Time flies quickly when you’re having fun. We are moments away from the biggest marketing weekend of the year and it’s time to stop procrastinating.
Thanksgiving is a special kind of American holiday. There’s food, family, friends, and football to be had. There’s roast turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes, and even a few delicious pies. It’s common for people to fall into a turkey coma after Thanksgiving dinner. After all, you’re stuffed! But not you. No, not this year. This year, there’ll be no resting. Thanksgiving may be among the most food-heavy holidays of the year but it quickly gives way to a new hunger.
The hunger for shopping. For deals. For discounts and promotions.
When the sun sets on Thanksgiving night the official holiday shopping season begins. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are all on deck. For small and medium-sized businesses, this is their weekend to shine. Beyond being a big sales weekend, it’s also a HUGE marketing weekend. From promotions and deals to video marketing and customer acquisition; the activities you plan for this weekend can have a big impact on the upcoming year.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s crush this marketing weekend in a big way.
Why This Weekend Matters
With three huge shopping holidays crammed into a four day period, this one isn’t a head-scratcher. There’s potential for a lot of sales in this time period. That much is obvious. In fact, 30-40% of ALL retail shopping each year takes place in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A large chunk of that will happen on the first weekend. For many businesses, this is the make or break time of year.
However, what you may not be considering is this: those sales are attached to people. A lot of them.
Yes, there’s a lot of revenue to be generated but that also means that a lot of people are coming into your business in a short window. These are people who may not be existing customers. These folks may be trying out a new store while searching for a holiday deal. They may be hungry and happen to be in the shopping center your restaurant is located in. The reasons are endless. The fact remains, you’re going to see an increased volume of shoppers.
Will those shoppers disappear after this extended holiday weekend never to be seen again? The goal, of course, is to not let that happens. That is why this is not only a weekend for generating sales.
This is also a time for increasing loyalty, brand awareness, market penetration, and much, much more. Don’t let this opportunity pass your business by. It’s time to shine!
Let’s start with the mother of all shopping days. Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the largest shopping days of the entire year. This is the day when many large stores go big on deals, discounts, and promotions.
Black Friday is THE official kickoff to the holiday shopping season and one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Black Friday has a lot of built-in marketing done already. People will be out in droves looking for deals.
Due to this, you may be tempted to think that you don’t have to do anything special for Black Friday. After all, people will be on the prowl and looking to shop. All you have to do is open the door, right?
Wrong. The increased volume is great. However, you want to step up and stand out from the crowd. Here are a few quick ideas to make Black Friday a hit.
- Hourly Deals: Black Friday is all about specials and hourly deals can be a big hit. Select a product or service to promote each hour during normal business hours, or for a set period of time.
- Offer a Free Gift: There’s nothing quite like a freebie incentive to get people in the door. Have a surplus of something you’d like to get rid of? Make it a freebie.
- Institute A Post-Sale Loyalty Program: You don’t want to lose track of all these new customers. Gathering email addresses at the point of sale (online or in person) is a great way to build a list to follow-up with later. After the craziness of the weekend dies down, a quick “thank you” email is much appreciated by customers. This is also a great opportunity to provide an incentive (such as a coupon) for them to return.
Did you know? Emails that include the word “Video” in the title are more likely to be opened? In fact, an initial email that includes video content can increase clickthrough rates by up to 96%!
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday was started to give a boost to small businesses during the busy holiday shopping weekend. The great news for SMBs is that this is the day where people are actively out in the community looking for local businesses to support. Local businesses just like yours!
The “shop local” movement is alive and well and Small Business Saturday is a shining testament to it. Here are some great ideas to help you make the most out of Small Business Saturday this year.
- Partner Up. Find a local business just like yours which is related to your business without being a direct competitor. A wine store might partner with a restaurant, for example. Or a barbershop with a nail salon, etc. Partner up on an irresistible deal for SBS. Free haircut with every manicure? A wine tasting at the restaurant with discounts on bottles? Harness the power of two local businesses. This has the potential to expose your business to a new group of customers. Cross-promote the event on each other’s social pages with blog posts, video content, and event invites. Then, when the big day comes: double the customers, double the fun.
- Join Online Groups. All across Facebook, there are community pages/groups devoted to your town, county, zip code, and more. By becoming an active member of these communities you can promote your business to a truly local audience. Many will also allow you to share and promote your content as well. This is a great way to get involved locally and put you on the map when Small Business Saturday rolls around.
- Promote The Selfie. Did Paris Hilton invent the selfie? We don’t know. What we do know is that you can harness the power of the selfie for your business on Small Business Saturday. Hold a social media contest where you encourage your customers to take a small business selfie in your store on Saturday. This will organically promote your business across local social channels. At the end of the day, select a winner (or several) to reward with a coupon, discount, or reward. #Selfiepower
Did you know? According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 83% of customers find that Small Business Saturday inspires them to “shop small” all year long. This means your customers are more likely than not to be interested in continuing their patronage if they feel valued and welcome. Don’t forget to build contact lists on SBS to continue and nurture the relationship.
When did Cyber Monday become a thing? More importantly, when did it become a bigger deal than Black Friday? This is a recent development but it’s one that shows no signs of slowing down. Call it the ease of online shopping compared to in-store shopping. Call it the next evolution of retail. Whatever you do, don’t call it off! Cyber Monday may be the most impactful day of the holiday shopping weekend.
Okay, it’s not technically “the weekend,” but it’s close. This is a four-day shopping weekend. And what’s more, your customers aren’t going to be taking the day off from buying so you shouldn’t take the day off from offering a great incentive for shopping with you!
Black Friday is a great shopping day. However, it’s an all-inclusive, broad holiday. Small Business Saturday is a day for driving local shopping. Cyber Monday is a day for driving online shopping. Simple enough? Take advantage of the opportunity to increase your online sales not only this day, but in the months ahead.
Here are some ideas to make it cyber-riffic.
- Exclusive Deals. Whether part or all of your business comes from eCommerce, there’s no time like Cyber Monday to create and promote an exclusive online shopping deal for your customers. This can be a percentage off, free shipping, bonus items, or more. The key is to create and promote your deal well in advance. Video marketing makes for a great medium to get the word out there so be sure you’re creating content and promoting it early and often.
- Create Opt-In Offers. Customers love online shopping. For many, giving out their email address is just part of the process. Create opt-in offers and segment customer purchases into lists for later marketing and loyalty promotion. Don’t forget to follow up with a “thank you” email and bounceback offer later on and keep the relationship going.
- Count It Down! Create a sense of urgency by promoting the fleeting nature of your deal. One day only, deal expires in an hour, etc. You can create countdown meters on your website or product pages as well as promote it with video online. Let people know that these deals aren’t lasting forever!
Did you know? According to BigCommerce, focused video marketing was one of the most successful marketing tactics used in 2017. Don’t miss out on 2018!
Don’t Forget About Giving Tuesday
With all the money being spent over the previous four days, Giving Tuesday was started as an incentive to give back. This is not a commercial holiday in the truest sense. The purpose is to kick off the charitable portion of the holiday season.
Nonetheless, Giving Tuesday represents an important aspect of your business. Being part of a community can be a big boost to your business in many ways. Not only is it “the right thing to do,” it can also elevate your business to a place of prominence within the community.
We tend to think of “marketing” as being the things businesses do to generate sales. It’s easy to forget that marketing is really about how you position, promote, and represent your business. This certainly entails traditional advertising activities. However, it also includes any action your business takes that is publicly visible and showcases your brand’s values.
Giving Tuesday, therefore, presents an opportunity for your business to put a great foot forward and help others at a time when people are feeling charitable.
- Partner With A Local Charity. Local charities are always looking for community involvement from local businesses. This can include sponsoring a charity event or donating time, money, or resources.
- Hold Your Own Drive. Canned goods, toys, or clothing are easy donation drives to sponsor. All you need is a large box, a sign, and some video marketing online to let people know how they can get involved. Donations can then be distributed to local charities or organizations. To incentivize participation, offer a discount or coupon for customers who get involved and donate.
- Donate A Percentage Of Sales. Many businesses have found success by donating a specific % of sales on this day to a local or national charity. Choose an amount that will work well for your business and promote this to your customers. Incentivize them to shop on this day and be part of something good. As an added bonus, Giving Tuesday is usually a much less crowded shopping day than the previous four days!
Did you know? Last year Giving Tuesday hit a record $274 million in charitable donations. In fact, the charitable holiday has increased in size and range each year since its inception. Will 2018 be larger? Get involved and find out!
The Biggest Marketing Weekend In a Nutshell
The busiest and biggest marketing weekend is just around the corner. Start planning now and have your plan of attack ready for each of the key upcoming days. A key component of success is in the promotion. Social media, email, in-store, and more are your gateways to the holiday shopping community. After all, there’s no point in doing something special if nobody knows about it!
Plan your events and create a promotional calendar to follow. Promote your deals early and often during this time period for maximum success. Video marketing is a great tool for getting the word out there and being successful this holiday shopping season.