For eCommerce brands, the holiday season can be a make-or-break period. After an economic stretch clouded by pandemic uncertainty and rising inflation, holiday sales increased by 10% last year over the one prior—and brands are hoping the trend will continue this year.
One thing that remains consistent is the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday for eCommerce sales. The days after Thanksgiving have morphed into one long promotion frenzy, and it’s important to have your social media strategy lined up well in advance to maximize your performance and finish the year strong.
Here are some tips from the ADM team on how to build great social media ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
Top of Funnel: Starting Early
To set your brand up for a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s vital to start weeks—or even months—beforehand with some effective top-of-funnel (TOFU) strategies. Research shows that Black Friday interest can begin in October or even earlier—and women, in particular, often begin their shopping well before men do. That means if you offer products that a women might buy as gifts—whether for their friends, partners, husbands, or children—it’s best to have your top-of-funnel strategy rolling once fall begins.
1. Introduce Shoppers to Your Brand Through Video
Unboxing, gift guides for the holiday season, and much more will soon flood social feeds worldwide. Across multiple social platforms, video formats like these have proven to be an effective marketing tool for creating brand familiarity and piquing interest. This applies to Meta, through Facebook Video ads and Instagram Reels, but also to other platforms like TikTok. According to TikTok, 58% of users discover new brands and products through the platform making it the perfect place to start building touch points with your audience.
2. Leverage Other Platforms to Unlock A Longer Holiday Season
Pinterest might not be the most popular social media platform, but at ADM we’re fans of it—particularly for eCommerce. It offers some of the best bang-for-your-buck in social, and 4 out of 4 holiday shoppers on the platform report using it to discover new brands and products during the holiday season. It’s never a bad time to start advertising your products on Pinterest, but launching as far out as midsummer can help you prime users to buy come Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and beyond.
3. Expand into a Full-Funnel Approach on Meta
Meta’s platforms remain some of the most valuable outlets for social advertising—Facebook has over 3 billion monthly active users while Instagram has 2.35 billion. With your holiday-themed video ads in place, you can begin to build audiences for further down the funnel by:
- Refining a successful test launch with a new objective and holiday-focused creative.
- Launching a true middle-of-funnel (MOFU) objective that retargets your most engaged TOFU viewers with holiday messaging and promos.
- Continuing to optimize holiday creative based and re-engage TOFU and MOFU audiences through remarketing.
Bottom of Funnel: Closing the Deals
Once you’ve primed the pump through effective top and middle of funnel strategies, it’s time to maximize revenue (and sell some gifts!) with your bottom funnel approach. From the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday up through the frantic push to December 25th, it’s essential to ensure you have the right ads and landing pages in place to sway both new and returning customers.
1. Use Dynamic Product Ads and Collection Ads for Gift Guides
Nothing sells your products better than the products themselves, which is why dynamic product ads ads are an important go-to for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers. Combine Meta’s effective Advantage+ AI suite with Dynamic Product Ads that pull listings from your site’s product pages to show off your product categories to new audiences.
Meta’s Collection ads are also top performers for our eCommerce clients, because they can pair attractive lifestyle images with product listings for the items being modeled/displayed. In ADM’s experience, these ads are terrific for driving up AOV, because they allow brands to showcase sets or outfits—increasing the likelihood that viewers will buy multiple products.
2. Add Holiday Messaging to Ads Throughout on Meta
It’s obvious that your Black Friday and Cyber Monday social media ads should have holiday messaging, but it’s important to make sure it is incorporated across your Meta account. Store ads on Meta, for instance, let you sell your products to users without them ever leaving the social platform, which makes them a convenient and traceable tool for Black Friday sales.
Last year, sale-specific creative in one of our client’s Store campaigns resulted in a 28% increase in cost-per-click efficiency. By building out comprehensive holiday messaging in Store campaigns—and particularly emphasizing timeliness around expiring Black Friday sales—you can encourage more gift buyers to make a quick purchase through the platform.
3. Use Different Promotion Ads for Different Audiences
In addition to your holiday messaging, it’s equally vital that you have a defined approach for both new and returning customers. Social ads that advertise your promotions play a big role here. New customers are more likely to be price sensitive because they haven’t experienced the value of your product for themselves just yet. Convince them by adding a holiday promotional banner to the top of existing high-performing creative—adding seasonal savings onto things that have already proven successful in driving new conversions.
For returning customers, who will already recognize your brand name and the products you sell, we recommend calling out holiday promotions with specific social creative that focuses entirely on those deals.
4. Tailor Your Landing Pages for the Holidays
Lastly, good social media holiday ads will only be as effective as the landing pages they lead to. Here are a few ways to make your landing pages convert during the holiday season.
- Utilize “Collection” or “Gift Guide” Pages: Themed collection pages—like “Holiday Sweaters” or “Gifts Under $100” can make for great landing pages for your holiday social ads—especially for new customers. But it’s key to ensure that they still align with your advertising goals by prioritizing items relevant both to the ad and your sales goals. Be sure to include your best-selling “staple” products where applicable.
- Incorporate Clear Divisions and Clickable Titles: Create clear divisions on “Collection” pages, segmenting product lines, and adding clickable titles for easy navigation and improved user experience, especially for holiday shoppers.
- Prioritize High-Conversion Items: Highlight and prioritize products with a high likelihood of conversion to boost overall landing page effectiveness. It’s important to consider who the user is who is most likely to land on this page: Are they a brand veteran looking to add to their collection, or a first-timer that might be a little more sensitive to things like price and number of reviews?
- Optimize Assets for Data-Backed Insights: Continually review existing assets and their role in landing page behavior to identify optimization opportunities.
Getting Social Results Year-Round
The holiday season is the most competitive time of the year for digital marketing and eCommerce. Starting early with top-of-funnel and middle-of-funnel strategies, utilizing compelling video content, leveraging various platforms, and closing deals through strategic advertising approaches are key elements to ensure a successful holiday season for your brand.
Remember, a well-crafted strategy not only maximizes holiday sales but can set the stage for continued growth and success in the New Year. To discuss our approach to sustainable, year-round growth despite seasonality, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the ADM team. Happy holidays!