The busy holiday season is nearly here.
This time of year accounts for the majority of annual retail sales, prompting most companies to begin preparing in the summer months. Deloitte is forecasting that holiday sales could grow by 5.6% this year to more than $1.1 trillion – meaning there’s even more opportunity for brands to maximize revenue.
Here’s the challenge: The consumers of today are presented with endless shopping options, and the retail market is more complex than ever before. To gain market share, your holiday campaigns must stand out. They need to communicate value and look visually appealing to shoppers.
If you still don’t have a winning strategy in place, it’s not too late to create winning Facebook and Instagram ads. There’s still time to create campaigns that inspire customers into choosing your brand this season.
Here are eight easy-to-execute strategies to drive holiday sales on Facebook and Instagram.
Play around with video
Some 79% of consumers say they would rather watch a video to learn about a product than read text on a page, according to a WyzOwl study. Meantime, 84% said they have been convinced to make a purchase after watching a brand’s video.
The idea of creating a holiday video might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Facebook launched its Video Creation Kit in July – allowing retailers to create mobile-first video ads with limited resources. The Video Creation Kit pulls images from the product feed to create Instant Experiences (also known as Canvas ads). This solution cannot be used across the entire product catalog for dynamic ads, but it is a good way to quickly elevate certain campaigns.
Here are three effortless ideas to incorporate using the Video Creation Kit:
- If you have products that come in different colors or patterns, create an engaging video that shows off each variation.
- Flip through every angle of one item to provide a complete view. This works well for accessories or shoes.
- Utilize user-generated content to create a video-like ad that depicts how much people love your products. Show potential customers how holiday pajamas look on different people, or how holiday decorations appear in different homes.
Help people get ready for New Year’s resolutions
Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but only 9% end up reaching their goals.
Use your advertising strategy to show people how your brand can help them achieve their resolutions. Create product sets of resolutions-related items: athletic gear for people who want to work out more often; kitchenware for those who want to learn how to cook; books for people who are pushing themselves to read more; wellness products for folks who aim to be healthier.
This could work well to acquire new customers or close the deal with current ones who are considering making a purchase.
If you’re prospecting new customers, Facebook’s broad audience targeting would come in handy. This allows you to reach people who have expressed interest in products similar to yours, even if they’ve never visited your site. If you use this type of targeting, people will automatically be shown products from your catalog that are relevant to them.
To retarget users who visited your website but didn’t complete a purchase, ensure that your Facebook pixel is set up to capture these events: Add to Cart, Add to Wishlist, Search, and View Content. View Category is not a standard event, but setting that up will allow you to retarget people who viewed categories of products.
Remind customers they deserve some love too
More than half—55%—of holiday shoppers plan to buy new clothing for themselves as a holiday gift, according to a Klip survey.
This is an opportunity for you to reach people who want to get something for themselves but aren’t sure what to purchase.
In this instance, use Facebook’s lookalike targeting. This will allow you to effectively reach people who are likelier to buy from your brand because they are similar to customers who have purchased from you in the past. Reach them with ads that feature your best-selling products.
Get creative with Instagram Stories Ads
More than 300 million people view Instagram Stories each day. That’s a massive audience you should be reaching this holiday season.
There are additional benefits to Instagram Stories. The ads are interwoven among the organic content people are already viewing, so the format feels less obtrusive than others. Instagram Stories ads also run vertically on the entire screen – giving you full use of the mobile phone’s real estate.
For a thumb-stopping Instagram Stories ad:
- Keep content authentic-looking. While your photos or video should be high quality, the content should not be overproduced.
- Don’t write too much copy. Instagram Stories ads last just 10 seconds. Don’t waste that precious time by turning people off with a wall of text. Give viewers just enough to motivate them to swipe up for more information.
- Use overlays that resonate with your target demographic. With Instagram Stories, you can place colorful graphics and emojis over your content. If it aligns with your brand narrative, include one or two of these elements. It will make your content feel even more organic.
Tap into emotion with an unboxing video
Unboxing videos are a good way to tug at consumers’ heartstrings. If you have this type of user-generated content, leverage it to drive sales. This would work beautifully for a luxury retailer or any brand that touts a recognizable logo. Position the video at the top of a collection ad, and then feature related products at the bottom.
Highlight your holiday offers with colorful overlays
People are on the hunt for deals during the holiday season. According to a Deloitte survey, a whopping 75% of Americans anticipated shopping over last year’s Thanksgiving weekend, when products are discounted.
Show shoppers that you have exactly what they are seeking. Use Facebook’s Creative Tools to overlay special prices and free shipping offers on your dynamic ads. This native tool is limited in terms of font and colors, but working with a Facebook Marketing Partner will allow you to unlock more advanced options that align with your brand guidelines.
Create a sense of urgency with in-stock alerts
This would work well as a retargeting strategy for shoppers who added items to their carts but did not buy. If you have a low number of products left in stock, let them know that time is running out to complete the purchase.
Motivate people to go in-store
Use your dynamic advertising strategy to drive your customers in-store to check items out. Remember: 90% of U.S. retail purchases and 80% of U.K. retail purchases still occur in physical stores – an indicator that customers largely want to interact with products in person before buying. This is especially the case during the holiday season, as people want to make sure they get everything just right.
This strategy would work well with carousel ads featuring a map card. The map card is shown as a slide in your ad and includes a map, store distance, hours, and contact information. Make sure to use a “store token” in the post copy that shows the user the exact name of the nearest store.
There’s still time to create winning holiday ads
Your ad creative must be on point in order to win your share of the holiday demand. If you don’t have the resources to create dedicated holiday creative for your Facebook & Instagram ads, implement these tactics. They are easy to execute, visually pleasing, and proven to drive performance.
About the Author: Declan Kennedy is the CEO and co-founder of StitcherAds, a Facebook Marketing Partner. Through Declan’s experience in paid social and digital innovation, StitcherAds has become recognized as a top performance marketing platform for Facebook & Instagram. StitcherAds empowers top brands such as Finish Line and Reiss to increase the revenue impact of their ad spend using data-fueled automation.