The Q4 shopping extravaganza is quickly approaching, and businesses need to be in full sales mode to take advantage of the spending spree. Consumer buying behavior peaks during the holiday season, so it’s important to start ramping up marketing efforts right now.
Last year, Cyber Week (from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday) drove $33.9B in online sales, proving why it’s such a crucial time for brands to get products off the shelves. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, either—everyone wants a piece of the action. It’s a time for e-commerce retailers to shine, but service-oriented businesses that help people decorate and entertain friends and families during the holidays also see an uptick in sales.
It’s important to note that economic uncertainty and fears around inflation are expected to create a unique market for holiday shoppers in 2022. For one, people are expected to make purchases earlier than ever to circumvent price hikes as we get closer to important Q4 dates. This means that targeting your audience before your competition will be crucial to ensure your product is top of mind once they’re ready to make a purchase.
Having an effective Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) plan in place is certainly a good place to start, which is why we put together this guide to help marketers prep for possibly the earliest holiday shopping season ever. We hope these tips will help your business meet its year-end sales goals and jumpstart a successful H1 of 2023.
BFCM Campaign Planning
Black Friday falls on November 25 this year, which gives you just under two months to continue grooming your campaign strategy. As part of your checklist, be sure to include these key steps to ensure you have the right infrastructure in place to not only reach your target audience but also accommodate them once they enter your marketing funnel.
Improve Site Speed
By ensuring that your pages load quickly, your business can keep shoppers from abandoning their carts and help capture more sales during BFCM. Furthermore, Google uses site speed as a big factor in determining how a page should rank for certain search queries. Slow loading times, high bounce rates, broken forms, and images that won’t load all indicate to Google search bots that a site is untrustworthy and won’t provide a good experience for end-users.
Plan Strategic Discounts
Offering discounts is a key part of any holiday marketing strategy, but your business needs to be strategic about the promotions it offers. The goal of BFCM is to drive sales, so make sure that the discounts you offer don’t end up costing more than you make back in revenue. Planning ahead can help ensure that you include discounts that are attractive to customers without eating into your profits.
Boost Your Customer Database
Building a network of potential leads ahead of BFCM is an important way to convert shoppers who will be looking for deals online. There are a few easy ways to add more contacts to your database. For instance, you can encourage social media followers to subscribe to your mailing list, or offer a discount to website visitors who sign up for it. You can offer a similar discount to phone callers, or include added incentives for in-person shoppers if they instead make their purchase online. This will give you a larger pool of potential customers to target with your promotions.
Identify Holiday Related Keywords
By targeting keywords related to BFCM, you can make sure your ads and website are seen by people who are actively searching for deals. Focusing your budget and efforts on transaction-focused keywords will help identify low-hanging fruit opportunities as well as terms that are highly competitive and will be hard to rank for.
The best place to start is to look at historical data from your previous year using a tool like Google Search Console. After you’ve identified a solid list of keywords, you can load them into Google Keyword Planner to generate similar search queries to expand your optimization efforts.
BFCM Best Practices
Businesses are competing heavily for consumers’ attention around this time, making it imperative that you have a multifaceted approach to staying ahead of competition and maximizing your marketing dollars. Cultivating the right messaging that personally resonates with each customer will make your business stand out from the crowd. So, how do you do it?
Email Marketing That Drives Action
Personalized emails are more likely to get people to buy products—and while it’s impossible to craft a unique message for every contact, you can use tools like Hubspot to build lists and automate messaging so that your emails are still targeted to specific industries, buyer personas, etc. Use crafty email marketing tactics to:
Introduce Customers to Your Brand
As you add names to your customer database, new subscribers can receive introductory greetings that position your brand and build excitement for upcoming sales. It’s a great way to bring your products and services top of mind by presenting a value proposition to your audience, laying out plainly how you differ from competitors in your market.
Create a Festive Buying Environment
Make customers feel special by sending them greetings that include a preview of holiday gift ideas or exclusive offers tailored with BFCM messaging.
Educate the User
Based on data around browsing or purchasing history, help consumers understand the benefits and features of the products or services that you’re planning promotions for during BFCM. A great way to do this is through a high-quality product video that details said product’s unique features (more on this later).
Share Countdown Reminders
Notify customers when your BFCM sales begin and end, and tell them if they’re being extended beyond Cyber Monday—which has been known to be a good tactic for squeezing out a few last minute purchases.
Landing Pages That Drive Sales
Make Sure It’s SEO-Ready
Creating landing pages focused on the keywords you previously identified will increase the likelihood that your website will rank well for certain search queries. Also, creating these pages ahead of time allows search crawlers the time they need to scan and rank your site.
Lastly, since you’ll likely be running BFCM promotions every year, use a recurring URL when you build your landing page. There’s more SEO value in this strategy because search engines will use the page’s engagement metrics over the years to identify the value of your content.
Potential customers don’t have time to comb through tons of listings to find the perfect gift; they may get overwhelmed with choices and leave your site without buying anything.
You can prevent this scenario by directing customer attention to targeted offerings to ensure they’re only interacting with products that they want or need. For instance, a focused BFCM email campaign may encourage recipients to visit a distinct landing page where they can quickly find what they want and buy without distractions.
There are several ways to use these purpose-built landing pages to drive sales on BFCM:
- Make sure best-selling products stand out
- Present new products to your audience
- Encourage customers to repurchase their favorite items
- Highlight limited quantities to create urgency
- Offer a special promo code
You don’t need a robust e-commerce shop to boost online sales; all you need is a streamlined landing page that makes it easy to shop and find the right products. This helps create a level playing field for big retailers and small businesses alike.
Focus on Paid Media
Drive Traffic with Social Media
Social media marketing presents a wealth of opportunity during the holiday season. Consumers spend extra time scrolling through their feeds during this time, and you want their eyes fixated on your products.
Promoted posts about the latest trends, new merchandise, or time-sensitive discounts keeps your existing customer base updated on everything related to your brand. Facebook and Instagram ad integrations have the power to deepen your appeal to a highly targeted audience while TikTok has steadily become a dominant platform for building excitement around products with short-form content.
Convert with Retargeting Ads
There’s no reason to lose a potential customer just because they’re not ready to make a purchasing decision while visiting your website for the first time. You can advertise to them as they browse other sites by using remarketing ads. This promotional tactic helps drive sales by targeting recent visitors to your website, offering them a real-time reminder of your product—and an easy way back to it.
E-commerce businesses report an average growth of conversion rates by 128% when using retargeted ads, proving it as one of the most effective strategies for bringing leads back into your marketing funnel.
Video Ads Make BFCM Messaging Stick
Video is the most engaging way to show off products and entice potential customers to make a purchase. In fact, studies have shown that shoppers who view product videos are 1.6 times more likely to buy than those who don’t. This means you could end up spending less on ad placements while increasing revenue due to higher click-through and conversion rates, signaling high returns on investment (ROI). By using video, retailers can show how products work and how they might be useful to potential customers.
Showcase Products in Action
Video ads allow potential customers to see products in use, which can help them decide if it’s the right fit for their needs. Additionally, video ads can create a more personal connection with potential customers, helping to build trust and encourage them to take action. It’s a great way for retailers to level-up their product marketing, especially if the product itself is complicated or doesn’t do a great job of building excitement in terms of its inherent usefulness.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Videos can showcase products in a way that makes them seem more desirable, and they can also highlight special offers or discounts that are only available for a limited time. Shoppers want the best deals during BFCM, and an engaging video ad communicates that they’re getting just that by being loyal to your business.
Time flies, and it’s important to start setting the stage for what could be one of the biggest BFCM shopping experiences to date. By taking your time and following the tips above, you should position your business to be the go-to for your target audience’s holiday shopping in Q4.
Need help with preparing your BFCM campaigns? Schedule a call with us today and let’s see what we can do for your business!