Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner. Are you ready to seize the greatest marketing opportunity of the year? Well, don’t worry if you are not prepared yet. Here is our digital marketers’ guideline for Black Friday.
And, there’s still plenty of time to come up with a solid Black Friday marketing strategy and maximize your sales this holiday season.
Black Friday marks the first Friday after Thanksgiving each year. Since the late 1980s, it has been an essential part of marketing. This year, it falls on the 26th of November. It’s the peak time for holiday season shopping, even busier than the Saturday before Christmas.
Cyber Monday is a relatively younger term, coined in 2005, and acting as an extension of Black Friday with special offers, discounts, promotions for those who couldn’t get enough of it on Friday! But it’s just as important as Black Friday, for in 2020 shoppers in the US market alone spent a whopping $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday!
In this article we are offering a complete digital marketers’ guideline for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to help your business prepare for the bustling shopping season.
When should you start marketing for Black Friday?
Time is of the essence in holiday marketing. All brands have been anticipating this season, and there will be a hoard of promotional messages flying around when the time comes. How do you make sure your messages don’t disappear in the noise? You want to stand out, and the trick is to make your timing stand out.
Preparations for Black Friday marketing campaigns usually start a few weeks in advance. First of all, you should decide on your sales targets, which parameters to track and how you want to track them. The next step is building your promotional campaigns.
According to a 2018 survey, 60% of consumers plan to start shopping before Black Friday, so an early-Black Friday sale can benefit your business. But ultimately it’s up to you and your business goals to decide when to start.
How do you plan a Black Friday digital marketing campaign?
Black Friday holds great marketing potential, and the right digital marketing strategies can give your sales and conversion rates a serious boost. In this section, we will talk about the essentials of Black Friday marketing and the most effective elements of a holiday marketing strategy.
Optimize your website and landing pages
Your website is your shopfront (and usually the shop itself) in the digital landscape. So the first step in preparing for the holiday season is arranging your website and landing pages accordingly. Make sure it’s attractive enough to capture your audience’s attention, but not so crowded that you confuse the visitors. A smooth digital shopping experience is the best way to minimize cart abandonment and maximize your conversion rates and sales.
In 2020 HubSpot has observed that 75% of Black Friday shoppers used mobile devices throughout their entire journey, starting with researching products and comparing prices, down to making purchases. By now it’s a must to optimize your website and campaign banners for the best mobile experience.
Another key point is to remember that SEO requires some time to function properly. You shouldn’t leave the SEO optimization of your website and landing pages to the last minute. The earlier you start and integrate these campaign-specific pages to your sitemap, the more chances of the visitors and crawlers to find them.
Competition is always pretty tight in PPC (pay per click) campaigns and other forms of paid ads around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This means you should plan and execute your paid ads campaign very carefully. Here are some tips to make the best of your budget and get the most exposure:
- Conduct extensive keyword research, plan your keywords well.
- Start running your ads earlier (and continue after the date) for lower competition and marketing costs.
- Choose your target wisely. Consider re-engaging past customers and retargeting your current audiences.
- Experiment with new markets and platforms that you haven’t tried before.
Email is more relevant than ever, and precisely for this reason you should be careful in your email marketing strategy. Especially around the holidays, inboxes are saturated with promotional emails. How do you stand out, and how do you do that without annoying your leads away?
First of all, you should have a solid mailing list, and strategies on different platforms (website, social media, etc.) to build your email list. Encourage visitors to subscribe to your mailing list with pop-ups and CTAs, inviting them to “get the best offers”, “get additional discounts”.
Subject lines are your chance to make a great first impression and capture the attention of your audience. You have 25-30 characters to convince them to open your mail. Choose wisely.
Keep your email copy brief and interesting, ideally between 50 and 125 words, but make sure it’s informative enough. A good practice for specific campaigns such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday is offering some additional discounts and coupons.
The power of social media
You should allocate some time and budget to promote your deals in advance, and to make sure the promotions reach the right audiences. Using hashtags, starting competitions and giveaways with prerequisites of following your account, tagging friends, and re-sharing on their profiles can help you gain maximum visibility.
It’s a good idea to plan your social media posts in advance. Create a “Black Friday campaign calendar” to increase brand awareness and engage with the followers. A successful strategy would have a fine balance between offering value and catering to customer needs, and promoting your products.
Social media is no longer just a promotional channel. Most platforms now come with integrated shops. Even if you don’t plan to make it your main sales channel, it’s a great opportunity to display your products and special prices. Make sure that you set up your social media shops a few weeks in advance because the review and verification process can take some time.
Black Friday is not just another discount day where shoppers indulge and act impulsively. Most of them research their options and plan what they are going to buy in advance, even if it’s just a rough mental note. Hence, content marketing can give you a headstart before the actual date comes.
Offer your audience guides and tutorials with value, to help them with their holiday shopping plans. Create gift guides for specific demographics, occasions, relationships, as well as specific budgets and purposes. You can also add some user-generated content to the mix, such as testimonials, reviews, and user stories with the product.
You can also address commonly asked questions about your brand, products, and shopping journey to show that you anticipate the customers’ needs and problems beforehand. Remember, you are not just marketing products but an overall experience that includes A-level customer service.
Make use of FOMO
FOMO, the fear of missing out, is a defining feeling in our day and age. By appealing to this sense of wonder, of seizing the opportunities before they slip away, you can give your sales a good boost.
How does it work for digital marketing, and how can you use it in Black Friday campaigns? Make sure to inform your customers of stock levels, and the remaining time for your promotions and deals. You can add countdowns to your designs and copywriting.
Especially since this is such a dynamic and busy time for shopping, you should add time-sensitive language, as well as phrases that encourage competition (for example, adding the number of people looking at the same product).
Combat cart abandonment
Cart abandonment is the biggest e-commerce nightmare. But there are many ways to minimize, if not prevent, cart abandonment with a well-adjusted checkout process and some marketing tricks.
The main fuel of cart abandonment is unexpected costs that arise at the checkout step. Nobody likes surprises when they come in the form of extra fees. You don’t even have to do it at your own profits’ cost.
Rather than adding a final “service fee” or shipping cost, you can offer both of these for free and simply reflect it in the product’s price in the first place. In fact, you should aim to offer “unexpected” promotions and deals at checkout. This can also help you earn customer loyalty, and encourage your customers to choose your business again in the future.
We have given you a digital marketers’ guideline for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with the best practices and key points to consider. We hope it will help with crafting your own holiday campaign and wish you a great holiday season in advance.