Like Christmas, Birthdays and Anniversaries, Black Friday comes around every year and every year, brand managers and marketers try to prepare for the hopeful onslaught of commerce!

Black Friday, once associated with the US gold market crash of 1869, is now related to the happier chaos of super special deals, and bargain shopping. It has since become a multi-day buying bonanza with spin-offs around the world including Small Business Saturday and Sunday, Cyber Monday and so on.

Why is a Black Friday 2022 Digital Marketing Strategy Important?

This year, it’s expected to be even busier. 

Since the pandemic, not only are Black Friday shoppers likely to be out in force in retail, but we are also expecting to see even greater surges in eCommerce. The expected spike in online Black Friday traffic offers incredible potential revenue for eCommerce businesses and physical retailers of any size.

Heading into that potential spike period without a strategy is a bit like strolling up to the start line of a sprint with no training….or shoes….and blindfolded. Not only will you have no real chance of running in the race, but you are unlikely to cross the finish line!

Shopping Behaviours on Black Friday

Shopping during Black Friday is like the Hunger Games - hopefully minus any actual bloodshed. But the point is, that consumers experience a genuine “thrill-like” surge of emotions as they hunt down the best deals.

The human demand for instant gratification is also a central driver during this period. Time is a valuable asset and over 60% of online shoppers will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. So, optimizing for user experience, decreasing page load speeds, and working on the seamlessness of the journey should all be a priority focus for digital marketers in the run-up to the Black Friday period.

Buyers Remorse also tends to show an uptick during Black Friday, often because those great deals can trigger an increase in impulse buying. Shoppers are therefore more likely to have confidence buying from retailers who communicate a good returns policy. More people browse returns pages before purchasing on Black Friday than on any other normal shopping day!

There’s also the ramp-up in shoppers’ search behaviours with 75% of customers comparing prices, products and conducting research ahead of purchasing on Black Friday. 

That uptick also has a pretty long post-Black Friday tail with shoppers being exposed to new brands displaying a lingering and increased interest in particular categories for several weeks and months AFTER Black Friday. 

So, how do you get your digital marketing strategy into shape ahead of Black Friday so that you can not only take advantage of the surge period but can also elevate your overall digital marketing performance POST-Black Friday?

10 Tips for Your Digital Marketing for Black Friday

#1 Check your technical

Focus on improving your Black Friday SEO at least 60-90 days in advance.

Look at things like your page load speed, fixing any broken links and make sure you’ve put 301 redirects onto any old landing pages or items that are no longer in stock OR that you don’t really want to push during the Sales periods.

Free tools such as Pingdom or Google Pagespeed will give you some quick insights into how to improve your website speed.

You can also spruce up meta titles and descriptions with words like ‘black friday’ or ‘cyber monday’ but remember to change them once this season is over!

You should also load test your site before Black Friday to ensure your current server set-up can handle a spike in traffic. 

#2 Specific Black Friday SEO keywords

The two biggest keywords are ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ (naturally), but those aren’t the only phrases you want to target. 

Focus on getting specific with your specific products, categories or groups of items and go after those more long-tail terms; for example “best black friday gardening kit” or “cyber monday deal on televisions”.

Whatever makes sense for you, but look into your previous year’s data and particularly your keyword research and choose the best search terms you would use throughout the year and optimise them to add those extra Black Friday jazz words into the mix. And don’t forget to give some thought to specific Black Friday landing pages to help you maximise on-page content and user destination landing page experience.

#3 Reviews are a big deal!

Trust and credibility are always crucial in the buying process, but even more so during Black Friday. Plus it helps avoid dreaded returns. Consumers want to feel confident that your brand is giving them the best deal, so play into this human need by leveraging social proof and testimonials. 

Online you can display testimonials effortlessly across your homepage, key landing pages and product pages. If you’re using a platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce, there are tons of apps and plugins that can do this for you. While in-store you can print POS quotes and scatter them about. 

#4 Get your UX into the best possible shape

Overall UX is critical during this shopping period so review your overall user experience and make changes to create an experience that is as seamless and effortless as possible.

How’s your navigation looking? What’s the checkout process like? Are you keeping things as simple as possible while ensuring there are enough touchpoints to overcome buyer doubt?

I recommend taking your site’s top landing pages from the previous year to ensure your efforts are focused on the places where they are most likely to yield a return. 

Whilst on-site UX might not affect actual SEO rankings, it can help increase your conversion rate by making the path to purchase easier once a user has landed on the page. 

#5 Start building backlinks now

Quality, credible backlinks are a critical part of off-page SEO. The more quality pages that link to your site, the better your rankings become and the easier it is to start climbing up those SERP results.

There will be many publications and sites out there looking for specific, quality Black Friday content and deals so start reaching out to them well ahead of the season to secure some great backlinks for your site. 

And why not offer them a specific coupon code in exchange for publishing your content? That’s pretty common practice in eCommerce during this Black Friday period but, it does need a bit of a head start approach to be done well.

#6 Create an impactful Paid Media plan

Consumers need to be exposed to messages from a brand at least 7-10 times before they start to trust or become intrigued enough to investigate further.

Crafting a creative, effective paid media strategy ahead of Black Friday can be vital not only in increasing brand awareness but in helping to increase trust and confidence in your brand ahead of a transaction moment.

If a shopper has already seen your ads or social posts, then they are likely already going to consider you a genuine, trustworthy brand when you then start offering them a special deal.

Building that kind of trust takes time, so focus now on optimising your paid search, display and paid social strategies. Now is the time to test creative messaging to hone your best creative and copy style in your ads ahead of your Black Friday push.

You’ll need to ramp up your spend, make sure your audience targeting and ad set-ups are on point and consider mixing up ad formats across video, statics, carousel, reels and such so that you have a comprehensive, solid mix of ad creative geared around your specific promotions to push out during Black Friday.

#7 Track your user journey and customer

It all only matters if it is measurable right? 

So make sure your google analytics, search console or GA4 (hopefully you’ve gotten started with your transition to Google analytics 4?!) is set up to track and provide you with insightful data.

Ensure you’ve reviewed your tracking, for example, make sure your Google Analytics is set up along with the Facebook pixel, so you can also retarget those visitors who abandon carts or those who perhaps do click through but don’t purchase the deal then and there.

#8 Ramp up your social

There’s been a staggering rise in content consumption over and since the pandemic. Use your social content to gain the attention of your user, grow your retargeting and lookalike audience lists across your social platforms and elevate your own social organic content plan.

Instagram, being such a visual platform, is a great space to inspire, motivate and encourage interaction with your brand. It’s an ideal platform to showcase products and brand identity. Focus on increasing interactions, and traffic, optimising your organic post reach to unlock more sales.

Mix up your content formats. You can play with videos, reels, story posts, quizzes, gifs, and lives as part of a comprehensive social content calendar in the lead-up to Black Friday. Experiment within those formats to see where you get your best engagement uplift….perhaps try a product demo, an interview with a founder, a masterclass or a behind-the-scenes.
And don’t be scared of producing video content. If you have a smartphone, you can create Instagram-worthy video content and if you need to, things like a tripod or lights can all be sourced inexpensively online. The point is, video can help you break through to a wider audience. 

And for both Instagram and Facebook, double up on your image uploads. Creating carousel posts rather than sharing a single image can boost views, likes and comments. Carousel posts generate more than three times the engagement of regular posts.

#9 Unlock the power in your CRM

Email isn’t dead. In fact, it’s alive and massively kicking during a period like Black Friday. The email game during Black Friday is a battle of attention.

Sending emails to your subscriber list is a great way to share your promotions with those people most interested in your products. You can use previous CRM data as well as data from your website and purchase data to help you guide your email content.

The first goal in the CRM Black Friday game is in getting noticed. Email subject lines are the be-all and end-all of your email strategy so take the time to craft creative, well-written variations that you can test and learn from! 

The best way to write email subject lines for higher opens is by leveraging natural human tendencies and psychological principles:

Fear of Missing Out    “You’re missing out on this deal”
Humour                        “Deals that make us proud (unlike our nephew Steve)”
Pain                              “Stop wasting money on bad deals”
Curiosity                      “The best way to a faster donkey”

#10 Extend your sale

Fighting through the clutter is part and parcel of competing during Black Friday so how about extending your sale? 

Extending out a sale period is not only a move that can drive real brand love and appreciation, but it can also help extend your brand’s revenue uplift period.

So, consider a Black Friday follow-up campaign. Shift your ad creative, your organic content, your remarketing ads, and your emails to something along the lines of “Our Black Friday deal just won’t quit” and encourage those additional click-throughs.

For consumers who may have missed out on the Black Friday sale, they get another bite at that apple and you can also convert those shoppers who perhaps didn’t buy from you during the burst period.

Just be careful, don’t overdo it and keep the time limited to retain both the associated value and the brand's credibility.

So, in a nutshell

Optimising your website and digital marketing for Black Friday isn't something to do last minute.
Ideally, it should be something you're working towards throughout the year. If you are already ranking strongly in SERPs for your evergreen keywords and content, then achieving a great result on Black Friday or Cyber Monday will be a lot easier.
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint! The more you do early on, the easier it is going to be to gain organic traffic during that busiest shopping season of the year. 
Oh, and please please please ensure you have enough stock on hand to satisfy demand, there’s nothing worse than bagging a deal in the Black Friday sales only to be told it’s out of stock three days later or that it won’t be shipped for a month! 

Some key takeaways:

  • Start early!
  • Make sure your website is working efficiently
  • Target your best possible keywords
  • Shout about your offers on your social platforms
  • Nail your email subject lines
  • Plan a paid campaign that aligns with your strategy and target the right people with paid social
  • Consider extending your offer period
  • Make sure you have enough stock to meet demand!

And, if you need any support pulling together a Black Friday strategy that leverages all of these principles, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. 

MEET THE AUTHOR.

blog-post-detail_zoe

MEET THE AUTHOR.

ZOE PEDERSEN

Zoe oversees digital strategy at Reflect. She’s passionate about ensuring our clients get maximum value from our team and LOVES to ensure there are clear strategic goals, roadmaps and scaling plans. Happy clients = happy Zoe! 

From pitching in on new business and enhancing our team collaboration, Zoe ensures client’s experience a strategic partnership with Reflect Digital that they can’t find anywhere else. She ensures the team are chasing the right goals and that we’re always going for gold. 

More about Zoe
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