With only six weeks until Black Friday, now is the time to begin planning. Similar to an exam, you want to be fully prepared and ready so that on the day of the test, you can sit back and relax knowing you have done everything possible to prepare.
This is the first of two parts in our series “Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2022: Your Marketing Playbook.” Part two will include useful last-minute marketing advice (e.g., when to launch, best times to send EDMs, social media strategy).
First Up, Know The Key Dates!
What was once known as the “Christmas season” has evolved into a two-month shopping extravaganza. Make a note of these important dates because your customers may expect a sale and choose a competitor if you are not involved in the sale event.
- Click Frenzy (9 November)
- Singles Day (11 November)
- Black Friday (26 November)
- Cyber Monday (29 November)
- Christmas (25 December)
- Boxing Day (26 December)
It’s been a crazy few years with covid, lockdowns, and supply chain issues, and the punches just keep coming with the energy crisis, looming recession, and la Nina take three. But it’s not all bad news; there are some encouraging statistics from the eCommerce and retail sectors that make this year’s busy season look promising:
- Increased spending online: Australian eCommerce purchases saw a year-on-year growth of 13.6% during November 2021
- Busy season patterns: During Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 there were 7.4% more online purchases than in 2020
- Changing spending habits: Customers are more likely to make purchases from companies that they identify with on some level:
- 52% favour brands that they share values with.
- 47% are want to buy from companies with a local presence
- 77% are influenced by the environmental impact of their purchases
Start Preparation Early!
This isn’t just to get your ducks in a row for the actual events. Your customers are also starting early. The typical purchasing funnel is changing as a result of the changing eCommerce landscape, and customers are starting their ‘research’ phase up to 30+ days before the sales events. They are reading blogs, compare prices, and watching review videos to make an informed decision about which products to purchase on the big day. You want to reach them at every stage of the purchasing process right now! Here’s a general strategy for the days leading up to Black Friday and other sales:
Today (40+ days)
- SEO: Ranking doesn’t happen overnight, Google needs time to crawl and index your pages. Therefore you should start working on your content strategy and technical SEO. Create content that will answer any questions customers might have, product comparison, content that might receive press coverage (for backlinks) etc.
- Start promotion: Post ‘save the dates’ on social media and email newsletters. Create reminder banners on your website.
1 Week Before
- Promotion begins: Time to get your message out through ads, email and social media.
1 Day Before
- Reminders: Send out a reminder email and social media posts.
Top 3 Black Friday Marketing Activities to Implement Now!
As you are aware, there are numerous marketing strategies, platforms, and prompts that you can use. It can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are our suggestions to ensure you are going into the busy season prepared with guns blazing.
It can be very difficult to cut through the noise this time of year. SEO is the number one tactic to give you a sustainable and low-cost advantage over the competition. Using organic channels ensures that you have full control over your investments and efforts. Here are things you should consider optimising to take full advantage of these channels.
A strong and well-structured product page can mean the difference between you and your competitors being clicked when someone Googles a product you sell. Ultimately, it is the most important component of our marketing mix, and it is frequently overlooked! All of our advertising, social media, and SEO efforts are aimed at directing customers to this product page; it would be a shame to fail at the final hurdle! Consider the following product page optimizations:
Page Titles – These act as ad titles for our product page on the search page
- Clear and concise: People are lazy, therefore make it plain what the page is about
- Differentiation – make sure it’s distinct from other pages and rivals’
- Urgency – Creating urgency may be useful – make it attractive
- Emoji might help you stand out and cut through the clutter
Meta Descriptions – This is the ad copy on the search page. It’s your moment to stand out!
- Convince: There may be multiple pages selling the same product, here is your chance to convince buyers you are the best option
- Solve users’ pain points and overcome objections
- Be unique and offer extra value ex. Free shipping
Optimise your visual content – Don’t let them be deterred by a lack of visuals
- Use high-resolution and high-quality images so buyers get a clear picture of the product
- Avoid stock imagery if possible. If you can, taking original photos and videos will build trust in the product
- Provide many angles and media types, a photo, video or diagram can be a great tool to overcome objections or answer questions.
Reviews – Builds trust and social proof
- Provide reviews where the identity of the reviewer is accessible as people like to relate to those similar to them
- Make it easy and inviting for buyers to leave reviews
Provide options for the next step – for consumers not ready to ‘add to cart assisting them with another action can keep them in the funnel
- Guides: Shipping costs, sizing guides, features comparisons guides
- Educate: Explain abbreviations and what technical details mean ex. what a good energy rating is.
- Invite interaction: give them the means to contact you to answer questions, provide feedback and get support. Either through chatbots, emails, phone numbers or social media handles.
Structured data can help you persuade search engines that you are the best retailer. There’s a chance you will get featured in ‘rich results’, which will help you stand out, especially if your landing page isn’t ranking in the top positions.
- You must provide Google with product information.
- Price, availability, ratings, and specs
- For WooCommerce and Shopify, plugins such as Yoast can be used to make the process easier.
Speed and Mobile
Speed and mobile friendliness are important SEO ranking factors, which are easy to understand. If a website is difficult to use or is not loading, you’ll leave! For Black Friday, most people will use their phones to scroll through deals and offers. Some of these optimisations may take time, so it’s best to tackle these issues asap.
- Mobile first: ensure the topography and colours have good contrast and clarity.
- Optimise media: Keep media files as small as possible without sacrificing too much quality.
- Change old themes: Many older themes will slow down websites as they are no longer optimised for today’s speed and mobile standards
- Caching plugins: Implementing a caching plugin should do some of the heavy lifting to reduce lag.
2. Black Friday Content Strategy
Your Black Friday/busy season content strategy should be well thought out and based on keyword research. The goal is to have answered customers’ questions before Black Friday begins, ensuring customers know what sales to expect, where to find them, and when they will be available. Here are some top Black Friday content tips:
Spend time on keyword research for your content. Understand the search intent (informational, commercial, or transactional) so you can create the exact content your buyers want. Aim for long-tail keywords because they will provide more specific content and allow for more content to be created.
Write high-quality and consistent content. The blogs should be based on the keywords so they can rank on Google plus answer your customers’ questions. Ensure you add a personal touch and make it relatable. Do this by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and thinking about what they would like to read and what would be helpful to them.
Ask for engagement
In social media, emails, and blogs, invite your customers to engage. Perhaps their thoughts on your blog, whether you responded to their questions, or if there is anything else they’d like to know.
By telling stories about the products rather than just explaining them, customers will get a deeper understanding of how they can help them. Focus on the problems the product will fix. Hove examples of success stories, share testimonials and reviews.
Add Internal Linking
By creating an internal linking structure between your content, you help Google understand the structure of your site, and it helps provide customers with more information they are looking for. It’s also advised to make your links contextual, meaning writing what the link will contain rather than ‘click here’. This prevents bounces from the page and helps google understand too!
Create Black Friday Related Content
Creating content based on current events and news can be beneficial to users. Consider Black Friday gift guides and blogs on how to maximise the sales season.
3. Create Some Excitement
Create a marketing plan and calendar detailing what content will be distributed, where, and when. This is your chance to announce the sales and generate interest in the upcoming events. The message should be consistent across all channels, including emails, social media, advertising, and your website.
Decide the Promotions/Sales
When deciding what promotions you will be offering during this season, don’t forget to consider your inventory. A simple “15% off sitewide” is unlikely to cut it in this competitive landscape. Spend time considering the psychology of the same and what will really excite shoppers. Here are some promo ideas:
- ‘Buy One, Get One
- Free Gift With Purchase
- Loyalty Members Discount
- Personalised Promotions (email segmentation)
- Free shipping
Tip! Your sale should last no longer than a week
In your communications, keep a nice, clear message so that customers are informed. This message may look like this:
- Sneak Peaks
- Exclusive early access
Be Straightforward and Stand Out
Be straightforward in your messaging, especially for email promotions. People’s inboxes will be overflowing in the lead-up to the sales and customers want to quickly know what their options are. Using email segmentation you can ensure that customers are getting the information they care about.
Black Friday is coming in hot. Over the next few weeks, invest some time into your online marketing or ask Omni Online to help you get prepared. As consumers become more frugal with their spending, most will plan to make large purchases around this time of year. Show them that your brand is the one worth spending on this holiday season!
Keep an eye out for part two of the ‘Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2022: Your Marketing Playbook’ series, which will cover how to fine-tune your last-minute strategy!