Black Friday Marketing – 5 Last-Minute Ideas to Boost Sales
⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
If you’d have to think of the best way to describe Black Friday, the definition would have to include “shopping like there’s no tomorrow” and “gigantic discounts”. And that’s pretty much what this shopping bonanza is all about.
For years now, Black Friday has done to shoppers what candy shops do to children. They tend to go crazy, running around, not knowing where to start first.
The greatest thing about Black Friday is that the majority of shops give huge discounts. And this is at the same time the biggest disadvantage if you’re a retailer. The competition is just huge.
In this text we’ll give you a couple of marketing ideas which will make your offer stand out from the crowd. In addition, we’ll go through a couple of awesome Black Friday marketing examples to give you additional inspiration.
But let’s start from the beginning – and where Black Friday comes from.
The Origins of Black Friday
There’s not much to be unhappy about when it comes to Black Friday. Retailers manage to sell a lot of stuff, shoppers get what they want at really low prices. So why the gloomy adjective “black”?
To answer that, we need to go way back, to the beginning of the 20th century and the roots of what we now call the holiday shopping season. For many years in the US, there was something called the Thanksgiving parades. Stores organized them in order to boost their sales and encourage people to start the Christmas shopping spree. This was so successful for many retailers that they were put “in the black” till the end of the year. This is why this Friday was named Black and it unofficially signified the start of the holiday season.
There’s also a less pretty story about the origin of this name and it dates back even earlier, in the mid 19th century. It involved two guys, a lot of greed and one of the biggest economic crises in the history of the USA. In 1869 financier Jay Gould and railway businessman James Fisk tried to corner the gold market. The result? Stock market crash, commodity price drop and financial panic. That dark day became famous as Black Friday.
Picture 1. Black Friday history
5 Black Friday Marketing Ideas
1. Let Live Chat Seal the Deal
If you own an online store, this one is a must!
Holidays and special offers usually represent a nightmare for your customer service team, since this is the time when everybody shops. And everybody has a question. And with so much competition, you just can’t afford to provide anything but amazing customer service. So, this is where a live chat service can save the day.
Live chat gives you the opportunity to talk to your customers real-time, answer their doubts, upsell and show that you really really care. Besides, with all its cool features it gives your customer service team a chance to answer faster, to assign conversations to each other and to prioritize inquiries leading to greater customer satisfaction. And when it’s Black Friday, customer satisfaction is what it all comes down to.
Picture 2. Paldesk Black Friday offer
2. Add Freebies
Who doesn’t like getting free stuff? (Even when they’re another branded notebook with an inspirational quote.) When you receive a gift, you feel appreciated, and that’s something many marketers know how to use.
There are many ways you can give that free extra to your customers – you can make a 1+1 offer, giving the cheaper item for free. If you want to promote a certain item in your shop, you can offer gifts with every purchase of that item. If you’re selling software, then you can maybe offer a longer free trial period, or add more features to the basic package. You can also go a step further and make your own branded Black Friday merch and reward all your customers for buying during that day.
If you have a loyalty club and if you have some really important customers you’d want to pay special attention to, try sending out physical gifts. There’s not a person in the world who’d say no to a nice surprise package knocking at their doors.
3. Do Good
Research shows that 89 percent of Americans are likely to support a brand associated with a cause. So why not giving your customers an additional reason to buy from you by making a Black Friday offer that makes a positive difference.
Team up with a local charity or a bigger non-profit organization, offer to donate a percentage of your Black Friday income for a cause, connect specific items with nonprofits or give your customers a chance to choose who they’d like to donate to – the opportunities are infinite.
In this way you’re not only improving your brand’s reputation and driving a positive perception of your business. You’re giving back to the community and this has to be the best feeling ever.
Picture 3. Lolly Dagger Black Friday marketing example
4. Go Wild on Social Media
Research shows that 53% of American consumers use social networks to make purchases for Black Friday and other sales events. So social media is where you can really let loose with your Black Friday marketing.
Before you take any action make sure you make a good content plan and prepare everything you need for creating engaging posts – flashy images, GIFs, videos, catchy punchlines,etc.
Social media is where you can easily get lost in the sea of your competitors’ offers, but it’s also where you can target precisely who you want, when you want it.
If you’re using Instagram and Twitter make sure to include the hashtag #blackfriday. In addition, you can create one of your own, unique for your business.
P.S. Videos are the most effective creative content you can come up with to increase engagement. Give it a try!
5. Pimp your Store Design
Whether you own a brick-and-mortar store or a webshop, it has to be visible right from the start that something special is going on. When we talk about eCommerce, think Black Friday banners, targeted pop-ups, an additional Black Friday landing page with best offers and similar. You can even go the extra mile and create a whole separate silo on your website. In this way you get more space to guide your target audience and explain how precisely yours is a set of simply too-good-to-miss offers.
Also – make sure that whatever you do on your website functions perfectly on mobile devices. You wouldn’t want to lose an eager prospect because they can’t see half of your best-buy item descriptions while searching for a good deal.
Black Friday Marketing Spot On – Examples That Work
Buy Less, Buy Better Campaign by Hiut Denim
The craze over Black Friday shopping has also triggered many anti-campaigns, which have cleverly used the popularity of this shopping holiday. One of those was a campaign by a Welsh jeans company Hiut Denim. They’ve shut down their webshop on Black Friday with an explanation that they’re a small business owner and that their price is already fair enough. In their opinion
“Black Friday feels like a battle to see who can be the cheapest. Lots of people buying things they don’t really need with money they don’t really have.”
As a result, they’ve received praise from their customers and reached a new audience. So sometimes doing the exact opposite can have a much greater impact than trying to come up with the best way to tell the same story as everybody else.
Picture 4. Black Friday marketing example by Hiut Denim
Make Your Customers Smile like Amazon Does
Humor can be a bit of a slippery slope when it comes to Black Friday marketing, but if done properly it’s a safe bet. No way you’re not going to want to tell your friends about a funny ad you’ve seen, right? And this is its ultimate goal – word-of-mouth marketing.
Amazon has become a master in making the world smile. From year to year they keep making commercials which go viral. Like this one telling a story of a busy office worker who hates Black Friday preparations, and how Amazon is making your life easier by sending great deals to your door (running slow-mo, like Superman)
And it’s not about making a fancy video. Sometimes a cute cat picture can do the trick.
Picture 5. Amazon Black Friday ad for social media
Use the Christmas Spirit. Verizon Style.
Since Black Friday officially marks the start of the holiday season, many marketers combine the upcoming Christmas craze to communicate their discounts. This is exactly what Verizon did in their Black Friday commercial. Here they’re saying that their offers are so great that even Santa can’t help but shop at their stores. Pretty cool.
Black Friday Marketing Done Right
Whether you’re looking for new ideas or simply inspiration to improve your existing campaigns, we hope you found these tips and examples useful. This is the busiest time of the year, both for retailers and shoppers, so it seems that it’s hard to reach anyone without having to do something really dramatic (please don’t be dramatic, this year has been pretty dramatic so far).
But a little creativity can go a long way, so start from what makes your business different and offer it in a unique way. You’ll be just fine.
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