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Top 10 Black Friday Advertising Ideas For eCommerce 2024

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The year’s biggest shopping extravaganza – Black Friday is right around the corner. Both physical stores and online retailers are gearing up with their Black Friday signs. However, Black Friday is more than just about offering discounts. Brands need to invest considerable effort into preparation and various advertising activities to attract customers to their stores. In today’s blog post, we’ve compiled the top 10 Black Friday advertising ideas for eCommerce that you can adopt quickly this season, along with the 3 key steps to create a powerful Black Friday campaign. Time is of the essence now so let’s jump right in!

Create a master plan for your advertising activities

Before you dive straight into the advertising ideas guide, it’s vital to create a master plan for all your Black Friday advertising activities.

The key is to align with your conversion or purchase funnel and structure your activities around each phase. Following the AIDA model, a typical purchase funnel comprises four stages: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Your advertising activities should mirror these stages to ensure a logical and efficient marketing approach.

  • Attention: In this initial stage, your primary goal is to reach as many potential customers as possible. Then, you’d inform them about your fantastic Black Friday program. Activities like launching your Black Friday program on social media, running paid ads, or partnering with influencers can help spread the word about your campaign. It’s crucial to note that customers at this point are unlikely to convert yet. So metrics such as reach or impressions should be your main focus when evaluating effectiveness. 
  • Interest: Moving on to the next phase, your main task is to capture the attention of your audience. Achieve this by offering sneak peeks, limited flash sales, or hosting interactive minigames and challenges on social media. It’s also wise to use visually appealing content and compelling copy to draw in potential customers. At this stage, businesses can focus on metrics like click-through rate (CTR) or cost per click (CPC) to evaluate your campaign.
  • Desire: Now that you’ve got the customers’ attention, it’s time to trigger their desire for your products. Roll out your Black Friday deals and consider creating bundle deals based on different themes or functions. Integrate these activities with your social media and paid ad campaigns for optimal results. Metrics like click-through rate (CTR) and cost per lead (CPL) become your focus in this stage.
  • Action: In the final stage of the purchase funnel, the main task is to convert customers. Release your biggest Black Friday deal. Also offer conditional benefits, such as free shipping for orders over $100 to encourage customers to spend more. At this phase, focus on metrics like add-to-cart and conversion rate (CR) to evaluate the success of your method.

Apart from sticking to the conversion funnel for the master plan, businesses should also take note of these important dates to assign an appropriate timeline for various advertising activities:

  • Thanksgiving: November 23rd
  • Black Friday: November 24th
  • Cyber Monday: November 27th
  • Christmas Eve: December 24th 
  • Christmas Day: December 25th
  • New Year’s Day: January 1st

Once you have your Black Friday master plan and a well-planned timeline, stick to it. Adjust as you go for a successful Black Friday season.

10 clever Black Friday advertising ideas for eCommerce

Now that your advertising master plan is in place, it’s time to brainstorm a set of effective advertising ideas to promote your Black Friday campaign. In this section, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Black Friday advertising ideas for eCommerce. These strategies are designed to take your business to the forefront and ensure top sales this holiday shopping season

1. Start a series of Black Friday social media post

With the growing popularity of social media, it seems like a no-brainer for brands to opt for social media as one of the first marketing strategies. This is a great owned media channel that can get the word around about your Black Friday program without costing too much money. One of the simplest advertising activities you can take up is creating a series of Black Friday social posts. Start by dropping hints about your program, then gradually reveal the details phase by phase. 

For social media, visuals are everything, especially for platforms like Instagram or TikTok. So make sure your visuals are attractive and your copy is compelling. Using relevant hastag such as #blackfriday #cybermonday is also an effective way to promote your program to a bigger audience.  

Bath and body works Black Friday social post on Instagram
Bath and Body Works’s Black Friday post via Instagram 

2. Leverage user-generated content (UGC)

User-generated content is one of the biggest trends in advertising in recent years. In fact, according to a survey by Stackla, 79% of people reported that UGC highly impact their purchase decisions. This stat shows that customers generally prefer reading about real customers’ feedback and experiences, rather than seeing a brand self-promote. 

By definition, user-generated content is any type of content (eg., images, videos, text, etc.) created by users themselves and is published online. So this Black Friday, invite your followers to share their shopping experiences. Some type of content you can consider is unboxing videos, feedback photos, testimonials, or reviews. It also helps to create a unique branded hastag for your UGC campaign, such as Calvin Klein’s UGC hastag #MyCalvins.

Calvin Klein's #MyCalvins UGC campaign
Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins UGC campaign

To get your customers to participate in your UGC campaign, consider offering compelling incentives. These can be the chance to be featured on your social media, exclusive discounts, or a prize for the winner. 

By incorporating UGC into your Black Friday strategy, not only will you promote your deals effectively, but you’ll also enhance your brand’s trustworthiness and credibility through positive customer feedback and reviews.

3. Host a social media contest or challenge

Similar to UGC campaigns, your brand can spice things up by hosting a social media contest or challenge to get customers actively engaged in your Black Friday festivities. Ensure it’s Black Friday-themed and resonates with your products. Get creative with contest ideas. Perhaps a funny photo contest where customers showcase your products, a quiz, sharing Black Friday wishlists, or any other form of interactive content. To reach a wider audience, brands can consider running awareness or engagement paid ad campaigns to spread the word.

What’s also important is offering participants an attractive prize. The winner could enjoy free products, exclusive discounts on their Black Friday orders, or early access to your Black Friday program. Ensure the reward is captivating enough to not only attract your existing customers but also passersby. This will not only serve as a promotional opportunity for your Black Friday campaign but also add a touch of fun for customers amidst the shopping frenzy that is Black Friday.

4. Run paid ads across multiple advertising channels

Paid advertising is a must during events like Black Friday if businesses want to get the word out about their program to a broad audience. Instead of limiting paid ads to just one platform, brands can enhance their reach by expanding ads across various channels for testing and maximum exposure. 

Before you start, it’s also crucial to identify the platforms where your customers are active. For example, if your business operates in the SaaS industry, consider running paid ad campaigns on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube. Remember to align your paid ad campaign with each phase of the purchase funnel. Experiment with different ad formats and campaign types to discover what works best for each stage of the funnel. Finally, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor your ads’ performance and you’re good to go.

However, managing one ad campaign after another, especially across different advertising channels, isn’t an easy task. This challenge is even more serious for smaller businesses with limited resources. Luckily, there’s a quicker, more convenient alternative – utilizing ad management & marketing attribution software like NestAds. NestAds has the ability to centralize performance data from multiple channels into one unified dashboard, eliminating the need to switch between tabs. Not to mention, NestAds also offers a unique TRR (target – retarget – retention) funnel. This feature allows brands to segment their ad campaigns based on conversion goals and each stage of the conversion funnel. Equipped with this information, businesses can now make more informed decisions and bring their Black Friday advertising plans to life successfully. 

NestAds Complete Advertising Dashboard

5. Join a partnership or collaboration

Another way to stand out with your Black Friday advertising campaign is to join a partnership or collaboration. Your partner can be another brand whose service and products are complementary to yours. Businesses can also consider partnering up with influencers or KOLs that have a significant presence in your community. 

When you first reach out to potential business partners, send a detailed proposal outlining your business, emphasizing how the partnership will be mutually beneficial. Some co-marketing activities might include cross-promotion or joint deals. When working with influencers or KOLs, consider sending them your products for free in exchange for reviews or promotions on their platforms. Alternatively, you can set up an affiliate program where influencers act as sales agents. They will earn a percentage of profits from goods sold through their channels.

However, not any random brand or influencer will do. So, it’s important to do some prior research on some influential voices in your community before reaching out to them. Make sure that their reviews or promotions will hold some weight with your audience. For example, ColorPop is a cosmetics brand that has been long known for partnering with famous beauty vloggers and influencers like Kathleen Lights, itsmyrayeraye, Jasmine Chiswell, and many more for many of their campaigns. 

ColorPops Parntership with influencer Jasmine Chiswell
ColorPop Cosmetics’ social post about the partnership with influencer Jasmine Chiswell

6. Run a pre-Black Friday flash sales 

Flash sales are among the most popular and effective advertising tactics for eCommerce stores, and it’s not without reason. By definition, a flash sale involves introducing significant discounts on specific products for a limited period of time. This time frame typically spans from a few hours to a couple of days. The main goal of a flash sale is to create a sense of urgency and excitement, compelling customers to make quick purchasing decisions. A pre-Black Friday flash sale is also a great way for brands to provide customers with a preview of what to expect in the main event.

Enhance the impact of your flash sale by adding a countdown timer, intensifying the limited offer time. Additionally, brands can also offer sneak peeks or early access to the flash sale for specific segments of their audience, such as subscribers or loyal customers. This exclusive privilege will foster a sense of appreciation, motivating customers to make more purchases.

7. Spice it up with a discount Wheel of Fortune pop-up

Introducing a discount fortune wheel pop-up on your website’s front page offers a creative and entertaining way to add some fun and excitement to your Black Friday promotions. What better way to showcase your Black Friday program than by allowing customers to test their luck and discover the discount or prize they might win?

Here’s how the pop-up fortune wheel operates: it consists of various segments, each representing a different discount or offer. When users click on the wheel, it begins to spin. Where it stops will determine the discount or offer the customer will receive. It’s a smart move to include a wide range of offers, such as regular percentage discounts, B1G1 (buy 1 get 1), free shipping, and more. The surprise element adds a sense of excitement, motivating users to make a purchase and enjoy the offers they receive.

8. Unveil a special product drop

Here’s a compelling strategy to stand out from the crowd this Black Friday: introduce a special product drop. Instead of the typical discount approach, consider unveiling a brand-new, exclusive, or limited-edition product, or even a unique variant of an existing favorite. In the midst of countless discounts, this fresh product will set your brand apart. Highlight its limited availability to create a sense of urgency, prompting customers to purchase. 

Nike and Ben & Jerry's limited collaboration product drop
Nike x Ben & Jerry’s limited collaboration product drop

Take it a step further by hosting an interactive launch event to introduce this special product. This event could feature a live stream, Q&A session, or a virtual tour showcasing the distinctive features and benefits of the new item. Whichever format you choose, ensure it encourages audience participation to make the product drop an engaging and memorable experience for your customers.

9. Mystery deals

Want to spice up your Black Friday advertising ideas and create buzz around your Black Friday program? How about introducing a limited number of mystery bundles or packages, each containing a variety of surprise items? It adds a delightful element of mystery to the shopping experience because customers won’t know the exact contents until they make the purchase.

However, successfully pulling off such an idea requires strategic marketing. Don’t just unveil information about your mystery deal program. Instead, build anticipation by dropping hints and clues about each of the elements included. Utilize social media posts, email newsletters, and your website to gradually reveal components of the mystery bundle in the days leading up to Black Friday. Consider creating a branded hashtag, like #NestScaleMysteryBox to promote the event and allow for a seamless collection of user-generated content. 

10. Showcase your CSR on social media

Amidst all the Black Friday craziness, where social media is flooded with one deal after another, a simple product discount may not be enough to make your brand stand out in the fierce competition. How about teaming up with a charity or dedicating a portion of your revenue to a good cause? This not only fulfills your corporate social responsibility but also communicates your brand values to customers. When executed thoughtfully, initiatives like these can significantly enhance your brand’s visibility and distinguish you in the crowded market.

Also, make sure to showcase your corporate social responsibility on your social media channels. By doing so, you position your brand as one that cares not only about profit but also about supporting the community. This not only enhances your brand’s public image but also creates a positive association in the minds of customers.

Take, for instance, The Body Shop, the renowned cruelty-free cosmetics brand from the UK. They’ve teamed up with the charity Care USA, pledging a $50,000 donation and offering an exclusive Black Friday discount on their holiday Community Care Pouch. This special pouch includes body and skincare products, and the initiative aims to benefit the disadvantaged community.

3 key steps to build an impactful Black Friday campaign

In the previous section, we have gone over some Black Friday advertising ideas for your business to adopt this holiday . However, before jumping right into execution, it’s best to do some extra preparation to make sure your plan is impactful enough to convert. Here are the 3 key steps to build an impactful Black Friday campaign. 

Step 1: Start your preparation beforehand

A month prior to Black Friday is the perfect time to start looking around for this year’s trending products and marketing tactics. Utilizing ad spy tools like BigSpy can provide insights into the types of ads and creatives your competitors are employing for their Black Friday programs. With BigSpy, brands can draw inspiration from a variety of networks including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and more to shape their own campaigns. BigSpy’s diverse filter options allow businesses to filter out results based on site types, networks, regions, language, marketing objectives, ad attributes, and many more. This handy feature will guarantee that you’ll find the answer you need in just a matter of seconds. Seek inspiration with BigSpy and create your very own winning ad creative & copy combination.

Big Spy website
BigSpy’s website

Also, you can take your competitor’s ad audience for reference with BigSpy’s Facebook Ad Audience Feature. This handy tool will help you make a better choice and save your budget.

BigSpy Facebook Audience setting
BigSpy’s Ad audience analysis

Once your research is complete, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into action. Start preparing the creatives and copy for your Black Friday campaign. Consider creating distinct product categories for Black Friday, each with unique themes like “Gifts for Family” or “2024 Trending Products.” And, don’t overlook the importance of decorating your online storefront with a Black Friday banner – a visual cue that lets customers know about your program. 

Step 2: Identify your customers’ favorite channels & influencers

This step is closely tied to some of the advertising ideas we discussed earlier. By diving into research and identifying your customers’ preferred channels and influencers, you can strategically target platforms where your customers are most active. This ensures that your investment is going towards the channels that resonate with your specific customer segments. For example, if your target audience comprises teenagers and Gen Z, running ads on TikTok might be a smart move. Similarly, if your customers are mostly in their mid-20s to mid-40s, Facebook might be a better fit, given that this age group makes up around 42% of Facebook’s US users. 

This is also the perfect opportunity for brands to do some research about which influencers or KOLs to partner up with. Keep in mind that the partnership negotiation process typically takes a few weeks. So, it’s wise to wrap up your list early in advance. Look for individuals whose opinions hold weight within your community and carry influence with your customers. Once you’ve got your list, start contacting them with partnership or affiliate proposals for Black Friday.

Step 3: Follow up with customers post-Black Friday

During Black Friday, it’s easy to get caught up in the record-high orders and lose sight of what is truly important – retaining customers. According to Shopify, a striking 64% of retailers note that customers acquired over the Black Friday weekend have a lower lifetime value compared to those gained at other times of the year. Recognizing this, it is of the utmost importance to implement a post-Black Friday customer care plan.

This could be as straightforward as sending an automated thank-you email or providing a feedback form. If your business resources allow, consider reaching out to customers directly via text message or phone to gather their feedback. Another thoughtful gesture could be including a free thank-you gift in their orders to express gratitude. These seemingly small actions not only help build a genuine connection with your customers but also set you apart from the multitude of Black Friday competitors. With a good post-purchase customer care plan, brands can absolutely turn one-time visitors into life-long, loyal customers. 

When is the best time to start your Black Friday advertising activities?

Now that we’ve gone over some Black Friday advertising ideas as well as the 3 key steps to building an impactful campaign, there remains one big question: When is the best time to start your Black Friday advertising activities? 

The straightforward answer is typically around early November. This is the perfect time to start dropping hints about your Black Friday program on social media, building up anticipation. At this stage, businesses can run paid ad campaigns with Awareness or Engagement as conversion goals to reach a broader audience. Offering perks like exclusive discounts or sneak peeks can also be effective in getting customers excited about your program. Then, gradually unveil more details about your Black Friday plan as the day approaches. 

With that said, at this moment when Black Friday is quite literally just around the corner, you really shouldn’t waste too much time on advertising to new customers. Instead, we’d suggest skipping most of the additional efforts. Jump straight into the Black Friday marketing ideas that you can implement right away. Last but certainly not least, remember to establish a post-purchase customer relationship management action plan to foster a sustainable and lasting relationship with your customer base even after Black Friday has passed. Good luck!

Ian

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Ian

Author at NestScale

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