you probably don’t want an advertisement that is very formal. If you sell baby products you probably don’t want to have the same type of language as the koozie company. You’ve spent hours and hours creating your brand and growing your business so make sure that the first thing your customers see (your advertisements!) match your brand.
In addition to matching your brand, you also want the ads to resonate with your customers. Because you are able to so specifically target your audience on Facebook, you want to make sure your ad images and captions are targeted to your customers as well. You know your customers better than anyone and creating ads that speak directly to them will increase conversion, build brand loyalty, and create more customers. The ultimate goal of any advertising strategy.
You’re ready to dominate the holiday season on Facebook! Remember, know your product, know your audience, tailor your ads to your product and audience, and have the best 4th Quarter ever!