Small Business Saturday is right around the corner, and once again smaller brands get an even playing field to make as many sales as possible.
The event takes place on November 25, fit snugly between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and small businesses that implement an effective marketing strategy can take advantage of this big day.
Last year, customers shelled out more than $15 billion on Small Business Saturday, highlighting the power of an event that is exclusively focused on the little guy.
If you’re gearing up to get your piece of the big pie, here are some marketing strategies you can implement to raise awareness and boost sales for your small business.
Team Up With Other Businesses
Small Business Saturday is an event that brings out a communal mentality, so you should take advantage of the good feelings that many companies will have about joining forces.
Whether you seek out information from your local chamber of commerce, or you network with other business associations, you should co-promote the event with other businesses, especially if you are located in a shopping center or strip mall.
But you have to be strategic and partner with a business that makes sense for cross-promotion. That means identifying companies that you know would share your targeted audience, so that you can properly leverage the alliance.
For example, if you own a landscaping business, it would make sense to partner with a home improvement store or hardware store, because there is a lot of synergy between these types of businesses.
The best way to take advantage of this relationship is to offer a package discount that includes some product or service at the hardware store.
And that’s a win-win, because you have partnered with a business that doesn’t directly compete with yours, but that appeals to a similar set of customers.
Give a Gift That Will Keep On Giving
While it’s great to take advantage of the increased traffic you are likely to see on Small Business Saturday, one thing that many business owners forget is that this is a great opportunity to turn a visitor into a customer.
And the most effective way to entice one-time customers back is to offer them a reason to come back. For example, a local restaurant could offer a 50 percent discount on a meal in January, a 30 percent discount in February and a 10 percent discount in March.
Spreading the discounts across several months helps the restaurant remain top of mind for customers, and helps maintain the momentum from Small Business Saturday.
This kind of promotion can work whether you own a brick-and-mortar, or you are exclusively online, because the discount can be redeemed electronically for whatever item or service your business sells.
Tap Into Your Social Media Channels
Small Business Saturday is a fantastic opportunity for you to run a dedicated campaign to promote this event.
There are several ways for you to leverage your social media marketing, including:
- Blog Posts – You can create a series of blog posts that tie Small Business Saturday into your products and services, and your discounts and sales.
- Create hashtags – Hashtags are an effective way for you to promote Small Business Saturday, even if your social media posts are not specifically about the upcoming event. But you should try to go beyond the rather boring #SmallBusinessSaturday, and go for something that captures a user’s attention. For example #CrushSmallBusinessSaturday or #SmallBusinessSaturdayRocks could offer grab more bang for the buck.
- Gamification – Users love to play ‘games’ on social media, so you can build anticipation by having people answer questions that gradually reveal discounts and sales at your Small Business Saturday event. You could also give away free products and services to the first 100 users on social media who solve some type of puzzle. And marketing expert Maya Nix suggests that you offer rewards to users who share your company name and event, which is a great example of a referral system known as social sharing.
Small Business Saturday Is Just the Starting Point
For some companies, Small Business Saturday represents a reset, a chance to restart their marketing engines and attract a whole new group of visitors who can become long-term customers. For other companies, Small Business Saturday represents the opportunity to have a high volume of sales before customer attention turns to big box brands.
But whatever goals you have set for Small Business Saturday, the most important thing to remember is that this event should provide a boost for your overall marketing strategy. Because the actions you take to take advantage of Small Business Saturday can also work beyond this event and become a consistent part of your outreach efforts.
Success, however, is based on how well you have identified your target audience, because as marketing guru Pam Moore said, “an audience-first marketing strategy will help align every aspect of your social, digital, content and media spend to the needs of your audience and the goals of your business.”
If you are in need of marketing advice for a seasonal event, or you want to improve your existing strategy, please contact us today for a consultation.