Be proud of your business, what you have created, and let that light SHINE!
The countdown is on to the holiday season! I already feel behind, how about you? Managing a busy career, running kids around, passion projects, volunteering, and the list goes on, it’s hard to even think about the holidays. I’m sure you can relate, especially if you are a small business owner! On top of “life” November just threw in potentially your busiest time of year, the holidays.
Maybe you're the business owner that goes all out and you’ve got your holiday marketing down pact, or maybe you're about to give up to Amazon and the Big Box stores of the world during this time of years, or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle navigation this always changing space. Whatever side of the spectrum you fall, the holidays are coming fast and it’s your time to SHINE in YOUR community.
Yes, I’m talking about #SmallBusinessSaturday on November 25th! Are you ready? Let’s dig into a few quick marketing tips you can implement in the next couple weeks for Small Business Saturday and for the holiday season.
American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage people across the country to support small, local businesses. This was a way for business owners of brick-and-mortar and even pop up stores to get shoppers’ attention between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you are not already part of the movement checkout https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/ for more information and free marketing material.
Now, onto the tips:
Get customers to engage with your business on social when in your store. Let customers know you’re having a giveaway for a chance to win product or a service when they take a selfie or photo of themselves enjoying Small Business Saturday and have them share on social media and tag your business. You can choose the photo with the most likes, most creative, or at random. You can even keep this going and repeat through the holiday season to keep engagement going.
Content is Queen and Social is what shows her off. Utilize social media and hashtags to tell your store’s story. Post about your #SmallBusinessSaturday and get your audience hyped up about it. It’s ok to encourage them to shop local. Share images of hot holiday gift ideas and exciting ways customers are enjoying your store. Share your store's experience on social and use hashtags #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday.
Team up with a local charities. I’m all about Social Impact and using business as a force for good, and the holiday shopping season is a great time of year to put an emphasize on how you like to give back. Plus, it's the holidays so consumers will have a tender heart for giving and to see your store support a local charity will create a positive emotion because now, not only are they supporting your local business, they are also supporting a local charity. You win, they win, we all win.
When you hear Black Friday, many think slashing prices, but don't compete with the Big Box craziness. Your market is coming to you for a different reason. You are local, you are unique, and the community wants to support you. Use your store brand personality and make it a fun and exciting, holiday shopping experience.
Use the holiday traffic to grow your email subscriptions. Ditch the pen and pad on the countertop and start collecting emails by asking. Then, you can use your new list to create email marketing campaigns to keep customers engaged and coming back for more.
Extend your hours. Consider staying open late on Fridays or Saturdays and check out events going on around town that night to plan so you can gain some of that foot traffic. If you decide to stay open late, let it be known, use those social channels to share your extended hours.
American Express has some free resources to help you promote your Small Business Saturday. They have free custom social images, posters and other marketing materials to get your business’ name out there.
SHINE your light this holiday season, however you love to SHINE. Get out there and try something knew. Step out of your comfy zone. You started your business because you had a vision created by something you were passionate about, and you turned that into a living thing. Be proud of your business, what you have created, and let that light SHINE!
Janelle Pieirni || Digital Marketing Strategist || firstname.lastname@example.org