The 6 Best Channels to Use For Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2021

Looking for ways to boost sales this Black Friday and Cyber Monday? It’s possible to use a number of non-PPC channels to drive sales. In fact, avoiding costly PPC campaigns may be ideal this year, especially because so many brands are struggling with supply chain challenges. With so many factors up in the air, saving money on advertising could mean the difference for your bottom line this holiday season.

Want to know more about the options that are available? These are the best non-PPC channels to drive sales leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

1. TikTok

TikTok has been one of the fastest-growing social media platforms since 2019. It has especially gained in popularity over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, garnering 1 million annual users. The app is wildly popular among younger audiences, with a whopping 63% of users on the platform under age 29 and 69% of US teens reporting they use the app.

To gain more visibility on TikTok, engage in the latest hashtag trends and use trending audio clips. Combine this approach with a brand ambassador flair to expand your reach. The fastest way to see results is to try to jump on board with a hashtag, challenge, or sound that’s already hot right now--as long as it’s relevant to your brand and makes sense.

You can view the most popular hashtags on any given day from the TikTok explore tab to get an idea of what’s trending. Keep an eye out for seasonally appropriate hashtags, too, like #blackfriday, #giftideas, #holidayshopping, and more.

tiktok website with 4 short form videos
TikTok CM Shorts

If you run a Shopify store, you can integrate TikTok with your website using an app like Vop to display your feed directly on your shop. (Don’t forget to include your shopping link on your TikTok profile if you have over 1,000 followers.)

2. Instagram

If you’re looking for a time-tested platform for driving more non-PPC sales during this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Instagram is a great bet.

According to a survey conducted by Facebook, 83% of Instagram users say they have discovered new services and products on the app. Eighty-one percent say they intentionally use Instagram to discover new brands, and 80% let the app help them make purchasing decisions.

Instagram’s selling features are extraordinary, even in their Stories. Additionally, if you sell physical products, you can include a profile link to your site or set up a shop directly on Instagram itself.

Instagram post with christmas tree and text: Black Friday
Instagram Advertising

Reels are also a great way to reach new users quickly. Because they follow the same format as TikTok videos, you can repurpose your TikTok content on Instagram. When creating Reels, keep in mind that they’re short-form vertical videos and should be snappy and to the point.

Don’t forget the power of user-generated content (UGC) when it comes to getting your products seen on social media, particularly on Instagram.

With a clear strategy and consistent posting schedule, it’s possible to truly own this platform during this year’s busiest shopping dates.

3. On-Site Live Video

Live video is great for connecting followers at any stage of your sales funnel. Whether they’re new to your brand or ready to buy today, your video can help raise their confidence in buying from you. And offering personalized, one-on-one live video appointments on your core website for consumers is a great option.

Mejuri Website Virtual shopping
Live Video with Mejuri

If you need an on-site eCommerce video tool that will help you showcase your products directly to customers for truly live shopping experiences, Plaza can help.

Plaza is accessible for eCommerce businesses of all sizes. You can have trained salespeople shop with customers in real time, offering customized product recommendations and using techniques like asking  “who else do you have to buy for?” in order to increase the average order value. Learn more here.

4. Giveaways & Sweepstakes

Giveaways and sweepstakes are an excellent way to reach more potential customers, particularly during the holiday season and this time of shopping frenzy. They’re often PR- and social media-focused, attracting more followers and boosting engagement in the process. Ultimately, any gains you make from a giveaway could potentially translate to more sales.

Instagram Post with a tray of frosted cupcakes
Giveaway through Instagram

It’s fairly simple to set up and run a social media contest. Before you launch a giveaway or sweepstakes, you’ll want to check your platform’s specific rules. These rules will guide the decision you make and the rules you set. Each social media platform has a set of regulations regarding contests, and you’ll want to be in full compliance.

Next, select an app to help you manage your contest. There are several options, including Shortstack, Agorapulse, Gleam, or Rafflecopter, to name a few. Always choose a relevant prize for your business that is in compliance with platform rules. Finally, start promoting the event several weeks beforehand so people have time to buy the giveaway item if they don’t win the contest.

5. Brand Ambassadors & Influencers

Partnering with brand ambassadors and influencers allows you to leverage other peoples’ audiences to build a greater reach.

Keep in mind that brand ambassadors are free (save for any product you may give away in exchange for promotion), while influencers often charge a fee for partnership. Working with one or both options can be well worth it.

Instagram Post with a lady and her dog holding a Furbo product
Brand Partner Giveaway

Partnerships can help you to expand your reach quickly by working with people who are trusted by their audiences, and it’s common for influencers to promote items through personal use and through giveaways.

When they share your products or content, their audience already trusts them, and will be more likely to give your brand a try.

In addition to broader reach, you can also share the UGC created over the course of your campaign with your own followers.

6. Your Email List

Aside from the cost of email marketing software, focusing on your email list for a non-PPC holiday marketing campaign is free. It’s a great way to share the best deals and high-value products with those people who are most likely to buy and have likely purchased from you already in the past. And you definitely want to channel that energy come Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

As a thank-you for their loyalty, consider offering them exclusive early deals for being subscribers. This will help to boost your email open rates, too, which is a massive bonus.

To get a jump on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales with email marketing, make sure you send those emails before the holidays start to grab user attention and potentially cash in on some of those impulse purchase before they blow their budget.

Gmail inmail with a promo offer 20% off
Email Promo Offer

Final Thoughts

When approaching your non-PPC marketing efforts, remember to take a diversified approach. You don’t have to stick to one platform--and, on the other hand, you don’t have to spread yourself thin and use them all. Stick to what works best for you, mix and match, and you’ll be more likely to broaden your audience for greater holiday sales this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you need help with live, on-site video for boosting sales, we’re here for you! Plaza is a great way to showcase your products and make sales all in one spot. It’s free to get started, so take a look here.  

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