Agency owners, Q4 of 2022 is officially on. Here’s how to set your Business Manager, website, and operations in order for the holiday season.
If you’re working as a media buyer at an agency, I’ll teach you some foolproof, expert tips that you could give your clients. Trust me; these instructions will make their job a heck of a lot easier. Also, in this article, you’ll learn some hacks you can use yourself.
For ad agencies, Q4 is the busiest time of the year. While most other people are slowing things down and going into holiday mode, we’ve got to crank it up a notch. To do this, you must align the essentials to be prepared for the crazy end-of-year sales rush. And to truly impress your clients, you’ve got to aim for zero operational hick-ups.
I’ll use an analogy here: In Q4, you need to keep your gardens free from weeds. The process is hard initially, but maintenance keeps the pests away and the gardens green. Continuing with the ‘garden’ analogy, I say there are three gardens that you need to take care of: Business Manager, website, and business operations.
So, let’s not waste any time and jump right into it.
1. Housekeeping for Business Manager
Don’t double-check—triple-check your spend limit. Yes, you have to make sure you don't hit your daily or monthly caps. Working as an ad agency owner for a few years, I’ve personally encountered at least one major credit card error every Q4.
You know how it goes. Ads are going great, and the client goes to sleep. Then, they wake up to find out their credit card has been declined and the Black Friday sales have failed. Trust me; you don’t want this.
Another common issue is this—a low budget cap that derails the entire campaign. In a normal account, it’ll slowly increase from $250 to $750 every day. Once you’ve hit the daily limit, there’ll be no more spending, and consequently, this will hinder the results.
So, try to increase your billing threshold. If you’re scaling hard and getting billed, let's say at every $500, and you plan to spend more than $10K, your client’s card provider might flag it as a fraudulent transaction because of unexpected spending behavior.
Another way to mitigate this is to tell your client to contact their payment provider ahead of time and remove anti-fraud blocks if possible. They should also have a backup account with enough ad spend in it, just in case.
Do all team members have the required access and permissions to ad accounts and pages? If not, then make sure that they do. You don’t want team members to go through more chaos in an already chaotic period like Q4. These last three months are going to be very fast-paced, so make sure no time is wasted on petty things like access issues.
Events Manager and Ads Manager
You’ll likely be working on multiple ad accounts for different clients. So, review settings in Events Manager for every account. For instance, you should ensure that pixel data is pure and AAM is enabled.
Now, what does ‘pure’ pixel data mean? Well, a pure pixel doesn’t involve collecting data from your old website or even your partner's website. The source should be exclusively your current website which you own and operate.
Now, when it comes to Ads Manager, there are certain things you could do to prepare for Q4. First, you should remove bid caps if they are too low. Instead, set a spending cap to ensure you don’t exceed your budget.
And the next very important step is to schedule your ads. I can’t stress this enough—schedule your ads, please. Every year, I see a high number of ads that don't run at all or have very limited distribution. Yet, they aren't rejected. So, to avoid lengthy approval times, get your ad campaigns built and scheduled for your desired live date.
2. Housekeeping for website
Dummy-check your tracking
Are the pixel and CAPI all set? Even if the answer is yes, you should keep an eye on your pixel and CAPI to ensure they’re working properly. A misfiring pixel can completely sabotage your campaign.
Also, if you’re unsure of your Facebook ads metrics - maybe you see they’re delayed or feel they’re wrong, check GA and your back-end data (e.g., Shopify, your server or CRM). It is ideal to check hourly and day-to-day performance.
Ad policy plumbing
Audit your funnel from ads to lander, and ensure you’re policy-compliant. This is very important if you’re launching ads or landers you’ve never used before.
To be on the safe side, test with a small, closed audience first. Then, run some traffic to see if Facebook flags anything. You don’t want to launch full-scale ads only to find out you’ve unknowingly violated some policy.
Don’t panic when you see an unexpected bounce rate. Instead, roll up your sleeves and use them to identify the holes in your funnel. However, ideally, the bounce rate should be as low as possible in the first place.
I once had a client who had a bounce rate of over 70% on many product pages. So, I broke down the bounce rate to specific sections and even users and devices. It’s essential to thoroughly examine the whole situation instead of just the overall bounce rate.
Customer website journey
Truly, bounce rates are annoying. But what happens to those who don't bounce? To find out, do this: Google Analytics > Behavior > Behavior Flow. Once you do that, ask yourself: Is it an effective and efficient journey for your ideal conversion?
For example, if users go from a landing page that mentions a certain shoe sale to a t-shirt collection using the navigator, you'll want to consider how they landed on the shoe page in the first place and if the page design is intentionally drawing them in. The use of the navigator at this point proves that the user didn't find what they wanted, and now they're searching without you guiding them.
The more you can understand where users came from, what they did on the page you sent them to, and where they went next, the better the overall conversion rate is going to be for that initiative.
Get your website traffic-ready
First of all, run a speed test, and make sure your site is loading quickly. Nothing kills a potential customer like a slow website. Not to mention long load times can also negatively affect your rankings.
Also, make sure your funnels and landing pages are mobile-optimized and load in under 3 seconds. Yes, a large chunk of your audience will use smartphones to make a purchase. So, make sure your website is easy to navigate on phones and looks aesthetically appealing at the same time.
The next important step is to make sure your client’s website can handle some heat! What do I mean by that? Well, when thousands of people click on it at the same time, it shouldn’t crash. Here are three ways to prepare a website for heavy traffic:
- Talk to your web host about capacity
- Discuss your current server’s capacity and the estimated holiday traffic
- Request an increase if necessary
Miscellaneous issues with websites
The first issue is unnecessary clutter. Some websites are way too cluttered and have no visual journey defined. Layout matters a lot. When users don't know what to do or can't decipher content, they use the nav or bounce.
The second issue is too many non-strategic pop-ups. This is especially true when users just came in through an ad and are on mobile.
And finally, those unnecessarily huge homepages—too long, too many options, too
much scrolling. So, if necessary, seek help from an external website designer if you or your client don’t have in-house talent, and make sure you get the design right.
3. Housekeeping for business operations
Team and family communication
Like I’ve said, Q4 is vacation time for most people, but it’s jackpot time for us ad agency owners. So, communicate holiday availability expectations to your team and your family beforehand. Furthermore, you should set up a holiday out-of-office protocol for your team members.
Many of us now manage the entire sales funnel—from prospecting to purchase. It’s a big job - some would argue an impossible job - for one person or even one team. We must explain how long these tactics take to deploy, how quickly the digital world shifts under our feet, and how many levers we wish we could pull at once. The more we explain and the more honest we are, the more we protect ourselves and our colleagues.
Set clear boundaries from the get-go to produce better results for your clients. This may sound harsh, but clients need to know what they can and can’t do. Here are some examples:
- Tell your clients they can email you during business days and expect a response back in six to eight hours
- Clients can’t email you on a Saturday during the holiday season and expect an immediate, thoughtful, and multi-paragraph response
- Sudden scope changes in the middle of ad campaigns cannot be entertained
During Q4 planning, media buyers can set clear goals and due dates for campaign assets from clients. Furthermore, you should be very clear on the ramifications of missed agreed-upon dates.
Tools are what separates us from apes. Humans can and must use tools to make tasks easier. Sorry for being blunt, but not using the right tools when you can is stupid. Since we, as agency owners, are in the digital space, we should invest in workflow automation to reduce labor costs.
For example, you could set up automated ad reporting, custom rules, data sync, and automatic post promotion to save your valuable time. Here are some more ways to save time and boost productivity:
- Precise tracking: Tracking is not as easy as it used to be before—thanks to the iOS 14 update. That’s why you need a reliable first-party tracking platform. For example, a tool like Madgicx Cloud tracking can instantly get you a 20% increase in tracked ad ROI.
- Use advanced AI: Instead of using your own brain’s effort to manage ads, why not use artificial intelligence? One example of such an AI tool is the Autonomous Budget Optimizer. This AI tool can automatically scale your budget up and down based on metrics that are important to you. So, you no longer need to check how much budget is being spent on each ad set every hour.
- Systems: Systems can mitigate the most common ad account management problems agency owners have. For instance, underperforming ads can be stopped permanently in a fully automatic way if there are systems in place.
You see, productivity is a very dynamic issue. There are always newer and faster ways to get things done. So, if you want to dig deeper on the productivity side, I recommend you read this article: 5 Unconventional Ways to Boost Your Agency's Productivity.
Increase average order size
When user acquisition costs rise, you have two choices for preserving profits: cut your overhead and product costs, or increase average order size. Fortunately, increasing the average order size in Q4 is relatively easier as people spend more during this period.
There are plenty of ways to increase average order size:
- Bundling products to sell more of them
- Offering extra features for a discount
- Using dollar-off discounts. For example, “Spend more than $1000 and get $100 off”
You should also polish up your return policy. Holiday returns are the new normal. That’s why a hassle-free, clearly-stated return policy is a purchase differentiator.
And that’s the end of the third and the last article regarding Q4 Facebook ad success in 2022. By writing this three-article series, I have made my top secrets public. Now, it’s your turn. Are you going to put it in high gear and take big cash home? I hope that’s exactly what you’re planning to do.
One last time, I’d like to reiterate this: Q4 is not the time to be lazy and procrastinate. Sure, most other people are going to go into vacation mode, but not successful ad agency owners—they’re going to put in the work. Don’t worry; I’m in the same boat as any agency owner.
So, all the best for Q4. Time to grab the bull by the horns! Happy holidays.
From accurate tracking to unlimited ad production, Madgicx has all the solutions to optimize your workflow and ensure you’re getting maximum results up to year-end and beyond.
Following his passion for outdoor adventures, Madis founded BirkAds - the only agency in Europe that specializes in Optimizing Ads ROI for the Outdoor Industry. He has audited over 3,000 campaigns, conducted over 672 hours of coaching sessions, and managed ads for more than 70 companies worldwide.