Strategic planning to maximize sales with Facebook & Instagram Ads 2020
So you've found your way here, that's awesome! This lean piece will give you some pointers in the do's and don'ts for the second half of 2019; where the first part of that half consists of preparing your ad account for the holiday season gathering data and building momentum to enable yourself to have the best outcome when you want to maximize sales during Q4.
You: "How about starting off smooth with some thoughts on ad creatives?"
I'll just assume that this is on your mind. Because we really need to talk creatives at some point. We can't stress this enough. It doesn't matter if you have the best possible strategy and campaign structure, rich audiences and the perfect budget to match that - if your creatives suck or aren't in line with Facebook best practices (since this doesn't have to be an opposing relationship) - you won't get those results you desperately want and need. So if you feel that you need to have a look and check the ad creative-box, just have a look at this post that's solely dedicated to that. Show this to your creative team or agency after finish reading.
So, let's dive in to how you should structure the upcoming 6-7 months of 2019:
May-June: Strategic Planning ✍🏼
Without a well oiled strategy you might lose out on some amazing ROI. As I said; be prepared and start early. Starting early allows you to analyze last years performance and investigate which target groups and ads that work best for your company.
First off; make sure you have all your basics right.
- Check that your Facebook pixel is implemented correctly and that all pixel event is running without errors. Go to pixel from the main menu in Ads Manager to check your pixel status.
- Check that your Product Catalog is up to date, formatted correctly and sending the right parameters. Go to Catalog from the main menu in Ads Manager to check your catalog status.
- Make sure your website is working properly, revise loading times, sales funnel, UX and mobile compatibility (seems crazy obvious for some when reading it, but alarming to others).
- Make sure to have up-to-date custom audiences (GDPR compatible) and fresh expanded lookalike audiences; use high value based lookalikes from your pixel to find more high converting people. A good seed audience will probably appear to be a golden ticket. Consolidate ad sets as much as you can to prevent overlap.
- If you are a brand shipping globally, have a look at your payment methods to make sure you have enough payment options making it easy to purchase from your site wherever you are in the world. This can be a deal breaker later on.
- Prepare separate landing pages only for Christmas gifts and Black Friday deals so your potential customers don't bounce off site because of 90 min scrolling - trying to find that deal you mentioned in your ad.
- Consider bundle deals, you know this "buy 2 items get the 3rd for free". This will increase your average order value, lower your stock inventory and make your customers consider buying all their holiday gifts from one place(you), win-win right?
Second, get your margins straight and know your break even ROAS and CPA levels. Be flexible to scale your ad budget when you hit your sweet spot. We have seen so many great scaling opportunities go to waste because of "someone" setting fixed budgets in the beginning of the year.
July-October: Build momentum 🚧
For most of us, summer vacation is around the corner. Make sure you have start your campaign planning and structuring early so that you are prepared to build momentum during the summer. The summer period is a great (and cheap) period to advertise on Facebook and Instagram, because there are a lot of advertisers out there that think the exact opposite:
"We should turn off our campaigns during the summer and save money to afford really big budgets in the fall."
"We should turn off our campaigns and analyze the results of doing Facebook marketing."
"We should turn off our campaigns because the majority of the office is empty almost all summer."
You see where this is going? It's not a good strategy. But since so many are doing it, advertising on Facebook and Instagram is perfect during summer (very catch 22); reaching more people with less budget that will populate your audiences and build momentum really well. And why is that? What do people do when they're on summer holiday? What do people do when they have little or nothing to do at work because it's so slow at the office during the summer? That's right. They scroll and scroll and scroll Facebook and Instagram, more than ever.
Focus on prospecting during the summer and don't just run conversion campaigns, experiment with other objectives as well such as branding campaigns for example to populate more sources to use later. About budgets, don't hold back. Use some of that budget you've planned for Q3-Q4 and put that into cheap prospecting during the summer, it will give you more conversions in the long run.
General budget: Prospecting 80% / Re-targeting 20%
FYI, Facebook research on mobile first shoppers show that more than 50% start looking for Christmas inspiration already in October(!). This is something that most advertisers out there aren't aware of, meaning that there is a great opportunity to acquire customers early before the real fight for every customer $ comes middle/late November through December. Stories is a great ad format for giftinspiration since it's one of the most sharable format on Facebook.
November-December: Maximize sales 💰
Shift your budget focus to re-targeting and take advantage of all the momentum that you've gained during the summer/fall. Focus on inspiration, deals and be price competitive. Remove all unnecessary targeting restrictions and bid caps to maximize delivery.
So, let's get back to the ad creative part. Our feeds will explode with strobe light looking ads popping with massive sales messages so have this in mind and be creative in your ad expression and use different ad format, colors, patterns, motion and frames to stand out and grab attention quickly. Make sure to update your ad copy and selling points during end November to fast delivery since people don't care about that percentage off if they won't get their gifts before Christmas Eve.
General budget: Prospecting 20% / Re-targeting 80%
📆 Important peaks to keep in mind:
- 🙏🏽 Thanksgiving - November
- ⚫ Black Friday - November
- 🤑 Cyber/Green Monday - December
- 🎅🏼 Christmas Eve - December
- 🎆 New Year's Eve - December
January: Post holiday sales 🎄
Phew, that't a wrap! Right? Nope.. Time to gear up your cross- and up-sell campaigns. Do you have a customer who has bought a suit? That customer will also be needing a bow tie and a belt for New Years. Do you have a customer who bought a spa gift card? Make sure to also give that customer a deal to spend the night, add an extra treatment or to add another person at a discount. Make use of all your great work even during and after the holidays.
General budget: Prospecting 50% / Re-targeting 50%
Now, go ahead and execute. 👋🏼🍿
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