If you’re an Australian online retailer, chances are you’re right smack in the middle of prepping for this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday spree. We all know that crafting irresistible deals and massive discounts are extremely-effective ways to convince customers to shop, but to truly maximise your ROI, knowing what to offer is just a piece of the puzzle. Knowing how to offer these deals is just as important.
If you’re planning to bank on social media or content marketing to increase holiday sales, this guide is for you. As you plan your strategy for Black Friday, Sofa Sunday, and Cyber Monday, keep in mind that this shopping-heavy weekend is brimming with potential to become the biggest days of spending for the entire year. As such, it’s not the time to slack off on being competitive. After all, your rivals are doing their share of planning, too.
Steps to a seamless Black Friday/Cyber Monday social media strategy
Let’s start with social media marketing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As two extremely-crucial days for business, it won’t hurt if you pull out all the stops in preparation for the influx of holiday shoppers coming your way. Use the following principles to guide you in handling your brand’s social media accounts this season, and then watch the numbers fly.
1. Update your look
One of the first boxes you should tick off once Black Friday season starts to unfold is updating the over-all look of your social media profile. Ensure that people are aware of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions by using special profile pictures, banners, bios, and links. Another great way to bring attention to your Black Friday specials is to use the pinned post/tweet feature.
2. Hype up your deals
Creating a sense of urgency is always a good thing when it comes to sales. Using words like “Limited time only” and “Hurry” encourages people to take immediate action, especially if you make it clear through a countdown timer that the deal will expire soon. Alternatively, you can create hype by installing an inventory counter on your page that shows that stocks are running low. Just be careful not to overdo it.
3. Bank on emotions
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, humans can easily get swayed by emotions. Use this to your advantage by evoking your prospects’ emotions. Target emotions like inspiration, delight, interest, and amusement. This will encourage your audience to share your posts with friends and family. The more they talk to their peers about your brand, the wider your reach will be.
Using hashtags should be a no-brainer. Many shoppers rely on them to find promotions and information (I know I do). Research and determine the best possible set of hashtags to attach to your posts. Doing so will help increase traffic and engagement in your posts—ultimately helping you secure more conversions.
5. Scheduling is your friend
It’s best to have all of your Black Friday to Cyber Monday posts laid out and scheduled a couple of weeks before US Thanksgiving. That way, you can make sure that they’ll have a uniform look and feel. This will also save you a lot of stress once the retail frenzy actually starts. You’ll be able to focus on monitoring your posts and responding to feedback during those crucial times, instead of fretting about what to post next.
6. Keep it snappy
Social media has given way to shorter attention spans. For example, Instagram Stories and Snapchat users are used to quickly digesting content—so if you’re planning to advertise on the said platforms, the need to keep everything short-yet-effective is even stronger.
When it comes to writing Facebook copy, avoid the “See more” button by keeping captions short and sweet.
7. Targeting is crucial
Don’t waste the opportunity to utilise targeting capabilities on each social media platform. Look into your own CRM data, as well as information from external data providers, to hone in on the right audience. A lot of online customers are very loyal to the brands they trust and love, so it’ll be smart to bank on your own CRM data for targeting and personalising content and/or offers.
8. Bid aggressively
Needless to say, competition will be tough on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Although this necessitates a bigger advertising budget, bidding aggressively during this time may actually be worth it. Remember: at this time, you’ll be reaching social media users when they’re actually receptive to offers and ads, and when purchase intent is at its highest.
9. Use the right ad format
When it comes to paid advertising on social media, brand marketers have a lot of options going on for them. There’s Instagram Story ads, Facebook Carousel ads, Twitter lead generation ads, just to name a few. Really hone in on what your primary objective is and select an ad type accordingly.
If you want to showcase your various sales and products, carousel ads on Instagram and Facebook are great. If you find it best to market on Pinterest, sponsored or promoted pins are your best bet. If re-targeting is your main concern, Dynamic ads on Facebook and Instagram will work to your advantage.
10. Be creative with engagement
Engaging with customers doesn’t always have to be feeding them with posts and ads, hoping they’d be receptive. These days, social media platforms are laden with all sorts of tricks and gimmicks to encourage your audience to interact with your brand. So don’t be afraid to get creative!
A great example of this is the poll feature on Facebook. Ask your audience some Black Friday/Cyber Monday-related questions and let them weigh in. You can also use the Q&A sticker on Instagram Stories or do a live video session to drive engagement. Even though you already have your promotions planned and laid out, it might still be a great idea to ask your customers what they’d like to see.
Content marketing tips for Black Friday
Ideally, you should have already done some SEO work in preparation for Black Friday by this time. The best time to start plugging in Black Friday-friendly keywords into your content is at around 3-6 months before Thanksgiving week, as this would give Google enough time to index your pages and get them to the highest SERP rankings possible.
To further supplement this strategy (or if you failed to do this action beforehand), here are some tips that you can work on last-minute to aid your Black Friday marketing campaign.
1. Create gift guides
Creating gift guides will encourage your customers to cart extra items for family and friends. Not to mention, it’s also a great bonus for customers who are actually looking to tackle their Christmas shopping list.
You can use titles along the lines of “Top gifts your boyfriend will love” or “Best gifts for mum.” Promoting or boosting this post on social media can also help you target the specific consumers you have in mind.
2. Beef up your frequency
Brick and mortar stores usually send out Black Friday marketing materials in advance so that people can plan their visit ahead of time. For online retailers, on the other hand, it pays to attract customer attention closer to the actual target shopping dates—just so you can stay fresh in everyone’s mind.
This is also why it makes perfect sense to beef up your blog posting frequency in the weeks leading up to Black Friday weekend. This will enable you to provide fresh content—helping you stay constantly within the customer’s radar AND improve your site’s keyword rankings. Of course, the higher you rank by the time Thanksgiving week arrives, the better are the chances of people finding and visiting your website.
You can also use blog posts to do countdowns to your best deals. While blog posts shouldn’t go overboard with sales talk, events like Black Friday can be an exception. After all, it’ll help customers navigate your website better during the sale—something they’ll probably appreciate a lot.
3. Link blogs to sales pages
This is connected to the previous tip, but don’t forget to actually link product pages to your blog posts. If you want, you can also create an article—sort of a master list—that serves as a centralised location with links to all your sales and promotions. You can pin this article on top of your blog homepage for easier access.
Many e-commerce retailers rely on Black Friday, Sofa Sunday, and Cyber Monday for a sizable chunk of their annual revenue. People are expected to spend more than ever this year, and the right strategy—coupled with ample preparation—can ensure that you get your own healthy piece of the revenue pie.
If you’d like to learn more about optimising your social media strategy and content marketing tactics for the holiday shopping season, give our team of digital marketing experts a call today! We’d be more than happy to talk to you about your online business and how to maximise its earning potential.