It’s that time of year when your Instagram feed becomes cluttered with apple picking poses, and your office turns into a feeding frenzy of Halloween candy. It’s also time to start prepping for the holiday season. And no, I’m not referring to your Friendsgiving potluck menu, but rather the marketing campaigns that will capture your ready-to-buy audience that’s been on summer leave.
For most businesses, Q4 is the highest time of profitability, but that’s only if your marketing team has a solid strategy for capturing online leads. One strategy that works is to incorporate Facebook ads into your overall marketing plan.
What may be surprising is that with 92% of social advertising occurring on Facebook, only 9% ofdigital spend is happening on the platform. Why? The largest social audience resides on Facebook, the average person spends over two hours per day on the social network, and Facebook’s user base has even surpassed the population of China! Yet employees tasked with navigating the complex world of social advertising feel overwhelmed and frustrated when doing it on their own. This holiday season, marketers must do it right to achieve profitability from Facebook ads rather than just a list of grievances and wasted ad dollars.
Below are the five tips to success using Facebook ads to assure your holiday leads are not lost to the Grinch:
Make use of Facebook’s Targeting options
In 2013, Facebook partnered with third-party data brokers such as Epsilon, Axciom, and Datalogic, making Facebook the best place to find the most precisely relevant audience to focus your budget on the people that best fit your business objectives. The level of targeting you can drill down to in Facebook is truly remarkable and if you’re not utilizing these features to your benefit, you’re wasting visibility and even clicks on people who will never convert.
Using Custom Audiences
Facebook’s custom audiences allow you to upload a list of emails or place a pixel on your website to target warmer leads you’ve already interacted with. Whether it be shoppers who have previously converted and you’d like to up-sell or visitors who filled out a form, but haven’t yet requested a demo.
Every single Facebook advertiser should be utilizing custom audiences as a fool-proof strategy to target actual people rather than fantasized “buyer personas.”
Pay attention to Relevance Score
Relevance Score is to Facebook what Quality Score is to AdWords. Basically, the higher your relevance score, the more visibility you get for a lower cost. You absolutely cannot ignore relevance score because it’s essentially the score of how much Facebook likes you (and you WANT Facebook to like you!). If relevance scores are low, don’t panic, but do adjust to up your ad engagement, which will in turn improve your score. Whether it be more specific targeting, varying ad text, new images, or stronger calls-to-action, test out variations of what you’re already doing to boost scores, pay less, and get more engagement and visibility.
Improve Your Ads
No one intends for their ads to suck, but sometimes it just happens, perhaps without you even realizing it. You’ll find indications of this in your metrics e.g. low relevance scores, low CTR’s, low conversions. So you’re not Annie Leibowitz? You haven’t mastered the art of persuasive copywriting? Your ads still should not suck and here are a few simple guidelines to ensure they don’t:
- Make sure your images are the proper size. Facebook recommends 1200 X 627 (also only 20% of text is allowed).
- Don’t use boring stock images! Find compelling, interesting images that match your company’s brand.
- Use easy-to-understand, conversational language within your ad copy. Remember this is a social platform so take off your corporate hat and have some fun with it.
- Include a strong call-to-action. Your ad has an end goal, right? What is it? Tell your audience what you want them to do.
Tweak your strategy for the holidays
Properly strategizing and executing for your seasonal peaks can make or break your chances of outselling your competitors during the most profitable times of the year. For many marketers (especially those in retail), this includes holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but these seasonal spikes can also range for several months (perhaps October until end-of-December). This fluctuates from business to business, for instance an outdoor gardening operation in New England isn’t likely to have seasonal peaks before Christmas, but is more likely to peak during the early Spring season or around the 4th of July.
Ensure that you’re properly prepared for your businesses seasonal peaks by:
- Upping your budget for high traffic times.
- Expanding your audience to reach the higher mass of people in shopping-mode.
- Tweaking your ads with holiday and seasonal promotions to spur action.
- Creating an automated ad schedule to show your ads during the most high-profit times.
It’s not too late to ensure that your business wins at Facebook advertising this holiday season, and taking our advice on how to get there is a good first step.
Margot da Cunha is the Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream