As mentioned recently in our blog about preparing your eCommerce store for Christmas, the festive period is right around the corner and with the holiday season rapidly approaching your online store must become more competitive than ever before. In the lead-up to Black Friday, every ad click becomes more competitive, in order to still stand out it is important to bulletproof your Black Friday campaign and prepare your AdWords account.

With algorithms changing so frequently, organic results upon social media and Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s) are becoming increasingly competitive and harder to get noticed. Getting consumers attention is increasingly difficult, ads offer a fantastic way to get your brand and product in front of consumers who are already searching for what you offer.

Over the last couple of years, Black Friday has evolved and cemented itself into the British shopping calendar. However, Britain’s shopping habits have created a unique shopping occasion, rather than simply one day of sales, Brit’s are more likely to search around and therefore prefer a couple of days shopping. This has meant that Black Friday has extended over the weekend and finishes on Cyber Monday.

In 2017 Black Friday lands on the 24th November, you have just short of two months to prepare your AdWords account and set up specific holiday season campaigns to capitalise on the festive period shopping habits.

Follow these simple steps to make sure your business is prepared.

Black Friday Campaign

Get Prepared

As mentioned in our blog about preparing for Christmas, there is no better time to start than now. British shoppers are known for searching before purchasing. Therefore we recommend letting your website visitors and consumers know as early as you can that you are offering special Black Friday & Cyber Monday offers. It was surprising even to us that most Festive shopping begins as early as September, so prepare your categories for gift ideas and provide information on festive-specific products.

Plan Sales

We love a good spreadsheet in #TheLab and we recommend that you create one in order to understand your product library ahead of the sale period and prepare your Black Friday campaign. One idea some of our clients have found particularly useful is creating a “Planned Sales Map”, this allows you to give a basic outline of the products that will be included in the sales period, as well as how to promote the offer and how the offer can be claimed. You can also include dates to confirm with other members of the marketing team to understand how long to promote individual products for.

By specifically choosing products you are able to schedule their start dates, which can overlap from the paid adverts to organic and paid social media to sponsored content offers. Your eCommerce platform should allow you to schedule sales. For more information on whether your eCommerce store is built correctly, you can find our blog here.

Contingency Plans

Over the last couple of years, Black Friday has really grown at an exponential rate, for some of our clients it has revolutionised their business model. Some products have gone viral and some of their offers have meant they have experienced a surge in traffic that can only be described as the kind of footage you imagine when you think about Black Friday in America.

Therefore, it is important to safeguard your site to be prepared for any surge in traffic as too many simultaneous requests to your site can crash it. We recommend undergoing all the relevant checks to make sure that your site can handle the traffic your ads are sending to it.

Increased Demand

This leads us perfectly into making sure that you have the product inventory correct. This is a very strategic formula as you want to make sure you are not turning away business from consumers who land on your site only to discover that you have sold out of the product they are after, or worse than after they have clicked your paid advert, landing on your website and found that the product has sold out. You also must make sure that you don’t have a warehouse full of leftover Black Friday campaign products that haven’t sold.

It is essential that you work with your suppliers, team and couriers to make sure they are fully prepared and equipped for your projected holiday season sales. Don’t be the company that has the best deal and then sell out faster than you wanted to and not be able to meet the demand of your customers.

Don’t be the company that has the best deal and then sell out faster than you wanted to and not be able to meet the demand of your customers.

Marketing

Decide how you are going to promote your Black Friday campaign & offers, not only on your own website but also externally. This is where we want to reiterate the importance of your paid Ad’s, they are a fantastic way to attract new traffic to your website. As those who are searching for your product are likely to click on the top selection of ads to get the best deals.

Social media should play a large role in your Black Friday campaign promotions, partnered with regular email sequences, especially the closer that you get launching your offers. Consider creating unique graphics, visuals and where appropriate video as it is currently one of the most digestible content formats.

It is worth mentioning that you consider and aim to implement the following marketing methods, remarketing, email marketing, outreach, gift guides and social media to build up anticipation for the offers.

Ad Campaign Specifics

There are multiple ways in which to make sure your account is delivering the best possible click-through rates(CTR’s), quality score and ultimately conversations. For text ads, the copy and the snippets that you use must be engaging, specific and actionable.

If you use Google Shopping (Product Listing Ads) you have imagery as well as text to use to make sure your product is being illustrated in a way that would encourage the user to click and convert. We recommend testing and analysing your shopping performance well before November so that you are able to determine what is and what is not working.

Plan Ads

Prepare a selection of ads to run across different platforms, don’t simply think about ads on Google, consider Bing, Facebook, Instagram (if it fits your demographic) and YouTube.

Consider preparing the ads prior to the event and put the most thought into the ad copy and placement, especially important for any targeting methods you may use.

Bids do get more competitive and expensive during the competitive holiday season depending on your niche. This means that you may need to increase your bids for certain keywords in order to increase the visibility of your ads. Therefore we recommend that you also plan your holiday sale ad budgets rather than getting carried away when you are launching and overspend.

Get Your Copy Right.

Copy is one of the most important elements for your AdWords account and we recommend reviewing the copy that you are currently using in order to increase relevancy. For example consider placing important information at the very start of the title, allowing you to be a step ahead of your competition as often titles can be truncated on the results page.

There is a small area of real estate for your brand on a Search Engine Results Page, therefore it is important to be selective when writing the copy that you want to results in clicks.

Be Mobile Ready

From November to mid-December online conversation rates increase as people look for those unique gifts for their loved ones, and sometimes themselves. On mobile alone, conversation rates jump 30% on Black Friday! If you aren’t responsive, think of the business you are missing!

Conversion Tracking

Make sure you are tracking everything, every penny on an ad, every click, every action. All this information can help with your future campaigns and help to show the business the results of all their hard work over the festive period.

Don’t feel your  Black Friday campaign is ready? Request a free, no-obligation consultation with the team in #TheLab and we will help equip you for the “SuperShoppers” out in force in the run-up to the holiday season.