Black Friday may be the most well-known shopping day in America. However, the day after Black Friday, known as Small Business Saturday, has been picking up momentum as a way to encourage shoppers to support their local business owners, reach out to area buyers and invest their hard-earned dollars in the local economy where they live and work. As a small business owner, getting ready to welcome these new customers requires a bit of legwork to maximize your Small Business Saturday ideas. Start with these steps, to help get your marketing structure in place and set you up for success.
Get Your Website in Order
When you’re running your own business, checking on your website can feel like a time-consuming task that pulls you from your day-to-day operations. If several months, or even years, have passed since you’ve looked at your website, this is the week to do so. Think of your website as your front-line customer service on the internet. Your site should be welcoming as it invites visitors to check out your business and your products. More importantly, though, links should work, your checkout process should be quick and smooth, and you should have multiple channels your visitors can use to reach you.
A Few Changes Go a Long Way
A few changes and updates to images, text and hours of operation can make a world of difference. If your site needs more than just a slight sprucing up, consider optimizing your website now and then. Jot down some ideas and commit to a comprehensive website overhaul once the New Year arrives.
Set Up Your Social Media
Social media plays a significant role in the marketing plans of many different small- to medium-sized businesses. In fact, LinkedIn shows that 94 percent of respondents in a small business study use social media for marketing. If you want to stay competitive and at the forefront of your local area, work on developing a strong social media campaign that attracts and engages members of your target audience who are in your geographic vicinity. Start by understanding the basics of Facebook and Twitter, and possibly add in other platforms, like Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat.
Build a Base
Once you open accounts, work on building a base of customers. Let your current customers know how to find you on each platform, and share exclusive messages with followers and friends on social media. These exclusive messages entice new followers to join you while helping you to engage current followers.
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-friendly
Google has made many announcements and alterations over the last few years that have led to significant changes in the way businesses run their websites. Each different piece of the algorithm affects search engine optimization, and running a mobile-friendly website is a key component.
Test it Out
Your first step should be to visit Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This not only shows you how your website looks on different screens, but it also gives you a list of options that you can change to make your site mobile-friendly and, therefore, rank higher in the search results.
Identify Your Target Audience
When you’re marketing your Small Business Saturday specials, it’s important to reach the right individuals. Offering an amazing deal on motorcycle apparel, for example, won’t do any good if your message is reaching non-motorcycle owners.
Look at the characteristics of your current customers, and pull out common themes.
- Basic demographic information. Are your customers mainly men or women? What age group do they fall into? Do they have children? What music do they listen to?
- Likes and dislikes, common interests and activities
- Cities or townships of residence
Once you can identify a general representation of your target audience, begin to write your messages to target these individuals. Show them how your product enhances their lives.
Tie in Special Offers and Incentives
Use specials or incentives to round out your Small Business Saturday marketing plan. Make the most of the opportunity by offering both online and offline promotions, which will help you to reach both mobile and in-store users.
Location, Location, Location
Location-based advertising is becoming a leading way to reach customers and members of your target audience who are physically close to your spot. Promote your sales or specials with coupons or maps, and you could see a greater influx of new customers.
Small Business Saturday only comes once a year and these ideas help your business make the most of this promotional opportunity. They also work to help promote your company throughout the holidays and into the New Year.
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