You’d never think looking at it now that 10 years ago Black Friday was relatively unknown in the UK. However, since the acceleration of the digital age and a more global marketplace Black Friday is quickly becoming one of the key dates in the retail calendar. Last year alone saw UK shoppers spend over £7billion as they hoped to snap up bargains in time for Christmas.
Of course the real winner for Black Friday is the online retailers as half the fun for buyers is searching and finding the best deals. So with it being an online-heavy event, how are marketers looking to get the most out of it?
Is Black Friday the new Christmas?
Traditionally Christmas was the bumper sales opportunity of the year, and whilst it still is many consumers are using Black Friday as a way to purchase Christmas gifts or high ticket items for the home. Indeed we now spend more in November than December proving that Black Friday is bucking the trend.
And whilst the consumers and companies have cottoned on to this gold mine for sales, marketers are still viewing it as a last minute activity. At PMYB we find that typically marketing teams still don’t view Black Friday as a firm event on the calendar and therefore tend to approach the planning later than other marketing activities – missing out on a huge opportunity.
Under the influence
In the modern age creating fast and quick marketing campaigns often means looking at influencers and social media channels. And with online retailers being the preferred port of call for consumers, marketers want the majority of efforts to be geared towards getting click through’s and sales. So the combination of lack of time and objectives of click-throughs make influencers the ideal channel.
We are certainly seeing this reflected too – in 2018 influencers included 51% more products in their posts during the week of Black Friday. Demonstrating that companies and influencers are keen to exploit Black Friday as a major money making event.
And the results show that everyone is winning with three times as many clicks from influencers’ content to retailer’s sites last year. For example a PMYB client used four influencers to drive awareness last Black Friday which generated 428 tracked orders that week through 18 pieces of content on IG and YT with 1.37M impressions.
But are we all missing a trick? As Black Friday grows will it continue to be good enough to generate last minute content and evaluate it based on click throughs?
Add some colour to the black
The trouble with not leaving enough time to plan activity is that it leaves little time to add creativity and ensure it is fully aligned with existing campaigns and messages. In order for Black Friday activity to really work companies need to start thinking about it in August and creating ideas and content to lead up to the event.
As Black Friday continues to grow in popularity so will the amount of companies cashing in and using social media platforms to do so. At this point differentiating your campaign from others can set you apart from the rest and help drive sales and brand awareness.
It’s also crucial, as ever, to ensure you select the right influencer, don’t just get whoever you can due to time constraints. Work with trusted and results proven influencers who are happy to share data and collaborate on ways to drive traffic.
Knowing who to pick can be really tricky. That’s why we’ve developed a unique data-driven, scientific process to identify only the right influencers who will deliver the best ROI for each campaign. The proprietary 5 stage Chromo-Analysis™ scoring system we use rates every influencer we recommend against 46 key data points to assess their effectiveness in altering consumer behaviour and impacting sales volumes. Only those who score highly are selected. Using a tool such as this will ensure you have the right influencer for the campaign and your brand that will give a better chance of meaningful results.
Or if you have used influencers in the past then engage with them as these existing relationships mean you will have already generated brand awareness with their audience. Content looks more genuine if an influencer keeps mentioning brands/products throughout the year and not just as a one off.
With Christmas and January sales around the corner create a campaign that taps into all three and produces content that shows audiences that it’s not just a quick one of Black Friday paid for post to generate some pre-Christmas income.
As ever, evaluation and measurement are key when it comes to any digital marketing activity. Purely looking at click through’s and sales often isn’t good enough anymore.
As consumers change spending habits, marketers need to be in a position to be agile in campaigns, but not in a way that compromises on creativity, brand reputation and results. Including Black Friday as a firm fixture in the marketing calendar will be crucial in years to come.
The key to standing out is planning, creativity and ensuring you are getting genuine results.
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