Black Friday Tips for Small Businesses
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two biggest spending days of the year for U.S. consumers and to other users around the world. It is the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, which translates to the fact that there is a huge opportunity for small businesses, like yours, to capitalize on the frenzy and generate a massive increase in sales.
If you are a business owner, attracting these holiday shoppers could make a significant impact on your bottom line. If you’re wondering what you can do differently this year to increase sales, we’ve put together a list that can help:
Start planning now.
As a business owner, one of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for a profitable fourth quarter is beginning to plan your marketing strategy early. When you plan early, you’re allowing yourself time to think through ideas, make adjustments, and tackle unforeseen projects before it’s too late. If you are not sure where to start, you can begin by thinking through high-level concepts; ask yourself questions like:
- What products and services do I want to promote?
- How and where will I advertise my specials?
- Will I offer in-store and online deals?
- When will my marketing campaign begin and end?
Ask your customers what they want
Ask your customers what they want. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all let you post polls, so you can ask your followers if they would prefer a discount off their entire order or specific items. Don’t forget about shoppers who are buying for themselves, We have all been guilty of personal shopping during the holiday season when we should have been buying for friends and family. If you’re a business owner, it’s important to think about how you can position your products in a way that attracts gift buyers and personal buyers.
Offer social media deals
As you know, the fuel behind the spending frenzy on Black Friday is the crazy deals. Shoppers have been trained to expect huge discounts and great deals. That being said, heavily discounting your product isn't the only option, and often isn't the best way to create an irresistible offer. People are looking for deals, but most importantly, people are looking to get the most value for their money. It's important to keep that in mind when creating an offer. An irresistible offer is about making the customer feel like they are getting maximum value for their dollar.
Take advantage of your growing social media following by offering exclusive deals just to your followers. They’ll feel like they’re part of an elite club and want to run straight to your store.
- Discount your products or services: While discounting is the go-to when you think of a sales promotion, it's not the only option and often isn't the best option, either.
- Bundle your products: Creating bundles of your products is a great way to drive sales.
- Create a value-add: The value-add offer model is a great way to keep your normal pricing but sweeten the deal by throwing something in with the sale.
Start Your Campaign Early
Running a small business is challenging; it's hard to plan three steps when you're focused on the day to day operations. Every year, it seems the big box stores start preparing for the holidays earlier and earlier. Although it can be annoying, there is a reason for it.
Build anticipation early (but not too early)
The bottom line is, don’t wait until the week before Black Friday to start promoting your irresistible offer. Start teasing or hinting that there will be a game-changing offer at the beginning of November or sooner.
Social media campaign
Post hints and teasers of your irresistible offer on social media starting 10-14 days out from Black Friday. Use Facebook Ads to amplify your social media posts to people who like your page and friends of people who like your page. Once you reveal your irresistible offer, invite people to share the deal with their friends. Note: you can't make sharing a requirement to redeem a special offer.
Email Marketing Campaign
Make sure to contact your current and past customers to let them know about your promotion. Using an email marketing automation tool, you can tailor your messaging to specific segments of your database based on their purchase history. If your product or service is more of a one-time purchase, you can reach out to past customers with different messaging and ask them to refer you to their colleagues and friends. To maximize referrals, put an incentive out there to get people to take action.
Direct mail campaign
Yep, I said it! Direct mail is one of the most highly under-leveraged forms of marketing today. It is a great way to get a message in front of current and prospective customers to drum up repeat business.
Point of sale campaign
The point of sale is one of the biggest missed marketing opportunities for small businesses. Most small businesses work doggedly hard to get new customers in their doors, but do very little to make sure they collect customer information and provide an incentive for new customers to return.
Creating a flyer, business card, or other pieces of collateral that promotes your Black Friday offer is among many more Black Friday marketing tips. You can start putting this marketing piece in the boxes you ship to customers and the bags you hand to customers at the register for the weeks leading up to Black Friday.
Another point of sale strategy is putting together a contest that people can enter to win.
The key to success in all of these marketing initiatives to generate awareness of your Black Friday Offer is the word campaign. Sending out one tweet, one email or one flyer most likely will not generate massive results. You must set up a campaign that gets your message in front of your prospective and current customers more than once.
In order for you to fully take advantage of the biggest spending weekend of the year, you must create an irresistible offer and start to generate awareness weeks in advance. Most, if not all of the ideas and tactics I shared with you in this post can be executed with limited financial resources. Be strategic and position your small business to capitalize on the spending frenzy this holiday season.