With the holiday season just around the corner, for marketers like us that means only one thing: the price of adverting is about to go up.
The holiday season is when brands up their marketing spend for holidays such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
In this article I'm going to provide you with four Facebook tools you can use during the holiday season to lower your marketing spend and pump up your conversions.
1. Facebook Canvas
In my opinion, Facebook Canvas is one of the best ad formats that nobody is using.
The biggest benefit of using the Canvas ad format is that they drive greater engagement for less ad spend.
When a prospect clicks on a Canvas ad, they are presented with a landing page where you can serve them a video and your products while they are still on Facebook.
Unlike a website clicks or conversion objective where you drive prospects away from Facebook to your website and pay extra for doing so, Canvas acts as a landing page on Facebook, lowering your CPC.
Canvas is great for targeting people at the upper level of your funnel as it's an ad format that promotes engagement.
Create Canvas ads around your best-selling products to generate awareness and then retarget Canvas engagers with conversion or website clicks later in your funnel.
2. Test the Audience Network
Another place to find cheap Facebook ad inventory during the holiday season is the Audience Network.
If you listened to our podcast about the Audience Network or read our article, Facebook Audience Network: Tips for Actually Making Money, you'll know that with a little bit of testing – okay, a lot of testing – you can have HUGE success with this placement.
Most marketers avoid the Audience Network like the plague, thinking it's full of low-quality clicks and bots.
My advice would be this: start testing this placement on your website custom audiences by using primarily text-based copy as this has worked for us in the past (listen to the podcast linked above for more detail). Images don't work nearly as well due to the limited space on third-party apps to serve your ads.
If you're seeing good results with your custom audience, then it's partial validation that it may also work on cold audiences, and you should test further.
If you can crack open this placement during the holiday season, the opportunity to scale and maximize ad spend will be huge. Keep in mind that engagement within this placement is often two to five times less likely than in the newsfeed.
3. Start using offers
What will every e-commerce business be running during the holidays? Discounts and promotions.
Engaging with prospects will be key, and one of the best ways to get repeat engagement on the cheap is to use the offer tool that you can find within the website clicks and conversions objective.
Once a prospect clicks on your ad to redeem their offer, the following happens:
- They receive an email from Facebook about their offer
- The offer is placed in their 'Saved' tab
- Facebook alerts them via a notification the next time they log in via desktop
- Facebook alerts the prospect a final time before the voucher expires
For each prospect that redeems your offer, they are contacted four times by Facebook before the offer expires.
If you can create the right offer and tie it in with urgency (48-hour flash sales, for example), this is will be an invaluable tool over the holidays to get prospects to take action.
Formats like Canvas and adding vouchers to your ads help them stand out in the newsfeed because prospects don't see them nearly as often as, say, a video or regular link click.
4. Get back to Audience Insights
If you use interest and behaviors when targeting people at the top of your Facebook funnel, before you go and increase your ad spend over the holidays, refresh your parameters by taking full advantage of Audience Insights.
In case you didn't know, Audience Insights allows you to select audiences, such as your customer list, and it will return data such as pages they've liked, their relationship status, location, and more. You can use this data to refine your top-of-the-funnel targeting.
You can even view data on people who have triggered certain conversions on your site such as add to cart, sign up, or purchase. Thanks to the Internet, people's taste and interests are changing all the time. Spend an hour or two with Audience Insights to sharpen your targeting before the holidays.
How to win during the holidays
To drive more sales over the next few months, you need to think outside the box.
Facebook tools like Canvas, offers, Audience Network, and Audience Insights are areas of Facebook that most e-commerce businesses neglect. It's in these spaces on Facebook that you can buy cheap ad inventory and drive a greater reach.
Along with your usual DPA ads, conversion objectives, and video views, start playing around with the four tools I've listed above so you're ready for the holiday season.