Planning Your Black Friday Campaign Creative (Month by Month!)

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There’s no doubt about it – a successful Black Friday campaign requires a lot of creative. We’re talking social media designs, product photos, styled shoots – it’s a crush of content.

Are you sure I need all of that, you wonder? The short answer – yes. The long answer, yes, because you’re actually designing multiple campaigns for this period of the year. Five to be exact!

Let’s dive into each, and how you’ll be planning month by month to design and launch enough creative to nail your Black Friday sales!

The Five Black Friday Campaigns You Need to Plan For

In order to take full advantage of the holiday season for sales, you’ll be creating and distributing promotions for more than just the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, you’ll be running campaigns that span three months!

Here’s how they’re broken down, and what kind of campaigns you’ll be running:

  • Pre-Holiday Campaign – Starting in October, you’ll start running campaigns leading up to Black Friday. Promotions and ad styles published during this time are usually used for prospecting, grabbing email leads and testing interest in Black Friday promotions.
  • Pre- Black Friday – During this period in November, you’ll be ramping up new creative, such as gift guides, bundles and more. You’ll still be collecting email addresses during this stage to widen your pool of potential shoppers for the sale.
  • Black Friday – During Black Friday, you’ll be revealing your offer to the world, and publishing additional creative with urgency and strong CTAs. You’ll use scarcity, limited time and countdown clocks to drive conversions.
  • Cyber Monday – On Cyber Monday, you’ll reveal another offer to the world. Your focus should be clean, concise design and copy revealing the new offer to distribute all over social media.
  • Post-Black Friday Campaign – Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are done, you’ll want to wrap up with last chance offers, and then pivot to focus on gifting creative, such as the gift guides you published Pre-Black Friday.

See what we mean? That’s why prepping early and getting all the assets you need could make all the difference in your holiday sales this year!

Let’s look at what you should be doing month to month leading up to the big sale.

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September: Plan Your Products, Strategies and Photos

In order to give yourself enough time to plan without stressing, September is the time to sit down with a pen and paper and begin planning out all your campaign strategies for the coming holiday season.

During this stage, you’ll want to think about your campaign strategies for each of the five major segments of your promotion. What are you going to offer, and what creative will you need in order to build your ads, emails, and social media posts?

Then, you’ll get all of your photo and video content out of the way and create briefs for the first round of creative to pass off to your designer. Doing all of this prep work, in the beginning, means that you’ll have what you need on hand to create and launch your marketing campaign quickly.

Broken down week by week, here’s what you should be doing:

Week 2:

-Determine your campaign strategies for Pre Holiday (October) Pre BFCM (November) Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Post BFCM and what creative you’ll need (5 days)

Week 3:

-Determine products to be featured in each of your five holiday campaigns (1 day)

-Create shot list and briefs for holiday photo and video content (1 day)

-Shoot photo and video holiday content to be used in campaign creative (2 days)

– Write briefs for your Pre-holiday ad creative (1 day)

Week 4:

-Edit and retouch holiday shoot content as needed (1 day)

-Design and create Pre-Holiday ad creative (1 day)

-Build Pre-holiday ads (using paid social media accounts and Tailwind social media scheduling) (1 day)

October: Create and Scale Your Ads for Pre-Holiday

Now, it’s go time. Instead of launching the same set of ads and creative during this month, you’ll want to pump out new pieces of creative each week to keep your offers and business top of mind as the holiday season approaches.

During this time frame, you’ll also want to test and record which type of offer works best to attract sales from your audience. This could look like testing out a product bundling offer, or a Buy One Get One Half Off one week, and a discount code the next.

The results from your offer tests can help you narrow down exactly what you should be promoting and when in order to maximize your sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Broken down week by week, here’s what you should be doing:

Week 1:

-Launch pre-holiday campaigns, testing your first offer approach (think bundling, discount codes, discount stacking, etc. (1 day)

Week 2:

-Design and Create More Pre-Holiday Ad Creative (1 day)

-Add new creative to paid social manager and Tailwind social media scheduling (1 day)

Week 3:

-Concept Pre-BFCM ad creative (1 day)

-Write Pre- BFCM ad creative briefs and submit to designer) (1 day)

-Design and Create More Pre-Holiday Ad Creative (1 day)

-Add new creative to paid social manager, Tailwind social media scheduling (1 day)

Week 4: 

-Design and Create More Pre-Holiday Ad Creative (1 day)

-Add new creative to paid social manager, Tailwind social media scheduling (1 day)

-Design Pre-BFCM Ad Creative (3 days)

Week 5:

-Concept Pre-BFCM ad creative (1 day)

-Write Pre- BFCM ad creative briefs and submit to designer) (1 day)

-Concept BFCM Ad Creative (1 day)

-Write BFCM Ad Creative Briefs, submit to designer (1 day)

November: Prepare for the Rush

It’s officially go time. As Black Friday approaches, you should have enough insights from your pre-Holiday and pre-Black Friday campaigns to hone in on what offers work best for your business to maximize your sales. Most companies extend Black Friday through the weekend, so you’ll have the opportunity to offer something new each day (or every hour, if you’re feeling extra ambitious.)

During this month you and your design team are going to be busy, so make sure you know what’s coming each week and exactly what you need to be doing in order to hit the mark and not fall behind.

You’ll also want to design your post-Black Friday campaign creative for holiday gift shopping. Gift guides are the go-to here!

Broken down, here’s what you should be up to:

Week 1:

-Design BFCM Ad Creative (3 Days)

Week 3:

-Launch Pre- BFCM Ads that you build in October (1 day)

Week 4:

  • Build and Schedule Black Friday Ad Campaigns (thursday)
  • Design Gift Giving Ad Creative (3 Days)
  • Build and Schedule Cyber Monday Campaigns (saturday)

Week 5:

– Finalize building CM Ads and schedule launch at midnight (Sunday)

December: Pivot to Gift Giving For Holiday Season

Whew, you made it through the rush. December gets a lot more tactical, as you launch Gift Giving campaign creative in order to catch shoppers still looking for items on their list. 

Another important part of December is building and launching a Shipping Cutoff campaign (read: the last day shoppers have to order for their gifts to arrive in time for the holidays.) This is both helpful and creates FOMO, maximizing sales as shoppers rush to get last-minute items before time runs out.

If you’re planning on running a campaign between the holidays and the New Year, you’ll also want to build that out too.

Here’s what December will look like:

Week 1:

-Build Gift Giving  Ad Campaigns (1 Day)

-Launch Gift Giving Ad Campaigns (1 Day)

-Concept Shipping Cutoff Ad Creative (1 Day)

-Write Shipping Cutoff Ad Creative Briefs, Submit to Designer (1 Day)

Week 2:

-Design Shipping Cutoff Ad Creative (2 Days)

-Build Ads for Shipping Cutoff (1 Day)

-Launch Ads for Shipping Cutoff (1 Day)

-Run ads for Shipping Cutoff (3 Days)

Week 3:

-Run ads for Shipping Cutoff (2 Days)

-Concept, Brief and Design Copy and Creative for Post-Holiday Ads (2 Days)

-Pause all Holiday/ Shipping Cutoff Campaigns (1 Day)

-Build and Schedule Ads for Post-Holiday Campaign (1 Day)

-Launch Post Holiday Campaign (1 Day)

Managing Black Friday Campaign Creative

As marketers, we’re always looking at ads and visual campaigns we can run throughout the year, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday are by far the most intense seasons for creating designs that feature your products and inspire sales.

Week after week, you’re building, testing, and launching new ads well before the buying season. You may be wondering if you need all that, and the truth is you can pare it down if you need to. But, keep in mind that launching, optimizing, and refining the bulk of your creative during Black Friday this way not only gives you insights for the big sale, it also helps you prepare for success in the coming years.

After all, you’ll step away with information on what works, what doesn’t, and what needs a little more testing to attract sales during the holiday season.

And if you want to cut out some of the mayhem and start from almost done, use Tailwind Create to craft campaign creative for all your favorite platforms! Our pre-loaded templates are customized to your brand colors and personality in one click. Just upload your product photos, make a few tweaks and schedule your shiny new designs. It couldn’t be more simple!

Want to check it out? Take a look here!

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Black Friday is one of the biggest opportunities for sales during the year. Here's what you should be creating month-by-month to prepare!

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