The Effect On Local Hawaiian Business, and How You Can Respond

Like everything else since March of this year, the holidays are looking different than we’re used to. We stay on top of the latest trends in marketing, local SEO and reputation management for our friends in business on Maui. These trends are ones you want to keep tabs on.

According to HubSpot, the good news is that brick-and-mortar, local businesses aren’t going anywhere. Even though there was a huge surge in SEO, social media and digital marketing this year, there were still a majority of people who planned to do some or all of their shopping in-store. So if you can keep your doors open, or at least provide curbside services, do it.

That said, there’s an equal percentage who plan to do some or all of their shopping online. That tells me, thinking about your marketing strategy, that it might be worth outfitting your business to receive both the physical and digital marketplaces.

Depending on what you offer, you could make up the difference in sales from other islands, the mainland, or clear around the world.

But even if it’s all right here in Maui, you could still net a bigger catch this holiday season if you can rake in website traffic while working the front counter. If you haven’t given it much thought, we prepared this handy guide to local SEO, to give you some idea of what’s possible.

If you’re busier than that … let’s just say the last thing you need is to drink from the fire hydrant of digital marketing. Give our team a call, if you’d prefer your own digital marketing agency.

The second trend this winter is people tightening their belts. There are several reasons for this, but one of them is that large office and family gatherings are going bye-bye.

This won’t only affect retailers of gifts, but also grocers, restaurants and caterers that provide food, and hotels and venues that play host. It doesn’t have to mean the end of the world, but you may need to get creative and leverage internet marketing to stay competitive.

The third trend is people taking social distancing seriously. From the look of things, so are many state governments, where lockdowns have recently resumed.

You may have to do some reading up on consumer expectations for acceptable retail environments, or you may find plenty of people turning on their heels when they realize you’re taking risks with health and safety.

Why a Hybrid Model Increases Your Chances of Success

You might be surprised to find tools like website design, SEO optimization, social media marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can become useful at this point … affordable, automated solutions that keep your cash register jingling when the odds aren’t in your favor and the deck’s stacked on the side of caution. 

Take web design, for example. Why would it pay to overhaul or tune up your company’s website? One example that comes to mind is the “shareability” of feedback you get from happy customers.

Let’s say you get an amazing review of a product or service that remains in high demand. If it’s easy to reproduce across multiple platforms, you can give prospects an opportunity to hear stories, instead of your own statements, about why they should buy.

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The craziness of 2020 revealed how under-utilized SEO was … because businesses who’d invested in it went on a sales rampage, as people retreated into their homes.

Online shopping climbed to height of waves even the best surfers would hesitate to catch. Website ranking goes a long way, especially for local customers – the faster they find you, the less time they’re likely to spend researching your competitors.

Depending on the degree of “saturation” you have in the local market, you may want to invest in some PPC or social media advertising as well. These are inexpensive, highly targeted methods for getting in front of your target customers.

Inexpensive as they can be, they’re also time-consuming; if you’re already sidetracked with a storefront to manage, you may need to hire a marketing manager. Our team at Nick Ponte Marketing specializes in this.

How To Bypass “Dollars and Cents” Decisions This Season

One trend that surged long before COVID-19 is demand for authenticity, and genuine concern for customers. We haven’t found a single survey to suggest that’s changed … which gives you an opportunity!

As my best friend and business partner Tom Gaddis says, the best way to achieve success is to find a group of potential buyers first, find out what they’re willing to buy … and then offer it to them, in a way they’re happy to pay for.

Communicating value in today’s world goes way beyond fancy logo design. You have to give value up front, through content marketing – giving away knowledge and expertise for free. It’d be nice if you could just go knocking on doors and saying, “Hi, here’s your free content.”

But in the real (digital) world, you have to show up behind the customer’s door – on the screen of their computer or smartphone. And you need ways to advertise to your target client – not just any old person walking down the street. This guide we prepared should give you a start point for marketing your business through content.

With results trickling in from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the case for an online marketing strategy is at an all-time high. If you’re behind on this, there’s still plenty of time to move the needle between now and the end of December. Online marketing is like planting trees – the best time to do it is before you need it … but the second-best time is now.

If you’re too busy to launch your strategy, or you need help, contact us.


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