Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer businesses tremendous opportunities for revenue generation. Cyber Monday saw a shocking $10.8 billion in online sales in 2020, representing a nearly $3 billion increase since 2018. Black Friday also sees enormous traffic both in person and online, hitting $9 billion in 2020. To seize these opportunities, however, you need to take your business through the proper planning stages to have ample customers ready to take advantage of your sales. Paid social media advertising plays a critical role in this process, particularly when you take the time to plan correctly. This paid social media advertising schedule for Black Friday and Cyber Monday will walk you through each step.
3+ Months Out: Filling the Funnel
Three months before Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales start, you need to think about how you will fill up the middle and bottom of your funnels. For paid social ads to be effective, you must have already built out your middle and bottom funnel audiences. By the time the sales roll around, you want to have already educated your audience and warmed them up to what you have to offer. You will then be able to use retargeting ads to bring in the prospects who are ripe for making a purchase.
Steps for you to complete at this phase in the timeline:
- Create social media ads that will educate your audience about your business, so they are prepared for your sales push.
- Start testing broad audience sentiments surrounding your market so you know what appeals to your target audience.
- Focus your attention on building prospects for the middle and bottom of your funnel.
Two Months Out: Developing the Paid Social Media Advertising Campaign
When you reach two months out from the big sales, your focus will shift towards developing the offer you will make with your Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads. Create an irresistible offer that works for your business. As you think about the offer you want to make, remember that the cost per mille (CPM) will increase around the Black Friday/Cyber Monday push. Bundles, however, can be an excellent strategy for increasing the average order value (AOV) to keep your ROI high.
Here are your focused tasks for this preparation period:
- Develop your offer for the sales period. Remember that customers are facing a barrage of ads and offers, and you want to make sure yours will stand out.
- When you offer discounts, bundles, and bonuses, make sure your profit margins are healthy enough for you to rely on purchase volume.
- If possible, create a separate landing page to represent the offers and sales you will run.
- Look at what you did last year and analyze it to see how you can optimize your offers and ads for greater success this year.
One Month Out: Building and Testing the Ads
When you are about a month from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, you need to start transitioning to including the sales theme in your advertising. Your other central concern will be developing your creatives. You will want to include your promotion in the creative and customize the creative based on the targeted audience.
As you build your creatives and ads, look for year-over-year lookalikes. If you have data from previous holiday years, consider building lookalikes off these successful campaigns to find similar shoppers. You can also use these customer lists to bring back holiday shoppers.
As you prepare for the last month before the sales run, keep the following tasks in mind:
- Work on developing a creative that will clarify what the customer saves and can be personalized to your target audiences.
- Use Black Friday and Cyber Monday themes in your ads and include the promo code in your headline.
- Set ads to target audiences interested in finding great sales, using keywords like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, deals, coupons, and sales
- Set up your ads using extended retargeted periods. During the holiday season, you want to reach as many potential customers as possible, and extended retargeting windows allow you to reach a larger audience and take advantage of the higher buyer intent of the season.
- Use a multi-channel approach to engage your customers better. Consumers get hit with thousands and thousands of ads, emails, messages, and other business outreach during the holidays. You will need multiple touchpoints to drive new customers, so use various channels to reach your audience. For example, consider targeting people on Facebook, Google, TikTok, Snapchat, email, and SMS.
While you work on building your ads, you also need to verify that you have all your tracking correctly set up and in place. Check that your website pixel is accurately firing events. You can use the Events Manager on Facebook to check. If you use Shopify, ensure your conversions API is incorporated to maximize your insights from the data you collect.
1-2 Weeks Out: Launching the Campaign
You want to start running your ads one to two weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is becoming increasingly common for companies to extend sales dates to the days before and after the actual sales date, such as Black Friday sales lasting from Wednesday to Friday and Cyber Monday deals running from Saturday through Monday. This type of schedule provides greater flexibility for your customers. For example, many people get Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving, so this gives them the time to go to the stores for Black Friday. Additionally, having the Cyber Monday sales extended over the weekend allows people more opportunities to browse their phones from the comfort of their living room over the weekend before having to report back to the office and hide their phone usage from their boss.
Starting your sales early also allows you to capitalize on the best possible prices since costs will rise during the peak promotional periods. A broad prospecting campaign that increases your Landing Page Views can help you have the greatest possible retargeting pools for the sale itself.
Your targeted tasks for this time period include:
- Start running your ad sales early to build traffic and attention before the peak sales day and to give your customers the greatest opportunities to buy.
- Go beyond the standard cookie-cutter Facebook targeting and incorporate 3rd party audiences, such as retargeting Shopify customers with high AOV.
- Create a rule in Facebook that will automatically turn off evergreen ads. This will guarantee that your sales creative is seen as often as possible during the promotional period.
- Use your retention lists. During the holidays, many of your customers will be existing customers, so use your email lists to help push these customers through the door.
- Continue using your multi-channel approach to connect with people through social media and nurture them through email and SMS.
Now you will be ready to push through into the actual sales period.
During Cyber Week
As you enter Cyber Week, you want to ensure you are on top of monitoring your ad campaigns and those of your competitors. You will want to focus on the following tasks.
- Use Mailcharts.com and Milled.com to keep an eye on your competitors. See what works for them and what they offer customers to ensure you remain competitive.
- Be ready to adjust your ad campaign in real-time. Typically, Meta’s automation system will divert budget away from ads that underperform. So, if you see that components are not working, delete them so that your campaign focuses on running ads that perform the best.
- Monitor the feedback you get. Look at the comments left on your ads and other avenues for feedback to ensure nothing is broken in the process. For example, if you see customers complaining that a link does not work or their code is not accepted, investigate to see if something needs to be fixed.
Once Cyber Week closes, it is time to collect the data from your campaigns. Examine your analytics and document your biggest wins and the most significant areas for improvement. You can then incorporate this data into your campaigns moving forward when you want to plan the next big sale or get ready for your next Cyber Week.
After reviewing your data, get some eggnog and relax. You have earned it.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer tremendous opportunities for bringing in holiday-season sales and expanding brand reach and reputation. Following this schedule will help you capture these opportunities and get the holiday season started right.