Social media and website marketing in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley is a bit different than you may find in other parts of the United States. While the basics of using digital advertising and organic social media posting remain in place, it’s important to understand that the desert is a unique media market and what works elsewhere, might just not work here. As someone who has lived and worked in the Coachella Valley in various roles over the past few decades, here are three things I have learned about using digital marketing effectively to market your business in Palm Springs, Indio, La Quinta, Coachella, Palm Desert, and all desert cities in between.

1) You Have to Know the Market

As the Coachella Valley is so close to Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Inland Empire, I have seen many cases where a business or promoter entering the market will utilize an ad agency they are familiar with from outside of the desert, who then goes on to treat the Coachella Valley as homogenous, rather than a community of unique cities and neighborhoods that should be communicated to differently.

Here is one example of what I mean:

A Palm Springs restaurant running social media ads in Palm Desert and Indian Wells. I mean, sure, it’s possible that someone might make the drive west, past 100 other restaurants, to dine in the west valley – but anyone who has lived in the Coachella Valley long enough knows, locals and visitors don’t want to make that snail crawl down Highway 111 often, so they are going to dine near where they are staying or where they live.  

For the restaurant mentioned above, a highly-targeted digital marketing campaign enticing both locals nearby and the throngs of visitors staying in hotels and Airbnbs near their location would be a much more efficient use of funds than throwing digital dollars at the whole Coachella Valley (and, man, don’t even get me started on those restaurants basically throwing money away by paying to show valley-wide commercials on the local news!).

2) It’s No Longer All About the Snowbirds

For a good part of nearly three decades, businesses in Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, and Palm Springs spent a large part of their advertising budget appealing to a group of Canadians who would fly south to stay in the desert for much of the winter, before packing up when temps hit the triple digits.

There was nothing subtle about these ads, with businesses gushing all over the visitors from the north for several months, then basically shutting down their doors from May to November.  The full-time population of residents has been soaring for over a decade now (and the pandemic saw this increase even further as many who could work from home decided to leave big cities and places with way too much snow to live full-time in the Coachella Valley).

The desert’s full time population now stands at nearly 400,000 people.  In addition, the days of no one staying in hotels during the summer has passed.  You can now find plenty of So Cal residents flocking to the desert for a summer weekend getaway to enjoy the pool, golf, food, and events such as Splash House.

These are people who have money to spend…in the desert…all year long…and they can be marketed to efficiently and effectively with a good digital strategy.

3) It’s a Weird Lifestyle (That Takes a Little Getting Used To)

While many around the United States eagerly anticipate Memorial Day Weekend as the unofficial kickoff of summer, it’s the opposite feeling for many in the Greater Palm Springs Area, as temps begin soaring to well into the triple digits with no relief in site until Thanksgiving.

Now, to be clear, this isn’t the 1980s anymore when almost everything shut down in the Coachella Valley all summer long.  People are still out living their lives, working their jobs, and spending cash, but they are doing it just a bit differently than many in the rest of the country are – as summer means staying indoors and winter means going outside.  Plus, there’s the little things to know like how important finding a parking spot in the shade can be and, speaking of vehicles, let’s go ahead and make sure you don’t leave any chocolate in your car too long.

And those who get it, get it, and communicating online in a way that shows your business understands the Coachella Valley can go a long way towards gaining new customers and advocates.

The above is just a brief rundown of some of the things businesses should know when it comes to effective digital marketing and social media in the Coachella Valley.

If you would like to learn more or chat about some strategies for your business, I would love to meet you. Just head over here and either send a message or schedule some time on the calendar for a Zoom or call.