How to Plan a Facebook Ad Campaign for the Holidays

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Are you planning to use Facebook ads to promote your products or services this holiday season? Looking for a process to ensure your campaigns succeed?

In this article, you’ll discover five key steps to get the best results possible from your Facebook ad campaigns during the peak holiday sales periods.

How to Plan a Facebook Ad Campaign for the Holidays by Laura Moore on Social Media Examiner.

#1: Optimize Your Website for Facebook Ads Traffic

The Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that allows you to track user activity on your website. The pixel is a key part of Facebook advertising because it allows you to track your campaigns, retarget your warmest leads, and find people similar to your buyers.

To make the most of the Facebook pixel, install it as soon as possible to start collecting data from your website visitors. You should also add the event codes to record when specific events take place such as when someone adds a product to their cart or makes a purchase.

Watch this video to learn how to install the Facebook pixel and read this article to learn how to set up Facebook standard events and custom conversions.

Optimize Your Website for Shoppers on Mobile

According to Sprout Social, 94% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from mobile so it’s important that your website is optimized for mobile users. Your site should function as perfectly on a mobile device as it does on desktop.

Considering that your visitors will be on mobile and coming from social media, bear in mind that they may not have a lot of time on their hands. They weren’t on social media intending to buy so your ad is a distraction from whatever they were previously doing. Ensuring your website loads quickly is essential because the quicker they can access what you’re showing them in your Facebook ad, the less likely they are to leave before completing a purchase.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a handy free tool to check your website’s load speed and mobile performance. Simply enter your URL in the search box and click Analyze to run a test.

screenshot of the pagespeed insights tool webpage

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Pro Tip: Facebook is focused on creating a great user experience and this includes the user’s experience on your website if they land there from your ad. For this reason, it’s a good idea to remove any pop-ups on your landing page. Facebook finds pop-ups negatively impact the user experience, which can reduce your reach and increase your costs.

Pop-ups can also be an unnecessary distraction that might cause people to head back to their news feeds rather than go on to buy from you.

#2: Create or Update Your Facebook Product Catalog

The Facebook Shops platform lets you sell your products through a shop on your Facebook page. To set up a shop, you need to create a Commerce Manager account at facebook.com/commerce_manager. Follow the prompts to set up the type of shop that will work for your business. For an easy-to-follow walkthrough of the process, read this article.

the create your shop stage of the commerce manager account on facebook

When you’re finished setting up your account, the next step is to add your products to your Facebook catalog, including images and prices for individual items.

options to add products to your facebook store catalog in facebook commerce manager

Once linked via your Business Manager, you can use your catalog in various ways with Facebook ads, including dynamic product ads. Dynamic product ads let you retarget people who have visited your website and show them a bespoke ad based on what they looked at on your site. This is why that necklace you fell in love with but couldn’t justify buying ends up stalking you on Facebook.

example of a sponsored dynamic product ad by spacetime coordinates

The key benefit of using dynamic product ads is to ensure your audience is reminded of products they’ve already shown an interest in or related items that they may be likely to buy.

#3: Plan Your Seasonal Facebook Ad Campaigns

When running Facebook ads during the holiday season, you can sometimes get better results when sharing offers at different stages of the funnel rather than serving everyone in your audience the same thing.

For example, if someone visits your website, adds a product to their cart, but doesn’t complete the sale, you could start by showing them an ad with an offer of free delivery. If they go back and initiate the checkout process, but again don’t buy, you could further tempt them with a 10% discount.

example of a sponsored ad for a 10% discount during the mid-season sale by antler

When making offers in your Facebook ads, ensure your exclusions are set up so you’re only showing offers at the right stage of the funnel. And always exclude purchasers when you’re retargeting to avoid them being upset at having missed out.

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Keep in mind that your promotions don’t have to include discounts. You can entice people during the holiday season with free gift-wrapping or guaranteed delivery if they order before a certain date. You may already know what would work best for your audience, but if you’re unsure, now’s the time to ask them. You can also start testing now to see what gets their attention. (Step #4 discusses testing in more detail.)

Key Dates for Planning Seasonal Facebook Ad Campaigns

During Q4, there are numerous holidays worldwide, all of which can be great opportunities for additional promotion with Facebook ads. Remember, the closer you get to a key promotional date, the higher the ad costs are likely to be. So you need to be ready to hit the ground running with the knowledge you gained during your initial testing.

These key 2020 dates are likely to see an increase in seasonal advertising and therefore an increase in costs.

October

31: Halloween

November

14: Diwali 26: Thanksgiving (USA) 27: Black Friday 28: Small Business Saturday (USA) 30: Cyber Monday

December

5: Small Business Saturday (UK) 10: Hannukah 19: Super Saturday (last Saturday before Christmas) 24: Christmas Eve 25: Christmas Day 26: Boxing Day (UK) 31: New Year’s Eve

Other Key Business Dates to Keep in Mind

Your own key business dates and promotions might also impact your Facebook ads. Map these out well in advance so you can include them when planning your Facebook ad campaigns. Key dates might include new product launches, restocks, and last order dates for guaranteed delivery or personalization.

Don’t leave these decisions until the last minute. You may need to include some of this information in your ad copy or make changes to your catalog if stock isn’t available or has been discontinued. There’s nothing more annoying to consumers than being shown an ad for something they can’t buy.

#4: Test Your Facebook Audiences and Ad Creative

If you start testing now, you’ll have a good understanding of what works well for your business and be in a better position to scale in the peak periods. You can use this time to test audiences to understand how best to reach your buyer on Facebook.

facebook ad a/b testing setting showing the variable options of creative, delivery optimization, audience, and placement

Testing ad creative and copy at this stage may seem tricky because you want to avoid using seasonal ads too early. However, you can start to carry out some broader testing to discover what your audience reacts to so you’ll have a better understanding of the types of seasonal ads that might work well. For instance, you could test particular colors, themes, or type of creative. You might discover you get better results with video than still images.

Also investigate what copy your audience reacts best to. For some businesses, short, snappy copy works well, while others may find longer copy more effective, particularly when selling something with a longer consideration period.

As you test, you’ll start to understand how long and how much it costs to turn someone into a customer, and how many touchpoints they need before that can happen. The key thing to remember is that it’s never too early to start testing.

When you’re confident you’ve optimized ads that will yield the results you’re after, schedule your Facebook ad campaigns.

#5: Supplement Paid Efforts With Organic Facebook Content

Don’t just rely on Facebook ads this holiday season; your organic content is the secret to their success. Once you’ve mapped out your key dates and planned any offers, put aside some time to plan your organic content.

Your organic content should help your business stay connected with your existing audience and provide reassurance for new audiences visiting your pages via your Facebook ads. Showing new visitors reviews or testimonials or your product in use can help greatly when someone is deciding whether to make a purchase. User-generated content can work well for this.

example of a user-generated content post with a testimonial from butternut box tagging @toffeethecotonpoo

The holiday season is stressful enough without having to figure out what to post on Facebook each day so schedule your organic content in advance. This will ensure you always have good content going out, even when you need to prioritize other areas of your business or take time out to spend with family.

Conclusion

Running a business during the holiday season can be challenging, but with good preparation, your Facebook advertising will make it easier, rather than harder, to reach your goals.

Start by optimizing your website, carrying out testing, and planning all of your key dates and offers. Once your Facebook campaigns are up and running and you see what’s working well, you’ll be in the best position to optimize and scale your campaigns.

What do you think? When do you start planning your Facebook campaigns for the holidays? Do you have any preparation tips to add? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

More articles on Facebook ads:

Learn how to promote short-term sales with organic posts and Facebook ads. Discover six Facebook advertising mistakes and how to fix them. Find out how to convert website traffic with Facebook ads.

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