ReachLocal is proud to announce that we are yet again an official Small Business Saturday supporter! Small Business Saturday takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving and was originated by American Express as a way to help drive awareness and sales for small businesses as the holiday shopping season gets into full gear. In fact, over 5.7 billion dollars in holiday spending was attributed to the Small Business Saturday movement in 2013.
So, will your business take part in Small Business Saturday this year? If you aren’t yet sure or are looking for ideas you can use to get involved, here are seven ideas you can use to participate in this fantastic event. And, stay up to date with the ReachLocal blog, because we’ll be sharing a unique Small Business Saturday tip of the week through the month of November.
1) Use Small Business Saturday Marketing Materials
There are a variety of materials that you can use to promote the shop small movement for Small Business Saturday. On the American Express site, they offer printable signage, logos, sample social media posts, ad templates, post card printables, and even a digital banner. Merchants who accept their card and register can access even more materials and will appear on the Shop Small Map. You can kickstart your involvement by using these materials to get in on the buzz.
2) Publicize a Discount, Coupon, or Promotion
Offering a special offer or promotion on Small Business Saturday is a great way to help drive buzz about your involvement — as well as traffic to your business. Start by thinking about the types of customers you want to reach during the holidays and craft a promotion, offer, special, or package that will resonate with this audience. For example, do your target customers just want deep discounts, or are they more interested in supporting businesses that give back to the local community? Are your target customers looking for services to help them have more time over the holidays, or are they buying gifts for friends and family? Creating a special offer available during Small Business Saturday can be a great way to participate in this event.
3) Host an Event
Events are a great way to drive business, so why not host something fun on Small Business Saturday? It could be as simple as offering treats, customer appreciation gifts, or drawings and door prizes for shoppers who leave their name and email address throughout the day. Events are also a great way for non-retail small businesses to generate buzz, traffic, and interest on Small Business Saturday. For example, an automotive repair shop could offer a customer appreciation event that day and along with offering food or refreshments, do giveaways, and offer discount coupons that patrons could use to redeem services later in the year.
4) Collaborate With Other Local Businesses
Another way to participate in Small Business Saturday is to take part in it with a group of local businesses and make an even bigger effort. For example, community events like the Eagle Rock Block Party bring local businesses in an area together to celebrate Small Business Saturday while also creating additional buzz in their local area and offering a fun community event for local consumers. Nothing like this in your area? Why not spearhead something or reach out to local organizations like your Chamber of Commerce to see if other area businesses might be interested in building a community event around shopping local?
5) Integrate it Into Your Online Marketing
Getting into the Small Business Saturday spirit should also mean integrating your efforts into your online marketing. Use the resources offered by American Express to put the Shop Small logo on your website, and consider running a special series of search engine ads, social media posts, and display ads to help publicize your special offers and involvement.
6) Create a Compelling Series of Emails
You can also generate buzz about your Small Business Saturday involvement by using email marketing to let your customers and leads know what you have planned. This is a great way to bring old customers back — and could also entice a lead to convert into a customer. Need some help thinking of emails to use? Don’t worry, we’ve got a series of nine customizable emails you can use for your holiday marketing, including messages to craft around Small Business Saturday.
7) Capture & Nurture Small Business Saturday Leads
To ensure that your efforts around Small Business Saturday continue to pay off throughout the year, make sure to capture the email address of everyone who visits your business so that you can nurture your leads and continue to share offers, specials, news, and insights with them. Make sure you’re capturing leads from your website through call tracking and web forms. Have visitors to your business sign up to receive emails from you and then hold a giveaway to all subscribers. Make sure to document the email addresses and then input them into your system, or use a tablet to have people directly submit their email into a form so you can upload them later.
Is your business participating in Small Business Saturday? What are you planning for your local business? Share your thoughts in a comment.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the ReachLocal blog to get weekly updates on how you can get the most out of Small Business Saturday, and follow the Small Business Saturday movement on Facebook and Twitter for more great Small Business Saturday promotion ideas.