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Holiday Promotions

How to Create Winning Facebook Ad Campaigns for Holiday Promotions

The last quarter of the year is one of the busiest times for advertisers as consumers spend more in the holiday build-up.

Facebook, in particular, sees an increase in advertisers who jump on the platform. As a result, we’ve seen CPMs more than double from last year.

The competition is stronger than ever and the cost is going up. That’s why you need to be at your best to stand out and succeed on Facebook.

Here’s how to build two different types of winning Facebook ad campaigns for your holiday promotions.

Campaign 1: Using Website Re-marketing

The first campaign that you’ll want to run is a level 2 re-marketing (or website re-marketing) campaign. This is what I call an easy wins campaign because it targets your existing website traffic. This is your hottest audience, made up of people who already know who you are and may want to buy.

NOTE: To run this type of campaign effectively without encountering ad fatigue issues, you need to have the Facebook pixel installed on your website. And you should’ve had enough visitors to build a website custom audience of at least 5k.

Ready? Let’s dive into the details.

1. Choose your campaign objective

Like with all Facebook ad campaigns, start with your campaign objective. There are currently 14 different objectives that you can choose from, so which should you use for your Level 2 campaign?

You want your target audience to come back to your website and purchase, so you want to use the conversion objective. The event action that you optimize for will depend on your website custom audience size. The smaller the audience size the further up your sales funnel the action will be that you optimize for.

I’d recommend starting with optimizing for the Add To Cart action as there will be more people in that action bucket than in the Purchase one. Then, test Purchase optimization, depending on the results.

In Ads Manager, click Create a campaign and choose the quick creation workflow. Under Campaign objective select Conversions.

Finally, name your campaign and click Save to Draft.

2. Choose your target audience

The next step is to choose your targeting at the Ad Set level of your new campaign.

As you want to target people who have visited your website, create a website custom audience. This is how you group your website traffic and set audience conditions.

Next, navigate to your Audiences dashboard using the Ads Manager menu. Click on create an audience and select Custom Audience. This will open the custom audience category window.

Now select, Website traffic to open the website custom audience creation window.

You are going to create an advanced website custom audience that groups everyone that has visited the website but has not purchased.

To do this, keep the default option selected for All website visitors and in the duration field choose 30 days. This will group all of your pixeled website visitors who visited in the last 30 days.

Next, click Exclude and from the criteria drop-down, under events, choose the Purchase event and set the time duration as 180 days. We want to exclude as many existing customers as possible as this is a new customer acquisition campaign.

Click Create an audience. It can take up to an hour to populate. Click here to learn how to build other types of website custom audiences that you can use in your campaigns.

Navigate back to your Ad Set and at the top, choose the Add to Cart conversion event in the Optimization section.

In the Audience section, from the Custom audiences field, select the Website custom audiencethat you have just created.

Leave the rest of the Ad Set targeting as default as you don’t need to use any age or detail targeting because you are targeting an already segmented audience.

Complete the rest of your Ad Set as follows. Under Placements, choose Edit placements and exclude all placements apart from Facebook Feeds and Instagram Feeds.

Next, in the delivery and optimization section, leave it as default. Optimizing for conversions, with the 7 days after clicking or 1 day after viewing conversion window, lowest cost bidding (no cap) and being charged for impressions.

3. Choose your ad format and create your ad

The final step to creating a Level 2 re-marketing campaign is to create the ad which will be shown to your audience.

Navigate to the ad level of your campaign and at the top, select your Facebook page and Instagram business profile.

Next, choose your ad format. There’s no right or wrong format to use, but I’d recommend using some type of video creative, such as a product video or even an image-based slideshow video created using Facebook’s new Video Creation Kit.

To use video creative, select the single image/video format. Then choose your video by either selecting an existing one, creating one using the Video Creation Kit or uploading one from your computer.

Let’s talk ad copy, as it is just as important as the creative that you use in your ad. With Level 2 re-marketing campaigns you want to use the RTM Method. These are three ad copy types which include: Reminders, Testimonials, and Messenger.

In this example, we’ll use Testimonial based ad copy as it helps to build social proof and trust. In the text section of your ad, start your copy with a testimonial of the product you are featuring in your creative.

Under the testimonial, present your discount offer such as “Get 10% OFF using the discount code FB10” and add any further social proof, such as “join thousands of happy customers.”

Finally, add your call to action text, such as “Click the shop now button to get started”.

Next, add your link to the URL field below the text field. Then reiterate the offer you mentioned in the ad copy in the headline section. Select the Shop Now call to action button from the call to action dropdown.

Click review to publish your new campaign.

Campaign 2: A Sales Campaign Targeting Cold Lookalike Audiences

If you don’t have the Facebook pixel installed on your website or don’t have enough pixeled traffic, here’s an alternative campaign you can create for your holiday promotions.

Instead of a campaign targeting your hot audiences, you can create a cold campaign targeting your broader target audiences and the hyper-responsive segment within them.

To do this, follow the same three-step process outlined above with the following changes.

1. Use the Purchase optimization with the conversion objective, instead of Add to Cart optimization

As the target audience you use in cold campaigns is larger in size than warm or hot audiences there will be more people in the purchase bucket so you can optimize of this event straight away.

2. Use a Lookalike audience built from the highest quality source audience

At the ad set level of your cold campaign, create a Lookalike audience using the best quality source audience. For a step-by-step guide on how to create Lookalikes click here.

Lookalike audiences are one of the two types of cold audiences, the other being Saved audiences built from interests and behaviors. Lookalikes typically outperform interest audiences because you control the source audience.

Complete the rest of the ad set selecting your placements and delivery and optimization as shown in step 2 of the process above.

3. Remove the testimonial copy and add in product benefits

At the ad level, remove the testimonial copy and move up the product offer and add in product benefits just before the social proof element and the call to action section.

Conclusion

There you have it, two Facebook ad campaigns that you can create for holiday promotions that target your different audiences temperature, one to hot website traffic and the other to cold Lookalike audiences.

Are you running Facebook ads this season? Let me know in the comments!

Career

How to Transform from Fan to Fanatic to Fantastic Content Creator

Building an audience involves a lot of trial and error.

But those who wish to have their own audiences make the effort because having a group of individuals who look forward to getting your content is an extremely valuable asset.

Your audience members are the most likely to become customers or clients because they have gotten to know, like, and trust you through the value you already offer them — before any money has been exchanged.

Although every content marketing journey of trial and error is different, your personal story likely shares a common thread with your peers’ paths …

Content creators influence each other

A dietician named Sadia Badiei created Pick Up Limes and began posting videos about nutrition, travel, minimalism, and productivity at the beginning of 2017. By the end of the year, she had more than 650,000 subscribers.

Now, at the end of 2018, she has more than one million subscribers.

I discovered the channel after a damn good headline on my YouTube home page caught my eye. All of the videos I binge-watched in a short period of time were professional and polished, and I knew I’d check out new content from Sadia in the future as well.

I also noticed a lot of similarities to another YouTube channel I followed called Jenny Mustard.

So, it was no surprise that by the middle of 2017 Sadia did a video collaboration with Jenny and mentioned that she was influenced by Jenny’s content creation style.

The business of creativity

Sadia didn’t just stay a fan — a consumer — of Jenny’s content; she transformed from Fan to Fanatic to Fantastic Content Creator.

Your favorite content creators all decided to shed their old selves in order to grow. And your favorite content is a direct product of time dedicated to learning and studying.

It’s a process, and it’s one everyone in the business of creativity knows well.

Let’s review the three phases.

Fan

Don’t underestimate the importance of this phase.

Not only do savvy content marketers know the value of their fans, there’s no substitute for the passion and enthusiasm that comes with being a Fan.

When you’re a Fan, you’re also uniquely positioned to learn a lot about content creation.

You’ll notice that your favorite publishers:

  • Post on a regular schedule
  • Ask for feedback
  • Try out new content types and topics

You might frequently write comments about the content, join new LinkedIn groups, or even participate in a related book club.

Fanatic

You know you’ve entered into the Fanatic phase when you say:

“I think I could do something like that …”

You’re ready to admit to yourself that, deep down, you’ve had the desire to create Your Own Things all along.

The content and communities you explored as a Fan have propelled you to start seriously studying everything you need and want to learn.

You’ll feel good about diving in and uncovering your own style.

Fantastic Content Creator

Now you have your own publishing platform, but the truth about content is that you can always get better at creating it.

You may be a Fantastic Content Creator, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to produce your next project — and there’s no guarantee that it will be effective either.

So, these three phases aren’t actually separate. Success comes from simultaneously embodying all of them.

Fantastic Content Creators need to remain Fans, and they definitely need to stay Fanatics about their work.

There’s no complacency in content marketing.

Not sure what to do next?

Are you ready to grow, but don’t know what you should do first?

Yur content marketing journey is going to involve a lot of trial and error.

But taking just one step to learn a new skill can give you the momentum you need to be confident about experimenting and figuring out what works for you and your audience.

Forget about the best way and find your way.

To help you find your way, our current Black Friday sale has curated marketing education, depending on what you decide to focus on right now.

Take a look at the three premium collections we’re offering at irresistible prices …

Content Fundamentals

This bundle is all about putting together a rock-solid foundation for success as a content marketer. We paired our popular Content Foundations course with our even-more-popular Copywriting 101course. And then we added Brian Clark’s course that walks you step-by-step through his process for crafting a content marketing strategy.

It’s perfect for beginners who want to start strong. It will also benefit experienced marketers looking to brush up their skills, or who feel they have a few gaps in their skill sets.

Courses included in this bundle are:

  • Creative Content Foundations
  • Persuasive Copywriting 101
  • Brian Clark’s Crafting Strategic Content for Digital Products and Services

You can learn more about the Content Fundamentals bundle here

Advanced Commerce

For those who want a more next-level experience, our Advanced Commerce bundle will help you pick up the advanced skills that will move your business forward. We’ve collected our class on marketing funnels and our class on selling “productized” consulting, together with Brian Clark’s comprehensive course on how to build an online training business — the smarter way.

If you’ve ever wanted Copyblogger to show you, in detail, how to plan, set up, and sell a course online, Brian’s course does exactly that. And it’s easily worth the cost of the entire bundle.

Courses included in this bundle are:

  • How to Create 
Automated Marketing Funnels 
that Work
  • Selling Productized Consulting in a Digital Environment
  • Brian Clark’s Build Your Online Training Business the Smarter Way

You can learn more about the Advanced Commerce bundle here

Land New Clients Workshop

We’re also offering, for the first time, an ultra fast and focused workshop on how to sit down with a potential client and earn their business.

If you work with clients, whether as a freelancer, a coach, a consultant, or virtually any other service business, this course will help you sit down with your prospects and have a productive conversation that will get you the deal.

Taught by ethical selling expert Tim Paige, this workshop is perfect for anyone who wants to feel more comfortable selling one-on-one, or who isn’t seeing the results they want from their sales conversations.

Please note that this workshop is highly focused. It gets right to the point. (One might even call it … short.) But it is mighty.

Tim has pared down his advice to precisely what you’ll cover in a sales conversation, without veering off into tangents. He talks about how to make your offer relevant, how to make the case for premium pricing, and what to do if your prospect isn’t ready to buy.

We’ve also included a “cheat sheet” to help keep your sales conversations comfortably on track … without stiff or awkward sales scripts.

Career

5 Ways to Increase Your Google Ads Mobile Conversion Rates Fast

Mobile doesn’t just dominate traffic, but it’s also beginning to consume ad spend, too.

For advertisers, that means big change.

Mobile advertising isn’t the same as desktop advertising and it shouldn’t be treated that way.

But this doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch or scrap your entire keyword list.

It just requires tweaking of existing setups.

Here are five ways to increase your Google Ads mobile conversion rates fast.

Running standard Google ads campaigns targeted at desktop users and producing carbon-copies for mobile won’t produce the same impact.

As much as we’d all like it to, conversion rates won’t carry over just because it worked on desktop.

You’ll likely see your conversion rates tank if you tried that strategy.

Mobile is fundamentally different in user experience and behavior, thus requiring different tactics.

Here are the ones we would suggest to those of you who want to improve their Google ads mobile strategy and start seeing results right now!

1. Increase Your Mobile Pagespeed To 3 Seconds or Less

Nobody likes a slow website, whether it’s on desktop or on a mobile device.

But mobile is heavily skewed in favor of fast websites.

Meanwhile, Google benchmark data shows time and time again that mobile sites are loading too slow:

The best practice from Google is just three measly seconds. But most of us are near the seven-second mark.

Ouch!

So, why is this happening?

It is likely many factors working against you. But chances are, it’s because your site is designed with desktop at the forefront and mobile as the backburner.

You might have extremely high-res images that aren’t compressed.

Or you might have page elements like carousels that add to your page size, causing reductions in speed:

Whatever the case may be, speed is an issue on mobile and page weight is a main factor.

Longer load time = less conversions:

This is especially troubling in PPC campaigns on Google Ads where you are paying for clicks.

Letting them go down the drain due to speed isn’t a (viable) option.

So, what do you do?

You have two distinct options here:

  1. Improve your pagespeed by testing it with a tool like Test My Site, and follow the suggestions they provide based on scanning your site elements.
  2. Adopt a mobile-first design

I recommend starting with easy wins on Test My Site. This involves cleaning up JS and CSS, compressing images, removing page elements, etc.

It’s a great jumping off point that can get your pagespeed low.

Adopting a mobile-first design will take longer and cost more, but results speak for themselves.

2. Remarket Your Mobile Visitors by Their Site Search History

Remarketing options on Google Ads can produce good results.

But going off Google Ads and creating audiences on Google Analytics can produce better results.

The fact is: most people are using basic remarketing lists on Google Ads. And we all know what basic efforts get you: basic results.

Instead, you can leverage easy wins in Analytics and turn them into audiences.

For instance, on-site search.

On-site search is essentially free keyword data in the world of no keyword data.

On-site search in Analytics shows you all of the keywords that users are searching for directly on your website.

Why is it important? Because it shows you exactly what your audience is looking for. No more guessing at ad creative because you have it right there.

Sort this data by mobile device and you have specific keywords that mobile visitors are looking for on your site.

To turn this goldmine into a new remarketing list for Google Ads, you just need a few different steps.

In your admin section of Google Analytics, find the Audience Definitions tab:

From here, create a new audience definition based on all of your website traffic data.

Next, you have two easy steps:

  1. First, navigate to the conditions section under Advanced. Here, create a filter based on site search category. Now reference your on-site search data and input one specific (or multiple very closely related) keyword.
  2. Next, click “And” to add a second filter. Select “Device Category contains mobile.” This ensures you are targeting only mobile searchers.

Save this audience and link it to your Google Ads account:

Now you can use this directly in Google Ads as a remarketing list to target your mobile searchers by on-site search data.

Deliver exactly what they are looking for in your ads based on their search and watch your conversions explode.

Specificity wins on Google Ads. And it doesn’t get more specific than this.

3. Run Mobile-Friendly Ad Types (But Prepare in Advance)

Google has some amazing ad types for mobile device targeting that you can take advantage of.

For instance, call-only ads:

This ad type showcases your business phone number directly on SERPs without forcing a user to browse your site.

This can be a stellar option for those without premium mobile sites designed for conversions.

If your website is slow or clunky and uses forms as the number one converter (with little to no success), ditch it.

Focus on call-only ads.

Call-only ads can be created directly from the search network campaign type by selecting “Get phone calls” as your setup goal:

Call-only ads might not be feasible for everyone, though.

A big mistake is running these mobile-friendly ad types without the proper setup in place to handle it.

Do you have people to answer potentially dozens of calls per day? Do you have a phone system that won’t put people on hold in case multiple users call at once? Do you have proper conversion tracking established? Are calls set to only display during business hours?

A ton of people run call-only campaigns to find out that they had none of that setup, leaving tons of calls unanswered, money wasted, and few conversions that they could actually credit to Google Ads calls.

Attribution on offline events is hard, but there are plenty of call tracking software on the market. If you are serious about generating results with mobile ads like call-only, they are worth the minimal upfront investment and many have free trials.

Another option for mobile-friendly ad types is simply running a search network campaign with a dedicated, mobile-first landing page.

A big mistake is running search network campaigns and expecting mobile to convert on your desktop designed landing page.

You know, that clunky page with a huge form and way too many page elements that takes 100 swipes to reach the bottom of the page? Oh and then it forces you to scroll back up to convert?

Yeah, that ain’t gonna fly.

An example that I recently saw blew me away. Lyft’s landing pages on mobile, search network ads:

That’s it. Literally. You can’t scroll down further.

They simplify the process dramatically. All you gotta do it type in your phone number to convert, and chances are, your phones auto-suggest features will do it for you.

That’s essentially a zero-step conversion process.

And because the page is so small (due to lack of elements and images), it loads within a second of clicking.

Want more info? Expand the driver or riders tab. Don’t want it? Just convert.

If you don’t want to do call-only ads or don’t have the infrastructure yet, you can run search network ads too. But to increase mobile conversions, you need to produce landing pages that were specifically designed for mobile, not desktop.

Meaning your “responsive design” isn’t enough. Just because your forms shrink to fit a small screen doesn’t magically trick mobile users into thinking it’s not a long, tedious form that’s annoying to fill out on a tiny device.

If you use a landing page builder, build on the mobile tab, not the desktop tab. If you have a developer, put ‘em to work on mobile-first pages.

But how do you target only mobile sites on the search network?? Isn’t that only a feature on the display network?

Yes and no….

4. Combine Mobile-Friendly Ads With Mobile Bid Modifiers

If you have ever run a campaign on the display network, you have the handy option of tweaking device campaign settings to fit your goals:

Simple, easy, clean.

But then you go to run a search network campaign and you can’t find those settings anymore.

Gotta love it, right?

On search network ads, you can’t select device targeting specifically yet. This is pretty annoying if are looking to fire up a search network campaign with mobile-first landing pages.

You quickly run into the problem of designing for mobile but getting desktop searches in the mix.

It’s not good.

Thankfully, with a little workaround bidding strategy you can target only mobile devices.

This works by adjusting bidding modifiers on your device settings tab in a given search network campaign.

Within the devices tab, you will see three options:

  1. Computers (aka desktop)
  2. Mobile
  3. Tablet

If you want to run just mobile device campaigns, you obviously don’t want computer and tablet traffic clicking to your site.

To eliminate bidding on computers and tablets, click on the “Bid adj.” column for each and set the bidding adjustment to decrease your bids by 100%.

Type in the new bid adjustment and Google Ads says:

“Example: a $10.00 bid will become $0.00.
To remove a bid adjustment, leave this field blank.”

That’s what you want to see. This means that when a user is searching for your keyword but browsing on desktop and tablet devices, you will bid zero dollars to get their clicks, resulting in no ads showing for them.

Conversely, when mobile users search, your bids will run like normal, grabbing only mobile browsers.

5. Align Your Ad Extensions With Each Ad’s Goal

Google Ads extensions are freakin’ awesome. With ad text limits, you can expand on them tenfold with useful info.

But this benefit also opens the door for serious downsides.

People just use ad extensions to use them because they “work” and “increase results.”

Cause they do. Duh.

But the truth is: most people have no clue why they are using them.

Don’t believe me? Conduct a random search for a keyword and see what ad extensions they are using relative to:

  • Keyword funnel stage
  • Keyword intent
  • Offer
  • Call to action

Does it match? Probably not in most cases:

Yeah, that’s a company telling you to call for $50 bucks off but not providing a single way to do so, and instead using two forms of extensions that don’t relate to intent or CTA.

With ad extensions, don’t be like Oprah. Not everyone gets ad extensions like it’s their birthday.

For mobile especially, ad extensions fit specific goals and intent based on what keywords you target.

Here are some general guidelines to follow:

Sitelink extensions: these are great for targeting broad, top of the funnel, content and research based keywords. For instance, “SEO tool.” This broad term could mean dozens of different things, giving sitelinks the chance to shine by providing very similar products under the overarching umbrella of an “SEO tool.”

Call extensions: call extensions have one simple goal: generate calls. If you aren’t able to take them or don’t have infrastructure for them, or they simply don’t match your goals, don’t put them on.

Location extensions: are you a local business? Even if you are, that doesn’t mean location extensions fit your specific ad. If you want local visits, use it. If you don’t, don’t. Because everytime someone clicks that address you are paying, whether they visit or not. So if your goal is to generate calls, don’t provide a location extension.

You get the point. When using any extensions on mobile ads, remember, you have to take these factors into account:

  • Keyword funnel stage and intent: do they want research options or are they looking to buy? This could be the difference between sitelinks and promotional codes, polar opposites that will surely impact conversion rates.
  • Offer: Is your offer specific to calling? You need call extensions. Is it local? Display your address. Match the offer with the extension, always.
  • Call to action: What are you telling them to do? Visit your site for more? Call for more? This will determine what extension fits the goal.

Conclusion

With mobile traffic dominating, mobile advertising is seeing a boost.

But traditional desktop tactics don’t play well on mobile. Big landing pages and forms don’t convert as easy. Even bidding styles can make an impact.

For low-hanging fruit, start by improving your website speed.

This is a plaguing factor as to why conversion rates are low despite having high CTR.

Remarket your mobile visits with Google Analytics audiences.

Run more mobile-specific ad types. They are mobile-specific for a reason!

Align your ad extensions for mobile users and directly with your goals.

Lastly, use mobile bid modifiers, they have been proven to increase conversion rates.

Mobile is different, so start treating it differently.

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