Black Friday is one of those key dates that every PR and marketer worth their salt will be prepared for well in advance of the actual date.
So, truth be told, if you haven’t started thinking about your own digital PR strategy for Black Friday 2023, you’re on the back foot. But given the pace with which the media landscape is changing, there’s still space to get it right – but you need to get on it now.
Here are our tips for digital PR success around Black Friday.
1. Consider the consumer journey
This should be the first step of any investment into digital PR (or digital marketing more generally). It’s important to ascertain the specific goals of your investment and how you expect to engage your customers through your activities in order to find the best route to achieve them.
One question to ask yourself is how long does the sale of one of your products typically take? If it’s a quick purchase decision, then you’ll want to focus your activities on driving traffic and links direct to the product page, knowing that this is where you’ll get the most revenue.
Product stunts or similar can be a great strategy for this, where the aim is to get your product on the front pages of the nationals and in front of a mass audience. It needn’t be a ‘stunt’, either – simply “PR’ing” a product or selection of products can work well; consider sending round-ups to journalists of your best deals, for example.
If your product is usually a longer-term consideration, then, frankly, Black Friday might not be for you… but it also can be, if you use it as part of a strategic plan.
Look at a typical customer journey. What steps does a consumer typically take from the point of first hearing about your product to deciding that they want to buy it? What questions do they need answering before they click that all-important ‘buy’ button? How can you then use these questions to inspire digital PR campaign content?
In this way, you can build links but also activity which is likely to push your existing audience from thinking about buying, to buying, encouraging them to move from the top of the funnel to the middle and eventually, the bottom.
Given there are still a few weeks to go before Black Friday hits, digital PR can be a great tactic to build remarketing audiences, too. This is where you can go pretty tangential to your core product but by creating a campaign that is going to earn interest from your potential customers right at the top of the funnel, you can then build audiences ripe for remarketing over the next few weeks.
2. Capitalise on the quick wins
When it comes to Black Friday, there’s one thing everybody wants, and that’s a good deal.
In the run-up to Black Friday, many news stories including the terms “Black Friday” and “deal” or “offer” pop up quickly across the word – and we’re still weeks away from Black Friday. This just shows the appetite journalists have for Black Friday deal content.
If yours is an ecommerce brand with products that will be reduced in price around Black Friday, the next few weeks should absolutely include the promotion of those products to relevant journalists. Gather your key products together, along with imagery and pricing information, and send them over to the journalists already covering Black Friday deals.
3. Cut through the noise
While journalists will be well up for great deals, they’ll also be inundated with Black Friday content, so you’ll want to be sure you have something that will cut through the noise.
Doing something a bit ‘wacky’ or ‘out there’ might be the key. A great product stunt like “you can now buy the world’s biggest bean bag and it’s half price for one week only” could capture the attention of journalists at this time but at the cost of the only product being promoted being that ‘stunt’ rather than your full range. Of course, internal linking from that stunt page will share the equity but even so, it’s a less effective tactic than links direct to the product itself.
You might also look to periphery content ideas, that don’t talk specifically about Black Friday deals but about concepts and topics relating to Black Friday – giving journalists something topical and relevant, but not just ‘yet another deals piece’.
Whatever route you take, it’s important to consider the volume of content journos will be receiving around this time. If yours is a business/brand that has no place in promoting Black Friday content – e.g. it’s not an ecomms business or it doesn’t have anything to sell on Black Friday – it’s unlikely you’ll get placements around this topic. This leads us to…
4. Is Black Friday right for your digital PR strategy?
Aligning your Digital PR strategies with key dates throughout the year is a great idea. Recognising the content that’s most likely to land at various points such as Black Friday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween and so on is an important step to being relevant and useful to journalists.
But that only works if you have something valuable to contribute to that ‘hook’. If not, you’re at risk of actually being unhelpful – and losing relationships that would otherwise benefit you in the future. Be sure to consider this when crafting your strategy.