Black Friday is almost upon us. On November 23rd, 2018, the hysteria of the holiday season will show its full force, bringing with it a frenzied shopping spree that’s set to make up 30% of all sales for the year. Black Friday is a hugely influential marketing opportunity, and it’s essential to get it right. The event supposedly gets its name from the historical boost to business enjoyed by retail stores in the holiday season. Having spent most of the year with their balance sheets “in the red”, the holiday shopping season (beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving) would put them back into “the black”.
But Black Friday isn’t just for Christmas. Any business seeking to reach customers throughout the year has to view the holiday shopping season as a whole as a golden opportunity to boost sales, increase revenue and build lasting customer relationships. Essentially, it’s a marketing event like no other. More people participate Black Friday (in one day!) activity than visit Disneyland each year and the day of discounts and sales attracts almost as many people as the number who voted in the 2016 Presidential Elections. Therefore, it really is huge.
What’s more, the Black Friday phenomenon is growing. Last year, according to Adobe Analytics, U.S. retailers earned a record $7.9 billion on Black Friday, an increase of nearly 18% from 2016. This year, Black Friday looks set to be bigger than ever. Here to help you boost sales this holiday season, Chilliprinting brings you 9 essential Black Friday marketing strategies for print and digital media so you can leverage this unique business opportunity to your advantage.
Often, marketing strategies for Black Friday apply to both print and digital, so let’s outline these first:
On Black Friday, low prices work miracles. A slight reduction in profit margins will be easily compensated for by the exponential increase in brand recognition – not to mention the sheer volume of sales. However, remember that Black Friday is when all retailers reduce their prices, so you’ve got competition. That means you’ll need to differentiate your deals from all the others and promote it in a way that’s eye-catching so it stands out from the crowd. A simple 10% discount, marketed subtlely on your website, might not cut through the Black Friday madness.
The offers should not only feel attractive, but urgent. When will the deal expire? The sooner the better! Adding a time limit within which to take advantage of your unique deal will force hesitant customers to make a decision to buy now or else lose out. You can use the ready-made time window of the holiday season to make the most of marketing countdowns. Temporary sales, special offers and shopping codes are great ways to create a sense of “scarcity” surrounding your product. And you don’t have to fake it. If you play your cards right, demand will be so high, you will genuinely run out of stock. When it comes to adding urgency, you can use a tool like Beeketing to create a countdown, keeping people reminded that your offers won’t last.
Commercial retailers are starting to initiate the holiday shopping season earlier and earlier, with many now arguing it really starts in October. Use this to your advantage. Holiday-themed incentives should be announced well in advance of the holiday, promising strong rewards and big discounts on the day. That way you build awareness of your brand’s deals long before the main event. Start sending out direct mail marketing campaigns to drive subscriptions and create a buzz. Brochures are a great way to entice customers into perusing your seasonal deals, and everyone likes having something big, colorful and tactile to read; try sending these to existing customers, and use a carefully crafted automated email blast when the big day comes.
When it comes to Black Friday, print marketing will be your best bet for local campaigns. It can also be used to boost brand loyalty, reach new customers on the ground, and complement online strategies.
Well designed print media will make all the difference when it comes to boosting business on Black Friday. If you want to reach consumers on the ground, try using flyers and posters. Targeting existing customers at home? Send them a brochure. In any case, make sure your printed media is high quality, and effectively designed. Hire a graphic designer to take care of your imagery, and ensure you use the right materials. Thick paper, strong copy and the latest in print tech will set you apart from the rest.
Black Friday is the perfect time to implement bold, creative and original guerilla marketing – especially if you’re a small or local business. This doesn’t mean that doing anything illegal. It simply means engaging consumers in innovative ways, using print materials that feel personal, non-corporate and unique. Millions of Black Friday shoppers will take to the streets, meaning it’s the perfect time to get out there and introduce new customers to your products. The advantage of guerrilla marketing is that you can focus your campaign around a targeted geographic zone, a particular segment of society or specific target audience. Accompany these tailored on-ground initiatives with beautifully designed flyers, stickers and posters to give your campaign a real edge.
Remember, an effective print campaign will always feedback to a strong digital presence. Make sure your printed materials contain the details of your company’s website, social media accounts, and online offers. The most effective way of connecting print to digital is using QR codes. When you produce a flyer, add a QR code or an alternative enhanced print media solution like GizThis to your design. That way, your target customers will be able to scan your flyer, or a design or a specific icon within it, using their phone and connect to a world of online content. Linking your offline marketing for Black Friday to a specific online offer will further allow you to track conversion rates and measure your ROI around this sizable business opportunity.
Though print marketing has significant benefits, for particular types of campaigns, you might choose to focus on digital, in particular, if you’re launching a global campaign. Here’s the low down on how to use digital marketing effectively this Black Friday:
In order to have a successful marketing strategy for Black Friday, you’ll need to take a look back over last year’s data. Find out which keywords, what kind of content, and what promotions lead to the highest conversions last year. Where were your online visitors coming from, and what approach generated the most traffic? You can easily locate this kind of digital information using Google Analytics. Data will be crucial in directing you towards the right campaigns and strategies for this year’s holiday season, and is another reason to employ tech in your print marketing; data should be used to inform both digital and print campaigns rather than simply taking steps in the dark.
As ever, social media will be a necessary go-to for Black Friday. You can share coupons, promotions, offers, competitions, and your juiciest Black Friday deals with millions of target customers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Simply by using the relevant hashtag – in this case, #blackfriday will be your best friend – to help you tap into a ready-made pot of consumers. Remember, all the content you share should be themed and tailored to the holiday season (as well as being highly interactive and engaging). Always use your posts to generate click-throughs, and keep it fun and breezy.
Using services such as AdWords or Facebook Ads, you can make sure your Black Friday promotions reach thousands of potential customers. When making your PPC ads, remember to angle your content carefully towards Black Friday. It’s already going to be the thing that everybody’s talking about, posting about, and looking for. If you want to be really savvy, find out the optimum times when customers are shopping. In 2013, Black Friday mentions online peaked at 11am. The optimum time in your specific sector may differ, so check last year’s data to find out exactly when your target consumers are online.
Black Friday is the biggest marketing event of the year. It brings with it unparalleled opportunities to reach new customers, consolidate your market base and boost brand awareness. But remember, Black Friday is a frenzy. Everyone will be at it. Use your initiative and your creativity to make your campaign stand out. Make sure you start early, and coordinate your timings carefully to create a countdown to the big day. Imbue your promotions with a sense of urgency, and make sure they’re truly irresistible.
When it comes to getting the word out, an effective marketing campaign will combine a strong print and digital presence, allowing both to work in tandem. Send out brochures by direct mail in advance. Use email newsletters and social media ads to create a countdown. Have street teams distribute carefully made flyers, stickers and posters on the ground, and on the day. And make sure your printed materials always link back to your digital media, leading consumers online. Harness the power of print and digital, and this Black Friday will be your biggest yet.