Every year, Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and encourages consumers to shop at their local small businesses. As a small business owner, this holiday could mean increased customers and sales for your business, but it could also mean a lot of stress. To help small business owners prepare for the big day, we interviewed influencers in the community and asked them to share tips for their area of expertise. Laurel Delaney, Founder of The Global Small Business Blog, took the time to answer our questions about small business marketing. Here’s what she had to say!

Q. What are some of the benefits of being “small” that a business owner can leverage to beat out the “big” guys?

A. More nimble. Small businesses can pivot faster when things go wrong or move faster when a new trend kicks in.

Q. Is there a common place where you see many small business owners go wrong when they start to market online?

A. Yes, they do too many things too fast at once.  Use the KIS theory:  keep it simple.  Focus on one key thing that will take your business where you envision you need to go next.

Q. We all know those emails or websites that “look” like spam, but what are some strategies you’ve see business owners do to demonstrate their credibility?

A. Perform a Google search and see what rises to the top in rankings.  If you see a lot of search results for the same company, especially in a positive manner — e.g., website, Facebook Page, Twitter account, Google+, etc. and they are current with contact information, bingo.

Expert interviews to help prepare your business for Small Businesses Saturday     Tweet This

Q. With so many places for business owners to turn for online advice, how do you recommend they cut through the noise in order to make an impact?

A. Again, stay focused.  Don’t try to be too many different things to people.  Stay focused in one key area and master it.  Become the go to expert in a given space.

Q. When working with new business owners, what are some tools or steps you use to come up with a digital strategy unique to their business?

A. I ask them:  What do you do?  What do you stand for?  What are you trying to accomplish?  How can you add value to others?  What action do you want others to take when you communicate with them?  Once they answer those questions, they are in a position to deliver on a unique digital strategy proposition.

Q. Can people expect to get results from purely organic campaigns these days or is it pretty much required that they have an ad budget for a campaign?

A. Anything is possible. If you do good work, you can achieve high organic search engine rankings (do a search on ‘global small business’ as an example and our blog, The Global Small Business Blog ranks #1).  My suggestion is to do good work consistently over time on many different online platforms and consider some simple ads here and there to spread your brand messaging further, especially global.

Q. Online-to-offline. Any examples of companies doing a great job driving traffic to their physical store through online campaigns?

A. I can only think of Warby Parker.  I have to see what Amazon does next with their new physical store locations.

Q. What tool/strategy do you think will make the biggest impact in 2017?

A. 3D printing (specifically of component parts worldwide) and Facebook’s global reach.

Q. Who are some of the influencers who have made a large impact on how you think about online marketing?

A. Probably Facebook.

Wondering what else your business can do to prepare for Small Business Saturday and other busy times of the year? Check out our Small Business Saturday Guide.

Photo Credit: jayandsab_aroundtheworld, Twenty20

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