7 Things You Need to Do AHEAD of Your Black Friday Facebook Ads According to Meta

Are your Facebook Ads strategy ready for Black Friday? 

This is THE time of the year when shopaholics are hunting for the best offers, so you need to make sure your Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads campaigns are ready to attract hungry buyers. 

So, do you have your Black Friday Facebook Ads strategies all planned out? No? Well, you’d better get on that, because the big day is just around the corner! 

With so many changes to how we advertise on Facebook and Instagram in a post-iOS world, the Meta algorithm is going through some growing pains of its own. So, how can you be sure you’re setting your ads for success? Well, we talked to ACTUAL engineers at Meta and created a checklist with everything you need to have your target audience open their wallets for you!

7 Meta Tips & Updates You Need to Know BEFORE Creating Black Friday

#1. 20 is the New 50

Everyone has heard that an ad set needs at least 50 conversions in a 7-day period. And yes, that was true a while ago, but now things have changed. 

In the past, the Facebook Ads Learning Phase ended when, in a 7-day period, an ad set reached 50 events (whether it is conversions, lead gen, landing page views, etc). However, the Meta Ads Manager has evolved and improved. Now to exit the learning phase for optimization, your campaigns need 20 completed events in a 7-day period.

What does that mean? 

Now, a campaign can leave the Learning Phase after it reaches 20 events, again, depending on the objectives you select. The algorithm will gather data until that time to help you make better decisions in a simplified, quicker way, and make it easier for you to be successful on the platform. 

But what happens if my campaign doesn’t achieve that goal? Then, after the 7-day period *and not a minute before*, you can edit your campaign to optimize it! The algorithm will still learn based on successful events, but to hit true Meta Ad success velocity, you’ll want to consider increasing your budget so that you can achieve the 20 events Meta needs your campaign to hit for optimization in a 7-day period.

#2. Keep Your Cold & Warm Audiences Separated

Let’s think of our cold and warm audiences like a dating process. 

Cold traffic is like when you’re interested in someone you don’t know and want them to swipe right back at you. Your profile pic and information is all they have on you to make a snap judgment decision on whether they’ll engage in a convo and maybe give you their number.  

This is the same for an IG ad. They have 1-3 seconds MAX to decide whether or not your ad is worth ‘swiping right’ via engaging with your content by stopping their scroll. 

Meanwhile, our warm traffic is geared to those that have already engaged with your profile and is either mid-convo or mid-first date. Like a Facebook ad, you’ve already captured their attention, and now you’re ‘courting’ them. Asking them to get to know you more and ideally make some sort of commitment. With dating, you’ll want to ‘make it official’ and with ads you want that lead or purchase! 

They’re totally different, right? 

  • Cold Traffic’s primary goal is to get them to swipe right or engage with your content (and maybe purchase!)
  • Warm Traffic’s primary goal is to get them converted into being Facebook officials by subscribing to your list and actually purchasing a product

When you blend warm and cold audiences in your campaigns, you’re giving the algorithm the chance to favor warm audiences as they’re more likely to convert to a more cost-effective bidding strategy. This means, using our last example, that it’s more likely for someone that already had a first date with you to say “yes” to a second date because they already know you. Thus slimming down the chance of new swipes showing up on your feed.

Taking this into account, at the top level of your campaign, for cold audiences, you’re teaching the Meta Ads algorithm which cold audiences are yielding conversions. A successful conversion sends a signal to the platform to find more humans like the user who just converted. 

When you’re using cold audiences in a campaign, and excluding warm ones, you’re forcing the platform to find new people *aka people that don’t know anything about your product/service* that will make the desired conversion event.

Should you blend the audiences and include warm audiences in the campaign, Meta will favor the warmer audience time and time again because an abandoned cart purchaser is more likely to convert than someone who doesn’t yet know, like, or trust your offer. 

And Meta is always optimizing for the easier (more cost-effective) win in their algorithm.

That’s why at Mongoose Media we recommend not mixing these audiences in the same campaign. When you throw cold and warm audiences together you’re not teaching the algorithm to specifically find new prospects, you’re asking your algorithm to find the best buyers possible, allowing it to cheat and deliver the ads to people that already know who you are. So, instead, build a campaign for prospecting and another for retargeting warm traffic. 

#3. Know What CPA You’re Willing to Pay for Your Cold & Warm Audiences

The algorithm is listening to you, so you have to tell it exactly what you want. And this applies to anything you set up in Facebook Ads, but it is especially important for the CPA.

Let’s suppose that you are willing to pay $85 per CPA (cost per acquisition) for a skincare customer, but you capped the bid budget at $75. In this case, the algorithm doesn’t have the means to know that you have more money than what you put, so you’ll be forcing it to optimize your ads for a $75 budget. Which can mean you’re limiting your audience reach to forced CPAs that fit within your lower budget. Meaning, you’re missing out on potential customers that you’d be willing to pay for but your bidding strategies say otherwise.

Why is this so crucial? Because there may be better people with potentially higher order value or propensity to purchase available to you, but because you told the algorithm that $75 is your spend limit, your ad may not reach those people. 

Bear this in mind: if your CPA is too high, it will eat into your profits. Conversely, if your CPA is too low, you could be missing out on potential customers. 

Additionally, every day we get closer to Black Friday is a day that the auction experiences additional new competitors to the marketplace and more auction pressure that you’re competing against. So, start thinking about your CPA before the big day approaches. 

{important dates graphic: September 20th, the soft pressure increase in a ‘pre-Black Friday auction’. October 15th – the unofficial kickoff for Black Friday and the D-Day for heavy auction bids. November 15th – consider using different Meta objectives cause everyone and their grandmothers are doing ads.}

And, if you’re not sure what your CPA should be, working with a qualified Meta Ads consultant can help you to set a realistic CPA for your business!

NOTE: Your WARM CPA and COLD CPA should be different.

#4. Your Ads are a Marathon, Not a Place to Bet on Horses

I know that it is very tempting to look at your ad campaigns and ads like they are competing in a horse race. But you’re not betting on a pony, you’re marketing your products or services, so there’s no rush. 

What I mean is that even though you may want to perform a gazillion changes every time you check your ads statics and something seems off, you need to let it rest! As I said above, the Facebook Ads Learning Phase covers a 7-day period; however, if you edit your ad every other day, what will happen is that the time period will restart with every change and your campaign will be stuck in the Learning Phase *sounds like time traveling, right?*. 

Plus, you won’t be giving the algorithm enough time to optimize your campaign! Simply put, let’s suppose you launched your ad on a Monday, but by Wednesday you don’t get any of the results you wanted, so you turn it off. But, what you don’t realize is that, in a 7-day period, the algorithm is working to understand your campaign, so it may take time to reach your target audience and generate conversions. 

And don’t worry! 

Everyone is tempted to edit or stop a campaign when it is not achieving what we want! In fact, at Mongoose Media we used to make that decision after a 4-day period. However, we realized that, by doing this, we were potentially wasting the effort the algorithm is making to optimize a campaign, so now we wait a full 7 days before touching anything. 

So, walk away and go back in a week… But wait, there are a few things you need to be mindful of before you sit back and relax. Here’s a quick ads checklist

For Facebook Ads to be effective, it is essential that you have your tracking set up correctly. Without tracking, you will have no way of knowing whether your ads are succeeding or failing during the Holiday season. 

During Black Friday, brands compete for consumers’ attention with ads that are often loud, colorful, and eye-catching. As a result, it’s important to make sure that your ads are designed to be thumb-stopping.

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One way to do this is to start working on your ad creatives well in advance of Black Friday. This will give you time to experiment with different designs and ensure that your advertising campaigns are truly eye-catching. 

Have you already put some thoughts into your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals? It is important to craft a must-click offer that your specific audience is going to love. 

Remember that Facebook, unlike Amazon, is like walking into the mall during the holiday season. There are a lot of options you can pick and different offers that sound appealing, so, with many competitors out there, it is important to create deals that really persuade your audience!

  • Work within a comfortable budget

Have a budget that you’re comfortable spending daily with a long-term goal of success. If you’re coming to Meta ads for a silver bullet, a single solution in your company’s bottom line, you better have a budget to back up the investment for data and the algorithm to find your target audience.

Meta Ads are great to-scale offers that work and as a discovery tool for new audiences. When Meta Ads stand on their own without a cohesive marketing plan for omnichannel remarketing, subscriber engagement, and more, expect to pay high acquisition costs to cover your marketing gaps. 

{Meta Ads on a CVJ image? Meta ads drive awareness, meta ads help subscriber acquisition, Meta Ads can drive excitement and loyalty, but Meta Ads aren’t Atlas, holding the weight of the company alone – that’s my graphic recommendation…. People think Meta Ads are the Atlas holding the world, but instead, it’s the offer that’s atlas and Meta is the muscle on the one bicep only}

#5. The Algorithm Assumes the Data is True

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it is important to understand that the algorithm can’t read your mind, so it learns from the data you give it. 

That’s why it is so important to be mindful about what you tell it. From your target audience to your ad spend, that algorithm will take everything you put as a fact and, if you’re not careful, it can affect your campaign negatively.

#6. Advantage+ Placements & Advantage Campaign Budget & Why They Matter

Placements are also known as the different platforms on which Meta can show your ad. An example of this is running your ads on Instagram, Facebook, or Messenger.

In this case, choosing multiple placements is a great idea if you want your ads to reach your target audience across different platforms. Meta’s platform is going to try and serve your ads on the placement your targeted audience is most likely going to engage and convert.

Taking this into account, by using Advantage+ placements, you’ll be allowing Meta to find the best conversion opportunities for your ad in all the placements.

This not only will help you to get the optimization events at a low cost (because Meta’s delivery system will analyze the data from all available placements and choose placements that are both cost-effective and high-performing) but also will help you make the most out of your campaign budget!

Another way of automating your campaign is by using the Advantage Campaign Budget. This is a feature that allows Meta to distribute your budget depending on the placements where each ad set will get the most optimization events at a low cost. 

With both features, you can make sure that your budget is effectively invested, Advantage+ placements and Advantage Campaign Budget are godsend help during the Black Friday season

#7. Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns

If you were looking for a way to increase your campaign’s performance without having to stick to your computer 24/7, the new Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns, launched on August 15, 2022, is quickly becoming my favorite new roll out from Meta. This new Meta product can automate an entire ad campaign with machine learning, so you can focus more on the general aspects of your online store and less on managing campaigns.

Just imagine being able to automate EVERYTHING from creatives and placements to audiences. With Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns you can maximize your ads’ performance throughout the Black Friday weekend (and beyond) without all the manual work it used to require. 

Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns allow business owners and paid media buyers to use AI to automate a campaign from end to end and make the best out of their ad budget by finding the best placements in which your ad will get the most conversion events at a lower cost.

And, if that wasn’t enough, this new feature can also automate creatives to analyze which ones are more effective in a specific audience! 

Finally, if you have a Facebook or Instagram Shop, Meta is using AI to drive traffic to the most converting destination for your eCommerce store. Either your in-platform store (FB or IG shop) or your website, depending on which one will generate the most optimization events in a certain audience! 

There’s nothing you can’t achieve with this tool and, even though it’s still in its Beta version, acting on it now will give your campaigns a lift as most other brands and advertisers aren’t taking advantage of this new campaign!

What’s the Best Time to Run Facebook Ads for Black Friday?

As soon as possible! Taking into account that you have to wait for the Learning Phase 7-day window, help the algorithm understand and optimize your campaign, and make edits if necessary, at Mongoose Media we recommend our clients to start their Black Friday Facebook Ads campaigns between July and September. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you should have launched your sale months ago! What you should have done is launch campaigns to find your audience and build a warm list.

The idea is to build a list of buyers that want your product/service and are eager to get a good deal, so you can offer them early access or another offer if they signup or register ahead of the big day. 

Why is this so important? Because even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday may seem like a weekend events, more and more people start craving good deals and offers even before November starts, so it is crucial *and cheaper* to start warming up your traffic early

But wait! If you’re reading this in October/November, that doesn’t mean everything is lost. You just need to be mindful that, when you launch your Facebook ad campaign, there’s going to be a lot more auction pressure. 

Ready to Start Preparing for a Successful Black Friday?

Planning your Black Friday campaigns with time is the key to not only crafting profitable ads that catch the attention of your target audience and persuade them to click the “Buy now” button, but it also helps the algorithm understand your brand and put your deal in front of the right people. And now you have a checklist with everything that has changed in Facebook Ads and you need to keep it in mind to set your campaigns up for success. 

Do you feel already overwhelmed with all the preparations pre-Black Friday? Fear not, you’ve come to the right place! At Mongoose Media we have a team of Facebook experts, copywriters, designers, and strategists that will help you with the planning while you worry about running your business!

So, meet with us and start your journey to a successful Black Friday Facebook Ads strategy!

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