Welcome to the crazy season called the 4th quarter...
Updated: Oct 23, 2020
One of the most remarkable periods of the year is ahead of us, certainly in the eyes of the digital marketer.
The last quarter of the year, cold months, darker days and above all "shopping" season all over the place.
From Halloween, to Singles day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday to Christmas Shopping.
An e-commerce season where the money needs to be made and also "standing out" in the crowd is a big thing.
It's not a year to forget social marketing in your digital mix.
Where digital grows about 12% (yoy), the social segment grows an astonishing 18-20% this year in adspend
The CPM prices , which is basically our starting point, are completely under pressure in this quarter. High CPM prices at the beginning of your funnel, making it all more difficult to manage from the start.
For all the Cowboys out there , who dare to let their campaigns just run their own lives in this crazy shopping season.....all the "respect"
Not the best way to go, but it is bold for sure.
A small look back, in hindsight we learned that last season the CPM prices in the last quarter rose by 18% on average compared to the seasons prior to the 4th quarter.
A firm $ 7,06.
The year before in 2018 the CPM prices also rose above $7 in Q4
The only two times in the last 14 quarters the prices rose above this $7 barrier were those two Q4 quarters.
How do you deal with this?
A question our team is asked a lot of times
In the end, the only good way to go is to manage your campaigns in "real-time"
DON'T trust it will be -okay- and pray your campaign won't bleed out, or blindly trust the algorithm advice Facebook is giving , You will spend your budget in a quick amount of time and you will lose overview. Instead, trust the clean data your campaign gives you by managing the campaign yourself.
Beside the historical rise of the CPM in quarter 4 we also see CPC prices going up and decreasing CTR rates in the same period.
Creating a basic benchmark for your data will set you up in the right direction.
Start at the beginning
First of all, you have to accept that CPM prices are higher in this quarter and instead of stressing about this you should focus on the things that you can positively affect.
Start with a solid audience selection and interests, a higher CPM doesn't mean that your campaign can’t be successful.
The most important thing is to A/B test everything in your campaigns, compare your results and take your learnings.
For example, start by looking at the Age Breakdown metric, how high is the CPM? Are there any significant data differences you can discover? For example, compared to a conversion like, link clicks, or CPC. Do you see ups or downs of 10% or more? Start from there with your deepdive.
Scrape off a layer into the next data comparison, check for example Age vs Region and again compared to the same conversion like clicks.
My wild guess is that you will see data differences in your comparison of 40% or more. ( positive and/or negative)
Simply put, in some case you are overspending your budget to the wrong combinations, or giving the winning combination to little of your budget.
In the Quickscan reports we do for clients, sometimes we bump into numbers that tell us the campaign missed out on thousands and thousands of dollars in revenue/conversion.
Completely lost money by not managing your campaigns in real-time.
There is a lot to gain in your campaigns by checking your data in real-time.
Unfortunately Facebook is making it a living hell to deepdive through the numbers in the business manager. In some cases this will cost you so much time, it's hardly worth the outcome. A true catch22
This is exactly the reason why Roundabout created their own dashboard, purely motivated by frustration.
In this upcoming holiday season, it's the absolute key to creating a successful campaign.
At Roundabout we have a standing believe that every campaign get always get better!
More than ever in this expensive period.
The question how to get through this quarter, I also asked Amina, our head of social at Roundabout.
"Next months this will be my strategy for a time filled with competitors and high CPM prices.
Test, test test is the holy grail, little short tests that follow up on each other and scale up winners in the tests"
In a shortlist:
- Test multiple audiences
- Deepdive in performing audiences, select more and shutoff some of the losers
- Scale up winning test adsets
- Multiple deeplevel retargeting campagnes
- Tweak content every 10-12 days
A little reading from our own work as a closing line....If you do think managing in real-time makes sense, do not hesitate to try our dashboard or DM me for a demo. We are here to help you out.
We will write some more tips & tricks for you in the upcoming time to guide you a bit through this season.
Good luck for now in managing your campaigns.