The time to prep for Black Friday is now. Learn the top 10 Black Friday ads strategies that will help you get the most out of your ad spend this year.
Black Friday, which happens the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, is one of the most significant shopping events of the year, not only in America but also in various parts of the world.
In fact, Black Friday revenue reached a new record high— 9.12 Billion (yes, with a B)— in 2022. In fact, it’s become such a huge hit with shoppers that businesses have extended the discounts through the following Monday, now referred to as Cyber Monday.
For businesses, this weekend represents a critical moment in their calendar, and effective advertising during this period can bring several important benefits.
Black Friday ads can drive sales and enhance your brand awareness
When it comes to selling, one of the hardest things to do is to convince your audience that they need your specific product.
But on Black Friday, that job is pretty much done for you.
Aside from the fact that people are on the lookout for offers specifically, the popularity of 'best of' deal posts from other websites can also give you a huge push in the brand awareness category. All in all, Black Friday is a golden opportunity to get your brand name out there and stand out from the crowd.
It's a great time to attract new customers
I love to tell the story about how BarkBox (a dog toy subscription box) targeted me routinely with ads for 2 full years before I finally broke down and bought my first box from them.
And the reason I finally purchased from them? I got a fantastic Black Friday deal.
Black Friday ads are like magnets for new customers. Your ads serve as a way to not only hook people who have never heard of you before but to finally convert those long-time lurkers into customers.
And hey, if they like what they see, there's a good chance they'll stick around even when the Black Friday frenzy is over. (In my above example, I stayed a loyal BarkBox customer for 3 years!)
During Black Friday, you're not only making a quick sale—you're potentially building a long-term relationship with new customers.
Strategies for effective Black Friday advertising
Now that we know why Black Friday/Cyber Monday is so important for advertisers, it's time to learn how to make the most out of this valuable weekend.
#1 - Offer deep discounts
The reason why people flock to businesses on Black Friday comes down to one thing—they expect huge savings.
This means that an ad for 5-10% off will be completely lost in the sea of 75%+ off deals that your competitors will be slinging out. In fact, the average deal is around 25% off, so this should be your baseline.
Shoppers are bombarded with Black Friday deals from all sorts of brands, so if you want to get noticed in the crowded marketplace, you've gotta come to the table with something that'll turn heads.
Offering significant discounts can do just that—it grabs attention and makes people more likely to click on your ad or walk into your store.
#2 - Give them something for free
"Free" is one of the most powerful words in marketing. People love free stuff—it grabs attention and creates a sense of urgency.
Offering a free item can make your deal stand out in a sea of percentage-off offers. It can make people stop scrolling and pay attention to what you've got to say—something that's of utmost importance during BF/CM (Black Friday/Cyber Monday).
Free items can also be a great way to introduce customers to more of what your brand offers. Let's say you're a skincare company offering a free moisturizer with any purchase. The customer who came for a cleanser now gets to try your moisturizer— and if they like it, you've just upsold without having to do anything extra.
It's a great way to encourage trial and get your products into the hands of consumers, who might then become repeat customers.
On the other hand, offering a free item can help you move inventory. If you have excess stock of a particular item, making it a freebie can help you clear out space without making the product seem like it's low-value or unwanted.
You can also set a spending threshold to qualify for the free item, encouraging customers to buy more than they initially intended—increasing the ever-important Average Order Value metric and your ROI all in one fell swoop.
#3 - Use urgency and scarcity in ads
Scarcity and urgency can act like turbo boosters for quick decision-making during Black Friday. When people see that time's ticking or that only a few items are left, they're much more likely to stop pondering and hit that "Buy" button.
This sense of immediacy can substantially increase your conversion rates, transforming window shoppers into confirmed buyers. The faster people make a purchase, the less likely they are to bounce off your site or get distracted by a competitor's offer.
But the benefits extend beyond just faster conversions. Scarcity, such as limited stock, can help you manage your inventory effectively by driving sales of specific items.
On top of that, both these psychological triggers combined can generate a buzz. People love sharing hot, limited-time deals with their social circles, which can bring you more traffic, both online and in-store.
The more people talk about your offers, the more attention your brand gets, giving you an edge in the competitive Black Friday market.
If you're going this route, make sure to:
- Be honest: Only claim scarcity or urgency if it's true. Consumers can easily spot insincerity, and false claims could harm your brand's reputation.
- Create clear messaging: Make sure your ads clearly state why the offer is urgent or scarce. Use phrases like "Limited Time Offer," "While Supplies Last," or "Only X Items Left" to directly communicate the urgency or scarcity.
- Use a countdown timer: For time-sensitive offers, adding a countdown timer can visually reinforce the sense of urgency and drive quicker action.
#4 - Implement a cross-channel marketing strategy
We all know by now just how profitable social advertising can be, especially during the holidays. But that doesn't mean it's the only profitable channel available to you.
Diversifying your approach by including other channels like organic social media and email marketing alongside Black Friday ads is a smart move for several reasons:
Not everyone is going to see your ads, no matter how well-targeted they are. By spreading your message across multiple platforms, you increase your chances of getting noticed. Each channel has its own audience, strengths, and engagement tactics, and you never know which one will resonate most with a potential customer.
Other channels can serve different roles in the customer journey. For example, email marketing can be a great way to build anticipation before Black Friday, giving your subscribers a heads-up that something big is coming. You can also use it to nurture leads post-Black Friday, maybe turning those one-time deal seekers into long-term customers.
Using multiple channels allows you to craft a more cohesive and engaging narrative around your Black Friday promotions. While ads might pull people in, your organic social media can offer deeper insights into products, share behind-the-scenes looks, or tell compelling stories that make your brand more memorable without the added cost. Email can provide more detailed information and exclusive offers that make subscribers feel special and valued.
So, while Black Friday ads are undeniably powerful, they shouldn't be your only strategy. Using a multi-channel strategy creates more touchpoints with your audience, enriches their experience with your brand, and ultimately increases the chances of turning those Black Friday shoppers into loyal customers.
#5 - Harness the power of AI and data analysis in Black Friday ads
AI is literally everywhere in marketing, and if you're not using it for Black Friday ads, you'll be missing out on a huge opportunity.
While many of us know about language models like ChatGPT, AI can help with data analysis and customer segmentation, sifting through large sets of data to identify patterns and trends that we humans might overlook. This enables more effective and precise targeting, so you're not wasting money showing ads to people unlikely to convert.
Though patterns and trends can be useful, their ability to implement changes in real time is where some of the more powerful use cases lie—specifically with automating your bidding.
On Black Friday, ad space is in high demand, and prices can fluctuate wildly. AI can make instantaneous decisions based on events happening in your account in real time, ensuring that you get the most bang for your buck in terms of ad optimization.
Another perk of machine learning algorithms is that they can analyze which headlines, images, or call-to-actions are resonating with your audience and then automatically tweak your ads to feature the most effective content. This ensures that your ads are as compelling as possible without requiring constant manual intervention.
And while you may be wondering where you might get a tool that does all of that and more, the truth is that your friends here at Madgicx have a magic toolkit waiting just for you.
Madgicx has several tools that can help you get the most out of your BF/CM Campaigns:
- Autonomous Budget Optimizer will help you to shift budget at the campaign, ad set, and even funnel stages to move your ad spend to the places that give you the best ROI.
- A powerful suite of tested Automation Tactics that can do things like pause underperforming ads, revive ads that are making a comeback, and even increase the overall budget for the top performers.
- A One-Click Report that provides unprecedented insights into all your advertising channels (Meta, Google Ads, GA4, TikTok, and Shopify) all in one place
And while any reasonable person might expect all these tools to come at an eye-watering cost, you can get started using these tools today for free with our 7-day free trial.
#6 - Prep your ad funnel
If you were a blossoming rock star, would you practice before your first big concert, or would you go in blind and out of tune?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are sort of like your first big rock concert—and you don't want to run in with no prep ahead of time, especially when it comes to audiences.
As we've explained in the past, a solid Facebook ad eCommerce strategy should always include a full-funnel approach that takes people from complete strangers to loyal customers.
The types of campaigns you use, the offers you pitch, the audiences you target, and the creatives you use should all be tied to where the person you're targeting is in the buyer's journey. Each step should lead them to the ultimate goal: becoming a recurring customer.
Given that BF/CM is a huge chance for you to fill your funnel with people ready to purchase, this is something you absolutely need to have down pat before you launch any campaigns.
#7 - Increase your budget
As the old adage goes, you need to spend money to earn money—especially during one of the busiest online shopping seasons of the year.
As you've probably seen, the competition during this time is fierce. Every brand is vying for consumer attention, with some retail brands increasing their ad spend by 188% over their normal daily averages. If you don't adjust your budget, your ads might get drowned out by the noise or, even worse, fail to deliver entirely.
More budget allows you to bid more competitively, ensuring that your ads show up where and when you want them to, whether that's in Google searches, social media feeds, or elsewhere.
Another important factor to consider is what you stand to gain from the increase. Consumer intent to purchase is sky-high during these holiday shopping events. People aren't just casually browsing; they're actively looking for deals, often with a willingness to try new brands if the offer is compelling enough.
In other words, your ads are more likely to convert, giving you a higher return on your advertising investment. Even if the cost per click or cost per impression is a bit higher than usual due to increased competition, the likelihood of each interaction leading to a sale is also higher.
So, while increasing your ad budget for Black Friday and Cyber Monday may seem like a big expense, consider it a strategic investment. It's an opportunity to capitalize on a high-intent audience and a competitive landscape, delivering returns that more than justify the extra spend.
P.S. We've got an incredible guide to Facebook ad bidding if you want to learn how to get the most out of your extra ad spend.
#8 - Invest in high-quality creatives
During Black Friday, consumers are bombarded with ads from all angles—emails, social media, websites, and even physical mailers. To catch their eye and make them pause on your ad instead of scrolling past, you need visuals and messaging that are both eye-catching and memorable.
High-quality creatives do more than just attract attention, though. They also help to convey the quality and value of your brand and products. Blurry images, poorly written copy, or clunky design can send the wrong message about your brand, making it look unprofessional or unreliable.
On the flip side, crisp visuals, well-crafted messaging, and a seamless, visually appealing design can evoke feelings of trust and credibility.
If all that wasn't enough, for many consumers, Black Friday might be the first time they encounter your brand. A high-quality creative can make the difference between a click-through and a scroll-by, between a one-time purchase and a loyal, long-term customer.
While we're going to include some design inspiration below, it's important to note that you can always take a peek at what ads your competitors are running by using the Facebook ad library. It's a great source of inspiration (and a good tool in any advertiser's arsenal).
#9 - Dial in your A/B tests
We've all seen those cheesy sports movies where a star member of the team is injured, and the coach has to make the decision to put a rookie out on the field and hope for the best.
While this strategy works in fantasy films (and even gets them the goal), it doesn't hold true for Facebook ads.
For those not in the know, A/B testing is a practice where you test two slightly different versions of an ad side by side to see which one performs better (better typically means generating more revenue). And while this is another topic we've spoken about at length (and highly recommend), the one time you don't want to do this is during Black Friday weekend.
Ad prices are at an all-time high, delivery issues due to low bidding and general limits of capacity arise, and at the end of the day, sending out an untested ad during such a high-velocity sales cycle is inherently risky.
I highly, highly recommend that you get all of your A/B testing out of the way before then and launch your most successful variations during Black Friday.
#10 - Please, for the love of everything, schedule your campaigns in advance
Am I being overly dramatic with this headline? Probably. But I want all of my readers to succeed during Black Friday, so I'm not opposed to a little bit of flair from time to time.
One of the biggest things you can do to set yourself up for success is to schedule your campaigns at least a week ahead of time.
As someone who worked for the support team of a Facebook ad tool, I have first-hand experience with just how hard it can be to launch your campaigns during BF/CM.
Every year we'd be inundated with people asking why their ads were getting stuck in the approval process, weren't being delivered, or worse, had some Facebook-based glitch that prevented them from being able to launch campaigns at all during the holiday.
The common factor? All of them were trying to launch their campaigns during that Black Friday weekend.
I cannot understate just how many things can go wrong by trying to launch your campaign on Black Friday. If you schedule them at least a week before, it should be long enough to fix any disapproval issues or other errors that could prevent your campaigns from launching on time.
Ad inspiration for Black Friday 2023
Let's finish off this article with some inspo-worthy ad examples that would be perfect for Black Friday 2023!
This pre-Black Friday ad brilliantly encapsulates the urgency and exclusivity that drives Black Friday sales. With its bold red "SALE" letters popping against a black background and the compelling offer of up to 80% off, it encourages immediate action and promises us the chance to snag bargains before anyone else. Who would want to miss out on that? 🤩
This ad stands out as it places the product front and center, occupying 60% of the image. This bold visual combined with the prominent display of the "50% off" text, along with a "Shop Now" call-to-action button high up in the ad, heightens the sense of urgency.
My favorite ads go beyond showcasing clothing with just a static image; they also feature a diverse range of bodies. Combined with a 25% discount through a special code and exclusive early access, this ad is great inspo for Black Friday promotions.
Dollar Shave Club
This ad cleverly uses humor, showing a grumpy grandma and a biker to hint that the products are "for ALMOST everyone." Humor makes a brand and its ads more memorable and fun, helping you stand out in the crazy Black Friday noise.
Conclusion: Maximizing the potential of Black Friday ads
Today we've delved into the top 10 strategies that can help you cut through the noise and attract consumers' attention, from budget and bidding advice to the advantages of leveraging AI tools for success. These aren't just theoretical pointers; they're tried-and-tested tactics derived from analyzing successful campaigns and integrating industry best practices.
So as you prepare for the shopping event of the year, don't just throw together a quick ad and hope for the best. Use these top 10 strategies as your playbook, and you'll not only see an uptick in sales but also lay the groundwork for lasting customer relationships.
Don't leave your ROI to chance. Use Madgicx to automate and optimize your ads and reap the sweet, sweet rewards of a profitable Black Friday—without all the hassle.
Tory is a digital marketing specialist and the current Marketing Manager of Breadcrumbs.io. She's been featured in various high-profile marketing blogs like Hootsuite, AdEspresso, and Databox and holds certificates for both Google and Facebook Ads. In her spare time, she gardens and paints from her house in the Florida panhandle.