I still remember the Black Friday campaign just three years ago. I personally called customers trying to explain the trend that, it seemed, was going to catch on in our country inherited from the United States. In a very short time we have gone from trying to convince clients, to receiving a lot of calls to prepare an event that is already a mass phenomenon.
As experts in digital marketing for ecommerce we can affirm that, if you want to succeed in the complex and new world of digital marketing, it is not enough to implement an additional budget. In this article I will try to explain the different strategies, look for ways to maximize returns and generate actions aimed at a single goal: live with the intensity of a sports final the Black Friday 2016 campaign.
Let's start by analyzing some data to put us in the picture. During 2015, more than 1.5 million searches were conducted with search terms containing "black friday". The 3 most common were:
- Black Friday
- Black Friday 2015
- Black Friday 2015 spain
The 3 weeks leading up to Black Friday (last Friday in November) see a significant increase in searches with the day before (Thursday) as the record day. According to Google data Thursday and Friday account for 16% of total annual searches.
BLACK FRIDAY 2015. LET'S LEARN
In our agency we have been carefully preparing Black Friday campaigns for several years with the sole purpose of achieving the best results for our clients. A great advantage is that we have real data that can give us a very accurate idea of the actions we need to undertake year after year.
For this reason, I have conducted a small study to make this post based on real data from 4 clients from different sectors and sizes with whom we made a complete strategy for Black Friday 2015. The image shows the average of the 4 ecommerce. The summary of the main KPIs is as follows:
The conclusions we can draw are as follows:
- Significant increase in impressions and clicks (x3)
- The average CPC remains stable, so a significant increase in the percentage of conversions (over 50%) will have a significant impact on ROI.
- The sharp rise in the conversion rate indicates that purchases are more impulsive and less thoughtful than usual. Normally we need 64 people to get a sale. On Black Friday, with only 42 we will get a conversion.
- Sales revenue (value of conversions) increases exponentially, almost doubling (+85%).
- With all these figures, the return on investment (Conv.value/cost) reaches levels of "science fiction" 😉
The recommended strategy for this year based on the observed data would be as follows:
- We must increase investment at least three times in an equivalent period of time to be able to capture all the traffic that occurs during these dates.
- The improvement in profitability is so pronounced that it gives us an option to capture traffic through search terms or strategies that are usually not profitable.
- Add to the keywords "black friday". to reach high-traffic search terms (e.g. "black friday TVs" and with a high probability of conversion.
- Increase CPC of keywords / shopping IDs to achieve higher rankings as the ROI justifies betting more heavily.
In addition to all this, other actions to take into account would be the following:
- Thinking through the promotion we are going to perform and during what term. I personally like the deals from the Monday before Black Friday to the Monday after (Cyber Monday 2016).
- Add in our marketing strategies aggressive calls to action such as "Offer While Supplies Last", "Limited Units at this Price" or "Buy Now!
- By the way, raising prices in the previous week and then lowering them is not a good idea. In Geotelecom we perform price tracking of the competition so we can easily detect who performs this type of practices. Social networks and angry customers will do everything else so our reputation can be seriously affected.
- Establish a schedule for measure the timing and execute the different strategies progressively. A very common mistake is to execute actions starting on "Black Friday" when in fact we should do it for at least 2 or 3 weeks before and at least from the Monday before Black Friday 2016.
- A great idea is to create a specific landing advertising Black Friday and allowing customers to enter their email address to be the first to receive these promotions can provide us with valuable information to make an impact by email marketing or campaigns "customer match"(uploading emails to Google Adwords to impact those people when they navigate logged in with those emails).
- Create remarketing lists to re-impact the public that has visited us. I would especially be inclined to lists of this type:
- All visitors who have visited us in the last day, 3 days, 7 days and 30 days.
- Smart Lists in the last 1 day, 3 days, 7 days and 30 days (stronger bidding than the previous group)
- All people who have purchased from us in the last 30 days (this would be useful to exclude this audience).
- All the people who have purchased from us in the last 6 months (180 days).
- All visitors who placed products in the cart at 1 day, 3 days, 7 days and 30 days.
- Create remarketing ads static ads indicating the promotions we are running during Black Friday to alternate with dynamic remarketing campaigns.
- Although conversion rates tend to be lower when we make an impact through display campaigns to audiences of similar audiences, the increase in the percentage of conversions during these dates will justify our investment in this strategy.
- Action by email marketing to registered customers and/or former customers giving them the opportunity to know before anyone else the promotions that we are going to have.
- Create extensions Black Friday/Cyber Monday featured text and site excerpts (at this point we still don't know if they will be available this year)
- Betting on mobile devices. We have already seen that during Black Friday traffic increases considerably and, in addition, the percentage of conversions is much higher than during any other period. Opening up more traffic to mobile devices will mean a good increase in traffic, especially in Google Shopping campaigns where traffic is much more likely to convert.
- Review the ad scheduling of the different campaigns. Although as my friend Ramón Fabregat says "in Adwords you can always say it depends", I would advise you to eliminate the restrictions you have established during the rest of the year during the Black Friday campaign. Let's remember that it is usual to restrict our investment during night hours or in some periods of low performance.
- Campaigns for remarketing on Youtube using "True View in Stream" will be a great way to remind our website visitors that we are on Black Friday and we hope they will come back to buy our products.
Google Shopping Campaigns
- Enriching the feed of Google Merchant data with the keywords "Black Friday".
When we looked at the Black Friday 2014 data we noticed that there were a lot of brand + black friday type searches ("opel black friday", "black friday appliances", "black friday iphone black friday") with good conversion data but these types of terms did not trigger Google Shopping ads.
If we do a search this year with "black friday appliances" we will get the following result: The thing is, last year we had one of our "crazy ideas" ..... If we could get the ads to display for these types of terms we could capture a large volume of traffic at a very reasonable cost. Using some of our tools we achieved this:
As you can see in the screenshots, there was only one advertiser that was in all the positions of Google Shopping obtaining an incredible amount of traffic at very low costs. Spectacular, isn't it? This year we have prepared more experiments and surprises... Next year I'll tell you about it 😉.