The holiday season is quickly approaching with the start of Q4, which means an increase in consumer demand and more competition in the paid media space. Shoppers are looking to find the next big thing and anticipate enticing deals during the holiday season, especially during the Cyber weekend.
Users will be researching on many devices and platforms and will be considering competitors before purchasing, especially for higher-priced items.
Many companies will feature different offers throughout the season, testing different messaging and creative is important to help entice a user to convert. We should test this throughout the year, but early Q4 is a prime testing time. Once winners are proven, advertisers should align the messaging across all platforms. In this post, I’ll discuss best practices for testing and messaging dissemination across Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
Offer discounts in retargeting campaigns
One of the strongest audiences to test is with retargeting audiences. These users have shown some type of interest and intent in your product or service and should be exposed to a variety of creative and messaging enticing them to come back to your site.
One of the most popular ways companies try to lure users back to the site is with discounts for consumers who recently visited the site. I recommend testing this messaging against more general “come back to the site” ads and keeping a close eye on CPA and ROAS to understand the discount’s overall impact on margin.
Some important notes when testing messaging to retargeting audiences: be sure to exclude recent converters (no one likes to get an ad for something that they just purchased). Do not advertise to users who visited the site a long time ago and if you are advertising to lapsed users, wait a few days for them to come back to the site to purchase before offering a deal.
Test non-discount messaging and imagery
For some businesses, offering discounts to bring users back to the site might not be profitable. If that sounds familiar, don’t let it stop you from building and testing new creative and messaging. Some ideas for additional creative and messaging testing on Facebook and Instagram are testimonials or reviews of top products, product use cases/anecdotes, and talking about the problems or issues that your product solves (if applicable).
Other considerations include testing just an image of the product against an image of a consumer using the product. If you are a company that offers seasonal products or has an upcoming product release, showcasing those products to loyal purchasers – maybe even offering an exclusive on pre-sales – can help to increase product sales on new releases.
Make sure your messaging spans platforms
Your audiences don’t limit themselves to one advertising platform, so your messaging should follow suit and be consistent wherever your ads appear. On Google, make sure that ad copy, keywords, and extensions are up to date with current products. If you are running special messaging to lapsed buyers or site visitors who didn’t purchase, you might also consider creating RLSA-only campaigns to target these users with the same messaging or offer that they are seeing on other sites or in their email.
If you are offering a discount that should be prominent in your Facebook and Instagram ads, there are a few components to test, namely whether you should put the discount messaging directly on the creative or mention it in the copy (either in the headline or text).
If you’re selling a product with a high price point, testing Dynamic Product Ads vs. single-image or carousel ads can also be valuable in retargeting efforts, since you can increase the relevancy of products shown to the user.
With the start of Q4 upon us, you’ll need to move fast to capture increased user demand and battle increased competition and higher bids. Creative and messaging testing should occur in early Q4 so that learnings can be applied to the more competitive times, like Cyber weekend, through mid-December.
Lauren Crain is a Client Services Lead in 3Q Digital’s SMB division, 3Q Incubate.
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