Black Friday is always one of the pinnacles of the advertising year, with prices being slashed and consumer activity increasing by up to 42%. Not only that, conversion rates and the intent to buy is dramatically increased. With users spending over 2 billion dollars last year alone.
Now, in a normal time, you would expect the queues round the corner, with store employees getting ready for #UFC255 over a discount flat screen TV. Or ‘Karen’ arguing at why her coupon doesn’t apply on top of the already heavy discounts.
Now, there may still be cases of this, but with COVID-19 digging its heels in, online activity is set to be prevalent for this Black Friday, resulting in more activity than ever.
Below are a few of my top recommendations to separate yourself from the pack, and ensure your black Friday PPC Ads are as profitable as possible.
Allow for awareness advertising and engagement in the run up, not just during.
One thing I have always seen fantastic success utilising is traction about your upcoming sales, I have done this by pushing search ad copy, display marketing campaigns highlighting the upcoming sales in banners, and being dynamic with your website messaging before the event has even hit.
Building ‘heat’ about your sales will allow for you to preemptively sculpt and build a funnel that can be re-marketed to, and also allow for users to actively search for the business during the sale period.
Ad Copy that drives, and isn’t a back seat passenger.
Advertisers are all well versed now to release ad copy during the black Friday period, however it results in the Generic ‘20% off all products’ content that you end up finding everywhere.
- Research your market, capture your unique selling points that are unmatched, pairing
them with your sales and offers allowing for unique ad copy.
- Trial different versions of a sale, increase order value by offering things such as ‘3 for 2’,
buy one, get one 50%. Rather than flat-line discount codes, look at ways to incorporate
additional products and sales revenue.
- Alternatively, utilise this opportunity to clear unpopular or unwanted stock with discounts, user intent will never be so high so allow this to turnover products in order to have the
room to order in new stock.
- Create Ads with Google countdown setting this is an old feature from 2015, but is
criminally underused in retail. This builds a clock counting down in the ad copy for when
the sale ends, building a sense of urgency and further pushing the user to a purchase.
Budgeting that’s realistic and flexible
When possible, increase your marketing budget by up to 75% for Black Friday, this is the time for you to really push sales targets. The increased budget will in turn allow for more engagement and prevent being outbid by competitors on the market.
Furthermore, online activity is set to spike even more dramatically because of the current world events, meaning for even more budget available/needed than previous years.
I recommend regularly to my clients to increase the budget, or alternatively when budget is tight to take the budget away from January (a typically slower month in certain industries) and invest this into the peaks of BF & Christmas.
Stand out in the Carousel with Merchant Centre Promotions
Merchant centre promotions allow you to run a separate feed to attach discount codes and special offers on top of your PLA’s. This allows you to then expand your Black Friday offerings to your shopping network as well.
You are also able to define the code the user needs to redeem to receive the sale, meaning you can separately attribute sales codes to your PPC to identify the revenue coming from these promotion codes and offerings.
An example Merchant centre promotions can be seen below –
Sale_Price will change your life (and your feed).
You’re probably thinking what actually is Sale_Price? well this is a custom attribute you can add into your feed to highlight discounted prices, rather than just dropping your prices or waiting till they have reached the website, you can highlight the percentage price drop in the carousel even at impression level.
This is how you can separate yourself from the bunch, users are able to see a physical pricing discount in the search results without engaging or costing you anything, allowing for you to increase conversion rate and revenue.
See an example below from the first tent, with the price drop below the pricing –
Time sensitive ad extensions (not the ones you set 1 year ago…)
Sometimes ad extensions can get lost and undervalued, running the ones you created many months ago, however, in Black Friday everything is even more valuable, so it’s time to take advantage.
With your sitelinks you can update these to reflect best sellers, biggest discounts or stock you need to clear, as the enhanced exposure will help in doing just that, and will also bring the searcher to the direct product page.
Callouts – make these on topic with the event and direct users to the benefits you want to take advantage of, that may be next day delivery, warrant offers etc.
Critique Your 2019 performance
Finally, my last recommendation is to analyse last year’s data and how you can capitalise on it. PPC is so data driven that you have the ability to refer to things that did and didn’t work for the years previous.
Analyse and identify products that sold like hotcakes, and consider setting individual budgets for these hero items to ensure solid sales again.
Review your sales strategies that didn’t work, and why they didn’t. Look into what ad copy had the most engagement and also the best conversion rates.
The above tips are the start, but running paid advertising is reactive and competitive, don’t be scared to try and fail, testing and learning is the key to success.