Adapting Your Facebook Measuring Strategy for COVID-19 and Black Friday

Black Friday in 2020 is going to be different. With Covid-19, pretty much every day of 2020 has felt like Black Friday so far. That's why it's expected that this year's biggest shopping event will be even more intense than usual for online shopping. As an online store owner, you need to create bulletproof Facebook ads to boost your sales.

To give you a head start, in this blog post, we explain how you can adapt your Facebook measuring strategy for Black Friday during Covid-19.

Measurement vs. Reporting
Though sometimes used interchangeably, Facebook measurement is different from reporting.

Reporting tools in Facebook Ads Manager or Facebook Analytics show your campaign results based on the measurement solution of your choice. The data there can help you determine if you reached your business goals.

Facebook measurement is more proactive. You define your business goals and key metrics and set your campaigns in line with them before launching those campaigns. Your campaign data is also analyzed in a more sophisticated way. This allows you to understand your campaign performance better.
Image source: facebook.com
Facebook measurement types
Facebook offers measurement solutions on and off Facebook that can help you test your ad campaigns to find your most effective strategies. You can choose from three types of data sources that gather information to measure your ads' results: the Facebook pixel, SDK for mobile app, and Offline Conversions.
Stay away from vanity metrics
To be successful with your marketing strategy, you need to know what metrics to measure. It's not just about measuring how many clicks or likes your Facebook ads get. Just because your ad got many likes, it doesn't mean it drove you a lot of sales. And you probably want to sell with your Black Friday campaign during Covid-19, not increase your page likes count.
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Test different advertising tactics that are aligned with your marketing objectives. Test various ad formats, messaging and visuals, and bid strategies to see what works the best for you. Like all things worth doing, it will take some time. However, you'll be able to make informed decisions about where it's worth investing your money to boost your business growth.

With the right Facebook measuring strategy, you will understand how your campaigns truly perform. You will understand what actions your customers take that result in a conversion and scale on it.
What should you test & measure then?
Focus on measuring areas that have a real impact on your Black Friday campaign's business goals: brand awareness, sales, ad recall.

You need to ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are my business objectives for this Black Friday sale?

  2. What will be your strategy to achieve these objectives?

  3. What will be your Key Performance Indicators (KPI)?

  4. What will be your targets for each KPI?

Once you've written down your Facebook measurement plan, you can start with the creative part of your Black Friday campaign. Maybe an ad with a customer video could work for building brand awareness and trust? Or maybe a carousel with the most popular products is the way to go? Should you go for a conversational Facebook ad? The choices are countless.

With your KPIs in mind, you'll have a clearer idea of what kind of content you should go for and measure.
Be mindful of how Covid-19 impacts testing
The Facebook team talks about two ways of how Covid-19 can impact testing.

Firstly, advertisers need to be aware of the changes in consumer behavior. The 'new normal' of stocking up on diminished goods can influence testing results. You need to take that into account when evaluating your measurement insights.
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The pandemic has also influenced our digital behavior. According to Comscore, in 2020 March, mobile data usage in the US was 50% bigger compared to 2019.

Also, a survey by GWI revealed that in the US and UK, Gen Z, Gen X, and Boomers spend more time checking social media because of their concerns surrounding Covid-19.

However, you need to consider that the additional time people now spend online may not be representative of your customers' long-term behavior. Thus, you should not use it to make long-term decisions for your Facebook advertising strategy, even for the next year's Black Friday campaigns.

Secondly, there's a shift in ad approaches and dynamics. 89% of advertisers say that they've adjusted their ad budgets due to Covid-19. 45% of them also say that they've made some changes to their media type usage and budget distribution.

Such a change in advertisers' behavior can influence Facebook's ad delivery systems. Facebook claims that they don't know what the impact could be.
Measure your Facebook advertising impact on your key business goals
The 'new normal' we live in has called for stripping down to the essentials to keep businesses afloat. This doesn't mean that you need to change your strategy completely, but you need to focus on your key business goals to meet your clients' needs. Black Friday is your chance to remind your customers how your business can help them solve their problems. Just use your resources wisely.
Go for lift testing
During such unprecedented times, it's essential to understand your overall marketing impact. Lift-testing is an excellent measurement strategy that helps you do just that. It works like an experiment where people who have seen your Facebook ads are compared to those who haven't seen them.

You have two groups of people: those who have seen your ads and those who match your ad audience but are not shown your ads. The latter group is called 'control group'.
Lift testing, illustrated by Facebook.
Lift testing allows you to understand how your advertising efforts influence such business objectives as conversion or brand recognition, both essential goals during a Black Friday campaign.

There are different types of lift tests. For example, you can measure your Facebook advertising for conversion and brand awareness objectives. You can also compare your Facebook advertising against another publisher to see what works the best for your digital marketing funnel.
Use A/B testing to optimize quickly
Another way to optimize your Facebook ad strategy during your Black Friday campaign is to run A/B tests.

A/B tests are different from lift testing so that they don't have randomized control groups. These tests allow you to learn about your best targeting options quickly. You can also use A/B testing to come up with the best creative for your ads (text and visuals).

When evaluating the results of your tests, remember to be cautious. The findings that can help you adjust your Black Friday campaign for 2020 may not apply for next year due to current conditions that may influence results.
How to evaluate your Facebook's measurement strategy
It's a tough time for businesses, and you may not be sure where to start. Should you measure your campaign effectiveness first? Or maybe you should optimize between two competing strategies? How to make the cost of running your tests substantial? Can your learnings be applied to a business-as-usual strategy?

The decision tree below will help you to understand the impact of various measurement decisions.
To learn more about how Facebook is responding to Covid-19 and how to minimize disruption to your business, check their Business Resource Hub.
Early bird gets the worm
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Black Friday is one of the busiest times of the year for advertisers. Because of a surge in people bidding, the cost of Black Friday ads increases - it becomes more expensive to reach your target audience.
Grow remarketing audiences
One of the solutions is to start your Black Friday campaign early. Invest a large part of your budget in warming up people on the upcoming sales when the bidding is still not as expensive. This way, you will grow your remarketing audiences that you can later use during the Black Friday period. Using a warm audience, you're likely to increase your conversion rate and get the most of your budget.
Final words
With the cost per click rising during the Q4, and especially during Black Friday, you need to be careful with your Facebook advertising strategy. Since this year's Black Friday will move online due to Covid-19, the competition between advertisers will increase significantly. Every penny will count.

Naturally, you may feel a little overwhelmed with all the possible ways to measure your Black Friday's marketing strategy. Remember - you don't have to measure everything. Start small and build up later if it's needed. Also, you can always use marketing automation tools that will save you some of your precious time.

The point is not to get distracted by vanity metrics. Instead, focus on key business objectives and how your Facebook strategy can help to reach them. Also, don't forget to make sure your customer journey is optimized so that when your potential clients come to your store, they can find everything they need.

Monitor your campaigns daily, test everything, make needed adjustments to your advertising strategy, and you'll end the Q4 with a bang!

Julia is a freelance copywriter at sixads, an app that helps online store owners accelerate sales with easy ads. Specialized in copywriting, social media, and dog memes, Julija helps businesses get creative with ideas for content that creates value and sells.

Want to learn more about Facebook advertising for your online store? Connect with sixads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube!
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