There’s still time to develop a solid Black Friday marketing strategy and boost your holiday sales.
Black Friday, which falls on the first Friday after Thanksgiving each year, has been a staple of marketing since the late 1980s. This year, it falls on November 26. The peak vacation shopping period is busier than the Saturday before Christmas.
Cyber Monday is a relatively new term, coined in 2005. It is an extension of Black Friday, with special deals, discounts, and promotions for those who were not satisfied on Friday. However, as important as Black Friday is, by 2020, shoppers will have spent $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday in the US market alone!
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When should you start marketing for Black Friday?
When it comes to holiday marketing, it’s all about timing. All brands look forward to the season, and when it arrives, a variety of promotional messages go out. How can you make sure your message doesn’t get lost in the noise? You want to stand out, but the trick is to make your time stand out.
Preparing for a Black Friday marketing campaign usually starts a few weeks in advance. The first step is to set your sales goals and decide which metrics to track and how. The next step is to create an ad campaign.
According to a 2018 study, 60% of consumers plan to start shopping before Black Friday, so having a sale at the beginning of Black Friday can be attractive to your business. However, it’s up to you and your business goals to decide when to start.
How do you plan a digital marketing campaign for Black Friday?
Black Friday offers a huge amount of marketing potential. With the right digital marketing strategy, you can significantly increase your sales and conversion rates. Here are some of the basics of Black Friday marketing and the most effective elements of your marketing strategy for this holiday.
Optimize your website and landing pages
Your website is your storefront (and usually your business itself) in the digital world. So the first step to getting ready for the holidays is to design your website and landing pages accordingly. Make sure the design is attractive enough to grab the viewer’s attention, but not so overwhelming as to confuse them. A seamless digital shopping experience is the best way to minimize purchase abandonment and maximize conversion rates and sales.
In 2020, HubSpot found that 75% of Black Friday shoppers used a mobile device throughout the process, from product research to price comparison to purchasing. At this point, your website and campaign banners should be optimized to provide the best mobile experience.
Another point to remember is that SEO takes time to work properly. Optimizing your website and landing pages for SEO does not have to be the ultimate. The sooner you include campaign-specific pages in your sitemap, the more likely visitors and crawlers will find them.
With paid advertising, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, the competition is always fierce. This means you need to plan and execute your paid advertising campaigns very carefully. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your budget.
- Do thorough keyword research and plan your keywords well.
- Start advertising early (and continue after the deadline) to reduce your competition and marketing costs.
- Choose your target audience wisely. Consider recontacting past customers and retargeting current customers.
- Try new markets and platforms that you haven’t yet tested.
Email is more relevant than ever, which is why your email marketing strategy needs special attention. Especially around the holidays, inboxes are flooded with promotional emails. How do you stand out from the crowd and keep potential customers at bay?
First, you need a solid email list and a strategy to build your email list on different platforms (website, social media, etc.). You can use pop-ups and CTAs to entice visitors to sign up for your newsletter and invite them to receive “great offers” and “special discounts.”
Your email subject line is your opportunity to make a good first impression and grab your audience’s attention – convince them to open it in 25-30 characters. Choose wisely
Keep your cover letter short and interesting – ideally 50-125 words – but informative enough. For special promotions like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it’s a good idea to offer an extra discount or coupon.
The power of social media
You need to budget time and money in advance for your promotions and make sure they reach the right audience. Using hashtags, running contests, and giveaways as long as people follow your account, tag their friends, and share the information on their profiles will help you get maximum exposure.
It’s a good idea to plan your social media posts in advance. Create a “Black Friday campaign calendar” to promote your brand and interact with your followers. A successful strategy is characterized by a perfect balance between providing value and customer satisfaction and promoting your product.
Social media is no longer just an advertising channel. Most platforms now include a store. Even if you don’t plan to make it your primary sales channel, it’s a great way to promote your products and special offers. Be sure to set up your social media store a few weeks in advance, as the authentication and verification process can take some time.
Black Friday isn’t just a day of discounts where shoppers go wild and act on impulse. Most people research their options ahead of time and plan what they’re going to buy, even with a rough picture in mind. In this way, content marketing can give you a head start before things really start.
Provide your audience with helpful guides and instructions to help them plan their Christmas shopping. Create gift guides for specific demographics, occasions, and relationships, as well as for specific budgets and goals. You can also add user-generated content, such as reviews, testimonials, and product user stories.
You can also show that you anticipate your customers’ needs and concerns by answering frequently asked questions about your brand, products, and buying process. Don’t forget to promote not only your products but also the overall experience, including top-notch customer service.
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a common feeling these days. By harnessing this sense of wonder and taking advantage of opportunities that arise, you can dramatically increase your sales.
How does this work in digital marketing and how can you use it in your Black Friday campaign? Make sure to let your customers know when inventory is available and how much time is left in the campaign. You can include a countdown in your design and copy.
Since this is a dynamic and busy shopping period, you should especially add time sensitivity and wording that encourages competition (for example, the number of people considering the same product).
For digital marketers, we’ve put together a guide to best practices and what to look for during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.