The holiday season will be here before you know it. For businesses, that means it’s time to start thinking about your marketing campaigns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And don’t forget Small Business Saturday in the United States.
Whichever of these days you plan to use, get started creating your marketing strategy now if you want the sales to flow into your business throughout November and December. Use the five steps in this article as a springboard.
Step one: Set a goal
Unless you’re a huge corporation with an unlimited marketing budget, you’ll need to be judicious and smart with how you spend your money for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This begins with setting a specific goal.
While your goal can be to simply boost your overall sales revenue, a broad goal like that makes it harder to find a place to begin. Instead, try to accomplish something more specific, like:
- Selling a certain amount of one or more individual products
- Launching a new product or service
- Increasing recurring revenue by a certain percentage or amount
- Generating more revenue from lapsed customers
- Boosting revenue from existing, loyal customers
- Attracting a set number of new customers
- Hitting a specific profit target
As you can see, your goal doesn’t have to be related to revenue only. It can focus on number of customers, number of products, new services, specific types of customers, and many other metrics.
What bothers you right now about your business? Create a goal around that, and move to step two.
Step two: Make a marketing plan
With a goal in hand, you can begin to sketch out your plan.
You can run Google ads to attract people actively searching for what you’re selling. But how do you get in front of people to spark renewed interest or who aren’t aware your kind of product exists?
Marketing guru Dan Kennedy summarizes this kind of effort with a marketing triangle, which is made up of the message, the market, and the media. All three are interrelated.
Your message depends on the market — your audience. Your choice of media does, too. Where are they located? Where do they congregate?
For example, if you want to attract new customers, the media they use most frequently could be certain social media platforms, television channels, or online forums.
A business that sells sports memorabilia, for example, should not run blanket advertising on billboards and random television networks. Their best customers are probably watching a lot of sports channels and browsing sports-related websites. Buying ads on these kinds of platforms are going to provide a better return on marketing dollars.
Here’s the blueprint for creating your marketing plan:
- Find and specify your audience for this campaign. It might not be your usual audience.
- Develop your sales offer and the message around it.
- Decide on the most appropriate media for delivering that message to the right audience.
What makes a good offer? How do you create a campaign that connects with your audience? Start with these nine holiday marketing ideas.
You may also want to re-think what ‘audience’ means during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For instance, you might be able to target people who give gifts to your usual audience. See eight ways to position your products as gifts.
Step three: Develop your marketing materials
With the basic messaging, audience, media, and plan in hand, you can begin creating the marketing content.
If you’re targeting existing customers, you’ll probably want to write an email campaign centered around your various sales offers and specials.
For other campaigns, you may want blog posts, special landing pages, or a new or revised product page for your website. You might want a video or two. You may need graphics and text for social posts, coupon codes, and direct mail.
Wait, coupon code graphics? Yes! You can just use text if you want. But making it look like a real coupon using a tag or other simple graphic will get more attention and probably convert better. And it may do even better if you use both. Some people respond more to visuals, others more to text.
You can even create dynamic, personalized coupons using platforms such as AutomateWoo.
Step four: Develop a plan to track results
Which messages worked best, and with which audience? Which media converted the most efficiently? You’ll want to know this afterwards so you can further refine your strategy for next year.
Every form of media can be tracked. Only the methods differ. From the Facebook pixel to trackable phone numbers to coupon codes, there’s no excuse for not tracking your metrics to determine the effectiveness of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing strategy.
When you get deeper into this, you’ll also realize why the goal from step one is so important.
If your goal is to win at least 100 new customers, then your tracking focuses on where customers are coming from, not how much they spend. If you want to sell more of a particular product, then you’ll track sales of that product. And hopefully, you can tie those sales to each form of media and message used.
For example, say you sell 500 units of a new product on Black Friday, and you marketed it on Instagram, email, and Google Ads. It could turn out that nearly all the sales came from one of these three sources. Wouldn’t you want to know that so you don’t waste money on the other two next time? Or, maybe you run two different messaging variations on all three media platforms. What if you get strong sales from all three platforms, but one messaging approach outperforms the other in each of them? You want to know that, too!
Step five: Set up your website
You have the goal, the plan, the materials, and the tracking strategy. Now, you just need to implement it all and set up your website so it performs perfectly on the big day. There’s no Black Friday in December. You get one shot at this.
What your site needs depends on your strategy, but could include any of the following and more:
- Extensions for coupons, bundles, and other special online and email offers
- Revenue boosters like free bonus items, upgrades, and charitable giving options
- Email autoresponders and follow-up marketing automation, including review requests
- Site performance upgrades
Learn more about preparing your online store for Cyber Monday.
Start your marketing plan today
The holidays are an exciting time for retailers because customers are so excited. People are open to trying new things, searching for great deals, and delighting their friends and loved ones with wonderful surprises.
It’s a major opportunity for growth and learning, and the best part is that it doesn’t require a complicated, 170-point mega marketing plan. If you’re just beginning your store ownership journey, or you’re ready to take things to new heights, keep it simple and you’ll be well on your way.