Are you ready for (Small) Business (Saturday)?
Tucked between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the lesser-known Small Business Saturday®. If you haven’t heard about it, you will, and you should pay attention.
Small Business Saturday started in 2010, the holiday became official in 2011, and last year, an estimated 95 million people shopped at small businesses on that day. It’s now the capstone event on a Shop Small campaign that runs all year long. It’s a great catalyst for finding resources that will help you market your own small business 24/7/365.
In 2018, Small Business Saturday is Nov. 24th (mark your calendar!)
For smaller retailers who know they’ll be working off that extra slice of pumpkin pie on the busiest shopping weekend of the year, both the SBA and Small Business Saturday co-founding sponsor, American Express, offer some great resources for making the most of your marketing opportunities.
American Express pulls out all the stops tips and tools for small business owners, albeit the best perks are for owners and shoppers who use AMEX.
- Called the Shop Small Studio, American Express offers a complete, online marketing studio experience to help business owners create free, customized marketing materials.
- They also offer a Shop Small Kit with tote bags, buttons, and signage to help owners promote the big day. Quantities are limited.
- Eligible American Express Card Members can earn 2X Rewards on qualifying purchases at small businesses through December 31, 2016.
The U.S. Small Business Administration also champions Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small campaign. Many of their links take you straight to the American Express content and they still have last year’s Saturday date, but you will also find a variety of timeless articles. I found the social media links helpful to join Small Business Saturday® on Facebook, to follow the SBA on various social media, and to find the latest updates on #SmallBizSat.
If that isn’t enough.
Here are my top 3 easy marketing items for retailers who want to get an extra pop of visibility on a small budget.
Yard signs are one of my favorite marketing tools. Inexpensive, noticeable, reusable…they are really flexible. You can use them indoors, too, by hanging them from the ceiling or in a window or standing them on counters and displays.
Bag stuffers are great for generating repeat customers. Even a simple laser printed flyer can be inserted into customers shopping bags now to entice them to return in the future for special deals or events.
Social media is not only here to stay, but it’s now an integral part of our collective shopping experience. Make time to post short product videos and share your own unique ideas for using your products. Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags and tag brands and people so savvy shoppers see your content when they are doing their online research. Since you’ll be busy, schedule your posts in advance to release throughout the day on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday so that you stay top of mind with your shoppers. You may even want to schedule releases throughout Thanksgiving Day and overnight for those die-hard deal seekers and pre-planners.