Is your Facebook Black Friday ready?

November 19, 2020

Here’s how to prep your Facebook ads for the best Black Friday ever

Black Friday is here to stay. And, this year, it’s going to be bigger than ever. 

The shops may be shut, but the internet is well and truly open for business. If you’re working in ecommerce, brace yourself: this one’s going to be busy!

Don’t believe us? Check out these stats:

And let’s not forget that these stats were taken before Covid-19 lockdowns drove everyone online for their Christmas shopping.

If you’re not prepared for Black Friday on Facebook, it’s time to get cracking! Our guide will take you through everything you need to do to make sure you’re getting your fair share of the Black Friday trade in 2020:

Black Friday-fy your profile

It’s not just your ads that do the work on Black Friday. Your whole Facebook presence should direct customers to those tasty deals.

Don’t bury your Black Friday posts in your timeline, and don’t just rely on Facebook to promote your ads. Customers may well head to your page to browse your Black Friday deals. Show them they’ve come to the right place with Black Friday theming.

Superdrug, for example, have splashed Black Friday all over their Facebook cover:

They’ve also pinned their Black Friday promo to the top of their page, so it doesn’t get lost in timeline churn:

This makes sure they’re not missing any opportunity to get those sweet Black Friday sales.

Target the right audiences

Audience research is a must with every campaign. Black Friday complicates things, though, because the purchaser may not be the product’s end consumer. Often, Black Friday shoppers are buying things as Christmas presents.

This means you need to work out how to target not only the end consumer (hey, nobody’s above snatching a Black Friday deal for themselves!), but also the people who might be buying for the end consumer.

We’ve gone into how you can create Facebook audiences for ads here. Targeting gift-buyers as well as end consumers is not an exact science, but it’s worth playing around with the ‘Custom Audiences’ tool to see what’s available for you. 

You can also give gift-buyers a fighting chance of getting it right through things like wish lists.

If your website has a ‘wish list’ feature, encourage customers to add their favourite items and share to Facebook. Hopefully their loved ones will take the hint and click through! 

You could also create your own gift-list content. Gather together gifts for different groups (like men, women, children etc) and make a post about them, like Visit Galena have done here. Plenty of frustrated gift-buyers will thank you for the inspiration!

While we’re on the subject of audiences, Black Friday is also a great time for a retargeting campaign

Someone bought from you earlier this year? Great! Offer them the same or similar products again, at Black Friday prices.

Someone browsed your page then clicked away? That’s normal for Black Friday. People are usually flicking through multiple deals at once. Grab that lead while it’s hot with real-time retargeting. Facebook makes this easy with its dynamic automated ads feature (read more about how that works here).

To make sure that you’re dynamically retargeting, click the ‘Use info from your pixel or app to create a retargeting audience’ option when creating your automated ads. You’ll then be given a list of retargeting options:

Choose the options that work best for you, and leave the rest up to Facebook!

Get the right creatives

Black Friday puts you up against a huge amount of competition (run your eye back over those stats above if you don’t believe me!) To stand out from the crowd, you need the best possible ad creatives.

Putting your ads through rigorous testing will help to refine them until you get the best of the best (check out how to test ads on Facebook here). However, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money if you pick the very best creatives from the get-go.

How can you know which creatives will perform best before testing? Simple. Use Datasine.

Datasine’s AI-based platform uses creative data and detailed campaign insights to predict which images will perform best with your audience. It’s an innovative blend of creativity and data, and it works. In recent tests, Datasine’s AI predicted the best performing Facebook ads with 99.9% accuracy.

Once Datasine has helped you to pick the very best possible creatives, you’ll only need conventional testing for the final touches.

Get your budget right

We’ve written a full guide to Facebook ad budgeting here. It’s definitely worth a read before you get too deep into your Black Friday ad prep. 

As a general rule, it’s worth going big with Black Friday. This is not a time to be stingy. You’re up against tons of competition, and there are billions of pounds at stake. Especially this year, with everyone stuck at home browsing the deals online!

That being said, there’s no point in chucking money at Black Friday without data to back it up. So, do plan to spend extra money on Facebook ads around Black Friday – but also be sure to do the budget maths before you flash the company credit card.

Prioritise mobile

71% of UK shoppers bought their Black Friday deals by mobile last year. Facebook’s platform is well optimised for mobile, so all you have to do is make sure that the rest is mobile-friendly. 

You can do this by…

  • Keeping your images simple. Huge images with too many pixels will be slow to load on mobile, and customers won’t wait.
  • Create assets that work with sound on and off. People take their mobiles everywhere. It’s not always appropriate for loud ads to be blasting out. People often watch mobile content on mute. If you’re running video ads (or any ad with sound) make sure that it works just as well on mute as it does with sound.
  • Optimise your landing pages for mobile. There’s no point in having an ad perfectly optimised for mobile if the mobile consumer can’t seal the deal once they click through. If they click your ad on mobile, the customer will be viewing the landing page on mobile. Make sure that the landing page is easy to use from mobile devices. 

Include context

OK, let’s be honest, 2020 is a weird year. Normally we’d be talking about emotional advertising techniques. Nostalgia, urgency, excitement…you know the drill.

You can still use those techniques – they’ve worked really well in the past (and who knows? Maybe those old, familiar holiday feelings are just what the world needs right now!). But be careful.

In research earlier this year, we found that customers don’t respond well to brands which pretend everything is normal. They also hate it when brands seem to be trying to cash in on things like the Covid-19 pandemic or BLM. Bear this in mind when working on your ads. Be sensitive, but not exploitative.

Here’s how AstraFurnishers are doing it. Their ad acknowledges Lockdown, but doesn’t force the point:

However if you’re sensible and sensitive about it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use emotion in your adverts. Here are some examples we love from last and this year:

Examples of emotion in Black Friday advertising

Target provoked excitement last year with simple text and a cute graphic.

Currys PC World is all about building anticipation. By running stats from last year under their ‘Ready, set, go!’ cover photo they’re encouraging folk to think of Black Friday as something spectacular to look forward to:

Netflix went straight for the nostalgia vein with this offering, which evokes cosy feelings of childhood Christmas holidays:

Watch and learn

Last year, American brand Deciem shut down their website and closed their stores in a protest against Black Friday.

However, that didn’t stop them from running discounts on their products for the rest of the month.

The campaign did well, and lots of people thought that they’d made a smart move both from an ethical and a marketing standpoint (what better way to differentiate yourself than to do the polar opposite of your competitors?). However, others thought it was hypocritical to simultaneously protest against and profit from Black Friday hype.

Deciem heard the criticism. They’re running more or less the same campaign this year – but with two crucial differences:

  1. They’ve clarified their ethical position. It’s about ‘slow shopping’ and conscious consumption – not just about avoiding Black Friday.
  2. They’ve added education to the mix. Their ‘mindful month of education, research, reflection, and consideration’ includes plenty of free educational content. This helps back up their commitment to conscious consumption.

Listening to the market is vital for learning and using what you’ve learned to improve. 

Of course, you don’t have to wait a whole year to learn and adapt. Keep a close eye on your campaign metrics. When it seems like something is going wrong, dig into the data and work out where the problem is. Then, test out new tactics until you find something that works. 

The better you are at data analysis, the better you’ll be at pivoting away from problems and towards profit. So keep checking those metrics!