Should you turn off your Ads in December?Dec 06, 2022
You may have already noticed a dip in sales since the Black Friday weekend came to a close.
I know we certainly have.
So, in today's edition of The Morning ACOS, I will share what I'm doing with Facebook Ads and Amazon Ads during the holiday season.
Conversions Are Lower. Costs Are Higher.
While the above statement won't be true for every self-published author, it is certainly going to be true for many.
December is historically a slower month for self-published authors, for a number of reasons:
– Many traditional publishing houses launch books in December
– There are more advertisers across the board (not just authors), advertising their products for Christmas
– As a result of more advertisers, costs are higher (it's a simple supply and demand problem)
– People are putting their money towards Christmas gifts rather than spending it on their own entertainment (i.e. reading)
And to top it off in 2022, inflation and cost of living have increased around the world, making people think twice before spending money on everything from houses to books.
You may have seen that your Facebook Ads and Amazon Ads CPCs (Cost Per Clicks) have increased over the past few days, especially in the USA.
I have noticed that Ads I'm running in the UK have CPCs similar to what they were throughout November; this could always change of course though.
Higher CPCs means you will be getting fewer clicks for the same cost.
Not something you want to hear, I know, but that's just how the advertising game works.
Should You Turn Off Your Ads?
For me, turning off your Ads altogether during December is not the right thing to do.
You will lose all that momentum and traction you've built up over the previous few months. Your bestseller ranks are going to drop off a cliff, as are your sales and page reads.
There's also the issue of sales history.
If you go through December with only a handful of sales, your sales history is going to be severely impacted on Amazon. When you come to run Amazon Ads again, it will take longer (and potentially be more expensive) to get moving again, because the algorithm takes sales history into account when deciding if and where to show your Ads.
You may also see it take some time to improve your bestseller rank up to the levels you saw them at when you were running Ads.
A better alternative, in my opinion, is to keep some momentum going, albeit by spending less.
Lower Your Ad Spend.
For the first few days after the Black Friday weekend, I didn't drop our Ad Spend much at all; I was curious to see how things performed at their current level.
Once I saw the data though, I came in and made some changes to the budgets.
I've now reduced my overall daily Ad Spend by around 25% compared to what we were spending in November.
Yes, this means we'll be driving less traffic to the books and therefore, generate fewer sales, see a slight drop in bestseller rank, and less organic sales and borrows.
However, I always come back to our primary goal with advertising, which is profit.
And with our Facebook Ads conversion rates alone, dropping from an average of 6% to an average of 3%, hemorrhaging more money into Ads was going to take us further and further away from that profit goal.
Reinvest The Money In January
Our plan is to re-invest the money we're "saving" (i.e. not spending due to reducing Ad Spend) during December, back into January, so we start 2023 off with a bang, when conversion rates are generally back to higher levels.
We may even increase our Ad Spend sooner than that...
What you may see, as we've seen before, is conversion rates starting to increase between Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
Many people receive Kindles and Amazon Gift Cards as Christmas presents, so on Boxing Day, folks will start looking for books to load up their new Kindles with and spend their Amazon Gift Cards.
We're going to keep an eye on things over this period and adjust our budgets accordingly.
Of course, not every book is going to perform exactly the same, so make decisions based on your own data.
Spend smart and always bring your decisions back to your overarching goal; profit, brand awareness, building your reader base, etc.
To Your Success
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