Tips to Help Businesses Improve Marketing Beyond Small Business Saturday

 In Best Practices

1281800137, LumiNola

On the heels of Small Business Saturday, it’s evident that small businesses are essential to people’s everyday lives, especially as we head into the holiday season with consumer spending power at its highest. According to Visual GPS, an iStock research initiative, research shows that people want to, and will, support local and small businesses year-round.

In fact, 92% of people say that small businesses are necessary for the health of the economy. Even with the convenience and ease of buying from big box or chain stores, almost half of people (46%) will go out of their way to support local and small businesses. In addition, Almost 8 out of 10 people (79%) said they would rather buy from local and small businesses as a way of supporting their community.

This is an opportunity for businesses to engage with their customers in an authentic, relatable way through the visuals they choose in their marketing and communications, creating lasting connections with customers year-round.

Take a look below to see a few actionable tips to help businesses of all sizes connect with customers more effectively and authentically for Small Business Saturday and beyond.

Be Relatable

Rearview shot of a blonde woman standing alone and holding a wooden frame in her art studio

1210524243, Charday Penn

Authentic representation is key, including how people’s different cultures and lifestyles are depicted within your marketing. Having insight into the customers you’re trying to reach and using visuals that appeal specifically to that audience can make all the difference. People now expect more accurate representations of themselves and the world they see around them from the companies and businesses they interact with. This shift in consumer behavior is greatly impacting ROIs, with iStock research showing that 74% of men and 67% of women would prefer to buy from brands representing people authentically.

Demonstrate Sustainable Practices

Two florists replanting a plant and using a tablet at their workspace

1132392927, Pekic

According to iStock research, as a way to show support and commitment to protecting the planet and creating a sustainable environment, almost a quarter of people (21%) are shopping at smaller, local companies and brands instead of global ones. Show how your business and services can support them in their mission by using visuals in your marketing that show steps they can take toward sustainability, such as using reusable items, exploring options for sustainable travel—like bikes or e-scooters—or through the repair and reuse of clothing and other items.

Embrace Technology and Connection

Over the shoulder view of a pregnant woman relaxing on sofa, shopping online with smartphone and making mobile payment with credit card.

1319057185, AsiaVision

The use of technology in our everyday lives has only accelerated due to the pandemic, especially when it comes to online shopping. iStock’s research says that 60% of people feel empowered by all the technology available to them, with over half (63%) saying they use mobile phones more now as a way to transact and pay for things than ever before. This is an opportunity for local and small businesses to take a hybrid approach to how they visualize shopping locally, now and into 2022. Using visual content, like images, videos, and illustrations, which are tailored to a variety of customers, whether they want to shop in-store or online, is important in authentically representing our current realities and appealing to a broader range of customers during this time.

To find more local and small business-inspired imagery and video, visit

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