How American Express is keeping Small Business Saturday fresh in its seventh year

This year, the payments company is making it easier for small businesses to market themselves.

NEW YORK: American Express, which launched Small Business Saturday seven years ago, is working this year to enable mom and pop stores that do not have large marketing budgets to participate through its Shop Small Studio.

Realizing that many business owners do not have the time or resources to build a robust marketing campaign, AmEx launched the Studio to make it easier for them  to make custom marketing materials, such as posters, social media posts, and press releases. Influencers such as Paul Octavious and Erica Domesek are starring in videos highlighting the studio’s ease of use and benefits.

"It’s one less thing for small business owners to worry about, and it provided a great opportunity for us to provide them with something new this year," said Amy Marino, American Express’ VP of Small Business Saturday, via email.

The day shines a light on small business that create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods, said Marino. Although it targets businesses nationwide, American Express has activations planned this year in markets including New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Seattle.

Broadly, American Express is spreading the Shop Small message to small businesses, as well as the people who support them, via neighborhoods, business associations, public officials, and large companies. Its campaign includes elements such as national media relations, advertising, social media, influencer partnerships, events, and content creation.

Last month, American Express added Small Business Saturday Boot Camps in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago to educate small businesses owners on how to boost sales during the busy holiday shopping season.

American Express is partnering with restaurant-review platform The Infatuation to host Dine Small events on Small Business Saturday at independent restaurants. It is also teaming up with early morning dance craze Daybreaker to energize shoppers, while Uber plans to offer a free UberPool ride up to $20 to American Express Card Members in New York City when the promo code SMALLBIZSAT is used.

American Express will work with the National Federation of Independent Business to field surveys to gauge sentiment about Small Business Saturday.

On social media, the company will make it possible for Twitter users to add custom #ShopSmall stickers to photos or show their love for small businesses with branded emoji.

This Saturday, American Express will post videos created with a diverse range of influencers and celebrities on Twitter and buy a Promoted Trend to reach users of the platform across the U.S. with the #ShopSmall message. The campaign will conclude on Sunday.

M Booth has been the PR AOR for Small Business Saturday since its inception.

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