Black Friday and Cyber Monday Creative Strategy: Everything Your E-Commerce Brand Needs to Know

September 30, 2022
by Ashley R. Cummings

It’s no secret that Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are two of the most important days on the calendar for any e-commerce brand. But you may not have known that increasingly, e-commerce customers are looking elsewhere for deals during the busy shopping season.

According to McKinsey, “holiday shoppers still love Black Friday, but they are swiping right on other suitors.” For example, 39% of customers say they’ll shop on Cyber Monday. There’s also Cyber Week (26%), SuperSaturday (24%), Cyber Week II (20%), and the week before Christmas (38%) is about even with Cyber Monday.

This means an entire season’s worth of opportunities—not just BFCM. But what should that opportunity look like if you’re going to capture customer attention before, during, and after the BFCM season? Here’s how you can get creative during the entire shopping season.

Build Urgency in Your Creative Assets

A great way to capture attention during the holiday shopping season is to use a lead magnet—a free offering of content, like an eBook guide or a video, in exchange for a customer’s email information. According to some statistics, 50% of marketers who use creative assets as lead magnets generate higher conversion rates.

But if everyone else is doing it, how do you make your brand stand out during BFCM? Simple. Create more urgency.

BFCM is the perfect time to do this—the season is temporary, after all. You can make this idea tangible in your customers’ minds by using a digital countdown until your free offer ends. One example of this is Skillshare, which would sometimes offer two free weeks of classes for customers who signed up before the timer finished.

Find New Prospects While Bringing Back Return Customers

The trouble with focusing exclusively on BFCM is that it’s just one slice of the holiday shopping season. A critical slice, sure. But still a slice.

This fails to take into account how customers’ preferences evolve over the course of the whole shopping season. According to Deloitte, if you market to shoppers who plan on beginning shopping before BFCM, for example, that’s 61% of them. And the average spend on this group of shoppers is $1,537, higher than the average of $1,149 for those who start buying after Thanksgiving.

What can you do to find new prospects before BFCM, while keeping existing customers interested enough to shop with you all year?

  • Capture leads, not just customers. For example, a creative asset that launches an upsell for a new product is just fine. But a creative asset that asks a customer to join your newsletter community is a potential lead that lasts all year long.
  • Start earlier. Brands are starting their BFCM pushes earlier and earlier, and for good reason. Deloitte’s stats show how effective this can be: early buyers also tend to be heavier buyers. To align your brand accordingly, start your ad campaign earlier this year and build up excitement well ahead of BFCM.
  • Advertise while providing value. Outbound advertising—PPC, promoted social media, and the like—can be highly effective. But you also need a fertile ground of valuable digital assets like videos and insightful blog posts if you’re going to keep their interest once a prospect is on your site. 

But speaking of creating value, how can you do that during a busy BFCM when everyone else is offering discounts and special holiday deals? You first have to figure out what customers mean by the word “value.”

Align Your Brand Values with Consumer Values

“Value” is a vague term that simply means giving your customers what they want. The trouble is, not many brands are all that clear on what their customers want.

Don’t be one of those brands.

In fact, you can start adding value simply by asking customers what it is they want. As Harvard Business Review notes, Alcoa Aerospace launched a sales initiative in which salespeople did exactly this. And while the feedback they gathered from customers was insightful, here’s the funny thing. When customers found out their answers were changing Alcoa’s approach, customers became willing participants. They wanted Alcoa to add more value to their core offerings.

Take that lesson into your own hands. For example, adQuadrant helped Stella & Dot with queries for contact information updates. This let Stella & Dot create retargeting campaigns that didn’t require Facebook pixel trackers. Additionally, we tested which ads most resonated with audiences—creating a 1,061% ROAS within ten days.

Turns out, customers really like it when your ads align with their needs.

Solve Pain Points

The typical BFCM offering doesn’t solve a pain point. That’s unless you count “You have cash burning a hole in your pocket, and we’ve got stuff to sell” as a pain point.

But even given the BFCM shopping frenzy, customers are pickier than ever with their purchasing decisions. Data from Finder suggests that 15% of customers say it would take a 90% discount just to get them to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

To stand out, you have to solve a specific pain point your customers are going through. Be the headache medicine for their headaches. There’s nothing that says added value like: “sign up with us and this specific problem will go away.”

How do you do that? One word: segmenting. That’s what we did with Stamina Pro, a health and wellness company selling pain and inflammation reduction products. As it turned out, even a pain reliever needed extra positioning to relieve pain. 

While Stamina Pro had a dedicated online following, they weren’t addressing their customers’ specific needs. adQuadrant stepped in with a segmentation strategy, developing Google Ads for customers who were Googling their specific problems. ROAS went up to 150% and Facebook generated $300,000 in revenue in seven months.

Stand Out by Positioning Yourself for Value

It’s not enough to announce your presence during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Everyone is doing that. To capture more of your customers’ attention, you need to position yourself as the exact solution to their highly-specific value needs. Do that, and you can capture leads during BFCM—and generate more revenue throughout the year.


About the author: Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer and content marketing consultant specializing in e-commerce, marketing, and SaaS. Connect with her on Twitter!

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