Digital marketing for holidays: it’s still not too late!

You already know that you should have started planning your holiday marketing during the summer… Whoops.

There’s no reason to panic if you are one of the 14% of small business owners that told QuickBooks they lack marketing expertise. You can still learn how to run a digital campaign in time for the holidays. The best time to begin is July, but the second-best moment to create a plan for the holidays is now.


Why you should still create digital marketing campaigns for the holidays

You still have time to develop and implement a digital marketing plan for the holidays if you haven’t done so yet. You should.

According to the National Retail Federation, nine out of ten consumers plan to celebrate holidays in 2022. Almost two-thirds say they are more interested in sales and promotions now than 2021, thanks to inflation. According to new QuickBooks Research, 41% of consumers expect to spend more during the holiday season. Digital marketing is a great way to channel some of this spending towards your small business.

Not just for retail. To get their share of the pie, restaurants and service businesses should offer gift cards, packages or special rates, or holiday prices for services. It’s important to remind your customers about your brand when they are shopping (or self-indulging) during the holiday season.

Ashley Gates of Sugar Cube Lane, a children’s shop in Missouri said that it is important to use all the channels available. Post often, but capture an email or SMS to keep in touch and retarget.

Digital marketing basics: What you need to know

You’re certainly not the only one who isn’t sure how to begin a digital campaign. There are many resources that can help you get going. QuickBooks has a manageable marketing guide. This ebook is perfect for e-commerce businesses.

You should set up three digital platforms if you are truly starting at the beginning.

In this day and time, it is absolutely necessary to have a Google Business Profile, a Google Business Page, and social media profiles. Gates stated that people must be able find you online and get information about you. If they can’t find basic information online about a company, people will move on.

To mark your territory, use social media platforms such as your website and your Google Profile. Make sure that your contact details are accurate and your offers are clear. You can ask for reviews of your products and services. You’re on the way!

Test and Learn

You can now use the time left before the holidays for testing out digital marketing channels.

Digital marketing is awash with options: content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing and search engine marketing. Each type comes with different platforms, strategies and price tags. What works for a certain business or industry might not work for you.

EB Belts, Kauffman is one of the owners at Idaho backcountry gear company Argali. “We’ve got it all — SEO, Google Ads and email marketing. We also do pay-per click.

At this stage, experimentation is key. Use your curiosity to test and track results. Then, you can learn from the experience.

Belts Kauffman stated, “We test and make changes to our content. We are always looking for new ways to reach out to our audience.”

Use your strengths

Do it again when you discover something that works. Sugar Cube Lane uses native social media posts to attract new customers and email marketing to convert returning customers.

Gates stated that “people seem to believe email is dead as a marketing tool, but in fact it has the highest conversion rates of all marketing channels.” It’s an easy way to keep in touch with customers without relying on an algorithm.

Argali’s brand identity is centered around producing outdoor films of high quality.

“Our content creation is without a doubt our most powerful tool.” Belts Kauffman stated that it is what gave us our brand name.

Keep it simple if you are unable to produce video content or if, as a business owner, this is something that you do not have the time to accomplish. Use free marketing materials, hire a freelancer to do the creative work, or create simple assets using tools. Canva, Adobe Express and Snappa are all services that can help you create professional content quickly.

Lean into local

Locally owned small businesses, like yours, give your community a unique flavor. In a turbulent time for the supply chain, and with transportation routes in flux, customers have another reason to support independent business owners. Your digital marketing team’s job is to remind the community of how valuable their support is, both to you and your local economy.

Small Business Saturday is the Saturday following Thanksgiving. It’s a great opportunity to encourage customers to support small businesses, online or in-person. You can use your digital marketing channels for letting customers know when you will be at local events such as Christmas markets and holiday pop-ups. Join the #ShopSmall campaign ( These assets will help!) Start a #BuyLocal movement using the guide provided by the nonprofit American Independent Business Alliance.

You may be able join local holiday marketing campaigns and business associations. You can use small business resources to help you with your digital marketing efforts for the holidays.

      • A free SCORE business mentor,
      • The local Small Business Development Center.
      • The Women’s Business Center is located in your locality.
      • Your local Veterans Business Outreach Center.

You can also find other articles that will help you to manage your business during the holiday season on the QuickBooks Holiday hub.

Get jinglin’

Don’t worry about perfection: your digital marketing campaign for the holidays does not have to be flawless. You’re better off sending a single message to your audience rather than wasting time on details and not publishing anything.

You could only make a mistake by not marketing! Gates stated that it is important to get your product or service out as widely as possible. Your competitors are marketing to them so you should too.