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By Jessica Elliott Updated on October 12, 2021

Labor Day Marketing Ideas for Small Business: Our To-Do List

Along with barbecues and a long weekend, many consumers look forward to Labor Day promotions from their favorite stores. Earn their appreciation and increase holiday sales with these 10 Labor Day marketing ideas for small business owners.  

1. Kick-Off Sales With a Labor Day Giveaway

A social media giveaway or contest is an inexpensive Labor Day marketing idea. As it just so happens, Facebook and Instagram are excellent channels for hosting a giveaway.

Take the following steps to create a Labor Day giveaway:

  • Pick a prize: Popular prizes, such as gift cards or best-selling products, attract attention to your giveaway post, email or text. 
  • Ask a question: Encourage engagement by asking fans what they’re shopping for over Labor Day or if they’ll travel or stay home.
  • Tell people how to enter: Keep it simple with a comment-entry giveaway. Ask followers to respond to your question under your post. 
  • Reward people who share: Give bonus entries to people who share your social media post or mention a friend in the comments.

Want to delight everyone who enters your Labor Day giveaway? After announcing the winner, pass out unique promo codes to everyone who entered. 

2. Offer Special Shopping Hours for Loyal Customers

Many people shifted brands in 2020 and that trend continued in 2021. 

According to consulting firm McKinsey & Co., “30% to 40% of consumers, most notably Millennials and Gen Z, continue to switch brands or retailers.” 

In addition, shoppers in areas struck by COVID-19 may have concerns about packed stores or long check-out lines. 

Ease their concerns and thank your loyal customers with exclusive online offers and dedicated in-store shopping hours. 

But don’t send the same message to every customer.

Instead, use website and point-of-sale (POS) data and customer relationship management (CRM) software to personalize Labor Day email campaigns.

A man wearing an apron and wielding big tongs in one hand and a big metal spatula in the other hand is cooking the word “Sale” on an outdoor grill.

3. Create ‘Deals’ Pages for Labor Day Events

Promotional landing pages for your Labor Day marketing ideas can be shared and used year after year across all marketing channels. 

Google recommends these best practices for deal pages in Google Search:

  • Don’t put a year in your deal page uniform resource locator (URL)
  • Design your page early so that Google can index them for improved search engine visibility 
  • Use search engine optimization (SEO) best practices
  • Add the deal page link to your website or ecommerce site homepage
  • Write a descriptive page title, such as “Labor Day 2021 Deals”
  • Create a high-quality image with a text overlay that describes your discounts
  • Remember to describe your image in the alt text field
  • Put text on your landing page that talks about your Labor Day promotions
  • If you update your page, ask Google to recrawl it 

4. Use Video for Virtual Promotions

From Instagram to Facebook, video content garners more views than other types of content. 

During a recent Instagram Live, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said, “video is driving an immense amount of growth online for all the major platforms right now.” 

So, what are people looking for? Why deals, of course. 

Use short videos on TikTok or Instagram Reels to give a sneak peek at your Labor Day promotions or go live to announce giveaway winners or a flash sale.

Insert your brand’s personality by adding your logo and putting your store or products in the background. 

Remember to add captions for accessibility purposes and those watching videos without the volume turned up.

5. Build FOMO With Your Social Media Posts

The fear of missing out (FOMO) can entice shoppers to grab summer clearance items. But don’t wait until the last minute. 

Instead, build up suspense and keep the momentum going by referencing your Labor Day sales throughout August. 

Labor Day marketing ideas for social media include: 

  • Create an Instagram Story: Use the countdown timer (click the “Sticker” icon) to track the days until your sales event begins or ends. 
  • Showcase customer purchases: Share a photo or comment from a recent happy customer and if quantities are limited, mention it.
  • Talk about shipping: Is your item available to ship immediately? Do you offer free shipping? Slip these details in your social media posts. 
  • Last chance posts: Go live on social media to tell followers when a product is about to sell out or how to save money before your sale ends.

6. Partner With Other Small Businesses

Many communities offer city-wide shopping events or other activities for Labor Day. Talk to your local business associations to get involved. 

Also, consider reaching out to other like-minded companies and teaming up on Labor Day advertising ideas and promotions. 

Come to a mutual agreement where all involved parties do the following things:

  • Design marketing assets with brand names and logos of participating companies
  • Tag participating brands in social media posts
  • Share each other’s posts and leave comments
  • Brick-and-mortar locations can create a local scavenger hunt between businesses
  • Cross-promote a buyers’ guide highlighting Labor Day promotions
  • Co-sponsor a giveaway to increase the prize value

7. Create Value-Added Content Just in Time for the Holiday

Labor Day can symbolize the end of summer, the beginning of fall or the start of the school year. It depends on your area and market research

Developing and promoting downloadable content a week or more before Labor Day is an excellent way to stay fresh in customers’ minds as the holiday approaches. 

Content marketing ideas include:

  • Buyers’ guides to the best fall cleanup landscape services or other local services
  • Best last-minute purchases for products your target market wants
  • A roundup of Labor Day sales related to your shoppers
  • Tips for planning a September party
  • Ways to use your products or services to improve school nights

A small shop has a sign in the window that reads “Labor Day Sale.”

8. Use Data to Develop Labor Day Advertising Ideas

Look at historical and real-time data to determine shoppers’ priorities and find keywords linked to your Labor Day sale products. 

Next, update your Google Merchant Center account and use the promotion builder to select products and related offers.

Once you’ve uploaded your promotion feed, develop limited-time Google ads using your keywords. 

Your sales also will show up in the product listings under the Google Shopping tab. 

9. Livestream a Flash Sale

According to Wix, online stores on average increase monthly gross merchandise value “by over 64,000% with a flash sale.”

Take the steps below to run a successful Labor Day flash sale:

  • Select your products: Choose seasonal inventory or older stock to offload during your event.
  • Give a steep discount: Pop-up sales should offer more significant savings than your typical Labor Day promotion.
  • Cross-promote nonsale goods: Suggest similar items on your product pages to encourage other purchases.
  • Manage your inventory: Use integrated inventory management software so you don’t oversell products.
  • Don’t anger loyal customers: Use historical data to exclude customers from promotional emails who already bought these items. 

10. Don’t Forget a Day-After Event for Weekend Workers

Essential workers and those in the service industry work weekends and holidays. A day-after event can earn your brand loyalty. 

Again, use customer data to create Labor Day marketing ideas for holiday workers. Tailor messages by:

  • Creating an essential worker giveaway and asking social media fans to tag a friend who worked the holiday
  • Sharing a deal-of-the-day promotion geared toward a customer segment, such as health-care workers or hospitality employees
  • Highlighting testimonials from your team or customers talking about how they’re spending their day off

Labor Day Marketing Ideas for Small Business Events

Although Labor Day isn’t the biggest shopping day of the year, it’s a great time to clear your shelves and connect with customers. 

Develop effective Labor Day marketing ideas designed to meet your goals and set the stage for upcoming holiday promotions.

Jessica is a business-to-business content strategist and consultant with 24 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. She writes about technology, marketing and finance.
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