Photo by: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay
Once again, Cyber Week is upon us and countless brands, big and small, are bombarding customers with unbelievable deals and giveaways. What started in the USA to mark the passing of Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, Black Friday has been embraced by customers and brands globally.
This year is set to be the biggest-ever Cyber Week in Europe, with 2018’s Black Friday transactions seeing a rise by a staggering 361% since the year before, with the value of order sizes increasing by 37.3%. As the potential of Instagram to drive sales continues to be realized by brands, this year has shown us some great uses of the platform to connect with audiences and build hype.
To study how companies are using Instagram to fulfill their marketing goals in the run-up to Black Friday, we used our Share of Voice (SoV) tool to find out how often the #blackfriday tag was used by brands in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria between the 1st and 26th of November.
Platform screenshot: Share of Voice settings
We found that a total of 278 unique accounts based in the region used the hashtag in 415 posts, garnering over 8.7 million impressions and 521k engagements. Below, we’ll look at four brand accounts that have impressed us with their results from their #blackfriday posts and what we can learn from these valuable insights.
Secret Escapes is a European-based members-only luxury travel company already known for offering huge discounts on holidays, so what better time to up the ante than in the lead-up to Black Friday? With only 20 posts, they have managed 525k impressions – which is roughly 6% of all impressions with the #blackfriday tag.
Photo credit: Secret Escapes
By looking at their content, it’s easy to see why they’ve made such a splash. We found, by sorting posts in this period by their highest engagements in the “Mentions” section of our SoV tool, audiences were most responding to their deals for Winter holidays.
Platform screenshot: “Mentions” section Share of Voice tool
Highlights include the Northern Lights and Blue Lagoon in Iceland, a wellness retreat in Czechia, a wintry escape to Salzburg in Austria, a ski holiday in the Slovenian Alps and a resort in Switzerland. By including links to daily deals on their website that offer savings of up to 70%, Secret Escapes is making great use of Instagram to highlight escapes that can be made sooner rather than later and encouraging customers to take action now for near-future gratification.
As well as this, Secret Escapes has been using their Instagram stories to direct their users to their Black November sales, creating a holistic experience that helps to create a sense of desire and urgency.
MyToys is a Berlin-based online toy and games retailer that has been in operation since 1999. For companies like MyToys, this time of year couldn’t be more important. This year alone, the toy and games industry is expected to make $6.05 billion USD in Germany, $855 million USD in Austria and $939 million USD in Switzerland.
Photo credit: MyToys.de
Considering the fact that holiday sales account for 20 percent of annual retail sales and that for children, Christmas is synonymous with new toys, it’s important for toy retailers to use this time to get as much attention as possible. With 59k followers, MyToys have managed to make an impressive 144k impressions on only 7 posts. In these posts, everything from Lego, to dollhouses to audio equipment is shown in images bordered with a bold Black Friday frame on sale for between 10-30% off. By outlining popular, varied products, they can appeal to everyone hunting for deals in time for Christmastime.
Why wait for New Years Day to start considering getting yourself into shape? GymJunky is a German sportswear and sports equipment online retailer that has used Black Friday to its advantage for two years running. This year they’ve managed to receive 237k impressions with only 10 posts, replicating their similar success with the #blackfriday tag in 2018 which saw them garner 190k impressions with 9 posts in the three-week period before Black Friday.
Photo credit: GymJunky
The team at GymJunky has helped customers to stay fit and warm this Winter by offering their followers discounts of up to 70% on their stock, and a quick scan of their website reveals that the rate of which some products have been selling out, audiences are responding. One Instagram post was even dedicated to a video apology – their sales have been so unexpectedly popular that their order processing systems crashed!
Photo credit: GymJunky
Hyundai is a South Korean automobile company known for its reliable yet affordable vehicles. While for many, Christmastime may not call to mind buying assets such as cars, Hyundai has capitalized on the discount season to offer major savings on 13 of their popular models. With only 8 posts, Hyundai has made 91k impressions as builds hype for these discounts, starting early to warn potential customers that this could be the time to buy new.
Photo credit: Hyundai
Hyundai began to tease their upcoming Black Friday sales at the beginning of November, starting with a mysterious Black frame with the Hyundai logo and announcing to look out for sales. As Black Friday has drawn near, more details were dropped, including the reveal on the 9th of November that 3 weeks of Black Friday sales would commence the following week. Since then, they’ve shown off their low prices and the models while providing a link to their Black Friday campaign page.
By choosing to create a ‘Black Friday Weeks’ campaign, Hyundai represents one of many brands that are seeing the potential in stretching their Black Friday sales far beyond the one day – often building hype and dropping surprise discounts that culminate with the biggest sales on Black Friday.
In using the SoV tool to analyze past campaigns and keyword use, you are given the necessary tools to craft a campaign that is both eye-catching and inspiring just as the above brands have done. If these examples teach us anything, it’s that building hype effectively in the run-up to Black Friday and offering a clear sales path is tantamount to your campaign’s success. It’s also important to understand what kind of deals will inspire the most engagement, so the insights provided by using this tool for research can go a long way in even helping you to develop your sales strategy.
Before you create your campaign, why not use SoV to look at what your competitors have done in the past to see how you can either replicate or beat their success, or even dodge their pitfalls? With these valuable insights, you can ensure that you are using the right keywords, messages, and tactics to connect with your audience and drive them to sales.