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how to get the most from paid social ads at peak

Paid social advertising is a must-have as part of your peak toolkit. If you’re looking to reach new and targeted audiences at speed, social is the place to be.

The Sprout Social Index 2021 reported that 63 percent of customers bought from social media in the past year. There’s no denying that social commerce has risen through the ranks with multiple platforms rolling out updates to support shopping functionality.

But peak is a competitive, busy and all-round challenging period. How can you leverage paid social advertising to really make the most of the busiest shopping event?

key takeaways

In this blog, we discuss:

  • why retailers should use paid social ads at peak

  • which social channels could be right for your business

  • why an audience-first strategy is always best

  • practical pointers to get the most from your paid social efforts at peak

why should retailers use paid social ads at peak?

There’s a reason why social commerce has gone through the roof. With countless benefits, here are just a few reasons why to consider paid social for peak:

  • engage new shoppers: Social platforms are effective for driving awareness and placing your brand in front of a huge audience at different stages of the buying journey. This is one of the biggest reasons to be present on social during peak. It can be used to find more audiences in comparison to other platforms, allowing you to get in front of the people who want your product before they even know they do.

  • get creative: Social platforms are creative by nature. These are the places where people communicate, collaborate and gain inspiration. As such, it’s the ideal space to get creative with your advertising and really show who your brand is, what you stand for and what you offer. Creatives and storytelling play a big role in paid social success. Tom Walkden, Head of Biddable Media, shares his thoughts on the importance of getting creative: “I've seen campaigns fail where you've got the best audiences, you've got the best kind of bidding methodology alongside that, but a poor creative. The creative is all that the user sees. The way I think of it is, the audience tells me who I want to target, the bidding methodology does the heavy lifting in terms of optimising and the creative is what the user actually sees.”

  • brand loyalty: Peak period events such as Black Friday are the time when shoppers will be tempted by the best offer over their favourite brand. Brand loyalty diminishes over this time so it’s important to ensure you remain relevant and competitive. Research showed that 55 percent of shoppers felt that brands focus on winning new customers over making their existing customers feel special during peak. By focusing on what promotions your audience really want to see and building a connection with your shoppers, you can up that all-important brand loyalty again. Additionally, you have a better chance of reaching new customers who, post-peak, you can nurture into loyal customers.

Your paid social strategy should be part of creating an effective wider paid media strategy. Don’t forget that while discounts and successful ads are a big part of peak, shoppers still value the full customer experience. Your social media plays an important part within this and can really help you make the most of paid media today.

how to get the most out of paid social at peak

start as early as possible

The sooner you plan for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the better. Across social channel algorithms, there are learning periods that need to be taken into account. This means your campaigns need to be built at least a week prior to them going live – preferably before.

In addition to a learning period, they need to go through a reviewing process. Every advertiser will be making changes, updates and improvements to their ads which means you need to get them reviewed and approved as soon as possible.

Whether you’re looking after your paid social ads in-house or leaning on the support of an agency, things are going to get busy, fast. Preparing for peak in advance and not leaving your campaign builds until the last minute can help to relieve the strain.

test, test, test

Testing is one of the most important aspects to get the most out of your peak investment. By testing your efforts, you can quickly see what works for you. Here are just a few elements of your paid social campaigns that can be tested:

  • ad copy: Test different ad copy and call to actions. Examples could include ‘Discover what we have on offer’, or ‘Shop our collections’ to not only encourage action but also find out what your audience responds best to.

  • formats: There is a range of ad formats that can be used including video reels, high-quality imagery, animations and image reels. One feature that works well to push users further down the funnel is demo videos. For example, if you’re an eCommerce beauty brand, a short and engaging video to show how your product can be used will help you stand out.

  • platform: Test and learn from your platform choices too. If Instagram is driving significant sales and Facebook is falling behind, it could be worth looking at your targeting or redirecting more of your budget to the channels that are performing well to really make the most of the heightened intent to buy.

consider your creatives in advance

Creative is key when it comes to high performing ads. Research has shown that when it comes to social posts, people look at the creative first, the brand logo second and finally the ad copy.

Ensuring you have an immersive and engaging copy that stands out in the feed is a must. Leave enough time to consider this carefully to create something that will resonate with your audience. Take a look at what has worked well for you in the past as well as what’s working well for the competition. You may uncover some valuable insight such as posting more regularly on Instagram stories versus on the grid.

get your branding on point

If you’re running various promotions through the peak period, your branding needs to be consistent.

Simply featuring your logo isn’t enough. You want viewers to be able to recognise your brand within seconds across multiple platforms. Make sure your brand colours are consistently used and the style of text is the same to strengthen your presence.

Even if your campaign has multiple touchpoints, it’s important that they’re connected and keep your brand at the core. No matter where your audience sees you, it’s crucial that they see the same branding and theme to really drive home your advertising efforts.

maintain your shopping feed

During the busiest peak period, don’t let your shopping feed quality slip. Your feed needs to be up to the minute so that all items people can shop for are available across all feeds, whether that’s social or Google.

Ignoring this vital maintenance can quickly make you lose sales by missing out on high intent browsing customers. If your agency doesn’t already manage your feed for you, it could be worthwhile finding out why one agency managing your Google Shopping and feed management could be highly beneficial.

your paid social peak success

Events spanning the peak period shouldn’t be taken lightly. An opportunity to drive more sales and success than any other time of year, it’s important to invest time and effort into your strategy.

Customers today are trained to spot and jump on the products they want when a discount hits. Being present across social media channels while shoppers are in an open-minded discovery mindset puts you in a stronger position to capitalise on this increased demand. If you want to find out more about how we use paid social ads to drive brand awareness and sales, get in touch with our committed team of paid social experts.