Another Black Friday has been and gone, and we’ve been reflecting on what we learnt this year. Black Friday at DNRG is one of our busiest periods of the year, particularly from a Paid Media perspective, with many of our clients running numerous Black Friday offers and ad campaigns to benefit from the busiest period of the year for retail companies.
In terms of a general market, we’re finding that the impact of Black Friday-related searches has actually been declining year on year. The majority of our eCommerce clients are now working with November-specific offers rather than weekend-only deals.
This means that whilst Black Friday may be the weekend when the volume of traffic shifts significantly, in terms of business operations, the prices and sales are typically live for a much longer period of time than just the weekend itself.
From a Paid Social perspective there were a couple of key points to consider this year:
Cost Per 1000 Impressions (CPM)
Our Paid Social team noticed a large increase in the CPM over the Black Friday weekend compared to normal. This is expected as there is so much noise within a small space. Everyone suddenly runs paid ads to try and take advantage of the hype generated by Black Friday. It’s therefore highly important to keep an eye on your CPM and ensure that you’re doing all you can to cut through the noise
Creatives & Copy
Speaking of cutting through the noise, it’s particularly important to focus on quality content during the Black Friday period. Engaging copy and eye-catching imagery are essential for standing out in a heavily crowded market. We found that the campaigns that performed the best this year were those that contained a combination of both static images and video.
These should be eye-catching and clear in their message, to encourage users to click through and shop on your site. If your message is not clear people WILL keep scrolling, and may instead be hooked in by your competitors. Always look at what your competitors are doing, from both a price and content perspective.
Audience segmentation is also crucial. It’s vital that you understand the characteristics of your chosen segment, to ensure that you’re creating appropriate and relevant product sets and displaying the exact product that the user has viewed or added to their cart. If you’re advertising the incorrect product, it won’t resonate, and the likelihood of them clicking your ad is minimal.
Using one of our largest clients, an eCommerce appliance retailer based in the North, as an example, we can explain some of the PPC trends we observed this year. From previous years’ data, we expected that Saturday would be the busiest day of the Black Friday weekend, however, to our surprise this was not the case. Black Friday itself saw the highest performing impressions, ROAS and revenue for our biggest clients.
We also found our budget being spent much quicker than expected, which correlated with our ROAS targets being surpassed. We, therefore, asked the client to approve increased spending to maximise the gains available.
The table below shows the seriously impressive ROAS that we were able to achieve for this client across the four-day period, proving that Black Friday still holds it’s weight as the biggest day for sales.
In preparation for Black Friday, we updated two of our home appliance retailers’ product feeds to include Black Friday messaging in both titles and descriptions. The aim of this exercise was to increase product visibility for Black Friday and Home Appliances keyword searches such as ‘black friday dishwashers, ‘black friday washing machines’, black friday fridge freezer’ etc.
When looking at the impact of these changes on our client’s feed, we can see the following changes between the date range 25th November – 28th Nov (Black Friday Weekend) Vs 21st Nov – 24th Nov. These changes produced widely positive results, yielding the following:
- Impressions increased by 29%
- Clicks Increased by 20%
- Conversion rate increase by 37%
Merchant Centre Promotions
Google’s Merchant Centre Promotions allow advertisers to display discounts on their products in the Google Shopping results. It’s a powerful tool which is often underutilised by eCommerce retailers and is relatively simple and straightforward to set up.
Ahead of Black Friday, one of our clients provided us with a list of products that would feature in their Black Friday promotions and the % off each group of products would have. From here we set up a variety of promotions in the Merchant Centre and included information such as how long the promotions would run for and what the discount codes were for each of the products.
All in all, this was a highly successful Black Friday period for many of our clients, thanks to the hard work of the Paid Media team. If you didn’t get the results you were expecting this year, get in touch with us and let’s discover what went wrong!