How to plan your festive season digital marketing: A step by step guide

  • How to plan your festive season digital marketing: A step by step guide

How to plan your festive season digital marketing: A step by step guide

Words: Jessica Turner, Managing Director of Confab

If you are reading this, the festive season is upon us all, there’s no escaping it now. Whether you love or loathe early christmas shopping and the sound of Boney-M echoing through every public space, I personally think that after the wild year 2020 has been, the planet could use a good dose of festive cheer.

First comes Halloween, then comes black Friday and then before you know it you are having small talk at the office Christmas party and finally leaving milk and cookies out for Santa (then don’t forget those Boxing Day and New Year sales). It all happens so fast.

If you are a business owner or marketer, the festive season is an opportunity not to be missed should you be looking to acquire new customers, meet and exceed sales targets or even clear stock. We believe that the success of your festive season digital marketing lies in having the right plan in place, and just like your old highschool teacher always said ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’

Key dates to bear in mind:
  • November 28th – Thanksgiving (USA)
  • November 29th – Black Friday (If you sell anything, this one’s for you)
  • December 2nd – Cyber Monday (If you’re an E-commerce business, don’t forget this)
  • December 23rd-30th – Hanukkah
  • December 25th – Christmas
  • December 26th – Boxing Day (Boxing days sales are a must!)
  • December 31st – New Year’s Eve
  • January – Sales, sales, sales

Steps to planning your festive season digital marketing

1. Define your objectives: As simon Sinek says “Start with Why”

What is your business specifically wanting to achieve this festive season? Take a moment to sit with your team and write down your measurable and tangible goals and objectives. We are firm believers in having fewer, more specific objectives rather than many intangible goals that may only confuse your team and dilute your marketing strategy.

2. Assess your current digital marketing efforts and decide what changes you want to make

What have you done well in 2020 that is working or has previously worked? Maximise on this. What have you done poorly in 2020 or what opportunities have you missed? Improve on this. 

Make a list of changes or additions you want to make to your current marketing strategy specifically with the festive season in mind. 

3. Define your budget

Set aside a set amount that you want to allocate purely to your festive season digital marketing. Bear in mind that if you are maximising what you already know is working for your business (as per step 2 on this list) then your budget will be an investment that will be paying dividends after the festive season. Once you have your budget clearly defined, then begin to apportion this between your digital marketing channels giving the most budget towards your most successful channels.

4. Define your value proposition

Are you having a sale? Are you launching a new product or range? Are you running a giveaway? Clearly define what your value proposition will be this festive season and then begin crafting your marketing message using your 2020 marketing insights to give you a window into what has already worked for your business. 

5. Prepare your marketing collateral

Get your copywriter clicking away at their keyboard. Get your designer sharpening their tools. Get your creative team or agency preparing your digital marketing collateral as soon as possible so that you have enough time for reviews and changes whilst not missing any important deadlines. Every day counts when it comes to festive season marketing! 

6. Launch your campaign

Advice we would like to offer regarding the launch of your festive marketing campaigns, is to let your customers know ahead of time that something exciting is on the way. Why not work on a pre-launch campaign for your giveaway or send out an email campaign or bulk SMS a day or two before your new range is released to get them ready and waiting (credit card in hand) for when your campaign launches? 

Ensure that you’ve prepped a follow-up campaign after your initial launch to continue reminding your target audience of your festive season offers. 

*Remember, this is an exceptionally busy time and businesses are fighting for online space in front of their customers eyes. Make sure your campaign doesn’t get lost in the noise. 

7. Make adaptations, Measure and Report

Launched your campaign and it has not been as successful as you’d hoped? Don’t wait until weeks have passed, be front-footed and make adaptations whilst your campaign is running. Stop what is not working and try something new. 

At the end of your festive season campaign, make sure you gather and measure your data and pull valuable insights for a campaign report so that you can use these insights for your next campaign (next up: Valentines Day). 



Festive Season Digital Marketing Checklist
  1. Have you defined your festive season marketing goals?
  2. Is your digital agency aware in advance of your marketing plans so they are able to meet your deadlines?
  3. Have you prepared a festive content calendar in advance?
  4. Has your website been updated for the festive season?
  5. Are your social media channels looking festive?
  6. Have you utilised your existing database of customers for your campaign?
  7. Do you current customers know about your specials?
  8. Have you defined your festive closing times and are your customers aware of these in advance?

Need help perfecting your digital marketing strategy? We are always happy to help. Book a meeting with us here to chat. 

7 reasons why your social media ads are not working

  • 7 reasons why your social media ads are not working

7 reasons why your social media ads are not working

Words: Jessica Turner, Managing Director of Confab

During our nationwide lockdown, we have been assisting a small business client of ours run targeted social media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to sell their products online and have seen amazing results, some of which include 32 online sales with an advert spend of just under R900! This startup business has been elated with their sales which have meant that during challenging business times, their trade has increased all thanks to online advertising done properly.

This got us thinking that during testing economic times such as these, it’s not only important for businesses to leverage online advertising, but to ensure they are doing it properly and so we were inspired to write this article with 7 reasons why your social media ads are not working and what you can do about it. 

1. You are ‘boosting’ posts

If you are guilty-as-charged of ‘boosting’ your social media posts rather than creating structured advertising campaigns, we will forgive you, but only if you quit this very, very bad habit immediately after reading this. Did you know that our team will not spend one cent on boosting posts on social media because that will be one cent flushed down the drain? Don’t get me wrong, we certainly do spend money on social media advertising, lots of it, but only through the adverts manager interface which allows us to create structured social media campaigns, the right way.

2. You are choosing the wrong objective

Like most things in life, having your end goal in mind is a great starting block, and social media advertising is no different. Do you want to generate sales? Then don’t optimise your ads for “likes,” do you want to generate leads? Then don’t optimise your ads for reach. This may sound like a simple equation, but many businesses are not seeing results from their social media ads for this very reason. To let you in on a secret of ours, our favourite objectives to optimise our clients campaigns for are: conversions (sales or leads on their website), website traffic and reach. You won’t catch us paying for likes in 2020 and neither should you! Find out more about why we don’t pay for likes.

3. You don’t have a Pixel code set up on your website

We like to think of your website as the epicentre of your digital marketing efforts and the central landing point that all your campaigns should ultimately point to. If you are serious about seeing results from your social media advertising campaigns, you need to ensure that your social platforms and your website are integrated, and we don’t mean just having links to your social profiles on your website. The best way to integrate your website and social media channels is by installing social media tracking codes often known as pixels. These let you track user activity between your adverts and your website. For example, without a pixel installed, we would be able to report on a campaign to a client and let them know how many people “clicked” on their advert, but we couldn’t report on what happened once the person arrived on their website. With a pixel installed, we could give a report to the client including how many website views they received and how many leads or sales were generated based on the advert. To take it a step further, we are then also able to report on return on investment from that particular advert.

4. You aren’t using advanced audience combinations

If you are not using custom audiences, lookalike audiences or advanced audience combinations, then we need to chat because you are missing out on what we would deem the best way to see advert success. Custom audiences let you target previous website visitors or upload email lists of clients and target these individuals via social media platforms whilst lookalike audiences (you guessed it) let you target people who look like your website visitors or those on your email list. Advanced audience combinations include combining custom audiences, lookalike audiences and a few of our other *secret* ingredient audience types to get the ultimate bang for your buck.

5. Your copywriting isn’t compelling and your artwork isn’t striking

Don’t kick your copy and artwork to the curb as you focus on aspects of your campaign that you feel are more important, because over the years we’ve come to realise that it’s these two aspects that can make or break your social media adverts. There’s an art to good copy and an obvious art to adding the right creative components to your campaign and so we would advise pouring extra time and attention into these two aspects and it will pay off.

6. Your customers are not getting a good landing page experience

Scenario: You’ve heeded our advice and integrated your website with your social media profiles using pixel tracking codes but still are not seeing the conversions you hoped for. 

Resolution: Ruthlessly scrutinise your landing page experience. What are your potential customers seeing once they’ve clicked from your advert to your website? Are they taken to an ambiguous page that has no relevance to the advert they’ve just seen? Are they taken to a page that has no “calls to action” for them to further interact with your business? Are they taken to a copy-heavy or ugly-looking page that makes them want to click the red “x” button on the top left of their internet window just as fast as they landed on it? Your landing page experience will directly impact your clicks-to-conversions ratio, so it’s worth investing in a good one.

7. Maximise your marketing mix

Finally, we strongly believe that a successful social media campaign must be undergirded by an overall marketing strategy that is well thought-out and strategically focused. If you are haphazardly boosting posts with no real method to your madness, now is the time to stop, take a step back and invest time in drawing up an overall marketing plan for your business. The best social media adverts are small parts of a greater picture. What are your overall marketing goals? What are the desired actions you want your customers to take? How do you want your business to interact with current and potential clients online? Map questions like these out, clearly define where you are and where you are going and then let your advertising strategy and campaign creation be an overflow from this.

To end things off, if you’ve been advertising on social media with no success, we want to encourage you with this: If at first you don’t succeed try and test again! It’s taken us a long time to perfect our own social media advertising tactics that ensure our clients see great results from their ads, and we have enjoyed many losses and wins along the way. One thing we would bet our bottom dollar on is that social media advertising (when done properly) works wonders for businesses, and we hope this has empowered you to work some of your own magic. 

Not up for the challenge? We are always happy to help. Book a meeting with us here to discuss your advertising strategy.

Anatomy of a successful social media advertising campaign

  • Anatomy of a successful social media advertising campaign

Anatomy of a successful social media advertising campaign

Words: Jessica Turner, Managing Director of Confab

There is both an art and a science to creating a successful social media advertising campaign that finds the sweet spot of reaching the right audience, getting them to take the right actions and of course ensuring all of this happens within your desired budget. We have had years of experience in creating and running successful advertising campaigns for clients across many different industries and wanted to share some of our insights in this blog post.

1. If you’re wanting a successful social media campaign, DO NOT boost your posts

Before we take another step, let us be clear on one simple thing (this is related to Facebook and Instagram advertising): Do not spend a cent of your business’s hard earned money on boosting your posts. If you have not yet set up a Facebook Business Manager and are using the Advanced Adverts Manager tools, stop what you are doing, and start your account by clicking here. 

We cannot stress enough the vital importance of creating proper advert campaigns, rather than ad-hoc boosts, because at the end of the day “my boosted post really grew my company in real time” – said no business ever.

2. Tracking codes on website

The next important skeletal structure of a successful social media campaign is tracking codes. If you have not yet installed your tracking codes from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn (and of course Google) onto your website you are missing the most incredible opportunity to reach the right audience, retarget your previous customer or website visitors and gain fascinating insights into what your customers and prospects are doing once they’ve clicked on your social media advert and have found themselves on your website. If you are uncertain about how to properly install and utilise your tracking codes to their full potential, please feel free to set up a social media training session with our team here.

3. Choose the right objective

Before you can select the right advertising objective on your adverts manager account for your campaign, you need to have already defined this objective when you planned your campaign. Something important to note is that you need to select one main objective and stick to that. For example, if you are wanting sales, but also ‘likes’ on your advert, you’ll need to sacrifice one in order to maximise on the other. Choose your top objective and then build your campaign around that.

4. Carefully map your audience

Advertising is not just what you say, but who you say it to, and speaking to the right audience, whether it be broad or niche is vitally important. Once your business manager profile has been set up as well as your tracking codes, a world of new advanced audience targeting combinations opens up to your business. From custom website and email audiences to lookalike audiences, take time to carefully map out your audience, and then we recommend using A/B testing of your audience segments to discover which is working best before backing the audience with the bulk of your campaign budget.

5. Optimise your budget

A few of our budget optimisation tips for social media advertising include first, always using the campaign budget optimisation tool within Facebook to either optimise based on a daily or total campaign budget, we’ve seen our best results utilising this tactic. We also recommend allowing 4 – 7 days before scaling budgets up or stopping your campaign whilst also bearing in mind that your advert objective and audience combination is likely to affect your budget and your costs per result.

6. Craft your copywriting

Words will always matter, especially when it comes to your social media adverts. We’ve found that when copywriting is short, catchy and either solves a problem, poses a question or speaks to a need your audience has, you’re only a winning formula. Some other tips from our team include: be compelling, communicate your value proposition, speak directly to your customers using words such as you/your and if your brand allows for it, tastefully use humour to get your message across.

7. Always judge an advert by its artwork

We are at a time in the digital marketing world where most brands and businesses are using social media, and using it properly. This means the competition to reach your target audience is more rife than ever. This is where artwork and advert creative comes in to play as a key differentiating factor to make your business stand out amongst all the newsfeed noise. Some tips from our team to help you design winning artwork include: Keep your in-image copy short (20% text or less), add your value proposition in the ad image, use creatives that spark emotions, use symbols to your advantage, show your product in action, include discount offers in your ad image and use strong visuals of people.

8. Learn from your wins (and your losses)

Each business is unique and so will be the data from your advertising campaigns. Keep a close eye on your adverts throughout each month and then invest time into analysing your analytics, looking for trends, asking questions, trialing new copywriting techniques, audience combinations and artwork designs. Each campaign presents an opportunity to gain key insights into what your audience wants and what they don’t want. Learn from your wins and your losses and you’ll be heading in the direction of social media advertising success.

Struggling to make your social media advertising work for you and not seeing it yield measurable results in terms of social media growth, sales and lead generation? We are always happy to set up a consultation with you to analyse your advertising efforts and help you maximise your digital marketing. Book a consultation with us.

Still care about social media likes? You may want to think again!

  • Still care about social media likes? You may want to think again!

Why social media likes are no longer the correct measure of digital success

Words: Jessica Turner, Managing Director of Confab

Most often when we meet with clients who are self-admittedly not very ‘in touch’ with the digital world, the number one thing that we hear from them in relation to their social media campaigns and digital presence is ‘I want more likes.’
As an agency that specialises in social media management and advanced campaigns, we care a lot less about ‘likes’ than you would think…

Back when the Facebook ‘Like’ was king

When businesses first started cottoning onto the idea that they could set up a Facebook Page and use this platform to market themselves, those were the days when the ‘Facebook Like’ was king. In other words, if you had 1,000 people who had liked your page and you posted an update, a very high percentage of your followers would see that content and so naturally, every business was trying to increase the number of page likes they had, because more likes meant more people seeing and having the opportunity to engage with your content. Enquire now for social media agency in Ballito.

Ruthless algorithms come in to play

A few years later a time came when EVERY business had created a Facebook page and our newsfeeds so became saturated that we couldn’t see our friend’s updates for all the ‘salesly’ content that began to overtake our Facebook experience. How did Facebook combat this issue? They developed algorithms that grew stricter and stricter as the years went by and ruthlessly filtered what content ended up on what newsfeeds.

Did you know that only 6.4% of your followers see your content?

Fast forward to 2019 and you may have 1,000 followers on your Facebook page but only a small percentage, 6.4% to be precise (stats according to social media today), are likely to see your business’s content. That means a total of 64 people out of 1,000 page likes may ever see your update, and then you can further reduce that number when it comes to people within that group of 64 who will then ‘like’ your content. This now poses the question; why would you want to invest money to grow your ‘page likes’ if only a fraction of these people you’ve worked so hard to get to like your page, will ever see the content you post? Our answer is that you shouldn’t be focusing solely on building a huge audience because nowadays, this comes at a cost that will not yield a return on your investment. 

Well then how do I reach my target audience?

This now poses the question of ‘is Facebook marketing even worth it?’ and ‘how do I reach my target audience?’ The answer to the first question is a resounding yes, and we have the research and experience with our clients to back up that claim. The answer to the second question is: Advanced Facebook advertising. We do not recommend utilising the Facebook platform as a marketing tool unless you are willing to allocate a budget to paid advertising in order to promote your campaigns. What paid advertising (when done correctly, there’s an art to this) allows your business to do is place your content and campaigns in the newsfeeds of people you specifically target, regardless of whether they have ‘liked’ your page. These ads let you completely bypass your page’s followers and get under the noses of the exact target market of your business. 

Disclaimer: We do not advise boosting your posts as a means of advertising, the advertising we are referring to is advanced Facebook advertising tactics.

How we approach social media for our clients

When it comes to each businesses social media needs, we first conduct a social media audit to discover where our clients are currently on their journey and where they want to be. Some important questions we will always ask are around their unique business objectives and goals. If their objectives are ‘brand awareness’ then we are able to approach their social media marketing very specifically in order to achieve this. However, if their objectives are ‘lead generation’ or ‘sales’ which is most often the case, then we advise a very targeted approach to their campaign so that our team is working to achieve this unique objective every day. If your goal as a business is lead generation and sales, but your social media agency is driving for ‘likes’ that are never converting into customers, your money is going to waste. Don’t get us wrong, there is a place for ‘likes’ but this depends on your objectives as a business. Don’t be fooled into thinking that likes mean sales and leads. While that may have been true back in 2012, that is no longer the case today. Unfortunately for all of us. 

This article may come as a shock to some readers, however all hope is not lost. Social media marketing is as effective today as it’s ever been, you just have to have the right strategy and digital marketing Durban partners working with you to ensure that your social media campaign is working for you.

Related Tag: Social Media Agency Ballito

If you’d like a social media audit done for your business and a strategy drawn up that is highly targeted and focused on achieving your specific objectives, we’d love to chat with you. Click here to set up a meeting