016 Advertising: The Essential Facebook Ad Strategies for Q4 success with Sarah Geoffrion

by April Buencamino-dy

Sarah is the head of delivery at Nest Performance. For the last 4 years Sarah’s been deep in the world of PPC running ads across Adwords, Facebook, Instagram and more.

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About Sarah

While at University, Sarah got an internship at a digital agency running Facebook and Instagram campaigns.

It was 2016 and Sarah says she fell in love with the platforms and ended up becoming a campaign manager there. She worked right through her last year of University and has been working ever since. 

Christmas 2020

Sarah and her team have developed a major White Paper titled Christmas 2020: Crunch time for the overcrowded eCommerce market in an effort to help retailers prepare for an unprecedented holiday season.

Some of the big themes they drilled down on were trends that began in March, when covid-19 forced businesses around the world to shut their doors. During this time, CPMs, click through rates and AOVs all declined rapidly.

Sarah and her colleagues at Nest Performance worked together to examine how they could overcome the avalanche of downward trends. They also took the opportunity to step back and try to understand how the pandemic had affected their clients so far so they could extrapolate what was going to play out in Q4 of 2020.

Businesses have already changed the way they work so much this year and Sarah says it’s been a priority to try to help them navigate the upcoming season. 

Returning to Lock Down or Easing Restrictions—Two different Scenarios

If We Return to Lockdown

If society does return to a lock down in Q4, people will likely hold on to their money more and businesses will look to eCommerce as the primary way to move stock from their shuttered stores. 

  • CPM will likely decline.
  • Click through rates will likely go down.
  • AOVs will decline—due to oversupply of stock that haven’t sold in stores. 
  • Early and Many Promotions as businesses try to get rid of stock. 

If Lockdown Continues to Ease

  • CPMs will begin to rise. Already natural in Q4 with gift buying, change in weather etc. Lots of competition will drive cost up
  • Advanced marketers will be best positioned to take advantage of this environment
  • Amazon Prime day, happening in October, will start the promotion mindset earlier than usual. 

Top Tips For Making the Most of Facebook Ads

The number one mistake Sarah says she sees is poor account structure — primarily having too many campaigns live at once.

Segmenting attention and budget across too many user groups will dilute the outcome. 

Shape Up Your Account Structure

  • Understand what Ads are working
  • Prioritize Good Creative
  • Feed Facebook Lots and Lots of Data 
  • Give Ads plenty of run time

Leverage Facebook Tools

  • Use Campaign Budget Optimization. Facebook used to require you to set budgets per audience, which would require constant nannying.

    Having fewer campaigns allows you to create bigger budgets for single campaigns which gives Facebook the time and money it needs to begin self optimizing for your audience. 
  • Use Automatic Placements. This option tells Facebook you are happy to let it place your ad within any area of the Facebook Ad family. This includes everything from Facebook Right Hand Column to Instagram Stories.

    Even though people can be concerned that this doesn’t represent their creative well, Sarah says Facebook’s placements are built around data. Basically, Sarah says that Facebook really knows where your best bet audiences are better than marketers do.
  • Never wait to install the facebook pixel, even if you don’t use it right away. 
  • Keep Your Campaign Live to Maximize Results

The best way to maximize Facebook Ad performance is to let it do it’s thing. So when seasons change, update the creative rather than start over.

Triggering the learning phase in the FB algorithm is not a big deal, but if you turn off the campaign every time you want something new, you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t. 

All of these tools work to decrease your overall spend. During a time when ads are at a premium, Sarah says leveraging these tools is a great way to save money. 

A Note on Timing

With Facebook, patience is key. If you haven’t built up your Facebook audience and data you may be disappointed with spend vs. return in Q4.

She encourages you to keep going with FB Ads, even if it’s after the holiday season.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with email Marketing – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

Have a clear target and strong creative. Work towards whatever target is most important to your business.

Creative is so important and Facebook is a great platform to experiment. Make creative a priority.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve email marketing performance?

Experiment and push creativity. One good ad can really launch your business. Facebook favors ads that lend value, despite what people think.

This means that if the creative you’re showing in ads doesn’t resonate as valuable with your audience, Facebook will simply not show your ads as regularly

It’s impossible to improve our marketing unless we’re monitoring the performance – but the list of stuff we could monitor can be overwhelming. So what, for you is the number one email marketing KPI?

If you’re in sales, your best KPI are CPA or ROAS

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in email marketing?

Facebook Shops — Launched in May this initiative is an amazing opportunity coming up.

Interview Links

Sarah on Social media:

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