Small Business Saturday (just 6 weeks away on November 29th) is where consumers are encouraged to buy from local businesses, particularly for their holiday shopping. It is an initiative that was started by American Express back in 2010, and it always takes place on the Saturday after the Black Friday shopping day (which is the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday).
Now, while online businesses benefit from Cyber Monday two days later, your online business can still take advantage of Small Business Saturday with these easy marketing ideas.
7 Marketing Ideas for Small Business Saturday
- If you sell on a marketplace like Etsy or Storenvy make sure you have entered your city in your profile if you haven’t already, as customers can search for shops this way. You will also want to put it in your shop title and shop description, if only for Small Business Saturday. For your regular website, this is a good opportunity to mention your city somewhere in your title tag and home page, again, if only for Small Business Saturday (see next point on this as well).
- Add the keywords “small business saturday” with your city at the end, to your website’s keywords as this is a popular search phrase on Google. For example, “small business saturday nyc”.
- Email the editor of your local newspaper (do it this week or you’ll be too late!) asking if they are planning any articles on local companies offering specials for Small Business Saturday and mention a special you will be offering (make it worthwhile, like 30% off today only). Even better, ask if they will consider doing a separate article focusing on local businesses selling online. Can’t hurt to put the idea in their head.
- Offer a special just for customers from your city. For example, you could offer, “Today we are offering 30% off for customers in the Boston area, in support of Small Business Saturday”.
- Pair up with a few other online vendors in your city who sell complimentary (but not competing) products and ask that they mention you on their website/online shop if you mention them on yours. Kind of like a blog roll of local shops to check out on Small Business Saturday. Again, you only have to keep this on your site for the week prior to, and the days after Small Business Saturday.
- Send off some Tweets using the #hash tags #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBizSaturday #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat, but add your city at the end to get to your local market i.e. #SmallBusinessSaturdayBoston (make sure your Twitter profile lists your city and change your Twitter Trends box to see what is trending in your city). Also, retweet the tweets of other businesses in your city and they may return the favor.
- Make sure you have a profile on Yelp, Google Places and Yahoo Local. These listings are free and they help you to show up in local search results. In the case of Yelp, add a photo/image of any special you are offering for Small Business Saturday.
Take advantage of this amazing once-a-year marketing opportunity to reach your local market. There are also a variety of free marketing resources and other ideas available at American Express’ Shop Small website.
I advise hundreds of small businesses each year. If you feel that your business could use some advice to avoid wasting further money on things that just aren’t working, please see my Services page for my affordable advice options – including my Small Business Consultation for just $129 US – or inquire below.
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