Facebook Advertising Best Practices for the Holidays
Oct 27 2021
Cutting through the noise of the holiday advertising boom can be daunting for even the most seasoned marketers. Big brands with even bigger budgets tend to go all-in this time of year, saturating millions of user feeds to capitalize on what is expected to be another huge year for online retail.
Fortunately, relevancy and savvy application of Facebook’s advertising tools give even the smallest partnering brand an opportunity to develop full-funnel campaigns during the most wonderful time of the year. Here are some key Facebook marketing factors to keep in mind as you ready your 2021 holiday campaigns.
Make Mobile a Priority for Product Discovery
Facebook ads function as a basic building block to most holiday marketing strategies due to the social network’s vast global reach and access to an audience eager to discover new products.
Prospecting campaigns should employ traditional targeting levers such as age, gender, household income, geography, and other filters to ensure delivery to the most relevant users. Still, advertisers should also be aware of changes in how the average customer prefers to discover new products in 2021.
Chief among marketers’ priorities when it comes to Facebook ads this holiday season is the need to optimize ads for mobile. Whether it was last year’s stay-at-home safety measures or simply an ever-increasing reliance on mobile apps for everyday purchases, data shows US consumers are growing more comfortable with enjoying major holiday shopping days (including Black Friday and cyber week) through the convenience of their own mobile device.
A 2019 eMarketer survey conducted by Bizrate Insights revealed 60% of smartphone owners ages 18 to 34 used mobile apps to research and purchase products over the holidays. The following year, mobile retail in the US grew 36% compared to 2019. The data clearly indicates a growing trend in favor of mobile shopping, meaning the more mobile-friendly your sponsored posts, ad placements, and branded website can be, the more you can expect to maximize your customers’ latest discovery habits.
Retargeting, Abandoned Carts, and Other Low Funnel Strategies
You don’t have to be in the digital marketing game long to know retargeting in its various forms is a powerful tool in your belt. Its unrivaled ability to resurface the past interests of would-be customers from days or even months prior and reach out with smart discounts and special offers relevant to individual customers is incomparable.
Dynamic retargeting, which can deliver up-to-date inventory and pricing based on a carefully curated product feed, has provided Facebook the keys to millions of small-to-medium business campaigns that would otherwise struggle to capture the interest of paying customers amid the noisy Q4 marketing frenzy. Dynamic retargeting can apply detailed information on users’ individual interests to remind shoppers of products that may have been viewed previously — or even better, products that were once abandoned in a digital shipping cart and are now available at a special holiday discount.
There’s never a more crucial time to use existing data from the past year to execute low-funnel campaigns across social channels and optimize ads for mobile that remind customers of potential gifts (both for themselves and for others) they previously left in an abandoned cart.
It’s also critical not to underestimate the value of video around the holiday season. Video content is more cost-effective than ever, and it happens to be the type of branded content most users actually prefer to see. In fact, by 2022 it’s anticipated that more than 80% of internet traffic will be dictated by video content. Live video on Facebook has already been adopted by 42% of social media marketers aiming to connect with users and make branded content feel personalized on a social platform with a wide range of demographics.
Adapting Ads for the Holiday Season
Acing your Facebook holiday campaigns is about more than just keeping product catalogs up to date (but don’t forget to do that too). Facebook’s own marketing guidelines recommend creating custom, holiday-themed collections consisting of at least eight products and displayed with colorful imagery that matches the aesthetic of the holiday season. Product titles, descriptions, ad copy, and anything that might find its way into your campaign’s metadata should stand out from your typical ad campaigns as being unique to the holidays.
It’s also wise to apply a few of the season’s trademark eye-catchers — collections at impulse-buy price points (e.g. under $20, $50 and $100), flash sales, personalized emails and coupons, and free shipping (especially if you can guarantee delivery by Dec. 24).
Be sure to avoid surprising your customers with unexpected costs late in the checkout process, as sudden shipping charges or too many extra steps to checkout will inevitably cause some users to ditch their carts before conversion can take place. Mandatory account creation can also chase customers off moments before a sale — the lack of a guest-checkout option accounts for an estimated 34% of all items left in carts, followed by bad page loading speeds, untrustworthy site appearance, unsupported payment options, poor return policies, and overly-long delivery times.
Adapting your product inventory, ad copy, imagery, and ad placement to match what users have come to expect from the big holiday push will provide your brand with increased opportunities to strike both high and low-funnel shoppers with the right message at just the right time to inspire a sale, and to make your brand a key part of someone’s holiday celebration.