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How to Optimize Your Black Friday Marketing Strategy in 2021 (+ Actionable Design Tips)

Black Friday is coming up fast, with brands the world over gearing up for some of their biggest campaigns of the year. 

In order to have a successful sales period, you need to capture the attention of the right audience and convert them by delivering value. You can’t make sales if you blend in with the noise, can you? And a large part of capturing that attention comes from the design of your visuals.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to develop a Black Friday marketing strategy that yields results and share some creative Black Friday campaigns to get you inspired with your designed assets.

Whether you’re a small business owner or an agency delivering campaign artwork for your client, these Black Friday promotion ideas will get you started on the right foot.

Why have a Black Friday marketing strategy?

Held the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year, marking the beginning of the Christmas season for many eager customers. 

It sees the majority of brands in the US (and now the world over) slashing their prices, launching huge sales campaigns in a bid to win the spend of consumers and increase their sales revenue. Since its inception, the event has gained monumental popularity, with many brands extending their sales period throughout the weekend through to Cyber Monday, if not longer.  

It’s noted that consumers spent around $1.63 billion more over the sales period in 2020 compared to 2019. And that’s just online.

If you want a piece of the pie, it pays to be prepared. Having a solid Black Friday marketing strategy in place before the weekend will allow you to generate more sales and make more conversions without the headache of last minute-marketing.

Don’t panic here though. The word ‘strategy’ simply means ‘plan’. Here’re some things to consider…

How to prepare for Black Friday promotion

Determine the offer and the KPIs

The first step to developing a Black Friday marketing strategy is to determine exactly what it is that you’re marketing. 

What are the sales offerings? 

What are the dates involved? 

What product or service is falling into the campaign? 

Who exactly are you targeting for your campaign?

You may have multiple products that will be part of the sales period, will you create campaigns for them individually or are you developing a campaign for the entire brand in one go? 

This information will determine the design direction for the campaign by establishing the relevant details that need to be included. 

Once you have this organized, decide on the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you will use to measure the success. This could be sales targets, revenue figures, or engagement increase percentage on your social media channels.

Establish a process for your Black Friday creative assets

Now that you have the details of the campaign outlined, it’s time to decide on the assets needed in order to promote the campaign to the target audience.

What are the requirements?

Determine what designed assets are needed to deliver the campaign across multiple touchpoints. These could range from social media banners, social media grid posts, website banners, email headers, print materials such as flyers and landing pages.

Do you have enough resources to execute the work? Having your assets determined in advance will help here. You don’t want to end up running out of time to get vital artwork ready the day before the event launch.

If you find that you’re lacking enough hands on deck, consider outsourcing support in the run up to the campaign. 

A subscription with Design Force can be just the solution, here. We understand that key dates like Black Friday don’t come around every month, so if you’re suddenly falling short on designers with the capacity to churn out creative work, you can scale up your subscription on-demand as and when you need it. 

This means you can have a team of world-class designers at your fingertips to work on assets during busy times, without the need to onboard a full-time designer. 

If you want to learn more about how our subscription model can work for you (and access our pool of talent in just one day), book yourself a demo here.

What budget do you need to execute the design work?

This is the biggie. The Black Friday weekend is a period to increase your ROI and overall sales revenue, so it’s vital to understand where your pre-campaign money needs to be spent. 

High-quality design should, in our opinion, be a priority here, as design work can bring your vision and message to life and capture the attention of potential customers. You’ll likely have a high volume of assets to turn over, from landing pages to social media assets to banners, so you want to ensure you’ve assigned the essential resources (whether that’s the budget or talent) to deliver each element without compromising your standards.

Determine the budget you have available before starting work on the campaign, and consider its impact on your KPIs. 

If you are looking to outsource designers to help deliver excess work, a Design Force subscription means you’ll know exactly how much you’ll spend on deliverables. A monthly subscription to us gives you flexible access to a team of designers for as low as $40 per hour.

Determine your schedule

What’s the turnaround for creative assets? 

When will your campaign go live? 

Will you tease the Black Friday sale in the week(s) leading up to the event?

Our top tip here is to work backward from the campaign launch date and determine each date that assets are required to be published. Then set a deadline for artwork dates that are realistic to meet, allowing some buffer room for any unexpected hiccups.

Make sure the entire team is aware of the deadlines and (as best you can) stick to the schedule!

Optimize your ads and landing pages for higher Black Friday conversion

Like in this brilliant example from Unspiration, optimizing your landing pages and adverts can make or break your campaign. 

If a potential customer lands on the page, or gets shown your ad, you want to grab their attention and keep it until you’ve convinced them to convert.

How do you do that?

Make it eye-catching 

Eye-catching doesn’t need to mean overcrowded or overly bright. 

Consider the UX and UI of the design – is it easy to navigate? Is the copy legible? Is there a key element of the design to draw in the eye?

Bold shapes and large fonts can work in your favor here, but keep the key information/product the focus. Even better if you can include a moving images. In a survey by Renderforest, videos on landing pages increase conversions by up to 86%.

Use your brand colors

We’ve said this time and time again, but consistency within branding is key for customer recognition. 

If your brand uses bold, block colors, avoid suddenly switching to monochrome for your big campaigns. Black Friday doesn’t have to mean designing in black, unless that’s your branding already, of course!

Stay true to your brand colors so that your target audience recognizes you. Like this example from Best Buy.

Remember your brand values

Black Friday doesn’t necessarily have to facilitate mass sales and reduced prices. For many small businesses, that simply isn’t an option.

You may even find that the event doesn’t align with your brand values, but you can ride the wave by using the date to showcase your mission instead, like this.

Create a sense of urgency

Lastly, Black Friday through to Cyber Monday is a once-a-year occasion. 

Many consumers will not be able to purchase your goods at reduced prices again, so make sure the message is clear on your landing pages, adverts, or any other assets.

A great way to showcase urgency through design is to include a countdown, like this, and to use directional imagery to highlight the most important information.

In summary: Black Friday design best practices

  • Keep it simple and focus on the value to the customer
  • Stick to one key message
  • Include your logo and actionable CTA (Call To Action) so the audience know who it’s from, and what to do next
  • Use fonts, branding and image styles that align with your overall business. Don’t opt for a black and white graphic if you always use pink and blue
  • Design for multiple platforms and digital touchpoints. Eg. Social media banners, social media feed posts, landing page headers, email headers, website banners etc.

Are you ready for Black Friday?

However you’re approaching the event, we hope this article has given you plenty of inspiration. But if you’re feeling stuck or need a more hands-on deck to execute your strongest campaign yet, let’s talk.

We’ll do the design work for you, bringing world-class experience with us. If you’re not 100% on whether we’re the right fit, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee (but we don’t think you’ll need it).

Book a demo or get in touch today.

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