Black Friday. We all know it. And whether we’re shopping or selling, we all take advantage of it. In fact, nearly 190 million Americans shopped during Black Friday 2022, racking up a grand total of $9.12 billion in purchases.

So, for marketers looking to make the most of the year’s biggest shopping day, it never hurts to over-prepare.

This year, breeze through the holiday season by kickstarting your Black Friday plans early. More and more people are joining the 88 million online Black Friday shoppers, so it’s time to revamp, redefine, or reinvent your campaigns with these tips and best practices. 

Get ready to save time, money, and stress — all while bringing in more transactions.

Creating Your Black Friday Master Plan

The golden question remains: How early is too early to start preparing for this shopping frenzy? Trick question — it’s never too early.

A lot of retailers start prepping for Black Friday about a month in advance, so for stores and online shops, we’re really looking at a late October/early November start date. Initial deals also start rolling out (or at least advertised) the month before the big day. But for marketers and publishers looking to plan content around the big deals, the summer and early fall might be the perfect time to get that in order.

A general rule of thumb is to work backwards from your goals and what you’d like to achieve this holiday season. 

Regardless of when you kick off your planning, here are some important dates to keep in mind:

  • Thanksgiving Day: November 23
  • Black Friday: November 24
  • Cyber Monday: November 27

So you have your timeline, but what should your Black Friday plan actually include? Consider these strategies:

Strong Social Media Build-Up

Social media remains one of the easiest (and most effective) ways of building buzz around an upcoming sale or deal. Whether you’re promoting the actual deal itself or rounding up the top gifts to pay attention to this holiday season, giving potential customers a sneak peek at what’s to come creates the necessary excitement and urgency needed to inspire more and more purchases.

Cross-Channel Promotional Strategy

And don’t just limit yourself to social media! Adopt and create a cross-channel promotional strategy that incorporates social, email, websites, mobile apps, in-store, and more. To sweeten the deal for customers, offer channel-exclusive deals.

Staggered Deals

Don’t let the hype die out quickly! More retailers and brands have opted for staggered deals, rather than just waiting for the big day to arrive. Effectively “sprinkling” door-buster deals helps take advantage of more of the pre-holiday season and even encourages customers to do more shopping than they might have with just one main sale.

Post-Cyber Monday Deals

It doesn’t end until the holiday lights are packed up and stored away. More retailers have started offering deals even after Cyber Monday, leading right up to the holidays. So, remember that your customers might still be doing some last-minute shopping right up until it’s time for Santa to make an appearance.

Creative is King: Black Friday Ad Best Practices

Problem + Solution

Commerce content, especially for Black Friday, should make a consumer’s shopping experience easier. For example, maybe your content centers around buying gifts for those family members that are impossible to shop for. 

Editor Picks / Roundups

Consumers want to buy products from brands and publishers that they trust. So, leveraging an authority figure or expert voice (ie. dermatologists, magazine editors, etc.) quickly gains the trust of potential buyers.

Tips On How To Navigate Holiday Shopping

Give users a guide on how to go about their holiday shopping. Where should they shop? What deals should they be looking for? Provide other options that don’t just include your own brand or business. Plus, throwing in some gift suggestions doesn’t hurt as well. 

Be Retailer-Specific

Calling out a specific retailer or store makes content more targeted and easier to shop. Hint: Referencing Amazon typically works pretty well. So well, in fact, that by dropping the online retailer’s name can boost CTR and lower CPC.

Go Under Budget

The holiday season can get expensive, and a lot of people are working with specific budgets. Create gift roundups that focus on items that are under a certain dollar amount (under $25, under $50, etc.).

Single Product That’s Audience-Specific

Focusing on one product that’s tailored for a unique audience will allow stronger targeting and higher conversion rates. For example, maybe there’s one specific gadget that’s a must-have for all hiking and wilderness lovers.

Always Have A Strong, Clear CTA

A strong call to action can make all the difference when it comes to encouraging a user to convert. Make it clear in your ad copy or use a CTA button.

Create A Unique Hashtag

Having a hashtag specific to your brand or what you’re promoting makes your content easily-recognizable by users. Additionally, it can help you create a strong brand narrative that can carry throughout your commerce campaign.

Catch Your Audience With The Perfect Headline 

An effective headline can make all the difference when it comes to CTR and conversion rates. You have a short amount of time to capture the attention of your prospective customers, so use the biggest text real estate to your advantage.

As part of a headlines test, Anyword saw that 70% of listicles tested in a headlines analysis had an increase in CTR when switching from a non-listicle to a listicle headline.

Consider Both Mobile & Desktop Consumers

Shopping at brick and mortar stores quickly turned into shopping from our computers, which has now turned into shopping from our phones. Over the course of just one year, mobile users’ share increased by over 10%. And this isn’t all that surprising given that American adults spend about 4 hours daily on their phones.

While online browsing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it is important for brands and publishers to place an emphasis on both desktop and mobile consumers. So because more people spend even more time on their phones nowadays, it’s important to make sure your site is optimized for mobile, making it easier for shoppers to check out.

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