Small Business Saturday is just around the corner. And that means it’s time for you to start thinking about how you can make your business stand out. There are plenty of opportunities for unique marketing efforts throughout the holiday season. Here are 50 different ways you can market your business leading up to and following Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday Marketing Ideas
Put Up Signage
One of the easiest ways for you to show customers that you’re taking part in Small Business Saturday is to put up some signage at your location. You can make your own or even use some of the marketing materials from American Express (NYSE:AXP).
Offer Unique Deals
Holiday shoppers are often looking for the best possible deals. So promoting discounts at your small business can be a great way to get people through the door.
Have a Raffle
But you can also offer some extra promotions and activities. A simple raffle can be a great way to increase the traffic to your business and get customers involved with your business.
Share your Business’s Story
Since small business customers often like the idea that they’re supporting independent or family businesses, it can be an effective strategy to share your business’s story in store signage, on your website or even on social media.
Partner with Other Businesses
Since Small Business Saturday shoppers are likely to patronize multiple small businesses in one day, it can be beneficial to team up with other businesses in your area to display signage or information about other local promotions. That way, all the businesses in your area can benefit.
Create a Local Shopping Guide
You can also team up with other local businesses to create a map or guide to encourage customers to visit all of the different independent shops and restaurants in the community.
Offer Specials for People who have Shopped at Other Local Businesses
Another way to partner with other local businesses is to offer discounts for people who have a receipt from your partner stores. And those other stores can do the same for you.
Use the #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat hashtags
There are some popular hashtags that small businesses use to alert customers that they’re taking part in Small Business Saturday, including #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat.
Create Your Own Hashtag
You can also create a new hashtag that’s specific to your business so that you and your customers can share Small Business Saturday experiences.
Share Photos on Social Media
You can also share photos throughout the day on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to encourage more followers to come shop.
Create a Facebook Event
Before Small Business Saturday, you can also encourage your social media followers to visit by inviting them using Facebook’s events feature.
You can also promote your business on Small Business Saturday by creating a fun experience for visitors. Even something as simple as offering snacks and refreshments can add a little something extra for shoppers.
Have In-store Entertainment
Entertainment options like musicians can also help you make a memorable shopping experience for customers.
Host a Local Art Exhibit
You can also use your location to show off some art from local artists, which can help you potentially get more people through the door and create a fun environment.
Include Activities for Kids
Since holiday shopping is often a family activity, it can be a good idea to also have some activities for kids, like face painting or balloon animals.
Bring in Special Guests
It’s also early in the holiday season, so you could bring in holiday characters like Santa to bring in more families.
Create Photo Opportunities
It can also be a good idea to create some opportunities for customers to take photos, like a photo booth, so that they’ll be likely to share more about their experience on social media.
Focus on Outdoor Attractions
Outdoor attractions like ice sculptures can also be a great way to bring in more customers as they’re walking or driving through town.
Encourage Social Shares
If the people who visit your business share about their experience online, it can greatly increase your reach. So you can encourage people to share their experience by putting up signs or even offering a discount for those who share posts.
Ask Customers to Tag Their Location
On social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you can also ask customers to tag your location so that you can monitor mentions and increase your reach online.
Host a Contest
You can also have a contest or giveaway that encourages people to share photos from your business online in exchange for the chance win a free product or other prize.
Ask for Email Subscribers
In your location on Small Business Saturday, you can have a sign-up form available for customers who want to add their names to your email list to receive information about future promotions.
Give Free Gifts with Purchases
You can also offer small, festive gifts with each purchase so that customers get a little something extra.
Offer Gift Wrapping
Gift wrapping can also be a simple way for you to entice some customers to shop with you and offer them a positive experience.
Have Early Bird Specials
You can even encourage customers to stop by your location early by offering exclusive discounts just to early shoppers.
Decorate for the Holidays
Since people shopping on Small Business Saturday are likely buying some gifts or other items for the holiday season, some holiday decorations can go a long way.
Live Stream Your Event
Live streaming platforms like Periscope and Facebook Live also give you an opportunity to share what’s going on in your business online in real time.
Create a Viral Video
Video marketing can be a great way to get some attention for your business online. You can create a behind-the-scenes video about your business or try to come up with something humorous or eye-catching to get people’s attention.
Reach Out to the Press
It might also be worthwhile to reach out to some local or niche publications to share information about your business or Small Business Saturday sales.
Create a Gift Guide
You can share some information about the actual products you have available by creating a gift guide that offers suggestions for how people can utilize some of your items.
Sponsor Local Events
If there are any local events leading up to Small Business Saturday, you could have your business sponsor those events to get some attention in your local community.
Send Sneak Peeks to Your Email List
Your email list can be a great resource for getting people to support your business on Small Business Saturday. You can send out information about your sales or even offer exclusive discounts or items just for those loyal customers.
Count Down to the Event on Social Media
It’s also a good idea to share some sneak peeks on social media leading up to the event. You could share a different product each day and remind followers about the sales and discounts you’ll be offering.
Offer Gift Certificates
Gift certificates can also be a good idea to appeal to customers who are unsure what exact gifts to buy.
Contribute to Local Causes
To show customers that you’re involved in the local community, you could also pledge to donate a portion of your sales to a local group or charity.
Have a Sidewalk Sale
If you’re in an area where it’s not especially cold on Small Business Saturday, you could set out some products outside your store to draw more customers to your location and create room for even more products inside.
Host a Special Event for Loyal Customers
If you have some customers who are especially loyal, you could invite them to a special event at your business that’s not during normal business hours. And you can even offer exclusive discounts just to those customers during that time.
Go to Holiday Shows
You could also keep an eye out for any holiday shopping fairs or other events where your business could set up a booth to sell special items to customers.
Send Holiday Cards
Sending out cards early in the holiday season can help you show customers how much you care and remind them why they love shopping with small businesses.
Work with Influencers
Influencers are those who have a large audience and a fair amount of influence with that audience. So if you know of any influencers within your area or niche, you could send them product samples or work with them to spread the word about your business throughout the holidays.
Have Sales Leading Up to Small Business Saturday
You don’t have to solely focus on promoting your Small Business Saturday sales or events. You could also offer some sales and discounts on the days leading up to Small Business Saturday so that people who will be out of town or busy that day will still have the opportunity to shop.
Put Up Flyers in Your Community
There are tons of ways to get the word out about your business. But if you have a local shop, sometimes good old fashioned flyers can still do the trick as well.
Offer Discounts to Customers who Put Out Signage
You could also offer small lawn signs or visuals to customers who want to help you spread the word about your business’s promotions. And you can offer extra discounts to those customers who help you spread the word.
Buy Some Local Search Ads
Even if you only sell products in your actual store, customers are still pretty likely to look for information online. So buying some local search ads around the holidays can be a good investment.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Reviews can also have a pretty big impact on your business’s reputation online. So you can encourage those shopping with your business around Small Business Saturday to leave reviews by putting reminders on signs around your store or even printing them on receipts.
Create Festive Window Displays
Alert Customers of Future Promotions
If you have other promotions scheduled for the rest of the holiday season, you can also use Small Business Saturday as a way to spread the word about those sales by putting up signs or including flyers with purchases.
Share the Benefits of Shopping Locally
You can also create signage or online posts that share some of the specific benefits of supporting local businesses, like the impact on the local economy.
Talk to Customers
It can also be a good idea to simply talk to customers who visit your business. If you tell and show them how much you appreciate them, they’re likely to have an even better experience.
Send Thank You Messages
You can also follow up that sentiment with a quick email message to those who shopped with you and signed up for your list.
Image: American Express