Black Friday 2023: How to Build Your Marketing Strategy

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Did anyone say Black Friday? Yes, that’s right, one of the most anticipated shopping events of the year, offering businesses a golden opportunity to boost their sales and revenue, is on the horizon. 

Black Friday, the term given to the Friday after Thanksgiving in the States, traditionally marks the shopping frenzy that begins on the run up to Christmas; in recent years, Black Friday has been followed by Cyber Monday - when many online retailers also slash their prices to further drive online sales. Last year, in the UK alone, consumers were said to have spent 8.7 billion pounds over the course of Black Friday - with 4.81 billion of that being spent online. 

So how can you, as an online business, make the most of the Black Friday frenzy? Two powerful tools in your marketing arsenal are Google Ads and social media advertising. In this blog post, we'll explore how businesses can leverage these platforms to promote their Black Friday deals and drive customers through their virtual doors.

1. Start Early and Build Anticipation

Don't wait until the last minute to launch your Black Friday campaigns. Begin building anticipation well in advance. Create teaser posts on your social media channels, hinting at the fantastic deals that are on the horizon - organic and paid social media are great tools for reaching existing and potential customers with fun and seasonal content.

2. Segment Your Audience

One size doesn't fit all in the world of advertising. Segment your audience based on demographics, interests, and online behaviour. Both Google Ads and social media platforms offer robust audience targeting options. Use this to your advantage to deliver personalised messages to different customer segments. For instance, if you're a fashion retailer, you might target a younger audience with trendy Black Friday offers across Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram, and an older audience with classic styles on Facebook and Instagram. Remember to test different audience ad sets based on relevant interests - such as competitors - and lookalikes of users who have already purchased (if you’re unsure how to go about this, why not take on an agency like Radiator to help?)

3. Craft Eye-Catching Ad Creative

Your ad creative is the first thing your potential customers will see, so make it count. Use high-quality images and compelling copy that highlights the benefits of your Black Friday deals, and includes clear call-to-actions such as ‘shop now’ and ‘order now’’. Incorporate holiday-themed visuals and messaging to get your audience in the festive spirit. For social media ads, consider using a mix of static image, gif and video content, as it tends to engage users more effectively (tailoring creative to each platform placement such as reels/stories and in-feed). Static-image examples below:


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4. Utilise Google Shopping Ads

If you're an e-commerce business, Google Shopping Ads can be a game-changer. These ads display your product images, prices, and store name directly in the search results, making it easier for shoppers to see what you're offering as they search for products similar to yours. Optimise your product listings with relevant keywords and ensure that your product feed is up to date.

5. Leverage Retargeting

Retargeting is a powerful technique that allows you to re-engage users who have previously visited your website or interacted with your ads. Create retargeting campaigns on Google and social media to remind these potential customers about your Black Friday deals. Offer them incentives, such as free shipping, or discounts to encourage them to complete their purchase.

6. Set a Budget and Monitor Performance

Determine your budget for Google Ads and social media advertising campaigns. Allocate more budget to the campaigns that are performing well and adjust those that aren't meeting your expectations. Use analytics tools provided by these platforms to track the performance of your ads, including click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI). Make data-driven decisions to optimise your campaigns for better results, and keep testing new forms of copy and creative until you find what truly works for your audience.

7. Create Mobile-Friendly Ads

A significant portion of online shopping happens on mobile devices - with a 2021 survey suggesting 7 out of 10 users now use their mobile to shop online in the UK. Ensure that your Google Ads and social media ads are mobile-friendly. Use responsive design and test your ads on various devices to guarantee a seamless shopping experience for mobile users.

8. Coordinate Your Efforts

Don't treat Google Ads and social media advertising as separate entities. Coordinate your efforts across these platforms to create a cohesive marketing strategy. Use consistent messaging and branding to reinforce your Black Friday deals. For example, if you're running a Facebook ad, consider using similar imagery and messaging in your Google Ads campaigns to maintain brand consistency.

9. Monitor and Adjust in Real-Time

Black Friday is a fast-paced event, and consumer behaviour can change rapidly. Monitor your campaigns in real-time and be prepared to make adjustments on the fly. If a particular product or offer is gaining more traction than others, allocate more budget and resources to it. Conversely, if something isn't working as expected, be ready to pivot and pause campaigns. 


Black Friday is a make-or-break event for many businesses, and Google Ads and social media advertising are invaluable tools to help you succeed. By starting early, segmenting your audience, creating captivating ad creative, and monitoring performance, you can maximise your chances of a successful Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales event. Remember, the key is to offer genuine value to your customers and create a shopping experience that keeps them coming back for more.


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