marketing

[350] How to use surveys to increase your online sales with Rob and Kennedy

Hypnotist Rob and mind reader Kennedy had successful stage careers before turning their attention to helping others build entertainment businesses through online courses/membership sites. 

When they started using surveys to find out what products/services their ideal clients wanted, they discovered something surprising. People were much more likely to buy their products/services if they were offered immediately after taking a survey.

They also learned that using surveys to segment their audience i.e. sorting them into groups according to what they needed help with - and offering different products/services to each group - could boost sales even further. 

Now surveys are an integral part of Rob and Kennedy's marketing strategy. So much so they’ve developed an online tool called Response Suite that can help you use surveys to increase your sales.

In this episode they talk about how you can surveys to boost your online sales (even if you don't have access to fancypants tools).

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}

Why use surveys in your marketing

Most companies are marketing to their prospective customers in the same way. You sign up to their email list, then they make you a series of offers - which means many of us just switch off.

Using surveys in your marketing, not only allows you to bring more variety into your marketing, it allows you to segment your audience, according to their preferences. Which means you can make sure you are promoting the right products/services to the right customer.

In a time when most of us are consuming information on-demand, segmenting your audience is vital says Kennedy. “Look at Netflix, look at Amazon Prime, look at all these different products. The way we consume information right now is on our schedule. I think of it like if one of those choose your own adventure stories...well that's how all our marketing should be.”

“The minute you've got more than one person in your audience, you can no longer speak to everyone in the same way anymore, " adds Rob. "When you've got more than one person on your [email] list, you now have vastly different people, with vastly different experiences, with vastly different pain points who need to be spoken to in different ways.”

Surveys also work on psychological level. When someone has just done you a favour (i.e. completed your short survey), they will feel a powerful need to follow through with what they’ve committed to, says Kennedy. Which is why they’re far more likely to buy from you.

To learn more about this Kennedy recommends reading Robert Cialdini’s book Influence.

How to use surveys in your marketing

A survey can be as simple as asking a question, where you give a choice of specific answers and use what you learn to direct your prospective customers towards particular products/services.

Using a survey building tool like Survey Monkey can make things easier. But even with a tool like this, responses generally need to be tracked and followed up manually, which can be time consuming.

This is exactly what led Rob and Kennedy to create Response Suite, which integrates with most email marketing software (e.g. Mailchimp, Active Campaign and Infusionsoft) and allows you to automate the process.

For example, you might create a three question survey that leads to three different products/services. Once someone has completed the survey, they are immediately directed to a landing page (a dedicated web page where the user can only take one single action) about a specific product/service that provides a solution to a problem they highlighted in their survey responses.

You don’t even necessarily need to have three different products/services. You might simply want to talk about your product/service in a different way and/or give a different message, depending on the needs of a particular group of people.

For example, my Build Your Audience programme is suitable for beginners (those who are just starting to build their online audience on social media) up to more advanced students who want to build their audience through email marketing.

Using surveys not only helps me understand where my prospective customers are in their journey. It also means I can create different landing pages, with a slightly different message, that resonate with prospective clients at different stages of that journey. And when people can say ‘this is for me!’ they’re far more likely to buy.

Tips for creating great surveys

  • Ask closed questions with a number of specific answers (maximum four)
  • Only ask questions that relate to products/services you actually offer
  • Don’t ask too many questions (3-5 really questions can be more than enough)
  • Be clear on why you’re doing the survey and your desired outcome
  • Create conversations - not dead ends 

Shownotes

Response Suite Trial Offer 

Build Your Audience Programme

Rev.com*

Kapwing

Social Media Video Engagement Playbook 

Social Media Engagement Playbook

LinkedIn Content Strategy Playbook

Build Your Audience Live Event

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

 

 

What to do if you're building your online audience...but you still don't have enough clients

Are you feeling frustrated because you're trying to build your online audience...but you still don't have enough clients?

If this sounds familiar, keep reading.

While activities like social media marketing, blogging and building your email list are brilliant for attracting cold leads (i.e. people who don't know about you yet), research consistently shows that most people need at least 7 or 8 touch points with you before they buy. Which means it could take up to a year - or longer - before they are ready to buy from you. 

So if you’re prioritising attracting people who might be ready to work with you in a years’ time (your cold audience) over people who have the money and desire to work with you right now (your warm and hot audiences), you’ll soon find yourself short of clients.

That’s why it’s vital to remember that you actually need three audiences: hot, warm and cold and you need to be giving the right kind of attention to each. 

Here’s a quick explainer:

1. Your hot audience 

Your hot audience includes the people who are most likely to buy from you. These are generally people you already have a relationship with e.g. your existing or previous clients/customers, friends/family. The marketing activities that generally work best for your hot audience are:

  • Personal emails
  • Personal messages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc)
  • Phone calls
  • Meetings
  • Letters
  • In-person networking

These are generally referred to as high-touch marketing strategies and include a mix of on and offline activities. With high-touch marketing strategies, you would typically contact the prospect on a one-to-one basis.

Typical conversion time: If a prospect already knows, likes and trusts you, they may be able to make a buying decision immediately. Which is why hot audience leads can convert in 30 days or less.

If you're prioritising attracting clients who might want to work you in 12 months' time (your cold audience) over people who might want to pay you to work with them right now...you'll soon find yourself short on clients

2. Your warm audience 

Your warm audience is the second most likely group to buy from you. These people are generally aware of you - and may have expressed an interest in your product/service - but you don’t necessarily have a relationship with them. e.g. engaged social media followers, email list subscribers (who either haven’t bought anything from you or have only made a small investment so far), Facebook group members, friends-of-friends.

High-touch strategies can also work with warm leads but generally this group are still getting to know, like and trust you. So the marketing activities that tend to work best with your warm audience are:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Social media posts (high-value)
  • Facebook Lives
  • Books
  • Speaking
  • Lead magnets
  • Online networking
  • Retargeting ads (adverts that are shown to people who have already looked at your sales page)

These are generally referred to as medium or multi-touch marketing strategies that include more online than offline activities. With medium or multi-touch marketing strategies, you typically contact the prospect on both a one-to-one and one-to-many basis (e.g. automated emails sent to multiple recipients).

Typical conversion time: If a prospect already knows a little bit about you, they may be able to make a buying decision more quickly. But they still need to get to know, like and trust you. Which is why warm leads can take 3-6 months to get to the stage where they are ready to buy.

3. Your cold audience 

Your cold audience is the least likely group to buy from you. These people don’t even know you exist right now...so why would they buy from you right now?  This group still need to get to know, like and trust you so they also need to be nurtured with content. So the marketing activities that tend to work best with cold leads are:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Social media posts (high-value)
  • Facebook Lives
  • Books
  • Speaking
  • Lead magnets
  • Online networking
  • Facebook / Instagram ads

There’s no reason why you can’t target this group from ‘cold’ content e.g. Facebook ads or blog content, but you will probably find they need to see your content 6, 7 or 8 times before they buy.

These are generally referred to as low-touch marketing strategies that generally only include online activities. With low-touch marketing strategies, you typically contact the prospect on a one-to-many basis (e.g. automated emails sent to multiple recipients).

Typical conversion time: Most people need 7 or 8 touch points with you before they buy. Which is why it typically takes a year or longer to convert cold leads into buyers.

So if you want to boost your sales - quick - you need to focus on your hot audience and use high-touch strategies to reach them. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be thinking about your warm and cold audiences….you should be working on attracting and nurturing these people every single day.

Avoiding the ‘cold audience’ trap

Many coaches, consultants and experts fall into the trap of spending too much time on cold audiences...and barely any time on following up their hottest leads.

This is because your hottest leads tend to be people you’re working with right now or have worked with in the past. And these people typically respond best to high-touch activities e.g. email, phone calls etc.

The problem is, reaching out to family, friends or current/previous clients can make you feel embarrassed. While these people - the ones who already know, like and trust you - are the ones who are most likely to say ‘yes’ to you (or refer you to your ideal clients) - they’re also more likely to hurt you.

Because getting a ‘no’ from someone you know stings far more than getting a ‘no’ from a stranger, right? Which is why it's tempting to distract yourself with social media, blogging and creating email lead magnets....instead of reaching out to people who are ready to work with you right now. 

How much time should you spend on your cold, warm and hot audiences? 

The rather unsatisfactory answer is: it depends.

If you have enough clients and leads to keep you busy for the next 12 months, you may be able to spend as little as 30 minutes a day on your hot and warm audiences - freeing you up to spend time on your cold audience (which is typically more time consuming).

But if you need clients right now - if you’re struggling to pay your bills each month - it's time to get honest with yourself. Are playing in the cold ring i.e. focusing on your cold audience because it feels more comfortable than reaching out to your hottest leads? 

If the answer is 'yes' it's time to refocus. Here are the steps I'd recommend:

  1. Take an honest look at how much time you're spending each day on your cold, warm and hot audiences. Use a tool like Paymo or Toggl to track how you are spending your time.
  2.  If you're spending too much time on your cold audience, hit 'pause' on your cold outreach activities for a few days while you have a system in place for prospecting and following up with your hottest leads.
  3. Do an audit of your hot, warm and cold leads (as in the example above) and the activities that will work best for each
  4. Decide how much time you have each day/week for your cold, warm and hot outreach (I’d recommend getting into the habit of spending the first 30-60 minutes of your working day on hot outreach - you'll feel so much better knowing it's done.

 

Create 52 Weeks Of Content For Your LinkedIn Business Account (in just a few hours)

Do you find it hard to think of creative content ideas for LinkedIn and stick to a content plan for more than a few weeks at a time?

It all starts with content planning and that’s exactly what the 2019 Media Diary is designed to help you do. It’s an A4 desk diary that includes hundreds of awareness dates and key dates to help you plan your media content for 2019. There’s also useful planning tools to help you with annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly planning (and save you tons of time in the process).

Invest in the 2019 Media Diary and, not only will you save time and money on your content planning and creation, you’ll never run out of ideas again. If you need more accountability and support to ensure you actually stick to your content plan, you can join the Media Diary Owners’ Club - the LinkedIn Edition.

With that in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide to planning 52 weeks of content using the 2019 Media Diary.


1.Block out time for your content planning

First things first, set aside some dedicated time for your content planning. If you can, go off site. Find a cafe you like to work in – your favourite cafe, a quiet hotel foyer - anywhere where you can focus on this task uninterrupted. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done when there are no distractions.

2. Create your annual content plan

With the diary in front of you, think about the key things that are happening in your business in each quarter of the year. Are you attending or speaking at any events or industry conferences? Are you launching a new coaching programme or consultancy offer?

Aim to list at least three key things for each quarter.

Timesaving tip: There is a planning sheet on page 10 of the diary to help with this. If you’re in the Media Diary Owners' Club - the LinkedIn Edition - perfect if you want some extra training, support and accountability to help you make the most of your diary – it’s also available as a printable.

Once you've written down what you're going to be doing each quarter, see if you can find two or three awareness days/key dates in the diary you can use to inspire content ideas.

For example, if you’re a relationship coach you might plan some timely content around World Marriage Day (February). As a diversity consultant you could plan content around Disabled Access Day (March) or Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May). If you work as a coach or consultant in the science/technology sector, British Science Week (March) or International Women in Engineering Day (June) could spark some interesting content ideas.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking some of the dates in the diary aren’t ‘serious’ enough for your business. With a bit of creative thinking, it’s entirely possible to make them work for you. For example, museums expert and parenting blogger Jenni Fuchs turned Hedgehog Day into a round-up of hedgehog picture books for children - which turned out to be one of her most popular posts that month. Read: how to double your web traffic in 10 easy steps.

In this phase of your content planning, it’s important not to overthink things. There’s no commitment; just because you write something down doesn’t mean you have to do it.

Some media diary owners tell me they struggle with this first task because they don’t know what they’re going to be doing in their business in 2019. If this is the case, you have a business problem not a content problem. This means you'll need to plan what’s happening in your business in each quarter before you move onto your content planning.

Others say they fear writing anything down in case their business plans change in the future. Again, it’s important not to overthink this. You’ll always have to factor in change in any business and it’s much less time consuming  to tweak a plan you’ve already worked on than to start from scratch. My best advice? Just apply your best thinking right now.

3.Create your quarterly content plan

Once you've created your annual content plan, you can move onto your quarterly content planning.

To make life easy for yourself in 2019, I suggest you create one key piece of content a week and repurpose it into multiple pieces of content (more on how to do this later). Ideally you’ll do this on your own website (as a blog/vlog, podcast, infographic) and repost it on LinkedIn. This shouldn’t negatively affect your ranking in Google (posting duplicate content sometimes can have this affect) - but it’s best to leave a couple of weeks between posting an article on your website and on LinkedIn.

This means you only need to come up with a list of 12 ideas for each quarter - ideas that complement the key business activities and dates you’ve already identified in your annual content plan. Simple when you put it like that, right?

If you don’t yet have a blog on your website, a well thought-out weekly article on LinkedIn - supported by two or three posts promoting your article - could help you generate leads and sales for your business.

Want to see an example of someone who is doing this really well on LinkedIn? Check out the technical copywriter John Espirian. He publishes regular LinkedIn articles and posts that answer his prospective customer/clients questions, including:

How to create LinkedIn document posts

LinkedIn view counts explained

LinkedIn Quickstart Guide 

Here’s two methods you can use to create your list of 12 ideas (or you can combine the two).

Method 1: Base content around your customers’ questions - Start by making a list of 12 questions your customers ask you regularly - both generic questions and specific ones about your product/service. Then look to answer these questions through your chosen content form.

For example, my prospective customers often ask me questions like this about content planning.

  • Why do I need a content plan?
  • How often should I be publishing new content?
  • What kind of content should I be creating for my business?
  • What are the biggest mistakes people make with content planning?
  • How far ahead should I be planning my content?
  • Is it ok just to post content on LinkedIn? Or should I be active elsewhere?

There’s six content ideas right there.

They also ask me quite specific questions about the 2019 Media Diary:

  • What are benefits of buying the 2019 Media Diary?
  • What’s the difference between the Media Diary Owners’ Club and the Media Diary Owners Club - the LinkedIn Edition?
  • Can I see inside the 2019 Media Diary?
  • I am a coach/consultant. Will the 2019 Media Diary work for me?
  • Is the 2019 Media Diary suitable for business owners based outside the UK?
  • I bought last year’s media diary but I didn’t use it. Should I buy it again?

There’s another six content ideas - some of which I’ve already turned into blog posts.

Six compelling reasons to buy the 2019 Media Diary

Common concerns about the 2019 Media Diary

Read this if you bought the 2018 media diary (and didn’t use it as much as you hoped)

Method 2: Create content for each stage of your customer journey

The digital marketing expert Dan Knowlton talks about the need to create three types of content designed to attract customers at each stage of the buying journey. These are:

  1. Awareness content
  2. Consideration content
  3. Purchase content.

For example, my podcast episodes tend to address a specific problem listeners are experiencing e.g. how to get more engagement on LinkedIn or how to create a content strategy This is awareness content - because it’s raising awareness of the problem and how I might be able to help.

I wrote a blog post about my content planning toolkit - 2019 Sorted, called Six Compelling Reasons to Invest in 2019 Sorted. This is an example of consideration content as I’m addressing prospective customers’ concerns and helping them make a buying decision.

An example of purchase content would be this video I created showing you around the 2019 Media Diary and introducing The Media Diary Owners’ Club - the LinkedIn Edition.

There are no hard and fast rules about how much of each type of content you should create - it really depends on what you’re selling and when. For example, if you’re launch a new service in February it makes sense to focus on awareness content in January and create more consideration and purchase content in the weeks leading up to (and during) the launch.

I’ve now shared two possible approaches to creating a list of 12 content ideas for each quarter of the year. If you're part of the Media Diary Owners’ Club - the LinkedIn Edition there are printables and proformas to help you do this.

Pro Tip: Most people struggle to plan content in great detail beyond 90 days, so put a date in your diary to plan for the next 90 days. Just being able to look across the first 90 days will really take the pressure off.



4. Create your weekly content plan

With your quarterly plan complete, you’re ready to create weekly content plans for your LinkedIn content.

This is where content repurposing comes in. Now that you’re focusing on creating one key piece of content a week, start to think about how you can break that down over a week.

For example, you could record a video blog, strip out the audio and turn it into a podcast. You could use a resource like rev.com to generate a transcript and turn that into a blog post. Then you could pull out some soundbites from the transcript and turn them into infographics for LinkedIn (using a graphic design tool like Canva), audio trailers (using a resource like Headliner) and video trailers (using a tool like Kapwing). If you focus on making that cornerstone piece of content work as hard for you as possible (by repurposing it in different ways), you’ll soon have enough content for every day of the week.

And don’t be afraid to post your content more than once. People are busy and may not see it the first time round (or even the third, fourth or fifth).

5. Creating your daily content plan

Now that you know which key piece of content you’ll be producing each week and how that can be broken down into lots of smaller pieces of content, all you have to do is work out what you’ll be posting when.

In the 2019 Media Diary, there’s space for you to plan what content you’re going to post on each of your social media channels on different days of the week – perfect for visualising how each week of your social media content will look.

If you've always found content planning an overwhelming, arduous job, you'll love how easy it becomes when you have the 2019 Media Diary sitting on your desk.

Get a copy of your 2019 Media Diary here and if you need more support and accountability you can get that in the Media Diary Owners’ Club. Find out more about the difference between the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club.


Editorial Calendar: Yes, You DO Need One! (And The 2020 Media Diary Will Make Content Planning Easy)

If your content planning consists of scribbling blog post titles on post-it notes or you spend way more time than you should on social media searching for content ideas, it’s time for some tough love:

If you’ve thrown yourself into content marketing in the hope of building your brand and generating more sales and it’s just not working:

I’ve created an amazing desk planner - the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner - that will take all the pain out of content planning. It’s an A4 desk diary designed specifically to help you create 52 weeks of content and save you a ton of time. With planners, templates and hundreds of awareness dates, you’ll never be stuck for content ideas again.

If you can devote just a few hours to planning out your 2020 content, I promise this will be the year that all your content marketing efforts will finally start working for you.

Let’s look at exactly why creating a content calendar is vital for your business.


1. You'll be more strategic with your content planning 

I see so many business owners approach their content with bags of enthusiasm but very little strategy. And while enthusiasm is great, you’re not creating content because you love writing/vlogging/connecting on social media – you’re creating content because you want to drive your business forward.

And to do that, you need to focus on your content marketing goals. Are you trying to establish authority on a certain subject within your industry? Perhaps you have an underperforming product and you really need to boost sales. Or maybe you’ve got a new product/service and need content for your launch.

If you’re clear on your objectives you can ensure that the content you’re creating is engineered to accomplish these goals.

The 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner contains a template that allows you to create a yearly overview of your content. If you’re in the Media Diary Owners’ Club – perfect if you need additional support and accountability - you’ll also get this as a printable. When your content is mapped out like this it’s so much easier to spot any gaps.

For example, if you’re a coach or consultant and one of your 2020 goals is to launch a new coaching package, the yearly overview page will help you identify what kind of content you should be publishing and when.



2. You'll find it easier to spot content opportunities 

How many times have you spotted a flurry of activity on social media around an awareness day that relates to your business... and kicked yourself for missing out on a great marketing opportunity?

Planning your content out well in advance allows you to take advantage of important dates and awareness days that relate to your business.

For example, if you have a pet business, you might want to create some timely content around Crufts dog show in March. If you design clothes or accessories, you could create some content around London Fashion Week in January. And if you run a food business, you might plan some content around National Doughnut day in June.

Even more than that, key dates, events and awareness days can actually provide the ideal timing to launch new products or services. Let’s say you're launching a new range of tennis wear, for example. The ideal time to do that would be during Wimbledon, right? It sounds obvious when you put it like that, but when you’re busy running your business, it’s easy to miss opportunities.

The 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner  contains hundreds of these key dates and awareness days so you can plan for everything well in advance.

This is especially important if one of your aims for 2020 is to gain interest from the press. Most consumer magazines work 3-6 months in advance. So if Children’s Book Day in April is the perfect opportunity for you to promote your bid to be the next J.K.Rowling, you need to pitch your idea no later than January.

3. You'll be more creative 

If only tapping into our inner creativity was as easy as flicking a switch. Unfortunately, for most of us it takes a while to get into the creative zone – that sweet spot when ideas just flow to us with ease.

The great thing about creating an editorial calendar is that rather than working in fits and starts, you can dedicate a block of time which will help you get in the ‘zone’. Use the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner  key dates and awareness days as a jumping off point to spark content ideas and you’ll soon find that content inspiration just keeps coming.

4. You'll be more consistent with your content creation 

How many times have you found yourself in the midst of a busy period and decided your content can wait? You’ll get round to it once you’ve cleared this latest round of client projects…

Only by the time you’ve finished those, you have a whole new set of distractions getting in the way of your content creation. Before you know it it’s been three weeks since your last post or your last social media update and your audience has drifted off to follow someone more reliable.

Often the most time-consuming aspect of getting your content out there is coming up with the initial idea. Yet again, it’s your editorial calendar to the rescue.

The 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner  has pages for quarterly and weekly plans so when you’re in the middle of a busy spell, you know that you’ve already done the hardest part. You just have to look to your planner and you have your topics there ready for you to create or to outsource.

There are even sections to help you repurpose each piece of content for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to save you even more time. When everything is laid out clearly in advance, getting your content out there consistently becomes so much easier.

When you approach your content in this way, with a clear strategy, you’ll not only find that creating it becomes much easier, you’ll find that the quality improves too, allowing you to provide your audience with even more value.

And that’s exactly what you need to do to build your brand and  increase your sales.

5. You'll make more money 

Publishing regular content on your area of expertise will help you build authority. This will help you build trust with prospective customers and clients - which means they’ll be far more likely to buy from you.

And, by the way, this applies whether you run a product or service-based business. If you sell products, creating content that shows how using your product (or others like it) can help your customer is a great way to build authority - and make sales. And it’s exactly what I’m doing with this blog post.

If you need more inspiration, check out this Youtube video from Mama Life London founder Beth Campagna on what to wear with a sequin skirt. I’d never have bought this t-shirt on its own - because I wouldn’t have known how to wear it. Seeing Beth demo how to wear it with a sequin skirt not only gave me the confidence I could carry it off, it reassured me I had something to wear with it.

Need inspiration for you content planning and creation? Get a copy of your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and for more support and accountability check out the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

Find out more about the difference between the Media Diary and the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

[313] On-Air Coaching: How do I sell to an audience that isn't used to being sold to?

Have you built up an audience of people who won’t buy from you?  Or do you feel the fear when it comes to selling to them?

In this on-air coaching episode with sustainability expert, Jen Gale, I share helpful tips on how to start conversations with your audience on pricing and sales, dealing with objections, how to reach out to your ideal customer and why testimonials that share a transformation are vital to converting sales.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Jen’s business story and the challenge she is facing (1:09)
  • How Jen set the pricing for her membership hub (and how it could be increased!) (3:20)
  • Why you need to offer your customers a transformation (10:05)
  • How to get great testimonials (and why you need to) (11:26)
  • Why it is sometimes necessary to ‘put the elephant in the room’ (19:27)
  • How to start having conversations with your audience about your prices/sales (24:12)
  • How to find more of your ideal customer (33:02)
  • How to train your audience to be sold to (36:55)

Resources

Jen Gale’s Website - A Sustainable Life

A Sustainable Life on Facebook and Instagram

Episode 258: How to get testimonials that convert into sales

Blog post: How much does it cost to put on a live workshop or conference?

Blog post: Want to attend a conference but don’t have the budget? Here’s how…

Marcus Sheridan’s book: They ask, you answer

Episode 262: Why you need to sell more than you think

Download your free 2019 Media Calendar here

Pre-order the 2019 Media Diary

Pre-order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Content Live 2018

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

 

 

[312] 10 marketing ideas for Black Friday

Whatever you think of Black Friday, the consumer stats show that it cannot be ignored.  Here are some practical tips on how to make the most of Black Friday -  including what to offer, how to plan your event/sale and how to promote it to your audience.

If you want to listen to the podcast episode on this topic, click on the player at the top of the post (or subscribe to the Janet Murray Show on Apple - or wherever you listen to podcasts). Alternatively you can read the blog post below...

  • What is Black Friday? (1:37)
  • How to market your business for Black Friday (even if you’re not a fan of the concept itself) (2:57)
  • Different types of offers you could try (4:50)
  • How to prepare for Black Friday (and start talking to your customers about it) (6:10)
  • What you should be doing during the promotion (8:20)

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving - traditionally the day that marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It started off in brick and mortar stores, but since marketers invented Cyber Monday (which happens a few days later), many online retailers run Black Friday promotions over three or four days. In fact, some are stringing it out for weeks at a time.

Why do some people hate Black Friday? 

With over 75% of UK retailers now offering promotions, and over 50% of the population planning to spend on Black Friday, through to Cyber Monday, it’s a trend that’s difficult to ignore. But if you are thinking about running a sale or promotion, it’s worth remembering that some people are opposed to Black Friday - generally because they feel it represents rampant consumerism and greed.

Does this mean you shouldn’t run Black Friday promotions?

Not at all. In fact you could use it as a force for good.

For example, the clothing retailer FatFace doesn’t give discounts, but does donate to charity on Black Friday. Everlane, another clothing retailer, used to shut down its website on Black Friday - to make a point about the need for more thoughtful consumerism. Last year, staff decided to put the profits that they made on the day into improving conditions in their factories in China.

If you’re not keen on the idea of running a Black Friday promotion, you might consider doing something on Small Business Saturday instead (traditionally run on the first day of December) which is intended  to celebrate small, independent businesses and retailers. That way, you can encourage people to change their shopping habits (by shopping with independent businesses) as well as generate income for your business.

How to plan a Black Friday sale or promotion

If you have decided to host a Black Friday sale or offer, here’s a few ideas for what you could offer:

  • A discount on your products/services
  • A free gift with every order
  • A new/limited edition product
  • Buy one get one free (BOGOF)
  • A secret/surprise discount (like lastminute.com’s Secret Hotels)
  • Flexible returns (try before you buy)
  • Special deals for existing and previous customers
  • Upgrades for subscribers/regulars e.g. if you run a hair salon, you could offer a free head/shoulder massage or styling products with every booking
  • Create scarcity with a time-limited offer 
  • Free shipping

How to plan a Black Friday sale or promotion

It’s a good idea to start promoting your Black Friday offers and deals at least three or four weeks ahead. This doesn’t necessarily mean promoting your sale (people tend to have short memories) but you can start by having conversations with your followers/subscribers about what kind of offers they’d be interested in seeing as part of your Black Friday promotion. And if you suspect your customers/clients might be sensitive about Black Friday sales, ask them what they think - before you invest time and money in creating anything.

Getting started early will help you to create a waitlist of people who are interested in hearing about your Black Friday promotion/sale and you can even offer an additional incentive or bonus to those on your waiting list.

Preparing well in advance will also give you time to create content e.g. blog posts, social media posts, email marketing copy for your Black Friday promotion.  Thinking about some of the objections people might have to your products or services (or even a Black Friday sale itself) can be a great place to start.

Another thing you might want to consider is partnering with businesses that are closely aligned to yours. So let's say, for example, that you offer makeup lessons that people can give as a Christmas present. You could partner with a local hair salon to add in a bundle of hair products or maybe a free blow dry.  If you can pool your marketing efforts, you'll find it much easier to make sales.

What to do during your Black Friday sale or promotion

It goes without saying that you should promote your Black Friday sale or promotion across all your social media channels - and email your list if you have one.

Pro tip: create different landing pages for different social media platforms e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook groups, Pinterest using software like Leadpages will allow you to measure which social media platforms are converting the best for you.

And don’t forget to use key hashtags like #BlackFriday2018 or #BlackFridayDeals to increase your exposure.

You might also like to use a countdown timer to show when particular deals or offers are ending. In fact, I've seen some Black Friday deals where they do hourly offers. So they might have a special price or a special freebie available, but it's only available for a couple of hours or one hour. Countdown timers can add a real sense of urgency.

Hosting an online event or party (on Facebook, Twitter or Zoom for example) and\or hosting a competition or a giveaway can also be a nice idea. Although not related to Black Friday, Jen Hamley's Facebook Live sales helped her generate £12k in sales in a week. 

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