Getting Black Friday Right!

The term Black Friday was first used to describe the financial collapse in US Gold Market in 1869 and later on used by the Philadelphia Police to negatively describe the hoard of football fans travelling to the city after Thanksgiving before the big game on the following Saturday. Later on, Black Friday caught on in Philly as the start of the Christmas shopping season craziness, and retailers in 1961 attempted to convert it into something positive and named it “Big Friday”. It was only in the 80’s that retailers finally reinvented Black Friday into a positive experience that it is today by making it the day that America’s stores finally turned a profit. But between the 80’s and today, Black Friday fundamentally changed yet again: it now happens mostly online and on your phone.

Consumers already chose what they plan on buying in October and for this reason brand loyalty is the most important aspect of Black Friday, one that you can only build with a long-term strategy and not a quick win strategy. But fear not, if you’ve been sleeping at the wheel there is still time to capture the insane amount of traffic generated in this “holiday” since for some category’s consumers are still considering options, brands and of course price point being the latter the most important. The best example of this is the TV market. So… you’re late to the game and here are your best options:

 

For small and medium sized budgets

Forget search, display ads, etc… let’s talk about social media! And depending on your target demographic, go all-in in Instagram. Instagram engagement and growth are skyrocketing and without a shadow of a doubt it is the platform that provides the highest Return-On-Ad-Spend, in average, across all verticals. But keep in mind that there is no point on going all-in with your boring static image. Instagram is the new Super Bowl so you need to be creative, capture attention and find a message that resonates with both the audience that “lives” in Instagram and a USP that is relevant to them. Consider animated GIF’s and video. If you or your team manages advertising, here are some ideas for campaigns:

·     FOMO! The Black Friday weekend countdown! If you’ve got deals planned for the weekend and into Cyber Monday – create urgency with Countdown Ads. Let your users know what a deal they are getting and it’s not going to last. Amazon’s lightening deals are an excellent example of this by creating scarcity and fear of missing outwith the best deals on the homepage and only available for a few hours. 

·     Staging your Black Friday deals. When the best deals become live it’s time to reward your best customers. Encourage the actions you want your customers to take – ‘sign up’ for early access to Black Friday deals. Making your loyal customers feel rewarded is key to Black Friday to success. 

·     Get creative! Pieminister are running a Black ‘Pieday’ campaign this year, where surplus frozen stock will be given in return for a donation to Shelter the homeless charity. Good will goes down a treat with Christmas just around the corner!

·     Finally, you can choose to not participate (madness I hear you cry). Cards Against Humanity actually put their prices up in a stance against Black Friday and amazingly their sales increased vs. the last year. This is largely due to the campaign being well received and going to the top of Reddit.

The main takeaway here is, your goals and your brand tone of voice are more important over Black Friday than ever! There’re more options depending on your demographics and vertical. Beyond Facebook (older demographic), Pinterest is not a common platform across the brands we work with and it is a highly relevant platform since it is mostly a discovery tool where there is intent. The only two other networks with intent is Google Search and YouTube.

 

If you have pounds to spare!

So, you slept at the wheel and didn’t work brand loyalty during the year and still have a good budget? Well, the sky is the limit but you might be too late for some options. Google Search is mostly going to be the answer because it is the only channel where you can capture consumers with high intent and still considering options. This means that shoppers who are still undecided on brand and/or products, will go to Google Search to find deals, options, etc. But it’s an all-out war in bidding and spend that might not prove a profitable so a good experienced search strategy is important. For a second option and keep in mind that will vary with vertical, we’d suggest a maximum visibility programmatic display campaign. Get yourself on online magazines, key newspaper titles and sector relevant websites. Whilst the CPM is often higher during Black Friday Weekend – conversion rates are significantly higher as consumers have marked this as a key date to get deals. If your product is in demand and your margins high enough any expensive Black Friday advertising should be more than offset. Video is king so add into the mix engaging video pre-roll or even expand to YouTube. And speaking of video and increasing exposure, TV reach is still unmatched. If you planned to run a TV campaign, syncing it up with digital media is extremely important. Think about your potential buyer behaviour and how he uses multiple medias, touch points and its journey. According to a Facebook case study, dual screen visibility gives your brand 25% more impact when you combine both. This is particularly important because you mix television’s brand trust to the short consumer journey to purchase of Facebook Ads.

To end, we suggest a Throw Back to the 80’s by searching YouTube for Black Friday Crazy Shoppers. Enjoy!