What is Black Friday and why is it important?
Black Friday is just around the corner. This infamous event will cause havoc in the high streets, shopping centres and online stores. It happens on the Friday following Thanksgiving in the United States.
Black Friday spread to the UK in 2010 when Amazon introduced the concept to the UK market by promoting a range of flash deals. Following on from this, the trend spread and now most UK retailers also offer deals, discounts and other offers over this weekend.
The phrase ‘Black Friday’ was born in 1950 to describe the heavy traffic that is experienced after Thanksgiving. Over time, organisations have stepped up and transformed Black Friday into an occasion that lasts longer than a single day. In 2019, there were 194 million visits to online retail sites in the UK just on Black Friday.
Retailers have recently started to feel the pressure to increase their Black Friday marketing strategy into a week-long event with 67% of discounts being offered on the Monday through to the Thursday before the actual day of Black Friday.
In recent years, the shift to Black Friday sales taking place online compared to in stores has made the day significantly important to eCommerce businesses. With consumers heavily focused on buying gifts and the desire to avoid busy shops during the festive build-up period, online eCommerce stores can expect a flood of sales, if they have their marketing strategy optimised to enhance and handle the increased number of online visitors.
Quick Black Friday Statistics
Last year the Uk on average spent a total of 9.42 billion pounds during Black Friday weekend.
Desktop represented 60% of online purchases, followed by 30% smartphone and 10% tablet according to Adobe.
59% of Black Friday shopping searches take place before the stores open.
In-store foot traffic increases by 65% on Black Friday compared to a normal November day.
With Black Friday coming up on the 26th of November, as a business owner, you should be getting your marketing campaign in shape. These are our six best Black Friday marketing strategies that work so that you can prepare and excel on the busiest shopping day of the year.
1. Dive into Display Ads
I’m sure we’ve all come across display ads while reading a blog, or article or even watching a YouTube video. These are the ones on the top and side of a website that supports Google Ads. They are shown in many dimensions and can even be animated now. The animated display ads are really compelling and grab a user’s attention and if done correctly, will bring some really good quality traffic to your website. They are usually created via Google’s Web Designer.
Display ads are a great way of visually showing your products, brand and sale to consumers who would be interested in them. They can increase brand awareness so that when users are looking for a place to buy from, they’ll recognise your brand name and be more likely to visit your site.
The best part about these ads is that you can target your audience really well so you get the right return on investment for your company and with the Google Display Network being so huge you can get to around 90% of internet users worldwide. Don’t wait too long to try this, as I bet your competitors are already utilising this digital platform!
2. Take advantage of social media
The number of people using Instagram to find Black Friday deals has been reported to have had a growth of 73%, along with a 45% increase in the use of Pinterest according to the NRF. By taking advantage of social media platforms, you can interact and engage with your customers in real time.
Before, during and after Black Friday it is important that you focus on using prime times to schedule posts to communicate your offer to the widest possible audience.
Constant activity on social media platforms is a must, consumers are going to be asking questions frequently and expect fast answers. Try as hard as you can to answer all queries in your comments sections or direct messages. Remember that social media posting and engagement are a free way of marketing, so take advantage of this when putting together your marketing strategy for Black Friday.
Don’t forget paid social media campaigns
Although social media management is effective and can generate some amazing results it is important not to forget about the paid functions and advertisements offered by social media.
One of the main advantages that paid social ads have over organic activity is the ability to quickly generate results. With organic posts, you’re limited to showing your message to those who already follow you – and this may initially be small numbers. Depending on your budget, objectives and what you define, as a result, paid social ads can get you in front of the right people at the right time and at a greater scale than you can organically.
Planning engaging social media ads for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be a great way of encouraging users to visit your site and make impulse purchases. Additionally, because of the increase in the number of younger people who participate in Black Friday, social media advertising is a great way of getting your brand and sales in front of the people who are more likely to spend more during this period.
3. Make your email marketing strategy stand out
When it comes to your email marketing strategy, it is important to remember that everyone is going to be sending their subscribers a Black Friday email. Email marketing helps you to engage with loyal customers as well as grow your customer base, so it’s vital you let your current customers know what your Black Friday offers will be.
Stand out from the rest by making the most important part of your email content, the subject line, different from all the others that will be appearing in consumers’ inboxes. In the battle to win over customers’ attention, crafting a subject line that is unexpected will help you be seen in the sea of Black Friday emails.
For example: ‘Black Friday Sale!’ is generic and obvious, so it probably won’t generate as much interest as you would like. Instead, you should display the offer and catch your users’ attention by simply showcasing how good your offer is compared to competitors.
Including a call-to-action and sense of urgency compels consumers to open your email to view the offer. For example, ‘Get 75% Off Black Friday Now LIMITED AVAILABILITY!’ is a great subject line because it tells the user exactly what the offer is as well as adding a sense of urgency by saying there is limited availability.
Don’t forget to send emails to users who have left items in their carts. Reminding them quickly that they have unfinished business with your site and products is a great way of taking advantage of Black Friday. You could do this by reminding them to check out before the deal ends, adding a sense of urgency to the email reminder.
Segment your emails to suit the desires of new and loyal customers. Loyal customers are more interested in promotions and freebies they might receive on Black Friday, while new customers can be persuaded to purchase through limited offers.
You can also take advantage of Black Friday even if you’re not offering any discounts. Email subjects like ‘Black Friday is cancelled’ are intriguing and prompt users to open them. From there, you can explain to them why you’re not participating in Black Friday, with a call to action to get users to visit your website. This will give them a stronger connection with your brand, which will in turn make them into loyal customers.
4. Get creative with timing
Timing is an element of your Black Friday marketing strategy that can be experimented with. You can not only experiment with email marketing and social media scheduling but the timing of the offer can also be manipulated.
By behaving differently from your competitors you can gauge the attention of consumers that have become blind-sighted by the flood of Black Friday offers. This may be done through acting early, why not have a Black Friday sale the week or even month before the actual day? Similarly, why not act late and have a Black Friday sale in June?
Think outside the box and experiment with timings. Consumers associate the term Black Friday with awesome one-off deals, so you can run your own Black Friday any day of the year.
5. Don’t forget about Cyber Monday!
Cyber Monday is the following Monday after the Thanksgiving celebrations. Initially created by retailers to persuade customers to shop online, Cyber Monday this year will happen on the 29th of November.
Using both Black Friday and Cyber Monday together will allow you to present extended sales to users, with two events allowing you to create a sense of urgency in emails and on social media. You can also extend sales and offers around both of these days, changing what might have been a one or two-day event into something that can last up to a week, giving you plenty of time to remind users about it.
6. Look at previous years and prepare for the future
By looking into how you performed last year during this period you can create realistic expectations and goals about this year’s performance. By locating the areas where you were successful or not, you can strategically plan the next moves.
Further, you can focus on whether or not your site or store handled the increased traffic well. If not, have you made the required changes? What can you do to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Inevitably you will want to track your performance during this busy time period and so make sure your Google Analytics is set up correctly.
With all of this information, you are able to get ahead of the game and secure your success for next year.
Black Friday is a global phenomenon that kicks off the festive Christmas buying season. By using these marketing strategies, you can experience a boost in conversions and grow your loyal customer base. From email marketing to social media, there are lots of different ways to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to encourage people to visit your site during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.
Get creative and think outside of the box, impress your customers and stand out in the meantime!
Remember that Black Friday is on the 26th of November this year!