10 tips to align your whole Digital Marketing strategy for Black Friday

Black Friday is one of the key shopping days of the year – it’s actually evolved into more of a week than a day at this point. Regardless, it’s the kick-off for the holiday shopping season and an extremely important time for retailers around the world.

According to the National Retail Federation, 30% of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. That means it’s time to kick your entire marketing strategy into high gear!

As an Agency or an Advertiser with an Agency, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your entire marketing strategy is aligned. Even with only two weeks to go, there are still steps you can take to maximize your revenue on Black Friday.

5 tips for retailers working with an agency on Black Friday

1. Gather interested audiences

A good Black Friday ad campaign should target those customers most likely to buy your products. Once you know which promotions you’ll be running, set up a page on your website those promotions and any relevant timings (flash sales for example). Then add a remarketing tag to that page so that your agency can retarget anyone who has visited that page on the day itself.

2. Share your marketing plan

Communication is key. Make sure you have shared your marketing plan for Black Friday with your agency. Are you pushing a certain product? Is there a sale that only lasts for a few hours? Are your stock levels low for any products? What sort of messaging have you used in your other marketing materials.

All this is important information to share with your Digital Marketing agency. If you cannot share details of deals yet, then set up a clear plan to ensure your agency can update the messaging in time.

3. Have the budget ready to exploit the volume

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and everyone is trying to get a piece of it. That means budgets will have to be scaled up if you want your ads to show. Discuss with your agency what you’re comfortable with in terms of budget and what sort of returns you expect to see. You should be able to get a general plan for this year’s Black Friday spend based on historical volume increases.

As part of your strategy, you should consider freeing up more media budget if a certain sale proves particularly successful.

4. Keep your agency updated on the night

When Black Friday kicks into gear, you want to keep a close eye on your revenue. If possible, give your agency regular updates on how much revenue their ads have driven. They can use that information to adjust spend on the fly.

You’ll also want to keep them aware of your stock levels. They should be ready to stop promotions should stocks run low – driving customers to a page with no products available is just wasted spend.

5. Finally, if you’re not offering deals, consider whether you want to play

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about the deals. Between a surge in bargain seekers and a lot of traffic hungry advertisers, your ROI can suffer. If you’re not going to be offering discounts, consider pulling back your spend instead.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but why waste your ad spend on searchers who won’t want to buy your products? Use the money you save from not bidding on Black Friday for your Christmas promotions.

5 tips for digital marketing agencies on Black Friday

1. Get the information you need from your client

Your clients hold the key to campaign success. Success on Black Friday is about more than just managing ads, for your clients, it’s about total sales. That means there needs to be a unified marketing strategy, of which Digital Marketing plays a big part.

Talk to your clients well before Black Friday hits and make sure you get the timelines for their promotions. Then set up clear lines of communication for the day itself.

2. Provide your client with estimates of the budgets you will need and revenue expected

A huge surge in volume also means a large rise in spend and you don’t want your clients getting sticker shock when you present them with a higher than usual bill. Sit down and have a discussion about to make sure they understand what bidding on Black Friday means from a traffic and budgeting perspective.

Use data from previous years to set clear expectations for Black Friday ad performance. You’ll also want to make sure everyone is 100% aligned on the budget. Some clients are willing to spend whatever it takes to drive results, while others only have a finite budget for the year. Make sure everyone working on the account knows the limits of what they can spend.

3. Prepare audience lists

Driving increased revenue on Black Friday has a lot to do with targeting the right audience. Set up audience lists for people who are browsing your client’s offer and sale pages in the run up to Black Friday now. You’ll be able to retarget these audiences on the day. You should also set up a 540-day list for converters on the day itself so you can retarget them next year.

4. Prepare your accounts

Traffic on Black Friday isn’t like other days of the year. Buying behavior changes during peak season and you’ll want to make sure any campaigns you manage are adjusted accordingly. Traffic tends to be spread across more of the day so it’s important to adjust day parting settings. Affiliate Window analyzed data from last year’s Black Friday and found that traffic spikes up earlier that usual and continues to be high throughout the day.

black friday sale times.png

First, set your campaign budgets so they don’t cap out too early on the day. Next, make sure your ad extensions are calling out the key offers the client has given you. Finally, set up Merchant Center Promotions for appropriate offers ahead of time as they can take up to 5 days to get approved.

5. Be flexible on the day

It may not sound like much fun to check in on client performance throughout the nights (and weekends) leading up to Black Friday, but to really maximize revenue this is often necessary.

Which offers and products will get traction is unpredictable. You need to be ready to respond to surges of interest or limited stocks suddenly running out. Keep a close eye on stock levels as driving people to a page with no available products is wasted spend. Especially when dealing with high intent, low loyalty, bargain hunters.

Maximizing revenue for the rest of the season

Black Friday is the first proper test of how prepared you are for the whole Christmas season. If you nail it, you can feel confident about the next couple months. If your Black Friday sales didn’t go as planned, don’t panic. Take this as an opportunity to review and adjust your strategy for the Christmas and Boxing Day sales. Yes, starting early is important, but getting it right is even more important.

If you have any other top tips for maximizing your marketing returns on Black Friday, please share them in the comments.

Manage your digital marketing campaigns in-house? Check out this comprehensive guide to optimizing your Google Shopping ads for the holidays.


Magnus Potter

Magnus is a digital marketing veteran with nearly a decade experience in the industry. He has run campaigns on nearly every paid digital channel going for clients in a wide range of verticals. Today he is one of the people pushing PPC and Shopping campaigns to the next level for crealytics.

  • Really nice blog about Black Friday vs. Marketing Strategies. On Black Friday remove your capping and expand your budgets and ready to exploit volume. Varsharthi is also a Digital Marketing Agency in chennai. http://www.varsharthi.com/