Upgrade Your Small Business Saturday Strategy Using These Digital Marketing Tips
Youssef El-Mansy

As the two biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday rightfully receive a lot of attention in our business. In fact, the entire “Turkey 5” period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday is like the Super Bowl of digital marketing. However, a critical day stuffed right in the middle of the Turkey 5 — Small Business Saturday — is often overlooked in favor of those more highly promoted shopping days. For your small business (SMB) though, it’s an extra opportunity to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Small Businesses Face Stiff Competition This Year

Holiday shopping seems to get bigger and bigger every year. In fact, for the 2021 season, all signs point to continued growth. However, we expect changing market conditions to drive increased competition and spending among holiday advertisers this year, which could put many SMBs at a disadvantage. After all, it’s difficult for small retailers to match the unlimited resources of outfits like Amazon and Walmart. With that in mind, to find success this holiday season it’s more important than ever to get your business in front of the right audience.  Here are some strategies to help you reach your target consumers.

Brick and Mortar vs. eCommerce

Some SMBs bring in the majority of their revenue from brick-and-mortar storefronts. Others sell products exclusively online. Fortunately, there are digital strategies each type of business can use to attract more buyers this holiday season.


Audit Your Online Presence: Even if you sell exclusively from a storefront, your customers will still likely find you online. So, before the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear, conduct an online audit to ensure your holiday hours are updated on your website and that your map listings on Google My Business, Facebook, the Microsoft network, and anywhere pertinent online are all up to date. That means your location’s name, address, phone number and holiday hours should match across all platforms. By putting these elements in place, your existing customers can quickly find the information they need, and new shoppers will easily discover your storefront.

Start Promoting Early: Widespread shipping and manufacturing delays have put a major kink in the holiday shopping supply chain this year, and consumers know it. They’ve started their online research (and purchases) already — much earlier than usual. If you haven’t already, you should immediately make your holiday promotions as visible as possible to your customers. Use all your pipelines — email, social media and your website — to reach consumers. If you’re running digital campaigns, now is the perfect time to test your audiences and messaging to discover what promotions are most effective and irresistible before holiday shopping begins in earnest.

Try Geotargeting: Google, Facebook and Microsoft all allow advertisers to target audiences based on proximity to a physical location. Called “geotargeting,” the feature enables SMBs to target potential buyers who live or work within a certain distance of their storefront. Keep in mind that the distance someone will be willing to travel often depends on the items you’re selling. It’s proven that people are more likely to travel farther to save money on big-ticket and highly-desired items.


Get More Competitive: If SMBs aren’t willing to be more competitive on their digital advertising bids and budgets, they risk getting run off the page by their larger competitors. Many SMBs mistakenly adopt strict spending limits on holiday advertising, which doesn’t take into account potential changing market needs. But, there’s still time for you to implement a flexible budget so you can adapt in real-time to market fluctuations. Remember, it makes sense to increase spending until you run out of stock as long as you meet your established return-on-ad-spend goals. Those sales will still be profitable if you continue spending, and in the end, you’ll drive more holiday revenue.

Make Your Promotions Clear: Unlike retailers running brick-and-mortar storefronts, it can be more difficult for online sellers to quickly answer questions or clear up confusion about holiday offers. That’s why your business should make its holiday promotions crystal clear on its website. Any promotions that have too many caveats or “fine print,” can drive online shoppers to take their business to your competitors.

Plan for an After-Christmas Rush: The single biggest day for online returns is typically the day after Christmas when a frenzy of shoppers look to exchange their holiday gifts. You can cash in on this boom by running post-holiday promotions to capture return shoppers, gift exchanges or people who received gift cards in their stockings.

Most Important, Be Authentic

While digital tactics are an essential component of any holiday shopping strategy, other equally important factors also come into play. Most consumers don’t want to buy something just to have another piece of junk lying around their house. Instead, they want to buy something of quality from a company they feel they can trust.

Whether you sell products from a storefront or online, you should put your business in the best possible light with potential customers by thinking carefully about what matters most to them and how you can meet those needs. As you push out promotions during the holiday season, use messaging that is honest, transparent, cohesive between platforms and true to your customer’s values.

If you stick to a disciplined holiday strategy, while also speaking from a place of authenticity, your ideal customers will find their way to you and continue purchasing long after the holidays end.

Youssef El-Mansy is the director of SMB search at Logical Position, an Inc. 500 company headquartered in Oregon with offices nationwide. The agency offers full-service PPC management, SEO, and website design solutions for businesses large and small, and was ranked as the third best place to work in America by Inc. Magazine.