It’s September, do you know when your Black Friday prep should start?
The answer….right freakin now!
As a retailer, whether large or small, you should be aware that Black Friday and it’s ever elusive sister Cyber Monday will be heading our way starting November 23rd. These two days saw a whopping £1.4bn spent online alone in the UK in 2017. That number is only set to increase and retailers have already started preparing.
For the giants like Amazon or Argos, big budget marketing can make a huge impact in getting shoppers into their shops and onto their websites. Advertising spend for any keywords associated to Black Friday/Cyber Monday are going to be well out of reach for a retailer with a limited budget as CPC rates soar during this time. It can be a bit of a daunting task to try to compete!
Thankfully, having worked with some of the largest retailers in the world has allowed me to pick up on some tips that can benefit any retailer with a smaller budget looking to leverage this most sacred day.
→ Start earlier! There should be a lead up to the major sales you’re offering for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Don’t assume you’ll be able to captivate your audience the Thursday before. If you start rolling out your communications early on, you start the conversation around what they can expect.
→ Email marketing is key so SEGMENT your database. Don’t send an email about a sale on men’s trousers to your female database….chances are they didn’t visit your site for that reason (unless you ONLY sell men’s trousers, then carry on). Personalization is extremely important if you want to stand out amongst the hundreds of other Black Friday emails.
→ Personalize without being creepy. If there was ever a time to really dig deep into your data and look at trends, habits and behaviours - this is the time! Be conscious of location, time zones and look into geofencing technology which can deliver content or advertisements to a website user based on their geographic location.
→ With the recent rumours of Instagram set to be moving further into e-commerce with a stand-alone shopping app - you need to make sure your social media channels are ON POINT! They should tell your brand story through imagery and short text and be pleasant to go back to to time and time again. As a smaller business, I would advise not to overstretch your resources. Decide on which platforms work best for your business and cross promote instead of posting the same image across the board. Forbes reports “distinct demographics have grown up around each platform and expectations can change depending on which one they happen to be using at any given moment. As a result, you can be more personal on Facebook, more professional on LinkedIn, punchier on Twitter and more emoticon-friendly on Instagram.” Use this to your company’s advantage. Commit your time to the #socialgame.
→ Give them something to get excited for - whether it’s a new product, limited time solution or a preview of features to come. Your customers want to feel special so giving them an exclusive sneak peek of a new product or feature is a great way to get/keep them engaged even after BF/CM has come and gone.
→ Create bespoke visuals for Black Friday/Cyber Monday that communicate the brand message and stand out from the other retailers. Create gift guides that show off your products and help tell your story.
→ Extend the sale past Black Friday/Cyber Monday and offer something different. You don’t have to close down shop at 11:59 pm on Cyber Monday - you can continue to roll out the deals but in a creative way. One example is to focus on any products that maintain well-being, are relaxing or can be used to promote that “much needed after shopping rest”. Your audience is certainly going to appreciate that you can relate to the madness of the season more so than if you try to get them to buy items they don’t actually need.
→ Stay in the know - if there are trending hashtags, quotes, memes and you’re targeting a specific type of buyer, use them! There are way too many posts that receive almost no engagement because they’ve either not used hashtags, aren’t using the right ones or completely missed the mark on what’s trending. Know-your-audience! If you are trying to engage, do your homework to understand what is on trend. If you’re really at a loss (and need some Insta-help!) download the latest Instagram Cheat Sheet for Startups & SME’s here!
📣For free access to our 2018 Instagram for Startups Cheat Sheet, sign up HERE and I’ll send it through!