For a long time now, Black Friday hasn’t just been an American tradition. British brands opened their arms to it a while back now and it’s continuing to grow, with smaller independent brands also jumping on the back of it in the run-up to Christmas.
Now, not only do we have Black Friday but also its little sister, Cyber Monday, which last year (2019) raked in an estimated £3 billion from Brit’s sales alone, with roughly half of the population making a purchase.
As a brand, though, how are you expected to cut through so much of the noise – especially when so many American companies are already leading the way?
To help you stand out from the crowd a bit more, we’ve done a bit of digging and put together a bit of a Digital PR and Social Media go-to with the help of some of the more prevalent contenders this November.
Firstly, if we look at Digital PR, the basics don’t really change. You still need a strong story or relevant news to get coverage from some of the top publishers.
The most successful way to gain coverage and sales through Digital PR is either getting your discount or sales live on the site early or, least shockingly of all, increasing your discount rates year on year.
We saw some brands starting to advertise their sales and publishers starting Black Friday coverage as early as the end of October but maybe more interestingly, publishers, such as the Telegraph are doing a Black Friday Live feature which gives brands the opportunity to be featured, even if you’ve left your outreach to the last minute…
More important than ever, it’s essential you include a CTA (Call To Action) in your outreach email and a link to the products you’re selling, or even better, a dedicated Black Friday landing page.
Just from an SEO perspective, having an “always on” Black Friday landing page which you can update every year is the best way to build authority for that page. It essentially guarantees that no backlink value from your previous year’s activity will be wasted.
Every year, we see more and more influencers getting involved with Black Friday too and this year the quality and quantity of this type of content have gone through the roof.
In years gone by, it just used to be a fight to be included in their Black Friday round-up posts which was a glorified list of discount codes.
In today’s world, there are blogs, vlogs, Instagram grids, Instagram stories, Twitter posts, Twitter stories, TikTok. The list is endless. So, not only do you need to make sure you’re working with the right influencers, you need to make sure the content is being shared on the right platform, in the right manner.
In the Frow, one of the fashion and beauty industry’s most revered influencers, has been sharing some of her favourite discounts on her blog but not only that, she has partnered with the likes of LuisaViaRoma on her YouTube channel and Urban Decay on her Instagram stories – with the always sought after swipe up function, taking the viewer directly to the sales page.
Equally, in the health and fitness sector, MyProtein seems to have excelled in their influencer marketing this year, with influencers such as Fiona Simpson (boasting almost a quarter of a million followers) being given personalised promo codes for their followers at a massive 47% off.
View this post on Instagram
GymShark has also partnered with rapper and Youtuber KSI on a collaboration for Black Friday, offering 50% off.
KSI wouldn’t necessarily be the influencer you automatically go to when considering GymShark but by working with influencers in this way, they are reaching a new and wider demographic which might not have previously been considered. From a marketing perspective, they’re playing the long game and aiming to convert the sales buyers into long-term, loyal customers.
View this post on Instagram
Now, we obviously don’t know what these influencers have been paid to get involved with promoting these deals, BUT we can’t imagine it was cheap to work on channels of this caliber. However, there are cheaper ways you can go about this.
Influencers will tend to have a rate card reflective of how many followers they have so you can target a higher number of lower-level influencers, tallying up to achieve a similar reach, in a way that suits your budget.
I know we have touched on social media slightly from a third-party perspective but what we haven’t touched on is how you can utilise your owned channels.
When planning your social media strategy in the run-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you need to consider a number of things:
If you’re really wanting to push Black Friday through your social channels, it’s important to update the links in your bio so you’re directing users straight to your sales pages. Equally, it might be worth considering updating your profile pictures and banners to advertise your promotions too.
Profile pictures and banners are the first things people see when they click onto your page but as they start to consume your content, the second thing they will see is your most recent post. The beauty of one of Twitter’s latest features is the Pinned Tweet function which seems to be made for brands and advertising.
Make sure your Tweet or Facebook post announcing your best deals is at the top of your timeline… and PLEASE make it visual. Facebook posts including visuals receive 2.3 times more engagements than those without and when it comes to Twitter, this number rises to 3.6.
Yes, it might be obvious and it’s something you should probably be doing anyway but scheduling your Black Friday content is going to save you a job later down the line when your endless to-do list is weighing you down and you should really be spending any extra time getting involved in social conversations around Black Friday deals.
Keep your creative and messaging consistent and make your life easier by using tools such as Hootsuite or Social Sprout to keep on track of what’s going out when across your channels.
3. A Sense of Urgency
As I’ve already talked about, some brands started advertising their Black Friday plans in early November but very few actually made their Black Friday sales live until much later. Getting people aware of your sales early is great, but when they finally come, using key phrases like “today” and “soon” will trigger people to think it’s limited and push them to take action quicker.
This year, OralB has mastered the use of hashtags, particularly across Twitter. The #BlackFridayOralB hashtag alone (without measuring any of their other social activity) has gained 139 tweets in total, reaching an estimated 260,000 people. All through the use of an, admittedly pretty dull, hashtag.
Save today, brush like a pro for life!
With a huge 60% off selected brushes, you can get that feeling of a professional clean every single day with the new Oral-B iO for a fraction of the normal price. #BlackFridayOralB
— OralB_UK (@OralBuk) November 19, 2020
Finally, a few other key points to remember is that Black Friday isn’t just a one-off Content Marketing opportunity. It’s an ongoing exercise you should be focusing on throughout the year so your visibility and awareness isn’t dropping off in the run-up to Christmas and throughout the next year.