To BFCM or not to BFCM?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are historically some of the biggest days for commerce and ecommerce business, and this year is not going to be any different. Despite everything going on in the world, people are still looking to buy gifts for the holiday season, and November is the time to delight your customers and followers with a promotion or sale, especially if you primarily sell online. To get the most out of your BFCM weekend promotions take the time to construct some well-thoughtout and user-focused promotional ideas that lean on the trust that you’ve been building all year long.
Warm them up
By the end of November, many people are in the full holiday-gift-buying mode including your audience that has been following along all year dreaming about your products or services. Reward them for following along in your social media journey or subscribing to your email list, but don’t give them the opportunity to miss it!
The BFCM weekend happens fast and sometimes we as consumers can become numb to the sales chatter and start to tune out the offers. Make sure that your audiences are informed and excited before you hold the promotion by creating some hype on those same social media or email platforms.
Focus on your people
Instead of spending your energy trying to get new followers and customers during your BFCM promotions, focus on the people that you have already primed for your products and services. Seeking out new customers means having to build trust from zero-to-purchase in every interaction. When you focus on the people that are already following you and have learned over time that they trust your product and your business values, the conversion is going to be much higher than trying to get a stranger to buy into your business.
When you hold a sale you lower the price barrier between you and your potential customer, giving new people the opportunity to try your product or service. While this is effective in new audiences, I would encourage you to also focus your energy on the people that have already opted in to your business by following or liking your social pages.
Sell with a story
Don’t just offer a discount, sell the story of how your customers will enjoy your products. Get creative and build bundles or packages that create a gift experience instead of just a discounted product. Black Friday weekend for me has always felt a bit icky, my mind immediately conjures up images of people bowling each other over for a discounted TV set. So don’t be that business during BFCM, don’t just stand on a box and scream in bold font that you have a sale. There will be too much of that sales chatter already, screaming louder won’t make you stand out nearly as much as showcasing your products in an authentic way.
Each product or service that you sell has a story beyond the product description. When you can integrate that story into the description the audience is able to connect with the values that are associated with that service or products. A family portrait session is not just a picture on the wall, it’s capturing a moment in time in your family’s life, a moment you can share with others and cherish forever. A face mask is not just good for your skin, but it’s an opportunity to take ten minutes to dedicate to self-care and pampering yourself, mentally and physically. When you tell the story of your products your audience can see themselves using and enjoying it.
Be grateful, be real
When you include gratitude into your business plan, your customer connects with you on a deeper level. Whether it’s a hand-written note in your order, or a heartfelt ‘thank you’ on your social media, when you share your gratitude your audiences feel good about supporting you as a person, not just a transactional business interaction.
When we decide to support a small business we are supporting the family or the business babes behind the business. Social media is a great way to create that connection throughout the year in an organic way, and when the holiday season rolls around you have already built trust. That doesn’t mean it’s too late if you’ve been personally missing from your business social media, the holidays are the perfect time to create that connection and introduce yourself to your audience, even if just to wish happy holidays.
Be clear in your communications
Time and time again I see small businesses that have huge gaps in the information that they provide to their online audiences. As business owners, we are often too close to the project to immediately understand what information needs to be communicated to your audiences and customers, but this can cost you business. It’s fiercely competitive out there (and online in particular) and most people won’t push through the struggle to get to your product when they can simply refresh their search and buy from another company.
Reward existing customers
Reward your social media followers, but don't forget about your email list and your previous customers! Your existing customers can be some of the best people to target because they have already tried and trust your business.