This is a guest post from Kevin Moore, founder of Skille (formerly Acquilead), one of our trusted agency partners. With over 10 years of experience in direct response marketing, Kevin builds and manages profitable, million-dollar campaigns for e-commerce brands. From ideation to full-funnel execution, his background in data analytics and conversion rate optimization has cultivated a data-first approach to Facebook and Instagram advertising, with a deep understanding of how people interact, feel, and behave online. Kevin has a proven track record of helping online brands increase revenue through Facebook advertising. In this post, he pulls back the curtain to share his game-plan.
It’s that time again…
The most critical factor to consider when crafting a BFCM game-plan is the rise in advertising costs that you will experience in the last week of November.
In 2018, we saw a 100% increase in CPM costs towards the end of November.
Our agency Skille has been in the trenches helping e-commerce brands, like yours, show up for BFCM with a battled-tested plan – and in this guide, we’re going to share the exact strategies and tactics that our brands deploy to consistently turnaround record-breaking months during this time of the year.
Let’s dive right into it!
A Black Friday/ Cyber Monday game-plan for Facebook and Instagram Ads
I’m going to break down the complete Facebook & Instagram ads BFCM game-plan that we share internally with our clients in hopes that you can benefit from it as well.
Top 5 performance drivers to consider
- Warm-up cold traffic In October and early November before cost per impression (CPM) spike
- Launch primer campaigns 21 days prior to Black Friday
- Discount strategy: bundle and structure promos to increase average order value (AOV)
- House your bundled offers on a dedicated landing page
- Allocate 40% of your total spend to retargeting 7 days prior to BFCM
Step 1: Warm-up cold traffic in October before CPMs spike
We know that the cost to reach people on Facebook and Instagram nearly doubles by the end of November. If converting cold traffic is expensive throughout the year, imagine how expensive it will be on BFCM.
One big mistake a lot of e-commerce brands make is they dial down ad spend in September and October and then dial back up towards the end of November.
Not a good idea.
Pro tip: Buy your traffic ahead of time to take advantage of the lower CPM in October and the beginning of November. This way you can bulk up the middle and bottom of your funnel and create a nice fat pipeline of ready-to-buy prospects.
Step 2: Launch primer campaigns 21 days prior to Black Friday
Primer campaigns let your customers know what deals and promotions to expect for BFCM. They build anticipation and momentum in the week’s leading up to your busiest season. Black Friday interest spikes 3-4 weeks prior to BFCM so you need to capture your audience’s attention early. Have a look at the Google Trends chart below:
These charts highlight the importance of a primer in the weeks leading up to BFCM. If a picture could say 1000 words:
If you prime your prospects effectively, you will be sure to enjoy a swarm of warmed up, ready-to-buy Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers the second your promos drop.
Step 3: Bundle and structure promos to increase AOV and LTV
When devising a discount strategy, try to optimize for these two metrics and keep them at the core of your strategy:
- Average Order Value (AOV)
- The average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order.
- Lifetime Value (LTV)
- The average amount of money your customers will spend on your business over the entire life of your relationship.
The most effective offers and discounts to help get the most value from your relationships with customers include:
- Bundled discounts
- Limited coupon offer with discount tiers
- Order value discount tiers
- Site-wide discounts
Bundled discounts are groups of products you can package together at a lower combined price than if they were purchased individually. If the products included in the bundle represent purchases that lead to a high LTV, like subscription-based products—even better.
Limited coupon offer with discount tiers
Limiting the number of coupons available to customers creates a sense of urgency around it.
Tier 1: 100 coupons available at 15% OFF
Tier 2: 50 coupons available at 20% OFF
Tier 3: 25 coupons available at 25% OFF
Order value discount tiers
Give your prospects incentive to buy more by offering them a better discount if their cart is above a certain value. You often see these incentives represented as “free shipping on orders above $X!”
You can take a tiered approach to value discounts to encourage shoppers to spend more to take advantage of better discounts.
- Tier 1: 15% off any order over $25
- Tier 2: 20% off any order over $50
- Tier 3: 25% off any order over $100
Step 4: House your bundled offers on a dedicated landing page
If you’re going to create bundles and have a few select products you know will bring in most of your revenue on BFCM, then you’ll see a higher conversion rate if you set up a dedicated landing page that showcases all offers and products.
If you don’t have the resources or time, then use your home page banner as a digital billboard to let your visitors know what’s up!
Step 5: Allocate 40% of your total spend to retargeting 7 days prior to BFCM
Normally, you might spend around 20% of your total budget on retargeting; however, for BCFM, I recommend you increase the retargeting budget from 20% to 40% of total spend. This way, you can sufficiently reach newly warmed up audiences built from your primer campaigns.
If you have a really large retargeting audience and budget, by all means, go higher than 40% (as long a return is there), but as a directional benchmark, it should be around 40%.
I hope this BFCM game-plan helps. If you have any tried, tested, and true BFCM tactics please share them in the comments below.