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The 2018 holiday shopping season is coming up fast, so we’ll be covering a range of holiday marketing tips beyond Cyber Monday. For insights on how to use advocacy marketing to support your Black Friday efforts, check out our blog post here.

 

Cyber Monday 2017 saw record sales of over $6.59 Billion. People buying goods via their mobile phone alone counted for $2B of those sales. The experts (including little ol’ us) agree that this year’s Cyber Monday will be the biggest yet, with mobile sales accounting for an even greater chunk of the transactional pie. Competition has historically been fierce on Cyber Monday and the weeks leading up to this shopping bonanza; to stand out, your brand needs a new channel that can both support your existing marketing initiatives and reach new customers. Your brand needs an advocacy marketing program.

Here are just a few tips for using an advocacy marketing program to drive Cyber Monday sales.

 

Customers Love Cyber Monday

Since it first started in 2005, Cyber Monday has become a tent pole of the holiday shopping season, supplanting Black Friday as king of the holiday shopping experience in terms of sales and transactions. To plan for a successful Cyber Monday, you first need to understand what makes holiday shoppers love Cyber Monday in the first place. Namely, these three factors:

Convenience

Between early mornings, large crowds, and (occasionally) dangerous conditions, not everyone lives for the thrill of wrestling through hundreds of people at 7 am for one of five discount TVs on Black Friday. Don’t get us wrong, almost every shopper loves to save a buck or two when shopping for their friends and family during the holiday season. Some just prefer to do their holiday shopping from the comfort of their living room. That’s where Cyber Monday shines.

Whether they’re home relaxing, at the office between meetings, or even waiting in line at the grocery store, Cyber Monday allows shoppers the ultimate in shopping convenience.

Discounts and Sales

Whether they’re offered all day or only during a select time period, discounts and sales motivate people to pull out their credit cards on Cyber Monday. It’s almost a universal expectation that online vendors will have some sort of sale or discount opportunity during Cyber Monday.

This expectation not only carries through in the push market tactics of advertisers and broadcasters, but also into the pull market tactics of consumers. Individuals that have already made up their mind that they are making a purchase on Cyber Monday will actively seek out product discounts and sales. The brand or retailer with the best discount typically wins the sale. No discount? That shopper may simply substitute their gift with a similar item that is on sale.

Wide Range of Offerings

Historically, Black Friday was (and is) the world of the big box retailers. From Best Buy to Target to Walmart to Sears, big box retailers were THE places to get the ultimate in savings and specials during the holiday shopping season.

As such, many customers (especially those in smaller towns) were limited to gifts (and savings) that available to them locally. If all a town had was a single Walmart, then they were stuck with the holiday shopping sales offered by that single store.

Cyber Monday completely changes the game. Now anyone anywhere can have access to holiday discount opportunities, which has a huge impact on driving that $6.59B in Cyber Monday sales.

 

Leveraging an Advocacy Marketing Campaign on Cyber Monday

Understanding these insights is the first step to launching a successful Cyber Monday campaign.

Step two?

Leveraging these insights to support your go-to-market strategy. The key is to create content that speaks to the above shopping trigger points and then use an advocacy marketing program to help share that content with both your favorite customers and their entire social network.

It’s a win-win. Your brand benefits from the added exposure and loyalty-building opportunity of an advocacy marketing program and your fans benefit by being among the first to know about your new sales, product launches, or other opportunities.

Here’s how to use an advocacy marketing program to drive Cyber Monday success in 2018.

1) Start Early

Holiday shopping starts as early as October. 36% of all holiday shopping took place before Black Friday last year. If you want to capture your share of these sales, you need to ensure your Cyber Monday marketing messages hit your target audience long before that turkey is bought.

By making your customers aware of your Cyber Monday deals earlier in the shopping season, you can accomplish one of two buying behavioral changes:

  1. Convince a shopper to wait until Cyber Monday to make their purchase from you (if they are considering purchasing from a different online source)
  2. Build awareness of your product offering and make a sale before Cyber Monday (for those shoppers that can’t wait)

Cyber Monday online shoppers are not impulse buyers. Sure, you might be able to sway one or two shoppers to make a surprise buy on Cyber Monday, but most customers already have an idea of what they are looking for in regard to holiday gift giving. They have a plan of attack. The brands that win Cyber Monday are the ones that make their way onto their customer’s Cyber Monday shopping to-do list.

2) Create and Share A Mix of Content

Stop. Listing. Sales. In. A. Blog.

We’re not saying stop blogging or don’t use blogs at all to promote your Cyber Monday deals. Far from it. Blogs are great (spoiler alert, you’re reading one now). But you can’t rely solely on blogs to market your Cyber Monday efforts.

Support your Cyber Monday marketing through a variety of content mediums including:

  • Videos
  • Podcasts (or Podcast sponsorship)
  • User-Generated Content
  • Influencer Marketing

Everyone on social media responds to content in different ways. By using your advocates to support and share a mix of content, you provide potential customers the opportunity to consume the content that best works for their preferences.

3) Ensure Your Content is Optimized for Mobile Devices

Mobile sales accounted for over 25% of last year’s Cyber Monday transactions. Simply put, more people are using their phones as their go-to source for placing online orders. As such, your content needs to be built with mobile in mind. Say goodbye to pinch-and-zoom blog posts, infographics that don’t zoom in, and oddly placed “Buy Now” buttons.

What does it mean to be mobile optimized in today’s mobile-first world? It goes far beyond making sure your content is responsive to a device; it’s about anticipating the consumption habits of your consumers.

For example, people viewing a video on mobile devices are more inclined to watch the video muted. To truly be mobile friendly, this content needs to be subtitled or shot in a way that effectively conveys the Cyber Monday message without sound.

4) Build A Cyber Monday Hub

If your brand or Ecommerce shop is planning a plethora of Cyber Monday promotions, consider building an online hub or landing page that can serve as a central destination for your advocacy marketing efforts. This way, you can create content pieces that focus on a single (or couple) promotion(s). Give the full details on this specific offering in small, digestible bites. Then drive traffic to a central hub to the view the entirety of your Cyber Monday specials.

As an additional touchpoint, capture emails on your hub page by allowing soon-to-be customers the opportunity to be reminded of your sales on Cyber Monday. You can even use the hub to drive recruitment into your advocacy marketing efforts.

5) Add Program Incentives That Matter to Your Fans

If you’re asking fans to share your content in the weeks or months leading up to Cyber Monday, show them a little bit of love by awarding prizes. Incentives can go a long way towards encouraging program participation over the long haul.

Some of our favorite offerings include:

  • Guaranteed gift cards for advocates who reach a set participation level
  • Entries into holiday-centric contests or sweepstakes
  • Additional discounts or sales open only to VIP advocates

As a best practice, be sure your incentives reinforce your brand guidelines, audience expectations, and the holiday season.

Bonus Tip: Start Recruiting Today

Cyber Monday may be months away, but that’s what makes today the ideal day to start your advocacy marketing efforts. It can take weeks for even the most put-together business to start building an advocacy marketing program. The sooner you launch your advocacy marketing program, the earlier you can start using your fans and advocates to advertise and promote your holiday sales.

Start building your advocacy marketing program now and keep the momentum going through the 2018 holiday season and beyond.

Ready to jumpstart your Cyber Monday marketing efforts? Talk with one of our expert advocate strategists today and learn how SocialToaster can help make this holiday season your strongest ever.