On November 30, it will be a great day to be a small business! As your local community ventures out to support businesses like yours on Small Business Saturday, capitalize on the surge of online and offline traffic by utilizing some simple inbound marketing strategies.
If you haven’t done anything to promote yet, start here – you still have time to pull something together. What sales and promotions do you have planned for Small Business Saturday? Rather than let the cat out of the bag to anyone who will listen, create a sense of exclusivity within your email list (although save a few promotions for the public…more on that in a bit). If you have more than one promotion, create an email series for the week leading up to Saturday, with each day focusing on a specific product or service category. On your website, create a landing page with your exclusive Small Business Saturday sneak peak reveal form. The trick with any promotion is to make sure you create a sense of urgency and communicate these sales are only happening one day – November 30.
Once you’ve got the campaign set up, start promoting it. Direct visitors to your landing page, and watch your email list grow!
Bonus Tip: Whether you use HubSpot or another email program, create a new list for those who sign up so you can better track and follow up based on engagement behavior. Set up trigger emails or workflows based on that behavior to continue to interact with your leads well into the holidays and beyond.
Extra, Extra Bonus Tip: If you have top of the funnel content already created, find ways to promote it through your sneak peak email campaign. Place a relevant offer for an ebook on the sidebar of your e-newsletter to encourage new leads to further engage with your brand. An example could be if you own an eclectic home decor/quirky gift store, offer an ebook about the top wedding gift trends for 2014.
In addition to offering exclusive sneak peaks on some of your promotions to your email list, reserve a few for the public so you can begin to build buzz. How do you build buzz? Think about those sales and promotions again, and determine if there are opportunities to provide additional free resources.
Pinterest is a fun place to store visual cues to help promote your Small Business Saturday specials. An example of providing free resources that go hand-in-hand with your promotions is pinning images that inspire people to buy your related products. For example, if you own a local women’s fashion boutique and plan to offer 20% on all winter scarves, prior to Small Business Saturday, begin pinning images of cute outfits with scarves or how-to’s on tying a scarf. Then tie these images back to your offer of 20% off all winter scarves happening only on November 30. Create an entire board dedicated to specials you have coming up to consolidate the commotion and strategically build buzz.
Twitter has become a great platform for users to get news and information about the brands and products they love. To make sure your communication is seen, include appropriate hashtags when talking up your promotions. Add #smallbizsat and #shopsmall with each post and include a mention to the Small Business Saturday Twitter handle, @ShopSmall.
You can utilize a similar strategy as mentioned above via images like Pinterest and utilizing the #shopsmallbiz hashtag as you would on Twitter (remember hashtags are indexed in Facebook search now!), but there can be a few more tricks up your sleeves with Facebook. If you have a contest or giveaway going on, Facebook is a great place to promote it. If you have the funds, promote your posts in order to tap into the friends of your fans for greater reach.
Pull Your Resources
You do not have to go at it alone! First of all, check out the Small Business Saturday website and Facebook page for free resources like an official Small Business Saturday welcome mat, stickers or door prizes. Another great resource is the community around you. Partner with other like-minded small businesses to create unified promotions by either cross-marketing or by creating a scavenger hunt in which you all pull together your resources for an awesome prize.
Provide an Opt-In the Day Of
Whether it’s signing up for your email newsletter list or entering to win a drawing, provide an opportunity for your “offline” leads to opt into your electronic communication. Better yet, find ways to add segmentation to your new signs ups by asking a few extra questions on your sign up form.
You can go the old fashion route with pen and paper forms people can fill out that you then manually enter, or make your life a little easier with QR codes. A great promotion can be anyone who takes advantage of signing up for your e-newsletter on Small Business Saturday receives a 10% discount between December, 9-15, 2013. This not only provides a value add to those who support you on this awesome day, but it entices them to come back.
Place a simple sign at the point of sale, be that a register or on a restaurant dining table, with a QR code that takes them to the sign up page on your website. On your sign up form online, ask easy questions your patrons can answer with a check mark, like the type of sales and coupons they are interested in receiving. This will help you gain better insight into your customers’ needs, and if you have the manpower to set up some workflows, you can send strategic follow up information based on their expressed desires. If not, you will still have the information for when you do have time to use it.
Promote Your Online Resources
Rather than only focusing on the price-conscience, subtly promote your blog by creating a blog topic suggestions box at a prominent place within your business. Ask your patrons to provide topics they’d like to learn more about. This is not only excellent for market research, but it informs your customers you do in fact have a blog and positions your business as one that cares about providing quality content its customers love. You may even find some guest bloggers to help you out.
Whatever You Do, Do It Now
You have two weeks to pull something together, and fortunately all the ideas we suggest today are fairly quick and easy to implement. We would love to hear from you on what you plan to do this year, or what you have done that has proven successful. Drop a comment and let us know!
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About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.