31/08/2023 • Ryan Hakeney
This article emphasises the importance of planning and preparation for a successful Black Friday campaign on Meta. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success and boost your sales during the holiday season:
Meta is a creative advertising platform. It gives you the freedom to use a variety of ad formats on a host of different placements through Facebook, and Instagram. It boasts an incredible breadth of users. 72.3% of the US population and 77.9% in the UK are said to use social media DAILY.
So when it comes to peak season, Meta is understandably on your mind.
Black Friday has been, and likely will always be, one of the biggest days on the eCommerce calendar. And with consumers becoming more trusting of making purchases on social media platforms, Meta has gained massive authority and influence in the marketing mix for brands and businesses at this time of year. That makes competition for these placements SKY high.
Meaning, you need to step up your game, or you risk falling behind.
There are no one-size-fits-all campaign builds. There are no growth hacks. Anyone peddling a quick path to profits on Meta, especially at this time of year, is not telling the whole truth. Success during Black Friday is driven by meticulous preparation, optimisation and aggressive activity with standout creative, and detailed analysis after so you can welly it even further the year after.
Here’s a collection of tips we’re putting to good use with our clients for their most important time of the year.
As brands and businesses begin to launch their promotional Black Friday activity, cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) rises significantly. For eCommerce, some reviews have suggested CPM doubles as the season heads towards early-mid November. These tend to be the highest CPMs on the calendar and don’t return to October’s CPM levels until after Christmas (!).
This means if you leave it too late and miss the boat, you’re paying double to reach the same impression data you could’ve been building two weeks before. Less impressions, less remarketing opportunity, and ultimately less return on ad spend (ROAS).
So get going early.
Give people a positive experience in the time before Black Friday. Educate them on your brand. Make them see the good in your products/services. That way, you have larger remarketing audiences than if you’d started activity later, and they’re already more likely to convert based on having engaged with your brand pre-Black Friday.
And that nicely leads us into a huge part of our Q3/4 strategy for one of our eCommerce clients. If you take the time to put out brilliant content that teaches people all about who you are, and more importantly, what problem you solve for them, they will be more likely to convert once they interact with your promotional activity. They’ve already seen you can give them the perfect new backscratcher (not our client’s product by the way) for all their backscratching needs, and they engaged with your ad expressing a behavioural interest in you.
Now a short time later, they’ve seen 20% off on those handmade, mahogany backscratchers they were dying for during the end of the summer. But they were too busy playing hopscotch and climbing Scafell Pike in the summer. Now they’re ready to buy and your promotional period is going to send them over the line.
It’s important to take the time to develop some brand familiarity and cultivate demand with excellent activity pre-Black Friday. It’s the cheapest time to do it, and it builds an audience with existing intent for promotional periods when those broader placements are uber-competitive.
That brings us to…
You need to know who to target. I cannot understate this. Not everyone who has scrolled past your ad will suddenly think you’re the dog’s bollocks. They just won’t. So how do we know who does? Look for it in their behaviour.
They watched your video ad to the end, they followed your page, they liked your posts, they visited your site, they added an item to basket. The list goes on.
These behaviours are all indicative of some level of genuine interest. And depending on the time period with which you cast your net back, the only thing stopping them from converting might have been, “oh, Black Friday is around the corner. I’ll wait”.
Get your creative heads together to knock up some cracking Black Friday ads, and target groups like those above with your content. We’re lucky to have an exceptional studio team who put together some real thumb-stoppers. But making sure we put the ads in front of the right people - that’s on us.
Now I know, I know. It’s email, SMS, and incognito safari browsing that these new privacy features are going to lock us out of. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to change things at all. We need to be fully aware of our reach figures across devices pre-September (if you’re reading this it’s (probably) too late), and observing if they change unrelated to deliberate activity changes as iOS 17 launches.
I don’t know about you, but around 60% of some of our client account impressions are from iOS devices. Usually through apps so we don’t anticipate a huge impact. But we’re aware of the data, we’re planning for it, and we can be wary of any changes in performance so we can adapt quickly. It’s all in the prep.
Another tip around this, be aware of what Meta are adding new features and making updates to. For example, at the time of writing this blog Meta had recently made new targeting features available on Advantage+ Shopping campaigns. Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume they are not expecting a huge impact on this type of campaign. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be working on it.
We see you, Gladiator Zuckerberg.
If you’ve been following 43CN much at all via socials or our blog activity, you know how much we value ad creative. ESPECIALLY on social platforms. It’s the same phrase we always come back to…
“Nobody wants to see your ads.”
How many times do you open Instagram because you just can’t wait to see the next ad? Even in a readership of people interested/working in marketing, if your answer is anything other than “never”, I will report you to the authorities.
This means any audience you are reaching needs to be wowed by an ad for them to stop scrolling. Many people swipe it away the second they realise it is an ad. So we have a lot of work to do in the content of the ad to keep them observing. Never mind clicking through and converting.
And whilst this is certainly the case for Black Friday when competition is bringing their A game, it does of course apply all year round. Do plenty of research into what makes great ad creative and apply it for Black Friday. It will undoubtedly raise the percentiles on your ROAS.
We don’t want to underestimate how important it is to know what stock you have at play for the biggest eCommerce period of the year. If you don’t often have much stock, then you have a few options.
This is one of the best platforms for eCommerce when used right. Meta is desperate for it to work because once they master hitting advertisers' objectives, they know they’re in for mega money. The AI tools that are built in can make it super simple to set up, but it takes effort, time, and preparation to make use of all those data points they bang on about come peak season. When all the best players in the game turn up. When all the organisations on this side of the profit margin decide it’s time to invest. The Monaco Grand Prix of the year.
There are an endless number of tips and strategies you can use. That’s part of the beauty of this platform. But, apply all the tips above with adequate budgets and a website that converts, and you’ll be laughing. Might be the first time you see your CMO laugh. Ignore all these shit hot tips? Well, our future case studies of 2023 Black Friday will show you what could’ve been.
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