Thursday, November 29, 2018

5 Tips to Crush Your Christmas Ad Campaigns

It is amazing to see how much this sales event has taken off in Australia. Previously only really pushed by brands doing business in the U.S. following Thanksgiving weekend, we have seen a huge increase in retailers all over the world wanting to get in on the action.

There has been a lot of debate lately as to why brands need to be discounting their products and take part in these sorts of sales. From a marketing point of view, the numbers don’t lie. According to Shopify, at the peak time during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, there was $870,000 worth of revenue being generated a minute. Take a moment to let that sink in….

With this in mind, let me ask you two questions:

1. Did you achieve your sale target over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend?
2. What strategies do you have in place for the lead up to Christmas and the silly season?

So firstly, how did you go? Did you crush it? Is Christmas and Boxing Day all set? All your ad campaigns on autopilot and those rules set to scale baby scale?!


Then fear not!

We have 5 hot tips to help you with your holiday grind and ensure you make the most out of your ad spend so that you can sit back and enjoy that much-deserved family time. Or just time alone, if that’s what you’re into (it’s been a crazy year, we totally understand).

1. Experiment with placements

Over the holiday period, CPM and CPC are likely to double. That’s right, double! Q4 advertisers are all trying to get access to your precious Facebook and Instagram feeds. Beat the feed auction battle by being smart with your ad placements.

Facebook now has around 15 different placements for your ads, which gives us lots of opportunities to be creative with different ad creative formats and reach our customers across multiple platforms.

One of our favourite placements are Stories. Now, you can roll out stories across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Using the right creative, we have consistently seen Stories outperform any other ad placement across cold and warm audiences.

*BUT* build creative for your placements! Don’t just dump in an ad that looks great as a Mobile Feed ad and expect it to perform on the messenger home placement.


2. Engagement is key

One of the best ways to fight rising CPMs and CPCs is to create fun and engaging content. Engaging ad creative will increase your relevance score and help you out in the auction process when up against other ads in that placement. Also, organic reach is free…. So ads that have engagement, tagging, sharing and comments will outperform ads that have little-to-no engagement.

We often run Page Post Engagement (PPE) campaigns with the same ad ID as the ads running for conversion optimisation. By doing this, we are using Facebook’s algorithm to our advantage and ensuring our ads have the best chance of reaching engaged buyers.

3. Create your Audiences and use them well!

We know cold audiences drive sales funnels. But if you really need to hit your targets and get the best possible return for your ad spend, then it’s time to start hittin’ up warm audiences too.

**Us to cold audiences**

Creating custom audiences is a perfect way to build a seamless and engaging customer journey while increasing the purchase opportunity with buyers who are already warm to your brand.

BUT, there are different levels of warmth! And unlike week old pizza it’s safe to warm up an audience that might have cooled down. Holiday & Sales seasons are the perfect time to re-engage with customers who might have been interested in your product 6 months ago but didn’t purchase at the time.

Using specific time windows helps break up specific messaging and really allows you to curate your message. For instance, building an audience based off people who have added to cart in the last 3 days, will be far more likely to buy than an audience that added to cart 14 days ago.

Here are some of our winning custom audiences:

  • Add to Cart 1-3 days.
  • Add to Cart 4-7 days
  • View Content 1-7 Days
  • Top 5% of Page Engagers
  • Facebook and Instagram Engagers over the last 14 days.
  • Top 75% of Video Views 7 Days
  • Email Subscribers

The jewel in the crown is, of course, previous purchasers. This is your highest value custom audience. It is much easier to sell to a previous customer than it is to someone who has not purchased off your before. Take advantage of this and create an offer just for these VIPs!

“Your ad trying to compete with others for Facebook Auction” / Make it through the Facebook ad traffic jam this silly season

4. Don’t oversell!

One of the biggest mistakes we see from brands is the ‘BUY MY STUFF’ syndrome.

What is that? Well, it is simple…

Brands create ads to get cold audiences to buy their stuff. This is great and drives traffic to view products and add to cart. The mistake comes when brands then run these ads to these audiences to… wait for it…buy the stuff.


This is the nail in the coffin and a sure-fire way to piss off potential buyers. Why would you run the same ads and force a product onto someone for the next 7 days? Get creative with your remarketing stack. Show user-generated content and testimonials from real people, serve them blog content on how to use the product. One of the highest converting ads we have ever run in our agency was for a women’s fashion brand. The ad? It was how to wear a specific dress in 5 different ways during the party season.

5. What’s your offer?

We touched on this before. What value are you giving your customers? The reality is, everyone wants a bargain. Especially around the silly season with money tight and lots of gifts to buy. So how do you win against other retailers? Create a clear, simple and compelling offer... Emphasis on compelling 😉

Think hard about what you can do to add value and get the most out of your customers. You don’t necessarily have to give 20% off (and consequently de-value your brand).  How about something that has more perceived value, like a bundle? Or even better, free express shipping!

Remember in Q4 there are numerous opportunities to create urgency and get more from your customers. There is never a better time to take advantage of buyer behaviors.

6. KEEP IT SIMPLE (we told you there was only 5 but you got all the way to the end, so you deserve something extra!)

People are lazy, it’s your role as the retailer to make their Holiday shopping as simple as possible!

  • Lose the complicated codes & offers e.g. “buy 2 of x & 3 of y to get 6 of z”.
  • Make A Gift Page – that way customers have a one-stop shop to find everything they need!
  • If you are running a discount or offer, make sure it’s visible EVERYWHERE! Not just on the homepage.

So there you have it. We have given you some key steps to make your holiday advertising a breeze and finish off Q4 strong.

Got questions or need help with your ad planning? Why not reach out to us and book in a free 45-minute strategy call? We can talk through your plans for the rest of Q4 and make sure you get the most out of it.