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10 Facebook Advertising Rules E-Commerce Stores Should Live By: Holiday Edition, 2018

As an E-Commerce store owner you know that there are two seasons; Q4 and everything else. Developing a strategic Facebook strategy doesn’t happen overnight. And just because you flip ads on for Black Friday doesn’t mean they’ll be successful. Long gone are the days of “if you build it they will come.” Facebook advertising is a crowded, competitive and increasingly expensive.

But, the good news is, with a little bit of preparation and some insider knowledge you can maximize your opportunity for running strategic social ads that target the hearts and souls of your audience, converting visitors into sales and take your business to the next level. Here’s a 10 golden rules to live by this holiday season.

Double Check Your FB Pixel

Check the pixel reporting in ads manager to make sure it aligns with your internal data. Check for discrepancies and misfires. If you are 99% sure but not 100% sure it’s working, click on an ad and purchase a product to double check it’s working and check the code throughout each part of the process. As of Oct. 24th, 2018 Facebook made it possible to update your pixel to a first party pixel, making it easier and more efficient to gather information from your web visitors. The best way that you’re pixel is updated is by going to Events Manager > All Tools > Pixels > YOUR PIXEL NAME > Settings > First Party Pixel : ON

Schedule Your Holiday Ads In Advance

To avoid delays, schedule you campaigns in advance. Your ad (and creative) can be reviewed and approved before the day of launch. It may take longer for ads to be approved during week leading up to black Friday so it’s best to get your ads approved and scheduled in advance.

Optimize Your Budget For Conversion Value

Your daily budget should be greater than 5-7x the value of your average conversion. If you’re using lifetime budget it should be greater than 50x the value of your average conversion. Check your average conversion by reviewing previous ads’ CPA. If an ad set is not spending its entire budget, then increasing the budget on the ad set will not change delivery. You’ll need to increase bid on the ad set for delivery to change.

Prepare For Increased CPMs

Expect a 25% increase in CPMs during the holiday period (Q4). If you don’t have enough budget to increase your entire ad spend by 25% consider going after the lowest hanging fruit within your funnel and increasing spend there. This will likely be your mid and low funnel audiences: your instagram and facebook followers, your email list, etc.

Speed Up Your Ad’s Learning Phase For The Best Results

If you’re running a fresh ad campaign during Black Friday and optimizing for conversions, it might take a while to get to Facebook’s suggested 50 conversions, therefore putting your ads at a standstill while you wait for the optimal number of conversions. Consider moving the pixel you’re optimizing for up higher in the funnel (ie from purchase to add to cart) speed learning phases and increase conversion rate.

Bid Your True Value With Lifetime Value (LTV)

You should set different bids for low and high lifetime value (LTV) audiences. Create different LTV audience segments through custom audiences and bid higher for people who bring more value in the long run. If you’re targeting your highest value customers or want to reach a high percentage of a small audience, you’ll likely have to bid more than usual to reach them, so don’t worry when CPMs seem high.

Limit Your Audience Saturation

Audience saturation is the point at which your performance starts to drop as your ad frequency rises. If your frequency is high and the outcomes you care about are declining (i.e. conversions), it may be time to switch your creative or targeting.

Avoid Audience Overlap

Leverage delivery insights to check overlapping audiences and their impact on campaigns. If there are overlap percentages > 50%, it may be best to consolidate into one adset. For example if you are targeting a LLA Instagram Follower Audience and a LLA Website Audience, where there is a large overlap, add these together. In general, it’s better to have fewer ad sets with larger budgets versus many ad sets with small budgets. Segmenting can be useful if your bidding differently for higher value parts of your funnel or if the creative/messaging is different between audiences.

Refresh Compelling Creative Frequently

Refresh creative every 1-2 weeks to reduce creative fatigue, x-outs, and low relevance scores. When all things are equal, higher user value (relevance score) will lead to more delivery and lower prices and lower user value will lead to less delivery and higher prices. If you want test new creative within the current budget, then feel free to add new creatives to an existing ad set. In some cases, adding new creative to very old ad sets might lead to little rotation for the new creative. If you want to be sure that the new creative gets delivery, then start a new ad set with the new creative or keep the adset the same while turning off the old creative.

Deploy Post Purchase Retargeting

Throughout your funnel, you should be excluding purchasers to ensure you’re not wasting budget or targeting people with a message they might get annoyed with. But coming up with a compelling post purchase message 5-7 days and then 20-30 days after purchase is a great way to capitalize on low hanging fruit. Some ideas include free shipping, 10% off or a share with your friend deal.

Good luck to all the e-commerce stores out there this holiday season! May your CPAs be low and your LTVs be high. Reach out with any questions or for hourly consulting: becca@falllinedigitial.com.

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