5 ways online businesses can get ready for Small Business Saturday
If you run your business online, you may be thinking that you can’t take part in Small Business Saturday. Well, you can, and I’m going to tell you five things you need to do to get ready for the big day. Make sure you put 7 December on your calendar; that’s when Small Business Saturday is.
Right, now on to how you can get your online business ready.
Build an offer page for your website
Think about actual shops you’ve seen. Where do they advertise their offers? In their windows. Your website is your shop front, so you need to advertise your offer there. Create a special landing page for your offer. Tell visitors the benefits of the product you’re offering and make sure you have great photos on the page. Whatever your offer is, money off, a free gift with purchase, should be front and centre – think about the size of the text along with the colour, so it stands out. Make sure you have a banner on your homepage that links directly to your offer page. It needs to be easy to find.
Create a special email template
You want your offer to stand out, so create a special template to tell your email list about it. As with your offer page, think about how to layout the template so that it shows off the product you’re offering and tells readers clearly what the offer is. Remember to use the same colours as you do in your existing email template. It’s important that your brand is still recognisable by your readers. Also, remember to think carefully about your subject line when writing your emails. Make them enticing enough so that people want to open them. You can schedule your emails in advance so do it before you get really busy. If you don’t have an email marketing tool, I recommend (and use) Constant Contact. Want email marketing that gets results? Read this post to find out how.
Design images and videos for social media
Small Business Saturday is all about getting existing AND new customers to your website. Using social media is a great way to promote your offer. Research has shown that posts with images and videos perform better on all the major social networks. Getting all these things ready upfront will mean you can concentrate on responding to any queries on the day. Use these tools to help you:
Video: your smartphone will do the trick. It doesn’t need to be hugely fancy, but if you do have some budget, spend it here. Make the videos generic enough that you can reuse them.
Images: I use Canva or PicMonkey to create images for social media posts and my blog. Both are easy to use and they have free options. If you want to know the Canva basics, read this post.
Scheduling tools: take the pressure off yourself and schedule your social media posts in advance. You can do this for all networks, except Instagram. Hootsuite and Buffer are the two most used ones. For Instagram, Planoly is great.
Download the marketing pack from the Small Business Saturday website
The team at Small Business Saturday has put together a marketing pack for all small businesses to use. It’s free to download from their website and contains logos and posters you can use. Think about all the places you can use these materials to boost your participation. I don’t have a physical location either, but am using banners on my website and plan to print off the poster and display it in a window at home. Every little bit of promotion helps get the message about Small Business Saturday out there, and it tells people you’re involved.
Plan your follow-up
With the right offer and promotion plan, you’ll get people to our website and buying. But you need a plan for how you will follow up with each of them. This is your chance to keep everyone who bought from you to keep coming back. So, have an idea of how you will do that beforehand. Think about what you need to follow up with people – will you give them a coupon to use in January, will you invite them to a webinar? Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have everything in place to send out as soon as possible after 1 December.
So, now you know the things you need to do to plan for Small Business Saturday. All you have to decide what your offer will be.