- Facebook unveiled in a blog post several new features to help advertisers with their holiday campaigns, including for overlays, video creation and storefronts.
- The company is expanding overlays for dynamic ads so advertisers can build customizable templates to fit holiday promotions or non-seasonal campaigns. Two unnamed major retailers increased their return on ad spend by 40% after testing the overlays, Facebook said. Overlays for dynamic ads were launched last year to let advertisers add price and discount tags on product ads. The social network also said it will debut holiday-themed templates and stickers to its new video creation kit to help advertisers highlight specific products with timely visuals.
- Facebook is also adding two new updates to its collection ads. Advertisers will be able to send shoppers from collection ads to an instant storefront template, where they can automatically organize products into personalized groups, such as "suggested for you." Brands testing the tool saw a 9% increase in conversions, Facebook said. Using the instant storefront template, advertisers can add an automatically generated video that's personalized with relevant products.
Facebook is clearly trying to stake a stronger claim in commerce for the quickly approaching holiday season, with a focus on product-driven ads, personalization and features like storefronts that could lead to a sale. Last year, Facebook videos around Black Friday and related topics during the Thanksgiving weekend saw 450 million views, according to the company, underscoring the role social media plays in product discovery.
By building out its commerce offerings for marketers ahead of the key holiday sales window, Facebook might be able to bolster its own revenue. The social network reported $13.2 billion in revenue for Q2 2018, a 42% year-over-year increase, but has said growth is decelerating. At the same time, it has been steadily rolling out features to help marketers create and measure their campaigns. This week, Facebook introduced several new tools to help with campaign tracking and transparent ad placement.
The launch of holiday-centric features is timely, especially as more marketers are bumping up their campaigns to earlier in the year. Holiday ad campaigns that kick off in October have a 7% increase in ad impressions, a 12% drop in cost-per-click and a 20% decrease in cost per thousand impressions compared to other months in the holiday shopping season, a recent AdRoll study found. Forty percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping before November, so advertisers that wait until Black Friday could be missing out.
Mobile offered a 63% cheaper cost-per-click over desktop last year, according to AdRoll. The firm also signaled that Facebook and its photo-sharing app Instagram are must-have considerations for holiday strategies: Marketers last year saw a 400% increase in click-through rates on Instagram and a 54% increase on Facebook compared to their display campaigns.
As more consumers are browsing and shopping on mobile devices, helping advertisers better personalize products could help Facebook win over more business. Last year, 71.6% of consumers did their holiday shopping via mobile while at home or while traveling, and 60.1% used smartphones in-store, according to iVend Retail's 2018 Global Path to Purchase survey.