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black friday marketing: 8 brilliant ideas for 2021

by | Oct 28, 2021

we’re all familiar with the barrage of black friday emails that will flood our inboxes in November.  the current generation of e-commerce shoppers may even have an email just for online shopping that fills with “spam” because it can get so intense.  so how do you utilize black friday for your e-commerce business without getting lost in the cacophony?  consumers spent $9 billion online during black friday 2020: up 21% from the previous year.  it’s not a dying holiday; it’s just a shifting one.  a brilliant marketing strategy. competitive discounts. and eye-catching product photography can and will rake in the sales for your online shop this black friday.  we’ll break down our best practices for making the most of it!

black friday marketing best practices 

these are best practices that are proven to bring a more successful holiday shopping season.  start planning now: videos. photos. graphics. copy. etc. to make sure you leave no crumbs this holiday shopping season.

don’t wing it

if you don’t already have a plan in place for black friday, it’s a great time to start devising your plan.  what kind of sales will you have?  how will you notify your customers?  do you have a retargeting strategy (like abandoned cart emails or social media ads)?  aside from the logistics: you’ll also need a creative direction.  do you know what your best sellers are?  how will your graphics and product photos compete with the millions of others out there?

don’t wait too long to get started 

an effective black friday campaign will need to be ready to go long before black friday.  if you’re a small business — you’ll need to make sure all of your product photos on your website are high-quality and up-to-date.  this isn’t a last minute task!  when is the last time you gave your website a visit from the eyes of a customer? 

optimize your competitive strategies

black friday doesn’t exactly start with “door busters” like the old days.  you’ll start receiving emails a week early.  some brands even offer surprise sales on Thanksgiving to try to get ahead.  then there’s small business saturday.  cyber monday… now extended to cyber week.  it’s less of a specific time and more of a *gestures* moment.  your launch is totally up to you: you could go with an early sale. shock factor. a call-to-action that can’t be resisted.  a countdown. or even a late sale.  it’s hard to avoid your emails or ads being sandwiched between dozens of others also offering sales so the key is to work smarter not harder.

know your audience

understanding your audience will get you ahead in black friday sales.  know your target demographic; the type of person who would be drawn to your product: are they going to respond to a humorous ad?  will they respond to a lifestyle video or a demonstration video better?  are they coming to your website through emails. facebook. or instagram ads? 

effective black friday marketing ideas

before we dive into black friday marketing tips: is your brand identity solid?  do you use a mood board (online or IRL) to keep your brand content cohesive?  do you know the voice of your company (funny. casual. luxurious. intellectual.)?  use this understanding of your brand identity to guide you in making black friday decisions.  avoid creating loud and bright black friday ads just because you think that will attract the most attention.  if you brand is all about soft earth tones and natural textures: don’t create a black friday campaign that will clash with that.  instead — lean into the niche of customers who will appreciate your brand for what it is!

1. lean into your product photos!

you should be using product photography in all of your advertising materials during this period!  many brands will use graphics that are made up of big flashy text.  we’re innundated with ___% OFF! and SALE ENDS SOON.  instead: let your beautiful product photos catch those short attention spans and use a photo-editing app to create graphics that compliment your marketing materials rather than overpower them.

2. stand out in the inbox!

one major marketing channel for black friday is email.  throughout the rest of the year: you can do things like offer discounts for signing up to be on the email list.  then don’t abuse those emails!  send them sparingly. tastefully. with good news like sales or bundle discounts.  this keeps your email list from unsubscribing.  black friday might just be the only time of year that you NEED to send multiple emails in one day.  but your email will be buried in dozens of others in your customers’ inbox and attention spans are shorter than ever while black friday shopping online.  personalized emails alone aren’t enough but used with the other tips below: you can craft a unique black friday shopping experience that will stand out.

3. don’t shy away from pop-ups

there are many different types of pop ups that can be utilized to maximize your black friday sales.  the basic idea is that: when someone visits your website a pop up will be there to greet them. direct traffic to the best deals. or introduce the black friday sale.  some visitors will click through and some will close out but either way: you’ve made an impression.  similar to choosing a hero image for the front page of your website. you’ll want to choose the photos and graphics you use in this pop up wisely.  create separate incentives and graphics for returning vs. new visitors to increase conversion.

4. boldly announce your discounts

create graphics. pop ups. and email headers that boldly declare your discounts and sales for black friday.  the goal is to make an impression so that your customers will think of your product because those marketing materials really stuck with them.  most black friday shoppers are browsing before they make a decision — because there are SO many deals to be scoped!  your job is to make sure your marketing materials were effective enough to draw customers back in.  a bold graphic and impactful product photo will do just that!

5. go heavy on the videos

online shoppers respond better to videos than photos.  after watching a video about a product: consumers are 85% more likely to buy it.  there are so many great ways to show off your products in video form: demonstration. lifestyle. 360. product-in-use.  consider which format might be best for capturing sales and increasing conversion.  what will potential customers want to know about your product before they’re willing to buy it?  answer that question in your black friday marketing videos!

6. take your time with image sizing

image sizing might seem unrelated to black friday.  but image sizing can be tricky and dependent on the website the image is on.  an email header that’s too large and slow to load can be cause for your customers to close out of your email and onto the next one.  or seeing a grainy photo when trying to assess the details and textures of your product could cause your customers to choose another product with more reliable images!  

7. make it mobile-friendly! 

40% of black friday sales were made on mobile devices in 2020.  if your ecomm website isn’t friendly to mobile users: that’s a huge missed opportunity!  ensure your images and codes work seamlessly on mobile just as they do on desktop to make sure you don’t miss out on those sales.

6. take your time with image sizing

image sizing might seem unrelated to black friday.  but image sizing can be tricky and dependent on the website the image is on.  an email header that’s too large and slow to load can be cause for your customers to close out of your email and onto the next one.  or seeing a grainy photo when trying to assess the details and textures of your product could cause your customers to choose another product with more reliable images!  

7. make it mobile-friendly! 

40% of black friday sales were made on mobile devices in 2020.  if your ecomm website isn’t friendly to mobile users: that’s a huge missed opportunity!  ensure your images and codes work seamlessly on mobile just as they do on desktop to make sure you don’t miss out on those sales.

get ready for black friday with soona

once you’ve got your plan in place: it’s time to start putting it into action!  if you’re ready for professional. high-quality. fast product photography and video: collab with soona to make your content dreams a reality.  soona’s studio professionals can help you bring your vision to life with fresh holiday trend sets and add-ons to elevate your ecomm photos!

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