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Q4 is possibly the most important time of the year for so many brands. We’ve heard this time and time again from brands who make half their revenue in these few months.

User behaviour also shifts because people are shopping for friends and family, not just for themselves, so it’s more important than ever to get your product discovered by new audiences.

We have put together a four-step guide for your paid social activity to help you prepare and maximise performance around the holidays.

Step 1: Consolidate foundations

When: Now to week 2 in October

This is the time to get your campaigns in top shape. Implement best practices such as CBO (campaign budget optimisation), DCO (dynamic creative optimisation), and consolidate your accounts. Test different placements and ad formats, info labels, image overlays and so on.

We consolidated one of our clients’ account last year and by doing this and feeding the algorithm more data, we achieved a 31% higher incremental revenue compared to the previous year.

It’s a great time to get CAPI (Conversions API) implemented to help with measurement and feed the algorithm.

Start thinking about your holiday marketing plans, such as creative concepts, budgets, targets and promotions. If you work agency-side, make sure you’re having these conversations with your clients from an early stage.

Step 2: Build momentum

When: Week 2 in October to Black Friday

Take advantage of efficient CPMs to introduce your product and build engaged audiences. Increase awareness and discovery (shopping campaigns with broad audiences) to drive consideration and action.

Play around with video and storytelling to have a consistent presence across all placements: reels, stories, in feed etc.
It’s a great time to test the new feature from Meta, Advantage + Shopping Ads. This has been in beta for some accounts but we’re expecting to see it rolled out across all advertisers in September 2022.

A favourite technique of ours to build audiences and increase engagement are poll ads. Let your audience vote on their favourite style/product while you collect an audience of users who are familiar with your brand and products. Activate this with a sales objective around the holidays.

Step 3: Maximise results

When: Black Friday sale to Christmas

This is the moment we’ve been waiting for; all the learnings and testing should be feeding into your campaigns at this stage to ensure the account is in top shape. Activate the audiences you’ve been collecting and warming up by using dynamic ads for remarketing, and use broad audiences to help you find those shoppers who are looking for gifts.

It is important to limit significant campaign changes to avoid re-entering learning phase.

Creative is so important at this stage, as competition increases, and it becomes harder to get the users’ attention. A great solution for this is to collaborate with influencers and content creators to make your products stand out, offer a personal touch and give your brand social proof. Meta have found that partnering with content creators and running branded content ads is likely to generate a 53% higher CTR.

Make sure the customer journey is seamless and your products are easy to find. For this you can always use product tags, as there’s a 33% lower incremental cost per conversion when using ads with product tags vs BAU ads.

Step 4: Build loyalty

When: Boxing Day – end of January

By this time a lot of brands will end their festive promos, but it is important to continue interacting with those customers who have just purchased from you and try cross selling products and retarget cart abandoners.

It’s a good time to introduce new collections and to refresh creatives to avoid ad fatigue.

Therefore, the time to start is now; make sure your account follows the best practices and test what works for you. Focus on warming up the audiences and introduce your product, so when the time comes use those high intent strategies, such as advantage + sales ads, influencers and thumb stopping creative. Then in the New Year, keep engaging with customers and build loyalty to continue to see sales coming in.

If you’d like to discuss Q4 marketing strategy further, please get in touch, or head over to our blog to read more industry insights.