The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday 2021

Sale tags against a pink background
Olivia Alcorn
by: Olivia Alcorn

With the rise of ecommerce and changing trends, you need a new Black Friday marketing strategy to succeed. Online shopping is bigger than ever, but with competition at an all-time high, how can you stand out against competitors?

It’s now the prime time to prepare for what should be your highest online traffic day of the year and with a stellar strategy in place, it’ll be an event to remember.

Our Black Friday guide is loaded with tips and techniques you can put into place right now. So, keep scrolling to read our expert recommendations.

Black Friday 2020: What Happened?

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This time last year, as Black Friday 2020 rolled around, no-one knew what to expect. Consumer research indicated record low levels of interest in the shopping holiday – with 57% of people apathetic about it. So, brands were anticipating lacklustre sales.

However, while lockdowns caused in-person sales to drop dramatically (with Barclaycard reporting a 16.7% decrease between midnight and 4pm on the Friday), the power of ecommerce came through. Amazon reported a 60% increase in sales, while online sales overall accounted for 28.5% of the UK’s spending in October.

Purchases of cosmetics and beauty on Black Friday made up 22% of the total online sales, and there were also some notable winners in this industry. Black Friday-related beauty keywords were dominated by the likes of:

  • Boots
  • Estée Lauder
  • Debenhams
  • Chanel

Black Friday 2021: What to Expect

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We have seen a rapid rise in ecommerce throughout the pandemic, and this trend isn’t going away. Black Friday in 2021 is likely to be similarly strong online. So, in order to generate those all-important site visits and sales, you’ll need to be front of mind for beauty shoppers – both on the high street and on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

From how to prepare your website for the big event to drumming up awareness, these are our top Black Friday tips.

How to Prepare for Black Friday This Year

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We know, it’s a cliché, but when it comes to Black Friday the mantra ‘fail to prepare, then prepare to fail’ couldn’t be more true. There are a number of key activities to prioritise in the weeks running up to Black Friday.

Create a Black Friday Landing Page

Your audience want to hear about the offers you’re planning, and by giving them advanced notice you’re encouraging them to build a bit of buzz by sharing your Black Friday news. A well-optimised Black Friday landing page – ideally with some great backlinks – is exactly what you need to start ranking on Google, too.

To make sure your page performs as it should, make sure you:

  • Make it visible – with a position in the top nav, and maybe a homepage hero banner.
  • Plan outreach – get your offers in front of journos early, to help your page perform.
  • Get ready for increased traffic – can your site handle the pressure?

Finally, don’t delete the page when Black Friday has been and gone! It might seem logical to bin the landing page when it’s no longer relevant, but this means you’ll be starting from scratch next year.

Instead, remove it from your navigation and add an out of season message. Next year, you can repurpose the page with its valuable links and authority in place.

Prepare Your Shopping Feed

By drilling down on the specifics of your shopping feed early and carefully deciding your Black Friday advertising spend, you can avoid disapprovals, prevent unnecessary revenue losses and set achievable goals. So with that in mind, our PPC experts say:

  • Define your ROAS goals well in advance.
  • Understand your impression share.
  • Create a Black Friday sale shopping feed.
  • Test your feed early so its primed for the event.

Once your shopping feed is up and running, make sure to set up daily reports and alerts. As Black Friday sales typically span over a weekend, it’s worth keeping yourself informed. Especially if there are some must-have top-sellers which you suspect will be snapped up and run out of stock very quickly – you wouldn’t want to advertise a product which is no longer available.

Boost Awareness for Your Brand

To maximise your exposure, make sure to drum up awareness of your sale well before the event begins. You can achieve this in a number of ways, including:

Social Media

No Black Friday campaign is complete without killer social media content. Organic social is an effective tool to drive the hype about your brand, so think carefully (and creatively) about how you can show off your upcoming offers in a shareable way. This could include creating content like:

  • Short-form video
  • Live Q&As
  • Product tutorials

Social media is equally valuable from a paid perspective. In advance, make sure to trial paid campaigns on different social channels to find out which work best for your brand.  Once prepped, you can set up targeted ads, leading consumers to a specific landing page with further information and sponsored content.

Display Advertising

Show display ads to users whose web behaviour suggests they are in the market to buy your products and inform them of your upcoming deals and discounts.

What to Do During Black Friday

Two women in pink looking at their phones

Prepping effectively for Black Friday is essential, but even the best groundwork won’t let you relax on the big day. In fact, how you handle the Black Friday weekend will impact your overall results.

Communication is Key

Get ready for a hectic day with your internal team, agencies and partners all working closely together. Make sure you have fluid and open communication – you’ll need developers to respond quickly to any website issues, and regular updates on the sales performance from marketing teams throughout the day.

Take Advantage of Google’s Data

If you work with a digital agency who have Google Premier Partner status, you may have access to real time trend data that can help inform bidding strategies throughout the day.

Use Remarketing Lists Wisely

Black Friday is prime time to get back in front of potential customers and show them products they have shown interest in, but didn’t buy, at a newly discounted price.

You can create remarketing lists from the brand awareness campaigns we mentioned earlier – the consumers you reached may have been waiting for your sale to arrive, and just need a little reminder before making their purchase.

Smart Targeting

We have some tried and tested strategies when it comes to targeting consumers in your Black Friday campaign. Consider targeting:

  • Loyal customers
  • Cart abandoners
  • Product-specific remarketing
  • Complimentary products
  • RSLAs for broader terms with loyal, high-value customers

What to Do After Black Friday

Three people looking at a laptop

Making time to review and reflect on your Black Friday sale can put you a step ahead for next year.

Review your campaign thoroughly – what worked and what didn’t, what could have been done differently – and use this as a chance to learn from your experiences. When Black Friday 2022 arrives, you’ll be able to refine and build on your existing strategy. You may even be able to implement these learnings in your Boxing Day offerings!

The Black Friday period is also an excellent time to build up remarketing lists for use in the festive period. Plus, you can use your newly acquired data for Customer Match campaigns and for creating Similar Audience lists.

Final Thoughts

From planning through to analysis, these tips will guide you through Black Friday to results you can be proud of. We can’t wait to see the inspired, creative campaigns you come up with.

Want an experienced partner to give you access to the latest consumer trends and help make your Black Friday a success? If so, we can help. Contact us today – our beauty marketing experts could be the perfect extension to your team.

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