It’s that time of year! The holiday season has begun, and with it, holiday marketing, campaigns, and promotions are beginning to shine. Many small and local businesses are starting to gear up for Small Business Saturday, a movement sparked by American Express that has now made a widespread impact on the idea of supporting small and local businesses during the holiday shopping season.
So, how will you cash in on this movement and take advantage of the opportunity to get your business involved? Here are five ways you can use Small Business Saturday to harvest a new crop of customers.
1) Plan a Small Business Saturday event to drive traffic to your business.
No matter what type of small or local business you are, you can participate in Small Business Saturday by hosting an event. Retail and non-retail businesses can get involved in the SBS spirit by hosting an event that acknowledges the day. Retail businesses can offer discounts, promotions, sneak-peeks, expert advice, and more. Non-retail businesses can use many of these same tactics, or use the holiday as an excuse to host a bring-a-friend customer appreciation event as a way to thank your loyal customers and enable them to recruit new ones.
2) Leverage Small Business Saturday marketing resources to build awareness.
No doubt about it, Small Business Saturday will be a hot topic this month, so promote your support of the day using the event’s handy marketing materials. You should also consider sending out a press release if you plan to host or participate in any events related to the day. Local media outlets will want to localize their coverage of the event, so this is a great way to drive some earned media and awareness for your participation. Similarly, you can share your involvement on the social media hashtag #shopsmall to make sure your messages reach new audiences who are interested in this movement!
3) Develop an exclusive discount or promotion to drive sales.
If there’s one thing consumers love during the holidays, it’s a promotion, sale, discount, or coupon. Try developing an offer exclusive to Small Business Saturday so you can drive traffic to your business or event. For example, if you host an event, you could offer all attendees a coupon or discount for your services they could redeem within the next month..
4) Hold a contest or sweepstakes to gather lead information.
If you’re looking for ways to get new customers, another idea for using Small Business Saturday to drive them to your business is to conduct a sweepstakes or contest. If you require participants to share their email address and enable them to opt in to marketing messages from your business, you can use this list to nurture new prospects with marketing emails or subscribe them into a newsletter that helps you convert them over time. Make sure to consult with a legal professional whenever you create a contest or promotion on the details, disclosures, and terms and conditions you need to put in place to protect your business.
5) Collaborate with another business and cross-promote your offer or event.
Since so many small and local businesses participate in Small Business Saturday, this is a great excuse to get your business in front of the customer base of a related business you have a good relationship with through a thoughtful collaboration. You could create a complementary offer for another local business’s customers, or co-host an event. For example, a local gym could partner with a spa to host a de-stress event or cross-promotion. Or, a home services company and a home furnishings business could offer complementary discounts to each other’s clients with a promotion to get your home ready for the holidays. Collaborating with another local business enables you to get your business in front of other local consumers and enhances your ability to build your own customer base.
Taking part in Small Business Saturday is a great way to get your business in the holiday spirit, build some momentum for your business in the community, and get a crop of new customers, no matter what type of business you have. What are some unique SBS activities your business will be doing this year? Let us know in the comments.