Small Business Saturday should be marked on every small business owner’s calendar.
To put it simply, Small Business Saturday is a special day each year when people are encouraged to shop small during the post-Thanksgiving weekend to support their local economies. It applies to all types of small, local businesses.
The holiday was started by American Express in 2010 during the recession and became recognized by the U.S. Senate and all 50 states in 2011.
While about 39 percent of Americans celebrate Small Business Saturday, about 57 percent make it a point to shop at local businesses.
You don’t want to miss an opportunity to share your small business story with your target audience. But you might be busy and find yourself running out of time to do anything special for Small Business Saturday itself.
Don’t worry! We have you covered. The following are five last-minute Small Business Saturday marketing ideas that you can make happen with limited time and a limited budget.
Highlight your business story
Owning your identity as a small business can be as simple as posting a video or image on social media (or an email drip campaign if you have enough time or blog post) that shares the story behind your business.
How did it get started? Why was it created? What are some of your favorite memories? Biggest challenges? What makes you different from big-box stores? How do you support the community? Who are the people behind your business? What is the relationship with your customers like?
There’s no limit to what or how you can share your business story. Even just a few thoughts can engage your audience in a meaningful way.
Offer a compelling discount or special
To stand out from the crowd of other small businesses marketing for Small Business Saturday, a compelling discount, offer or gift might be needed.
Think about your audience and what might appeal to them. Could it be a discounted packaging of a couple of your services or products? Is there a special gift you can include for any orders that cost more than a specific amount? Perhaps free refreshments in your physical business while customers shop?
You also can reflect and consider anything that’s worked well in the past.
The key is that you want to blast your offer across your social media channels, email newsletter, in-store signage, etc. Wherever you can share it, including in relevant Facebook groups, do so.
Just make sure that whatever your offer is, it’s something that you can deliver on.
Collect email addresses in-store from customers
Regardless of how you set up your physical business location for success on Small Business Saturday, collecting email addresses from your customers should be a must.
This could be as simple as having a printed-out sign-up sheet (if you don’t have a device and online webform to use). You could even offer a special discount simply for signing up for your email contact list.
Remember that these customers are supporting you on Small Business Saturday, so you don’t want to miss out on signing them up for your email newsletter so that you can stay in touch (and encourage them to purchase from you again).
Confirm that you’re listed ahead of Small Business Saturday
Having an active, correct Google My Business listing ahead of Small Business Saturday is both critical and easy to do.
About 46 percent of all Google searches are looking for local information, while 88 percent of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
Check out our 12 ways to optimize your Google My Business profile.
Of course, listings go beyond just Google. Don’t forget Facebook, Yelp and any other platforms that are relevant in your community.
Host a giveaway
The best giveaways typically require a bit of time to plan and execute, but if you keep it simple enough, your giveaway can still be successful.
You can encourage user-generated content, such as photos with your product, to be posted with a specific Small Business Saturday-related hashtag. Then, whichever photo gets the most likes, you can repost it and give the “winner” a prize or special discount.
There are a number of ways to run a quick, efficient giveaway. Just make sure that you’re keeping everything legal.
If you’re limited on time ahead of Small Business Saturday, don’t fret. Decide what “low-hanging fruit” you can use in your marketing to seize the opportunity to engage with your audience and increase your sales.
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