Honcho

Established in 2008, Honcho is a Search marketing agency that powers growth for ambitious brands through advanced SEO, PPC, Paid Social, Content and Digital PR.

Hertford, United Kingdom
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5 expert tips to help you tool-up for Black Friday

by Jade Halstead

October 18, 2021

The marketing buzzword right now is Black Friday. With less than 50 days until the biggest sales weekend of the year, brands and marketers are furiously planning to make this year a huge success and we've got everything you need to get you tooled-up.

Telson Thomas, Honchō’s strategy & insights analyst, has used Google Trends to understand which items/categories usually spike over the Black Friday period to help you plan your marketing.

With 30%+ people planning on purchasing this Black Friday, most will already know the products they’ll be looking for. With consumers already on the hunt, we highly recommend making your Black Friday deals known. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to showcase every deal you will be hosting, but you should have banners and pop-ups, and even tease your offers on social media to make sure your customers know that you’ll be giving them a discount.

According to Internet Retailing, online sales increased by 38% for the full Black Friday week in 2020, with small online businesses seeing a massive 150% sales increase, so this is the perfect opportunity for your business.

We analysed the search data for the following terms: clothing, home and electricals. All three of these peaked around Black Friday with clothing being most popular, followed by electricals.

On average most clothing stores offer 35% off on Black Friday, some with discounts as high as 70% off.

The clothing terms we researched peaked slightly, with Christmas jumpers making an almighty leap starting late-October and peaking in early December. Christmas jumpers are a great opportunity to diversify your product offerings this year.

The electronics search data confirms that people actively look for the exact product they want to buy. To ensure you reach your target audience, make sure that all of your products are optimized using the highest volume keywords from in-depth keyword research.


There are many ways in which you can use this data to understand the buying habits of consumers over the Black Friday weekend and use this data to guide and influence your marketing tactics.

Below our experts give their top 5 tips for tooling-up for Black Friday.

SEO

On the run up to Black Friday, ensure you conduct in-depth keyword research. In almost all industries, there are Black Friday related keywords that have a super high search volume, which you can use to optimize your Black Friday landing pages or use to create seasonal blog pieces to increase organic traffic.

This year the focus will be on the availability of products, with shortages of some kind being experienced in most industries. So you have to be clever with targeting and getting people on your site.

Don't be afraid to go after search terms for products or offers that you currently don't have. If there's search volume behind 'coffee machines under £100' and you have relevant products , you can still have a page targeting these terms. Once you have a user on the landing page, you can then cross-sell them a similar product, or divert them to a similar offer. - Leanne Douglass, senior SEO analyst

Read Leanne's latest blog post on how to use SEO to boost Christmas sales.

Digital PR

Black Friday marks the beginning of the festive shopping season for most. With brands from all over the world vying for customers' attention, digital PR is a necessity in developing a smart, robust strategy in order to appeal to your target audience now, and for them to keep you in mind in the future. Strategic messaging and offers are key for any Black Friday deals, getting these confirmed early saves a lot of last-minute stress. It’s all about language. For example, “Once it’s gone, it’s gone”, and ,“too good to be true”. If there’s less of something, people want it more. You may need to create a series of press releases that highlight all your different Black Friday deals.

Journalists will be extremely busy at this time of year, so it's important that you approach them with something to cut through the noise. Of course, your story needs to appeal to the audience you're trying to reach and be relative to your brand. But always remember that the journalist you're pitching to is part of that audience as well. Reach out to them well ahead of the Black Friday weekend to make sure they know about your special offers.

Planning and executing a PR campaign includes research before the launch and reporting after the campaign is complete. If you want to use Black Friday to meet your business goals this year, there’s still time to plan. - Jessica Moore, digital PR & outreach executive

Paid social

Look at past data. Before starting any planning we recommend looking at multiple data sets of historic data to identify current and historic trends around peak times. Due to the pandemic, we recommend going back at least three years as the data from last year will be heavily weighted towards online.

We also recommend identifying current trends in your data to identify popular products you know your audience loves.

When it comes to audiences, in the lead up to the Black Friday weekend, increasing your cold audience awareness budget can find you potential Black Friday customers, so when it comes to the big weekend, retarget everyone who has shown an interest to get easy conversions.

One more top tip: make the offer easy to redeem by avoiding codes if possible. - Jack Harrington, paid social lead

Paid search

Preparedness is vital for pay-per-click success throughout the Black Friday period. When planning your budgets and targets this year, be cautious of using 2020 as your baseline – last year, many people avoided in-person shopping, relying entirely on online shopping. This year 85% of holiday shoppers indicated they’ll return to physical retail in some way. So be sure to look closely at the 2019 results to give yourself a potentially more comparable benchmark.

With that said, the most vital thing throughout the Black Friday period is to not limit your opportunity, so whenever possible, always allow budget headroom (around 30% above your daily limit) to ensure you’re capturing as much demand as possible whilst ensuring your business goals are being hit by assigning a target return on ad spend, or whatever your key performance indicator may be for the period.

When it comes to shopping activity, your product feed is king. Prior to Black Friday, be sure to run general housekeeping checks to make sure you haven’t got any disapprovals or issues within your GMC , the last thing you want is to miss out on any opportunities because you didn’t realise some of your key products haven’t been serving. Also be sure to make use of some of the optional feed attributes, particularly if you’re going to be discounting products for the period. Make sure to apply the reduced price as a sale price within the feed rather than overwriting the original price. This way Google will display the savings that can be made at the time and will help you stand out from the crowd.

Lastly, don’t neglect the fact that shopping is starting earlier and earlier each year, with pre-cyber week revenue growing 83% last year. Make sure that your campaigns are prepared, and budgets are in place to capture the spike in demand well in advance of the Black Friday day/weekend/week itself. - Jack Grantham, PPC account manager

Content

Content has to work hard during the Black Friday period. Bear in mind that this is one of the noisiest times of the year, in terms of retailers trying to get their message across, whether that’s on their own websites, via email marketing, or on the various social media accounts they use.

To be heard among the noise, you don’t want to be louder – good luck with that – you need to be smarter. Make your content work hard. Shouting, ‘Amazing Black Friday deals!’ isn’t enough. That tells your potential customers, existing and new, nothing. Those are just generic words, and they’re generic words that loads of other businesses will be using.

Be as specific as you can about any deals you’re promoting. Detail is important. What are you actually offering? And why is it such a good deal? What’s the real value of it? Use your content creation skilfully to appeal to your target audience. That doesn’t necessarily mean littering posts and blogs with block capitals and exclamation marks. Give careful consideration to what your customers will be looking for, what they want to buy, what they would consider a worthy deal. Remember, Black Friday should not just be about making quick sales, but potentially also rewarding your customer base, too.

Another point: be honest. There’s a fine line between creating clickbait-style copy and trashy copy. Essentially, all online content is clickbait to a certain extent; it’s all about encouraging a customer to read more, place an order, sign up to a mailing list. So, you need your words to inspire further action, but you also need them to be truthful and deliver on your headline. Don’t mislead people. If my eye is caught by an ‘up to 50% off’ post, and on further investigation find 99% of listed products are offering a 5% discount and just one or two 50%, I won’t be sticking around.

Black Friday is fast, frenetic and noisy, but it’s also a once-a-year event. If you can combine your retail offers and content creation to help enhance the reputation of your business and maintain some lasting value once the online shouting quiets, you’ll have done a good job. - Kevin Hughes, content manager

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