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Facebook Ads for the Holidays: 7 Rock-Solid Best Practices

Published: November 10, 2014

Author: Samantha Mykyte

Not sure how to spend your marketing budget this holiday season?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
Get the highest return on your holiday investment by using your Facebook Ad dollars wisely.
With holiday spending expected to increase by 16.6% this year, a well-planned strategy will put you in the best position to compete.

Get started early

Marin recently conducted a study and found that your holiday ad spend should start earlier this year. They found that in 2013, “[Click-Through-Rates] for retail advertisers on Facebook were relatively high two weeks before Thanksgiving and then tapered off during the holidays. While CTRs increased for a short period right before Christmas, they did not fully revive until after New Year’s Day.”
This means that if you want your holiday ads seen by more of your target audience, you need to start earlier.
Let’s see what you can do to make 2014 your most profitable holiday season yet.

Target buyers with holiday gift guides using Facebook Ads

During the holidays, people are in the spirit of giving. Help them decide what they should be purchasing their loved ones with a holiday gift guide.
In your gift guide, explain who your products are for and why they’d like them. For example, if you own a women’s clothing store, create a gift guide for men. In this guide, detail the different outfits that different personality types would like.
Once you’ve created your buyer’s guide, determine who would find it most useful. If the target market of your clothing store is for females aged 18-35, then target males in a relationship within the same age bracket. Tip: if you have an older target audience, change your picture to an older model. You can A/B test which picture leads to a higher conversion.
The following is an example of the Facebook Ad you would run:

Facebook ad best practices for the holiday season

-Use common holiday sayings in your ad copy, e.g. “Tis the season”
-Use holiday images like gifts, a Christmas tree, snow, happy families, holiday dinners, etc.
-Focus on reds, greens, and whites. Remember to avoid light blues as this will blend in with the Facebook background.
-Be more ambitious with borders. People are more inclined toward festive and loud colors during the holidays.

Top Tip

Implement Facebook’s conversion tracking tool on your site to track your ad’s ROI from beginning to end. If you’re having trouble with your ad’s tracking pixel, check out FBPPC’s troubleshooting guide.

Use a sweepstakes contest to generate new traffic and online sales

Amp up your holiday engagement this year by running a holiday contest and promoting it with Facebook Ads.
Run a contest that gives away a $500 shopping spree to spend at your store. Remember to promote a prize that is related to your business, as (although you’ll get clicks) promotion of a product unrelated to your business will get you useless leads.
Ensure you’re exposing your holiday contest to Facebook users who are most likely to buy your products. This is done when you define your target audience.
Here’s an example of an optimized ad audience.
Some of you may be looking at that potential reach, thinking “waaay too small, Sam!” – and you may be right for your business. We find success with specific targeting, but remember, you can play around with different interests and demographics to get the audience that works best for you.
Your Facebook Ad for a contest (targeted at women aged 18-45) could look like this:

image005 Facebook targeting best practices for the holiday season

-Test the size of your ad audience. We’ve found that an audience between 100,000 and 1,000,000 delivers the best results for our clients.
-At the very least, create a Facebook Ad design for each gender. If you have the time, create ads whose images reflects the gender, age, and interests of your targeted audience.
-Experiment with Facebook’s newer targeting capabilities (such as income, job title, previous purchases, etc)

Re-engage old customers by offering a coupon to a Custom Audience

Loyal customers are your most profitable customers. Remember that the probability of selling to a new prospect is between 5 and 20%, whereas the probability of selling to an existing customer is floating between 60 and 70%.
Offering a holiday coupon is a great way to re-engage with your customers. Promote a holiday discount on their next order through a Facebook Ad.

Top Tip

Depending on how detailed your CRM software is, you should be able to see the customers who bought specific products (for instance, women’s clothing or men’s). Targeting these lists with ads specific to those genders will seriously boost your ad’s conversions rates.
For example, you could target men who bought shirts from your store in the 2013 holiday season. Offer them a discount coupon.

Custom Audience best practices for the holiday season

-Tailor your ad copy to Facebook users familiar with your brand (use words and phrases like “again”, “just like last year”, “we’ve missed you”)
-Feel free to use your brand logo; your custom audience will already be familiar with it.
-Use the PPC Facebook Ad structure to maximize your ad campaign’s ROI. You don’t need to maximize the amount of impressions, only engagement.

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