Christmas – How to Prep Your Marketing for Black Friday

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Propelled by aggressive retailer promotion, Black Friday and Cyber Monday rank as the heaviest spending days of the holiday season.  As tradition would have it there is a certain sect of people who will never grow tired of camping out in front of stores to get the best deals.  Consumers however are changing their habits; more and more of them are heading for online stores in search of the best deals.

Whether they’re doing Christmas shopping online in Tulsa to buy the products or they’re just doing some online research for deals in Tulsa before they head out into the cold, there’s one thing for certain:

Prepare Your Online Presence for Black Friday and The Holiday Shopping Season in Tulsa.

According to Savings.com 195 million shoppers piled through digital and physical checkouts across the U.S., spending a whopping $41.2 billion in 2009 – that’s an average of $343.31 per person.  Those numbers have continued to climb since 2009, especially with the widespread use of smart phones that allow for surfing and consumer product research on the fly.

So how does a business owner or manager prepare to market not only to the campers but the digital shoppers for the coming Christmas rush?  If 2010 was a recession, then retailers should be asking if we can have another.  Retail has proven remarkably resilient as consumers continue to spend and if you want a portion of that spending for your own bottom line you need to start preparing now.  Use these tips for marketing – particularly online – in order to stand out during this holiday season.

Communication is Key

You can expect major retailers to include social media in their holiday marketing campaigns, and many of them are going heavy into the mobile market for the first time.  Communication can and should be wide spread – tweet, text, post, pigeon, email – whatever it takes to make consumers aware of your offerings.  Coupon codes get hawked on twitter, companies hold “sale parties” on their Facebook page and check in specials on Foursquare and Facebook allow retailers to offer “special deals” on everything from a hotdog to an HDTV.

If you have a product to sell then you need to hit every channel with messages tailored to your target audience.  Focusing on traditional print media or expensive TV and radio spots doesn’t cut it anymore because your customers are using the web to find information.  That’s where you need to be.

Pretty it Up with Black Friday Deals

You can make just about any unwanted item look attractive with the right deal.  How many times have people purchase spools of blank DVD’s, cases of paper and Bluetooth accessories – not because they needed them – but because the deal was too good to pass up?  Amazon made a killing off DVD sales for DVD’s they marked down for Black Friday in 2010.  It seemed like a fantastic deal but you could honestly buy them cheaper from other third party suppliers and even cheaper if you didn’t mind used copies.

You don’t even have to be the lowest deal, but in many cases a good deal with the most visibility is going to win when customers become familiar with your brand or find you while doing product and Christmas gift research on the web.

Urgency Sells

Whether you’re posting blogs with limited time offers, sharing 1 day coupons through Facebook or rallying people through Twitter for a 9am to 10am special, urgency always sells.  Black Friday sales work because they are a loud, ticking clock.  “Shop before noon” “limited quantities” “prices won’t last” “today only”.  People succumb to the need for an item when they believe it’s limited and they’ll never get it again.  People inevitably feel like they have to have it.  The best part about engaging your followers through social media like Facebook is it costs virtually nothing to create the sense of urgency in your content while you reap the rewards.

Make People Feel Special

The only thing that’s more attractive than someone getting their hands on a limited deal it a limited deal that’s just for them.  Traditionally this meant extra deals and discounts for customers with a branded store card but now you can do so much more.  Special coupons from email campaigns, promos for Facebook fans, secret messages hitting Foursquare check-ins, scavenger hunts via Twitter that lead to a special promotion for the winners, etc.  When you make people feel special they are far more likely to shop.  With Black Friday deals, that’s the whole point!

You’re not doing anything different than the major retailers with urgency and special offers.  Major retailers use these tactics because they’re effective.  They can be effective for you as well as long as you push for visibility

Always Go One Better with Online Christmas Shopping in Tulsa

It’s nothing short of an understatement to say that we’re heading into a busy and stressful time of year for everyone.  Customers will often appreciate anything you can do to make their day a little better and their jobs a little easier.  An inexpensive bonus item for an online purchase, a free item or gift certificate if they share their purchase on Facebook, a campaign to enter their receipt # in a Facebook app to win a gift card, a free lunch, and of course a smile.

Even if it’s just a “;)” at the end of your Twitter update.

Double Down on Your Ads

People love the circulars that arrive around Black Friday but you can hit a lot more people in your target audience for a lot less with pay per click (PPC) ads on Facebook and Google.  People trust their family and friends on Facebook when discussing products and most people turn to Google for consumer research.  Go big with an attractive ad campaign for your big deals, major product offers and deals that people will want to talk about and share.  Make sure people know they’re Black Friday or Cyber Monday specials to maintain that sense of urgency.

Optimize your Local Listing

Local businesses in Tulsa should do what they can to flesh out those place pages through sites like Yahoo Local and Google Places.  When Christmas shoppers are tooling around during the Black Friday rush, they’ll turn to their smart phones and mobile apps to look for special deals, certain types of retailers, etc.  With your business listing you can post deals and specials, list top selling hot products and more.  Since Google feeds local business listings at the top of the search results you’re far more likely to get a hit from those place pages if you optimize them for the holiday.

Lastly – Remember the Spirit of the Season

The holiday season is supposed to be about giving, and part of that means reaching out to the less fortunate.  Major retailers often select a charity and offer to donate a portion of their sales to it.  Do this and communicate to your customers and followers what percentage you donate.  Make the donation amount available publicly such as tracking it through a Facebook page.  Make sure it’s visible to fans and customers.

When they have to decide between purchasing from you, or from another business who doesn’t participate in giving during the holiday shopping season, who do you think consumers will choose?  Your appeal to conscientious consumerism can be the edge.

Need more marketing tips and ideas to help you blaze through the holiday shopping season?  Contact us today at Tulsa Internet Marketing.  We can give your business the unique edge throughout Black Friday weekend.

Clarence Fisher has spent more than a decade in the Internet marketing trenches honing his online marketing skills. After helping national companies go from concept to millions of dollars in revenues, he decided to focus his Internet marketing powers on helping local business owners achieve their goals. Clarence has a keen eye for finding out what works in a marketplace and positioning his clients’ companies to dominate their markets.

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