Valentine’s Day Advertising on Facebook: The Digital Marketer’s Guide
As the calendar turns to 2019, evaluating your Facebook advertising strategy to figure out what worked, what didn’t, and what you can do to improve is a good way to ring in the new year. It’s also a good time to circle calendar-based events that align with big consumer pushes—think Valentine’s Day. When it comes to the first big consumer holiday of the year, syncing your Facebook advertising efforts can make a lot of sense.
Why Valentine’s Day & Facebook Works
When you combine the spending power of modern consumers with the nature of Facebook users during previous Valentine’s Days, it’s tough to argue against the Valentine’s Day-Facebook duo.
In terms of monetary value, Valentine’s Day encourages spending. In fact, according to the most recent data from the National Retail Federation, US consumers celebrating the holiday were expected to spend nearly $150 each, while total spending was expected to eclipse $19 billion—an increase from $18.2 billion during the previous year’s holiday. With the US economic outlook healthy and working wages rising, expect those numbers to increase again this year.
Regarding Facebook’s role, hundreds of millions of people flock to the platform to connect
with their loved ones. Logically, you should expect a good percentage of them to continue this behavior during Valentine’s Day. To put this in perspective, between 2016 and 2017, which is the last time Facebook documented data related to the holiday, conversations around the topic grew 1.7X. When you take into account that Facebook’s monthly user base now tops 2 billion (roughly 300 million more than the beginning of 2016), more heart emojis are forthcoming.
With the connection between Valentine’s Day and Facebook clear, here are a handful of insights-driven tips you can use to take your Valentine’s Day Facebook advertising to the next level.
Don’t Be Paralyzed by Facebook Ad Tech
Facebook has come a long way since introducing paid ads to the platform. From innovative ad formats to best-in-class creative tools, Facebook offers a host of resources to refine your advertising efforts. While the advancement in technology can be intimidating, remaining willing to adopt advanced Facebook advertising tactics can be an effective way to accelerate your Valentine’s Day-related objectives.
Use Virtual Showcases: Before you finish setting up your campaign, you have to pick a format. Since your campaign likely centers around driving sales (conversions), your options will be whittled down to conversion-supported formats, including Carousels and Collections. While static and video options exist, both Carousels and Collections can be more effective due to their ability to showcase products in a compelling way. Collections, for example, you can drive conversions your target audience multiple products within an ad that expands into an instant shopping experience. And if you pair your Collection with a product catalog, Facebook will automatically rearrange your items based on what’s most relevant to each person.
Optimize for Mobile: Considering that the majority of Valentine’s Day activity comes from mobile, it’s important to optimize for the small screens. Sure, most of Facebook’s ad formats are already optimized for mobile, but there are additional steps you can take to ensure the experience remains cohesive across touchpoints. One way to accomplish this is with Instant Experiences, which are full-screen takeovers that open after someone interacts with your ad on a mobile device.
Stay Creative: No matter which format you use, your creative can go a long way. But with so much competition for attention, getting your target audience to notice your content can be challenging. To learn what creative is resonating resonates with different audiences, leverage Facebook’s Dynamic Creative, which finds top-performing ad creative combinations and delivers them to your target audience.
Thoughtfully Target & Tailor Your Messages
Even a campaign with a solid foundation will struggle if you’re targeting the wrong people. Although women typically drive the conversation about Valentine’s Day, both genders get involved, so joining the discussion makes sense.
Focus on Conversions: General brand awareness is an important part of any Facebook advertising strategy, but during a rush when you know people are in the mood to buy, your money is best spent on conversions and people likely to convert. One of the best ways to focus your targeting is by leveraging the Facebook Pixel and connecting to the right events—think page views, shopping cart activities, and checkouts. Tying these together can help attribute sales and determine ROAS, which you can use as levers for future campaigns.
Adopt a Test and Learn Strategy: With the window to reach your customers time-sensitive, creating test campaigns can identify ad formats and creative that’s most effective. Once you see what’s working, quickly retarget, and adopt the most cost-efficient tactics that drive the best result and encourage conversions.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment: While default settings are a good rule of thumb when launching generic campaigns, Valentine’s Day may call for some alternatives paths. Connections targeting, for example, can help find your audience based on how they’re connected to your business. In the same breath, conversion windows can focus your ads based on the amount of time it typically takes for someone to complete an action after clicking or viewing your content.
Timing Your Campaign Just Right
There isn’t a golden rule to sync your Facebook ads perfectly with the rush of Valentine’s Day shoppers. What you can do is use a combination of Facebook technology and third-party partners to improve your chances that you’ll be around when your target audience is in the mood to shop.
Turn to Heavy-Up Campaigns: With your Valentine’s Day promotions centering around the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day itself, and the week following, heavy-up campaigns can be an effective way to push out a large number of ads in a short period of time to make sure your audience is exposed to your messages.
For Brand Networks’ customers, Open Signals can achieve the same outcome using date-based rules to automatically activate and pause Facebook ads leading up to, during, and after Valentine’s Day.
Accelerated Delivery: If you’re using a daily budget, you can set accelerated delivery to help you hit your goals in a shorter window. With market conditions changing rapidly during Valentine’ Day, checking this box can be a valuable lever for success.
While investing too much of your Facebook budget on consumer holidays can result in inefficient allocation, failing to take advantage of moments proven to bring people together, like Valentine’s Day, can be even costlier. Whether you have thousands to put toward your Valentine’s Day advertising strategy or just a few hundred, addressing the demand is almost always better than going dormant.
Want to learn more about how we can help take your Valentine’s Day advertising strategy on Facebook to the next level? Reach out and let’s talk.