Every shopaholic’s favourite day is here! Of course, we’re talking about Black Friday

That’s why we dedicated this month’s What’s the Hype entirely to Black Friday – how it all started, and what strategies marketers are using.

Let’s jump right in!

The origin of Black Friday

According to Britannica, Black Friday originated in Philadelphia in the early 1960s when police officers started using that phrase to describe the influx of suburban tourists into the city for holiday shopping and the consequent chaos that took place because of that. 

Well, the first thing that comes to mind to most people when someone mentions Black Friday is the chaos of large crowds waiting outside stores to open and then stampeding inside to get the product(s) they came for. 

Source: Tenor

Today, Black Friday is one of the biggest and busiest shopping days of the year. Before 2020, that meant that stores worked longer hours and offered great discounts. In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of the shopping was done online rather than offline. That’s why online spending saw an increase to $9.03 billion. According to The Drum, online shopping trends are at an all-time high, so brands are focusing more on their online marketing presence.

Even though the phenomenon started in the United States, in the last couple of years it spread globally. The locations graph in Mediatoolkit based on gathered online mentions of Black Friday shows that Black Friday was mentioned all around the world.

locations of mentions in determ
You can check the locations of your mentions in Determ

Why brands participate in Black Friday?

The reason is pretty simple – Black Friday is an excellent opportunity to drive sales and reach new customers. 

Although it seems like a short term win, if the brand manages to retain a good percentage of new customers, it’s going to pay off in the long term.

However, brands like Patagonia, Everlane and Deciem/The Ordinary are known for not participating in Black Friday sales. 

If your brand is participating in Black Friday sales, read on to find out which marketing strategies you can implement during this period.

What strategies are marketers using during Black Friday?

There are many strategies and tactics marketers are using to engage their customers during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. 

Here are some of them:

Creating suspense

Let your customers know you’ll be having Black Friday sales, and make them want to know more. You can give them sneak peeks or teasers about your upcoming sale through:

  • Pop-ups, 
  • Newsletters,
  • Social media,
  • Blog posts

You name it. 

That way you increase the chances of customers paying closer attention to what you’re doing and eventually buying your product(s). Just make sure your message is intriguing and has a strong CTA. Sometimes the most simple CTAs are the most effective ones. 

Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to increase your brand awareness and traffic, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Get creative and come up with catchy hashtags that you can pair with #BlackFriday ones, and reach your target audience.

You can play with different hashtags and see which ones are performing well. 

Suggested read: How to start tracking hashtag performance


Countdowns are a great psychological trigger that motivates your customers to make a purchase. You can do two types of countdowns.

You can create one that counts down the time until your discount starts or/and one that counts down how much time customers have left to claim their discount.

Collaborations with influencers

One of the most effective ways to boost your Black Friday sales is by collaborating with influencers. 51% of marketers believe that influencer marketing helps with quality customer acquisition. 

Also, studies show that social media is a driving impulse buying among customers because one in four online purchases are now made as a result of interaction with a social media platform.

Go against the grain

No rule says your discount has to start on Black Friday. Many brands start with their discounts a couple of days before Black Friday, and some even extend their discount through the whole month.

For example, beauty company The Ordinary offers a 23% discount on everything during the whole month of November because they’re trying to avoid Black Friday hysteria. 

User-generated content

Including user-generated content is an awesome way to get (potential) customers to pay attention to your Black Friday campaign. Why? According to Stackla, 79% of customers say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.

If you’re wondering what’s the best way to find user-generated content, check out our blog Importance of Media Monitoring for User-Generated Content.

Multichannel Marketing

Make sure you utilize all of your marketing channels to spread the word about your Black Friday discounts. By doing so, you’re increasing your chances of customers discovering your Black Friday deals.

For example, you can combine sending newsletters, social media and SMS campaigns to boost your sales.

Test, test, test

This is the most important part. You need to make sure that your website is working properly and that the entire purchasing process is going seamlessly. That way you’ll avoid customers’ frustrations and loss of interest.

To sum up

Opinions about Black Friday vary. Some brands are actively participating in it, while others are opting out of it or are creating their ways to offer discounts to customers. Whichever approach you take, make sure your activities represent your brand and are interesting to your (potential) customers.

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