For November’s series we’re diving into the exciting world of the holiday season. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day (for our non-American friends) all approaching quickly we’re sharing our favourite tips & tricks for strong holiday-PPC results. Carrie dived into the exciting world of holiday ad copy earlier this week, while Sam discussed how to make your holiday landing pages a blast – today, we’ll talk a little bit about how you can make your Facebook advertising efforts a little more festive.

Facebook. To most of us (or maybe just me), it’s kind of morphed in to Twitter’s little brother – a brother that mainly features incredibly inappropriate comments from your extended family, as well as a steady stream of reminders that your ten-year High School reunion is fast approaching. However, it also features an increasingly robust advertising experience: an experience that you can take advantage of to rock the 2013 holiday season.

How, you ask? Well, here are a few ideas:

  • Learn to love the unpublished “dark” post.

I adore sponsored posts. They drive genuine engagement and are legitimized by user activity. Dark posts are even better, since you can A/B test your messaging, images and offers in a controlled environment, and the robust demographic and interest-based targeting options allows for a high level of control over who actually sees your ad. Here are some of our holiday ad stats over the last 30 days:

Sidebar versus News Feed ad performance.
And those Sidebar metrics were considered *stellar* for this client.

The increased screen real estate has led to an exponentially higher CTR at a cheaper Cost Per Click, and a higher Conversion Rate. That, my friends, is the rare Win-Win-Win scenario. In that time, the ad has also accrued 442 likes, 154 shares, and 54 comments – from actual people. For a guy who’s accustomed to a lack of feedback on ads outside of asking “well, did they click on it or not?”, seeing people genuinely engage and appreciate an ad in this fashion makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  • Change up your ads and imagery to match the season.

This is easier said than done – but be sure to update your Calls to Action, imagery, and other facets of your copy to reflect the rapid changes in shopper behavior over the holiday. Specifically: have ads ready for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday plans, call out your special offers, and update your images to contain holiday themes. A tip – if you’re still using ads featuring a jack o’ lantern by now, then you’ve failed this portion of the holiday test.

In addition, Sam’s tips for a great holiday website hold true here as well:

  • Call out the day & time you open on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in your ad copy – if your interest is also in generating foot traffic, this is especially important.
  • Will your deals be limited to the online store only, or will retail locations also feature similar offers?
  • Showcase the products that you’ll have on offer on those days specifically.

That last point is paramount, and something to keep doing throughout the entire season – there’s no better time than right now for a shopper to see the actual products they’re seeking. They’re already primed to buy, so show them what they’re looking for first and foremost.

  • Try some Facebook Remarketing!

Even if you don’t have a presence on Facebook, there’s still some value in Remarketing to that audience. Here are some Last-30-day holiday stats from a different client participating in some FBX Retargeting through AdRoll:

Facebook Remarketing Stats
Even if we’re only counting direct Click-Through Conversions, it’s a substantial lift here.

For a client that’s been averaging ~353 conversions a month, those 24 Click-Through Conversions alone equal a 6.79% increase in volume – while accounting for only 2.28% of their total spend. Counting for the additional View-Through Conversions only makes this investment look better!

Now AdRoll is only one among many participants in the Facebook Exchange (also known as FBX), but there are plenty of others out there with similar capabilities. They allow for both Sidebar and News Feed Remarketing (potentially creating the unheard-of Win-Win-Win-Win scenario). In addition, Facebook recently announced they’ll be adding Remarketing natively to their own platform through the use of Custom Audiences. You’ve still got a little time before Black Friday, so you’d better get started!

What about you, PPC Heroes and Heroines? Have any hot Facebook tips to help beat the holiday rush? Any relatives and/or high school friends you’d like to ignore in your News Feed? Let us know in the comments and, as always, thanks for reading!

The featured image for this post is by Makerbot Industries, supplied by