7 Effective Marketing Strategies to Prepare for Small Business Saturday

Woman checking out at a boutique grocery store


Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday helps highlight small businesses and draw attention to local vendors. This day can often be more profitable for small business owners than Black Friday—a recent study found 86% of people would pay a little more to support small, local businesses they love and trust over a national chain.

As you prepare for Small Business Saturday, attract customers and make sure your store is on their radar with these seven clever marketing ideas for small business owners.

1. Hang festive posters and signs

FedEx Office can help you create simple but eye-catching posters or signs that are perfect for your Small Business Saturday sale. Your promotional signs should go up at least a couple of weeks in advance. Make sure they are visible from a distance, especially if you want to draw in window shoppers, to convey the most enticing aspects of your sale. For example: “20% off the whole store” or “Free gift with every purchase.”

2. Have a virtual holiday party

Social distancing guidelines shouldn’t keep you from holding a Small Business Saturday holiday party. Take it online with a virtual party that includes holiday sales, curbside pickup, free delivery and a gift card for purchases over a certain amount. Promote your party several weeks in advance with mailed invites, eye-catching posters and regular reminders on your social media channels.

3. Go behind the scenes with a livestream event

Give customers a glimpse into your small business world with a live, behind-the-scenes event via Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. You don’t need fancy equipment—you can use your smartphone camera to:

  • Talk about your product sourcing
  • Show your creation and design process
  • Encourage viewers to send in questions, which you can answer live

As an incentive to encourage engagement, tell your social media audience that you will announce a special code for a store discount during the event. 

4. Hold a social media contest

A social media contest on Facebook or Instagram will get people talking about your business and can dramatically boost your following. Start it no more than two weeks before Small Business Saturday and offer a grand prize or tier of rewards, like gift cards from your store. To encourage foot traffic, make the gift cards valid only during Small Business Saturday.

A few contest ideas include:

  • Posting an amusing or quirky photo related to your business and asking people to comment with their best caption
  • Asking people to post a photo showing how eager they are for the holidays and tagging your company
  • Holding a competition to see who can come up with the most creative and unique hashtag for your event

5. Hire a costumed greeter

When the big day rolls around, hire someone (or ask an employee) to dress up as Santa or another fun character and hand out flyers to people walking by your store. This day-of strategy can remind people that it's time to shop Small Business Saturday.

6. Run local radio ads

More people tune into AM/FM radio than any other medium, and a radio ad is an affordable way to increase your reach. Unless you have the experience, hire an agency or ask your local radio station to create your ad. Start airing it a couple of months in advance to remind shoppers to save the date. 

A lady handing out some flyers


A lady handing out some flyers

5. Hire a costumed greeter

When the big day rolls around, hire someone (or ask an employee) to dress up as Santa or another fun character and hand out flyers to people walking by your store. This day-of strategy can remind people that it's time to shop Small Business Saturday.

6. Run local radio ads

More people tune into AM/FM radio than any other medium, and a radio ad is an affordable way to increase your reach. Unless you have the experience, hire an agency or ask your local radio station to create your ad. Start airing it a couple of months in advance to remind shoppers to save the date. 

7. Send direct mail

Personalized direct mail postcards that invite the recipient to shop your Small Business Saturday promotions are a great way to reach your local community. Include a promo code or special discount on the back, and the card can double as a coupon when the customer brings it to the store.

Keep your message short, highlight one-day sales or promotions and include an eye-catching image. Consider these additional postcard marketing ideas to create an attention-grabbing postcard for your event.

Small Business Saturday is an excellent way to promote your business, gain new customers and reward return shoppers. As you start to develop your marketing strategy, FedEx Office can help you design and print all the promotional materials you need for a successful event.

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