Black Friday Checklist: Marketers, Buckle Up for Craziness
Black Friday and Cyber Monday might not be the most traditional of holidays, but the post-Thanksgiving rush is the best time of the year for marketers to drive sales. While Black Friday started as a brick-and-mortar shopping event, Cyber Monday has become the e-commerce equivalent, with strong sales continuing throughout Cyber Week.
So how should online sellers prepare for the big week? Use our Black Friday checklist for marketers to make sure you’re on the right track.
Do Your Research
A successful Black Friday campaign starts with research. This should cover trends within your own business and across the Black Friday marketing landscape.
Year-over-year trends have started to show the longevity of Cyber Week decreasing; however, the days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday have proven room for scale and efficiency — so lean in! Market research conducted in October shows that 64% of Americans plan to shop on Cyber Monday, a 42% increase from 2021. Meanwhile, 69% plan to shop online on Black Friday. Curious about specific trends within your product category or demographic? The data is out there.
You have an opportunity to attract a big audience over Cyber Week, but only if you’re investing in the right areas. Monitor internal performance closely to see where you can push spending, and review past learnings from your campaigns to lean into areas of proven success. But remain creative and be open to testing opportunities.
Make a Plan for Black Friday
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Cyber Week represent a giant opportunity for sales, so you don’t want to be coming up with strategies on the fly. Give the business every chance at success by outlining a clear plan that includes:
- Daily budgets
- Target audiences
- Creative asset delivery and swaps
- Any testing you may be running
Creating a detailed strategy checklist ensures you are organized going into this high-investment period. Create and provide a creative asset delivery timeline that covers all asset requests with specs, stating when all assets are needed in order to ensure they are live on time. Also include dates and times for potential asset swaps — freshening up a banner ad with different variations or a different color scheme, for example.
The most impactful way to prepare is to build up strong retargeting pools by increasing prospecting support via whatever methods you use to grow your target audience. When retargeting pools start to diminish, prepare for a potential post-sale hangover scenario where you’ll pull back budgets to maintain your efficiencies, while always remaining flexible on budget shifts.
If you’re putting together a campaign for a client, have two separate checklists: one with the overall plan to share with them, and one for internal use that includes technical stuff like URL quality assurance, ad disapprovals, and feed audits.
Offer Specials & Promote Them Well
There is a lot of competition in the ecommerce space, especially around Black Friday. To remain competitive, utilize your biggest promotional offers and get the word out early. Even if you don’t activate your offers until Black Friday or Cyber Monday, be sure to let prospective customers know about them through emails or ads throughout November.
Most importantly, make your message clear. Promote your special offers using bold text overlays, value seals, and other incentives to buy. Animation is known to drive consumer attention, so utilize meaningful GIFs and videos along with other ad units that can drive scale, including Facebook carousel and collection ads.
Staying relevant in your field means knowing where to market each year. Just because a Facebook post worked a few years ago doesn’t mean you’ll be able to repeat the trick for Cyber Monday 2022. Yes, this means embracing TikTok, as well as longer-established platforms like Instagram, and any other platforms you think will work for the business.
Also, remember that we’re living in the age of the influencer. But it’s not just professional Instagrammers shaping the market; a regular Joe recommending your product to 50 followers can have a massive impact, especially if you harness that content and re-share it on your own accounts. Encourage tags and provide incentives for existing customers to promote your brand.
User-generated content resonates with users due to its relatability and delivery outside the traditional ad format. TikTok has the ability to help this style of informal, creative asset go viral, but we’ve seen relatable user-generated content (UGC) blossom on other platforms too.
Iron Out Technical Wrinkles
You’re going to great lengths to deliver a successful marketing campaign for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but all that work and investment will be in vain if your website isn’t ready to handle the rush.
If you’re anticipating extra traffic over Cyber Week — and you should be — use an online load and stress testing tool to push your web server to its limits. If it slows down or crashes when lots of users are visiting it, you need to fix things up or you’ll risk losing potential conversions.
You also need to be super-accommodating to customers during the checkout process. Cyber Monday shoppers will have thousands of tabs open and will abandon their cart if the checkout process is cumbersome or confusing. Remove any ambiguities and provide multiple payment options.
Planning for Black Friday is Key
Planning ahead is key to success, and there is still time to get your ducks in a row and execute a successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaign! Remember, this is one of the best times of year for your business (or your clients) to drive revenue, especially in the e-commerce space.
Prepare for high traffic, budget for each day, and have a range of creative assets ready to drop both before and during Cyber Week.