Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping bonanza at 12:00:01 the day after Thanksgiving. Retailers rely on this day to get back into the “black” by moving old inventory out at highly reduced prices, while price-savvy consumers look for great deals on great products. Much of the success for this day however, is already in place up to 12 months earlier. Retailers consider their digital strategies well in advance. Here are four segmented outlooks Digital black Friday Strategy:
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization involves a number of operations, increasing organic page rankings. Savvy businesses begin optimization campaigns three-to-six months prior to Black Friday/Cyber Monday, securing great page rankings before the start of holiday shopping. Consumers are no strangers to Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, using search engines to locate sales on desired products. SEO professionals address client Web pages, making adjustments resulting in better search engine placement and exposure. Additionally, specialists may optimize pages for long-tail phrases related to Black Friday (ex: “[your product's name] 2011 Black Friday sales”) and the particular year, increasing the likelihood of buyer traffic. Take advantage of the buying season; align your company with a search engine optimization firm, ensuring your website is optimized for success and revenue production.
Search engine optimization works for brick-and-mortar establishments as well, pointing online browsers to offline deals and sales events. Sure, holiday shoppers have grown accustomed to cyber shopping but a deal is a deal; plenty of consumers find online inspiration to make offline purchases. Does your website serve mostly as an electronic ad for your offline business? SEO gets your ad in front of your desired market.
Pay-per-click marketing is a close relative of search engine optimization. Both seek the same results (more website traffic) but utilize different methods to get there. Search engine optimization is a slow-building, solidly founded process. Pay-per-click advertising produces equally satisfying results, but in real time. The process of numbered variables demands diligence, patience, and experience. Experts walk a fine line, leveraging live ads, keeping a close watch on costs per click and returns on investment. A poorly managed PPC campaign quickly spells disaster for the moneymaking hopeful. However, a campaign headed by experience strikes while the iron is hot, keeping close to the dollar, making the most opportunity of an increased population of holiday shoppers.
Display Networks are in prime season with excellent CPC’s and above average conversions during this time as shoppers frantically seek out coupon codes and other deals within a larger site base. The audience net should be reflective of the consumers net, so cast a wide net in this space this season.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday brings a wealth of potential to online vendors. The timeframe offers spending-crazed target markets, roving the Web, searching for the best deals, getting intrigued by the most compelling and accurately placed pay-per-click ads. Will yours be one of them?
Consumers looking to capture great deals need to know what’s on sale, what time and where. Real Time deals, extreme coupon coding and an over-grown consumer base of tech-knowledgeable shoppers are flooding SE’s with short and long tail queries (NOTE: [black Friday deals] – 110,000 GMS) have forever changed the landscape of how we market. Enter reputation management and social media.
Retailers typically release specific black-Friday deals the week prior to the madness. This gives consumers plenty of time to research the product, read reviews and post product inquiries on wiki’s and forums. The manufacturer of the product and the retailer both need to have strong reviews in place if they expect anyone to be waiting outside their storefront at 5:00 o’clock in the morning the day after Thanksgiving. Strong reputation management will ensure success for everyone. Researching online will provide useful feedback and the consumer can generate their own conclusion to see if it is a good deal or not. For example, product reviews on a digital camera regularly sold at $500, being offered on black-Friday at $100 may show “excellent camera takes great photos”. Inversely, a television regularly sold at $1,000 is listed for $500, product reviews found online may indicate the device has poor image, sound and is just not worth the purchase.
What happens if the store is notorious for luring consumers into bait and switch marketing tactics on black-Friday? Reviews and inquiries online will provide important information that will help the consumer know they are making a good choice.
On black-Friday, it is all about having the right information. Consumers involved in the mad-dash need to know who is selling what, how much inventory is remaining and where the next “deal” is. Social media can be the most vital communication tool during the Friday morning rush. Studies reveal that 35% of Americans own a smartphone (such as an iOS or Android device) and 85% of Americans own a mobile device. This means that 35% of Americans on black-Friday will be on Twitter and Facebook mobile to stay one-step ahead and ensure they are in the right place at the right time. It is up to retailers to tweet and post updates throughout the day informing consumers of this vital information. It’s expected that hashtags including #blackfriday #bestbuydeals and so on will fill social media platforms. For example, if Best Buy wants to ensure they move all inventory they ought to tweet “Last yrs TV’s at $500 15 left @bestbuy #blackfriday”. Information is king on black-Friday. Don’t be surprised if a black-Friday mobile app is developed and released the week prior.