This article originally appeared on America’s SBDC Blog.
You've already figured out that you were supposed to start planning your holiday marketing in the summer… whoops.
Even if you're among the 1 in 4 small business owners who told QuickBooks they don't have marketing expertise, there's no need to panic. You can still get up to speed with a digital marketing campaign for the holidays. If July was the best time to start, the second-best time to make a plan is now.
Why you still want to create digital marketing for the holidays
If you haven't launched digital marketing for the holidays yet, there's still time to create and execute a plan. And you should.
Nine out of 10 consumers plan to celebrate the holidays in 2022, according to the National Retail Federation. And almost two-thirds of consumers say that sales and promotions are more important to them now than they were in 2021 (thanks, inflation). With 41% of consumers expecting to spend more this holiday season, according to new QuickBooks research, digital marketing creates an opportunity to direct some of that spending to your small business.
It's not just retail. Restaurants and service businesses can offer gift cards, special rates or packages, or holiday rates for services to get a slice of the pie. The important part is to remind customers of your brand as they shop (and self-indulge) for the holidays.
"It's so important to stay top of mind by using all of your channels you have available," said Ashley Gates, owner of Sugar Cube Lane children's boutique in Missouri. "Post often, but make sure you're capturing an email or SMS so you have a way to stay in contact and continue to retarget."
Cover the digital marketing basics
If you're not totally sure where to start with a digital marketing campaign, you're not alone. Fortunately, there are a lot of good resources available to help you get started. QuickBooks can get you started with a manageable guide to marketing online. If you own an e-commerce business, this in-depth ebook on digital marketing is for you.
If you're truly starting from scratch, there are three digital platforms you want to be sure you have set up.
"In this day and age, you absolutely must have a social media presence, a website, and a Google Business Profile. People must be able to find you and find information about you," Gates said. "If they're not able to easily find out basic information about a business from those online sources, people will quickly move on to the next."
Use social media platforms, your website, and your Google Business Profile to stake out your territory. Make sure your contact information is accurate and your offerings are clear. Ask for product and business reviews. You're on your way!