Don't wait to start planning! Black Friday is a huge opportunity requiring plenty of planning from your travel or hospitality brand. You can't develop an effective sales and marketing strategy weeks before the sale. It is crucial to give you and your team enough time to curate an offer that consumers can't resist, generating hotel awareness, bookings, revenue, and customer loyalty. In addition, you need the time to prepare for costly mistakes such as a sudden surge in website visitors resulting in a crash.
Black Friday should not surprise anyone on your team, as they should be made aware and part of the planning process. The development team, marketing team, revenue management team, sales team, and anyone else you can think of should be involved in every step, from brainstorming and developing to launching the sale. Every aspect of your operation must be prepared and on the same page to create a successful campaign. Not to mention that your revenue management team will likely do the heavy lifting in establishing the appropriate discount or deal, and your website team will likely publish and remove landing pages at the appropriate times.
The point of this sale is to create urgency and a fear of missing out (FOMO). Consumers are hungry for that true once-a-year, ultimate sale. Because no one wants to miss out on a great deal, travelers are likelier to take action from your campaign to save money.
Countdown timers are a great addition to your campaign's landing page, digital ads, and more. They create that sense of urgency for your visitors to act by showing that there is a limited time to grasp the promotion. Since your Black Friday sale is the best of the year, you can also build anticipation with your audience. Warm-up emails, hints, and teasers on social media can create a buzz about your promotion and fuel consumers' interests.
Your Black Friday sale doesn’t always have to be about the price. While creating record low sales is the most popular strategy, travel and hospitality brands have more space for creativity and can move away from high discounting. Of course, high discounts are effective, but you can also consider adding value and experiential offers. For example, rather than focusing on selling rooms, your strategy can feature unique experiences, seasonal packages, complimentary add-ons, and exclusive gifts. However, if you go with a heavily discounted rate, remember that you can block high-demand dates to ensure you don’t lose revenue.
Ensure your Black Friday marketing campaign is mobile-responsive by optimizing all elements (website, landing pages, booking engines, ads, etc.) to work on even the smallest screens. Think about how many people shop on their phones or tablets, and consider simplifying their journey to purchase by reducing the steps it takes to buy. Some tips for optimizing the mobile experience include easily scrollable content, clear calls-to-action, and digestible copy. Short and sweet content and a fast and simple booking process are the best practices for increasing mobile conversions in your next Black Friday marketing campaign.
Because there is a wide variety of travel personas, it might be helpful not to apply the same discount for everyone. Marketers have the power to segment databases, target specific audiences, and create personalized messages. So why not tempt families with a kid-friendly deal, give early access to loyal guests, or make a discount package specifically for solo travelers? Targeting helps put the right Black Friday campaign in front of the right customer, ensuring content is relevant and resonates with their needs. Consumers are more likely to take action on a campaign that speaks directly to them and helps them achieve their individual goals.
When developing your Black Friday campaign, remain uniform across all platforms, including websites, paid social, organic social, email marketing, and more. Regardless of how you grabbed a visitor’s attention, the marketing message should fit your brand’s voice and clearly communicate your sale offering. It is helpful to consider any place where your property has a presence, including avenues not typical of your everyday marketing. Consumers are doing a lot of shopping and researching during Black Friday, and you want to be sure to capture them wherever you can. Keep your messaging simple with clear terms and conditions to help guests understand what they will receive.
Many brands participate in Black Friday, so the competition is fierce, and it can be challenging to stand out in the crowd of campaigns. Sometimes one day is too little to gain a decent amount of brand recognition and revenue. It might be helpful to begin deals early or end them later. Another key date that hospitality marketers can take advantage of is Cyber Monday. Extending your Black Friday sales for both occasions, offering add-ons, or even dedicating a Cyber Monday campaign can give consumers an extra incentive to book their reservations.
Whether or not you have experience in Black Friday marketing, competitor research is an excellent strategy for any campaign. Take note of what similar brands have run in the past, their offer, and how they promoted their sales. Did they generate buzz on social media before the campaign launched? Did their sale start before Black Friday or continue through Cyber Monday? While it may be challenging to monitor Black Friday sales because they publish all at once, there are plenty of online resources to browse with previous campaign screenshots and sales results. Be proactive and create a folder with examples to prepare for the following year.
Results matter, especially when considering a large-scale sale such as your travel or hospitality brand’s Black Friday campaign. No one should put time, money, and effort into a project that doesn’t generate brand awareness or revenue. When planning your Black Friday campaign, working with the revenue management team is crucial to establish the goals you want to achieve with the sale. Be sure to set up appropriate tracking and tagging on the backend so you can analyze the elements of your campaign that are most influential. Then, immediately after the campaign, meet with your team and note what worked and what didn’t to help make decisions for next year’s campaign.
Black Friday is a primary focus in the media, making it hard to resist the urge to go on a shopping spree for good deals. In light of recent COVID restrictions being lifted, consumers plan to travel further in advance. With an effective campaign strategy, Black Friday presents your travel or hospitality brand with an opportunity to promote your property, increase traffic, drive conversions, and generate revenue. You can build a relationship with new guests and entice your current guests with a deal they won’t want to miss.
Need help implementing a Black Friday or holiday marketing campaign for your hospitality brand? Delicious Digital Marketing offers a variety of social media, email, and PPC marketing services to help your promotion achieve the best results. Whether you need a full-service agency or just a project package, learn more about how we can help your brand develop a cohesive and effective marketing campaign through any channel.