Let’s begin with a date for your diary – Black Friday 2016 falls on November 25th.
As a consumer, if you think that it’s too early to start mentioning the ‘C’ word, then I’m right behind you. However, as a marketer, your Christmas campaigns should have been spilling from your lips since August at the latest.
If you’re late to the party, then now’s the time to strap those bells onto your elf-boots, pour yourself a glass of mulled wine and start preparing for what’s to come.
The Black Friday opportunity knocks
Black Friday is of course the first big date in the run-up to the silly season when consumers can expect some big deals to hit the shelves, and with it comes a whole host of opportunities – not least in the fact that it’s the perfect time to start producing some specialised offers to wow and win back some of your old customers.
Of course, Black Friday is a bit of a free-for-all. Your old prospects will be bombarded with numerous offers from all corners of the marketing sphere – from emails to social media to posters and leaflets – and so standing out from them all is no mean feat.
But, when it comes to winning back old customers who have, for whatever reason, gone quiet in recent months (or longer), then you already have an advantage over your competitors – their information.
(Image source: sweettoothrewards.com)
You’ll of course still be connected to all of your old customers on social media – and, if you start right now, you can begin to mine their profiles for inspiration to create custom deals and campaigns to win them back with a sweet offer this Black Friday.
And it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Winning back customers is an important and potentially lucrative campaign to focus on. Indeed, it’s a valuable source of sales, and there’s no better time to approach it than in the Black Friday window – but you need to start focussing on what you’re going to do now, and the secret is in social media retargeting.
How to win back old customers this Black Friday
Identify old customers across your networks
If you’ve been organized, then this shouldn’t be too difficult – just refer to the Spreadsheet that you’ve been keeping the details of your customers who are still with you, and who aren’t.
Don’t have one of those? Don’t worry, we’ll get you through this, but start making one now.
Although you might not have a specific Spreadsheet keeping track of lost customers, what you’ll have is your sales records. Dig these out, and, with a bit of time and effort, you should be able to manually go through and find out who’s gone quiet for a while, and then simply locate them on your social networks – simple enough.
Another option, however, is to use retargeting. As you will see, starting with this process now won’t actually help you locate your previously lost or dormant customers. But, as you progress with your big Black Friday push, the data that you gather from here-on in will be of extreme value getting the right content in front of your right following at the right time.
What is retargeting?
Retargeting is what it says it is – a method of marketing that specifically retargets people who have engaged with your brand before. It involves a little bit of programming trickery, which, if you can’t do yourself, you can simply pass on to the person who manages your website.
Here’s how ReTargeter.com explains the concept:
“You place a small, unobtrusive piece of code on your website; this code is sometimes referred to as a pixel. The code, or pixel, is unnoticeable to your site visitors and won’t affect your site’s performance. Every time a new visitor comes to your site, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie. Later, when your cookied visitors browse the Web, the cookie will let your retargeting provider know when to serve ads, ensuring that your ads are served only to people who have previously visited your site.”
Such retargeting pixels are used primarily to gather data. But, once you’ve got this data, you can start using it to create meaningful marketing strategies over the Black Friday and Christmas period and beyond.
Facebook custom audience
Facebook is of course a great place to be on Black Friday. It truly is the most social of all the social networks – and when festivities are in the air, being sociable is what it’s all about.
And so you’ll be pleased to learn that Facebook has its own pixel retargeting technology, which is pretty easy to install. As the Facebook Business blog explains:
Here’s an explainer video telling you exactly how to install the Facebook pixel on your site:
With your pixel installed, you can now start creating your Facebook Custom Audiences. Since you want to be keeping track of everyone who’s engaging with your latest campaigns in the run up to Black Friday, you’ll need to define your audiences very carefully. Indeed, since you are going to be retargeting lost customers, you should be entering these specific users manually into your “Custom Audiences” list.
With your Facebook Custom Audiences set up, as you begin to produce fresh content in your run up to your Black Friday offer, you’ll be able to track which of your lost customers are engaging with which pieces of content, and from there tailor your final-assault-offer accordingly.
Pinterest engagement retargeting
Another hugely important network for Black Friday sales is of course Pinterest (87% of Pinterest users have made a purchase after finding an item they liked on the platform) – which has just released its brand new Pinterest Engagement Retargeting feature for business accounts.
In fact, this feature bolsters some other targeting tools that Pinterest launched in June, which allows businesses to specifically target Pinterest users using their own business data – so load up all those lost clients into the Pinterest Ads Manager right away!
Coming back to Engagement Retargeting, however, you can now track and retarget Pinterest users who have shown previous engagement with your pins. So, much in the same way as you should now start to monitor your old customers’ behavior on Facebook, you should also be doing the same on Pinterest as we move onto the next step of the win-back process.
Begin a revitalized content campaign with the Black Friday goal in mind
Ok, so now you’ve got to the stage where you’ve identified your lost customers, you know where they’re on social media, and have set up a few tracking devices to keep tabs on them over the coming weeks.
Now you need to launch your revitalized content campaign, keeping the Black Friday goal in mind.
As part of your research into your lost customers, you should also be gathering the information on what products they’ve bought from you previously, and, if possible, the reason why they left you behind. The reason why you want to do this is because in evaluating the relationship that you once had, you’ll be able to determine what sort of relationship you can expect to rebuild now.
Were they valuable customers to you at one point in time? What was the lifetime value of each customer? Did they make multiple purchases or upgrades, or were they the type that typically just bought the bare minimum?
Determining the answers to these questions will help you figure out which of your lost customers should be your priority for your Black Friday campaign, and which are less likely to prove lucrative to you even if you do manage to snatch an additional sale.
Time to create new content
You have now equipped yourself with some excellent data. Now you need to use it to start to launch tailored content campaigns.
First thing’s first – decide now on your Black Friday offers. You should make up your mind as to exactly which of your products you’re going to be pushing in this year’s sales. You don’t have to decide right away exactly what the offer will be – i.e. how much you’re going to allow your lost customers to save by coming back – but at least have an end game in mind with regards to which of your products you think are going to prove the most attractive to each customer.
Now start creating your product-awareness content.
Blogs are a good start – how to tutorials and such like that go at lengths to prove the added value of what you offer – but ideally you should be thinking in terms of visuals.
Since it acquired the platform, Facebook Custom Audiences of course now works with Instagram as well. So, building visual campaigns across these two networks is a must. Showcase your products being used on Instagram, and do the same on Facebook – and don’t just stick to photographs. This is 2016, and the most powerful marketing medium by far is video.
Some stats for you:
- Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined
- Companies that use videos enjoy 41% more traffic
- Videos on landing pages produce 80% more conversions
Get the picture? That’s right – make pictures!
And the same goes for your efforts on Pinterest. Indeed, the world’s favorite shopping network made yet another update to their platform earlier this year with Promoted Video Pins – so use it.
Analyse your retargeting data
As you roll out your product-awareness content over the coming weeks (and it’s a good idea to be mixing this up with some case studies, testimonial marketing, and other similar content that puts the “satisfied customer” image in the minds of your lost clients), be sure to keep detailed track of all the information that your Facebook pixel and Pinterest Engagement Retargeting technology is recording.
This will give you invaluable data that shows exactly which of your lost customers have been engaging with which of your new, revitalized content. You may well find, unfortunately, that some of your lost customers are just not biting. Although this will be disappointing, it’s nonetheless valuable information to have, for it means that you’ll know where your energy should lie as you approach, now, the home straight and craft your Black Friday offers.
Craft your Black Friday offers and launch them
If you’ve followed all of the above steps, you’ll be one of the most prepared marketers out there this Black Friday.
All of the data that you have gathered will tell you in no uncertain terms exactly which of your lost customers are ready for a sales pitch, which network they’re most likely to be found on, and which of your products they’re most likely to be interested in. You’re indeed armed to the teeth with data, which you should now use to inform your tailored Black Friday offers.
As ever with modern marketing – one size does not fit all. Indeed, custom-made offers should be created for all of your individual lost customers – or at least custom-made to groups of them who have shown similar behaviour.
Now it’s the time to strike.
Craft your offers, and strike with them early. Make sure that you acknowledge the fact they’re lost customers, and this offer that you’re now making has been specifically designed to win them back.
And go the whole hog – make a video for your landing page (80% more conversions), and make sure you’ve got your pixels installed on these too. If you strike early enough, there will still be time to refine each offer if your pixel data is showing a lack of interest even at this time. Indeed, since you’ve done your homework and will now be aware of the lifetime value of your lost customers, you’ll know which ones will be worth additional efforts to hit with even better deals to get them back on board.
You do all this, and do it with complete commitment, you’ll stand every chance of winning back some of your most valuable customers this Black Friday.
And, to be honest, there’s nothing that I’ve outlined in this blog that can’t be used beyond the silly season – retargeting and video promotions are essential parts of modern content marketing. Use this Black Friday to get to grips with the processes, and then you can build them into your ongoing efforts into the New Year and for ever more.
What are your Black Friday tactics this year? Head down to the comments section to tell us all about it.