Today we will look at strategies for distributing our online advertisement budget for the holiday season. In our previous post in our series promoting your business online in 2021, we covered a way to quickly calculate our available budget for different platforms.
As we did in our previous posts we like to mention the advise we share in our series is primarily aiming for increasing sales during the holiday season and might be especially useful for small business owners and smaller online shops. With this out of the way let us dive into our topic for today.
Distributing your available budget equally during the entire season is certainly a strategy you can use, but may not give you the best return. Adjusting your budget and keep some extra money for special events during the holiday season is more advisable.
First we will take the budget we calculated last week to use it for our example today. We had calculated the following:
- Google $19.14 per day
- Instagram $16.75 per day
- Facebook $11.96 per day
We advised to have a minimum of $10 per day available for the time between the 1st September until the 20th December (111 days).
At this point we like to mention that each platform has an algorithm that will need to run for a bit before you get the best results for your investment. We therefore use September to establish a base line and spend $10 per day per platform.
October has several options, depending on where you are located. If you are advertising to shoppers in Canada you may want to consider increasing your budget for Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in Canada in October. The second holiday you may want to increase your budget for is Halloween. But if you think either one or perhaps both holidays are not relevant for you, keep your budget at your set minimum and invest more later.
November has the US Thanksgiving, Black Friday and also Cyber Monday. Depending on what you are selling those 3 events are important opportunities to push your ads bit more. It is advisable and might be the easiest to manage for smaller businesses to increase the budget a week before the event and go back to a baseline afterwards. Because we have saved money in the previous months we can now increase our budget even more as if we would have set the budget to a fixed setup based on the calculation we mentioned earlier.
December is where the big push happen. From the first day of December to the end of our campaign, in our case the 20th December, we increase our budget and spend what we have left for our ad campaign.
After establishing a baseline we can now look at different options within our strategy and see how to distribute our budget. In any case our goal is to increase sales, meaning we will also have to factor in a certain flexibility and willingness to adjust our strategy accordingly.
When starting with a baseline and returning to it when a push is over, you have even a larger budget available for a platform such as Facebook, which had a tighter budget available to begin with.
Speaking of Facebook, let us now look at a possible budget distribution strategy for this platform. Based on our example we have $11.96 available per day. (How we calculated that was mentioned in our previous post). Since it is not making a big additional dent into our overall budget we will calculate with $12 per day. We decided to increase the budget for Facebook for the two weeks in October (Thanksgiving Canada and Halloween) to the $12 per day and keep $10 per day as our baseline. By the end of October we have spend a total of $496 for our ads on Facebook. In November we have 18 days with $10 per day, bringing us to a total of $676 spend so far. Our budget for Facebook for 111 days at $12 a day was $1,332 minus $676 we have already spend gives us a budget of $656 for the remaining 32 days, which would be $20.50 per day. We now have managed to have a much larger budget available at a time we like to push our products, while also helped our ad campaign to get the most out of the algorithm.
For Instagram we calculated $16.75 per day, again please check our previous post to see how we calculated the available budget. We start September with the same strategy as we did with Facebook, meaning we invest $10 per day. For October we decided to use $15 per day and not increase the budget for Thanksgiving or Halloween. In November we will stick with the $15 per day for the first 18 days and increase our budget to what is left until the end of the planed campaign. Let us do some math now. Our overall budget is $16.75 per day for Instagram. We plan to run our campaign for 111 days which get us a total budget for $1,859.25 in total. September reduced our budget by $300 and we spend between the 1st October until the 18th November $735 in total. Our remaining budget for the rest of our campaign is therefore $824.25 total. We divide that by 32 days and have $25.75 per day available.
To mix things up we will look into a different strategy for Google. We again have 111 days for our advertisement campaign, starting on the 1st September until the 20th December. We calculated last week that we have $19.14 per day available, which equals a total budget of $2,124.54 for Google ads. Our thought process for the different strategy is to get the sales from Social Media for the holidays in October and November. We use Google to support our Social Media campaigns and push sales between Black Friday and the 20th December, to catch as many Christmas shopper as we can. So we divide our budget like this:
- September $10 per day, a total of $300 for this month.
- October 1st to 15th we go with $10 per day ($150 until the 15th October)
- Rest of October increase to $15 per day ($240 for the rest of October)
- November until 12th November $15 per day ($180 until the 12th November)
- November 13th to 26th (Black Friday) $20 per day ($280 for mid November)
- From 27th November until 20th December $40 a day ($960 for the rest of the campaign)
Using different strategies for different platforms is in many cases advisable. Which one works best for you is hard to predict without knowing your business. But we hope our ideas help you to develop a strategy that works best for your business for the upcoming holiday season.
Our series will continue with useful tips during the season. Keep in mind the budget we calculated in the past two episodes should be a guideline for the season, not an unchangeable fact. There is a chance you see an increase in sales, allowing you to run additional ads. Or maybe one platform is underperforming and you decide to pull the budget away and add it to another platform instead.
If you like us take a look at your ad strategy for 2021, feel free to contact us.
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