Have you started your Black Friday promotions yet? If not, now’s the time to start. Most shoppers will plan their purchases well in advance, and may already be thinking about how much they’ll spend and where they’ll look.
Of course, that’s not the only reason to prepare. You never know what trends or events may impact this year’s buying behaviours, or when purchases will peak. For example: While 2018 was a record-breaking year for holiday retail sales in the US all season long, sales started to weaken in the UK come December. But for brands and retailers that had prepared ahead, the news wasn’t all bad: By the time sales started to dip, advanced planners had already benefited from the £1.49 billion online shoppers spent in the UK on Black Friday.
Bottom line: The sooner you can get your digital marketing strategy ready, the better positioned you’ll be to maximise this season’s biggest opportunities as they arise.
ChannelAdvisor’s specialists are here to help. In our recent webinar, Preparing Your Digital Marketing Campaigns for Black Friday, Digital Strategist Izabela Catiru shared her top tips for the 2019 peak season.
Here are a few of her most important recommendations.
1. Analyse previous campaigns
First things first: If you want to be as prepared as possible for a successful Black Friday, begin by taking a fresh look at your previous results.
To start, we recommend looking at your impression share. Consider any factors that may have led you to lose rank or budget last year. Then answer several key questions to help plan your budget for 2019:
- Which campaigns performed well?
- Which ones underperformed?
- Did you allocate enough budget?
- What trends can you identify from the past several years?
2. Segment and personalise audiences
During an extremely high-traffic period like Black Friday, segmentation is key. In fact, if you don’t segment, you will have a really hard time competing.
When reviewing your data from last year, look for any key actions that were taken by high-converting consumers. Then add those actions (or non-actions) to your audience segmentation. For example, you might segment audiences based on the categories they browsed or how recently they visited your site. Or you could segment customers as they add a specific item to shopping carts, so they’ll see your promotions when searching for related keywords in the future.
Don’t just add all audiences to all campaigns. By using similar or lookalike audiences for your top customer segments, you can ensure people will see the promotions that are most relevant to their shopping needs.
3. Have a plan for your budget
This step is arguably one of the trickiest, but most important, to get right. Regardless of where you stand on manual versus automated campaigns, we recommend planning ahead so you can leverage smart bidding.
However, this only applies if you give yourself enough time to learn and prepare. Sellers should not attempt campaign automation on a budget that is limited or has been maxed out on impression share, since this won’t leave you enough space to discover new audiences.
You’ll have different options depending on where your users are in the funnel, so make sure your campaigns are set up to match your goals with the right bidding strategy.
4. Focus on mobile
Don’t forget! The vast majority of consumers are now mobile-first, which means you’ll need to create your 2019 Black Friday strategy accordingly. It may sound obvious, but even at ChannelAdvisor our digital marketing specialists come across accounts where mobile has been “beaten down” by sellers who erroneously assume mobile campaigns don’t work.
In fact, for many products and categories, mobile performs very well. You just need to do some in-depth analysis. Don’t simply adjust mobile feeds at the campaign level and call it a day. Instead, dive a little deeper to understand where, when and how your products are likely to be viewed on different devices.
And while it may seem redundant, you absolutely need to continue testing your site speed. Even a second can cost you all kinds of conversions and sales on mobile.
5. Prioritise Amazon Advertising
Did you know that ChannelAdvisor sellers who advertise on Amazon grow 63% faster than those who don’t?
If you don’t already have a plan for Amazon Advertising during the upcoming peak season, this should be at the top of your priority list. There’s a very good chance you’ll start to see more and more competitors bidding on your brand name. Without an Amazon Advertising strategy to counteract those campaigns, you’re bound to lose the traffic you worked so hard to get on your listings.
Above all, remember: These takeaways are just the start. Depending on your business and goals, there are any number of digital marketing strategies you can leverage to make 2019 your most successful Black Friday yet.
For more tips and techniques, be sure to watch the full webinar. In addition to exploring the above strategies in greater detail, you’ll also discover:
- When to start harvesting keywords, and what to look for
- How to optimise promotions based on product inventory
- What you need to know about Smart Shopping campaigns and Dynamic Search Ads
- How to drive discovery of your products using new channels
- And more!