Small Business Saturday - Think Big. Shop Small.

Small Business Saturday is November 30 and small businesses around the world are getting their storefronts (digital and in-person) ready for the start of a busy holiday season. It is timed perfectly after Black Friday when spending money is on everyone’s mind. Personally, I make it a goal every year to find one or two stores that I visit in-person, buy from and talk to the owner. Confession: I love hearing neighborhood gossip from small business owners - they always know what is going on!

As you might know, small business owners first need to deal with the basics - open for business. Whether you run a digital storefront, in-person location, or both, you (or your team) are a pretty busy person. Products need to be priced, displays setup, products cataloged and if you’re online, website experience tested. This is all in addition to taking care of the “books” and making sure you can pay the bills.

At 8x8, we know how hard you work at making your business run. We also know that as this busy time of year approaches, getting more customers through your door—or to your website—is top of mind. With that in mind, we talked to five marketing experts and asked them if there was one thing they would tell a small business owner that could help attract more customers. Here is what they said:

Email is the Gift that Keeps on Giving

Lucas Mast, Director of Marketing Communications at Ellie Mae

“While social media marketing is important for small businesses, email marketing is the gift that keeps on giving and should be a key component of their marketing efforts. By capturing a customer’s email and opting them into timely, relevant communications, you’ll have more control of who actually sees your content—without having to rely on dwindling organic social reach or algorithms. Buon Vino, our local wine tasting room, does a great job of alerting us to new releases, special events and other promotions that keep subscribers informed and drives loyal customers to their storefront. A win-win [or better-yet, “wine-wine”] for both!

Targeted Searches on LinkedIn & Instagram:

Neal Schaffer, Social Media Consultant, Speaker and Author of The Business of Influence

“An easy thing that small businesses can do is to do targeted searches on LinkedIn (for B2B) or Instagram (for B2C) and reach out to those that might have an interest in your company. Offer them a freebie or give them an incentive to come to your business. While the LinkedIn approach would be best done by your sales team as part of a social selling initiative, on Instagram try to reach out to those that are active and yield influence, however small it seems. Develop long-term relationships and they might just start talking about your business on social media.”

Use Google My Business to Optimize Local Search

Kent Yunk, SEO Manager at 8x8

“The behavior of consumers is changing every day as the use of smartphones becomes ubiquitous. We all like having the freedom of being able to find what we need at the moment we need it. Google My Business has become the “go-to” for most consumers looking to find a business location, phone number or website. Business owners have great flexibility in enhancing the prominence of their business in organic search by proactively managing their listing. Simply adding hours of operation, building pictures and available products can dramatically improve customer traffic and revenue.”

Google My Business and PPC are Related

George Zlatin, Digital Third Coast

“If you’re a local business, watch your GMB metrics when building your brand with PPC. We’ve seen substantial jumps in “direct searches” in GMB after running search campaigns and YouTube campaigns for local businesses. With reporting being flawed due to device switching (discovery on mobile, action on desktop), you can easily make bad calls if you’re too siloed in your data analysis. Your customers don’t experience your brand in silos – so look at the full picture before you determine the effectiveness of your PPC account.”

Video Is For Everyone

Ethan Beute Chief Evangelist, BombBomb & Coauthor, Rehumanize Your Business

“When you think 'video' in a business context, you likely think about lights, scripts, editing, production, time, and expense. You think about it as a strategy or a tactic. And something you might have to hire out. But video is simply a medium for your message. So, anything you’d type up and send or publish can be delivered in a simple, personal video. Just you, your webcam or smartphone, and something to communicate to people who matter to you and your business. Simple videos go in emails, text messages, social messages, or anywhere else you want to connect or communicate."

Help Other Small Businesses With Your Tips

I hope these experts gave you a few ideas on what you can attract more people to your business. If you have any tips that you would like to share, tweet them to @8x8 with the hashtag #smallbiz. 

Tweet to @8x8

You can also check out more tips in our latest eBook: The Struggle is Real - Overcome the Top 5 Challenges of Entrepreneurship.

In conclusion, the goal of every small business should be to make more meaningful connections with its customers! 8x8 can help with 8x8 Express - the phone system built to help smaller businesses stand out. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial.