The biggest shopping event of the year isn’t far away, and online retailers are working fervently to put the finishing touches on their Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns. Your competitors are working just as hard — if not harder — than you are, which makes your marketing preparations that much more important.
A lot of merchants make one critical mistake during this selling season. They focus so much on the deals and discounts that they don’t fully realize the need to invest just as much time into traffic generation.
With that in mind, here are four ways you can drive more traffic to your store during Black Friday/Cyber Monday — ultimately resulting in more sales.
Tweak your Paid Search Ads
Something to consider is the mindset change that consumers undergo this time of year. More than any other time of the year, customers are seeking you out online. Or at the very least, they’re open to new products in the market.
For example, let’s say you sell kitchen equipment. For the majority of the year, your search engine marketing may revolve around phrases like “what makes a great blender?” or “5 new kitchen gadgets you can’t be without.”
- When customers are comparing one product against another, it means they’re nearly to the purchase stage in the buyer’s journey.
- You can use that knowledge to tweak your paid advertising to more effectively drive traffic to specific landing pages.
Google paid Ads are a powerful tool for this type of quick change, especially since search engines are the primary go-to for answering the kinds of questions that lead to Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Because 54% of product searches being on Google.
It is important to understand the mindset shift consumers make this time of year while they actively search for products because they have a pressing reason to buy — the holidays, short-lived deals, etc.
These are effective for just about every consumer product niche there is. If you sell antique Smurf figurines, you can bet there’s some high interest within your industry for a shopping guide on what your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals will look like.
Skimlinks has some great tips on how to put together an effective shopping guide, some of which include:
- Inform and Inspire: You want your shopping guide to both inspire new purchases and inform readers of why they need your product. It’s not always enough to send out a list of deals. Some customers need more information before they buy.
- Quality Images: Nothing makes a shopping guide look cheap like bad images. Take the time to use your highest-quality product shots and design a custom cover. Your sales numbers will thank you later.
Links placed throughout the shopping guide to information pages will help you drive web traffic, just as promoting the guide on social media will.
Email marketing is still the most effective way to reach your target market, no matter how niche that market is. More than 90% of adults use email, along with 74% of teenagers. More emails are checked via the iOS mail client than any other touchpoint, although Gmail reported a user base of more than one billion not too long ago.
That’s the first point to understand — that email marketing is your friend, especially during Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
The second thing to understand is that you don’t need to overload these emails with info. Customers know sales are going on. It’s not like this buying season is a surprise.
Instead of finding a way to cram as many product photos, banners, and graphics into one email as possible, dial it down a bit.
This example — courtesy of Shopify — speaks to the point I’m making:
In a season where emails are coming in by the dozens, the simpler your message, the better. This one from Canvas Pop is clear, concise, and to the point. If your buttons in that email link to a general landing page displaying discounts across your various categories, that’s a great way to increase site traffic.
Brand storytelling is still a major part of marketing. Some marketers will argue it’s the future of digital marketing. Regardless of where you stand, you can’t afford to not have it as a part of your marketing portfolio.
Where things get interesting is in the opportunity you have during this sales season to capture an audience with your story.
Robert McKee is widely regarded as the leading voice in the brand storytelling niche, he gave the following nugget of wisdom:
“The Millennial generation and Generation Z coming up behind them have an adverse reaction to bragging,” said McKee. “They’re annoyed by [assertions like] ‘We’re the biggest, we’re the best, we’re the shiniest’ . . . The way to persuade the buyer is to get their attention with a story . . . Story is the most effective way to get attention because what attracts human attention is change.”
You don’t need to look further than REI’s #OptOutside campaign for examples of how well this works. Instead of selling on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, REI shuts down and invites everyone to join them and their employees outside.
“The development of the hashtag was a key moment . . . ‘From there,’ (Venables Bell & Partners creative director Lee) Einhorn said, ‘It stopped being about closing the stores and became about getting people to go outside.’
“Many consumers . . . still use the tag on posts that have nothing to do with (REI) or the campaign.”
What this campaign did for REI is twofold — it gave the company a ton of free press and it built up a seemingly inexhaustible supply of brand equity.
At the end of the day it’s not enough to focus solely on traffic or sales during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. The most successful companies understand it’s about giving both equal attention.
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