When the days start getting darker and the nights start getting colder, thoughts normally turn to one thing and one thing only: Christmas.
The “#ChristmasCountdown”s begin and brands start bombarding you with images of their same-old products placed in front of a winterscape background. This is then swiftly and inevitably followed by the organised riot that is commonly referred to as the Boxing Day sales, or – as I like to call them – the “watch two adults tear each other’s hair out over last seasons must-have sweater” sales.
But that’s all changed.
The emphasis used to be all about Boxing Day deals and the pre-Christmas holiday shopping sprees. Now, industry experts are noticing a trend that sees Black Friday and Cyber Monday usurp the long-standing winter champions as the busiest shopping days of the year.
In 2013, over 92 million people shopped Black Friday deals with around 50% of these people shopping online, according to USA Today. These online shoppers spent $1.2 billion on that day, with a further $1.7 billion spent on Cyber Monday in the US, according to Statista.
Combine this with the $12.9 billion US spent in stores, as stated by Business Insider and you’ve got yourself a pretty hefty sum of money.
And 2014 looks to continue the momentum.
So far this year approximately 278,000 posts have been tagged with the hashtag #blackfriday and another 8,000 labeled #deals knocking #Thanksgiving off it’s perch with a lowly 85,000 stamped tweets.
Out of these tweets, 72,000 are from retailers teasing promotions in anticipation of Black Friday, 41,000 are highlighting key Black Friday deals and 24,000 are negative reactions from consumers towards retailers promoting extended trading hours during Thanksgiving. While not entirely positive, the conversations are there for the taking.
So how do you ensure your Black Friday Campaign is a success? Easy.
The Early Bird Catches The Worm
Start planning your Black Friday social strategy early. Use email and other social campaigns before Black Friday to get users to opt-in, follow, or Like in order to get the deals first. Generate a buzz and send your customers on their way down the conversion funnel.
Utilize Social Content
Offer your existing fans access to exclusive deals. Make these deals available to your CRM lists, followers and fans. Get your message right in front of them, in their email messages and in their Facebook news feeds. Identify a clear hashtag then go forth and hashtag the crap out of your special offers to infiltrate the swarms of hungry customers on Twitter. Position cleverly designed, engaging imagery between regular Instagram posts – as long as they are not too brand-y – then they will be just fine on Black Friday/ Cyber Monday.
Keep Your Campaign Simple
These two days are famed for one thing and one thing only, shopping. So cater all of your content to that purpose. Utilize ‘Shop Now’ and ‘Claim Offer’ buttons on dark posts to make the process simple and intuitive.
Incorporate a cross-platform approach to maximise visibility of your offers. Don’t neglect certain platforms because you don’t see them as your strongest; Pinterest is becoming a beast for online shopping, while Snapchat is perfect for promoting limited time offers. If you are running a TV spot then don’t forget to run your chosen hashtag here too.
Do all of this and you will have the foundations set for a successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday Weekend. But How Can You Make It Awesome?
Step It Up A Notch With Facebook Ads
So the plan is in place, you’re ready and pretty confident but how do you REALLY raise your game? The answer is Facebook Ads. More specifically, Website Custom Audiences (WCA).
For the benefit of this blog post I am going to assume you already have tracking set up on your website – if you don’t you can read how to do that here – as this is going to form the basis or our retargeting campaign.
Firstly you will want to identify the key products/ services that you want to promote and add Facebook tracking pixels to these key landing pages (search results page etc) and then again to the conversion page that the customer will see once they have completed a transaction. This will leave you with two WCA’s for each key focus.
In Power Editor, you can then create a series of ad creative for your key products or services (how granular you make this is entirely up to you) and apply the WCA for the landing page so you are now targeting everyone who has viewed this particular product. Now, in the ‘excluded audiences’ field select the WCA for the converted audience. This will then exclude anyone who has already purchased the item from seeing your ad.
Now what you have is a highly targeted ad that is being served to people who have shown an interest in the product but have not bought it yet.
Now that the basics are in place, feel free to tweak demographic targeting to narrow down on your key audience.
Provide these people with a compelling and enticing ad creative (being cautious of the 20% text rule) showcasing the shiny new deals to be had and Bob’s your uncle!
So there you have it; everything you need to create a successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaign – in a nutshell.
Over to you
What do you think? How do your drive success over this busy shopping period?