This holiday season the number one request we’ve been getting from our clients is to run the perfect Facebook holiday campaign! Since realizing the popularity of this request, we decided that we’d help a few more people and outline exactly how to create a Facebook ad that’ll be sure to kick your holiday sales into high drive!

For this example, we’re going to use the very popular coffee roaster, Corvus Coffee, located out of Denver, Colorado. Now, Corvus isn’t a client of TM’s but the owner is my brother, so he gets some special treatment. Plus, some of our other clients wanted to keep their campaigns a super secret!

Tip #1: Get Started With Collection

Collection is an ad format that makes it super simple for potential customers to discover your products, browse offerings, and purchase directly from their mobile devices. Collections are immersive and extremely visual, so the user experience of these ads is off the charts.

People who opt to tap your ad can scroll up or down to learn more about products and features in full screen. These ads are load very fast and let the customer go right back to Facebook once they’re done shopping- it’s the perfect loop to keep people in-app while they shop!

Each of these ads is created using Canvas, which is an easy way to design the experience potential customers will see on their mobile phones after they click on your ad. Canvas works with every Facebook ad format and is completely customizable.

Benefits of Collection Ads

  • Ideal For Retail & Product Discovery: The holidays are for shopping, right? Okay- and for spending time with family, we know. If you’re a retailer or ecommerce company, collection can be used to show a video about your brand, or beautiful image alongside your products. 
  • Deliver a seamless browsing experience on mobile: Because these ads load quickly in full screen, people can browse products without ever having to leave their Facebook app.
  • Conversions: People who are most interested in your products will purchase directly on your website from collection ads.

Tip #2 Write Killer Ad Copy

collection ad
Remember to stay true to your brand messaging in each ad.

What’s going to get people interested enough to click on your ad in the first place?There are two most important things:

  1. High quality images that communicate exactly what your product is
  2. Enticing ad copy that’ll get people excited enough they’ll want to click on your ad

Stay True to Your Brand Messaging

Any time you’re writing an ad, remember how important it is to stay true to your brand messaging. All of your ad copy should be consistent with the marketing messaging you have written on your website, or the landing page you send potential customers to.

In the case of Corvus Coffee, expressing that they cultivate “Relationship Coffee” is extremely important to them. This means that they travel across the world sourcing coffee directly from farmers in countries like Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Colombia (to name a few). They only purchase coffee from farmers that they trust, and who take great pride in their work. So, I ensured that nod to “relationship coffee” was evident in this ad copy.

Side note: It just happens that Corvus also calls their coffee selection a “collection” so the consistency across every part of this campaign was just uncanny!

Tip #3 Customize Your Instagram Image Ads

When creating a single image ad (as opposed to a carousel ad where you can add multiple images) on Facebook, we recommend using a different instagram for your Instagram Feed. This is an incredibly easy way to show different product offerings between each placement without having to create more ad sets.

customize ad images for instagram
Customizing images that’ll run on Instagram helps lower ad fatigue.

Only use high-resolution images

Because social media platforms are visual mediums, you’ll need to use high-resolution photos that contain little to no text.

It’s okay if the products in your photos contain text, but be careful that you adhere to Facebook’s guidelines when using text overlays on your photos otherwise your ads won’t be approved.

corvus coffee subscription box
We used this high-res photo on Facebook.
corvus coffee subscription box
We chose this photo to run on Instagram.

How were we able to decide which image would give us the best response on each platform? Testing.

Tip #4 Test Your Images

facebook collection ad
Here’s what the finished Corvus Coffee ad looked like on my Facebook Feed.

I can’t stress this one enough. I’ve been running Facebook ad campaigns for clients since they first came out so I’m a bit (okay, a lot) familiar with ad best-practices and recommendations from Facebook. They suggest, especially when just running ads in the Facebook Feed, to use photos depicting smiling people. This logic stands because people are generally on Facebook to interact with their friends and family; not to shop for products. That’s what Amazon or Google is for.

Through testing, Corvus Coffee found that their best performing images for ads weren’t ones with people. In fact, those photos didn’t fare well at all. The best performing images were ones with lots of white space and high-res images of the product itself. The white backgrounds against their black packaging helped reinforce the brand and gave people the right idea about exactly what they were purchasing. Seems pretty obviously now, right? Yet, they never would have had the data to back this image selection up had we not performed A/B ads to compare the two types.

Tip #5 Reach the Right People at the Right Time

Facebook does a great job helping you out with this, as they do their best to balance two main things:

  1. Creating value for businesses by helping reach current and new customers
  2. Providing relevant experiences for people who love using Facebook

In order to ensure ads are reaching the right people at the right time, Facebook always takes into account how people are reacting to your ad and will deliver a Quality Score. If it’s low, you know you need to improve your ad. Just remember not to change too many pieces of your ad at one time, because you’ll never know which change was the one that

There are a few things that you can do to improve the success of your ads, too:

  • Don’t run ads for too long. People will start to grow tired of seeing your ad and come down with ad fatigue. None of us like fatigue, so don’t do that to people… seriously.
  • Set specific targeting. Just remember that reaching a huge number of people shouldn’t be your number one goal. By doing this, you’ll be reaching people who have no interest in your product and you’ll waste money if and when they interact with your ad. Specify the right locations, interests, behaviors, and ages for your ad targeting. You can even create  Custom Audiences to reach more relevant people.
  • Don’t overlap your ads. Overlapping ads creates audience overlap, which means that you’re targeting the same people with multiple ad sets. This means that your ads are competing against each other! A best practice is to create ad sets targeting smaller audiences.

Tip #6 Choose The Right Conversion Objective

Okay, before you can do that, you’ll have to make sure that you’ve installed the Facebook pixel on your website. It’s relatively easy, but if you get stuck, let me know and we’ll help you out. After that beautiful little green light shows up next to each conversion pixel, choose the right one for your campaign.

facebook conversion pixel
I know, I know… I cut off their Pixel ID! ;)

Define events like: Page Views, AddToCart, or Purchases. By defining your conversions, you’ll reach people that are more likely to convert on your ad. Two best practices from Facebook include:

  • The minimum requirement to optimize for actions that take place on your website is choosing one that occurs at least 15–25 times per ad set each week. However, 50–100+ actions would be ideal.
  • If your ad set isn’t receiving at least 15 actions, it’s recommended that you should optimize for a more commonly occurring action instead. For example, if the Purchase event doesn’t happen 15–25 times per week, try optimizing for AddToCart or another event that does.

Tip #7 Allocate Your Budget Properly

Keep in mind that a holiday campaign will last for 2-3 weeks. This means that you’ll want to spend your budget efficiently by allocating it in the places people are most likely to convert from.

Since your budget needs to last the entirety of your campaign, plan to allocate a little extra spend on key shopping days like Christmas Eve. If you were to run a campaign in November, you’d obviously want to allocate a good amount of spend on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Making sure you choose the right bid amount is also very important since advertising on Facebook is extremely competitive during the holiday season. It’s important to set bid amounts that reflect the maximum value you’re willing to pay for each individual action that’s taken on your ad.

Ready to put these tips into action?

Give us a call to discuss how you can increase your sales this holiday season.

Note: all photos and ad example images are property of Corvus Coffee Roaster and cannot be used without permission.

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