Seven quick wins for your Black Friday programmatic strategy

Black Friday is fast-approaching, and you’ll have undoubtedly already seen your fair share of blogs and articles advising you on peak-period strategy – particularly this year, with more of us than ever expected to shop online. 

Despite the biggest shopping event in the retail calendar coming up in just two short weeks, there’s still plenty of time to make a few last-minute tweaks to your programmatic activity to ensure you’re set for success, whether you’re running activity across Google’s Display & Video 360, or another demand-side platform (DSP).

1. Increase prospecting activity

If you haven’t already, it’s well worth investing in upper-funnel prospecting activity in final weeks leading up to Black Friday. By keeping ad frequency low, you’ll reach as many new potential customers as possible. This not only increases awareness of your brand but also helps to build up remarketing pools – valuable audiences who have been to your site (but perhaps haven’t converted – yet), who you can retarget with key offers during the event.

2. Get organised with creative approvals

New creatives will need to go through an approval process within your chosen DSP, which can take time, particularly around busy periods. Creatives aren’t eligible to serve until approved, and so it’s wise to get your creative assets set up as early as possible to ensure that they begin serving as soon as you activate your campaigns.

3. Increase bids

If you’re using fixed bids, you may find that you begin to lose more auctions than usual as competition rises in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. Consider increasing your bids to ensure you remain competitive – in Display & Video 360, this can be done quickly via structured data files (SDF). 

If you’re utilising an automated bidding strategy, consider increasing your ‘average cost-per-mille (CPM)’ caps, or relaxing your target key performance indicators (KPIs) to give the algorithm a little more ‘room’ to bid.

4. Consider your bid modifiers

If you’re combining fixed bids with bid modifiers to up-weight or down-weight bids based on certain factors that you know to be true for your client day-to-day, consider changing these, or removing them entirely over Cyber weekend. This is because customer behaviour over Black Friday and Cyber Weekend is likely to be very different.

5. Manage budgets across key dates

If you’re working with monthly or campaign budgets, the pre-set pacing options within your DSP may not be ideal over Black Friday and Cyber Weekend. Consider setting specific daily budgets or spend targets, to ensure that your budget is focussed across what are likely to be your most profitable dates.

6. Set up scheduled reports

Both you and your client are naturally going to be very keen to have a view on performance throughout Black Friday and Cyber Weekend. Setting up daily scheduled reports will allow you to easily have a view on the previous day each morning. To that end, it’s also a good idea to pre-build and save report templates within the platform, so that you can quickly pull reports throughout the day as needed.

7. Evaluate your relevancy

Finally, it may be that Black Friday and Cyber Weekend simply aren’t relevant for your client and the products or services they offer. If this is the case, consider reducing spend (or turning off activity altogether) across these key dates, to ensure you’re not paying over-the-odds to reach users who only have one thing on their mind – getting a bargain!

By implementing these seven final steps to your Black Friday strategy, you can ensure that your programmatic activity is set up for success across the biggest shopping event in the retail calendar. If you’d like to learn more about Croud’s programmatic services, and how we can help enhance your digital advertising strategy, get in touch.

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