Beat the big boys | Black Friday hints & tips from Digital Marketing Agency

What was considered as a relatively new concept to UK shoppers a mere six years ago, Black Friday is now firmly part of the British retail calendar. Originally introduced to the UK online market by Amazon in 2010, the American craze has seen significant growth in popularity over the past few years and is even expected to hit £2bn worth of sales this year.

However, it wasn’t until a few years later that Black Friday suddenly burst onto the high street retail scene properly in this country. Larger retailers such as American owned ASDA have been adopting the American-style sale day since 2013, by utilising the specialist expertise of a digital marketing agency.

With a little over 10 weeks left until Christmas, some shoppers have already taken to the high street early to start their Christmas shopping. Black Friday is one of those peak days with The Guardian predicting us Brits will spend over £2Billion in a single day!

This behaviour presents a substantial opportunity for businesses to capitalise on early bird shoppers, but you will need to act quickly to avoid missing out to the competition.

With larger retailers opting to run even longer seasonal sales promotions and the ever growing popularity of online shopping, it is getting noticeably more difficult to keep up if you are a small business looking to get your share of the Christmas pudding.

Unsurprisingly, this is a hugely profitable trading period for large retailers, but should small businesses get involved?

Here are some things to consider for your Black Friday strategy if you are a small business.

Get the word out with social media

When considering a social media strategy for Black Friday, why not treat your campaign as one big event, or a series of small events, or both, and then look to promote them as events on Facebook and other social media platforms.

It is important to understand that the key to making the most of your Black Friday marketing efforts revolves around the idea of communicating a sense of “something exciting, exclusive, and temporary to participate in” rather than “something cheap to buy”. Remember that you are ultimately selling participation in a consumerist pastime as much as you are selling your small business’ goods and services.

An alternative idea would be to avoid running solely promotional advertisements and flooding feeds with sales material. Instead, consider actually engaging with your customers and listen to what is being said on social media. Participate in real-time conversations and ask questions in an attempt to get people sharing and conversing on social.

Black Friday Optimisation

The treacherous online world can be brutal for any small business. With so much retail spend dominated by major online platforms such as Amazon, as well as other well-known high street retailers, it can seem like a mammoth task if you want to compete.

SEO to the rescue! By focusing your efforts on creating the best mobile experience possible for your customers, understanding search behaviour and optimising for keywords, then there is no reason that SMEs can’t also make a profit from the biggest ever day for UK online sales.

It is no great secret that consumers have a tendency to start looking for which items they want to purchase well in advance of Black Friday. The search term ‘Black Friday’ is also heavily used, along with a number of different variants. Research has shown that throughout the month of November, consumers were searching for ‘Black Friday’, ‘Black Friday deals’ and ‘Black Friday UK’, so it is essential that you try to incorporate popular search terms like these into your online strategy.

Start planning now for 2017

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. SEO is not something that can be fixed overnight and is very much an ongoing process. If you have not already optimised your website for Black Friday then you are probably too late to do so for this year. However, you can certainly begin optimising it now and then continue to do so throughout the remainder of 2016 and into 2017, ready for next year’s Black Friday. By starting a year early, you will give yourself the best chance to be successful, and to gain that competitive edge over larger retailers.

The earlier you can plan and ultimately implement your Black Friday strategy, the better. As Black Friday draws nearer, many customers are already taking to the web to search for the best deals.

If you are a small business looking to compete with the big boys on Black Friday, then planning early is even more crucial in order to maximise your opportunity for success.

Stuck for inspiration?

Do you have a great idea but lack the resource? Or plenty of resource but are missing that spark of inspiration? Why not partner up with an experienced digital marketing agency who can work with you. Not just for maximising your ‘Black Friday’, but to help realise your digital presence and unlock your growth potential.

Author: Emily Williams