63% Say Supporting Local Businesses is Key for In-Person Buying: Small Business Saturday Insight Poll Tips

In a ReachLocal survey of over 250 consumers, 63% said supporting a local store or community was a key factor in why they choose to purchase or shop at a physical store.

This insight underscores just how important it can be to elevate the message of your local ties and community involvement in how you market your business and engage with consumers. Being a local business is a key differentiator that can help you snag more sales.

So, how can you use this consumer insight in your holiday marketing and planning?

One great way is to participate in Small Business Saturday, American Express’s Shop Small® initiative to support local businesses, on November 25. This event highlights and encourages people to shop at small businesses, underscoring the local aspect of businesses who participate.

Here are some fun ideas to get involved with Small Business Saturday to harvest a new crop of customers in your community.

1. Host a Small Business Saturday Event

Small Business Saturday is all about discovering new businesses in your area. And what better way to attract new customers than through an event? Your event doesn’t have to be over-the-top; it just needs to include an element that entices shoppers into your business – like a promo of the day or even beverages and light snacks.

Bonus Tip: Create a Facebook event to invite your current fans and followers, and consider Facebook advertising to reach an even broader audience.

2. Geofence Small Business Saturday Shoppers

Geofencing is a really cool advertising tactic that allows you to target smartphone users in a particular location. This technology draws a virtual fence around a specific location so that ads can be shown directly to consumers through their smartphones while they’re using various apps while in that specific location. You can use geofencing to target shoppers out and about in a high-traffic location on Small Business Saturday to get a holiday promotion in front of those consumers, even after Small Business Saturday ends.

Bonus Tip: Non-retail businesses can use geofencing to get in front of shoppers while they’re thinking about holiday purchases and advertise giftable promotions like car detailing gift certificates or home cleaning specials. For example, an auto detailing shop could use geofencing to target ads for a detail gift package to people who visit a local dealership during Small Business Saturday, and even sweeten the deal with a discount or promotion!

3. Partner with a Local Retailer for Maximum Impact

Is there a local retailer in your area that complements your business? Small Business Saturday is about building a community, so this is the perfect opportunity to team up with businesses in your area. Your partnership can be as simple as cross-promotional signage in each of your locations or as dedicated as a joint event or promotions.

Bonus Tip: Non-retail businesses can use this opportunity to team up with retail businesses. Are you a mobile pet groomer? Partner with your local pet supply store to offer discounts or promotions to each other’s customers.

4. Advertise & Socialize Your Involvement

If you’re planning to participate in Small Business Saturday, make sure to incorporate your plans into your advertising and organic social media management. For example, any promos you’re featuring for Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season should also be featured in your search engine marketing ads and on your website. And, you can easily share them on your social media pages so you’re enticing your current fans and followers from those channels. Take advantage of American Express’s free social media collateral, and don’t forget to use the #shopsmall or #smallbizsat hashtags!

Bonus Tip: Extend your Small Business Saturday promotion throughout the holiday shopping season so you can get even more customers during December.

Because so many people value supporting local businesses during the holiday season and throughout the year, it’s important to look for opportunities like Small Business Saturday that take advantage of a focus on local. Get more tips for marketing your local business on our website.

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Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Sr. Marketing Manager for USA TODAY NETWORK | LOCALiQ. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation for SMBs. Stephanie specializes in helping businesses improve their online reputation and appreciate the impact social media and digital marketing can have on their brand. When she isn't researching the latest online marketing tips and trends, she enjoys watching reality TV with her husband and her dogs.

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