Small businesses often lament the fact that they're at a disadvantage against bigger brands, which not only have larger marketing budgets, but can afford to offer much lower prices. But local businesses still have their own attractions, including a focus on quality and a commitment to their communities.
Small Business Saturday has emerged as a smart means of raising awareness about the value of shopping local, as noted by Marketing Land. The event, which comes on the heels of Black Friday, encourages consumers to spend their money wisely with businesses that reinvest that money in their local communities. This national retail day depends on the entire small business industry to promote it for their mutual benefit. Local businesses need the support of their communities, and an annual day dedicated to this relationship can give businesses a big boost. Here are some effective digital strategies for raising awareness of the event and driving traffic to your stores on Small Business Saturday.
Capitalize on the Social Media Buzz
Social media is an effective means of raising awareness not only about the event, but about what your business offers. Consumers will be more motivated to share a message with positive implications — supporting small businesses is a community issue just as much as it is a retail promotion — and those shares can generate additional engagement with your posts.
Paid social advertising on sites like Facebook, for example, can also allow you to target and reach new prospects. That, compounded with sharing of those ads, creates a lot of reach for your message and your business. In addition, promotional posts can be published more than a week in advance, and you should mention any promotions and other special offers you plan to feature. Make sure to maintain a consistent presence on social media leading up to the event, and thank your customers afterward for a successful Small Business Saturday.
Send an Email Alert
You don't want to saturate email inboxes the way you do with social media news feeds, but sending an email or two ahead of the event is an effective means of spreading the world and letting past consumers know that you will be participating in the day-long event. Email won't raise awareness among new consumers the way other campaign strategies might, but satisfied customers may be eager to reaffirm their support with a store visit and possible purchases on that Saturday.
Craft and Promote Related Blog Content
Connect with your consumers' hearts by writing blog posts that discuss some of the challenges of being a small business, your commitment to the community and the importance of Small Business Saturday. You want to share your story and the stories of your community rather than trying to directly advertise your business. Focus on crafting a sincere message, and then share the published post through social media and email.
Run Geotargeted Mobile Ads That Day
On the day of the event, you can still bring new customers through the doors by focusing on those closest to your brick-and-mortar location. By setting up a mobile ad campaign and targeting consumers within, say, a one-mile radius, you can attract potential sales from shoppers most likely to visit your store. Geotargeting is incredibly valuable in this regard. Other strategies can help build awareness ahead of Small Business Saturday, but this one provides a nice last-minute surge that, if smartly designed, can generate strong results.
Utilize TV, Radio and Print
Lastly, don't forget the more traditional advertising channels of TV, Radio and print. These mediums allow businesses to reach a large local audience, and when paired with the digital marketing tactics above, can create a consistent and holistic marketing strategy that ensures success from all sides. If your budget is a little tight, consider pooling marketing funds with other small businesses in your community to run a shared campaign to generate buzz leading up to the big day.
By utilizing these integrated marketing strategies, small businesses around the country can capitalize on the growing popularity of shopping locally and make the most out of Small Business Saturday.