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Winning Christmas 2020 Through Facebook Ads

by Kathryn Green | 02.10.2020

A time of the year we all look forward to – Christmas. However, following an unpredictable 2020 the question on everyone’s lips is how the festive season will be affected. This year our lives have been turned upside down and we have had to live our lives in a way we could never have imagined. We have established new routines and habits and as marketers we must also adjust and adapt our plans for the coming season.

Facebook has outlined trends and insights which they believe will have an impact on how we reshape our strategy for the festive season. These include –

  1. Gen X and Baby Boomers dominate the global mobile and eCommerce growth, and Millennials say they will continue to shop online even after the pandemic.
  2. Self-gifting and seasonal shopping can be positive outlets in difficult times.
  3. Imposed disruption fuels receptiveness to news products and services.
  4. The economic downturn will expedite the rise of mega sales.
  5. The new value equation is: affordability, authenticity and action.

Gen X and Baby Boomers dominate the global mobile and eCommerce growth, and Millennials say they will continue to shop online even after the pandemic.

Since the 00s Amazon has dominated the world of online shopping and now most brands have an online shop. However, during the pandemic, online shopping has become more important than ever with 85% of people (including over 80% of Gen X and Baby Boomers) choosing to use the internet to buy products or food instead of visiting a shop. However, when the pandemic is over 54% of people still expect that they will continue to shop online, and this is something we need to prepare for.

Therefore, as a brand it is essential that your website design is fit for purpose. A customer needs a clear and effective user journey with an easy to navigate shopping experience – you don’t want the user to get confused and leave the website without buying. Having a strong website means you will also be able to tag all of the products on your social media and use paid shopping formats effectively to engage users and advertise your virtual storefront as more users will be buying online than ever this Christmas.

Self-gifting and seasonal shopping can be positive outlets in difficult times

To bring a little bit of joy during the crisis, there has been an increase in self-gifting with 54% of global shoppers surveyed stating they are researching a gift for themselves this festive season.

This increase in research allows advertisers to prepare their upcoming ad campaigns by using all of their latest products on paid social advertisements and engaging the user to tag their friend to show their favourite product.

Using custom audiences is also key in this period so after you have captured the interest of a user we can remarket and influence the user further.

Imposed disruption fuels receptiveness to new products and services

The pandemic has forced users out of their comfort zone and has inspired them to try new products, new services, and new ways of shopping to shop such as using grocery delivery services instead of pushing their trolley around the store. As a result of being forced to stay at home, people are becoming more comfortable with new products and services that are more convenient.

This is supported by 53% of seasonal shoppers surveyed willing to try new products during the holiday this year compared to previous years. Therefore, during the festive season brands should not just focus on maintaining their current customers and showing why they should be loyal, but also put a larger amount of budget towards engaging new prospective customers.

The economic downturn will expedite the rise of mega sales

Consumers this year will be looking for sales events as research states one in three shoppers are looking for a product to go on sale. This doesn’t have to be a huge discount on a single product but can include other financial offers such as 2 for 1 or promises of a new collection. Users are swayed by a sales event and this can be used as an incentive to pick you over a competitor.

Sales events currently are mostly online now due to convenience and users’ feelings of safety in their own home. Running an online sales event during the pandemic means you will reach a bigger audience as users may not be as willing to go into a physical store. Brands are seeing huge success in hosting Facebook Live events or online auctions and this is something that can also be promoted with paid social.

Affordability, authenticity and action: the new value equation

Whether a brand is seen as affordable or not will be important this Christmas due to many people being affected financially by the pandemic and therefore becoming price sensitive. Brands that offer discounts and offers will have a higher change of being engaged with. However, they also responded to say that real, authentic and informative content is just as important and will determine whether a user engages with a brand. So, it is important how a brand has responded to the crisis and if a user feels good about buying from a brand.

The want to see brands acting for good is more important than ever and this is largely due to an impact of the current global crisis. PR agency Edelman published their Trust Barometer research in March stating ‘65% of respondents said a brand’s response to the pandemic would have a significant impact on their likelihood to buy from the brand in future’. A standout example of this is how the Bodycoach aka Joe Wicks donated all of his ad revenue from YouTube to the NHS and was then praised by millions during lockdown. Therefore, when preparing for 2020 Christmas campaigns it is key to remind users of a brand’s Covid response and provide informative content.

Users are also keen to buy from small or local businesses to help support them during this tough time. By partnering with local brands through Facebook Collaborative ads, companies can display their sense of local pride and what they are doing for communities which will help boost credibility in the long run.

All in all, we need to prepare ourselves for the Christmas period this year to be very different from any other year and we need to adapt to meet consumers’ needs. It is important to keep positive and continue to celebrate but remember to be authentic and real with your advertising, make new traditions and break old ones.