3 reasons for creating a Black Friday content calendar

You’ve just booked an epic float trip, down a beautiful piece of water that’s been on your bucket list for years.

You could go totally on instinct and hope the conditions, the fish, the hatches, and your selection of flies perfectly align without any pre-planning on your end- but it’s probably better to have a plan an understand what might happen while on the water. The same is true when considering your black Friday marketing calendar.

The basics of an effective Black Friday content calendar

The holidays are going to be crazy. I know it you know it. When things get crazy no one has time for a social media post.

A successful holiday season requires consistent publishing, even when bandwidth is thin. If you’re not buying the need for a Black Friday content calendar let me shore it up for you:

  1. Social media calendars improve efficiency. During the holidays speed is critical to getting your message out. According to Content Marketing Institute, 60% of social media marketers with a documented strategy rated themselves as highly effective.
  2. Calendars help avoid scrambling at the last minute to get content up. Planning your Black Friday content weeks in advance will free you up to strategize more deals during the holidays. It will also allow you critical time to spend with your customers during the shopping season.
  3. Plan your content around major shipping days. Looking beyond Black Friday your content calendar can help you stay on top of important shipping days heading into the end of the year.

 

Now that we have a good understanding of why we need a Content Calendar let’s look at our two favorite tools to stay organized this Black Friday.

3 Helpful Tools for organizing your Black Friday content calendar

1) Google Calendar

Hands down our favorite way to organize our content is within the Google Calendar.

Here’s an example of how we lay out a plan for a client using Google calendar. Within each event description is a link to a Google Drive document that includes the content to go out that day. This helps us stay organized from one central location. We also color coordinate the posts, red-it needs content, yellow-it needs review from the client, green-it’s ready to go out.

screenshot-google-calendar

2) The old paper calendar on the wall.

If we’re just brainstorming ideas, I like to use paper and pencil to map out initial concepts. It’s easy for me to see the flow from month to month and make changes on the fly.

Paper-calendar

3) Hubspot Publishing Calendar.

A new toolset in our quiver is the Hubspot publishing calendar. This thing is so easy to use compared to our old way of publishing. One simple glance gives us all the info needed to see what’s going out day in and day out.

hubspot-calendar

Ready to create a plan for Black Friday?

Hopefully we’ve given you a few solid reasons to start planning this Black Friday. If you haven’t already check out our Guide for Developing a Plan for Black Friday. It will help you develop a solid game plan heading into this critical shopping season for any outdoor business.

 black friday marketing strategy


Selling Experience As Gifts This Holiday Season

As we speed towards Black Friday and the holiday gift giving season, the stress of the holidays is already bearing down on me. In my family life I have kids, a wife, in-laws, parents, siblings, coworkers, etc all in line to get gifts. Then I have to make a list for myself so that everyone can reciprocate the gift giving back. Typically my default gift is anything fly fishing related. But as I look back on the year, it’s not the toys that make the fishing great, it’s the experiences on the water that I truly crave. So this year I’ve asked my wife to forgo buying me gifts and look for ways to get me more experiences on the water. And it turns out I’m not alone.  While doing research for our Black Friday strategy e-book we discovered there is a huge opportunity for selling experience as gifts, especially in the outdoor community.  

Twenty-two percent of consumers planned to give an experience-type gift in 2015, and 36.5% said they’d like to receive one. Those numbers jump significantly for Millennials: 36.1% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 35.4% of 25 to 34-year- olds planned to give a gift of experience. (NRF)

Selling Experience As Gifts

I think we can all agree that getting new gear is pretty awesome. But studies have shown more stuff doesn’t all mean more happiness. In fact a recent study in the Journal of Psychological Science show that people actually enjoy waiting for an experience more than receiving more stuff. Think about it. When I’ve got a big trip coming up I spend weeks fussing over every detail, making sure I’m ready for every contingency. By the time the trip gets here, I’m so excited I can barely sleep at night.

Do I get the same level of excitement for a birthday or even Christmas morning? Probably not.

We can use this data to our advantage by selling experience as gifts in our upcoming holiday selection.

Outdoor Experience Gift Ideas

Trips

This is a no brainer and the one I’m hoping to find shoved in my stocking this year. Just be sure that the buyer and your staff understand that after the purchase the gift receiver will need to set up the specifics (dates, times, etc) You could go the extra mile and create a unique graphic for download the buyer could print out at home.

Gear demo days with purchase.

Prepare a special day where customers who receive this gift can come in and get hands on training with their gift. Really focus on the one to one interaction with your new customer. Maybe there is an opportunity to partner with a manufacturer for this one of a kind experience.

Training Classes

In the fly fishing world you could offer unique experiences based on tying or building a rod.

Selling Experiences: the bottom line

With a little creative though I think you’ll easily find several new and creative ways to provide experiences to your customers. The time in the outdoors is really what’s important here, not just the gear you are using.

 black friday marketing strategy


The new Mavic looks like the ultimate backcountry drone

It’s the season of new drones. This years crop looks amazing with a huge focus on creating smaller, more portable drones that can easily move from spot to spot. At first glance this new Mavic drone looks like it could be the ultimate backcountry drone.

I don’t even know where to begin to describe this drone, it looks so incredible. The Mavic starts with a much smaller form factor. That’s huge for getting it up into the backcountry. I love the idea of being able to have it on you, similar to your DSLR. If you think something would make a cool shot, whip out the drone and launch it. The goal is to create amazing aerial shots wherever you go.

The other jaw dropping feature of this drone is how many features still come out of the box. With such a small form factor, you’d expect there to be massive cuts in the performance of this smaller drone. But after watching the video, I couldn’t find anything. It looks like DJI loaded this drone up.

It is capable of reaching an absolute max flight time of 27 minutes and a maximum distance of 8mi (13km) due to its powerful, high efficiency motors.

Those motors also propel the drone forward at over 40mph. It feels like a combo aerial videography platform and racer built into one.

Enough of me rambling, you need to watch this video.

If I have one concern it’s that weird glass over the camera lens. I’m not sure what purpose that serves? Is it to protect the camera on landing? Either way it looks like it will require care to make sure it’s clean prior to launch. Which is just one more thing. As with all my DJI purchases over the years I’ll probably give it a few months out in the wild and then read the reports on performance and durability.

Overall this drone looks incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to fly it.

Tech Specs:

  • 4K Ultra HD Video at 30fps
  • 12MP Still Camera on 3-Axis Gimbal
  • Sensor: 1/2.3” (CMOS), Effective pixels:12.35 M (Total pixels:12.71M)
  • Lens: FOV 78.8° 28 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.2 Distortion < 1.5% Focus from 0.5 m to ∞
  • Image Max Size: 4000×3000
  • 4.3 mile range, up to 27 minutes of flight
  • Remote control operating frequency: 2.4 GHz to 2.483 GHz

Key Features:

  • 24 high-performance computing cores
  • Dual-satellite connectivity
  • Small Size & Portability
  • Obstacle Sensing System
  • Vision Positioning
  • Autonomous Subject Tracking
  • Gesture Control

 


Growth Driven Design- What’s wrong with traditional web design?

We’ve been doing traditional web design for almost 8 years now. In that time a common theme has continuously repeated itself. A potential client usually has one of these four problems with their website:

  • Our website is broken, features that used to work no longer function.
  • We haven’t updated our website in years, we’re too busy.
  • We need (insert hot new feature here), because everyone else has it.
  • Nobody can find us on Search engines.

These problems are endemic to the current web-design cycle that is prevalent in the industry.

Traditional Web Design Process is built around a redesigned website every 1.5 to 2 years. The site sees modest growth after relaunch then stagnate while waiting for the next cycle to begin.

The other problem with traditional web design is search engines reward sites that provide consistent content updates. If you haven’t made a blog post in six months, that’s going to hurt your rankings. Or if you’re creating content that is not being shared maybe you’re talking to the wrong people.

In addition to creating a website that it woefully out of date and ineffective in building an engaged client base, traditional web design is incredibly risky.

Traditional web design suffers from the following risks:

Significant up-front costs
A typical small business can expect to spend $15,000 to $50,000 on a new website. In traditional web design, this money is often paid before any measurements are taken on the effectiveness of the site. That’s just bad business.

Significant time commitment
Time is money, too, especially in a small business environment. Launching a new website often requires a substantial time commitment from staff and management over the course of up to six months. With everything on your plate right now, can you imagine taking all that on?

No follow-through
It’s six months after the launch of your site. You’ve spent thousands of dollars in design fees. You’ve spent dozens of hours away from running your business. The website looks great. But, does it meet your goals? Some parts of the site, probably. EVERYTHING? No way.

Web designers really don’t know for certain what is going to be effective for your unique product or service needs. Design decisions are typically based on hypothesis and experience, not data. And, traditionally, web designers are not around to follow up on the effectiveness of what they just built for you.

Growth Driven Design can help you take back your site.

I hesitate to say traditional web design is broken, but it’s seriously flawed. Luckily there is a better way. Using Growth Driven Design principles we create a launchpad site that allows us to collect data on users. We use that data to refine the site over time. So instead of a huge upfront cost for a site that provides temporary success, we become a partner with you and grow a successful site based on data, not guesswork.

If you want to learn more be sure to download our Growth Driven Design ebook. It goes into extensive detail on the process and benefits of the system.

growth-driven-design-ebook