Black Friday Is No Longer Just a Date

By Juan Miguel Lapido, Chief Creative Officer, EXTE

As consumers search for the best deals, and brands increasingly invest in getting those offers in front of people, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have evolved into a fiercely competitive period for advertisers. The Black Friday weekend is no longer a specific shopping period for brands, it requires a well thought out, comprehensive strategy in place, much like brands have for Christmas.

While the opportunity to start campaigns far in advance may have passed this year, there are other tactics advertisers can use to help them to gain prominence in the market and capture the attention of consumers before the big day.

Get creative

To position themselves as the ideal shopping destination, brands require a strategy focusing on two pillars – creative innovation and user knowledge. With consumers subjected to potentially thousands of ads a day, making an impact on consumers means both the creative and targeting elements of campaigns need to be on-point, if brands want to reach audiences across the entire marketing funnel through this period.

Awareness can be boosted at the top of the funnel by utilising impactful, noticeable advertising formats that grab consumer attention and place the brand at the front of audience minds. This can be achieved through unique skin and interactive display formats, featuring 3D and augmented reality experiences, for example, enabling brands to feature in the decision-making process of consumers before the Black Friday weekend arrives.

Make the right approach

When consumers are weighing up their options in the consideration phase, there are a couple of effective approaches that brands can be making.

The first would be offering consumer emails in exchange for a product sample, which is hugely beneficial to both the consumer and the brand. Brands build their databases without any significant increase in costs, and can use the data provided to retarget the consumers who the brand is looking to convert.

Sampling can be coupled with high-quality branded editorial content promoting particular products and services to consumers considering their buying options. This content could feature attention-grabbing images, videos, infographics, and even games to get the user to interact with the brand.

The audience data obtained across the upper and middle parts of the funnel can then be used to drive conversions at the lower end of the funnel.

Wherever consumers are within the funnel, creatives within the campaign can be enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI), harnessing real-time data that could influence campaigns, including weather, live sports events, and geolocation.

More than a single day

With this year’s Black Friday fast-approaching, brands not already engaging with consumers need to air their campaigns quick to avoid missing out on potential sales on the weekend of 24 November.

Black Friday can no longer be seen as just a date that falls the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. It’s now an established international shopping festival that requires the same thinking as other notable retail periods – this is no more evident than when looking at how the likes of Amazon now approaches Black Friday, presenting it as an “Amazon deals event” that starts a whole week before the actual day.

It’s imperative that all brands start thinking with this mindset, or they risk losing ground on the competition. Starting a Black Friday campaign early and utilising the very best in AI-enhanced attention-grabbing creatives will enable brands to capture consumer eyeballs when they begin researching deals.

Black Friday, like Christmas, isn’t only one day of the year. It’s one of the biggest yearly opportunities for brands and it’s time for advertising around the event to begin reflecting that.