November 16, 2021

How to (Effectively) Advertise on Amazon During Black Friday Weekend

By Katie Brown / Advertising

Continuing our Holiday Advertising Series, we’re walking you through each week of the holiday season and how to adjust your advertising strategy accordingly. From budgets to messaging, learn what to keep in mind this holiday season.

Cyber 5 is here! That magical shopping period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. Like we mentioned last week, Amazon reports that 41% of holiday purchases will happen in this five-day period called Cyber 5 or Turkey 5.

From an advertising perspective, this significant increase in purchases means an increase in traffic and competition. So, it’s important to plan your strategy ahead of time and be prepared to spend heavily on your most important terms and products.

Hopefully, in the weeks leading up to Cyber 5, you’ve been focused on top-of-funnel strategies so new customers and browsers have your products top of mind. Now, you can get serious about bottom-of-funnel strategies and convincing browsers to convert. Let’s dive into the strategies and optimizations you should use and make to maximize your sales during Cyber 5.

Should you advertise during Cyber 5?

Not every product needs promotion during the holiday shopping period. Categories such as supplements or groceries benefit from the increase in traffic, as customers will likely add their usual purchases to their carts, but there’s not necessarily a lift in sales. If your product is not a seasonal item and will not have a discount running, it’s not recommended to drastically change your advertising strategy. Remain mindful of rising traffic & CPCs but don’t plan for significant increases. If advertising isn’t your best move, check out other best practices for the holiday season to continue driving sales.

If your product is not seasonal but will have a discount running, consider increasing your bids so your offer is at the top of search for the most relevant keywords. This is a great way to drive awareness of your brand with an initial purchase at a lower price point. Just remember, your keyword bids will need to be higher to maintain top of search and page 1 placements. We’ll dive into this more later on.

If your product is seasonal and/or will have a discount running this is your time to shine! Consider which products you need to move through and which are most relevant to holiday shopping, evaluate the top terms for those products, and be prepared to spend, spend, spend.

Holiday shopping days require bigger budgets

The next thing to consider during this time-period is your budget capabilities. With the surge in traffic and clicks, you’ll need to spend more than usual to cover all the extra customers browsing their options. Amazon reports that 44% of holiday shoppers are highly likely to make a purchase from an ad on Amazon during Cyber 5—consider how this influx will impact your click through rate.

In addition to more clicks, there is more competition, meaning your bids need to be higher to win on the most important terms. Over the last 30 days, we’ve seen CPCs increase up to 45% for seasonal brands during building up to holiday traffic. This trend will only continue through Turkey Day and Cyber 5. Take the time, each day, to review your bids and impressions. If impressions are not growing, test a higher bid to win placements.

Amazon recommends adjusting bids & daily campaign budgets 200-500% higher than your usual inputs. At Pattern, we set daily budgets to at least 3x the usual needed budget. For some products and budgets, this is a drastic increase, so carefully consider what you can afford to spend based on your catalog and your inventory availability—you’ll want to avoid common holiday stockouts.

Something else to consider during Cyber 5 is the need to keep your campaigns live all day. As other advertisers run out of budget due to the traffic, CPCs decrease. This also lines up with peak shopping time—the golden hours of 7-11 pm. This period is especially profitable as shoppers are rushing to take advantage of deals before they run out. Capitalize on this daily shift by advertising heavily the last half of the day when the competition is offline and customers are scrambling for deals.

Win the top-of-search placement

Like I mentioned before, it’s critical to get your product in the top of search placements. You want the most visibility for your offer as possible, and this is the prime spot for impressions from qualified audiences. Be strategic about which terms you want to win; Cyber Weekend is not the time for learning. Use a search term report from the last 3+ months to determine your most profitable, relevant terms. Once you have narrowed down the list of terms, consider increasing each of their bids by 100%+.

Once your bids are set, manually search the term yourself and ensure that the right product is in the number one placement. If you are not appearing as high as you would like, go back to your bids and increase slightly, repeating until you are satisfied with your position. It might sound intense, but repeating this exercise hourly (or at least several times) throughout Black Friday or Cyber Monday can help you ensure your budget is spent well and your product is positioned for maximum purchases. This is the most thorough way to make sure your product is being seen by the right customers at the right time.

Implement full-funnel strategies

Top-of-search placements are great for top-of-funnel audiences but there is so much more happening on Amazon during this time period. It’s most ideal if you’ve been generating brand awareness through Sponsored Product campaigns in the weeks prior, and you can now utilize mid- and bottom-of-funnel strategies.

Customers who have viewed your detail pages or brand store in the 30-day window prior to Black Friday are considered mid-funnel. Set up Sponsored Display views remarketing campaigns on your top ASINs with a 30-day lookback window. This will place your products back in front of these audiences who have not yet converted but are now ready to buy. At Pattern, this would be labeled a consideration strategy, right in between true awareness and full brand defense.

Next to consider are your existing customers who already know your brand. It’s important to keep other competitors from disrupting their brand loyalty. I recommend launching Sponsored Product brand defense campaigns that safeguard your most important branded terms. You can also use this as a way to build awareness of the products in your catalog that have discounts running.

And finally, retarget those loyal customers who have purchased from you in the past. It’s likely they are willing to repurchase or gift the same item that they love, as a gift for someone else (especially if they see a great deal). Use a Sponsored Display purchaser retargeting campaign to target customers who have purchased your discounted or top products in the last 30-days. Amazon will serve them ads on-platform that will drive them back to the detail pages of your products.

There are countless other ways to creatively use Amazon’s Sponsored Ads during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. My recommendations today are the most critical but consider using Sponsored Product product targeting or Sponsored Display cross selling or a multitude of other creative strategies to win the most ad real estate for your products. Not sure you have the time to dedicate? Consider working with an advertising partner to handle the workload.

Consider your messaging & creative

While Amazon has minimal options when it comes to messaging and creative, it’s important to capitalize on the levers you do have. Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display ads now have the option to include lifestyle imagery. It’s been rumored that Amazon is more likely to serve these ads as the image option is in beta and they want to push the new feature. Consider adding relevant product or lifestyle shots for these campaigns. In the ad copy, use headlines that refer to the season or giftability of the product.

This is also the time, if you haven’t already, to launch seasonal Sponsored Brand Videos. This ad type is a great way to earn more ad real estate on critical terms and educate customers on your product. Bonus points if you have creative that showcases the product as a gift!

Keep the advertising momentum rolling

Cyber 5 is a conversion heavy time period. Customers have sought out the products they want and they are ready to convert on the best deals. But that’s not the end of the shopping period. In fact, 3 in 4 holiday shoppers will continue their holiday shopping after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s important to maintain your holiday advertising strategies all the way through to Christmas Day. Check back for the next installment of our Holiday Advertising Series for more insights on how to drive traffic post Cyber 5.

Interested in more immediate expert strategy for holiday advertising on marketplaces? When you partner with Pattern you work with experienced advertisers who can tailor your advertising approach to your industry, category, and budget. Get in touch today.

Check out the rest our our Holiday Advertising Series:

More Resources
The Experts' Guide to Amazon Advertising Strategy
Digital Shelf, SEO, & Advertising—How to Optimize Your Amazon Strategy for 2021