The creation of Small Business Saturday by American Express (November 29 in 2014), has created a great opportunity for small businesses and brands to leverage the day for more press coverage and sales. There are a great number of outlets that cover the event and American Express also provides tools to help promote participation. Here are five ways to capitalize on Small Business Saturday:
Offer a deal
Offer a discount on a large purchase or a free gift with purchase that can be used to lure customers and help to secure press for the brand or store. Promote the deal on holiday shopping deal websites and draft a media alert that gets serviced to local and online media outlets. A lot of media coverage is devoted to stores and websites participating in Small Business Saturday, and those that offer a deal are more likely to get a listing.
Use the tools provided by American Express
American Express has a variety of great tools, including the ability to list a store or webpage on the Small Business Saturday website, which will boost the brand’s SEO and help lead shoppers to them. They also have printable signage templates to use in store windows and template graphics for websites.
Social media is a really great way to get the word out about your brand’s participation in Small Business Saturday. Tag the Shop Small social media handles and utilize the hashtag, #ShopSmall with the city name to help social media users find the brand or business. Offer shoppers on the actual day an extra discount if they tag your client on social media with the hashtag #ShopSmall. This will increase social media impressions and also help boost SEO for the website.
Make it a party
Consider hosting an in-store event either at your client’s own retail location or by partnering with a local retailer that stocks the brand. Create a festive flyer that will be emailed to the customer base and offer guests refreshments, a DIY photo-booth and deals or specials. Consider hiring a local blogger to host the event and promote it on their blog and social media channels.
Be prepared for media stories
Be sure to capture some photos of the event and service a post event release to the media immediately after close of business on Saturday, as many outlets will be doing some sort of coverage from a business/start of holiday shopping angle. Web stores can use photos of employees packing and shipping merchandise. If you can send your alert with nice photos before anyone else, you can potentially score some great coverage for your client. It is best to write out a draft release even before the event occurs to save time, and can fill in the gaps after the event.
Small Business Saturday is a great pitch angle for many of your clients, so why not capitalize on it and try to score some press and boost sales while you’re at it!
Photo Credit: Visit Flanders