How to Design your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Offer

It’s this time of year again. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are approaching fast and 2021 looks like they will be even more hectic than 2020… But fear not, your trusty Pilot Fish Media team is here to guide you through the madness and help you plan (and execute) for BFCM success!

 

Step 1: Define your BFCM goal

Where should you start? First things first, begin by thinking about what you want to achieve this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are three big categories of BFCM goals:

Profit (short-term benefits)

And yes, it is profit, not revenue. The danger of focusing on revenue is that you try so hard to create an attractive offer that you could end up selling your products, services, or experiences at an unsustainable price where your profit margin is low to non-existent.

Tip: don’t forget to set yourself a best and worst case scenario measurable and time-specific profit objectives!

Growing your customer base (medium-term benefits)

With this goal, you are not so interested in a short-burst influx of cash as you are building your brand awareness in the market. You’re looking to the future with the goal of bringing in customers who will stay with you.

Tip: here also, you’ll want to define an ideal and break-even number of new customers from the BFCM sales to measure success!

Learning (long-term benefits)

Here, you take a longer-term approach and seek to know more about how your customers behave, to what techniques they respond best, their purchasing process… With this goal, you are using the BFCM sales as a research project to feed into future strategies.

Tip: Identify what you are analysing and how you will do so.

 

Step 2: Choose your type of offer

Now that you know your brand’s purpose in joining the BFCM sales, it is time to look at the different types of offers and deals available to your brand. You can then pick the one most aligned with your BFCM goal and most beneficial to your profit margins.

Percentage discount offer

This deal is one of the most widely used one and consists of offering a set discount to either selected items or to the customer’s full basket. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most used offers and fits particularly well with profit-oriented BFCM goals.

E.g. 10% off selected items/your basket

Tip: make sure that your discount does not go beyond what your gross profit margin can sustain

Tip: display the original price AND the discounted price to show customers how much they are saving

Pounds-off discount offer

Here, you would offer a set amount of money off a product, selection of products, or even on customers’ total basket. This deal is also very popular and works well with profit goals.

E.g. £10 off selected items/your basket

Tip: consider bundling complementary products and offering your percentage discount off said bundle to increase your average order value.

Tiered discount offer

This offer is designed to increase savings based on levels of spending as set discounts are applied to specific levels of spending. This deal is designed to increase your average order value by giving customers an incentive to spend more. As such, it fits the profit goal best and the learning goals, too. It is also a great way to gently nudge your customers into trying more than just your hero product.

E.g. £30 off when you spend £80

£40 off when you spend £110

£50 off when you spend £140

Mystery box offer

This is a slightly trickier one but that can yield great results. The customers roughly know the type of product, service, or experience they are purchasing but not the specifics. As such, it is an opportunity for you to bundle complementary products and to surprise customers. The key is to manage expectations (so be very careful with your product name and description) so as to meet, or even better, exceed customers’ expectations.

This deal works best with experiences and when your product/service portfolio has a homogeneous high quality level. We would recommend this for learning-focused BFCM goals.

E.g. Wellness basket for £50 (but not mention of specific contents) OR one-night stay in our hotel (without specifying the room category or inclusions such as breakfast, bottles of wine, flowers…)

Tip: copy is critical, here. Make sure your offer descriptions generate excitement and play up the mystery for an enhanced unboxing experience.

Free gift offer

Always a good option when your gross margins are too slim to justify any discount, the free gift deal enables to increase overall value without decreasing gross profits. It is also a good tactic to use at key points throughout the year, especially when trying to extend your customer base!

E.g. Free mirror with every makeup purchase

Tip: make sure the gift is relevant and complementary to the product purchased, otherwise customers will have a lower incentive to pick this deal.

Extra donation offer

This offer consists of pledging a caritative action for every purchase, which can be monetary or not. It is an excellent way to create an emotional bond with your customer base and to enlarge it. It can also be a good learning opportunity for the brand to understand your customers better.

E.g. For each purchase, a tree will be planted in Kenya

Tip: for this to succeed, you must pick a cause about which your customer base feels strongly.

 

Step 3: Consider the customer experience

Once you have identified your goal and selected your offer, your work is not quite done. You should also consider the overall customer experience. First, look at your offer. The easier to understand it is, the better it will do. So make sure your deal makes sense to your target customers. In the eternal words of Michael Scott, “make it simple, stupid”. This is also why we would recommend only using one type of offer at a time! With customers having easy access to many sales from many different brands at the same time, any confusion will quickly cause them to go to a competitor.

Now that your offer is profitable, attractive, and simple to understand, examine the customer journey in detail to make it as smooth as possible. Don’t forget the check out process. As the last step in the purchase process prior to receiving the product, the check out is your last chance to make a positive impression. As the last link of the chain, the ease of checking out will leave a lasting impact on the customer and will likely colour their perception of the entire purchase process. As such, you will want to make this step, fuss-free, fast, and easy, without forgetting to thank customers once completed.

Your confirmation email is also an extension on your customers’ purchase experience and should reflect your brand. It is also a chance for you to subtly push one-time customers into becoming repeat or even loyal customers. To do so, make sure the email is visually appealing (in a way that highlights and supports your brand’s aesthetics), clear, concise, and highlights the next steps (i.e. delivery process and timing). Thank the customers for choosing your products and you, and add a little fluffy message to leave them with a fuzzy warm feeling about having supported your brand.

Need some expert help to make a splash this Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Get in touch with us now at [email protected] for a strategy consultation…

3 Tips for Using Social Media as a Small Business

Hey there, Rachel here! Last month I joined the wonderful PFM team as a creative content producer. As you may have guessed from the job title, I am obsessed with almost everything to do with design. Although graphic design has my heart, I love experimenting in other creative areas such as rug tufting, painting, sewing…the list goes on. This love developed into a small business last year which is where the real learning process began!

 

Social media is something we all use and are comfortable with in our day-to-day lives. When you’re starting out as a small business, social media can be a key step to ensure success is around the corner…but only if you’re using it correctly. As well as being completely free to use, there are almost double the amount of active social media users browsing different social channels each day compared to just five years ago. So why should small businesses let this opportunity go to waste? 

 

On average, each user spends around 2.5 hours scrolling per day, although the screen time feature on my iPhone has let me know on numerous occasions that my scrolling time is much higher than this – oops. These few hours offer an incredible opportunity for you to grow your business by building brand awareness, connecting with your audience or even making direct sales through different channels.

 

Having some experience running a small business, here are some tips I’ve learned along the way on how best to utilise social media for your business!

 

1. Choose your platforms

 

To ensure you’re using social media effectively for business, I cannot emphasise how important it is to do some research! It can be easy to assume which social platforms your target market is using regularly, but you may be shocked when you get down to the nitty gritty figures.

 

For example, you may assume that the average age of Facebook users is between 35-55. With this thought in mind, you may be inclined to skip over this platform when trying to reach a younger demographic and jump straight into both Instagram and TikTok. However, according to Digital 2021, surprisingly almost a quarter of Facebook users are aged 18-24. 

 

It’s always great to start on the platform(s) your desired audience are using and build from there. That’s not to say you cannot and should not use other social platforms as well! Trialling new platforms and different channels can be great for expanding your audience and meeting different business goals. The beauty of social media is that you don’t need to take an all-or-nothing approach: experimenting can be fun, insightful and is all part of the process.

 

2. Consistency is key

 

No matter what you may be selling or what service your business is offering, posting consistently will help build strong relationships with your target audience. This doesn’t mean you’ll constantly need to bring out new products and offer new services every other day: posts can simply be about keeping your audience in the loop. Sharing what’s going on behind the scenes, resharing products and services you already offer or even having some fun and jumping on board with current trends can help create a buzz and build excitement.

 

Basically, don’t go radio silent and disappear completely! With all this being said, I believe it’s also necessary to touch on the importance of keeping your audience’s current needs in mind. Making sure you are up-to-date with what is going on in the world (especially within your target audience) is key as social media is constantly changing. What might have worked last year or even last month may not work today!

 

3. Have fun and be creative!

 

In my opinion, coming from a background and love for all things design, this is arguably the most important tip when it comes to posting on social media as a small business. You’ve got to be loving the content you’re creating and putting out into the world for everybody to see. 

 

Now more than ever with how many posts we see per day, it’s clear to users when a brand hasn’t put thought into their content. These posts will be met with a quick swipe of the finger and likely never to be viewed again! If you’re not enjoying creating your content then you can’t expect viewers to engage. 

 

As I mentioned before, it’s not a secret that social media is constantly evolving. With this comes each individual platform adding new features for us to creatively play about with. Even switching between static imagery, video, carousels or interactive polls can do wonders and keep the creative juices flowing…just have some fun with it!

Need some inspiration for your social media marketing? To get a complimentary audit of your current social strategy, get in touch at [email protected].

In Other News: Instagram Kids Gets Shelved, Influencer Marketing Keeps Growing, and Consumer Confidence Tumbles

Welcome back to our weekly update, deciphering the latest digital marketing news for you! This week, we take you through the pausing of Instagram Kids, how influencer marketing is here to stay and the latest consumer confidence outlook.

 

Instagram Kids Debacle

A little while ago, the Facebook Group started working on Instagram Kids, a platform specifically designed for tweens (10 to 13 years old). The aim of this new platform was to safeguard against kids misrepresenting their age and using the wider Instagram app, were the content is not age-appropriate.

“We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them – where parents can supervise and control their experience – than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID.” (Instagram)

However, this decision was met with growing suspicion from child safety collectives and, most recently, sparked a scathing expose from the Wall Street Journal. The main concerns about this project are the following:

  • Instagram Kids would push induce a constant focus on appearance and personal branding from a young age
  • Negative impact on mental health
  • Privacy issues

While the Facebook group denied these claims, it has decided to pause Instagram Kids while it consults parents and governmental bodies alike so as to be able to design a safer and positive platform.

 

Influencer Marketing: Big and Getting Bigger

Even though it already was an incredibly profitable industry, influencer marketing keeps getting bigger! It has proven as particularly effective for brands, especially when it comes to building and consolidating brand awareness and strength. In spite of the pandemic, influencer marketing has established itself as a relatively safe marketing tactic. As such, brands have overall increased their share of budget allocated to influencer marketing in 2020 and 2021.

But what makes influencer marketing so resilient?

  • Distrust of hard-selling tactics coming directly from marketers
  • Rising importance of social proof
  • Taste for authentic content (recommendations)

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” (Scott Cook, Inuit CEO)

As influencers represent what customers aspire to, they remain a good way for brands to subtly influence consumer perceptions while still meeting the mark of authentic customer-made content.

 

Stormy Consumer Confidence Outlook

In September, the general consumer confidence has degraded in anticipation of impaired personal finances and economic hardship. The main sources of worry that led to this drop in confidence are the following:

  • Expectation of rising tax
  • End of furlough
  • Fuel crisis
  • Brexit collateral damage (e.g. shortages)

So what does this mean for digital marketers? When consumers are worried about their disposable income (the amount of money they have left to spend after paying their taxes), they are more likely to be sensitive to price. As such, they may turn to off-brand products, limit spending on higher-end products, prioritise favourite hobbies over passing interests… and be more responsive to sales.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! This suggests that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be even more important to consumers than in previous years. It is highly likely that they will concentrate the bulk of their “interests and treats” shopping to such big sales to maximise the bang for their hard-earned buck. So there’s no time to waste, it’s now time to prepare your BFCM game plan…

 

Do you need help making influencer marketing work for your brand or preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Get in touch with us at [email protected]!

In Other News: Twitter and Pinterest introduce new features, and LinkedIn streamlines its business tools

Another weekly round-up has landed! Here you can catch up on what’s going on in the digital space. This week, we’re sharing the latest goings on with Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. 

 

Twitter introduces the ‘Communities’ feature

 

First appearing on iOS and the Web, Twitter has introduced Communities, a user-maintained spaces for discussion, sharing and connecting with other users who share a similar interest.

“Some conversations aren’t for everyone, just the people who want to talk about the thing you want to talk about. When you join a Community, you can Tweet directly to that group instead of to all your followers. Only members in the same Community are able to reply and join the conversation so it stays intimate and relevant.” (from Twitter)

 

Tweets shared with a community are public, but only users within the community can like, respond, retweet… Communities are moderated by users within that community, who can invite users and manage memberships.

 

Pinterest introduces Idea Pin resharing

 

Pinterest’s story-like feature “Idea Pins” has received a new quality-of-life improvement, allowing Pinterest users to reshare their idea pins to Facebook and Instagram stories. Idea Pins differ slightly from stories on other platforms, allowing for rudimentary animation, voice over, and stock music that plays across stories natively. This requested feature could prove vital to eCommerce brands wanting to leverage greater followings on Facebook and Instagram, as well as using those platforms’ native shopping tools.

 

LinkedIn launches new business features

 

Launching on 4 October 2021, LinkedIn has announced three new features to help businesses on their platform engage with their followers and other LinkedIn users. The three new features being introduced are as follows:

 

Articles For Pages

Pages can now publish long-form “blog-like” content natively, a feature previously reserved only for users. This also includes a variety of audience insight tools applied to those reading the content.

 

Live Events

Combining their native LinkedIn Live and Scheduled LinkedIn Events tools, the new platform allows pages to promote streams, users to pre-register their attendance, notifications to registered attendees/page followers, and event replay. In addition, a page/user now only needs >150 followers to schedule a live stream.

 

Measure and Optimise Brand Awareness

This feature includes “Brand Lift Testing” – a baseline of brand-awareness is taken, allowing pages to measure change in brand awareness vs. these established metrics.

“Reach Optimisation” – Maximising the number of unique users seeing ads, improving exposure to relevant audiences

and “Reach/Frequency Forecasting and Reporting” – pages can now view a campaign’s predicted reach (the number of accounts having seen a post from their page) and frequency with their forecasting tool. It then measures these results in the campaign manager.

Need some help optimising your LinkedIn presence or leveraging your brand’s Idea Pins across platforms? To get a free audit of your current social strategy, get in touch at [email protected].

In Other News: What will the future Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest look like?

Welcome back to another weekly round-up where you can catch up on what’s going on in the digital space! This week we’re sharing what our world of social media could look like going forward, featuring Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. 

 

Instagram’s new ‘Montage’ feature

 

It’s no secret that TikTok is killing it in the social space at the moment, taking the top place for most downloaded app for over a year now. According to Instagram, due to their reels continuing to grow in popularity, they are now keen to keep up momentum with users using reels to compete with TikTok, while also aligning with rising usage trends. 

 

Their latest development comes in the form of a ‘Montage’ option which is currently being tested internally. This feature allows users to convert Instagram Stories frames into short Reels video clips which will all be automatically generated by the app. This will then be followed with the option to add suggested music, similar to TikTok. 

 

Although there is no date for if and when this will be rolled out, this tool seems straightforward and a logical next step for Instagram to promote video content on their app, which currently generates the most engagement. 

 

LinkedIn has hopped on board

 

Joining all of the other major social media platforms on the market right now, LinkedIn has finally launched ‘Dark Mode’ which allows users to choose from an alternate display option on both desktop and mobile.

 

Originally dark mode tools were released to limit exposure to blue light and to be easier on the eye for users when using devices in low light. Research has shown that “blue light can cause your brain to stop producing melatonin, which can then lead to disrupted sleep cycles, making it harder to fall asleep”.

 

As well as this LinkedIn hopes in ‘Dark Mode’ will allow it’s platform to become more inclusive and accessible to its users, helping reduce eye strain and keeping in mind light sensitivities. 

 

Pinterest introduce ‘Watch Mode

 

Another platform following in the footsteps of TikTok is Pinterest. They are the newest app looking to release ‘Watch’ mode, which is a scrolling, vertical feed of content currently being tested for pin discovery.

 

Although this feature has not yet launched (currently there is no information on how many users can access this test), it seems you will be able to switch from ‘Browse’ mode which is what you currently know as the traditional Pinterest search field, to ‘Watch’ mode. Unlike TikTok, it seems you will be able to flick through both video and still image pins. 

 

After releasing ‘Story Pins’ in September of last year, this next step of launching ‘Watch’ mode fits in well with the app’s progressive approach to development and we’re excited to see if this takes off in the near future!

 

Need some inspiration for your social media marketing? To get a free audit of your current social strategy, get in touch at [email protected]