Black Friday may have begun as an American shopping institution, but now it’s firmly a British one too. It kick-starts the busiest retail period of the year; in the US 30% of annual retail sales take place between Black Friday and Christmas.
In 2017 UK shoppers were estimated to spend £10bn on Black Friday sales; now that’s an opportunity brands just can’t miss. But how can marketers tap into this huge market? Let’s take a look at 5 crucial strategies.
Prepare for increased traffic
Make sure your site has enough bandwidth to support an onrush of site visitors. Black Friday web traffic can spike by as much as 220%. Can your site handle more than double your current traffic? Talk with your web host to ensure you can handle the extra attention. You should also ensure your site is fully optimised for conversion and that the shopping process is as efficient as possible.
Similarly, if you have brick and mortar sites, do you have extra staff you can call on to handle more customers than normal? Are you sales systems streamlined to make sure you provide super efficient customer service?
Plan your ad campaign in advance
Too many companies aren’t prepared for Black Friday and find themselves rushing to catch up weeks or even days before the event.
Your marketeers should have a clear Black Friday strategy in place at least three months in advance, and be prepared to launch the campaign at least 2 weeks prior.
Things to think about:
- An Emarketing campaign detailing offers, giving extra bonuses for using coupons, etc.
- Google AdWords campaigns targeting Black Friday keywords
- Paid campaigns promoting your FaceBook page and/or Tweets
Build an e-marketing campaign
Black Friday is about clicks as much as it is about bricks, so getting the online component of your strategy right is essential.
It’s increasingly common for brands to offer a string of progressive discounts in the run-up to Black Friday, as well as offering specific online discounts on “Cyber Monday”.
Having an email campaign in place that starts a couple of weeks in advance will make sure your audience are primed for the weekend, and you can even tempt them with early discounts.
Have an out-of-home (OOH) ad strategy
Too many business marketeers put most of their focus on online strategies in the run-up to Black Friday. But remember, this is a day that typically takes place on the high street and is not to be confused with the connected Cyber Monday which is specifically about online sales.
Consider a shop window display. This will ensure customers know to make a B line for your store. It will prepare regular customers for your sales, and will also draw the eyes of shoppers on the day.
A lot of Black Friday is about getting your voice heard above others. This means going the extra mile to get the attention of shoppers. Out-of-home advertising is a great way to achieve this.
OOH reaches people when they are out and about, and often in a shopping mindset. Your Black Friday ad will help raise awareness of your brand’s sale, and help grab a slice of that lucrative market.
OOH ads are typically booked in 2 week blocks. This is perfect because it happens to coincide with the Black Friday lead-in period. Just jump on the Bubble Outdoor ad panel map and you can easily find bus stop ads, billboards and more to target customers in your local area.
Plan a targeted social media campaign
Your marketeers can strengthen the impact of your out-of-home ad campaign with social media targeting. Facebook is particularly good at targeting users based on location and interests. You can set it to target fans of your business page, or ignore those followers and reach out to people who haven’t had exposure to your brand before.
If you had two or three OOH ads near your retail outlet, you could target your social media campaigns to that area to help reinforce the messages of your outdoor ads.
When running social media campaigns remember to use appropriate hashtags like #blackfridaydeals, #cybermonday, and so on. But also think about related hashtags, especially those geared towards gift shopping, like #christmasgifts.
There is usually lots of buzz around Black Friday, so make sure your campaigns tap into that. Keep an eye out for what keywords are trending; for example, if you’re using Twitter you can see trending topics on the side panel. Look for opportunities to gain exposure for your Black Friday campaign by joining an online campaign, rather than just posting in isolation (though that can work too).
The 23rd of November might seem like a long way off, but to get the best possible ad sites your marketeers really want to be booking outdoor ads 2-3 months in advance. It takes time to build the various email, online and social media campaigns you need to get the most out of the year’s most lucrative shopping event. Don’t delay, sign up for free to our ad panel search map today.