The holiday season is a lucrative opportunity for businesses as people increase spending on consumer goods. It’s also a very competitive time for businesses since there’s heightened marketing and advertising activity as everyone wants a piece of that pie. That’s why it’s important now more than ever before to have well thought out plans for your ad campaigns.
This is especially true when it comes to online marketing. Facebook is still one of the most powerful tools that brands can use to sell their products online. It’s also becoming more expensive. Ad rates also tend to be on the higher side during the holiday season. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place that ensures you get great ROI and don’t end up burning your marketing dollars.
Why online marketing is so important during the holiday season
There are many reasons why businesses should pay special attention to their online campaigns for the holiday season. It’s a special time of the year and they want to make sure that they’re doing something special.
This isn’t a new phenomena that we’re seeing with online marketing. In fact, even before online marketing was a thing, you’d have businesses spending extra time and resources into creating elaborate TV ad spots and print ads to capitalize on the holiday shopping season. Online marketing has just taken it to a whole new level.
A good holiday marketing campaign is especially important for local small businesses. If they’re able to gain traction, the successful campaign can result in a significant jump in sales during this time of year.
Online marketing during the holiday season is important for one simple reason: People are already primed to spend money. They’re either buying gifts for their friends and family or getting ready for the new year and want to try a new product or service.
So think of the holiday season as a special time of the year during which all of your potential customers are already spending money, and you want to have an opportunity to spend it with you. They’re there, dollars in hand, waiting to be targeted by an exceptional campaign that makes them want to part with their money.
- Be specific about your campaign objectives
Facebook lets you launch campaigns around a variety of objectives. This allows it to optimize the campaigns depending on your goals. They may include driving more sales, engagement, app installs, website visits, etc.
Have absolute clarity on what you’d like people to do when they come across your ad. This is important to ensure that you’re not burning your ad spend on people who may not even engage with the ad. Being specific about campaign objectives is crucial to achieving a strategic direction.
- Optimize your website for mobile shoppers
The vast majority of people access the web and shop for products online through their mobile devices. It’s inexcusable for a brand in this day and age to have a substandard mobile experience for their customers.
This is especially important when running a Facebook campaign during the holidays. Over 98% of the social network’s users access Facebook through a mobile device. Facebook itself mentioned in last year’s Holiday Insights that the number of holiday shoppers between the ages of 41 and 56 that find mobile to be the best way to discover new products has surged by 96% in just one year.
Ensure that your website or online store is fully optimized for mobile shoppers. It should offer them a seamless user experience from the moment they land on the page right until they check out. Otherwise even if your campaign is doing well on Facebook, there’s always a risk that they might leave the website before checking out because of the substandard experience.
- Leverage the holiday spirit in your campaigns
It doesn’t hurt to remind people through your ads that the holidays are a special time of the year. Use creatives that leverage the holiday spirit that gets customers in the mood to spend. Custom creatives are a great way to showcase how your products make the best gifts or even New Years’ resolutions.
Utilize this method to provide customers with an incentive as well. For example, if your brand doesn’t normally offer free shipping throughout the entire year, provide that as a holiday incentive. It’s a great way to get those who may be on the fence about making a purchase to open up their wallets.
- Test your creatives and ad copy
Never forget this basic rule of running Facebook ad campaigns, particularly during the lucrative holiday shopping season. Always test multiple combinations of creatives and ad copy. You never know which one might resonate the most with your customers.
Facebook’s algorithm is exceptional when it comes to picking the best combination. By letting your ads run for a while, you can determine which combinations are working and which aren’t. Axe those that aren’t and optimize those that are generating a positive return on ad spend.
- Create a custom audience on Facebook
You may already have a large presence on the social network. The holidays are a great time to leverage that for your campaigns. Use the tools Facebook offers to create custom audiences based on people that have already interacted with your brand on the social network.
Where Facebook’s algorithm really shines is when it’s used to create Lookalike Audiences. The algorithm can use the data that it has on your existing audiences to find new audiences that are likely to be interested in your products. Take full advantage of these tools to get the most out of your holiday campaigns.
- Don’t forget your retargeting campaigns
People are so bombarded with ads online that many just subconsciously don’t register ads when they scroll past them on Facebook. No wonder consumers see an ad 7 times on average before engaging with it. Your holiday ad campaigns will thus only be successful once you have retargeting campaigns in place.
A retargeting campaign shows the ads to an audience that has exhibited signs of interest in your brand or product. By reaching out to them again, there’s a greater chance of capturing their attention. This is important even more so during the holiday season when most of your competitors are also using the same strategies to win new customers.
The holiday season provides businesses, particularly small businesses, with a great opportunity to increase their sales. They can then carry that momentum forward in the new year and continue to grow their business.
However, given the extremely competitive nature of Facebook advertising during this time of the year, it’s vital that adequate preparation and strategizing is done before launching campaigns. As previously mentioned, ad rates tend to be high during the holidays, so marketing budgets can quickly evaporate if the campaigns aren’t properly optimized and targeted.
Don’t let that deter you, though. The rewards far outweigh the risks. What’s required is more diligence and thought. Taking that approach towards your upcoming Facebook ad campaign for the holidays will put you on the right track to achieve the goals you’ve set out.