Is it really upon us so soon? Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2022 are just over the horizon so now’s the time to make sure you’re prepared.
According to data from Statista, online sales over the Black Friday week increased from £4.77bn in 2020 to £5.74b in 2021 and that growth isn’t necessarily expected to slow, despite the financial worries of 2022.
Ensuring that your ecommerce business is fully prepared to take advantage of elevated buyer excitement and intent could make or break your Q4. Take a read through our guide to ensure your PPC game is on point this sale season, so you don’t miss any of those key sales.
Consider your promotions strategically
Every ecommerce business will have products or ranges that are better suited to a big event like Black Friday. Maybe they offer a particularly good margin or perhaps they’re always a winner in a sale. Understanding what your business needs and communicating that to your PPC team will allow them to prioritise the campaigns and products that will be most profitable and will fit your business goals best.
Always make sure to honestly assess if your planned promotions will have the impact you want. Not all items are suitable for a big sale and might not get you the results you’re after!
Prepare ahead of time and get your assets ready
Fundamentally, doing your basic preparation and making sure your PPC team has everything they need will help them to launch a successful campaign well ahead of time. It’ll keep everyone stress-free and more flexible to adapt to any changes that are needed before or during the sale period.
Here are the basics you need to get ready:
The offer (percentage off, specific amount off, minimum spend etc.)
What products/ranges are included in the offer
Duration (exact start/finish dates and times required)
Offer code (if applicable)
Any display imagery
Specific landing page (if applicable)
Merchant Centre Promotions
Update promotions and extensions
Make sure to increase your budgets
Competition and quantity of traffic are likely to skyrocket over the Black Friday weekend. Expect to spend more money and, if it all goes to plan, reap the benefits. As with any well-thought-out strategy, you should review previous years' results and budgets to see how you can get the most out of this year. Anticipate increasing your budgets from previous years as more and more people become comfortable spending online rather than in the shops.
Even if you're increasing your budget this year, remember to use it wisely. Creating standalone Black Friday campaigns will not only allow you to control which products and ranges you’re promoting, but it will also allow you to control and monitor your budget more easily.
Remember that Black Friday isn't just about Friday either — who would have thought? While Black Friday and Cyber Monday might seem like the big days over the sale period, it’s actually Saturday and Sunday when the majority of sales are made. Make sure you keep plenty of budget available throughout the entire weekend, so you don’t miss out on any important revenue.
Prepare your ads and landing pages
When creating your campaign, your very first goal should be to get your messaging on point. Spend time to review and update your sales copy well before Black Friday. Ensure that your adverts fit with your promotions and landing pages, and shout loud and clear about what you’re offering.
Focus Your Traffic: Assuming you’ve got your ad copy prepared in advance (you should have!), make sure to swap your adverts to this seasonal copy and drive as much traffic as possible through it. Most users are in it for the sale — make it easy for them!
Urgency is key: As with any sale, it’s all about urgency. Make sure to drive that all-important FOMO, or ‘Fear of Missing Out’ by stressing the time-limited nature of your sale. Don’t be afraid to mention these could be your best prices of the year. ‘Buyer's remorse’ is much higher this time of year, mostly as a result of hasty impulse purchases. Therefore, shouting loud and proud about your returns policy will lend a helping hand to your site’s user experience.
Optimise your website and landing pages: Ensure your website and product pages are geared up for Black Friday. This way, your page will be able to maintain quality, speedy loading times while coping with higher Black Friday traffic levels. (This point is relevant regardless of involvement in Black Friday promotions). Data from HubSpot has revealed that 57% of shoppers will abandon their cart if they have to wait more than three seconds for it to load, so a quicker loading speed can mean more shoppers snapping up a bargain.
Don’t leave your ads running: Use automated rules to ensure your Black Friday ads switch off after the sale and revert to your normal adverts. It’s an easy fix that could save you from wasting budget or annoying your customers after the sale.
Focus on the right keywords
Make sure you review your previous years' keyword and sales data as both can be hugely important in planning your keyword strategy. Look out for search terms that drove a lot of traffic but didn’t perform well and try to identify potential opportunities. Perhaps there are search terms that didn’t get high enough bids to really succeed. Now’s your time to do the research and not miss out.
Don’t bid on the term ‘Black Friday’: Super generic terms like ‘Black Friday sale’ will have you wasting your entire budget in just a few hours. While you can include ‘Black Friday’ in highly specific branded searches, being too broad is unlikely to convert.
Consider non-brand terms to drive brand awareness: Black Friday can be an opportunity to gain some brand awareness if you’re savvy. The key here is specificity. Target terms that suggest very high intent to your products and categories on offer. Google's machine learning can be particularly adept at helping you achieve this goal.
Keep your audiences up to date
Your first-person data can be hugely useful during a sale period, both for creating lookalike audiences and for remarketing. After all, if a customer has bought from you before, they’re significantly more likely to return to your brand in the future.
Update your remarketing lists: Consider users who made a purchase during last year's sale, your mailing list, or users who recently visited your website.
Lookalike audiences: Create lookalike audiences and use your remarketing data to generate high-performing audience insights for your automated campaigns.
Don’t ignore Performance Max
Google's automated strategies can be tricky beasts with sales, however they can also be some of the most powerful strategies to maximise brand visibility and return on investment. Performance Max touches every level of the sales funnel and all of Google Ads' available ad types. Consider building stand-alone Black Friday Performance Max campaigns alongside any other campaigns you’re running and focus on the products that will get a lot of traffic, data, and conversions.
Learn for next year
It’s important to monitor your KPIs and vital metrics, both within your PPC platform and within Analytics so that you can learn for next year. What went wrong? And more importantly, what went right? Look at everything that you can possibly learn from and consider documenting it for next year — it could save you a lot of time and give you a head start when Black Friday 2023 comes around!
As the Black Friday weekend draws nearer, now is the perfect time to start planning. Preparation is key to making the most of the season, so be sure to take these tips on board to maximise your sales.