Planning for Black Friday 2021 – Creating a Winning Strategy

Black Friday 2021 promises sales galore and even more festivities. When it comes to Black Friday marketing strategy, this year is more important than ever. With the pandemic putting a halt to much celebration last year, more people are pushing the boat out to make this year special and Black Friday 2021 is a massive part of their festive season. After the clear shift to online shopping last year, digital marketing will be the main player when it comes to Black Friday marketing strategies, here’s how to create one that’s memorable.

When is Black Friday 2021?

Black Friday 2021 falls on Friday 26 November 2021. However, as always, many big stores start their Black Friday sales and marketing activities much earlier with some having weeks-long teaser campaigns for their sales and starting the sales on the Monday or even the weekend before Black Friday to really make the most of the date. Black Friday social media campaigns often start weeks before sales launch with marketers planning their campaigns well in advance. If you are still working on planning for Black Friday, the time is now to shore up your marketing efforts and start working on some Black Friday promotion ideas to make your sale stand out.


What is Black Friday All About?

Black Friday has become known as the sale of the year for many businesses. Previously popular mainly in the USA as the day shoppers hit the shops after Thanksgiving celebrations, Black Friday has boomed in popularity in the UK to become a key event in many marketer’s calendars. There are many different opinions on what Black Friday means from the day shops go from being in the red to being in the black and turning a profit for the year to a term to describe the manic traffic conditions of the day following thanksgiving. One thing has stuck though, its association with one of the biggest shopping events of the year.


Planning for Black Friday

As with any marketing event, the key to making your Black Friday 2021 a success is all in the planning. There are some key parts of building a Black Friday marketing strategy that should be put in place to ensure all resources are ready well ahead of time.

The first part of your Black Friday strategy should be research. If your business or organisation has run Black Friday campaigns in the past, analyse how they have performed and what marketing strategies were used. Filter this down to platforms used and Black Friday marketing designs to see what worked and what didn’t in order to inform your 2021 marketing strategy. At this point, it might also be worth looking at what your most popular products are. Which products create a buzz online and might be particularly sought after were an offer put on them?

Next, do some competitor research. What have comparable businesses in your industry done before that you could take some ideas from? Have you received any Black Friday marketing in the past that has really resonated with you, regardless of industry? Compile your findings with past performance to fuel your Black Friday 2021 campaign ideas.


Set Your Black Friday 2021 Goals

No marketing campaign is complete without goals. By setting your goals before forming your deals and marketing you’ll have a better idea of what you want to achieve from your Black Friday 2021 marketing. If slow sales at the start of the year have led to a backlog in stock, one of your goals may be to shift a certain amount of products, perhaps by promoting some BOGOF BF deals. If one of your goals is to bring back some previous customers, your marketing may be more bespoke to customers, offering unique discount codes on products they have viewed, for example.

On this note, what will you include in your Black Friday offers? Will it be a site-wide sale or on a custom collection of products or services? If you are creating a dedicated landing page for your Black Friday sale, make sure the offers you are featuring are present on the page. Another option that has gained popularity is creating ‘offer bundles’ for popular combinations of products or services as part of your BF campaign.


Ensure Everything is Optimised

There is nothing worse than a Black Friday campaign gaining massive traction and driving huge amount of traffic to a site that is malfunctioning. Take some time to optimise your site for visitors and ensure every step of the purchasing process is smooth and hassle-free. If you have noticed a pattern of users getting stuck at a particular part of the buying journey, make sure this is examined and fixed before the sale launches. Any issues with site loading or lagging should be solved before the sale to avoid putting off any new visitors who won’t want to wait around. You may also want to invest in some updated product images or graphics to really wow site visitors and secure sales as part of your Black Friday marketing activity. Virtual browsing is here to stay so a fully-optimised website is a must. Make sure your website is optimised for both users and search engines for the best results.


Decide on How You Will Promote Black Friday 2021

Whether you are going big with a full-scale Black Friday 2021 campaign or simply testing the waters with a Black Friday-themed email, decide on your campaigns in advance. Will you be creating Black Friday social media campaigns? Will you be promoting your offers through email or print marketing? What marketing channels will you be promoting on and do you have branded marketing materials ready to fit each? The most important thing to remember about online marketing is that each platform is different, so it is key you adapt your designs and messaging to each platform’s needs whilst maintaining your brand’s tone and image.

If your offers will only be valid for a limited amount of time, like many Black Friday offers are, abandoned cart emails can be a useful tool to remind those who have added products to their cart on your website to complete the purchase. You may want to implement countdown timers or push the ‘limited time only’ message to create a sense of urgency and push customers towards making a purchase. Any marketing emails should be designed and created well in advance to allow customer journeys to be mapped. If they are not already present, install any tracking codes on your site. These will remain useful long after the Black Friday sales have ended.


How Long Will Your Black Friday Campaigns Last?

Whilst the main event for Black Friday is clearly the day itself, brands have been stretching out their sales for a long time. Competition for attention on the day can feel like promoting your needle in the haystack with inboxes bombarded with Black Friday promotions galore. By promoting your Black Friday event over a few days or a week, you’ll give your customers more chances to snap up a deal and find your voice among the crowds. Teaser campaigns can tempt your potential customers weeks before the sale launches to build up momentum before launch day. However, avoid extending your Black Friday offers too long after the day, as this can work to undermine your campaign.

If one of your aims is to promote return customers, why not use Black Friday Purchases to work towards this goal? By sending a ‘thank you for purchasing, here’s x off your next order’ emails or free gifts when visitors sign up to your mailing lift, you’ll be promoting return visitors and future purchases even after the sale has ended.

Cyber Monday online deals

Combining Black Friday with Cyber Monday 2021

If you have never heard of it, Cyber Monday is the usually online version of the Black Friday sales that takes place on the Monday following Black Friday. Many marketers take the opportunity of extending Black Friday momentum with Cyber Monday deals and marketing that makes the most of the event.

Whilst many people combine Black Friday and Cyber Monday into one big sale, some brands treat them as two separate events, each with individual offers and marketing activity to support them. If your business has both a physical shopfront and an online store, you may want to promote offers both in-store and online.


What Happens Once Black Friday has Ended?

It may seem a little while off now but it is important to have a process in place once the Black Friday Sales have ended to ensure success in future marketing campaigns. If you have been running ads for Black Friday, ensure that all have ended along with the offers and take some time to analyse the performance of any ads that have run along with any other Black Friday marketing activity you have.

Break down your analysis on a case-by-case basis. Did social media campaigns see much traction? Which posts performed particularly well? Was there anything that really didn’t perform well at all? Were there any common complaints about supply or the sale process that should be considered for any future sales? Compile these findings into teachable lessons and future goals for your marketing efforts.


Making the Most of Your Digital Marketing Efforts

If you have big ambitions for your digital marketing but lack the manpower or digital marketing specialisms to bring your ideas to life, contact the experts at SEM Consultants now to find out more about how we can help. We have experts in a number of digital marketing fields and are perfectly placed to understand industry nuances and how to make your digital marketing campaigns a success. Contact our team now to find out more.