Thanksgiving is the time for many people around the world to give thanks for what they have. Family’s gather round the table for that special thanksgiving dinner. Large Thanksgiving parades take place across all of America. In the business world however, Thanksgiving provides the perfect opportunity for companies to stay in touch with their clients and provide true value both offline and online.
In recent years, Thanksgiving and online sales have always gone hand in hand. Thanksgiving 2015 online sales hit $4.5b with 2016 expected to break a new record. For many businesses, Thanksgiving is where marketing ideas from 2015 are replicated and amplified. For others, who may be new to the experience or just looking for some Thanksgiving inspiration, then this is the right blog for you.
Before you can think about what Thanksgiving promotion you are set to launch, it may be a good idea for you to understand what Thanksgiving is all about and all the important dates for Thanksgiving 2016 as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
What and when is Thanksgiving?
Let’s start with the basics. Whilst many just think of Thanksgiving as an excuse for a vacation or a big family meal, there is a story behind it.
In 1620, when Pilgrims landed on American soil, they became accustomed to what turned out to be a harsh winter, which meant food rations were extremely tight. When Spring came, the Pilgrims were helped with their crops by a native American named Squanto. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to hunt, how to fish and how to plant their crops. The Pilgrims were so grateful that they invited their Native American to join them for a huge harvest feast before the winter months, which became known as Thanksgiving.
So when exactly will the celebrations start for Thanksgiving 2016? The official celebration will be on the Thursday 24th November 2016. Expect to see Thanksgiving videos or happy Thanksgiving images well in advance, though.
What is Black Friday?
Thanksgiving weekend isn’t all just about one day. Black Friday is one of the most popular dates amongst shoppers in the United State and represents the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season and is always celebrated on the day after Thanksgiving.
So why is it called Black Friday? Well, the name “Black Friday” is rumoured to come from businesses recordings in which their losses would be marked in red, and their gains in black. As the majority of retailers record some of their highest profits on Black Friday, the name seems fitting.
For those bargain hunters out there, Black Friday is the day to look forward too the most. Major retailers such as Walmart, Target and Amazon launch special “Black Friday deals” in a bid to attract more customers to their stores.
When is Black Friday?
Black Friday 2016 will be held on the 25th of November 2016. Although Black Friday is always held on the same day, deals are expected to start up to 12 days prior. Amazon’s black friday promotion started on the 14th of November. Like Amazon, Walmart’s Black Friday 2016 deals officially launched early, with Target’s Black Friday promotion set to commence around the same time, both online and on-store.
Black Friday marketing ideas
Now that Black Friday 2015 presented some truly whooping deals and bargains, all eyes will be on the Black Friday 2016. So how can you capitalize on Black Friday 2016 as a business? We have put together a couple of last-minute marketing ideas for you to try.
- Promote special Black Friday deals. As we mentioned above, Black Friday is all about the deals. Create a special animated video, or alter your social media strategy to help get the word out!
- Create a Black Friday 2016 gift guide. Shoppers need inspiration. Create a Black Friday 2016 guide to help them out. Highlight your best service or product offering a range of prices.
- Use social media. During Thanksgiving weekend, many people are off work and surfing the web. Use this to your advantage and grab your audience's attention by placing all your Black Friday Ads on Facebook and other social media platforms.
What is Cyber Monday?
Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is another great day for deals, this time, however, with a core focus on online deals. Cyber Monday is the marketing term for the first Monday after Thanksgiving. The term “Cyber Monday” was actually coined by marketing companies to try and push more people to shop online.
What is Thanksgiving? Originally, Thanksgiving was celebrated as a day of thanks for the native Americans helping the Pilgrims harvest their crops before the cold harsh winter.
When is Thanksgiving? Thursday 24th November 2016
What is Black Friday? The day after Thanksgiving, in which a large percentage of businesses launch special deals.
When is Black Friday? Black Friday is celebrated on the 25th Of November 2016.
What is Cyber Monday? The Monday after Thanksgiving which is mainly focused on boosting Online sales.
Moving on… Whilst Black Friday and Cyber Monday are solely focused on deals and bargains, Thanksgiving gives you an opportunity to connect with your audience in a more personal manner. We have put together a list of what we believe to be the best marketing ideas to help get you started and capture your audience's attention this Thanksgiving
1) Create a Thanksgiving video promo
As thanksgiving 2016 approaches, your holiday marketing campaigns should be in full flow. Thanksgiving and other holidays across the globe present the opportunity for you to get creative. If you are launching a range of new thanksgiving inspired items, running a special Thanksgiving promotions or simply just looking to push your brand culture, then look no further than a special Thanksgiving video!
An eye-catching video can make your brand stand out. You don’t need a mass array of skills or a mega budget to create your first Thanksgiving video promotion. A creative mindset and small budget can go a long way. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, try video animation!
Moovly is a free animation software with 6 different animation libraries. Choose an animation library and get started on your Thanksgiving promotion video right away.
Top tip: Try get your audience's attention before the official start of the holiday season. Thanksgiving is known to be hectic, with promotions and deals flying in from all sort of directions.
Sign up for your free Moovly license and get started on your animated video right away. Once you have created your video, publish it to Moovly, download it for offline use or share it with your friends online!
2) Host an awesome Thanksgiving party
They say face to face marketing is still one of the most successful ways increase sales and build a loyal customer base. For brands targeting local customers, throw a thanksgiving party, get the turkey ready and invite your customers and potential customers down!
Alternatively, why not throw a Thanksgiving party for your team, document the event and share online. Customers love seeing the human side of your brand. In fact, brands that focus on the human side of their social interactions actually document a greater degree of success when it comes to bonding with their audience and have a greater ability to connect with their audience. Your customers get to see another side to your brand, and your staff get to enjoy a Thanksgiving party. Win-Win right?
Top tip: In a bid to stop your customers going to the big retailers and visit your shop, you need to do more than just offer special Thanksgiving deals. Put up some decorations. Make sure you have food and drink (Thanksgiving turkey is a must). And most of all, make sure it’s fun and entertaining and not some sort of core sales event.
3) Wish your customers a Happy Thanksgiving
Showing gratitude to your customers can go a long way. Here are a couple of ideas to help wish your customers a Happy Thanksgiving.
- Write a handwritten note. Perhaps more suited for the more independent stores, a handwritten note is the perfect way to wish your customers a happy thanksgiving.
- Teach your customers something new. Show your thanks by hosting an event or online tutorial and educate your customers. They will appreciate your product or service more and thus be more valuable to your business.
- Send out a thank you video. Want to share your thanks in a fun and visual way? Use Video!
Top tip: Your attempt at giving thanks to your loyal customers should be personalised, relevant and sincere.
4) Create a Thanksgiving infographic
Thanksgiving is all about sharing. Why not share some useful facts and information surrounding the holiday through a visual infographic? Infographics provide a great combination of vibrant images and informative text to help educate readers. The opportunities with a Thanksgiving infographic is endless. Share Thanksgiving recipes, the history of thanksgiving, Black Friday 2015 sales figures, most popular Cyber Monday items… The list goes in.
Top tip: Make sure you use tonnes of Thanksgiving images if you decide to create an infographic. As a general rule, keep it simple, keep it focused and make sure to keep your audience in mind!
5) Make it a week-long Black Friday promotion
Don't be fooled by the name, Black Friday isn’t just a one day thing. Black Friday deals are expected to kick off at least a week early worldwide. Large retailers and independent stores will all start pushing their Black Friday deals early. That’s your cue to do the same.
Instead of launching a last minute Black Friday 2016 deal, why not launch several smaller promotions, leading up to your bigger sales deals on Black Friday itself?
Top tip: Reward your loyal customers by making your initial Black Friday deals available only to your current subscribers or customers.
We hope we have given you all the inspiration you need to get started on all your Thanksgiving 2016 promotions. Sign up here for your free Moovly license to get started on your Thanksgiving video.