Digital Marketing

Ad Flighting: How to Automate Your Seasonal Advertising

In a perfect marketer’s world, views convert into clicks, and clicks convert into purchases every time a person sees your ads.

The truth is, this is rarely the case. In fact, less than 2% of Facebook impressions convert into clicks. To make conversions happen, you need an eye-catching creative, precise targeting, and perfect timing. And while you can control your copy and segmentation, timing is often seen as pure serendipity.

But timing can make your campaigns more effective -- or cause people to hide and report your ads. Not surprisingly, most marketers rely on common sense to schedule B2B ads to run in business hours only -- and their shopping campaigns for winter hats to run in November and December.

In this article, we'll dive a bit deeper into the topic of setting up an ad schedule and look at how you can run ads sequentially based on the changing customer intent. Specifically, we’ll look at flighting -- a paid marketing technique which allows you to automatically sequence ads based on a predefined schedule.

What is Ad Flighting?

Flighting is an automated ad scheduling technique which allows you to sequence your ads to run on a custom schedule or in internals, activating your selected campaigns, ad groups, or ads one flight at a time, or step by step.

For B2C campaigns, you can use flighting to schedule progressive promotions and seasonal campaigns leading up to a specific event. For B2B campaigns, you can sequence your ads to reflect a particular stage in the buyer’s cycle.

You can use the flighting feature in your PPC automation software to sequence your ads and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Schedule Seasonal Promotions

Consumer brand marketers can use flighting to set up ad sequences for seasonal promotions, such as Black Friday, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day. For example, you can set up ad flights to reflect the number of weeks leading up to the holiday shipping cut-off time. (The last day to ship UPS for delivery before Christmas Day this year is December, 18th -- unless you want to pay extra).

ad flighting sequencing in adstage AdStage's flighting feature allows marketers to easily set up custom ad sequences

With flighting, you can also time your ads to reflect specific buying behaviors. For example, in the fall, you can incentivize shoppers to update and share their holiday wishlist. Later, you can run new product preview ads and then, include the countdown clock in your ads and offer free shipping, flash sales, and coupons to influence last-minute purchase decisions.

Here's an example:

STEP 1: Update & share your wishlist (Run for X weeks/days with the frequency cap of Y and Z impressions per user)

STEP 2: Sneak peek preview of the new collection/product line (Run for X weeks/days with the frequency cap of Y and Z impressions per user)

STEP 3: Active promotions (Run for X weeks/days with the frequency cap of Y and Z impressions per user)

STEP 4: Last-minute sales (Run for X weeks/days with the frequency cap of Y and Z impressions per user)

Another option is to schedule different discounts for each week of your campaign (week 1 - 10% off, week 2 - 20% off, and so on).

Quick Tips for Ad Flighting

Sequencing your ads with flighting can be very effective to boost engagement. Here are some quick tips to consider as you get started with flighting.

  1. Relevant content and messaging at each stage is key to success. Flighting is not a silver bullet for engagement and conversion; it’s just a technique that will make it easy for you to automate ad sequencing.
  2. Consider adding exclusions and negative targeting if your budget is limited.
  3. Set up frequency caps and limit ad impressions per user to keep your ads fresh and fight ad fatigue.

To capture consumer intent at different stages on the buyer’s journey, run ads that are timely and relevant. At AdStage, we’ve pre-built several Flighting templates within the product -- sign up for your free trial to get started.

AdStage Team