Black Friday is popular sales event, not only in the United States but throughout the world. It originally started on the day after American Thanksgiving which marks the start to the holiday shopping season for consumers.
As a result, retailers reduce prices to tempt shoppers to buying products from their stores. Even though the original event started as a one day only promotion, it’s now evolved into a four-day shopping event, ending on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is basically the same event as Black Friday, however the sales are also aimed towards online shoppers.
It’s not uncommon for retailers and businesses to reduce prices for the whole four day weekend, others may only select certain days, while others may mix and match.
For example, let’s say your selling bicycles, on Black Friday you may have 20% off all products, on the Saturday you may have free shipping and, on the Sunday, and Cyber Monday you may only have 10% off your products. Equally, a competitor may have 50% off all products for the entire four days. As you can see, it really varies massively on how each business and sector decide to operate their discounts.
For a marketing point of view, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a huge weekend which can increase profits massively. This means over the years, many businesses have tried to think of all sorts of marketing campaigns to attract customers to their products and services.
If you’re thinking about a Black Friday or Cyber Monday marketing campaign, here’s some great ideas to promote your deals:
Create a Gift Guide – Gift guides can be a fantastic marketing tool for many industries, think how many times you’ve seen “the best 20 gifts for your boyfriend” or “10 super presents to buy your mother” – You basically create a list of similar types of items which appeal to your target audience, this enables them to compare the products more easily, thus they’re more likely to make a purchase from you as you’ve created a collection for them to choose from. In modern times, many e-commerce websites use this practice to increase their sales, however it’s not uncommon for physical shops and retailers to create brochures and leaflets with similar material on.
Extend Your Sale – If your profit margins allow, and you think you may be able to get a competitive advantage over your competition – there’s nothing wrong in extending your sale for longer than the Black Friday weekend. Some businesses have pre-black Friday sale events, others decide to have post sale events, while some even have a whole week dedicated to sales. The choice really is up to you and does vary massively depending on your business and pricing.
Offer a Free Gift – Offering a free gift can be fun Black Friday deal for shoppers, if your product allows why not give away a free gift to every customer who orders on the Black Friday weekend. The gift doesn’t have to be something physical, it could simply be free shipping – after all we all love getting something for free and this can be a simple yet very effective marketing tool for most businesses.
Email Marketing – If you have a regular email list, then you’ll need to pre-promote your Black Friday event to your audience. For special customers you could even create tailored discounts for their continued custom or special deals, available exclusivity to them. Remember your email list is arguably one of your easy methods of selling, as these people have either purchased from you in the past, or have signed up to your list as they’re interested in your products or services.
Add new products – For many businesses it can be a good idea to add new products a week or so before your Black Friday event, this not only updates your product range, giving you a fresher look. It can also help to generate buzz and hype around the new products without thinking about an additional marketing campaign. Simply bundle them in with your black Friday event for maximum exposure.
Create a content calendar – Just like most things in a marketing campaign, you’ll need to pre-plan your Black Friday event a few months in advance. This means creating videos, graphics, banners, plan out social media posts and more. Sometimes life and other jobs can easily get in the way, and things get forgotten about. In general it’s a great idea to create a content calendar, which enables you to plan and track everything which needs to be done and by when.
Offer a Sneak Peek – If you want to get a head start on your competition, why not offer a sneak peak of your sale items to your potential customers? This can be anything from creating a video to carefully crafted photos. This type of marketing can be fantastic for your social media platforms and to potentially increase user engagement. Remember your sneak peaks don’t need to be 100% professional, you can easily create a ten second video with no audio for example, the idea is to build hype rather than winning an award for your creativity.
Take Advantage of Hashtags – Social media is of course one of the primary avenues for online marketing, after all millions of people use it every single day. This means you’ll need to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday themed hashtags to reach a wider audience during this period. You’ll need to use the standard hashtags such as #BlackFriday or #CyberMonday, however you may also want to tap into niche markets too. For example, if you’re selling clothing you could use tags such as #BlackFridayFashion or #CyberMondayShoes. Of course depending on what industry you operate in, you’ll need to adjust your hashtags accordingly to appeal to your target audience.
Increase your Ad spend – As you can imagine, the Black Friday weekend means a lot of businesses are spending more money on advertising than usual. This can include your competitors, if you plan to advertise your products on a search engine or social networking platform, you’ll need to increase your ad spend a few days before the Black Friday weekend starts. Remember during this period of the year, people are ready to purchase products if they’re offered a deal or discount they simply can’t refuse. Of course you’ll need to factor in any of your advertising costs in with your discount prices, but promoting the right type of offer can increase your profits in ways you never imagined.
Landing Pages – Many marketers like to utilise landing pages over the Black Friday weekend, this can be ideal if you’re planning a social media campaign or even an offline marketing campaign. Let’s say you want to drive traffic to a certain part of your website, you can use branded landing pages so funnel your customers into the purchasing model. This would be something like www.YourDomain.com/black-friday-deals – from here you can easily highlight the products and services you’re attempting to sell.
Mail a Card with a Coupon Code – If you find that your offline marketing performs just as well as your online campaigns, it can be a good marketing tactic to mail a coupon code to your target audience. You can send anything from a new brochure, a newsletter to even a black Friday catalogue, remember to include a discount code for your Black Friday event and see how your consumer base react to exclusive discounts and deals.
Create a Sense of Urgency – As with most selling events, it can be a great tactic to create a sense of urgency, after all you need to sell as many products as you can within a limited time period. This means you should think about the wording you plan to use, in your adverts and product descriptions. Call to action phrases such as “Offer Ends Soon”, “Don’t Delay”, “Last Chance”, “Don’t Miss Out” and so on… can easily drive higher rates of conversions.
Bundle products together – A smart marketing trick is to simply bundle a few products together to create a deal which is hard to refuse. Many companies do this to great effect, for example let’s say you own a bicycle shop, for Black Friday you may create a superb deal where your customers can purchase a certain bike, with a helmet and safety clothing as one order. Many businesses do this when they want to get rid of slow selling items or products which are being discontinued.
Deploy Cart Abandonment Remarketing Software – Unfortunately many customers may add your product or service to the shopping cart and simply not complete the transaction. This happens all the time throughout the year, however it can be frustrating during the Black Friday weekend, after all every sale counts and loosing sales is never good for most businesses. Typically, many savvy marketers employ abandon cart software to entice customers with additional savings if they leave your store without paying. This normally means the customer will receive an email and the option to purchase in the next 24 hours, if they do, then they can get an additional 5% off the order amount. Of course, you can decide how much of a discount you want to give, but this option should certainly not be overlooked as many sales can be retrieved using this method.