We all know Black Friday offers huge opportunities to publishers. And the good news is, it just keeps growing – publisher commissions in 2022 rose by 12.7% compared to 2021 (Skimlinks, 2023).
Over 75% of US shoppers are looking for deals this holiday season (PwC, 2023), but with so many articles competing for the same consumers, how do you make sure yours leads to maximum commissions?
In this blog post, we’re rounding up the top strategies you should adopt to create content that drives more clicks and sales this peak season.
1. Write a variety of article types
When it comes to Black Friday, offering a variety of article types is key. From single-product reviews of the season’s must-buys to longer-form round-ups of the best deals around, the best-performing 2022 articles included a range of different formats to address different needs.
Remember, your readers are at different stages of the buying journey on Black Friday. Some know exactly what product they’re looking for, some know which product category but haven’t identified the product, and some are looking for inspiration.
The common thread? Your readers trust your recommendations. So whether they’re looking for their favorite merchant’s top sale items, product reviews to make an informed purchase decision, or a curated list of the best Black Friday offers available, make sure you’re sharing a range of content types to cater for a range of readers and maximize your earning potential.
Get inspired by these 2023 CAPS-nominated examples:
Write a product review of a trending product
(Shark just launched its version of the Dyson Airwrap—and it’s half the price, Reviewed)
Tip! Use the Trending Products Report to get the latest insights into which products readers across the Skimlinks network are most interested in that you’re not currently featuring in your content.
Curate a round-up of the best Black Friday sales
(Best Black Friday Baby Deals, The Bump)
Tip! Talk to your Skimlinks Account Manager or Account Specialist to get the lowdown on merchants’ Black Friday sales before they’re released publicly, so you can plan ahead.
Share top products from merchants your readers love
(On Running Cyber Monday Sale 2022: Save up to 50% Off Running Shoes and Workout Clothes, Men’s Health)
Tip! The Merchant Report helps you identify the merchants your readers are most engaged with throughout the year, so you can use that to build content around specific brands.
2. Stay ahead on stock changes
No stock = no commissions. And on Black Friday, when products sell out fast, it means a missed opportunity if you’re linking to out-of-stock merchants. Showing stock information increases the likelihood of conversion and elevates the user experience because they won’t click through to find the product unavailable.
Tip! The Broken Links Report tracks out-of-stock links in your content so you can update to a new merchant. Looking to go a step further? With Product Key (available in the US, UK and Australia), you also can see up-to-date stock availability data (and display it in your content!). You can also use Product Key to find alternative merchants to switch your out-of-stock links to.
3. Offer a range of merchant options
Linking to multiple merchants is a great way of driving more conversions. This allows more choice for readers who prefer to buy from their favorite brands (and gives extra options in case a product goes out-of-stock with one merchant).
In Good Housekeeping’s example below, they’re also offering a price comparison, making it even easier for the reader to decide which merchant to buy through.
(10 Best Mattresses for Kids of All Ages, Good Housekeeping)
Tip! Adding price comparison widgets to your content means a reader is less likely to do their own price research and more likely to buy through one of your links. Product Key powers widgets by suggesting alternative merchants and real-time pricing.
Looking for some inspiration on merchants to feature this year? Brands across a variety of verticals performed well in 2022, including:
Tip! You can browse more than 48,500 global merchants in the Merchant Search. Searching for merchants selling a specific product? Use the Editor Toolbar to identify merchants with Skimlinks programs directly from your Google search results.
4. It’s not just about Black Friday
Black Friday is a huge day in the e-commerce calendar, but insights show merchant deals and consumer interest goes far beyond that day.
Cyber Monday is a growing opportunity, with publisher commissions for Cyber Monday content rising by 40.5% in 2022 in comparison to a 9.1% increase for Black Friday (Skimlinks, 2023).
In 2022, we also saw the upward trend in clicks and sales began the weekend before Black Friday. This coincided with more and more retailers starting their Black Friday sales early and continuing them later.
We’re expecting to see the same this year, and so are consumers – 72% of US shoppers expect to see deals before Black Friday and 49% plan to shop before then (PwC, 2023).
Last year we also saw high conversions continuing to the weekend after Cyber Monday with merchants extending their sales. The example below from Yahoo capitalizes on trend for longer sales that we expect to see again this year.
(Coach Outlet Black Friday sale is still going! Save up to 80%, Yahoo)
Tip! Make the most of this opportunity by creating and sharing content throughout the two week period from Nov 18 – Dec 2 to maximize your earning potential.
5. Share more products
When you’re featuring products on Black Friday, more is more. In 2022, average order value in the two weeks around Black Friday was up 7.4% on the previous year (Skimlinks, 2023), showing it’s a great chance to show additional and alternative product recommendations.
We recommend looking for opportunities to include more products in your content. In listicles and gift guides, adding extra products is easy. In single-product articles, try adding a ‘related products’ section, like Vogue in the example below, to showcase similar items your readers may also be interested in.
And, no matter your article, consider including products at different price points to target different readers and increase the likelihood of the reader being tempted to add another item to their basket (and increasing the order value!).
(The Solawave LED Light Therapy Wand Combines Four Treatments Into One—Here’s Our Review, Vogue)
Looking for product inspiration for 2023? These were the top verticals for sales in 2022:
- Clothing and accessories
- Sport and fitness
- Luxury fashion
- Outdoor equipment
Tip! In the Trending Products Report, you can drill down by country, vertical, merchant or by keyword to see which products readers across the Skimlinks network are buying that you’re not currently writing about.
Get set for Black Friday success
On key shopping days, small changes to your content can have a real impact on your conversions and commissions. By incorporating these five methods into your content strategy, you’ll be all set up for success this Black Friday and beyond.