If you’re ever going to slash prices and pay for promotion, you must prioritize the weekend following Thanksgiving. Black Friday (and the rest of the weekend) launches holiday shopping, impacting your sales for the peak spending season. To be successful you must saturate your niche with clear, money-saving messages. Otherwise, your Black Friday Sale promotion will get lost in competing messages.
Be That Cowboy
My grandfather has loved old western movies since he was a child. Due to programming on channels like AMC, he can find a new cowboy movie to watch every night.
In fact, a quick Wikipedia search reveals that there have been hundreds created since the 1920s.
Whenever he watches one, I ask, “Was it a good one?”
He says he can tell if it’s going to be a “good one” within the first 10 minutes.
When I asked him how he could tell, he said, “It’s all the little things put together.”
He quickly notes the set, the costumes, the star, and the first few lines of dialogue. Apparently, that separates the classics from the mass-produced muck.
The same principle applies to running a promotion during the biggest sales holiday of the year. You must have enough presence to attract an audience while keeping an eye on the details.
Compete with Clutter
John Wayne. Clint Eastwood. Roy Rogers. Each of these actors is well known for having a career within the western niche. Their work stood out from the hundreds of similar films.
I suppose my best attribute, if you want to call it that, is sincerity. I can sell sincerity because that’s the way I am.JOHN WAYNE
To stand out among the options in your target market, you must find a way to compete with the clutter.
- Ads: If you only spend money on ads once a year, now is the time. Be the first to grab prime, local promotional opportunities. Don’t wait for the sales reps to find you.
- Offer: To reach peak awareness, you need to stick to one simple, attractive offer. Develop a strong offer that you can promote consistently.
- Sales: There is no point in offering a sweet deal if your people can’t close. Prep your team to push the main promotion.
- The Creative: The quality and creativity of your promotional material matters. Save room in your budget (either time or money) to put together a campaign that makes people stop.
Black Friday is the one time of year where every customer expects you to run a sale. Plan for it! Then, you can scoop up your little corner of the market.
How to Promote a Black Friday Sale
Determine what kind of advertising and point-of-sale signage you can purchase. Then, make your commitments. This will set you on a timeline for each of the activities below.
Step 1: Define Your Offer
Write out the details of your offer clearly. As you massage the language, make sure it’s simple for both your customers and salespeople to follow. Ideally, it will be a buzz-worthy deal.
- Coupons: If you do a coupon, you can track the effectiveness of your mediums. Use small codes to differentiate the different channels. If you’re doing a spend over several weeks, this can allow you to adjust your ad buys accordingly.
- Percentage Discount: A storewide discount always works well because it’s easy to follow. Just mark down all the items. If you can’t do a storewide discount, group the sale items together.
- BOGO: Buy one, get one sales help you increase the total number of sales. That’s why big brands do it. In fact, there is proof that people tend to add little purchases for themselves into their holiday shopping. A BOGO offer capitalizes on that behavior.
- Doorbusters: The economics behind a doorbuster are simple. Take a loss on a high-value item to increase foot traffic. Those doorbuster items become advertisements that draw in people — who usually stay and buy other products. If you have a popular, highly-coveted item, consider marking it down for one day only to get people in your door.
- Free Gift: Adding a free gift to a defined total spend can increase customer’s total purchase. It may draw a people in the door, but also it’s a mechanism to upsell.
Again, keep it as simple and familiar as you can. Don’t do a promotion that weirds people out because of all the complex disclaimers. Keep it clear and make it valuable.
Step 2: Develop Creative Assets
After defining your offer, you must develop the creative assets that you will use to promote your message. By this point, you should have already set your advertising budget and purchased space. You’ll know the specs for each ad.
Use these to develop creative assets. You’ll need photos of your products and consistent artwork to use throughout your campaign.
Even if you’re just doing a social media campaign, consistency is key. Use the same visual style and campaign message for your cover photo, posts and promoted ads.
Black Friday Sale Graphic Inspiration
These are sized for Facebook Business Account Cover photos.
Elegant Black Friday Sales Event
Fun Black Friday Sales Event
Quirky Black Friday Sales Event
Vintage Black Friday Sales Event
Simple Black Friday Sales Event
Feel free to download and use any of these cover photos for your Black Friday sale. Just click on the image to download full size. (See more free materials at the bottom of this post.)
Step 3: Build a Landing Page
Give your campaign one digital home by building a landing page on your website. It should contain:
- Campaign Creative
- Sales Offer Details
- Product Listings
- Relevant Disclaimers
- Purchase information
Even if you don’t sell online, list popular (or sale) products with prices. This helps people plan their shopping.
By putting all this information on one page, you can link to it in your advertisements. Consider using redirects for print mediums to help with tracking.
Then, you can declutter your actual ads because the additional information is on the landing page. If people are interested, they can pull up the page to see more.
Step 4: Update Social Media
Update your social media accounts to reflect your Black Friday Sales event. Change your featured links to the landing page to push customers directly to your current offer. Update your cover photos, create an event, and schedule your posts.
Step 5: Finalize Artwork
Finalize your ads and send them out by the deadline. Make sure every ad has that landing page link (and test it). Stay on top of your proofing and don’t let your timetable fall behind.
Step 7: Set up Signage and Point-of-Sale experience
Finally, it’s time to decorate your store with your new signs and point-of-sale experience. Make sure you have notes by the register for your sales team. Ideally, the sale will be a smooth experience for both your staff and customers.
Step 8: Prepare your Sales Team
Hold a meeting to explain the event to your staff. Everyone should be familiar with the advertisements and the offers. Make sure they know how to explain the promotion and help customers navigate their purchase experience.
As you go through each of these steps, you’ll likely find areas that you need to adjust to meet the individual needs of your store.
Tips and Tricks
- Keep an eye on your competitors. Don’t copy what they’re doing but, make sure that your offer stands out in comparison.
- Find local partners. Often, communities do large events to promote holiday shopping. Figure out who runs your Chamber of Commerce or business associations.
- Use your network. Ask your wholesalers and product sources to promote your sale. Often, they have an audiences that are looking for places to buy their wares.
Overall, remember that this is a marathon from now through the new year. People will be buying (and returning… and exchanging for the next two months). Make sure you’re ready for it.
Now is the time to get your campaign started. Get in front of your target audience first by starting 3-4 weeks before the actual sale.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my free social media sale graphics. Just click on each of these images to download. You don’t need to credit me. Just tell your friends about this resource. Make sure you don’t miss the next free download by following me on Instagram @verdera.me.