4 Ways to Make the Holidays Work For Your Business

Small Business Saturday helps to kick off the holiday season — and with it consumers' desire to spend. The holiday, which falls on November 24 in 2018, encourages consumers across the country to 'shop small' — and it pays to take advantage of this incredible marketing opportunity.

Get ready with a plan and a marketing campaign that sets you up for your best season yet. Here's how:

1. Plan ahead

Small Business Saturday will be here before you know it. So start accounting and planning for it as soon as possible.

First, determine what your goals are for the day — are you trying to hit specific sales goals? If so, what do you need to do to get there?

If your goal is to generate 20% of your annual sales during Small Business Saturday, for example, you'll need to put together a comprehensive campaign that will bring in enough potential customers. Then, budget enough money for marketing materials, event costs, social ads and print materials to execute your campaign.

2. Start with social

Social media is an excellent way to inform your audience without being overly promotional:

  • Create a countdown to Small Business Saturday on your social feeds to generate buzz.
  • Position yourself as part of the local community — tag other local businesses so they see you're spreading the word about them, and they'll be likely to do the same.
  • Increase brand awareness and expand your reach by including the Small Business Saturday hashtag (#ShopSmall) in your posts. When people search that hashtag, you'll get additional exposure to potential customers.

3. Build effective landing pages

Landing pages are great for special events and occasions — tailored to a campaign, they're are an effective way to generate leads:

  • Create content that speaks directly to Small Business Saturday and how your business is participating.
  • Include a countdown to November 24 to generate excitement about the big day.
  • Update the page regularly with additional promotions, then share the news on social media.
  • Create a custom URL that is simple to remember and relevant to what's on the page. If you're an outdoor retailer, for example, and are running a promotion on skis and other gear for winter sports, using the extension .ski for your landing page informs potential customers about what they can expect before they even visit the landing page.
  • Re-purpose the landing page year after year — simply update the page with that year's Small Business Saturday information and promotions.

4. Update your website and printed marketing materials

Your Small Business Saturday promotions should also be front and center on all your other marketing materials:

  • Prominently mention your Small Business Saturday landing page URL everywhere you're promoting your business, online and offline.
  • Feature social media posts (with Small Business Saturday hashtags) and/or a countdown to November 24 on your regular website.
  • If you are organizing special events, develop take-away print materials as reminders of the promotions you're running.

Small Business Saturday is a testament to the significance of small businesses in the U.S. Make sure your business is positioned for success by having your campaigns ready now to cultivate as much excitement as possible — and you'll make a terrific impact this November.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018