We are all so excited that the most attractive Shopping & Retail holiday sales events of the year are right around the corner! This year Q4 that starts strongly with Amazon Prime Days, will guide you through the hottest deals during BFCM that is Black Friday Cyber Monday, just in time for the Christmas shopping season.
No more time to waste! Certainly, you are aware that it’s the right and the only moment of reflection before ALL OF THIS starts! Reflection on what type of native advertising has a chance to succeed now and how to turn ideas into real profit. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and … get VERY WELL-PREPARED because another such opportunity for marketers may not come until next year!
Gear Up, It’s Time to Prepare for Black Friday
Just look at the Black Friday stats. Based on the research, the total amount of customers spend across the weekend of Black Friday Cyber Monday is set to grow by 20% in revenue compared to last year. What’s more, around 70% of consumers aren’t planning on returning to physical stores in the near future. Hence, the increase from 25% to 30% in the e-Commerce marketplace is here to stay.
There is no doubt that fears around COVID-19 play a large role here. But focusing on positive aspects gives us confidence that this is the right way. After all, digitization will keep progressing and experiencing strong growth. So don’t hesitate any more and take your e-Commerce native advertising to the next level.
How to Get Ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
With a well-crafted design and thoughtful campaign management, you can boost your Black Friday sales significantly and still achieve the current year’s goals! It’s a perfect moment to check out our eCommerce guide covering everything you need to know and find your own “How to…” answers and some tips for this upcoming period of high sales.
Time to go through this together! Let’s get started!
1. Develop Engaging Creatives
A picture is worth a thousand conversions. So, get ready with the high-performing creatives. Start experimenting in advance with the multiple visuals showing different approaches to your product. It’s important to get the best combinations ready for the sales peak.
Use images with faces that trigger emotions. Think outside of the box, be transparent, and unique in order to defeat the competition with your creativity. Images with no text are what you are looking for, as they perform better. Keep your writing skills for creating some compelling headlines instead.
2. Don’t Use Stock Photos
It’s time to forget about clipart, as well as generic stock images. Obvious and overused stock photos are the death of good native advertisements. Audiences simply don’t engage with them. Using enhanced or original visuals can not only increase consumer trust but also engagement. So, in order to get a higher conversion rate, make sure that your customers can picture themselves in the image.
3. Upload a Variety of Ad Sizes
Don’t stick with just one recommended creative size with the highest reach but add different ones to make sure your ad fits all the best placements within the publisher’s website/application. Some traffic sources can quite often crop your images automatically to match the publisher’s specific size requirements but it doesn’t mean that the final result will look good. If you didn’t pay enough attention you can be left with strangely cropped or stretched images.
4. Target Strong Engagement Keywords
Research Black Friday and Cyber Monday keywords hard! Your goal here is to find the keywords that make consumers eager to shop but also that are not used frequently by everyone. It will put you one step ahead of your competitors.
Concentrate on e-Commerce trends and performing keywords with high click-through rates (CTRs). Keep in mind that this year working from home and more time for hobbies will be driving consumer purchasing decisions. Take advantage of it!
5. Try to Create Eye-Catching & Engaging Headlines
Don’t waste the potential of your headlines, you need to get your audience hooked. Remember that it’s now or never! Here are some tips you can try to apply:
- Keep it Short – people’s attention span is decreasing dramatically. So, be relevant and get straight to the point. The best headlines are usually around 70 characters or even less.
- Numbers, Please – using a number in a headline immediately catches the reader’s interest. Numbers not only make a sentence more convincing but also they’re easier to notice in the flood of text.
- Ask a Question – question-type headlines perform really well, as they leave people without closure. In fact, they make viewers click to find out the answer.
- Be Surprising – people are always excited to see something new and unique. Using curiosity-stimulating words like “top secret”, “unbelievable” or “confidential” can be a great attention grabber.
- Tell a Story – say something that people can relate to or associate themselves with. Try to appeal to their emotions and experiences. Whether you connect on a deep or a funny level, the ultimate goal is to make the viewer compelled to click.
6. Test Multiple Title Variations
Begin with at least five title variations with different keywords and styles. See for yourself if a short headline works better than a long one for your own Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns. You might also want to apply the dynamic macros to your headlines, as personalized content always performs better. Just test it and see the results! Remember that a little A/B or multivariate test never killed nobody.
7. Drive Traffic to a Well-Converting Landing Page
Prepare an eCommerce site with a well-structured, tailored message that fits your online store audience and compelling call-to-action (CTA) placed in prominent spots. Remember that landing pages attract more visitors’ attention than a homepage or product pages alone.
The goal is to awaken the customer’s need for a product. That’s why you should keep your landing page as simple as possible and avoid distractions. This way you’re going to create a great customer experience.
8. Build Up Interest and Hype
There are numerous tricks out there to make your landing page conversion-friendly. Your site must have an awesome hook but not give away the actual deal. Here are some of our ideas:
- Create a Holiday Gift Guide – just like “Top Gifts for Women/Men”, “Best Holiday Tech Gifts 2021” or “Affordable Holiday Gifts”. In such a way you’ll not only inspire but also build awareness around your products and provide useful information for customers to make the most out of the BFCM this year. According to the research, 6 out of every 10 consumers agree that online ads are important to their gift search and over two-thirds of consumers see online advertising as a helpful way to discover new promotions and products online.
- Write In-depth Product Reviews – case studies and customer testimonials are always ideal to showcase on your landing pages. They build trust and help to emphasize a unique proposition value that will separate your brand from the competition.
- Use High-Quality Videos – including a video in a landing page can increase conversion rate by 80% (Insivia). So, take your site to the next level and create a short video review that provides informative value to visitors.
9. Ensure Your Landing Page is Mobile Friendly
With mobile now taking over 50% of online usage stats, in-app traffic will play a huge role in this sale period. Therefore, making sure your landing page is mobile-friendly should be a priority.
Basically, your target audience is likely going to be browsing holiday gift options while sitting on the couch, in the bathroom, in the car, and anywhere else where they find some down-time without a desktop nearby. Nothing will affect your sales more than an unresponsive site on the most competitive shopping day of the year.
10. Create a Sense of Urgency
More than 50 percent of Black Friday shoppers have bought an item because it was on a limited-time sale or promotion. Try to use different psychological marketing triggers for creating a sense of urgency. Without setting a time limit, there’s no reason for your customers to act immediately. The more time they have to mull over their purchase, the less likely they are to buy.
Nothing persuades buying behavior more than:
- Countdown Timer – the psychological effect of seeing a ticking clock is a very powerful incentive for shoppers to take action and make a purchase. For example, your countdown could tick down the hours and minutes left on a flash sale or deadline for downloading.
- One-Day Deals – this type of promotion is a great way to generate more traffic and impulse purchases if you’re offering a smoking-hot deal.
- Limited Stock Warnings – alluding to product scarcity is highly effective in creating urgency. Doing this creates the illusion that your product is highly valued by others and leads to customers acting immediately as they rush not to miss out.
- Urgency-Driven Popups – they grab customer’s attention and prevent your promotions from being overlooked. Just remember to use them only for offers that are likely to interest viewers.
- Social Proof – show that others are buying. When visitors see that other people are getting items from your online store, they’ll be more comfortable making the purchase.
- Free Delivery for a Limited Time – offering free shipping for a limited time will drive urgency and make your incentive even more appealing. Just let your visitors know about it in the right place and at the right time.
11. Prepare Upsell and Cross-Sell with Discounts
This way you may not only encourage a new audience to buy more products but also engage returning users. You’re not being intrusive if you gently nudge customers towards other goods they might want to purchase from your eCommerce store. New Kindle with an ebook at a very nice price? During the big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this is what shoppers are expecting from you.
12. Offer a Free Gift
People LOVE free things. That’s why offering a small free-of-charge gift is always a great idea. It can be done in several ways such as for purchases made by a certain time or that met a specific spending amount. Be creative with your “get free…” offers and make them enticing! Customer satisfaction has a huge impact on your business’ success. Just remember to limit the physical gifts, so they don’t overwhelm you!
13. Make Your Checkout Process Smooth & Painless
Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are fickle. They have hundreds of products to select from and a limited amount of time. They will leave your website if the checkout experience isn’t running smoothly. Following this checklist can help you hit the ground running and avoid last-minute scrambles and shopping cart abandonment.
- Make sure that your server can deal with a heavy amount of traffic. Just in case, go through the purchasing funnel yourself.
- Make sure your eCommerce website looks credible. Security badges and some useful info next to the checkout buttons will help you build trust among consumers.
- Make sure your visitors know you applied the assured discounts.
- Make sure shipping costs and taxes are visible, so the user knows what to expect.
- Make sure you allow different payment options including Paypal or Bitcoin.
14. Check Your Site’s Speed
It’s key to keep a close eye on the page loading speeds, especially during the busy season of Black Friday sales. According to the research, around 46% of shoppers will abandon a site if it doesn’t load in a reasonable time (around 3 seconds).
15. Review the Publisher’s Inventory
Ensure that you target the proper Ad Exchange. Maybe you should consider using a DSP platform? It’ll give you the possibility to manage multiple Native Ad Networks and other online traffic sources in one dashboard. For instance, with Voluum DSP you can run native ad format on 20+ networks: Taboola, Outbrain, Liveintent, Admixer, WordPress, MGID, Nativo, Revcontent, Smaatoo… It’s just to name a few.
Also, invest your time in reviewing the placements with potential. How? Use spy tools, get feedback from dedicated forums, or from direct platform’s experienced advisors. Create your own whitelist and use this very same list as a blacklist in the sister-campaign. In this way you’ll still discover some widgets and placements that perform well and could be your golden choice.
16. Split Your Campaigns by Device
You need to know that user’s behavior on mobile and desktop differs, so treat each audience separately. Based on the research, men prove to be more technically adept than women in online shopping. Around 45% of male customers utilize a smartphone or a tablet for purchasing online, compared to 34% of women.
17. Adjust the Bid Floors per Placement
Remember that your competitors will also try to get the maximum amount of traffic from the high performing eCommerce sites, so be vigilant and don’t give them back so easily. Don’t be afraid to increase the bid floors by 25-30% on the placements with the highest potential. Just remember, no guts, not glory, and we all know you thrive for some glory here!
18. Make Sure You Track Your Results Correctly
Don’t be surprised by technical errors at the hot moment. Keep it cool. And yes. It’s always better to double-check. We’re human and we all make mistakes, especially on big shopping days like Black Friday. Therefore, don’t be lazy and check each link on your website manually to see if they’re working as expected. Besides, ensure that you have backups for everything from a site code to product images. Black Friday and Cyber Monday only come once a year.
19. Review, Analyze, Optimize and… Repeat. In Real-Time!
You should have an eye on your performance in real-time to maximize your final profit. You can drastically change results if you find the best converting niche and invest the majority of your budget in it. And that’s how native ads work.
During the warm-up period, you still have time for A/B testing with your early exclusive sales announcements. Don’t leave it at the last possible moment – when the biggest shopping event like Black Friday arrives you should already know which segments of traffic will allow you to reach your e-Commerce conversion rate goals.
20. Delve into Optimization as Deeply as Possible
Entrust your advertising to the reliable platform that gives you a chance to optimize your campaigns on as many dimensions at once as possible (eg. Sites -> Widget IDs -> Ad Space IDs). By using that, you will be closer to picking the performing ad spaces within the specific website.
21. Make Sure Your Strategy is Consistent
Coordinate the whole strategy among different channels. Programmatic advertising should go hand in hand with your social media strategy and email marketing. Bear in mind that an effective advertising plan for your business isn’t built overnight. Quite often consumers think about their purchases in advance, that’s why you should also organize your content effectively from the very beginning.
22. Keep an Eye on the Competition
Pay attention to your competition’s activities and achievements. It’s always a good idea to learn a few tips from them about what they do, how and when. It can help you gather ideas and use them to your advantage, if not this BFCM then next. Just remember don’t copy, but do it better!
23. Reflect on What Worked and What Didn’t
How much you learn when you fail determines how far you go in creating success and improving your Black Friday sale results. Most self-made millionaires have not only made mistakes multiple times, but also view said failures as part of their business growth. Every holiday shopping season is an excellent time for experimenting.
When introducing new strategies and tactics, don’t forget to take notes and screenshots. This way you can document your decisions together with the outcomes. These data will give you a benchmark for next year’s holiday season, while also allowing you to see what’s working for your business so you can do more of it.
With these tips in mind, you’re one step closer to award-winning Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns. It’s time to stop dreaming about the possible online sales boost, and start acting. Now it’s the right moment!
The implementation of the above-mentioned native advertising best practices doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you find the right tool. Voluum DSP specializes in e-Commerce campaign management so you can count on our experience while preparing your killer BFCM strategy. In addition, we have a special deal for you that should make it easier!
The more insecure we feel about the pandemic reality in the next months, the more we can be sure that this sales season for the first time will be almost completely ONLINE. This year the winning recipe for a Black Friday digital marketing strategy for your business is quite simple. Why? Because e-Commerce is flocking to native advertising with great intensity and we are all part of it!
With native ads, the conversion rates can reach values you haven’t seen before. And, there is no doubt that e-Commerce will be especially in-demand this year. Does this look like a recipe for success? Don’t wait any longer and get ready for the hottest holiday shopping season – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.