It’s almost that time of the year for small businesses to thrive - if the right marketing strategies are in place, of course. The holidays are here and so are all the events created to boost business in all aspects. From Cyber Monday to Small Business Saturday, anyone can ramp up customer engagement and sales by getting involved in these events. Here’s a little look into how and why you should take part in one in particular: Small Business Saturday.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is the one day set aside every year to support and spread awareness of small business across the entire United States. This event was created by American Express back in 2010 and is meant to be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. You’ll always find it right after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday. It encourages consumers to get out and shop at their local businesses, especially since it’s in the middle of the holidays.
In 2019, about 110 million consumers participated in Small Business Saturday and brought in an estimated $19.6 billion in sales, setting a record for the event. The goal of Small Business Saturday is to remind consumers of the important role that small businesses play in their community and encourage them to choose local over big corporations.
How You Are a Part of Small Business Saturday
The power of this event is very important if you’re a small business owner. It’s a great time to create marketing efforts in your local community. A good starting point is looking at your current marketing plan and adjusting as needed. You’ll want to look specifically into your local SEO marketing tactics, social media, and public relations to spread awareness of your business amongst the community.
The goal for many small businesses like yourself is to attract more shoppers and generate more sales. But, how can you stand out and make the most of Small Business Saturday? Here are 7 ideas to consider for a successful Small Business Saturday:
Utilize Email Marketing
The best way to get news that you have to share out to hundreds of potential consumers at the touch of a button is through emails. With email marketing, you can send your subscribers an invitation to your Small Business event.
Create Engaging Social Media Content
Depending on who your target audience is, you can utilize social media to boost your event. According to Oberlo, 90.4 percent of Millennials, 77.5 percent of Generation X, and 48.2 percent of Baby Boomers are active social media users. So, if you want your Small Business Saturday to be a success, figure out which platforms your target audience is on and be active.
Creating shareable and engaging content is key since many other small businesses will be doing the same. Selah Skin Studio does this below by announcing the event on Facebook Live and their feed to share more details and encourage consumers to take action quickly before the promotion ends.
You can make your posts eye-catching or simplistic depending on what your consumers respond best to. It’s always a good idea to give them a sneak peek into what they can look forward to.
Another great way to leverage social media, even more, is to use relevant hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall, while also creating tailored ones to your brand like #SelahSkinStudio for example.
Run a Giveaway
A great way to create hype around your event is to run a giveaway. Everyone loves winning free prizes and gifts, so this will give consumers a little extra incentive to support your business on Small Business Saturday.
Strategically plan out what your audience likes and tailor the prize to that. You can hold one online or make it a two-part giveaway where participants have to enter online and claim their prize at the event. Whichever you choose, a giveaway is a great way to get consumers excited!
Post Signage (Digitally + Physically)
It’s important to remind your customers about Small Business Saturday by putting up promotional signage. Be sure to post it digitally on your website and social media platforms, and on your physical storefront.
American Express even offers customizable free signage and marketing materials to help you promote Small Business Saturday to your customers.
Collaborate with Other Small Businesses
Find out who else in your community is hosting an event on Small Business Saturday and see if there’s room for you to collaborate. Start by seeing what local businesses within walking distance are participating and then start reaching out to others in the community. Present the idea of cross-promoting your businesses to reach new potential consumers.
It’s all in the spirit of Small Business Saturday to support others who are striving to live out their dreams while making a living. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to your inner circle and new faces, because either way, you’ll have something in common.
Hand Out a Freebie
An added incentive to get customers in your shop or on your eCommerce site is giving away a freebie. If you have a physical store, consider handing out a cup of coffee or creating an experience with live music and a hot chocolate bar. If you’re based online, consider giving away a free coupon or gift with purchase. No matter how big or small, the gesture will be appreciated.
It also leaves a lasting impression if it’s something customers can take home and use. Don’t go too far into throwing your logo on cups and koozies, this should be a genuine gesture.
Alert the Media
Another great way to get the word out about your event is by sending a press release to your local media outlets. Make a list of influencers, journalists, and bloggers in your area who would be interested in your event. Then, strategize a campaign. How will you reach out to these individuals? What benefits does this news bring for them? Is there an exclusive offering you can share with them and their audiences?
There’s a lot that goes into a public relations campaign, so if it’s not something you have the bandwidth to execute, consider outsourcing to a local public relations firm. After all, you’d still be supporting a small business!
We hope you have a joyous and successful Small Business Saturday!