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Black Friday Series: How to maximise your Black Friday Facebook strategy

Make your Black Friday campaigns work harder and smarter for you with these Reload approved tips and tricks
Words by Sophie Pease-Watkin - Paid Specialist
0 minute read


When it comes to Black Friday and getting prepared for one of the biggest shopping events of the year, there’s no prep too big… or too small that isn’t worth undertaking.

The surge in competition, as more and more advertisers fight for visibility online, is occurring earlier and earlier each year, resulting in some key changes which all eCom brands planning their BFCM activity should pay close attention to.


Firstly, CPMs are expected to rise to their highest point, with levels in August this year close to reaching the same as Black Friday in 2020. With this increased competition, CTRs are also expected to decrease as it becomes more and more difficult for advertisers to have the same level of cut through. This is a result of more high street brands turning to online-only, resulting in Dentsu predicting digital will account for half of all advertising spend for the first time this year.


Beauty brand YoY CPMs (included ROY forecasts)


Homeware brand YoY CPMs (included ROY forecasts)


Battling rising CPMs and reduced CTR is one thing,  but the iOS14.5 update is also making it exponentially harder to measure your campaign’s performance on Facebook. The new ‘conversion modelling’ is leading to much confusion over the true impact of ads, with inconsistencies in both Facebook reported revenue and transactions. Along with this, website audiences are shrinking due to users opting out, therefore making it much more challenging to remarket effectively this year.


So what can you do?

In the lead-up…

1. Capitalise on lower costs during off-peak periods


Take advantage of the cheaper advertising costs throughout September and October by building  Lead Generation campaigns. The advantage of a lead-gen campaign is that you will be able to collect first-party data to use in Black Friday remarketing campaigns and build email databases allowing you to reach your target audiences through alternative channels.


Here are our top tips for maximising the performance of your lead-gen campaigns: -

  • Run as a competition to drive the lowest CPLs.

  • Turn on the ‘allow sharing’ option to allow for additional organic reach.

  • Test volume vs intent forms and create segments in your CRM to measure the quality of the sign-ups.

  • Include products featured in your Black Friday promotions to make sure you are generating sign-ups likely to be engaged in the future.

2. Give customers a teaser before the main event

Promoting your Black Friday products as early as possible will allow you to collect valuable first-party social engagement and/or video views data to then re-target to during the Black Friday period. 

Here are our top tips for impactful early promotions: -

  • Run these on organic socials to save click-spend during the peak period when ad costs are significantly higher.

  • If you do use Paid Social, trial these using the Video Views objective, this gives the advantage of lower CPMs allowing for greater reach whilst also building a high volume of video views that can be re-targeted to at a later date.

3. Testing is key

Testing your audiences and ad formats in advance will give you a significant advantage over your competitors when it comes to that all-important Black Friday period. It will avoid any wasted click spend during Black Friday as you can test which audiences are the most valuable earlier, along with which ad formats drive the highest return and quality traffic to your site.

Here are our top tips to set up your testing so it does all the hard work for you: -

  • Pull from a wider variety of sources to make up for the lost website data e.g. connecting Facebook to your CRM (segmenting into highly engaged, lapsed, sale purchasers to improve quality), using social engagement audiences and video viewers to remove the reliance on website custom audiences, impacted by iOS14.5.

  • Implement split testing featuring products likely to be featured in your Black Friday promotions. Test not only video vs carousel but also the advantage of combining ad formats to see what performs best. Combining ad formats within a campaign can trigger significant improvements in performance as Facebook flags the campaigns as higher quality. For one fashion brand, ensuring every campaign had a combination of ad formats rather than video or static only led to a 120% increase in ROAS.

4. Leverage learnings from past content that worked

Review all your past content and test your sale messaging. By running a mini promotion (or reviewing a past promo if a mini promo isn’t possible) you can learn what creative and/or messaging performs best for your audience e.g. brand-lead, urgency messaging or product-focused etc. This will therefore inform the creative production of your Black Friday assets for this year. 

To put into perspective how impactful these small changes in copy can be, for one beauty client high-urgency messaging doubled the volume of adds to cart generated than when using non-urgency led, product-focused messaging. 

Here are our top tips to get your content and sale messaging right this Black Friday: -

  • When split testing, make clear changes to the copy, so it is easier to review performance. For example, try different styles of copy in each to obtain clearer results.

5. Leave ample time to create campaigns

Building your campaigns in advance will allow you to take advantage of the quieter period in the build-up to Black Friday. During the holiday season, campaigns can take much longer to move out of the review stage and requests can take longer to be answered. Therefore if there are any issues these will be resolved prior to the busy Black Friday period. 

So, take advantage of these tips and tricks to cement your Black Friday eCommerce strategy by creating killer Black Friday creative and sale ads prior to the big day.

During the Black Friday period…

So you’ve set up the campaigns in advance, tested audiences and ad formats, now what? Well, the work doesn’t stop there. There are some fundamental actions to recommend taking to ensure all of your preparation and hard work doesn’t go to waste.  

1. It’s time to front-load your budget

For social, campaigns go through accelerated delivery in the first few days of Black Friday as Facebook builds its learning, by front-loading you can take advantage of this accelerated delivery before the performance begins to drop off. This will also increase the volume of traffic to your site enabling you to scale and shift more spend towards remarketing.

2. Be ready to switch out creative & messaging based on performance

Whilst Facebook revenue & ROAS can still be an indicator of performance, with the impact of iOS make sure to look at softer metrics (i.e. CTR) and also GA data to understand what is truly driving performance; looking at sessions, product views and add to carts as an indicator of traffic quality.

Remember all ads go through a learning phase so don’t make snap judgements when pausing activity, however, be ready to proactively shift spend between campaigns & audiences towards high performers. Further, having alternate messaging set up can be useful to ensure that if performance is below target, you have assets ready to set live without review process delay.

A final thought…

Performance through Black Friday is all in the preparation, the earlier you can implement these strategies the better your Black Friday will be. Make a checklist and timeline of the above points to map out your strategy and see if there are any conflicting promotions, priorities or potential roadblocks on each channel.

If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can cut through the competition during Black Friday and stay ahead of the curve, speak to one of the Reload Digital team in a free consultation, find out more here.

Now once they’re on the site … how to get them to convert? Read the second part of our Black Friday series on how to create magnetic landing pages here.

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