Note: This is a guest post from Hawke Media. Hawke Media is a full-service marketing consultancy based in Santa Monica, CA, that serves as an "Outsourced CMO" for its clients, providing the guidance, planning, and execution to launch, grow, and invigorate businesses of all sizes across all industries.
Digital Marketing Tips for Black Friday / Cyber Monday Success
Black Friday and Cyber Monday (aka BFCM) mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season, for both brick-and-mortar and ecommerce retailers. It’s a great time for sellers to take advantage of the buying frenzy that occurs around this time of year.
Last year, Cyber Monday was the largest online shopping day in US history, with transactions exceeding six million dollars. But there’s a lot more to BFCM success than simply offering great deals on products. The following digital marketing tips from Hawke Media’s channel directors will help you put some real digital marketing muscle behind those promos.
Search & Social Advertising
From Jeeyan Rostam-Abadi, Director of Media Buying
"Schedule and optimize. Schedule and optimize. Schedule and optimize.
You should have everything ready to go and scheduled for the exact range of your promotion in advance of the actual promotion. Because this is such a busy time, brands, retailers, and agencies are submitting ads for approval on the major platforms (Facebook, Google, Amazon). That means it may take much longer for your ads to be approved and, therefore, launched. Draw up and submit your campaigns now, so you can turn them on right when you need them.
The primary difference in user behavior for BFCM compared to other times of year is a higher propensity to buy. Go for the low-hanging fruit by letting your previous website visitors, those who are educated and aware of your brand, know that you have deals. Capitalize on potential customers who’ve already expressed a degree of interest in your brand through display ads and search remarketing to past site visitors, Gmail remarketing to your email list, and YouTube remarketing to past video viewers.
Always keep in mind that with every passing day, cost-per-impression (CPM) for ads will increase along with demand. Consider optimizing campaigns that target customers higher up the funnel to reach more people at a lower cost."
From Hayley Maltz, Email Marketing Manager
"When it comes to email communications for BFCM, stick with what has been successful in the past, and not just from past BFCM campaigns. If you’ve been A/B testing, you should have a good understanding of what works for your customers (if you haven’t been A/B testing, get started). Use these insights to dictate your strategies - now is not the time to try something new.
Personalize your content. Fight through the clutter by making your email as specific to your customer segments as possible, even down to including their names in the subject line."
From Melissa Portillo, Director of Web & Creative
"First things first, be sure to have a clear campaign and call-to-action (CTA) on your website's or landing page’s hero banner (the large, prominent image front and center on a web page), or an announcement bar to direct consumers to the sales pages on your site. Countdown timers or automatically-applied discount codes can also be effective in encouraging purchases. You can also link specific collections or discounted items in a carousel at the top of the homepage, or create specially curated collections that are easily distinguishable to drive sales.
To avoid losing potential customers to a frustrating experience, make sure the flow from homepage/landing page to purchase is easily navigable for users. Part of this includes optimizing for mobile traffic (look into speed, clear CTAs, legibility of copy, etc.), as well as creating a clear path to checkout."
Social and Influencer
From David Chon, Director of Influencer Marketing
"Reach your consumers where they are most active! Your existing followers are more likely to consider your promotions via social posts than promotional emails or interruptive ads. Just remember to not be too salesy. In addition to standard posts on Facebook and Instagram, Instagram Stories are highly effective, as you can control how they are presented. They’re always pushed to all your followers and appear in the order you post them, unaffected by any algorithm.
You can also expand your social reach by collaborating with influencers to promote your products and services to their audiences. Be sure to give these influencers the creative flexibility to maintain their identity, otherwise the collaboration will lack authenticity. Trust them to know how best to engage their audience.
If you’re already working with influencers, look to expand your collaborations into different demographics. You might just be able to identify a whole new audience that you hadn’t thought of before."
Content and SEO
From Matt Osias, VP of Content
"Remember to start posting your content well ahead of the actual promotion (i.e. RIGHT NOW). This will allow more time for the content to be indexed by search engine algorithms, gaining page authority. Once BFCM comes around, you can go ahead and “repromote” that piece of content through social, email, your blog page, and more.
Be sure to diversify your content, as well. Try blog posts, videos, infographics, listicles, and more. See which type performs best and use those learnings for future promotions. Keep in mind that some forms of content work better on certain platforms and refrain from making your pieces too promotional. Only about 20% of your content should be sales-focused. Instead, each piece should serve to educate, inform, inspire, and/or entertain your readers.
Always follow SEO best practices all of your pages - be they product pages, landing pages, or blog posts. No matter how great your content might be, if Google doesn’t recognize it or consider it relevant to the search queries, it won’t perform."
Put these nuggets of wisdom into action right away. Give yourself time to work out kinks, catch errors, and optimize based on data gathered before it’s crunch time. For all of your campaigns, review analytics and data from last year to understand your customers’ behavior.
If you’re still unsure about how to capitalize on BFCM, the experts at Hawke are always ready to help. Just give us a shout!
Best of luck and happy holidays!