Is your business ready?
You need to have a solid plan together. Do you have the inventory to sell? Is your website in a good place to handle increased pressure? Do you have the staffing and resourcing in place to handle an increase in trade? Take a look at our previous Black Friday blog if you answer “no” to any of these questions. There might be some helpful tips for you.
Focus online, but make sure it’s standardised across everything
In 2015, Black Friday experienced a decrease in instore sales. This isn’t because consumers suddenly disliked buying things, or some other Macroeconomic factor. It’s simply because people went online to find their bargains. You should focus on getting your website and digital channels ready for Black Friday trading. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your offline presence either. Make sure your campaigns align from a branding perspective and aren’t disjointed.
What’s your offer going to be?
It’s time to identify what your offer(s) are going to be. You won’t be able to compete with the major players like Amazon, who heavily discount thousands of products throughout the run up to Black Friday. But you can definitely make your Black Friday worthwhile. So what will it be?
Here are a few Ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Free delivery
- Discount codes
- Free gift card for future purchases
- A free gift
Note: You’ll need to clearly define terms and conditions for your offer. You need to avoid any sort of confusion. So things like clarifying start and end date, minimum order value to qualify for a discount code etc.
Get your digital marketing sorted
This is going to be your most important line of attack. You’re going to want to take an omnichannel approach to your Black Friday marketing efforts. Don’t pigeon hole everything into something like Social Media, or email. Carefully plan and co-ordinate across all channels.
Give your website a fresh coat of paint
You know that your website is your shop window. Take a look at it, critically appraise it. Is it ready for a big push? Do you need to beef up the Customer Journey/UX experience for prospects? Is it optimised for mobile? Follow blogs like ConversionXL to get the latest tips and tricks.
Is it time to have some Black Friday graphics drawn up? You’ll need to make your website look the part. Pictures, promotional imagery etc. There are some fantastic free stock imagery websites like Pexels. Do you need to create landing pages for when you push PPC? Use portals in Dynamics CRM 2016 to mock up landing pages in a hurry.
Is it easy for your customers to get in contact with you in case something goes wrong? During the Black Friday period expect more customers to get in contact with you. They’ll need information about orders, offers etc.
Create some shareable content (And plan it too!)
More than likely, you’ve heard the phrase “Content is King” and in the case of organising your Black Friday marketing campaign, it is sage advice. Focus on producing content on the lead up and during the Black Friday period. Make it informative, useful and above all – don’t shamelessly sell your brand! It’s transparent to a reader what you’re trying to do.
Plan by creating a content schedule using productivity tools like Microsoft Excel. Don’t just stick to blogs though, try and get a full range of content. For instance, if you’re planning on discounting PCs and Laptops, an eBook on how to care for PC and Laptops will add value to customer value.
We did something similar a little while ago when we wrote about picking an ERP. Download it for some ideas of what to do. We designed it using the free online web design tool Canva, which you can use too to create fantastic collateral.
Power up your content with Social Media
Use the content you’ve created on Social Media. Research your hashtags so your content gets though to the largest potential audience. (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram use Hashtags) Here’s a list of Black Friday specific hashtags for you to use.
We’d consider an organic approach to your social media efforts. Adverts are an option, but Black Friday adverts are often expensive and generally not cost effective for the returns you’d expect. You can use Canva again to design some fantastic social media imagery to share.
Analyse your social media channels – Which one performs best for you? Throw your social media weight behind that channel. You can also make use of scheduling tools like Hootsuite to plan out all your social media for the Black Friday period.
Make sure you stay on top of your Social Media throughout Black Friday. Some customers use Social as a customer service channel. You won’t want to ignore these people!
And don’t forget your emails
Email marketing shouldn’t be overlooked. Similar to content you’ll be able to do a lot of the leg work in advance. Make sure you have an email marketing tool like Click Dimensions to help author all of your emails. It’s simple drag and drop interface requires minimal knowledge of HTML and contains designs that are mobile optimised.
Click Dimensions can also help you:
- Schedule your emails
- Segment your email data
- Target existing or new customers with email messaging
- Run split tests on subject lines to increase email open rate
Speaking about subject lines – They’re the key to increasing those open rates. Try resources like headline analyser to improve your headline. It rates the headline you’ve created based on the composition of the words you’ve written.
Learn from all of this for Black Friday 2017 (and other busy periods!)
By the time Black Friday has gone, you’ll have collected a vast amount of data from all of these platforms. Analyse what you’ve done. What worked? What didn’t work? Use all of the insight you’ve gained to make plans for Black Friday 2017 even more successful for your business.
Next week, we’ll be sharing our tips on how to make sure your IT and Infrastructure doesn’t crumble during Black Friday trading. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you and how you’ll be preparing. Pop your ideas in the comments section below.