Preparing your paid channels for optimal performance

Acknowledging the challenges surrounding organic social on Black Friday, brands will have to invest more in paid social media to hit their target BFCM audience. With the ongoing economic climate, brands will also be looking to maximise their return on ad spend (ROAS) and so need to prepare well in advance of the big weekend. CPMs (cost per 1,000 impressions) are expected to be significantly higher than last year, with every advertiser trying to squeeze the Facebook auction to get their valuable impressions.

Whilst Instagram has a higher shopping intent on the platform, so the increase in performance metrics across the channel will be even higher than Facebook over the Black Friday period.

We look at what brands can do to ensure their social ads are as effective and efficient as possible.

Paid Social - The PHA Group

Launch early

Increasingly, advertisers are launching their BFCM deals earlier than the main event, with retailers like Currys & Argos launching deals in late September, early October. Advertisers should look at the promotional weekend as more of a marathon than a sprint, using the longer term to generate further brand awareness and leads for when the larger discounts drop, and build up remarketing lists (pixel or engagement) to improve overall ROAS. Advertisers should also be looking to integrate their data into each social platform’s ads, building customer lists and lookalike audiences to be implemented as effectively as possible.

Cultivate your creative

The average dwell time on a social media post is 0.2s, so it’s important to convey your messaging quickly and in an engaging way. If brands can capture user attention during the event amid the mayhem, they’ve already won half of the battle. You should therefore look to make sure you’re making use of video, which captures attention better than images, and should A/B test colour variations to assess which combinations secure better engagement. It should also be considered essential to incorporate the use of subtitles into your creatives with as much as 80% of viewers more likely to finish a video with subtitles.

The feed & product catalogue

Consumers will be fickle in the Black Friday period, with more of a focus on the discount than the brand itself. Brands will therefore need to make sure that their feed and product catalogues are set up in the best possible way so that consumers who have viewed products or added to cart but not purchased can be captured through dynamic ads. Other benefits of this are being able to integrate collection ads and broad audience dynamic ads into your Meta ads strategy, effectively allowing advertisers to prospect with people who are in-market for their products.


Even if advertisers have planned their marketing funnel correctly, are following best creative practice and have their feed properly integrated, if their tracking isn’t set up correctly then performance will lag behind expectations. Ahead of Black Friday you should make sure that you have the Meta Conversions API set up (or what is available with the other social ad platforms). This will connect your servers with the pixel and improve attribution and customer list sizes, improving overall ROAS in the process.

Brands should also make sure that the pixel is set up well in advance of Black Friday so that remarketing lists can be as extensive as possible. Finally, to truly maximise Black Friday, brands should be considering the ways in which they can integrate and align social (both organic and paid) with their other marketing channels. When delivered well, integration enables brands to target consumers at every stage of their purchase journey, gain a better understanding of their behaviour and ultimately, improves their chances of conversion during a critical purchasing period.

If you would like to discuss with our specialist Paid social media team on how you can maximise impact across BFCM, get in touch today.

Get in touch with the team