Peak is coming.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
But while peak is definitely one of the most challenging times of year for everyone from the paid social exec right up to the CMO, there’s still time to get your ducks in order and lay the foundations for a strong performance.
Despite ongoing uncertainty, the indications are that customers are still planning to spend this season and retailers can expect gifting and little luxuries to perform strongly. Although consumer confidence is forecast to take a knock when the furlough scheme ends, it’s reasonable to expect that customers will still indulge in smaller pick-me-ups: makeup, luxury food items, lingerie and accessories chief among them.
The key for any marketing team right now is to focus on perfecting their acquisition campaigns and growing their customer base within their allowable CPA.
That makes it sounds easy – it’s not. How do you know what to focus on when everything feels important? And how do you make your creative stand out from the crowd?
As a Facebook Premium Partner, more2 were delighted to co-host a workshop with Facebook last week where we discussed all that (and more) in detail.
You can watch the full session here or read on for five of the main takeaways.
1. Timing is everything
Nothing about 2020 is certain, that’s for sure.
But if there’s one cultural phenomenon you can count on, it’s whatever Amazon is doing. So, as Amazon Prime Day is set for the 13th October this year, you can count on that to open the floodgates for retailers of all shapes and sizes. Most consumers expect to see deals appearing in mid-October and a general rule of thumb is that you should start your campaigns as early as you can afford to – it’s always better to sell early than to sell late.
We’re just over 8 weeks away from Black Friday so you should now be finalising your audiences and setting up your dynamic campaigns and spotlights for your flash sales. The next step is to increase budgets and bids, promoting local offers for brands with retail stores, and focussing on your delivery speed and customer experience – all of which depend on you having solid foundations in place to work from, including having your Facebook pixel set up and firing at full tilt.
2. Budget phasing is key
Most brands are prepared to make last-minute creative changes, particularly during sale time when it pays to be reactive. But while marketers are happy to make changes to their creative right up until the very last moment (and often at considerable expense), far fewer are comfortable with being flexible when it comes to their budgets.
Budget phasing deserves an article all of its own (and there’s one on the way!) but the basic principle is that Marketing and Finance need to communicate. If your campaign is smashing targets and performing beyond expectation, you need to be able to allocate additional funds to that campaign to maximise your success. It can be a tricky conversation (Finance might just see you taking funds from next month) but once you’ve cracked a winning formula, you need to keep the momentum going and keep feeding the campaign – and budget restrictions on your side can scupper even the best creative and set-up.
To get your point across, you need definitive proof of the effectiveness of your campaigns – Facebook’s Lift Tests are your friend here as they demonstrate the incrementality of your campaign in real time and real numbers.
3. It’s Story time
Instagram and Facebook stories are woefully under-used as a direct marketing tool. This is largely because they drive different behaviour to traditional digital ads and therefore perform badly in last-click attribution models like Google Analytics. As a result, marketers tend to use them for branding purposes and not much else. In a recent end-of-season sale campaign with one of our clients, however, more2 tested the attribution based on a 1-day-view to account for this difference. Our findings were remarkable – the conversion rate evened up and the campaigns came in well below the target CPO and even below that of a regular campaign.
We all know that marketers are storytellers – so use those stories!
4. Optimise for all conversions in DPA campaigns
Facebook recently added a feature which allows you to choose to optimise either Catalogue Sales or all conversions. Now, the natural thing to do during a sale period is to optimise for Catalogue Sales, right? After all, the whole point of having a sale is to promote those sale products. Well, not really. Remember that a lot of customers are more than happy to buy full-price products during a sale – and it’s your job to facilitate that.
At more2, we never advise our clients to optimise for Catalogue Sales only. If you do, you limit the reach of your campaign as anyone who is likely to buy full-price items will be excluded. Optimise for all conversions, however, and you’ll get more sales, a lower CPA, and a higher conversion rate.
5. It’s not all about the holiday
Looking forward to that post-peak peace and quiet? Think again. During your peak season, you’ll attract a whole host of new customers who are highly engaged, know your brand, and love your product. It’s important therefore that you’re equipped to retarget those high-value customers during the post-holiday period when your brand is front of mind.
Remember, a lot of customers have more disposable income this year and fewer places to spend it – the savings from that daily train ticket adds up quickly. So make sure you can cross-sell based on holiday purchases and flag your post-holiday sales to those precious recent customers. After all, recency is one of the best indicators of future buying behaviour.
6. Set up for success
Your social set-up defines your campaigns. You can have the best creative in the world but if your set-up is all over the shop, it just won’t work. Worse, it can even turn customers off your brand – nobody wants incessant and irrelevant ads.
Want to sense-check your social set-up? more2 offers complimentary paid social audits to D2C brands who need a second opinion on their social channels.