What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Black Friday?
Money off. Money made. Money. Money. Money.
Yet, footfall is declining. 2018 saw 9% fewer people brave the crowds than in 2017, and 2017 was 4% lower than in 2016.
In its place stands the world of online shopping, as 2018 saw over 26% higher sales online than in 2017. 43% of holiday shoppers say they use mobile for shopping because over the holidays as it’s more convenient than going to a store. After all, why would you want to get pushed around in a busy shopping centre when you can have Amazon hand-deliver it to your door the next day?
And sales continue to increase year on year according to The Balance.
That’s a 72.3% or $301.1 billion increase in spending in 16 years, with the figure expected to rise in 2019.
But why does it keep increasing?
All you seem to hear about is how little money there is, but year on year shoppers are spending more on Black Friday, and quite substantially so.
One vital reason is that marketers are becoming more adept at tackling key sales dates.
Black Friday doesn’t necessarily mean massive sales. You still need to convince your audience to purchase. Remember, you’re not the only brand having a sale. You’re competing with hundreds or thousands of other companies all competing for the same thing, and you need to be the one that gets picked. This doesn’t just apply to Black Friday, it applies to all key sales dates from Christmas to Single’s Day. 39% of shoppers use the holidays to identify new stores or services to buy from, and yours could be one of them.
Make An Event of It
The most effective strategies are those that take a holistic approach, meaning that they think outside of the sale.
It’s not enough to just post about your sale on the day, you need to build excitement, intrigue, and suspense. You want people waiting for the stroke of midnight refreshing your web page for the sale sign to flash up, and that comes from building the sale beforehand. Planning should commence at least a month before the date itself.
On socials, build a theme and stick to it, but try to think outside of the box. In December, everyone rolls out the 12 Days of Christmas, so you’re not going to grab your audience’s attention by doing the same. Try something new, like designing your feed into a tree with each day showing a different decoration related to your brand/products. Now, when users visit your page, there’s a higher chance of them remembering you and sharing with their friends.
For Black Friday, you could swap your colour palette to be much darker or just post black squares in the lead-up a-la Fyre Festival.
As well as your marketing, go with something different for your deals, too. Examples include:
A different deal every hour
Deals last for a limited time (just one hour)
Free gift with every purchase
Special extra discount by quoting a different code shared on Socials
You can separate this per platform as well
Extra discount if you’ve made a purchase in the last 7 days
Email out “scratch cards” for exclusive discounts
Run a competition to give someone an extra 25% off
Extra discount/free gift if they refer a friend who also makes a purchase that day
Hold an Easter egg hunt on your site where if people find a hidden image/page/phrase, they get an extra discount
Cashback if they follow you on Instagram
Create a Culture
This tip is useful not only for key sales dates, but for your wider brand, too.
You want people to feel like they’re part of something; a collective of like-minded people; a vibe that sums up who they are and who they want to be.
This should be a part of everything you do from your tone of voice to your colour scheme to your imagery to the emojis you use in the copy.
When it comes to key sales dates, you want to emphasis this culture and enforce a sense of exclusivity that comes with purchasing from you. They aren’t just buying a product or service - they’re buying into a lifestyle that adds value to their life. By buying from someone else, they’re being disloyal - they’re straying from who they are.
Expanding upon the exclusivity above, you want to build pressure around the purchase. Used incorrectly, pressure can push people away, but done right, it builds hype around your brand and a lot of traffic to your site on game day.
Using copy such as only X amount available” and “when it’s gone, it’s gone!” is good, but doesn’t sum up the whole picture. Try to make it more personal, such as “will you be one of the lucky ones?” or “You could be one of the only people to____”, etc.
Fire, Fire, Fire
You can’t rely on a single platform.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, PPC, display network, print media, and emails - start posting on all of your channels the week of the event. Again, you want to build intrigue and anticipation, and the more excited you are, the more excited your customers will be.
In the days leading up to the event, you want your customers to see your brand and think “I need to buy something on x day” and that means hitting them from all angles.
Put a banner on your site highlighting “BIG deals this Friday”, use Instagram stories to let people know that deals are coming, post on Snapchat saying that your whole team is preparing for the event, and send out emails telling people to fill up their basket ready to buy.
You’re Here to Help
Brand excitement creates customer excitement. Nobody wants a brand who seems disinterested.
Equally, nobody likes a brand who’s only focused on sales. As a brand, you’re not looking to make money, you’re trying to help the customer no matter what you’re selling - be it the next big thing in mobile technology or bean bags that glow in the dark.
Black Friday is about helping the customer get what they need at an incredibly good price that won’t be available at any other time of the year. Each time you’re alerting them to your sale, you’re trying to help them get the best deal they can. Remember that with everything you write.
Cut All Sales
Don’t be the brand who always has sales on, because when it comes to round to Black Friday, nobody will care. And when you do try to stop sales, nobody will buy your products full-price.
Make sure that you haven’t had a sale 2-3 months prior to Black Friday. You want this to feel like an exclusive event - a once in a lifetime opportunity - not just another weekday.
There’s no doubt that Black Friday is big for brands, but it can be even bigger when implementing the advice above.
If you want to find out how to take full advantage of your Social marketing year-round, then get in touch with us today.