5 Small Business Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Labor Day Sales

From holiday sales events to social media promotions, this Labor Day is an excellent opportunity for small businesses to bring attention to their products and services.

Observed the first Monday in September, Labor Day is unofficially the last hurrah of summer. It's also the last big sale weekend before the Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping seasons begin. 

More officially, the federal holiday is the annual celebration of American workers' social and economic achievements, says the U.S. Labor Department

Check out these five marketing ideas for your small business for this year's Labor Day.

Go with a Change of Season theme.  Labor Day is a unique holiday as it lands at the end of summer and beginning of fall holiday. This aspect of the holiday provides for a variety of themes. Find something fun that works for your business.

Besides the timeless "Back to School" theme, consider Football Frenzy or Fall Fun. "Draw out the celebratory vibe of the holiday, rather than have a sale that could just as easily happen any other time of the year," writes Julie Landry Laviolette in a Groupon blog.

Offer a deal on back-to-school haircuts or give teachers a discount on anti-stress massages, she suggests. Other ideas include a drawing for a football team sweatshirt or local game tickets, concessions, or parking.

Or make it a big end-of-summer theme. You could align your promotion with barbeque and back-deck parties, i.e., food or drink specials or picnic-related items that are potentially ordered in advance of their holiday gatherings. It could be a picnic-friendly dish for take-out orders or basket items. 

Leverage social media posts. Susie Marino, content marketing specialist at Gannett, suggests a Labor Day social media contest as a way to increase engagement and create an audience for your business.

"Plus, it gives you an easy way to gather some user-generated content you can use to fill your calendar beyond Labor Day," she writes in a blog for LOCALiQ. "Challenge your followers to come up with the best video or photo relating to your business and repurpose it for your own post later!"

Consider enticing prospective customers with incentives to follow, like your post or repost your content to their own network to increase your social media engagement around Labor Day, Marion says. 

"Regardless of what type of contest you decide is the best fit, be sure to promote the post by including your own hashtag to go with it," she says on the blog.

Celebrate the 'Labor' theme. Labor Day is rooted in the late 19th century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize workers' many contributions to America's strength, prosperity, and well-being.

So don't forget to acknowledge your own staff. Find a way to show appreciation for their hard work and celebrate them internally and publicly (if appropriate). Maybe hold a barbeque event or other event that recognizes their contributions to your small business.

Run with the tried-and-true Labor Day Sale. An obvious tactic but ever-popular for good reason. Labor Day is always a grand holiday to hitch your sale to, whether you're running a retail shop or plumbing business. 

It looks like American consumers will continue to spend online and in-store during the holiday weekend this year. Consumer surveys from the NRF (National Retail Federation) indicate back-to-college spending in 2021 will be higher than the last two years. 

Labor Day spending is expected to surpass holiday shopping sales during the holiday winter months, says the NRF.

If you're not a retailer, you could incorporate a Labor Day Sale on one of your most popular services or discount prices for products connected with your services.

"The sale opportunities are endless, so think of one that makes sense for your business, and you can easily promote it across channels using social media posts or Google My Business posts," writes Marino in the LOCALiQ blog.

Create a Labor Day referral program. Use a Labor Day referral program to draw new customers into your business.

"A happy army of satisfied customers can do a lot of legwork for you," writes content marketer Madeleine LaPlante-Dube in a Hubspot blog.

Create a Labor Day referral program like you would any referral program by first identifying what incentive you are willing to give in exchange for bringing a friend or family to your business, such as a discount on a product or service.

Then, of course, invite your current customers to refer away - promote your new Labor Day referral discounts via emails and social media.

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