When should you start holiday Facebook ad campaigns? Now

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If you’re just starting to think about your holiday Facebook ad campaign, you may be too late. Facebook Marketing Partner SocialCode shows that taking an early, proactive approach to targeting shoppers for the holidays can give advertisers the best bang for their buck.

SocialCode found that the CPM of News Feed advertising is at its lowest of the holiday season in late October/early November, steadily rising until its peak on Black Friday (for desktop) and, for mobile, Cyber Monday.

Blog-Image-Desktop-News-Feed-CPM-11.031

SocialCode feels that advertisers should start their messaging as soon as possible to take advantage of lower CPMs. The company wrote about this in a blog post:

According to Experian, as recently as 2005 there were only two days of the year during which consumers could get a great discount: Black Friday and the day after Christmas. Flash-forward to present day and brands are starting Black Friday-esque promotions earlier than ever. Consumers are responding by starting holiday shopping long before Thanksgiving. According to the NRF, more than four of 10 respondents kick-off holiday shopping season before Halloween.

This presents an opportunity for advertisers to take advantage of lower CPMs before competition increases and prices surge. Aggregate digital advertising data representing hundreds of Fortune 500 brands within SocialCode’s client portfolio show Q4 2013 desktop Facebook® News Feed CPMs rising 
incrementally throughout November, spiking
 on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Since 
many consumers begin
 holiday spending at the start of November, ramping spend early can achieve significant return
 on ad spend.

On mobile, CPMs actually hit their peak on Cyber Monday, but Black Friday is still pretty costly.

Blog-Image-Mobile-News-Feed-CPMs-11.031SocialCode wrote about how advertisers should plan for mobile and the tendency of cross-channel purchasing:

Mobile is a critical component of holiday shopping as consumers, advertisers
 and retailers connect through research, advertising and commerce transactions. According to research presented by Facebook during Advertising Week 2014, 
65 percent of adults access mobile while shopping in store. The NRF study further reports a record-high number of consumers will use mobile to research products and prices before buying this year. And Facebook internal data shows that of US users who expressed interest in a mobile Facebook ad, more than 32 percent converted on desktop within 28 days.

When it comes to advertising, Facebook
 mobile News Feed CPMs from Q4 2013
 show Black Friday and Cyber Monday peaks 
sandwiched between lower CPMs. Brands
 can increase efficiencies with both awareness
 and direct response messaging on mobile as
 Thanksgiving approaches, and introduce more intensified sales messaging during and after the major purchase days.

Readers: What other tips do you have for this holiday season?

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.