How to Increase Holiday Sales with Better Performing Facebook Ads

December 8, 2021

By Stephanie Bohn

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Facebook recently published a helpful holiday guide offering best practices for retailers and e-commerce brands. The company uncovered new trends about how gen X and boomers are adopting mobile shopping, perspective on mega-sales, and the rise of self-gifting — all of which can guide marketers on how to approach the holiday season.

This year, consumers are on track to spend more and gift more as in-person gatherings will resume more than the previous year.

A recent KPMG study found that marketers expect this 2021 holiday sales will make up over 1/3 of annual revenue. Holiday sales are anticipated to grow seven percent versus 2020 which is nearly twice industry average. The stakes are as high as ever for brands.

Of all the tools a digital marketer has, creative has, by far, the greatest impact on campaign performance. With so much riding on revenue over the next month, it's critical for marketers to understand the connection between ad creative and sales. Using creative intelligence technology, marketers can do this very easily.

Ads can be scored, pre-flight, against media channel best practices and brand guidelines. Ads that score low can be fine-tuned before budget or media is spent. AI-powered creative analytics software can measure how elements like logos, colors, and copy can be optimally presented to maximize performance metrics like click through rate, view through, and conversion.

It's the Little Things


Seemingly small changes can make a big difference in performance. VidMob analyzed 12,000 different ads across 3.2 billion impressions during Q4 to understand which creative elements make or break a holiday campaign. Elements including movement (video versus static display), text and image combinations, product placement, and logo presence can all have a major impact.

While the influence of creative elements will vary across platforms, ad formats and audiences, VidMob observed some interesting trends among the 2020 holiday ads we analyzed.

Think Fast


On Facebook, as in life, timing is everything. VidMob found that the first one-to-five seconds makes the biggest impact on overall creative performance. If you're thinking about ways to make the most of your Facebook campaigns, those first few seconds are crucial.

Within that "first impression" of the ad, certain elements aid performance, including a prominent logo and call-to-action.

Keep It Moving

Movement catches the eye and can drive better advertising outcomes. If you're choosing between display and video, video has historically overperformed during the holiday season. Video ads were seen to drive a 30 percent higher purchase rate than static display ads.

However, video ads don't need to be long and complex. Videos under five seconds were the best performers doing 700 percent better than videos that were longer than 16 seconds.

Words Matter


In those first few seconds, VidMob found that the word "get" had an average purchase rate 53 percent higher than CTAs using "shop". And using the word "limited" in static ads increased the purchase rate by 20 percent compared to using "now."

When it comes to text elements in the video ad, that first frame may be better off text-free. VidMob also found that a combo of text-free first frames with text introduced in the second frame increased the three-second view rate by 46 percent. For upper-funnel (awareness) campaigns however, introducing text in the first video frame appears to hinder three-second view rates. Introducing text in second two or three (and not in the opening shot) increases view rate by 46 percent.

Always Be Testing


While these best practices offer powerful ways to improve creative performance, every campaign is different, and the best way for retailers to produce the highest-performing design is to test the creative elements of their ads as frequently as possible. Marketers now have the technology to support always-on, real-time creative testing at scale. The emergence of this technology is driving a new category in the advertising industry called intelligent creative.

Read the full report here.


Stephanie Bohn is the global chief brand officer at VidMob.


The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.


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