In 2010 the holiday was conceived and promoted by American Express via a nationwide radio and television advertising campaign. That year Amex bought advertising inventory on Facebook, which it in turn gave to its small merchant account holders, and also gave rebates to new customers to promote the event. Your business can benefit from this imitative as well, take some of these tips into consideration
Make a point of including Small Business Saturday in your plans for the season. Think of your goals and how the day can help you. It could be as straightforward as using the day to increase awareness of your business or grow your email list by encouraging folks who stop by your store to sign up for special offers and news.
Your goals will help drive your tactics, so spend some time scoping these out.
Create a Special Offer
This is a great day to rally your customers and attract new ones by enticing them with special offers like a one-day, time-bound coupon or a free sample. Whatever you do, go above and beyond to make your customers feel special and give them a compelling reason to keep coming back through the holidays and beyond. If you do business online, make sure your offer can be redeemed via e-commerce as well.
American Express, who founded Small Business Saturday in 2010, offers a number of free marketing materials to help your ride the wave of participation and promote your involvement. These can be easily customized for your own business and include printable signage, free online ads, sample email templates and social posts and Shop Small logos. If you’re an American Express merchant, then you can also use the Shop Small map to make it easy for people to discover and locate your business
Rally Your Neighborhood
Could your business become a neighborhood champion of Small Business Saturday? Why not host a pancake breakfast kick-off with your business neighbors? Or get your community out for a fun run in support of shopping small.
To help you promote your event, take advantage of the Small Business Saturday Event Kit that includes welcome mats, shopping bags and more! You can also explore ideas for events here.
Learn from Businesses That Previously Took Part
Need some inspiration? Read the stories of businesses who used Shop Small® marketing materials to support their participation last year.
For example, Little Man Ice, a Denver-based ice cream shop, boosted its sales by working with other businesses in their neighborhood to market the day on social media and display personalized signage in their window. They also let neighbors know their location by putting it on the Shop Small map.
Children’s fashion boutique, Pippen Lane, achieved a 20 percent increase in sales that day by organizing an event to attract customers on the day and promoting it using Shop Small email templates and social posts.
Check out SBA’s Small Business Saturday site for more information and resources.