Small Business Saturday might have only started in 2010, but it’s caught on and gained ground every year. Sandwiched between the two biggest retail holidays of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s a key time for small businesses nationwide to participate and promote themselves in order to stand out amongst their larger retail counterparts. Consumers have responded well, so much so that 95 million people “shopped small” last year.
We’ve already written about how important Small Business Saturday is for your business strategy, not to mention how it’s one of the best holiday marketing opportunities. In today’s post, we’ll discuss 10 ways you can promote Small Business Saturday for your business.
1. Make Use of Small Business Marketing Materials
There is a great range of free downloadable marketing materials available at ShopSmall.com to help you promote your business and Small Business Saturday that only takes a few minutes to create! Use these materials to promote on your site, social media, or print out and display in your store, to help bring in more customers that want to shop small.
2. Include Promotions On Your Business Site
You should already be ensuring your website is up-to-date with all your latest offerings—especially for the holidays—so promoting your Small Business Saturday activities and deals should be a natural fit. Make your Small Business Saturday information prominent and clear, and make sure the information is available ahead of time so that customers planning their shopping for a weekend ripe with holiday deals can make your business a part of their schedule.
3. Promote with Social Media
Word of mouth can be critical for small businesses, and the digital form of that is social media. Be sure that you’re previewing your events, hours, and offers associated with Small Business Saturday in the month prior to the actual date. What’s more, in the 7 to 10 days leading up to November 26, you need to make sure you’re putting in the extra time and effort to engage your existing and potential customers across social channels to ensure they know the day is coming soon.
4. Promote with Direct Mail and Email
Direct contact with your customers can be powerful. You already know the advertising power Valpak can offer through direct mail, and around this kind of retail holiday, email can also be extremely effective. Use these formats to ensure your best customers—the ones that have opted in to receive updates from you—are up to date on your Small Business Saturday activities. After all, they’re the most likely to convert.
What’s more, this is a great format to create special offers. Loyal customers will appreciate the chance to take advantage of unique and exclusive deals. Consider ways to make it more fun, such as having them bring in the special card received in the mail or knowing the password mentioned in the email.
5. Use Your Typical Advertising Channels to Promote
While Small Business Saturday definitely needs additional planning and a marketing strategy that incorporates its singular needs, that doesn’t mean you need access to some sort of special advertising format. Incorporate the Shop Small logo into advertising across your usual channels, like print, social, and TV. These are the places where you know you can reach your customers, so your Shop Small and Small Business Saturday advertising should be there as well.
6. Promote with In-Store with Signage and Handouts
You’re probably already going to design holiday-oriented in-store branding and Small Business Saturday ought to be a part of that marketing process. After all, 66% of purchase decisions happen while customers are shopping at your retail location. You ought to be leveraging that influence in the time leading up to November 26, as well as the day of. Inform customers throughout the store about upcoming Shop Small deals, and be sure to promote events at the register. It also helps to have flyers customers can take, as well as inserts that can be included with the receipt or with the customer’s bagged purchase. Don’t forget to check out the free downloadable signage options available at the Shop Small Studio for a quick and easy way to create in-store posters and flyers.
7. Partner with Other Businesses to Strengthen Promotions
This is a tactic that can help cross-promote businesses throughout the whole year, and it shouldn’t be underestimated when encouraging consumers to Shop Small. This can be a great way to build referrals, especially between businesses that take the time to really understand all of their customer’s needs. And of course, it can go a long way to ensuring the success of larger events that can bring the community together.
8. Become a Shop Small Neighborhood Champion!
An outgrowth of our last tip is to take advantage of the opportunities American Express offers to bring businesses and communities together, namely, by becoming a Neighborhood Champion. Doing so provides you with the Small Business Saturday Event Kit, which provides Shop Small merchandise and event planning materials for you to rally a number of small businesses in your community.
9. Take Advantage of American Express Materials for Small Businesses
If you’re an American Express® Card accepting merchant, go to the Merchant Marketing Corner for great ways to promote your business for free this holiday season, and all year round!
10. Take Advantage of Valpak Materials and Services
Valpak has partnered with American Express to provide marketing materials and assistance to small businesses for Small Business Saturday. But more than that, we can provide you the tools, data, and direction to help you build your omni-channel marketing strategy before November 26 as well as beyond it.
With these tips, you should be able to start a successful strategy for getting the word out about your Small Business Saturday offers and events.
Start Promoting Your Business for Small Business Saturday Today!
The retail holiday season will be here before you know it. Don’t hesitate to start making your marketing plans now to ensure they’re ready to roll out in time to make an impact on your Small Business Saturday revenue.
- See what other brands have done to promote their businesses and events within their communities
- This can offer a great starting place if you’re not sure what to do
- Use Small Business Saturday as a way to show how much your business supports your community
- You can do this whether or not you become a Neighborhood Champion
- Network with other businesses to show the strength of the local economy
- Host or participate in family friendly events
- Support local causes
Take full advantage of all the tools at your disposal, including marketing solutions and Small Business Saturday support from Valpak and American Express. We’re plugged into your community and region, so we’re ready and willing to help your business shine in the midst of the holiday bustle.