E-commerce CPMs, Facebook Dynamic Ad usage set to rise this Memorial Day

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Christmas, Black Friday weekend, back-to-school, Valentine’s Day — these are what most people think about when it comes to critical times for retailers to capture consumer dollars.

But e-commerce advertisers also have focused on Memorial Day weekend, with data from past years showing increased Facebook ad budgets in the sector going to Dynamic Ads, as well as overall CPMs (cost per impressions) and click-through rates rising.

As with past columns, the data outlined here is based on my work at Nanigans. This time around, we specifically examined the same set of e-commerce advertisers on Facebook across a four-month period in both 2015 and 2016.

To look at how the Memorial Day holiday impacted larger pricing and action trends, we compared aggregate activity during the week leading up to and following Memorial Day each year with the prior three-month period.

The analysis demonstrated how e-commerce ad prices on Facebook rise a fairly notable amount during the Memorial Day timeframe:

While this may be surprising, contextually the shift points to e-commerce advertisers focusing on engaging prospective customers with seasonal sales and promotions just when they are thinking about the warming weather and fun in the sun. Bearing this out is how the distribution of ad type spending changes during the Memorial Day period.

Last year, when Dynamic Ads were available for all Facebook advertisers, the share of e-commerce advertiser spend dedicated to those units shot up 75 percent in the Memorial Day period compared with the earlier three-month stretch.

The implication here is that e-commerce advertisers, in aggregate, shifted their budgets more toward customer re-engagement-style campaigns, rather than attracting brand-new customers. Facebook only enabled Dynamic Ads for prospecting purposes in early 2017.

It’s worth noting that despite the sample analyzed here reflecting a broad range of e-commerce advertisers, the boost in Dynamic Ad spend was driven primarily by retailers in the apparel- and luxury-oriented sectors.

The reason?

These are the business sectors that historically, both online and offline, have thrived on seasonal appeal to shoppers. We’ve all seen department stores or standalone shops creating large campaigns around new seasons. The new season means new clothes, shoes, color schemes and lifestyle options. Those businesses are well-versed in the kinds of messages that have resonated with consumers during these periods.

But traditional retailers aren’t the only ones who can capitalize on the changing seasons. After culling through a lot of seasonal-oriented ads, I’ve compiled a couple of tips for motivating your customers with unique summer imagery:

Settle on a theme for specific audiences

Think about where your product or offerings tie in best with the season, and run with that.

People who love jewelry may also love beaches, but it’s not the most natural combination. Instead, the Pandora jewelry ad below latched onto the summer onslaught of music festivals — like Coachella and Bonnaroo — that have fostered the “festival chic” aesthetic. Pandora tied its products in with this festival enthusiasm by advertising jewelry and accessories as much-needed festival flair.

In its Instagram Carousel ad, Pandora shows varying styles similar to how a retailer does in a traditional mail-order catalog. Each slide in the Carousel has a separate setting and related jewelry, so different people with different tastes can find just the right look. Even though the Instagram ad shows off a variety of products, it’s still unified with that bohemian, summer-festival feel and Pandora’s jewelry design.

Use the colors your audience most associates with summer

Deep blue skies with yellow-tinged sunlight will always be associated with summer, but for sports fans, the green grass of a baseball diamond is likely more personalized and meaningful.

This Facebook video ad from Captain Morgan packs a bunch of summer ingredients into 30 seconds: beach, cocktail umbrellas, tropical fruit, a pirate model in a swimsuit. Throughout are Caribbean hues that definitely make you think of the tropics, a relationship that Captain Morgan knows resonates with its product.

These are just a couple of tips to help you incorporate summer elements into your marketing efforts. Check out this post for even more seasonal marketing tips.

While the data outlined above underscores the challenge for e-commerce marketers during the Memorial Day holiday, the industrywide lift in re-engagement activity makes clear the amount of potential value to be gained.

With Memorial Day almost here and July 4th on the horizon, advertising practitioners should take this opportunity to get their creative bench ready for the next seasonal change or event to stand out from the crowd and meaningfully speak to their customers.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Andrew Waber is the Manager of Market Insights and Media Relations for advertising automation software provider Nanigans. In his current role, Andrew manages the data analysis, editorial direction, and strategy for the Nanigans Market Insights research program. Prior to his time at Nanigans, Andrew served as the Market Analyst and lead author of reports for Chitika Insights, the research arm of the Chitika online ad network. Andrew’s commentary on online trends has been quoted by the New York Times, Re/Code, and The Guardian, among other outlets.


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