10 Black Friday Marketing Tips for Your Small Business


Despite the fact that Halloween hasn’t even happened, if you own a small business, you are probably already planning for the holiday season. Quarter four is often the quarter when retail businesses make the highest profit of the year, and preparing to make your holiday season a profitable one is important to the success of your business. Marketing your business’s Black Friday promotions is an important part of the success of your holiday season, and these tips can help you make the most of your Black Friday.

1. Target a Feeling

What makes everyone love the holidays so much is the feeling that accompanies time spent with family and friends. Although everyone loves presents, what we really love is the feeling of giving the perfect gift to someone that we care about. In your marketing campaign, try to highlight that feeling of giving and the accompanying emotions that come along with it: joy, gratitude, love, nostalgia, or any other emotion that you feel fits your brand. Studies have shown that only the effectiveness of your presentation is only 7% dependent on your actual content, while 38% of effectiveness comes from your voice and 55% comes from non-verbal communication. The feeling of your post is what captures your user’s attention, not the content itself.

2. Be Consistent Across Social Media

Going into the holiday season, make sure to update all of your social media platforms to match the marketing campaign you’re using. Adding little touches to your logo to make them fit the holiday season, such as evergreen trees or snowflakes, will help your shop look more current and prepared for the season.

In connecting back to our first tip — try thinking about how you can make all of your social media imagery relate to the emotional atmosphere you’re trying to make. For example, if you’re playing on nostalgia for your campaign try making all your profiles vintage-inspired for the holiday season. If you’re marketing mostly towards couples, using lovey imagery and colors like pink and red could also be productive to furthering the feeling you’re creating with your brand.

3. Create Gift Guides

Although we all want to give the perfect gift, it can be difficult to know exactly what the people in our lives want for the holidays. Help your potential customers figure out exactly what to get for everyone in their life by creating a series of gift guides. You can make guides about topics like gifts for her (or him, or them), gifts for certain age groups, gifts in a given price range, gifts for significant others, or any other guide that fits your usual customer base. When you’re creating your gift guides remember that you may be not only advertising to the people who usually buy your products, but also the people in their lives that love them and may not know your products as well.

4. Play on FOMO

There is nothing worse than feeling like you’re missing out on a good deal. Play into that fear of missing out, or FOMO, by creating exclusive codes or deals for specific social media accounts, for people who have email notifications on, or those that receive texts from your business. Tell everyone across your platforms that only those that are signed up will receive the extra promo code to get more people to sign up for your email or text list, or to get more people to turn on post notifications on Instagram or Twitter. If you’re using a post notification promo code, offer the code to a certain number of people to really add urgency to the offer and ensure those that have the notifications are really the ones that will get to use it.

5. Create a Posting Schedule

In order to stay at the forefront of your follower’s minds leading up to Black Friday, you should be posting consistently and often. Hint and reveal the deals that you’ll have for Black Friday, show new products, or just add in posts that capitalize on the emotional environment you’re trying to create for your brand’s holiday season. Creating all of your posts in advance and scheduling them to post at set intervals can help you not stress about putting up your posts at certain times and avoid last-minute mishaps.

6. Create Black Friday Hashtags

Creating a hashtag for your brand can help your customers keep track of all of your Black Friday specific content throughout your marketing period. You can have your customers help you promote your hashtag by creating a small giveaway and having them post on their feeds or stories on Instagram in order to get more viewership for the hashtag.

7. Add Free Gifts

Adding a small free gift, like stickers, to a certain number of orders or orders over a certain price is a great way to encourage people to shop quickly or to fill up their carts. For example, if you have products that are usually around $15-$20, adding a free sticker sheet on orders over $50 could encourage someone to add one or two more items to their cart in order to get the exclusive stickers. Mass-produced sticker sheets are also not all that expensive, so the cost-benefit analysis will be favorable. If you have another product in your shop that is inexpensive to create, making that a free gift could also be a great way to encourage more sales.

8. Use Hourly Flash Sales

This relates back to the tip about playing on FOMO, but in a new way — with exclusive time-sensitive sales. Obviously having an overarching Black Friday deal will help your website, but adding in smaller promotions every hour can help you sell specific products. For example, if you are a clothing brand, having one hour where all tops are 20% off and another hour where accessories are 50% off can encourage multiple sales throughout the day. There were 13 billion packages shipped in 2018, and if you want your business to add to this year’s statistic, you should make sure that you encourage your customers to come back.

9. Give a Promo Code to Use Later

You don’t want all of your customers to only make purchases on Black Friday and then not return to your shop. To encourage them to come back and shop with you, create a promo code that works a few weeks after Black Friday. For example, if you know that the last date that anything shipped from your shop will arrive by December 24th is December 10th, make a promo code that will be valid on December 9th and 10th to encourage those that made Black Friday purchases to come back and buy more. If you use printed receipts and contribute to the 4 trillion paper documents created in the US every year, you could print the promo code on the receipt so only those that order can access the code. If you choose this paper method though, try to make the usefulness of the code a little later to account for any possible shipping delays.

10. Use Cyber Monday Too

Although Black Friday is often the biggest sales day of the year for many businesses, the reality is that the entire holiday season is a huge time for sales. Utilize the last nine tips for all of the big sales days, such as Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Making more exclusive codes and sales can encourage people to come back and make multiple purchases from your shop during the holiday season.

The holidays are a joyous time for many reasons, and with these tips you’ll be able to make it a joyous time for your small business as well. Marketing around this time of year is particularly important, so be sure to nail down your strategy soon to reap all of the benefits of good Black Friday marketing.


Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn’t lost in a book or writing, she’s busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.”