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Testing Facebook Advertising in Q3 to Drive Success in Q4
Posted on July 13th 2014
If you’re an eCommerce company, you should absolutely advertise on Facebook.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world, with 1.16 billion monthly active users — your potential customers.
Facebook enables sophisticated advertising strategies that can result in stunning returns on advertising spend if leveraged correctly. For example, the popular social network provides a way to address people who have purchased in the past — and who doesn’t love repeat customers?
You might think, “Why should I pay for Facebook advertising? I’ve already got my social media people doing all sorts of daily posts.”
Here’s the deal: All those great posts your people are doing may not be seeing much daylight, because Facebook is notorious for changing the way it displays posts in users’ news feeds. These days, your fab content is likely getting less organic attention from your targeted audience because of Facebook’s display models.
A much surer way of reaching your desired audience is through paid advertising, where a sophisticated approach will ensure you’re getting in front of your targets.
A sophisticated and well-tested Facebook advertising plan should definitely be part of your ongoing marketing strategy.
Assess in Q3 for Superstar Results in Q4
Having made the decision to proceed with a Facebook advertising strategy, you may be thinking ahead to the all-critical holiday selling period. You’re smart.
However, to be prepared for the Q4 sales blitz, you really need to begin in Q3.
It can take several months to thoroughly develop and execute a system of campaigns that brings business optimal results. It can take 30 days to develop and launch a plan. Then you’ll need time to run the campaigns and time to assess the results and make adjustments if necessary.
After executing and assessing the Q3 tests, you can make precise decisions on what, where, and how to spend in Q4 for the most impact during the most critical annual spending period.
This is exploratory work you definitely don’t want to be doing during your busiest, most critical selling season. Do your testing during Q3 and then you’ll know exactly what to do in Q4.
Engaging and converting those billion Facebook users is tricky. But by utilizing a structured formula, you can do it.
Your Q3 strategy should be centered on a carefully crafted plan that is developed by someone with expertise in Facebook advertising, as this type of work requires a high level of proficiency and experience. A well-executed plan requires $30,000 to $50,000 of budget per month and requires a couple of months to execute and assess. This is needed because you need to gain statistical significance with your testing. You want to be sure you have your best people managing this investment.
Begin by leveraging industry best practices for audiences and creative. Make sure you’re leveraging Dynamic News Feed retargeting, Custom Website Audiences, Custom Audiences, Lookalikes, and precise targeting. For creative, make sure you have a well-defined process for developing creative on Facebook that drives conversions.
You should leverage best of breed programmatic bidding tools that are built specifically for Facebook. The tools are myriad and can be complicated to use, so give careful consideration when making a selection.
Execute thorough testing on creative to find the images and messaging that generates the most sales for your brand. And you’ll need to test these creative on various audiences to know which combination of creative and audience leads to the most profit.
As you can see, careful analysis and testing in the third quarter is critical to ensuring a knock-it-out-of-the-park fourth quarter. There’s too much at stake to not be thoroughly prepared for the holiday rush.