How do you prepare your business for the winter season?
Whether you’re in Boone or Banner Elk, Linville or Elk Park (like we are), the setting around here is just special—we all know that. It’s not just the geography; it’s the people. It’s about what we do and what we want and how we act when we’re working and playing and celebrating western North Carolina come Christmastime and New Year’s.
So when it comes to preparing a digital marketing plan for Appalachian winters, you can’t just use the same template they’ve got down in Raleigh or over in Knoxville. You need to prepare for what makes this area—and your business—special during this time of year.
Digital marketing is local, and digital marketing is seasonal. Wherever you are, you need to take these factors into account when updating your small business website and planning your social media.
Start by asking yourself these questions about your western Carolina small business.
Why is western Carolina winter different?
Well, what are we all here for? We’ve got ancestors that have been in these mountains since they had Scottish accents. Or we came here on the Blue Ridge Parkway and we knew we had to stay.
We love panoramic mountain views and quiet foggy mornings. We love afternoons spent skiing and evenings by the fire. We love chatting with our neighbors over the counter at their store. We love a small mountain town with a lot to offer.
And every fall when the leaves change, or when school picks back up, or when ski season starts, we see an influx of even more people to this place. For many Appalachian small businesses, this is where we really shine—whether it’s catering to Christmas shopping or just winter residents.
Who are your western Carolina winter customers?
Running an Appalachian small business—like anywhere else—is not just about what you do. It’s about who you serve.
And when you’re in an area where the demographics change drastically come the winter season, it’s important to know who it is your digital marketing is for.
- What keywords should you be including in your website’s page content?
- What topics do your new blogs cover this season?
- What products or activities are featured on your digital ads and promoted posts?
- What are you talking about on your social media?
- What links are you sharing and what other companies are you tagging?
And, when you really get into the nuts and bolts of nuanced digital marketing:
- What are the online behaviors of your target customers?
- How do they get their information? From friends or from Google?
- When do they shop and how much do they want to spend?
- Do they prefer online booking? Phone calls? Casual browsing or curbside pickup?
All of these factors will (or should) factor into how you plan your digital marketing this season.
Who are your western Carolina winter small business peers?
“Competition” is a tricky word around these parts. Community is our culture. We help each other out, and we want everyone to succeed. We work more for collaboration than competition.
So look around you. Who else is doing what you do in this area?
If the answer is “no one,” then you might be filling a niche. And we want to get that out there! “No one does what we do or offers what we offer!”
But if you have small business peers, what are they doing that works? What appeals to you? Where are they finding customers and why?
Talk to people in your fellow small business communities. They can learn from you, too—and might even point customers in your direction! We also recommend joining your local Chamber of Commerce.
How are you managing digital marketing this winter?
So now you’re starting to get an idea for how complicated digital marketing can be when you want to maximize the winter seasons in your Carolina mountain town. So how are you going to deal with it?
Well, of course, we recommend connecting with High Country Digital Marketing. We’re part of the western Carolina small business community, and we are literally here to help.