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Ecommerce CPMs, Dynamic Ad Usage Set to Rise This Memorial Day

featured image - Memorial Day study
This article originally appeared in Marketing Land. 

Many marketers think of Christmas, Black Friday weekend, back-to-school, Valentine’s Day as critical times for capturing consumer dollars. However, Memorial Day weekend is also an important revenue-generating holiday for ecommerce advertisers, with past years’ data showing an increase in Facebook ad budgets dedicated to dynamic ads, and a rise in overall CPMs and CTRs.

The data outlined here comes from a set of ecommerce advertisers using Nanigans for their Facebook campaigns across a 4+ month period in both 2015 and 2016. To look at how the Memorial Day holiday impacted larger pricing and action trends, aggregate activity during the week leading up to and following Memorial Day each year was compared with the prior 3+ month period.

At a high level, this analysis demonstrated how ecommerce ad prices on Facebook rise at a fairly notable amount during the Memorial Day timeframe:

Memorial Day - CPM

While this may be surprising, contextually the shift points to ecommerce advertisers focusing on engaging prospective customers with seasonal sales and promotions right as those audiences 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 time period.

Last year, when Dynamic Ads were first available for all Facebook advertisers, the share of ecommerce advertiser spend dedicated to those units shot up 75% during the Memorial Day time period compared to the earlier three-month stretch.

Memorial Day - Dynamic Ads

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

It is worth noting that despite the sample analyzed here reflecting a broad range of ecommerce advertisers, the boost in Dynamic A 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 appeals 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.

Companies in the retail sector are well versed in the kind of messages that have resonated with consumers during these time 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, here are a couple 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 that love jewelry may also love beaches, but it’s not the most natural combination. Instead, the Pandora jewelry ad below latched on to the summer onslaught of music festivals – like Coachella and Bonnaroo – that have birthed the “festival chic” aesthetic and set social channels buzzing. Pandora wisely ties its products in with this excitement by advertising jewelry pieces and accessories as essential festival flair.

Theme Example

In the Instagram Carousel Ad above, Pandora showcases different looks and styles much as a retailer would in a traditional mail order catalog. Each slide in the carousel has its own setting and related jewelry pieces, so digital audiences with diverse taste are more likely to find a look that appeals to them. Even though the Instagram ad showcases a variety of items, it’s still unified by an unmistakably bohemian, summer festival atmosphere and by Pandora’s distinctive jewelry design.

Use the colors your that audience 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. The Facebook video ad below from Captain Morgan crams a lot of Summer elements into 30 seconds – a beach, cocktail swords and umbrellas, tropical fruit, and a pirate supermodel in a bathing suit. Throughout are Caribbean hues that definitely make you think of the tropics, an relationship Captain Morgan knows resonates with their product.

Colors Examples

While the data outlined earlier in the piece underscores the challenge for ecommerce marketers during the Memorial Day holiday, the industry-wide lift in reengagement 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 your customers.

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