If you’re a new business, chances are you may not completely understand the concept of Black Friday so here’s a basic explanation. Here are our 9 ways that you can take advantage of Black Friday.:

Black Friday originated in America and occurs the day after thanksgiving, it is essentially the start of all things Christmas, most of all, Christmas shopping. For the past 10 years it has been the busiest day of the year for shopping.

Nobody’s entirely sure why its called Black Friday, but most suggestions surround how businesses and retailers detail their finances. Many shops see the biggest profits of the year on Black Friday. Many businesses will detail their gains in black ink (and losses in red ink), hence the name.

If you’re not sure where to begin with preparing for Black Friday, don’t worry, here is a simple list of 9 ways your business can take advantage of Black Friday:

1) Start marketing your Black Friday – NOW!
By sending a promotional email you will be reaching your database without spamming them with lots of messages, keep all your deals concise so that they know what to look for when it comes to Black Friday.

2) Use social media.
If you don’t already have social platforms up and running, it’s something that you need to prioritise as social media is an essential part in building a business identity. Most customers, particularly the younger followers, will check social media pages for special advertisements on the run up to Black Friday. Tweeting your discounts and deals is an easy, free and direct way to make sure your business stays on top! Reach out to bloggers, podcasters and other influencers and offer free items that they can mention to their audiences. Influencer marketing is great way to reach out to a large audience effectively over this time when everyone is competing like mad to get in front of buyers. There is generally a higher return from traffic arising from influencers than other channels.

If you’re holding a contest or other special event, use Twitter or Facebook to build excitement. Post pictures of prep work, invite clients via your mailing list, and post live updates with photos and videos.

3) Know what your competitors are doing.
Being aware of your competition is a smart way to target your customers; even the most loyal customers stray away to find the best deals on major retail holidays. Get on your competitors databases and social media. Swipe and deploy what they are doing well. You should already be signed up for your competitors’ e-mail programs. If not, do so as soon as you finish reading this article! It’s crucial to know what your competitors are doing for Cyber Monday. Doing so will provide a clear picture of any advantage that the customer may see when deciding between you and the other guy. And being a small business, you can quickly change the course of your message, getting the word out through social media.

4) Use paid search.
If you have funds for a small pay-per-click ad campaign, use PPC ad timers. You can specify when your ads are running to make sure that they are being seen when your key demographic is online. This will also cut back your cost per click because the ad won’t be up nonstop wasting your money.

5) Use keyword optimisation to grab Black Friday shoppers.
One way to do this is to go through your website and if you find deals or posts relevant to Black Friday, put those words in the title. You should also see a jump in traffic if you change your anchor text — the highlighted words that link to another site — to include Black Friday, and then link back to your source pages.

6) Discounts on products & services.
This may seem like an obvious point but you’d be surprised at how many businesses miss out on this huge opportunity. Even with the discounts, your profits will be higher on Black Friday because of the sheer volume of people ready to spend on that day – so don’t underestimate the power of Black Friday!

7) Adjust store hours.
Extend your hours even further this Black Friday and Cyber Monday to be more competitive. Even opening just an hour earlier will give enterprises a leg up on opponents in their industry.

8) Retarget past customers
Companies look forward to these shopping days because of the influx of new consumers they will reach. But what about old customers who may have forgotten about a business’s offerings? Make sure to target these clients during this time to increase their selling opportunities. A quick “Don’t Forget About Us” email to consumers who have made a purchase in the past or shared their email address will remind customers.

9) Don’t forget about Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday.
If your business is just starting out and Black Friday seems slightly daunting, you can always take part in Small Business Saturday which is a relatively new addition to this retail weekend. Small Business Saturday aims to celebrate the smaller, independent businesses that might not stand a chance on Black Friday.
The final day of this shopping frenzy is Cyber Monday; this concentrates on purely online deals and it is another chance for smaller businesses that can’t compete on Black Friday to get involved. If you’re worried that your online business won’t stand out amongst the army of multinational corporations participating on Black Friday, then Cyber Monday could be your chance to gain online customers.

Black Friday is a great starting point to expand your business across all platforms in order to be ahead for future retail holidays. But of course this standard of marketing should continue throughout the year – consistency is the key!

So, which annual events does your company capitalise on and have you got your corresponding pages ready?

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