Black Friday & Cyber Monday Facebook & Instagram Ads (2020)

Black Friday facebook advertising

There is a chill in the air and with each falling autumn leaf, the BFCM shopping season approaches. 

The online sales potential at the end of the year is always high. But this year the stakes would appear to be even higher. Pandemic buying habits and reduced in-store shopping will undoubtedly intensify the season’s e-commerce activities and increase the need for amazing Black Friday Facebook ads. 

Shopify surveys found that 68% of 18- to 34-year-olds reported spending more online during the pandemic than before the pandemic. So you’re not alone if you or someone close to you has caught the online shopping bug (pardon the pandemic pun). 

If you’ve begun to build an ad strategy to try and capture a slice of the pie, below are some straightforward tips to keep in mind to ensure you avoid overspending during this competitive sales season and get the most out of your Black Friday & Cyber Monday advertising budget. 

When to start your Black Friday Facebook ads 

Marketers and advertisers have been extending Black Friday deals beyond the confines of a single day for years, but this year, with most sales occurring online, many brands are completely abandoning the short timelines and embracing longer sale periods. Home Depot announced they will do 2 months of Black Friday sales and Amazon’s famous “Prime Day” was bumped to mid-October.  

Sales are trending towards a “Black Month” offering more “sale season” advertising opportunities on less competitive days. This cobined with the fact that people tend to purchase from brands they trust, it’s better to start your advertising early.

September/October is a good time to run prospecting campaigns. By increasing the traffic to your store early you fill your Facebook Pixel with people interested in your brand. Then you can retarget the traffic you generate during November with your BFCM retarget campaigns.

Additionally, starting ads early and extending the sales makes it possible to engage your audience over time and increase opportunities. There is more shared on this concept in the section: How to build BFCM inclusions & exclusions). 

BFCM ad copy & creatives

When it comes to your ad copy and creatives, BFCM ads should capitalize on the “shopping excitement” of the season. Your BFCM audiences are looking for the best deals, so there is no need to beat around the bush. 

This means these ads can be more “Sale” focused than the copy and creatives you may usually use for campaigns. Using phrases like “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday” and “Limited time offer” in the copy and/or in your creatives helps tap into the sales buzz of the season and catch people’s attention. Make sure to check your competitor’s prices to be able to offer something high value. 

“Black Friday” is used to refer to sales that occur both in real stores and online, while “Cyber Monday” is only for online sales. But both concepts can be used to refer to sales that occur outside of the Traditional Friday and Monday time windows. 

You just need to make sure your ad copy and creatives convey the time frame you want your customers to understand. Simple examples being: “Our Cyber Monday is starting early!” “[Brand name’s] Black Friday Sale Kicks off November 1st!”. 

Sometimes writing these types of ads can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time. That’s why we created the Brainity ad library, offering hundreds of ad examples in English and Spanish, to help provide inspiration for your Facebook and Instagram ad copy for BFCM.

BFCM landing pages  

If your ad copy and creative are successful, your audience will click and view your landing page. The landing page should be clearly associated with the ad. 

To successfully connect your landing page message to your ad you may want to: 

  • Create a banner for your landing page that displays a similar creative as your ad. 
  • Use similar colors in the ad and the landing page.
  • Organize your products or product categories to highlight the “Bundles” or deal you offer in your ad. 
  • Make sure the same value offered in the ad is repeated on the landing page (visible without scrolling).
  • Use Black Friday Phrasing on the Landing/banner.

Types of deals & offers

It’s not only about the ads, your deals need to be appealing to. Here are some ideas of special deals to offering during BFCM to increase the value of your offer.

  • Deal calendar – to establish recurring visits to your store. 
  • Free gift with every purchase – to maintain the median ticket price of purchases. 
  • Special collections released for Black Friday
  • Product bundles- also can help maintain the median ticket price of purchases.
  • A “No Questions Asked” Return Policy- to reduce the fear your potential customers may have when purchasing from a new store.
  • Special discount codes.

How to build BFCM Facebook ad retargeting audience inclusions & exclusions

As mentioned previously, BFCM is a good time to take advantage of retargeting. By building your ads to work as a funnel you concentrate your retargeting budget on the people most interested in your offer. To do this you need to create several campaigns and connect them via audience segmentation and exclusions. This is sometimes referred to as an ad funnel. 

For Black Friday Facebook ads the funnel does not need to be overly complex. The ad automation platform Brainity easily creates a 3 step ad funnel with intelligent budget allocation and audience targeting. But if you are building your campaigns on your own, here are some tips for setting your campaigns up similarly to Brainity’s automated funnels.  

  • First Campaign: (Top of your ad funnel) 

Your first campaign should target a Lookalike audience of past purchasers, upsell past purchasers, or reach a new audience with interest-based audience targeting. The goal here is to establish interest and generate sales buzz.  

  • Second Campaign: (Middle of your ad funnel) 

Your second campaign should target ONLY people who clicked the ads from the first campaign, but who haven’t yet checked out a specific product page.  

Include: Create and include an audience made up of your Recent Visitors and, optionally, Recent Facebook and Instagram engagers.

Exclude: Everyone who has viewed products. You only want to show these ads to people who need encouraged to check out a specific product.

  • Third Campaign: (Bottom of your ad funnel) 

Show your final campaign to only people who viewed products, added to cart, or create a campaign to target past purchasers. This ensures you only retarget the people MOST likely to buy and you are able to show them a specific product add and offer. 

Include: Create and include an audience from your traffic that has Viewed Products/Added to cart to target your most interested visitors.

Exclude (optional) Past Purchasers to ensure the campaign doesn’t waste time and budget showing your ads to people who already converted.

The takeaway

Black Friday and Cyber Monday advertising should be focused on deals. Make an appealing offer, and make sure your messaging is consistent from your ads to your landing page. Use a series of ads to engage with your most interested audience over time and pay attention to your campaign structure, inclusions, and exclusions.

And if you’re looking for an easier way to try out funnel advertising during BFCM, Brainity might be what you are looking for. The “self-serve” ad automation tool helps merchants sell more and improve their brand engagement by creating sophisticated Facebook and Instagram ad funnels, with an innovative campaign builder and advanced AI.

However you manage your BFCM ads this year, good luck!

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