Nov 11, 2021

Practical Marketing Tips for Black Friday

Written by Dan Hughes

Black Friday is now a staple of the yearly retail calendar, a time when brands across every sector can boost awareness, drive customer engagement, and most importantly, boost their winter sales.

Considered by many as the official start of the holiday season, Black Friday is an ideal opportunity to get in front of your target audience and put your promotional flag in the eCommerce mountain.

Last year, despite enduring a COVID Christmas, women in the UK spent an average of £243 on Black Friday sales, men parted with an average of £349. While studies predict that average spend per person is still trying to adjust to post-Covid behavior, people are still willing to shop. According to Think With Google, shoppers across Europe, The Middle East, and Africa started their festive shopping in June.

While Black Friday is indeed a prime time for brands looking to stand out from the pack and boost their sales, it is a saturated space.

To make a real mark this Black Friday, it’s essential you meet the needs of your customers head on in a way that’s authentic and original.

Offering a deal or discount and hoping for the best this Black Friday period will only get you so far. To maximize your sales and grow your brand fanbase, aiming to stand out from the Black Friday pack is the only way.

Black Friday marketing trends

By getting to grips with emerging consumer trends, you can leverage the right channels or touchpoints to your advantage. Here we’re going to explore some essential Black Friday trends while offering practical marketing tips or takeaways for your brand-boosting consideration.

1. Customer loyalty incentives

Did you know? 52% of consumers say that loyalty programs are one of the main reasons they choose certain retailers or brands.

The customer loyalty scheme is a potential promotional force. Such schemes or programs give consumers a perceived level of personal value that can transform a one-time purchaser into a repeat buying brand advocate.

Practical Marketing Tips for Black Friday

Creating a dedicated Black Friday loyalty scheme signup landing page or email—like this example from Cupcakes & Cashmere—incentivizing consumers to commit for early access to Black Friday deals, you will grow your audience in advance of the big day.

This approach will not only ensure you earn a healthy number of Black Friday sales, but with droves of new loyalty scheme customers at your fingertips, you will increase engagement during your Christmas and New Year marketing campaigns. An excellent return on investment (ROI).

Takeaway: Gaining access to exclusive content, deals, and discounts is a winning incentive for customers across almost every age demographic. Use your most engaged channels to offer ‘early bird’ or ‘exclusive VIP’ Black Friday deal access, and you’ll earn more sales as well as ongoing customer loyalty.

When you’re sending out your Black Friday loyalty scheme incentive content, be as personable as possible while highlighting some of your best Black Friday loyalty scheme deals or perks in the copy. Doing so will encourage more people to sign up.

2. Themed Campaigns

To develop a themed campaign that stands out from the pack, you should focus on your strongest marketing channel or touchpoint and focus on delivering a strong hook that will resonate with your audience.

If you’re a sustainable clothing brand, for example, you could use the 2021 COP26 Summit to create social media ads or Black Friday product selections based on the conference’s main news or topics. Or, if you sell tailored running shoes, your Black Friday campaign theme (or hook) could hone in on the power of personal endurance and individuality—offering a free trainer consultation and purchase discount to those looking to level-up their winter training efforts.

One of the most prolific themed Black Friday marketing aficionados is the outrageous games brand, Cards Against Humanity. Each year, the brand delivers a Black Friday prank, with content that turns heads, and hooks people in with a discount or two.

Practical Marketing Tips for Black Friday

From AI caption writing challenges to amusingly outlandish fictional deals, Cards Against Humanity have built their Black Friday reputation by poking fun at the entire concept.

Last year, the quirky games colossus blind-sided consumers when they dropped their pranks and donated their whole $250,00 budget to nonprofits recommended by its staff members. This heartfelt pop at consumerism and authentic philanthropic approach earned the brand plenty of respect and publicity. It’s Card Against Humanity's authenticity, strong campaign themes, and wildly original take on Black Friday marketing that has helped the brand to maintain its popular cult status throughout the pandemic.

Takeaway: Rather than over-complicate matters, you should focus on one or two of your most engaged channels and focus on standing out with a concept or theme rather than relying on discounts alone to help you attract the hungry Black Friday hordes.

Take the time to consult your buyer personas, look at the most popular products in your niche, and hook customers in with messaging and imagery that grabs their attention while highlighting your deals or discounts with strong call to actions (CTAs). For inspiration, check out our rundown of the best 2020 Christmas marketing campaigns.

3. Immersive mobile experiences

Immersive technology adoption is on the rise and many industry executives (63%) believe that 5G will be its biggest driver across industries over the next four years.

Since the successful launch of IKEA Place in 2017, immersive mobile experiences have become increasingly popular. By placing consumers at the heart of your brand narrative and offering an extra layer of interaction, you can build trust while offering personal value.

Many big retail or eCommerce brands are using immersive app technologies like Augment to create virtual walkthroughs of their store or products, so that customers can interact with them virtually or gain a vision of what an item might look like in their personal space (home, office, storefront or business reception).

Brands across industries often overlook the fact that Snapchat is a highly-engaged immersive mobile app. With a wealth of in-built immersive features, many eCommerce and retail marketers have earned success by launching campaigns marketing on Snapchat. For immersive campaign inspiration, read Marketing on Snapchat: Develop the Right Strategy.

While this example isn’t a specific Black Friday campaign, Gucci’s augmented reality (AR) shoe try-on is an excellent example of the type of immersive mobile marketing experience that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Practical Marketing Tips for Black Friday

To promote its new skater sneaker range, Gucci used Snapchat to give its audience a chance to try various pairs virtually by pointing their phone cameras directly at their feet and sharing the images with their followers. The platform’s accessible features also made it easy for customers to head back to the appropriate product page and buy their sneakers of choice with minimal friction.

This simple yet effective feat of immersive mobile marketing resulted in a solid boost in sales as well as a positive return on ad spend (ROAS) for the brand.

Takeaway: By working with an immersive third-party app and giving your customers the chance to get up close and personal with what you have to offer this Black Friday, you will cut through the noise and earn more conversions.

Incentivize different segments of your audience to engage with your app or campaign with the deals and product recommendations, and you’re likely to boost sales while inspiring customer loyalty.

Brand-boosting Black Friday bonus tips

Now that you know how to stand out from the pack this Black Friday, you’re probably raring to go. For an additional shot of inspiration, here are some quick-fire Black Friday bonus tips:

  • Launch an early bird or Black Friday weekend pop-up shopping experience with pre-booked slots or appointments
  • Run a social media-based Black Friday contest or competition to drive engagement on the lead up to the big day.
  • Host an exclusive, invite-only virtual Black Friday event where customers can ask you questions and gain access to exclusive discounts on yet to be released products.

To cut through the noise on Black Friday, consider the specific needs of your customers and deliver content that offers more than a deal or discount alone will increase your chances of gaining an edge on your competitors. Engage your customers with these original approaches to Black Friday marketing and you will enjoy brand boosting value and customer loyalty long after the end of November!

To learn more about branding and marketing all year round, have a look at the DMI Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing.

Dan Hughes
Dan Hughes

Dan is a content writer specializing in digital marketing, emerging tech, music and looking after a toddler. You can find out more about him and his work by visiting his Catchy Space.

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