64 Clever Small Business Saturday Marketing Ideas

50 Small Business Saturday Marketing Ideas

Small Business Saturday marketing ideas are top of mind for many entrepreneurs as the special day approaches. Ensuring your enterprise stands out amidst the buzz is both a challenge and an opportunity.

With the right strategy, you can differentiate your business and create lasting impressions.

This article explores 50 innovative ways to promote your business, highlighting techniques to capture attention not just on the day itself but also in the days leading up to and following it, setting your enterprise on a path for a successful holiday season.

Small Business Saturday Marketing Ideas

Here’s a handy summary for your reference of the strategies that will be mentioned in the article:

  • Put Up Signage
  • Offer Unique Deals
  • Have a Raffle
  • Share your Business’s Story
  • Partner with Other Businesses
  • Create a Local Shopping Guide
  • Offer Specials for People who have Shopped at Other Local Businesses
  • Use the #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat hashtags
  • Create Your Own Hashtag
  • Share Photos on Social Media
  • Create a Facebook Event
  • Offer Refreshments
  • Have In-store Entertainment
  • Host a Local Art Exhibit
  • Include Activities for Kids
  • Bring in Special Guests
  • Create Photo Opportunities
  • Focus on Outdoor Attractions
  • Encourage Social Shares
  • Ask Customers to Tag Their Location
  • Host a Contest
  • Ask for Email Subscribers
  • Give Free Gifts with Purchases
  • Offer Gift Wrapping
  • Have Early Bird Specials
  • Decorate for the Holidays
  • Live Stream Your Event
  • Create a Viral Video
  • Reach Out to the Press
  • Create a Gift Guide
  • Sponsor Local Events
  • Send Sneak Peeks to Your Email List
  • Count Down to the Event on Social Media
  • Offer Gift Certificates
  • Contribute to Local Causes
  • Have a Sidewalk Sale
  • Host a Special Event for Loyal Customers
  • Go to Holiday Shows
  • Send Holiday Cards
  • Work with Influencers
  • Have Sales Leading Up to Small Business Saturday
  • Put Up Flyers in Your Community
  • Offer Discounts to Customers who Put Out Signage
  • Buy Some Local Search Ads
  • Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
  • Create Festive Window Displays
  • Alert Customers of Future Promotions
  • Share the Benefits of Shopping Locally
  • Talk to Customers
  • Send Thank You Messages
  • Utilize Mobile Apps for Personalized Deals
  • Implement QR Codes for Interactive Experiences
  • Organize a Small Business Saturday Block Party
  • Launch a ‘Support Local’ Loyalty Program
  • Host Skill-Sharing Sessions
  • Provide Small Business Education
  • Implement Interactive Technology in Your Store
  • Create a Community Bulletin Board
  • Enhance Your Website for Local SEO
  • Start a Blog Focused on Local Interests
  • Promote Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Host a Recycling Event
  • Create a Virtual Marketplace
  • Engage Through Social Media Groups

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

In the bustling holiday season, shoppers are keenly on the hunt for exceptional bargains and standout deals.

By promoting exclusive discounts specific to your small business, you not only attract the cost-conscious but also create a memorable shopping experience, drawing more potential customers right to your storefront.

Have a Raffle

Aside from the usual promotions, think outside the box by introducing engaging activities. Organizing a straightforward raffle can work wonders, enhancing footfall and stirring excitement.

It encourages customers to engage, making them feel a deeper connection and involvement with your brand and offerings.

Share your Business’s Story

Small business enthusiasts often cherish the sentiment of backing independent ventures and local family-run entities.

Taking advantage of this, narrate the unique journey of your business. Whether it’s through in-store displays, a dedicated section on your website, or interactive posts on social media platforms, your story can strike a chord, forging stronger bonds with your clientele.

Partner with Other Businesses

On Small Business Saturday, a typical shopper might venture into numerous local shops. Harnessing this, collaborate with neighboring businesses.

Jointly promote offers, and cross-advertise, ensuring a win-win situation. Such mutual promotions help amplify reach, drawing collective attention to the community’s vibrant small business scene.

small business saturday marketing ideas

Create a Local Shopping Guide

Strengthen community ties further by working hand in hand with fellow businesses. Craft a comprehensive local shopping guide or map, detailing every unique shop and eatery in the vicinity.

Such a guide not only promotes camaraderie among businesses but also serves as a beacon, guiding customers to explore every nook and cranny of the community’s offerings..

Offer Specials for People who have Shopped at Other Local Businesses

Expand on the idea of inter-business collaboration by introducing a reciprocal discount system. Present special deals to patrons showing receipts from partner stores.

Simultaneously, those partner businesses can reciprocate, ensuring shared customer loyalty and appreciation, while also reinforcing the spirit of community shopping.

Use the #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat hashtags

Social media buzz is instrumental. To ride the wave of Small Business Saturday, employ popular hashtags like #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat.

These tags act as beacons, signaling to the vast online audience about your active participation, and thereby drawing their attention to what your business has to offer during this special occasion.

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

Amidst the day’s hustle and bustle, seize moments to capture the essence of your business on Small Business Saturday.

Posting real-time pictures on platforms like Facebook and Instagram can create a visual appeal, nudging your followers to join the crowd and immerse themselves in the shopping experience you offer.

small business saturday social media

Create a Facebook Event

Anticipation can be a potent tool. Prior to Small Business Saturday, stoke excitement among your digital audience by crafting a captivating Facebook event. Highlight exclusive deals and offerings, motivating your social media enthusiasts to pencil in a visit and be a part of the day’s festivities.

Offer Refreshments

Elevate the shopping experience by adding an unexpected twist of hospitality. On Small Business Saturday, lure potential shoppers with the inviting aroma of snacks and refreshments.

A warm drink or a small treat can provide a pleasant pause, making the shopping journey more delightful and memorable.

Have In-store Entertainment

Amplify the ambient energy with live entertainment. Incorporating musicians or small performance acts can create a vibrant atmosphere, ensuring that your shop isn’t just a transactional stop but a holistic experience that resonates with shoppers long after they leave.

Host a Local Art Exhibit

Leverage your space as a canvas for the local arts community. Showcase works from budding local artists, transforming your business into a fusion of commerce and culture.

Such endeavors not only enhance foot traffic but also foster a community spirit, celebrating local talent while promoting sales.

Include Activities for Kids

Recognize that holiday shopping often morphs into a family day out. Cater to the youngest members by introducing child-friendly activities.

Engage their imagination with face painting, balloon animals, or interactive games, ensuring that while parents shop, the little ones remain entertained.

small business saturday kids

Bring in Special Guests

Small Business Saturday’s timing is opportune, situated early in the festive season. Capitalize on this by inviting beloved holiday figures like Santa Claus. Such an attraction can serve as a magnet, drawing families eager to kickstart their holiday spirit.

Create Photo Opportunities

In today’s digital age, experiences are often amplified when shareable. Designate spaces within your store for quirky photo ops – perhaps a themed photo booth or a creatively designed corner.

Such spots encourage customers to click and share, organically boosting your business’s visibility on social platforms.

Focus on Outdoor Attractions

Visual spectacles positioned outdoors can act as powerful customer magnets. Consider installing eye-catching elements like intricate ice sculptures or themed displays near your storefront.

As passersby witness these attractions, their curiosity might just steer them directly to your doorstep.

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.

small business saturday marketing ideas

Ask for Email Subscribers

Engaging with customers beyond their in-store experience can pave the way for long-term loyalty. On Small Business Saturday, strategically place a sign-up station where patrons can easily register their email.

This not only allows them to stay informed about upcoming deals but also fortifies your connection with them, transforming one-time shoppers into repeat customers.

Give Free Gifts with Purchases

Amplify the joy of purchase by sprinkling a touch of surprise. By pairing every buy with a modest, festive gift, you add a personal touch to the transaction. Such gestures, though seemingly small, can leave a lasting impression, making customers feel valued and appreciated.

Offer Gift Wrapping

In the thick of the holiday season, time is of the essence. Offering a gift-wrapping service can be a lifesaver for many shoppers. Not only does it save them time, but a beautifully wrapped purchase also enhances the gift-giving experience, solidifying your position as a considerate retailer.

Have Early Bird Specials

Harness the allure of exclusivity to coax customers into visiting your store early on Small Business Saturday. By crafting specials and discounts that are accessible only to the day’s early birds, you create an urgency that can result in a bustling shop from the get-go.

Decorate for the Holidays

Small Business Saturday falls within the holiday season, a time when festive cheer is infectious. Reflect the season’s spirit by adorning your business with captivating holiday-themed decorations.

Such a setting not only uplifts the shopping ambiance but also resonates with the sentiments of holiday shoppers.

small business saturday christmas

Live Stream Your Event

Digital outreach is as vital as physical footfall. Embrace platforms like Periscope or Facebook Live to broadcast the day’s happenings.

Showcasing the vibrancy and enthusiasm in real time can pique the interest of online audiences, potentially driving them to experience the energy firsthand at your storefront.

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

For those shoppers grappling with the perennial dilemma of finding the ‘perfect’ gift, presenting the option of gift certificates can be a godsend.

Offering gift certificates allows patrons the flexibility to gift a shopping experience, ensuring the recipient gets exactly what they desire, while also promoting future footfall to your business.

small business saturday marketing

Contribute to Local Causes

Deepening your roots within the community can amplify your business’s image as more than just a commercial entity. By pledging a part of your Small Business Saturday sales to a local initiative or charity, you not only foster goodwill but also resonate with community-conscious shoppers.

This gesture underscores your commitment to the neighborhood’s welfare and can form lasting bonds with customers who value businesses with a heart.

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.

small business saturday sale

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

Customers who walk by your business could be drawn in by festive window displays that utilize eye-catching visuals.

small business saturday marketing

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

Local businesses are the backbone of many communities. By strategically placing signage or curating informative online posts, you can shed light on the multifaceted advantages of patronizing local establishments.

Highlight the tangible impact of local spending, such as how it bolsters the local economy, ensures community growth, and fosters a unique community character that can’t be replicated by large-scale chains.

Talk to Customers

In today’s digital age, genuine human interaction is becoming a rarity, making it all the more valuable. Engaging in heartfelt conversations with your customers transcends mere transactional relationships.

By expressing gratitude, sharing anecdotes, or even just asking about their day, you can craft an enriched shopping experience. This direct communication not only enhances their visit but also nurtures trust and loyalty, as customers feel seen, heard, and valued.

Send Thank You Messages

Post-purchase communication can have a lasting impression on customers. By taking the time to send personalized thank you emails to those who patronized your business, especially those who joined your mailing list, you’re building a bridge of goodwill.

These messages serve as a reminder of their delightful experience, strengthen brand recall, and also foster customer loyalty.

Such gestures, seemingly small, can resonate deeply, as they demonstrate genuine appreciation and reinforce the notion that each customer is valued and significant to your business’s success.

More Small Business Saturday Marketing Ideas

Utilize Mobile Apps for Personalized Deals

In an era where smartphones are ubiquitous, leveraging mobile technology can significantly boost customer engagement. Consider developing a simple app or partnering with existing platforms to offer personalized deals.

Through the app, customers can receive notifications about exclusive discounts or flash sales happening in your store. This not only drives foot traffic but also adds a layer of modernity to your business approach.

Implement QR Codes for Interactive Experiences

QR codes are a versatile tool that can transform your marketing strategy. Place them strategically around your store and in promotional materials. When scanned, these codes could lead to special offers, reveal the story behind a product, or even enter customers into a digital raffle.

This interactive element not only enhances the shopping experience but also integrates a sense of tech-savvy innovation into your store’s ambiance.

Organize a Small Business Saturday Block Party

Take the lead in organizing a community block party that celebrates local businesses. This event can include live music, local food vendors, and joint promotions with neighboring shops. It’s a fantastic way to create a festive atmosphere and encourage community members to spend the day exploring and supporting local businesses.

A block party can significantly increase visibility and foot traffic, creating a memorable experience for both customers and businesses.

Launch a ‘Support Local’ Loyalty Program

Create a community-focused loyalty program that rewards customers for shopping at local businesses. Participants can earn points or receive stamps for each purchase made at participating stores, which can later be redeemed for special discounts or gifts. This initiative not only encourages repeat business but also fosters a sense of community among local shoppers.

Host Skill-Sharing Sessions

Capitalize on the diverse talents within your community by hosting workshops or skill-sharing sessions in your store. These could range from DIY craft making, cooking demonstrations, to financial literacy talks. Not only do these workshops provide value to your customers, but they also position your business as a hub for community learning and engagement.

Provide Small Business Education

Offer sessions that educate other small business owners on various aspects of running a business. Topics could include marketing strategies, financial management, or sustainability practices. This not only establishes your business as a knowledgeable leader in the community but also builds a network of local businesses supporting each other.

Implement Interactive Technology in Your Store

Introduce interactive technology like touchscreens or augmented reality in your store. Customers could use these to view product information, virtually try on products, or visualize items in different settings. Such technological enhancements can significantly elevate the customer experience and set your business apart.

Create a Community Bulletin Board

Set up a community bulletin board inside your store where customers can post announcements, business cards, or local events. This not only serves as a resource for local information but also fosters a sense of belonging and community within your store.

Enhance Your Website for Local SEO

Optimize your website to rank higher in local search results. Ensure that your business is listed in local directories, and use location-based keywords in your website’s content. A strong online presence can attract more customers who are searching for local businesses online.

Start a Blog Focused on Local Interests

Create a blog on your website where you discuss topics relevant to your community. Share stories about your business, highlight local events, or provide tips related to your industry. A blog is a great way to engage with your audience, establish your expertise, and improve your website’s search engine visibility.

Promote Eco-Friendly Practices

Showcase your commitment to the environment by adopting and promoting eco-friendly practices in your business. This could include using sustainable materials, reducing waste, or supporting local green initiatives.

Share these practices with your customers through signage and social media. This not only appeals to environmentally conscious consumers but also demonstrates your business’s role in fostering a sustainable community.

Host a Recycling Event

Organize a recycling event on Small Business Saturday. Invite community members to bring in recyclable items and offer them a discount or a small gift in return. This not only drives foot traffic to your store but also positions your business as environmentally responsible.

Create a Virtual Marketplace

If you have a network of local businesses, consider creating a virtual marketplace. This platform can feature products and services from various local entrepreneurs, offering customers a one-stop online destination for local shopping. This initiative supports the wider local business community and provides customers with a convenient way to shop locally online.

Engage Through Social Media Groups

Create or participate in social media groups focused on local businesses and community interests. Use these platforms to share information, connect with customers, and promote local events. Engaging with local social media communities can enhance your digital presence and build stronger relationships with your customer base.

small business saturday marketing

Comparing Marketing Strategies for Small Business Saturday

Making your business stand out on Small Business Saturday can be a challenge, but using the right strategy can make all the difference. Here’s a quick comparison of some popular strategies to help you decide which might be best for your business:

Put Up SignageEasily visible, immediately grabs attentionMight not convey detailed information
Offer Unique DealsCan attract deal-seeking customersShort-term gain; might reduce profits
Share your Business’s StoryCreates emotional connection; differentiates from competitorsRequires compelling storytelling
Use Hashtags (#ShopSmall, etc.)Increases online visibility, especially on platforms like Twitter and InstagramNeeds large engagement to trend
Create a Facebook EventCan notify and remind your followersOnly effective if you have a significant Facebook presence
Offer RefreshmentsEnhances in-store experienceCosts; might not directly translate to sales
Live Stream Your EventCan attract online audience and build excitementRequires preparation and may need equipment; technical glitches can occur
Create a Viral VideoPotential for wide reach if it resonatesChallenging to predict virality; production costs
Reach Out to the PressCan gain local media coverageNot guaranteed; might require a newsworthy angle
Sponsor Local EventsEnhances local reputation; physical presence outside storeCosts; might not target specific customers

Image: American Express

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.