How To Win on Meta for the Holidays and Q4

Here are the things to keep in mind when finalizing your Meta strategy to maximize performance during the holidays. While we know critical shopping days are just around the corner, there is still time to test new creative and organize your campaigns around actionable goals and segment audiences!

Rapid Creative Testing

Creative is critical to success on Meta. With thousands of advertisers marketing to your audience, how will you stand out? Gone are the days of creating a few holiday ads and letting them run. How do you know you’ve found the right creative, the right ad type, the right format? Creative testing.

Ensure your creative team (or agency/freelancer) are developing 8-12 creatives to test now and are ready to follow up with iterations once you see specific ads outperforming. Once you’ve found winners, you can replicate this format for critical cyber shopping days.

In terms of what to test, we’ve seen these ad types and features work the best:

  1. Text Overlays – Always call out your promo terms on the creative as we have consistently seen CTR lifts with text overlays! Meta no longer limits text to 20% of ads so don’t feel restricted! (link)
  2. Testimonials – Find reviews from last holiday that will resonate with your prospects or customer file! (e.g., my mother-in-law loved this gift and it arrived right on time!)
  3. Publication Reviews – If your brand or products have been featured in press, blogs, or magazines, use those logos or quotes as validation
  4. Customer Images and Videos – UGC is still performing! And top organic social posts should be tested as ads. Too many brands are still putting off these types of creative, but holiday is the perfect time to test if more casual images perform
  5. Gift Card Ads – If you’re a gifting-heavy brand, make sure you’re leveraging gift cards especially as we approach shipping cut-offs! Develop catchy gift card ads (with text overlays) and to capitalize on the biggest gifting period of the year.

Campaign Structure and Organization

Although straightforward, we still see ad accounts that need a structure refresh to better derive insights. Making sure you’re splitting out campaigns according to your funnel and investment (e.g., Prospecting, Retargeting/Remarketing, and Retention) will help keep performance and strategy visible during holiday.

You should always be allocating specific budgets to acquisition and retention, and breaking out these audiences from each other is essential to ensure proper investment according to your strategy. We see retargeting ad sets (e.g., website visitors, add to carts) in campaigns with retention ad sets (e.g., customer file) with budget settings on CBO Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) — sometimes these audiences are even within the same ad set. By doing so, you lose critical visibility into strategy and performance. The purpose of these audiences is very different, and you need to be able to ensure spend is going to the correct bucket to drive your specific goals.

The naming structure of your ad sets and ads are also critical to a healthy account. Including features of ads is helpful in trying to identify trends within ads manager. For example, a campaign name of “Prospecting – Holiday Gift – Review – Video” will allow you to answer critical questions such as: what types of ads are performing the best? Is a review video performing better than a lifestyle video? Are product laydown images performing better than product model images?  Adding critical components of the ad to the name (e.g., ad type, style of creative, and destination page) will help quickly see what’s working and what’s not.

Regardless of the specificity of your ad naming, starting a library of your ads will help develop insights into your creative performance over time, especially when pulling large cohorts of data. Create a table that has the ad name, along with multiple headers for components of the ad (similar to above.)

Examples below: 

  • Style of creative (e.g., product laydown, lifestyle, UGC, unboxing, review)
  • Destination page (e.g., home page, collections page, product page)
  • Background Colors
  • Influencers Used
  • Product Used

Continuously export performance data from Meta Business Manager to create a database of best performer ads which can be used across the organization to drive creative optimization.

Segmentation

For many of our clients, holiday has some of the highest volume weeks and months of the year in terms of transactions. Because of this, most brands will have large amounts of customers to segment from prior years for optimizing performance on Meta.

Holiday is the perfect time to remarket your lapsed customer file and try to get them back into your active list. Segment out your 13+ month customer file within audience manager to start advertising to this cohort if you’re not already. Leverage your strong promos with optimized creative assets to drive awareness of what sales you’re running. Gift card ads to this segment could also be effective if they’ve had a positive impact with your brand in the past.

Holiday also brings out the most gifters —another valuable segment to test. Segment your gifting customers and remarket to them with ads specifically messaging holiday gifting and/or gift cards.

Lastly, your prospecting campaigns should leverage specific segments of your customer to maximize performance. Use source audiences for lookalikes on Meta like LY and LLY Holiday Purchasers, Gifters, and your multi buyers file (2/3+ depending on the size of your customer file). Use this time to refresh your LAL audience base with the latest customer file (if it’s not pulling in dynamically) to ensure Meta is targeting the most relevant potential customers.


Please do not hesitate to reach out to your account team with any questions on the above so that we can set up a digital working session.

We want to see our clients succeed in digital this holiday and are here as a resource!

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