With Black Friday less than 3 months away, you’re probably beginning to plan out your marketing activities. The market is filled with attractive discounts, so how will you stand out? We’re here to show you what you can be doing to win this year.
For many businesses, Black Friday makes November the biggest monthly revenue target for the year. With increasing competitiveness in the market prior to, and on the day, on top of more brands than ever before - it’s paramount to be strategic with your campaign to ensure you achieve cut-through & win the attention of your existing customers and prospects.
We’ve run a number of Black Friday Campaigns through the years across a range of clients. So here are our experiences, learnings, and tips on how to win this Black Friday.
We’ve done some work unpacking across our clients the rise in Black Friday expenditure and CPMs over the years. It’s safe to say Black Friday is still very much on the rise.
Between Nov 2019 and Nov 2021, CPMs on Facebook have increased 72% (ouch). This is likely due to more customers shopping online, so more brands are shifting their marketing spend toward online channels.
Our recent Covid lockdowns have only accelerated this shift, with consumers that would have usually shopped in-store moving online - so brands now have the opportunity to reach more people than ever online.
So it’s no surprise that the likes of Google & Facebook are reaping the benefits of this increased competitiveness.
With all of this in mind, it’s really important that you’re strategic with your budget, promotion, and content this Black Friday and get bang for your buck. If you can nail all of these areas, you’ll be setting yourself up to reach your customers & convert them.
So what does all of this mean for your marketing budget this Black Friday?
Based on the trends, It’s likely that your budget isn’t going to go as far as it did last year. Regardless of whether your revenue goal has increased or remained stable YoY, you will need additional budget if you want to achieve the same number of impressions and reach as you did in 2021.
First, start by looking at your performance last year. What you spent, your frequency, ROI, etc. Was ROAS strong, and reach & frequency low? If so, there will be an opportunity to spend more this year.
We recommend that you start with your bottom-of-funnel channels & ensure that they will have enough budget for the lead up, day, and rest of Cyber Weekend. There are some great tools for this - like Google’s Performance Planner, or you could do some manual calculations here based on CPM trend rises YOY.
To make sure our client’s campaigns are ready and raring to go for Black Friday, we increase our daily spend level to equal our expected Black Friday spend level at least 3 days before the promotion launches. This allows the campaigns to ramp up and get familiar with a higher budget, so that when Black Friday hits the campaigns waste no time learning how to optimise with the new increased budget.
For your top-of-funnel & consideration activity, we recommend diversifying your channel mix this Black Friday. So rather than just using Facebook, consider testing channels like Tik Tok, Youtube, Pinterest, and Snapchat to reach the same audiences at a much lower CPM.
It’s also worth considering having a contingency budget in place - whereby if your promotion is going amazingly, you have the flexibility to increase budgets where you’re seeing ROI. Whether this is a set aside contingency budget, or the flexibility to pull from other months in your financial year.
Black Friday only happens once per year, so you want to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward - and a lot of this comes down to your promotional mechanic.
A successful promotional structure we’ve seen work in the past is running a baseline percentage discount across the site or across core categories.
Then to keep things interesting throughout the campaign, have additional Flash-Sales throughout work well to keep your customers engaged, and coming back for more. These Flash sales can be as short as 1-hour to as long as 24 hours long - Be creative!
Trust the tried and tested. For your baseline promotion, you don’t want to be testing something elaborate that you haven’t run before. The best place to start is to iterate on your best-performing promos you’ve run in the past; how can you improve those?
Make sure your sale is authentic; there’s nothing worse than an up to 70% off sitewide promotion when only one product is 70% off.
Also, ensure that you’ve got plenty of stock across the products and categories you’re going to run the promotion on.
And most importantly, stay true to your brand positioning. Don’t let Black Friday change what your brand stands for; if you are a brand that rarely does discounts or stands against consumerism, consider using other incentives such as donating a % of Black Friday revenue to charity, or encouraging gift-giving.
With the cost of advertising increasing, 1st party data becomes a huge opportunity in the build-up and throughout peak sale season. So why not use Black Friday as an opportunity to grow your database & create a pool of people excited for what’s to come?
We recommend starting Facebook Native Lead Gen ads now (if you haven’t already) to grow your database. You could use the Lead Gen Campaign to tease them for what's to come and reward them for Signing Up - i.e., Sign Up For Early Access.
This will then enable you to contact those customers via email to shop your BF, CM and Singles day deals & not have to pay top dollar to reach them on the day. Make sure you have all Remarketing lists set up and firing for the various groups of users that you want to target in November.
Getting the attention of consumers is hard on a normal day, let alone on one of the busiest marketing days of the year. Achieving cut-through and being creative to do this is key.
Creative and Content Led Campaigns Always Win
Creative is what your consumers will see in the lead-up & on the day. So you want to make sure this is best practice, there is variety for testing, and it is engaging.
You should already know based on prior data what creatives your customers engage with & what they don’t - so use this to inform your creative strategy.
Don’t be afraid to get creative & use humour here as well. We see lots of success with clients who use funny creative ways to get consumers' attention & relate to them as individuals.
In the lead up to Black Friday, there are things you can do on your site to make it clear to consumers about what is coming, and get them prepped for it ahead of time.
Ways of doing this could include a banner on the website reminding them that Black Friday is coming & to “Save the Date” or agree to have push notifications when it launches. We’ve also seen “Add To Wishlist” messaging relating to Black Friday work well - ie., build your Black Friday list now so you don’t miss out on the day.
This helps get your customers in the purchasing mindset and encourages them to take action in advance of Black Friday. It also then gives you the opportunity to notify them on the day with a more personalised message.
Surprise & Delight. Being able to surprise your audience is not easy, but this can have a high reward if done right! We have seen things like personalising offerings, starting promos earlier, and offering a gift with purchase generate strong performance.
As we mentioned earlier, fishing is best where the fewest go. Almost every advertiser will run Black Friday ads across Facebook & Google.
Use this opportunity to trial 1 or 2 new channels that are relevant for your target audience. Reddit, TikTok, Pinterest, and Direct Placements could each provide your campaign with greater reach.
Being clear on what channels you want to be across gives your content and creative teams plenty of time to think about fit-for-purpose advertising assets across each of the platforms.
Learnings from performance across these channels can be taken forward for future campaigns too.
If the conversion rate isn’t as strong as we had planned, is there an additional discount level that you can layer on or can you add free shipping?
Having multiple assets is always a good idea. For example, if your Carousel isn’t performing well from a CTR perspective, do you have a Static layered in that the platform can optimise towards? Giving the channel some choice will help you here.
Or as we mentioned earlier, if performance is going well, having a contingency budget signed off enables clients and agencies to move fast to ramp the spend up across the channels to make the most of the strong performance.
So there you have it, our hot tips for winning this Black Friday. In summary, here is a checklist you can use internally to make sure you’ve got it all covered: