50 Ideas for Your 2023 Small Business Marketing Strategy
Published: May 19, 2023
Whether you’re launching a new business or already have one, having a small business marketing strategy that includes a strong online presence for your brand is essential.
Consumers learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else, with Statista predicting the number of ecommerce users to grow to nearly 290 million by 2027 .
If you’re a small business owner with little experience in online marketing, creating a strategy to boost your online presence may feel overwhelming. Have no fear — we’ve got you covered.
In this post, we’ll help you build and optimize your small business marketing strategy using inbound marketing , setting you up to attract new clients and ultimately grow your business.
Small Business Marketing
Marketing is meant to raise brand awareness and build a pipeline of qualified leads that turn into sales. With a small business, getting the word out can be challenging due to less visibility and lack of resources (like budget or time).
However, there are key strategies that can help you scale your small business’s marketing efforts.
Whether you’re struggling with a limited budget, the time restraints caused by a smaller team, or even a lack of direction, a marketing plan appropriate for your business can guide you as you scale.
Small Business Marketing Strategies
- Know your audience.
- Emphasize your value proposition.
- Stay focused on singular goals and objectives.
- Capitalize on short-term plays.
- Double down on what works.
- Understand the power of existing customers.
- Use free promotional tools.
- Create a website to own your online presence.
- Consider blogging to attract prospects for your website.
- Promote yourself on social media.
- Collaborate with influencers to create brand awareness.
- Create short-form video content.
- Stick to a social media posting schedule.
- Invest in ads.
- Make sure you're capturing web prospects’ information.
- Use email marketing to nurture leads.
- Manage relationships with a CRM.
- Lean into word of mouth as a promotion channel.
- Connect with other local businesses.
These strategies are fundamental as you generate awareness and revenue for your organization:
1. Know your audience.
A key mistake is thinking that “anyone” is your buyer. Larger companies may be able to appeal to a wide market, but they say “the riches are in the niches” for a reason.
You’ll have the most leverage as a small business in a niche. And to develop a niche and appeal to buyers within it, you must understand their pains, problems, triggering events, and priorities.
What is pushing them to make a purchasing decision? What does it look like if they succeed? Knowing these things will help you craft messaging that resonates and makes a compelling case for your solution.
Start by thinking about your existing customers and who you’d like to work with. Then, create a buyer persona to get into your ideal client's head.
Download Free Buyer Persona Templates
2. Emphasize your value proposition.
If there’s no difference between you and your competition, there’s no reason why a buyer would be compelled to work with you.
Your value proposition is what will differentiate you from others in your space and make up your prospects’ minds that you're the provider to go with.
What do you do better than anyone in the industry? Conveying this makes a compelling argument.
3. Stay focused on singular goals and objectives.
If you’re exploring the world of marketing, you may have noticed that there are a gazillion directions you can go in. It’s tempting to do it all at once and craft a complicated machine in hopes that you covered all your bases.
However, this strategy makes it easy to take on too much.
Instead, identify where the biggest impact will be. Where is the biggest blind spot in your marketing prohibiting your growth?
Set a performance goal around that one key area and focus your resources on the activities and tactics that will achieve that one performance goal.
You can expand your efforts or pivot to other initiatives when you’ve made more progress toward that singular goal.
4. Capitalize on short-term plays.
Start scrappy. As you scale, it’s critical to see ROI sooner. This will give you the momentum and cash flow to put toward larger projects, long-term plays, and more sustainable growth models.
Tactics that take time to build (such as SEO) are poor fits for your primary initiatives because you won’t see a return soon enough for your liking. If you have enough resources to start there, great. However, don’t put all your eggs in that basket.
If you have evidence that people are taking to Google with purchasing intent for your particular solution, you may find that paid ads will give you that short-term ROI.
5. Double down on what works.
Once you have your initiatives running and you’ve experimented with a few things, pay attention to the data. This can inform you of what’s working. As you scale, it’s a good idea to double down on proven methods of generating revenue.
6. Understand the power of existing customers.
On average, acquiring a new customer costs five times more than closing an existing one. This means you shouldn’t stop marketing once they’ve made a purchase.
Identify your opportunities for repeat purchasing, upselling, and cross-selling. Because your existing customers have already made a purchase, they already know, like, and trust you.
If you’ve provided a good experience, you’ve given them a reason to do business with you again should the need ever arise.
Even if the need doesn’t arise (in cases where it’s a one-and-done purchase with no upsell opportunities), you should still delight your customers. Word of mouth is a powerful (and free) promotional tool.
7. Use free promotional tools.
Speaking of free promotional tools, it’s important to note that since you’ve committed to a limited goal and scope, there’s no need to inflate your overhead with gadgets.
Use free promotional tools where possible, and only commit to paid tools if you know they will drastically improve existing operations or performance. Here’s a helpful list of marketing tools (some free, some paid).
8. Create a website to own your online presence.
A professional-looking website is one of the most important assets you will create for your small business. This is where you will show who you are, what you offer, where you are, and how a potential customer can contact you.
It is a channel you will always own, and it has the capability of generating organic traffic in addition to being a place to send traffic from advertising and other marketing initiatives.
Your website isn’t just a simple brochure, either. You can turn it into a 24/7 salesperson by understanding how to convert traffic and turn them into leads (more on that later).
For one of the best website tools, check out HubSpot’s CMS .
Free Marketing Plan Template
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Click this link to access this resource at any time.
9. Consider blogging to attract prospects for your website.
Blogging is a great way to generate organic traffic, particularly for those prospects who have not reached a purchasing decision yet . In addition, it can establish credibility in your space and position you as a thought leader.
To start a blog, you can use an inexpensive or free website tool to make a free site and use one of their templates.
Even if you only publish once a week, it will improve your website’s visibility online and help educate your potential customers on why they should trust your company.
If you plan to write your posts yourself, check out this beginner’s guide to writing .
Once you start writing, you can add a call-to-action (CTAs) on your posts for visitors to subscribe to your blog and receive emails.
This is a great way to start collecting leads and offering potential customers a way to get information if they aren’t ready to buy anything from you yet.
Download Free Blog Post Templates
10. Promote yourself on social media.
With billions of potential customers using various platforms daily, social media is a powerful business tool. Social media marketing can help you engage with potential customers, build brand awareness, and promote your products.
Why wouldn’t you want to be seen where your potential customers spend their time?
Download the Free Social Media Content Calendar Template
11. Collaborate with influencers to create brand awareness.
Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are top of the list when it comes to social media platforms . But, if your small business is not yet well known on these outlets, consider collaborating with well-established influencers in your niche.
Influencer marketing is currently the top marketing trend. Collaborating with influencers is a surefire way to get your business in front of the eyes of your audience. Influencers understand their (and your!) niche.
Not only do they understand the niche, but influencers have a knack for storytelling — meaning, they’ll be able to effectively tell your business’s story and sell your brand to the appropriate audience.
Consider reaching out to influencers in your niche to add to your small business marketing strategy.
12. Create short-form video content.
Marketers know that a good marketing strategy for your small business should include more than just written content. In fact, in 2022, 44% of social media marketers focused their efforts on creating video content for TikTok.
Adding short-form video content to your marketing strategy is a great idea, as platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook make connecting and engaging with your audience convenient.
Short-form video content is easily shared, meaning you can quickly get your product or service in front of the right audience — and their friends.
13. Stick to a social media posting schedule.
You shouldn’t just post to your social media platforms hoping that something will become a viral post. Instead, you must focus on intentional content creation and posting.
After you find the social media platform that works best for your business, create a social media content calendar and stick to a regular posting schedule.
But, don’t just post every day for the sake of posting. 83% of social media marketers say it’s better to post at a lower frequency with high-quality content than daily posting.
You’ll likely post irrelevant, low-quality content when you post daily.
Take the time to create engaging, thoughtful content and schedule it for the appropriate times to stand out from the competition.
14. Invest in ads.
Organic traffic takes a while to build, and as a small business, you want to invest in short-term plays. Pay-to-play tactics that target buyers with high intent are great for short-term wins to jump-start other objectives.
80% of brands use some form of paid advertisement. Google Ads are perfect if you know that your target audience is searching the web for your product or solution. If they aren’t, you might consider social media ads instead.
Individuals on social media have less buying intent, but with highly targeted ads and enough impressions, you’ll gain the interest of your audience.
Download the Free Advertising Planning Kit
15. Make sure you’re capturing web prospects’ information.
We’ve been talking a lot about visibility and traffic but haven’t really covered how these will help drive revenue yet. One simple way to start generating leads or customers from your website is to implement a conversion tool.
A simple, free option is HubSpot Marketing Free . By using this tool to add a pop-up widget to your website , you can start collecting the email addresses of potential customers.
From there, you can send out promotions and offers and convert them into paying customers. You can also implement any of these 24 conversion tools to help you optimize your website and use it to drive leads.
16. Use email marketing to nurture leads.
Just because you’ve converted website traffic into leads doesn’t mean those leads are ready to buy yet. It’s important to stay top of mind and move them closer to a purchasing decision.
Email marketing is a critical part of your marketing toolkit, and it is the most effective method of marketing. In fact, 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.
This strategy is an easy, free, and scalable way to communicate with both new and existing customers.
Once you have an email marketing tool in place (many are inexpensive or even free), experiment with emailing out newsletters (with your sleek new blog posts) and other promotions to your database.
We know small business owners don’t have tons of free time to devote to digital marketing, so consider using marketing automation to make this process even easier for yourself.
To get started planning your email marketing strategy, check out this guide and template from HubSpot .
17. Manage relationships with a CRM.
Email marketing works best when you’re sending personalized, targeted emails. This begins with a customer database or customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Your CRM stores information about your leads, prospects, and customers so that you can keep track of customer interactions and identify sales opportunities more effectively.
HubSpot has one of the best CRMs (and, best of all, it’s totally free).
18. Lean into word of mouth as a promotion channel.
As mentioned previously, delighting customers can have a big impact on your business, primarily in repeat purchases and word of mouth.
If you provide a great experience, your customers will be more inclined to leave reviews, give testimonials, and tell their friends about you.
That’s why measuring customer satisfaction and encouraging customers to spread the word is a good idea.
19. Connect with other local businesses.
Take your business to the local community and connect with other local business owners in your area. Consider partnering with local businesses to create discounts, deals, or coupons for customers.
Start a live stream with local business owners during a promotional event or coordinate a giveaway.
Connecting with other small businesses is both great for word of mouth and collaboration. If you collaborate with other local businesses, advertise the promotion or sale on your social media outlets.
Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are tips for improving whichever marketing strategies you choose.
- Determine your brand's identity.
- Identify your buyer persona.
- Design a logo and other assets.
- Build your website with a CMS template.
- Draw up a go-to-market strategy.
- Hire a freelancer to help you scale your content.
- Consult agencies and freelancers for web design help.
- Track your site with analytics tools.
- Boost your Google ranking with SEO.
- Research keyword opportunities.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices.
- Write optimized blog posts.
- Experiment with photo and video content.
- Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp.
- Build out your social media strategy.
- Use social media for customer service.
- Build interesting landing pages.
- Plan an email marketing strategy.
- Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages.
- Share your distribution channels on your website.
- Offer a free webinar.
- Try co-marketing.
- Encourage happy customers to share their experiences.
- Try out marketing experiments.
1. Determine your brand’s identity.
A consistent brand identity to promote your business will make you look more professional and help you attract new customers. According to a 2020 study, nearly 9 out of 10 people are brand loyal .
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has described a company’s branding as “what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
In other words, your brand is people's feelings and emotions when hearing your company name. It combines your brand name, logo, aesthetic, and the design of all your assets, plus the values you support, which is becoming more important to consumers .
2. Identify your buyer persona.
When you imagine a customer searching for your product or service, what are they like? What are their pain points? What is their job? Creating a buyer persona that tells the story of your ideal customer can help you optimize a website for them.
By learning more about your target customer through creating a buyer persona, you can better figure out what types of things they may be searching for so you can include those terms on your website.
3. Design a logo and other assets.
To start getting the creative juices flowing, consider your color scheme and peruse palettes with Adobe Color or Coolors . You can create your own or look through pre-made or customized color palettes.
To create a logo, I’d recommend checking out Upwork or Freelancer .
There are free and less expensive options for designing your own logo online, although using a freelancer or agency can give you a higher quality product and connect you with a designer who can change and update your brand assets as your company grows.
4. Build your website with a CMS template.
If you’re a tech-savvy small business owner, you’ll probably want to build your own website. A content management system (CMS) makes the process simple.
Most CMSs offer customizable templates for your site that you can get for free or for a small fee. There are templates for various skill levels — from beginner all the way to advanced.
Once you’ve created your website, most CMS platforms offer plugins to help you optimize your content for search (look for SEO plugins). This will help you rank better in Google — which we’ll discuss more in-depth in a bit.
5. Draw up a go-to-market strategy.
Once you’ve activated all the tools you need to promote your product or service, you’ll need to create a promotional plan that aligns with the customer journey.
Consider which content will attract, engage, and delight your prospects and how you will convert them into a customer.
To help you plan out this process, use this template.
6. Hire a freelancer to help you scale your content.
If you need help creating regular blogs or promotional content, consider hiring a freelancer over investing in a full-timer. Try Upwork for a freelance blogger, videographer, or photographer.
You could also consider hiring a marketing agency for a larger project.
7. Consult agencies or freelancers for web design help.
If you aren’t technical and want a website built for your small business, you can use a freelancer or a marketing agency specializing in web design.
This is a great option for businesses with an existing website that needs to be updated and revamped for SEO to help improve your Google ranking.
To find a freelancer or marketing consultant in your area, you can use Upwork (filtering by design/creative), Codeable (for WordPress experts), or Freelancer .
8. Track your site with analytics tools.
If you’ve never made a website and aren’t entirely comfortable with the technical elements, many free tools and services can help you get started.
When you create your website, implement Google Analytics or HubSpot Marketing Free (both of which are free products) so you can easily track who’s looking at your site.
9. Boost your Google ranking with SEO.
If you already have a business, have you ever searched for yourself or your product/service online? If so, did you think, “Why isn’t my website showing up on Google?”
If so, you probably thought, “How do I rank on Google?” or “How can I improve my Google ranking?”
There are a lot of factors that play into why a certain site or page appears in the top spots on the Google (or another search engine) search engine results page ( SERP ).
Backlinko reports some of Google’s top factors, which include having relevant keywords (and their placement on your site), the length of your content, having high-quality content, how fast your page loads, how often you post content, and more.
When it all boils down, Google tries to find the best content to present to the person searching.
For example, if I’m searching for the best salon in Newport, Rhode Island, it wouldn’t be helpful for me to find a web page of a salon that has closed down and is located in Newport, Kentucky.
It would, however, be helpful for me to find a salon in my area with great Yelp reviews, an easy-to-navigate website, and contact information readily available.
Google always wants to surface the most relevant, highest-quality piece of content.
To rank higher on Google, you can leverage the power of SEO . To start learning everything there is to know about this powerhouse marketing tactic, check out The Ultimate Guide to SEO.
HubSpot explains SEO as “techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
This makes your website more visible to people looking for solutions that your brand, product, or service can provide via search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.”
In other words, it’s the basic concept of structuring your website and blog posts to be in the best shape for appearing first on search engines.
SEO strategy usually consists of a few things. These include buyer persona research , keyword research, and on-page SEO research.
These three areas can help you learn how your target market is searching online and position your business to get discovered by the right people.
10. Research keywords opportunities.
Keyword research is an extension of buyer persona research. You can use the personas you’ve created to search for the best keywords for your brand, then use a tool like KW Finder to find related keywords for your target audience.
Then, you can do some on-page SEO research and optimization. This is where you put those keywords in the correct places on your website — like in the meta description, page titles, and H1 tags.
11. Optimize your website for mobile devices.
Most Google searches are done on mobile devices , so it’s important to have a site that looks clean and is easy to navigate when someone enters it on their smartphone.
A mobile site can also be beneficial for SEO, with search engines like Google, which reward you with a higher ranking if you have a mobile site.
You don’t have to be a tech expert to build a site that looks good on mobile. In fact, most CMS platforms like HubSpot already offer mobile-optimized templates.
12. Write optimized blog posts.
Content and blogging are extremely important for your search engine ranking. The more often your desired keywords appear in your high-quality and helpful content, the more likely you are to appear in search results.
A great way to become an authority on your topic, product, or service is to blog.
Make sure you’re writing with SEO in mind — use these SEO tips for bloggers or leverage a WordPress plugin like Yoast .
13. Experiment with photo and video content.
According to HubSpot Research , more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands. Additionally, most social media apps, like Facebook and Instagram, are embracing more visual layouts.
To keep up with these trends, it’s a good idea to make a few marketing videos. If you use these tips , producing a few can be quite inexpensive.
14. Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp.
If your business is focused on a local area, the most important accounts for you are Facebook, Yelp, and Google’s business feature.
Having high Yelp reviews improves your authority online and helps your search ranking. You can claim your business on Yelp for free, customize your profile, add pictures, and ask for reviews.
The same thing goes for registering your Google business page. You can register your business with Google (for free) and add pictures.
If you’ve ever searched for your business in Google Maps and been disappointed not to see it, it’s because you haven’t claimed it yet!
On Facebook, you can create a Facebook business page so that people can find your location and hours.
For any business, having up-to-date social media accounts will help you be found and engage with prospects.
Create a Twitter account , Facebook page , learn how to use Instagram , create a Pinterest page (if relevant), and use them to discover new clients.
15. Build out your social media strategy.
While Facebook and Yelp will be great tools for local searches and reviews, platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter will offer you even more opportunities to share your posts, content, and promotions.
If your customers can purchase your products or services online, these platforms will also give them another way to find you.
Be sure not to spread yourself too thin by joining too many platforms at once. To make strategizing easier, here’s a guide to the five types of social media platforms and the pros and cons of each.
16. Use social media for customer service.
Once you’re on your chosen platforms, be sure to answer customer or follower questions when they ask them through post comments or direct messages. This will make your company look responsive and credible.
Here are some great examples of how brands have used Twitter for customer service.
If you have the means, consider hiring a social media manager with community management experience.
On top of posting content on a regular schedule, community managers are charged with responding to questions or concerns of followers.
Interested? We published a guide on what it takes to be a great social media community manager.
17. Build interesting landing pages.
A landing page offers your potential customers a free resource in exchange for filling out a short contact information form.
When they receive the resource, they might be even more pleased by your company and more interested in buying the full product.
Because landing pages raise your chances of customer conversion, you want yours to look enticing. To get started, read this landing page guide to learn more about what makes this strategy successful.
Then check out these free and professionally designed templates .
18. Plan an email marketing strategy.
Once you start creating regular content and building out landing pages, you’ll want to share them with the prospects who seem most interested in learning more about your product.
For this reason, we suggest building an email marketing strategy.
While you want to be careful not to bombard those who sign up for your email list with too many emails, you want to send just enough to keep your prospects informed and engaged.
Here’s how our metrics improved when we streamlined our email marketing strategy.
If you’ve never sent regular newsletters before, you can use HubSpot or a number of other affordable tools to create and send an email with a professionally designed template.
Many email tools also offer basic analytics that allow you to track open and click rates.
19. Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages.
Placing a coupon in your marketing emails can engage and delight your audience. After buying a product or service at a discounted rate, they might also be more willing to pay full price.
If you have a subscription service, offering prospects a code for a free trial can also be helpful so they can test it out.
20. Share your distribution channels on your website.
Once you have a few social media accounts and a newsletter, connect them to your website so your visitors can follow you.
One way companies do this is to display all of their linked social icons and a newsletter sign-up CTA on all pages of your website. A good place to include these is on the top right corner or the footer of each page.
This way, they’re visible but aren’t distracting from any content.
21. Offer a free webinar.
A webinar allows potential customers to sign up for a short online course hosted by you. These courses are usually between 30 minutes to an hour and allow you to give tips and answer questions related to a topic your brand is familiar with.
While this strategy can help you boost your credibility in your field, it can also offer you potential leads and sales opportunities .
22. Try co-marketing.
Is there a local business in your area that isn’t a direct competitor but offers a product or service to a similar target audience?
Consider working with them on a cobranded campaign where you promote each other on social media, via email, or in your blog.
While you’ll give your partnering company added promotion, it will also allow their fanbase to learn more about you.
23. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences.
When a happy customer talks about how great your company is on social media or a review site, your product or service looks like a good investment.
Even on social media, word of mouth is still a huge factor in someone’s purchasing decision .
If a prospect sees a friend raving about your business on Facebook or if they post a photo of a meal from your restaurant on Instagram, they might be more likely to go.
After all, 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals .
If customers tell you they love your product, encourage them to share the experience on Yelp, Google, or social.
If you have a physical business, you should place signs up with your account handles so customers know who to tag if they post a picture of your product.
24. Try out marketing experiments.
If you’re interested in a new social platform or a new marketing trend, don’t be afraid to experiment. If an experiment goes well, you could be ahead of the game, and it never hurts to be a thought leader in your industry.
When you experiment with a new marketing strategy, have a solid hypothesis or question in mind. This will keep you focused on the end goal and reduce the desire to chase the next big thing as it comes along.
Also, prepare for your next steps if you get good or bad results. Here’s a quick guide to leading a successful marketing experiment.
Small Business Advertising Ideas
Now that we’ve covered some marketing strategy basics, let’s look into how you can put your advertising dollars to work. Below are some ways to tackle advertising for small businesses.
- Set up Google My Business.
- Consider PPC ads with Google & Bing.
- Run social media ads.
- Sponsor products on Etsy & Amazon.
- Leverage user-generated content.
- Develop a referral program.
- Advertise with your local chamber of commerce.
1. Set up Google My Business.
Creating a free Google My Business profile is a simple first step to helping potential customers find your business. It only takes a few minutes to add your business contact information, business hours, photos, and a list of your services.
Another perk of having a Google business profile is that you don’t need a storefront to create one. Your profile also comes with analytics that can help you better understand how customers are connecting with your business.
Additionally, you can check out and respond to customer reviews and learn what keywords brought them to your business page.
2. Consider PPC ads with Google & Bing.
Using pay-per-click (PPC) ad programs like Google Adwords or Microsoft Advertising can also help drive customers to your business. If you’re working hard on SEO, but are still looking for an extra boost, consider PPC advertising.
With this search engine marketing technique, you use Google AdWords or Microsoft Ads to show up as an advertised listing in search results.
Before you dive into PPC, you’ll want to make sure your landing page is as optimized as possible. If you are paying by the click and those who click on the page don’t convert, you will lose advertising dollars.
To help you get started, read this Ultimate Guide to PPC . Then, use this PPC planning template to create an optimized campaign. You can also use a few handy tools and software to edit, track, and report on your campaigns.
3. Run social media ads.
Most major social media platforms offer affordable advertising options that can help you target your posts to a specific audience.
While many small businesses have been advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for years, Instagram now allows brands to advertise through its Shoppable tool .
Pinterest is also an excellent option for small businesses to advertise. In fact, Pinterest users say the platform has more influence on their purchasing journey than other platforms.
Shopping ads on Pinterst drive three times the conversion of other competing platforms.
4. Sponsor products on Etsy & Amazon.
If you’ve already set up shop on Amazon, you can boost your products by participating in their sponsored products program.
This cost-per-click ad program generates ads from your product listings and automatically targets your ads, making it a great option if you’ve never created a campaign before.
If you’re a maker and sell your wares on Etsy, consider using Etsy Ads to advertise your products. Similar to Amazon, this is a cost-per-click model with a default minimum daily budget of one dollar.
With Etsy Ads, your products will stand out in Etsy Search, category pages, and marketing pages.
5. Leverage user-generated content.
Some of the best advertising you can get is from existing customers. Happy customers can vouch for your brand and add social proof to your marketing campaigns.
Ask your customers to leave reviews, or if they’ve already created content on social media involving your brand, ask permission to share it.
6. Develop a referral program.
Speaking of enlisting the help of your existing customers, you can incentivize them by using a referral program . Offer a discount, free gift, or other perk in exchange for them bringing in new customers.
Referred customers are 18% more loyal than those who aren’t and spend 13% more on purchases. Since these new customers will have been referred to you by someone they know, they’re more likely to have a positive customer experience.
7. Advertise with your local chamber of commerce.
If you have a storefront, advertise with your local chamber of commerce.
Each city is different, but you can typically be featured on their website, promoted on their social media channels, and included in their email newsletter for an annual fee.
It’s a great way to get your brand out there and an excellent opportunity to network with fellow small business owners.
Start Marketing Your Business Today
Small business owners looking for a way to track ROI and brand awareness need digital marketing.
Not only is digital marketing a must-have for promoting your products or services, but optimizing your online assets is also critical to your business’ overall success.
You may have a long road ahead to build your online presence, but any steps you can make will have a huge impact on your business.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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10 Small Business Marketing Strategies That Actually Work Avoid the pitfalls of small business marketing and achieve long-term goals by choosing the right strategies.
By Christian Nwachukwu • Feb 21, 2022
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As a small business owner, you know your vision and plan matter. To start a successful business, you'll need an ironclad business plan that includes financials and a marketing plan.
If you're a small business owner, then you know that marketing can be tough. It seems like everyone is competing for attention, and it's hard to stand out from the crowd.
Related: How To Write A Business Plan | Entrepreneur.com
Whether you handle marketing yourself or you have a marketing department, some strategies can increase visibility to boost awareness for your brand. Ready to learn more? Keep reading for 10 small business marketing strategies that work.
1. Know how to target your audience
When it comes to marketing your small business, it's essential to target the right audience. By developing a strategy that focuses on your ideal customer, you'll be able to reach more people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. So how do you go about doing this? Here are some tips for targeting your audience effectively:
- Know your target market
- Define your niche
- Research your competition
- Create buyer personas
- Use in-depthdemographic data
- Segment your audience
- Tailor your marketing messages
- Don't forget offline marketing
Related: 6 Ways to Market Your Small Business for Less Than $100
2. Leverage cold email marketing
When it comes to small business marketing, cold emailing is one of the most effective strategies. It's a great way to connect with potential customers who may not be familiar with your business. Here are a few tips for using cold email to market your small business:
- Start by creating a list of potential customers.
- Research the companies you want to target and find out who the decision-makers are.
- Draft a personalized email that introduces your business and explains why you think the contact would be a good fit for your products or services.
- Send the email and follow up with phone calls if necessary.
- Keep track of your results and adjust your strategy as needed.
Related: Email Marketing - Entrepreneur
3. Advertise your business online
When it comes to advertising your business, there are several different strategies that you can use. However, not all of these strategies will be effective for your business. To find the best digital marketing strategy for your small business, you need to do some research and try out a few different tactics.
One of the most popular online marketing tactics is social media advertising. This involves using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote your business. You can create ads that target specific demographics, or you can simply post about your business on your social media apps.
Since most people are on their mobile devices frequently, using social media posts or Google Ads to promote your brand may be a better marketing idea than using direct mail efforts. The internet also functions as the hub of word-of-mouth marketing, with in-person experiences being reflected on review and referral sites like Yelp.
Related: 4 Free Small Business Marketing Tools
4. Use influencers to build brand awareness
When it comes to marketing your small business, you can't afford to overlook the power of influencers. Influencers are individuals with a large online following who can sway the opinions of their followers. In other words, if an influencer promotes your product or service, their followers are likely to take notice.
There are several ways to work with influencers to build awareness for your small business. One option is to reach out to them directly and ask them to join a marketing campaign to promote your product or service. Another option is to partner with an influencer marketing agency that can connect you with influencers who are a good fit for your brand.
Related: What to Know About Influencer Marketing in 2022
5. Connect with local businesses
One of the best ways to market your small business is to connect with local businesses. When you partner with other businesses in your area, you can share resources and promote each other to your customer base. You can also collaborate on marketing initiatives and events.
To connect with local businesses, start by networking with other business owners in your community. Attend business events and join online forums and groups that focus on local business collaboration. You can also reach out to local businesses directly and offer to collaborate.
6. Offer incentives and discounts
This can be in the form of a percentage off your products or services or even a free item with purchase. You can also offer loyalty programs, which give customers rewards for continued patronage. Whatever incentive or discount you choose to offer, make sure it's something that your customers will find valuable.
7. Build an email list
Building an email list isn't hard. It doesn't take much time or any special skills to do, and once it's done, it saves you a lot of time in the future. Here are some ideas for building your initial newsletter subscribers:
- Offer something valuable (and usually free) like a white paper, eBook, free webinar, or coupon code for joining your mailing list
- Ask people who complete certain forms on your website to opt-in to receive updates from you via email
- Use social media platforms to post about how excited you are about launching your new products/services and share where to sign up for them using links that lead directly to the sign-up form
- Include a sign-up form on all of your website pages and blog posts
8. Automated marketing
Running a small business can often be an all-hands-on-deck situation, especially as you start up. Because you and your employees have so much to juggle, automation might be just what you need to boost efficiency and increase communication consistency.
Automation can also help you and your team take back your time, as it can provide more freedom for job tasks, collaboration, and creativity.
Consider automation platforms for:
- Social media content calendars
- Email marketing (eCommerce shopping carts and abandoned carts, and email list blasts)
- SMS notifications (loyalty program, discounts, and shipping notifications)
9. Invest in search engine optimization ( SEO )
Another popular online marketing strategy is search engine optimization (SEO). This involves optimizing your website so that it appears higher on search engine results pages. By investing in SEO, you can improve your website's ranking in search results and attract more visitors.
There are many different SEO techniques that you can use, and it's important to choose the right ones for your business. If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider using online marketing tools like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. These tools allow you to target specific audiences with your ads, which can help you save money on advertising costs.
If you have a small marketing budget, check out these five affordable small business SEO softwares:
10. Blog about the latest trends and events related to your business niche
Blogging is a great way to connect with customers and share information about your business. When you blog about the latest trends, news stories, and events related to your business niche, potential customers can learn more about you and what you offer. This can help you attract new customers and build trust with existing customers.
Related: Top Social-Media Marketing Essentials for Small Businesses
Ready to build your small business?
As you continue to grow your small business, your marketing efforts matter. You need to understand your target audience, create multiple marketing channels, maintain consistent content marketing efforts, and follow a messaging system that aligns with your brand's mission.
Visit Entrepreneur today for more marketing tips , customer experience ideas , and how to analyze your marketing platform metrics .
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8 marketing strategies for small businesses.
The success of a small business has a lot to do with its marketing plan. Marketing is used to attract the customers needed to keep a business viable and operational. Marketing strategies are used to help a business achieve sales goals and branding initiatives. Through a variety of tactics, marketers work to attract the right customers to the business.
When business owners sit down to write their marketing plan, they need to consider what makes sense for their small business. What is working in the marketplace? And where should they start?
Here are 8 marketing strategies to set your small business up for success.
1. Establish a Brand
For a small business’s customers and potential customers to know what their company is, does and stands for, they need to have a clear brand identity. Once they have decided on their company’s identity they need to match it with a suitable name, logo, colors and imagery that conveys their brand to customers.
Small business owners might decide to establish a brand look with the help of a freelancer or by collaborating with an established agency. This process can be costly but in the end, it is worth it. Think about the recognition of established brands like McDonald’s or Starbucks and how that recognition is tied to their brands, logos and colors.
Once a company has its logo, it should put it on everything: advertising, business cards, website, envelopes, and email signatures.
2. Know Your Customer
There is no such thing as a one size fits all marketing strategy . Each business caters to a different niche in the market and therefore each company requires a marketing plan is specific to their goals and needs.
Before deciding on tactics and a strategy, small business owners need to better understand who
their target customer is by asking these questions:
- What is their demographic?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What online services do they use?
- How do they look for products?
Knowing these things about their target customer will help a business develop a targeted and effective overall marketing strategy that will focus on the channels that will produce the best results.
3. Create a Website
Websites are the modern-day business card. It is the first thing potential customers see when the Google company name and the first chance a company to make an impression. A website is the foundation of a marketing plan. Companies can use their website to provide their customers with more information, grab free traffic via search engines, drive people to their social media and establish themselves as an authority in the marketing through helpful content.
If your company doesn’t have a website yet, it is easy enough to get one.
Buy a domain name: Choose the name you want, see if it is available and pay a monthly or annual fee associated with owning that domain.
Sign up for web hosting: This is where another company hosts a company’s webpage on their servers and manages serving it up to their customers. This is often available through the same company where the domain name was purchased.
Get a content management system (CMS): This is used to both create and update the website over time. There are a number of free templates but if a company wants something more unique or customized, they can pay $50–$100 for premium themes.
4. Use the Power of SEO
The most prevalent way traffic is directed to a website is through Google searches. As Google algorithms change, a company needs to make sure to keep their page keywords optimized to make sure they are ranking high on searches.
Having a site show up on the first page of results hugely increases the chances of that website getting clicked on, so a company should do everything in their power to make sure that’s where they are in a Google search.
5. Get Listed on Google
A useful tool for local businesses with local customer bases is Google My Business . When people in the same area as a company search on Google for a product or service the company provides, the company will appear in the top searches.
When potential customers see a business’s profile and it is accompanied with a good review or finds the listing at the top of their list, the business gains credibility and people will be more willing to trust the business.
6. Advertise on Facebook
One of the best ways to target a specific group is using Facebook Ads . A business can focus their adverting on demographics such as age, sex, location, interests, online habits, and more.
Setting up advertising on Facebook is easy and relatively inexpensive. It is a great way for a business to reach a maximum number of potential customers in a short amount of time.
7. Email Customers and Potential Customers
There are many advantages of using email as a marketing strategy. It is easy to do, can be automated, provides instantaneous communication, costs very little, and can reach a large number of potential customers.
Once email addresses are added to an email list, it is important that a business provides interesting, valuable, and relevant content to their list so the emails get opened and not just merely diverted to spam mail.
8. Use Google AdWords
Remember, the key is for people to find you when they search on Google, and by using Google AdWords , you can greatly increase your chances of people seeing your name.
Google AdWords is more expensive than other marketing tactics we have discussed here but should still be considered as it is a powerful marketing tool. The key is for people to find you when they search on Google and by using Google AdWords, a business can greatly increase the chance of people seeing their name.
What Are the Best Types of Advertising for a Small Business?
Watch the video to learn about 7 types of advertising to consider in your digital marketing strategy—including 3 that are beneficial for almost every small business.
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19 Awesome Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses
Today, I’m going to show you 19 different marketing strategies that have a proven history of success for small businesses.
Half of these options will probably be viable growth strategies for your unique business.
Four of them are probably worth testing out over the next month.
And one of them has the potential to skyrocket your growth over the next year.
These work really well if you want to find inexpensive ways to promote your mobile app .
Once you’ve achieved product/market fit, your growth is simply a matter of smart marketing on the front end and a good customer retention on the backend. By the end of this article, you will know exactly what to do next with your marketing.
But before we get started, let me share a secret with you.
There Is No Magic Marketing Strategy
There is no magic bullet.
The goal of marketing is to connect your business’ value to the right customer base. It’s a simple concept but it can take on a million different shades.
- What demographics make up your customer base?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they hang out online?
- How do they look for products in your niche?
- Who do the listen when making decisions relative to your product?
The answers to these questions determine which marketing strategies will be viable and which will be a waste of time.
In other words, the key to success for your business is not Facebook Ads.
It’s not SEO.
It’s not conference networking.
There is no magic, universal strategy that will revolutionize your business. I have literally no clue what will work for you, because I don’t know you. I don’t know your business. I don’t know your customers.
But fortunately, you DO know your business! You DO know your customer base!
And after reading this guide, you will have an expanded awareness of viable marketing channels, any of which could hold the key to your future growth.
Eight of the channels we will discuss are strictly digital strategies, which will be conducted online. The other eight are a bit more general, with strategies that can be conducted offline (although many have online applications as well).
Let’s get started.
1. Facebook Advertising
Two million small to medium sized businesses advertise on Facebook; it’s an inexpensive and effective way to market to virtually any audience.
Image Credit: ibisinfotech.com
Facebook ads excel at advanced targeting. They allow you to target a specific audience based on location, interests, age, sex, online behavior, and many other factors.
Creating Facebook ads is very easy. You just need a solid headline, a bit of descriptive copy, one image, and a link.
Promote your app icon here as well.
The Facebook Ads Manager also makes it fairly simple to run and test multiple ad sets, allowing you to hone in on a winning formula and reach profitability without needing advanced technical expertise.
That said, many new users have a lot of difficulty succeeding with their initial campaigns. It takes some persistence, but on the plus side, Facebook’s popularity has produced numerous 3rd party tools that can help you succeed.
If you decide that Facebook is the right channel for you, I’d recommend using a tool like AdEspresso to run your campaigns and speed up your journey to positive ROI.
If you run a business that has a strong visual component, it might be worth trying out Instagram Ads instead. As a subsidiary of Facebook, Instagram Ads benefit from the same data base and targeting options, while allowing you to connect with an audience that is better primed for visual sales.
- Facebook Advertising Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide by Neil Patel
- How to Run App Install Ads On Facebook by Aki Merced
2. Google My Business
Ranking your Google My Business (GMB) listing is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business.
In fact, if you run a local business targeting local clients, I would dare to say it is THE most powerful strategy available to you.
For example, if someone searches for a “Portland contractor”, this is what they see:
What you are seeing here is one paid ad, followed by THREE Google My Business listings before we even see the normal organic search results. If you can rank your GMB listing in these top 3, you can pull in large numbers of highly qualified leads day in and day out without needing to spend a dime on ads.
Google My Business combines all your different Google platforms into one central place, which includes your Google+ profile, Google Maps profile, your Google reviews, access to data on Google Analytics and Google Insights, and more.
If you have a unique brand name, you can even get a large display like this to show when people search for that name:
GMB immediately gives your business credibility and visibility, and as I said before, if you run a local business, it should be #1 on your priority list.
And best of all, ranking your GMB listing is really not that hard. It simply requires you to optimize your profile and then collect reviews and citations.
- How to optimize your Google My Business listing: expert tips by Graham Charlton
- 7 SEO Mistakes That Leak Money From Local Businesses by Jacob McMillen
3. Google Adwords
There are more than 40,000 search queries on Google every second. No other advertising method has the potential to get your business before that many pairs of eyes.
Google Adwords is sort of the godfather of online marketing channels. It’s been around a long time. It’s competitive. It’s expensive. And if you know what you’re doing, it can work very, very well for you.
Despite being a paid channel, Adwords’ goal is still to deliver relevant search results to users, and as a result, it will be less expensive for you when you are utilizing proper on-page SEO .
Google assigns a quality score to your ad, which is dependent on CTR (Click Through Rate), relevance and the landing page your ad sends traffic to. This quality score factors into the bid rate you will need to get an ad displayed, with higher scores lowering the bid cost.
Unlike many of the channels we will discuss today, Adwords is a remarkably symbiotic channel that can be paired with many other strategies to maximize output. As a paid marketing channel, it also allows you to obtain immediate results and can scale as far as your budget allows.
- The Complete Google AdWords Tutorial by Jerry Banfield
- The Iceberg Effect: How Your AdWords Strategy Is Slowly Drowning by Johnathan Dane
4. Content Marketing
18% of marketers say that content marketing has the greatest commercial impact on their business of any channel in 2016.
Image Credit: SmartInsights
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience and drive profitable customer action.
Unlike paid advertising, content marketing focuses more on long-term results. The initial payoff tends to be low, but the long-term, sustainable growth in visitors, leads, and customers can single-handedly carry a business.
Content marketing is not easy, however, and requires every element to be done right:
- Quality content
- Relevant topics
- Optimized for SEO
- Optimized for readers
- Consistent content creation & promotion
Content is not limited to blog posts. It includes videos, podcasts, online courses, and a host of other mediums in which people consume information.
It’s important to understand that every small business can rely on content marketing. From food delivery apps to B2B consulting, professional services, white label apps , and more, content marketing is versatile for every possible use case.
If you are considering this strategy for your own business, make sure you have the time and capital needed to get going with no initial ROI, and then DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Too many businesses these days are just wasting resources creating mediocre content with no payoff, now or ever.
- Getting Started With Content Marketing by Content Marketing Institute
- Why You Need a Growth Model For Your Blog (And How to Create One) by Devesh Khanal
- How to Start a Blog in 2020 (and Make Money): Free Easy Guide to Start Blogging Today by Ryan Robinson
5. Organic Social Media
Using social media for business is really a non-negotiable.
67% of consumers use social media for customer support, and 33% prefer using social media instead of the telephone. If people can’t find your business via social media, they will look for your competitors who ARE present on preferred social channels.
The real question isn’t whether you should have active social media accounts, it’s how much time and resources you should be investing in growing your social audiences.
For some businesses, it makes sense to invest heavily in organic social media growth.
For example, Instagram users that follow fashion influencers are actively looking to purchase new styles. By building an active, fashion-savvy audience, a clothing retailer can build a consistent direct sales channel.
For other businesses, investing in Instagram might not make sense.
The key is identifying where your customers are and how they like to be approached. If social media is the answer to both those questions, it’s the perfect channel for your business.
- 7 Step Beginner’s Guide To Effective Social Media for Small Business by Jamil Velji
- The Ultimate Guide To Creating The Perfect Social Media Calendar by Sandrine Sahakians
6. Coupon Deal Sites
Whether you sell a product or offer a service, you can use coupon deal sites like Groupon to quickly promote your business.
Coupon deal sites amass massive audiences, grouped by location, and then allow local, regional or even national businesses to offer limited-time discounts to their members.
Benefits include mass exposure, targeted local advertising, increased brand awareness, and an influx of new customers. The cost comes in the form of low revenue per sale. In the case of Groupon, you are required to discount your product by at least 50%, and at least half the revenue goes to Groupon.
In other words, unless you are running a 300% markup, you will lose money on your Groupon deal. It’s essentially paid advertising.
The primary purpose for using coupon deal sites is not sales. The more significant your discount, the more popular your deal will be. The goal is to get people in your door or trying your product, and from there, your customer retention strategies kick in.
As an added bonus, many new potential customers will browse your website even if they don’t decide to purchase the deal.
But be warned!
If your deal gains traction, you can quickly be overcome by more customers than you are prepared to handle, and if you don’t do the math correctly, you can lose a lot of money. It’s important to be ready and to have a plan for handling different tiers of new business.
It’s also important to have flawless customer service during the period after running your deal, with the expectation that your coupon-driven customers will be even harder to please than normal customers.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Follow deals going on in your area and see how they play out. If you can, talk with fellow business owners who have run deals and learn from their experience.
And make sure – for the love of all that is good and decent – make sure you do the math.
- Doing The Math On A Groupon Deal by Jay Goltz
- The Real Cost of Groupon and What it Means to Your Marketing Planning by Mana Ionescu
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the cornerstone of digital marketing.
Most of the people who visit your site will not buy from you immediately. Capturing contact info for additional marketing and “lead nurturing” is the best way to sell in 2016, and email remains the highest converting channel for interacting with leads.
Email marketing funnels begin with a “lead magnet”. This is something compelling you offer your website visitors in exchange for their email address. Possible options include a free digital download, a free service trial, a “seat” at a webinar, site membership, a coupon, etc.
Here’s an example from HubSpot :
HubSpot offers a reliable and feature-packed email marketing tool that’s suited for growing businesses — for free. The tool allows you to create professional marketing emails that engage and grow your audience. You can start from scratch, with the easy drag-and-drop email builder, or use one of the goal-based templates available.
Other benefits of email marketing include:
- Global reach
- Easy to automate
- Easy to segment
- Immediate communication
- Easy to setup and run
- Easy to track and optimize
There are a lot of marketing channels that are hard. As you may have noticed from the above list, email marketing is one of the few that can be described as “easy”.
- How to Build Your Email List: The (Better Than) Ultimate Guide by Aaron Orendorf
A webinar is essentially a seminar that takes place online. It can be in the form of a presentation, demonstration or discussion.
Image Credit: boss.influxentrepreneur.info
Webinars are often used as lead magnets for email marketing and the right topic can drive a large batch of new subscribers to your list. It can also be used to build credibility with your current subscribers.
Webinars can also be recorded and used as standalone products or even a series of products. They are a great medium for both live and recorded training.
Webinars tend to be more engaging than simple videos, even if they are used in exactly the same way. The actual start time and live Q&A tends to make people feel like they are receiving significantly more value than if they were watching a video with the exact same information.
You will need webinar software to run a webinar that utilizes the following functions:
- 2-Way Audio – the presenter speaks while the viewers are muted, but the presenter can “turn on” individual viewers so everyone can hear their question
- Screenshare – the presenter can share their screen or switch to video for whiteboard teaching or live demonstration
- Polls – the presenter can invite viewers to take a poll or provide feedback in other ways
Webinars work very well in certain niches. You’ll have to test one out to see if it works with your target audience.
- Webinar Marketing: 15 Steps to Revenue Generating Webinars by Georgiana Laudi
- How to grow your business with webinar marketing by Ross Beard
9. Promote A Free Consultation
When it comes to professional services, people want access to expertise.
If you have done a good job of positioning yourself as an expert or authority in your niche, promoting a free consultation is a great way to generate new leads. If you have a good interpersonal sales process in place, it also sets you up to close a large percentage of leads.
A lot of service providers worry about disclosing too much info in a free consultation. They feel like potential clients will just take the info and run.
In reality, the exact opposite is true. While freeloader types might grab and go, they were never going to buy anyway. The type of people interested in paying for quality will be impressed by the value you provide in the consultation.
After all, if you can provide so much value in 30 minutes to an hour, they will believe that your claims are true and that hiring you is the right decision.
This can be used both online and offline. It can be advertised via pamphlets, newspapers, signs, or even word-of-mouth. And it can be prominently displayed on your website and social media channels.
This strategy won’t be ideal for every businesses, but if you offer an expert service or a high-priced service, it is very much worth considering.
- Should You Offer Free Consultations? by Courtney Johnston
- 6 Ways To Make Free Consults Work For You by Laura Simms
10. Offer Staff Incentives
Referrals are one of the best ways to find new customers, and who better suited to obtain referrals than your current staff?
Your employees know your product or service. They know your customer base. Some of them will take initiative without financial motivation, but most won’t, and those you bring in new business should be encourage to repeat the process with financial or otherwise meaningful reward.
Offer incentives to your staff members who refer new clients. Research proves that it doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary; incentives can even come in the form of:
- A sleep-in day: staff get to to sleep in late for a certain period of time.
- Membership to publications (of their choice).
- Vouchers for massages, movie nights, restaurants.
Like any type of compensation, incentives are about matching your business’ goals to the goals of your employees. If you can find out what they want most, you can motivate them to help grow your business.
It’s also important to give them the tools they need, whether that’s a customized landing page, printed coupons, a special discount for employee referred clients, or whatever.
Hold training sessions and teach your staff how to effectively promote your business, but remember that this form of marketing will only work if they genuinely feel good about your business and are properly motivated to pitch it to friends, family, and acquaintances.
- How to Create a Referral Program that Boosts Retention & Rewards Employees by Joe Flores
- Determining The Most Effective Rewards For Employee Referrals by Dr. John Sullivan
11. Advertise In Niche Print Media
While much of the world has moved online, print media still exists, and in some niches, it still thrives.
In fact, as recently as 2014 , retail consumers cited printed materials as the chief sources of information behind their purchasing decisions.
As print media continues to decrease in overall popularity, pricing for ad placement lowers as well. In the right niches, it is now possible to run effective ads at incredibly affordable prices.
That said, print media is rarely effective as a solo marketing strategy. It is best used in conjunction with online marketing strategies, with the two channels arranged to compliment each other and create an engaging experience for potential buyers.
- How To Combine Print And Digital Marketing Campaigns by Jeff Bullas
- Is Print Marketing Really Dead? by Chris Holloway
12. Write A Column
If you are a decent writer, sharing your expertise in the form of weekly or monthly write-ups can do wonders for your brand.
This isn’t usually a situation where you get paid, but it’s also not a situation where you have to pay. These columns give you the opportunity to make consistent contact with an audience, building an actual relationship with the publication’s readers. That audience then begins to think of you when they think of experts in your field.
On the more accessible end, local newspapers or non-profit magazines are often looking for quality contributors. One the more exclusive end, publications like Forbes, Inc, and Fast Company are made up almost exclusively of unpaid expert columns.
But believe me. These experts make bank thanks to their place on these influential platforms.
Make sure that what you write about is valuable to the target audience. This isn’t lowkey advertising. It’s a chance to access and build trust with an audience someone else worked really hard to build.
Plus, even if you don’t land a column, you might be able to land a guest post, which can be incredibly valuable as well.
Some ideas for articles you can write include:
- How-to guides
- Current events commentary
- Interviews with interesting people
- Reporting on trends or events
- How to Secure Guest Posts on Big Publications (WSJ, Forbes & HuffPo) by Sujan Patel
- How I Wrote for Fast Company, Copyblogger,& Entrepreneur by Aaron Orendorff
13. Join Local Business Groups
Joining local business groups will give you the opportunity to meet up with other like-minded people who already share some common ground with you: owning a business. While a lot of more general entrepreneur groups exist, there might also be some niche-specific groups and meetups in your area.
These groups are a great opportunity to bounce ideas off other smart people, share referrals, find talent, and identify new opportunities.
They are also a major catalyst in expanding your network around the city in which you live. Connections tend to multiply, and if your group takes networking seriously, you can leverage your seemingly minor connections into much significant ones.
While these groups are typically best found online, it’s preferable to have in-person meetups for the bulk of your interactions.
Lastly, these groups can lead to joint ventures and profitable partnerships, which we will discuss more in the next section.
- Top 10 Business Networking Groups You Should Join by Brian Morris
- How To Find A Mastermind Group by Pat Flynn
14. Partner With Other Businesses
Teamwork is always more effective than singular effort, and combining resources with another business can help you do things you could never accomplish on your own.
It’s typically best to target companies in your local area, even if your clientele isn’t local. Your goal is to work out a complementary arrangement that provides mutual benefit for both businesses.
Some joint venture examples include:
- A PPC agency could partner with a CRO agency to refer clients to each other.
- A coffee shop could offer free coffee vouchers to a plumbing company’s customers.
- A marketing company could partner with an accounting firm to recommend each other’s services during new client onboarding.
- A real estate agent app that features vendors for photography, staging, or cleaning companies.
- A beauty therapist could offer free manicures for a hair stylist’s clients.
There is really no limit to what’s possible. Simply identify crossover in your audience and a non-competitor’s audience and then find a way to tap into that crossover in a mutually beneficial way.
- Why Small Businesses Should Partner Up With Other Brands by Web Smith
- 5 Tips To Partnering Alongside A Business For The First Time by Deborah Sweeney
15. Direct Mail Marketing
Like print media, direct mail marketing is not dead.
As online channels become more and more saturated with content, fewer companies look to direct mail, and that means opportunity for you.
Like with any marketing strategy, success comes down to targeted creativity. You can’t just spam people and expect a return on your investment. Just like you need to compel people to click your blog post headline, you need to compel mail recipients to open your letters.
Start with the envelope, which will never be opened if it looks like a run-of-the-mill promo piece. Stand out. Use a colored envelope. Use an unusual shape, size or material. Make it look interesting.
If possible, handwrite the address on every envelope or include something bulky inside to make the envelope lumpy – anything you can do to grab attention
Compare this envelope:
Image Credit: Freelogoservices
With this one. You’re more likely to open the following envelope, right?
Image Credit: KezzysCreations
The next thing to focus on is the content. If you want the best results, your headline has to be enticing, and your copywriting needs to hold the reader’s attention through the duration of your pitch.
Like most offline campaigns in 2016, direct mail is typically run in conjunction with an online marketing funnel.
- How to Create a Direct Marketing Campaign by Entrepreneur.com
- How to Plan Your Direct Mail Marketing Campaign by George Oliveira
16. Speak At Events
In terms of branding and establishing yourself as an authority, few things are more impactful than being a speaker at popular events in your niche.
While invitations to speak at larger events are often extended as a result of accomplishments or visible influence, you can also work your way into these opportunities by becoming a talented speaker and delivering great talks at smaller events.
Or you can simply use it as another marketing channel, by speaking at some of these types of events:
- Local clubs – think Rotary, Lion’s, Chamber of Commerce.
- Business networking groups.
- Specific interest clubs (photography, hiking, sewing, etc.)
- Browse local events on Eventbrite.com and Meetup.com.
- Check events in your local newspaper and magazines.
- Big companies and their employees.
Be prepared, and treat every event like a big deal.
- How To Start Speaking At Events by Chris Brogan
- Why I Get Invited to Speak at Events (And How You Can Too) by Rohit Bhargava
17. Small Business SEO
Small businesses are often tempted to give short shrift to SEO in their overall marketing, perhaps because mega-corporations such as Walmart and Amazon invest millions in dominating the search game. While it’s true that there will always be a competitor out there who has built a better small business SEO operation, it’s also true that today’s small business owner can’t afford to neglect search.
- It works . A well-planned and executed SEO strategy will yield results in terms of increased organic traffic and better positioning.
- It’s cost effective . Compared to pay-per-click, social media marketing, and even purchasing email marketing lists , SEO delivers a respectable return on investment.
- It dominates market share . About 90 percent of consumers search a product or service online prior to making a purchase. They won’t find your business if it doesn’t show up in search.
- Mobile search is exploding . This year, Google announced that mobile search outpaced desktop search for the first time, and in fact, Google Search is the 4th most popular app in the United States.
Of course, if you operate a local business, you really can’t afford to ignore SEO in your marketing plan. Google’s latest algorithm favors local businesses in its search results in an effort to deliver the highly relevant and individualized results today’s consumers demand. This is especially true for consumers who use Google on their smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices.
If your business has a mobile app, give yourself kudos for being ahead of the curve for marketing and SEO. The exponential growth in mobile search is a huge boon for businesses who capitalize on the SEO advantages of a mobile app.
Your mobile app helps SEO in two distinct ways:
- Google is now treating as a “universal” result in mobile search. Apps with optimized titles and good ratings and reviews will float to the top, displacing even mobile websites with top organic rankings.
- Google considers “high quality” apps to be a positive factor in ranking mobile search results. This means that deep links between your app and website could improve your mobile search rank.
If your business markets to a highly mobile audience or relies on mobile search for traffic and leads, you might want to consider adding a mobile app to your marketing strategy.
18. Link-Building for Small Businesses
The Google algorithm factors the quality and quantity of sites that link to you in your search rankings. In fact, some SEO consultants even recommend that fledgling businesses actually buy links to boost their ranking. That tactic, however, may do more harm than good.
There is no question that high quality links build authority and credibility, ultimately improving your ranking, but changes in the Google Penguin algorithm actually penalizes sites containing too many low-quality or “spammy” links. The key is building links the old-fashioned way—by creating useful, relevant content that people want to share.
For SMEs, this means investing the money and resources to develop highly shareable, top quality content . Long-form blog posts and in-depth articles, infographics, and video tutorials are examples of high performing content likely to garner links.
19. On-Page Optimization
If keyword research is the foundation of your SEO strategy, on-page optimization undergirds the rest of the search infrastructure. On-page optimization includes everything from optimal keyword density to site load speed that helps Google evaluate and rank your page. Great keywords won’t deliver results without good on-page optimization. Here’s a look at the basics:
Page titles should have an H1 tag (most content management systems do this automatically) and include a keyword and your brand name, if applicable. Limit your title to about 55 or 60 characters, which is all that displays in search results.
- Meta Descriptions
While metas aren’t technically factored into search, they do give the searcher more information, entice them to visit, and often serve as a call to action. Limit them to about 150 characters or so.
- Site Load Speed
Use Google’s Page Insight tool to see how your site stacks up. Aim for a score of 85 or better and make any recommended changes or fixes marked with a red exclamation point. If time and resources allow, make “yellow” fixes, as well.
- Schema Markups
Adding schema markups is one of the most powerful ways to boost your website in the SERPs. Schema tells the search engine what your content means, not just what it says, which changes the way the content is indexed. Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper makes it easy to add schema markups to your site.
- Keyword Density
While there is no “optimum” keyword density percentage, there are some best practices to follow, such as including keywords in the title, meta, and anchor text, and avoiding keyword stuffing on the page. Use natural language and aim to drop the keyword at least once in the first 100 words of copy on a page.
- Social Sharing Icons
Social media has a prime place in small business SEO; Google bots make a direct connection between your website and your social media profile pages . Include relevant social icons on your web pages—it not only improves your search, it adds credibility for visitors who land on your site.
Be sure to look at all your pages, including landing pages, product pages, and your company blog and implement SEO best practices across the board. Don’t forget ALT tags for images on your site; while the impact is small, the cumulative effect could make a difference in your rankings.
Conclusion & Summary
Well, that’s the scoop: 16 proven marketing strategies that have worked for thousands of businesses and can work for you.
Here’s the full list:
- Advertise on Facebook
- Rank your Google My Business listing
- Use Google Adwords
- Invest In content marketing
- Grow your organic social reach
- Run a coupon deal
- Build an email marketing funnel
- Host a webinar
- Offer a free consultation
- Incentivize employees to refer new clients
- Advertise in niche print media
- Write a column
- Join a local business group
- Partner with other businesses
- Launch a direct mail campaign
- Speak at events
- Small Business SEO
- Link Building
- On-Page Optimization
While only half of these are probably worth considering for your unique business, I’m guessing at least four of them are great fits, and as I said at the beginning of the article, one of these channels has the potential to skyrocket your growth this next year.
Evaluate the criteria I talked about at the beginning.
Use the answers to select four viable channels from today’s list of marketing strategies for small businesses, and then run small tests with each strategy to see what fails and what performs.
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Creating a small-business marketing strategy can help you reach, develop and maintain relationships with your customers. Online marketing — including a business website, social media profiles and email campaigns — can help a small business reach a larger audience. Traditional marketing tactics such as print ads, billboards and flyers, as well as “experiential” workshops and pop-up events that allow customers to experience your products and brand, can help broaden your outreach.
Your marketing strategy will depend on your goals, customer base, market niche, budget and personal preferences. Here’s how to get started.
Define your marketing goals
First, decide what you want to accomplish with your marketing campaign and how it can help you reach your business goals. Identify your unique selling proposition, or USP. This is what makes your business stand out from its competitors and should be highlighted in your marketing materials.
The business plan you developed when starting your small business can be a valuable resource as you build out your marketing strategies. Chances are you’ve already done some of the legwork by conducting market research and outlining a plan for the marketing and sale of your products or services.
Use numbers (e.g., website visitors, leads generated, customers gained or revenue grown) when defining your marketing goals so you can more easily track and measure your results, and ultimately evaluate success.
While each business will have its own marketing objectives, here are a few metrics you may want to measure:
Engagement rates for social media content.
Conversion rates from browsers to buyers.
In addition to measurable goals, effective small-business marketing also contributes to brand recognition, or people’s awareness of your business. Over time, your marketing initiatives can help you establish a positive reputation and customer loyalty, which can be key to thriving over the long term.
Understand your market
After you determine your marketing goals, define your target audience — the group of consumers who are most likely to buy the products or services your business offers. One way to identify this group is by reaching out to your existing customers. This can be done through phone calls, emails, online surveys and in-person interactions.
Find out what they like about your business and its products or services, as well as what could improve. This is also an opportunity to gather data on your target audience’s demographics, such as age, gender, geographical location, education level, household income and size. Also ask what platforms they use most when shopping and discovering new brands, then be sure your business has a presence in those spaces.
Online marketing for small business
For many businesses, online marketing is a major area of focus in their marketing strategy. Having a digital presence is a low-cost and highly effective method of reaching customers.
Build a business website
At the heart of your small-business marketing strategy will be your business website, where potential customers can learn about your business and the products and services it offers. Depending on your type of business, you may want to create an e-commerce website to sell your products online. Your website should also include ways to contact your business and, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, the address and hours of operation.
Another important reason to have a website is so your business can appear on the results page for web searches. Whether someone searches for your business name specifically or the types of products or services you offer, you want to ensure your website is in the top results.
Optimizing your business website can help improve its visibility. Consider an e-commerce website builder that prioritizes search engine optimization, or SEO, best practices and be sure to use the appropriate keywords when describing your business and what it provides.
Website analytics tools, including Google Search Console and Google Analytics, can provide information on how visitors interact with your website, how many views your page receives, how long visitors stay on your page and more. These metrics can provide insights into how you can optimize your website to better suit your customers’ preferences and browsing habits.
Create social media profiles
According to an October 2022 NerdWallet survey , 42% of Americans use social media platforms to find the small businesses they support. Creating business accounts on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more can help customers find your business and provide an opportunity to engage with current customers.
» MORE: The do’s and don’ts of using Facebook to drive business sales
Choose social media platforms that make sense for your business, that you can manage on an ongoing basis and that your target audience uses. You’ll also want to create business profiles on Google, Yelp and other similar platforms.
Here are some tips on how to manage your social media strategy:
Share high-quality images of your products, behind-the-scenes moments with your staff and video stories and live chats about your business.
Share exclusive and special discounts, as well as updates on upcoming events.
Carve out time to respond to comments and DMs.
Encourage customers to post about their experience with your business — and tag your business account — so you can repost it.
Use a content management platform such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social or SocialPilot to manage all your social media accounts from one place.
» MORE: Instagram tips for small-business owners, by small-business owners
Launch email marketing campaigns
Even with the rise of social media, email has remained a mainstay of a well-rounded marketing strategy. A well-executed email campaign can be cost-effective, with estimates of around $36 of return for every $1 invested.
To get the most out of this marketing channel, create a plan that addresses the following details:
Frequency: Daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or another frequency. You may also want to let recipients choose the frequency or types of emails they receive from your business.
Campaign type: The information you want to share will determine the type of email campaign that makes the most sense. Some examples are newsletters, drip campaigns, product updates, abandoned cart reminders and sale announcements.
Email service provider: MailChimp, HubSpot, ActiveCampaign and Drip are some popular marketing software providers.
Building your email list: Leverage your existing customer base, leads from your website or social media accounts and in-person sign-up sheets at your store location.
When writing your emails, craft a subject line that’s compelling enough for your recipient to open the message. Use conversational language and keep your email concise and relevant to the subject line. Also, include links to your social media profiles and use a call to action to direct recipients to your business website or storefront.
Consider paid advertising
Paid online advertising can take many forms. Some common methods include:
Buying ad space on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Sponsoring a podcast.
Partnering with an influencer to share your products or services on their own platforms.
Using pay-per-click advertising where you pay a fee each time someone clicks on your online ad, up to a predetermined budget.
Other marketing tactics for small businesses
A well-rounded small-business marketing strategy leverages more than online campaigns.
Traditional marketing strategies can draw in buyers from your local community, especially when you own a brick-and-mortar location and foot traffic contributes to your monthly sales. Examples include:
Direct mail campaigns using postcards, brochures or letters.
Trade shows, fairs, farmers markets and other events.
Print advertising including magazines, newspapers, coupon books and billboards.
Broadcast advertising using podcasts, radio and television.
Open house at your store location with free food and swag.
Promotional merchandise such as pens, keychains and tote bags.
Flyers and business cards.
Joining local business communities to network with other entrepreneurs in your area.
Incentives such as flash sales, giveaways, free trial periods and discounts for customers who provide reviews or testimonials.
The goal of experiential marketing isn’t necessarily to sell a product but to raise brand awareness and ultimately establish brand loyalty. The goal is to provide the consumer with an experience that connects them with your brand in a positive way and encourages them to tell their friends, family, coworkers and social media followers about you, too.
Some events that fall under the experiential marketing umbrella include workshops, tutorials, tours of your facilities, competitions, concerts, pop-up shops and giveaways.
Caroline Goldstein, a freelance writer, contributed to this article.
A version of this article originally appeared on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.
On a similar note...
- Search Search Please fill out this field.
- Before You Start
3. Value Additions
4. referral networks, 5. follow-ups, 6. cold calls, 7. online marketing.
- Value Proposition, Audience & Goals
The bottom line.
- Small Business
7 Popular Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses
Here’s how to grow your business economically
When you don’t have a big budget, marketing can be challenging, but there’s plenty a small business owner can do to attract and maintain a customer base. The rise in digital marketing has made it easier for small business owners to find a way to create a presence and attract informed buyers.
Advertising your business or product is about more than just having your company name and number on the side of your work vehicles . When you build a business, the first thing you want to secure is a customer base. Then, with a decent printer, a phone, and an internet-connected device, you can create a reasonably extensive advertising campaign without paying for digital space. Here are seven small business marketing techniques you can use to boost your business.
- Small businesses don’t have the advertising budget of larger rivals, but there are inexpensive ways to build a customer base.
- Hitting the pavement with flyers distributed door to door (where allowed) and placing posters strategically can help get the word out.
- Follow up with customers after the first round of ads to reinforce the initial message, and don’t fear cold calls—they can be effective.
- Value additions, such as discounts or freebies for repeat customers, are a big boon once the business is up and running.
- Referrals—both from customer to customer and business to business—are also important.
- Prioritize digital marketing, including traditional websites and social media.
Before You Start Marketing
Before your business starts marketing a product, it helps to create a buyer persona whom you want to reach with your promotional materials. Once you have your ideal customer, you’ll have a wide choice of marketing methods. Most of these are low-cost or no-cost tactics (sometimes called guerrilla marketing). You may use different ones at different stages of your business cycle—or you may utilize them all at once from your business’ inception.
This is the carpet-bombing method of cheap advertising. You find an area where you would like to do business and distribute flyers to all the mailboxes within reach. Your flyer should be brief and to the point, highlighting the services you offer or products you sell and providing contact information. Offering a free appraisal, coupon, or discount can help attract your first customers.
Flyers shouldn't be mistaken for posters. Flyers are more informative, listing services or products provided, contact information, addresses, and specialties.
Most supermarkets, public spaces, and malls offer free bulletin board space for announcements and advertisements. This method is hit-or-miss, but you should try to make your poster visible and have removable tabs that the customers can present for a discount.
Make each location a different color to get an idea from the tabs where the most leads are generated. If one area is producing most of your leads, you can better target your campaign (flyers, ads in local media catering to those areas, cold calling , etc.)
Posters should feature appealing images and catchy, memorable phrasing so viewers will recall it when they're wondering where to go for whatever it is they need.
Traditional marketing methods like radio, print advertising, and billboards shouldn't be overlooked. The more channels you use, the more exposure you have.
Value additions (or value-ads) are powerful selling points for any product or service. On the surface, value additions are very similar to coupons and free appraisals, but they aim to increase customer satisfaction and widen the gap between you and the competition.
Common value additions typically include:
- Discounts for repeat customers
- Point cards
- Referral rewards
The deciding factor for a customer choosing between two similar shops might be the one that offers a point card or preferred customer card. You don’t have to promise the moon to add value—instead, point out something that the customer may not realize about your product or service. It's important to highlight the value additions when creating your advertising materials.
Referral networks are invaluable to a business which often include customer referrals. These can be encouraged through discounts or other rewards per referral. However, referral networks also include business-to-business referrals. If you have ever found yourself saying, “We don’t do/sell that here, but X down the street does,” you might want to introduce yourself to Xs owner and talk to them about referral quid-pro-quo.
When dealing with white-collar professions, this network is even stronger. For example, a lawyer might refer you to an accountant; in turn, the accountant might refer you to a financial planner, who could refer you to a broker. In each situation, the person stakes their professional reputation on the referral. Regardless of your business, make sure you create a referral network that has the same outlook and commitment to quality that you do.
Remember that your competition is not always your enemy. If you are too busy to take a job, throw it their way. You will often find the favor returned—besides, it can be bad for your reputation if a customer waits too long.
Advertising can help attract customers, but what you do after they come in can often be a much stronger marketing tool. Follow-up questionnaires are one of the best sources of feedback on how your ad campaign is going. Questions you could ask include:
- Why did the customer choose your business?
- Where did they hear about it?
- Which other companies had they considered?
- What produced the most customer satisfaction?
- What was the least satisfying
Also, if your job involves going to the customer, make sure to slip a flyer into nearby mailboxes, as people of similar needs and interests tend to live in the same area.
Unpleasant? Important? Yes, and yes.
Cold calling—whether over the phone or door to door—is a baptism of fire for many small businesses. Cold calling forces you to sell yourself as well as your business. If people can’t buy you (the person talking to them), they won’t buy anything from you.
Over the phone, you don’t have the benefit of a smile or face-to-face conversation—a phone is a license for some people to be as caustic and abrupt as possible (we are all guilty of this at one time or another). However, cold calling does make you think on your feet and encourages creativity and adaptability when facing potential customers.
A combination of old-fashioned pounding the pavement and modern-day pounding the keyboard will provide the best results for a small business looking to market itself.
Warm calls are an alternative to cold calls. You make calls to people you have already met or introduced yourself to through social events, email campaigns, or other activities.
The importance of the internet in building a successful business cannot be overstated. Marketing methods have stayed pretty much the same across the last 50 years, except for the birth and rapid evolution of the internet. No company (even a local café) should be without, at the very least, a website with vital details such as location and hours. You need a point of access for everyone who searches the internet first when they want to make a buying decision.
You may also need:
- A social media presence : Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or X platform (formerly Twitter)
- A content management system (CMS) : Word Press , Hubspot, Joomla, or Drupal
- Search engine optimization (SEO) skills : Optimizing your content for searches, internal and external linking, title tags, alt tags, and headings
All this digital dexterity may feel intimidating at first. However, publishing technology has evolved to the point where an open-source content management system can meet all these needs.
How to Identify Your Value Proposition, Audience, and Goals
Before you begin printing and distributing your materials, it's best to figure out who your audience is and how to make your product or services valuable to them. Then, set realistic and attainable goals for your business and marketing endeavors.
A value proposition is a reason a customer should buy your product or service instead of the competition. Look for what your target audience needs from you rather than what your product has. These needs are usually called benefits, where a product's physical properties or what it does are called features.
Critical to selling your product or services is identifying what you do for people that others do not (or don't do very well). To establish your value proposition, compare what you're offering to the competition. Identify their features and benefits to yours, and create ways to describe yours that outweigh the competition.
Your top value proposition should be unique to your offering and make it appealing to your audience. For example, imagine you have a coffee shop and bistro. It's a trendy convenience found in many towns and cities, so you'll have to analyze your competitors and use your imagination to discover the one thing that makes you stand out.
You can still highlight features, but they should be backed up with a benefit that aligns with your audience's needs.
Say you've perfected bread recipes from around the world, like Pao de Qeuijo (a gluten-free Brazilian bread made from gue flour and cheese) or Aesh Baladi (an Egyptian bread), and import coffee from the countries you make bread from. You may have a competitive advantage and an excellent value proposition—you offer an experience no other café in town does.
You'll need to identify who your audience is. To do this, you'll need to research to find out who your audience is if you didn't design your product specifically for one.
You'll need to identify who you want to sell to the most and ensure your product or service caters to them. For example, if you like the idea of a global café with bread and coffee from around the world, you'll need a customer base to sell it to.
You could start talking to people and listening to their coffee concerns. Find out their ages and average incomes, see what they'd like, and ask what current issues they have getting the coffee and the experience they want. Learn as much about them as possible—spending habits, needs, income levels, hobbies, or anything else that might provide insights into what might attract them.
Once you define your audience and what they need, you can figure out the message you're going to send.
Audience is key to marketing. If you're targeting one demographic that doesn't have a large presence in your area, you may not be too successful unless you're an online retailer.
One of the best ways to accomplish something is to set a goal. However, you don't want to set one goal—you should set an end goal and several small attainable goals that contribute to the final goal. Along with the smaller goals, set up a timeline and dates you'd like to complete the small goals. This way, you have small steps to guide you and a way to measure your progress and success.
The internet, and the various technologies and platforms created using it, gives businesses enormous marketing opportunities for those who understand how to leverage it. Here are the top marketing channels used; it's likely you've heard of or been exposed to them.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is top dog when it comes to marketing. It involves structuring your website and content so that it ranks as high as possible on Google search engine results pages. Google uses a technique called web crawling that finds web pages to add to its index. When creating or adjusting your webpage or site for SEO, there are several factors to consider, such as following Google's best practices and spam policies.
Content marketing is a technique used to promote interest in your brand without explicitly promoting a product or service. You'll find examples of this on many companies' websites where a blog or article discusses a topic and how the company relates to it or works to help people do something. Generally, there is a call to action towards the end of the article, like "if you need help with XYZ, contact us today" or something similar.
Content marketing establishes expertise and gives potential customers a brand to remember.
It's been predicted that more than 4.5 billion people will have an email address by 2025. To gain access to this ocean of people, you'll need an email marketing application. You can find hundreds of email marketing applications that will allow you to create email marketing campaigns.
Social Media Marketing
We've all seen advertisements on our social media pages that seem to target us by what we've been shopping for. It's no secret that using social media increases brand exposure and generates interest, so it is in a small business's best interest to, at a minimum, create a social media profile for itself and begin posting content.
Influencers are people with a large viewer and follower base on their platform of choice. For instance, someone who regularly posts content on Instagram could have millions of followers. This person then becomes an influence in the lives of their followers—giving businesses another exposure outlet. Chances are you've seen someone talking about a product or service on their social media platform; they've been sponsored by a company to talk about that business's services. Influencers can help you generate tons of interest.
What Is Small Business Marketing?
Small business marketing is creating a campaign for your small business to generate interest and a consumer base. It involves using traditional and modern marketing techniques to develop a marketing campaign.
Which Marketing Is Best for Small Business?
The most effective marketing combines social media, networking, and traditional methods like flyers, posters, and cold-calling. However, social media advertising reaches the most people the quickest.
How Can I Promote My Small Business?
Social media is the quickest method for promoting your business. For the promotion itself, you can offer discounts for referrals, promotional pricing, participate in events in your community, or anything else you can think of. Technology has created many more channels you can use, but it's up to you to figure out ways to exploit them.
More than likely, you will find that the conversion rate on marketing is very low. Even the most successful campaigns measure leads (and converted sales from those leads) in the 10% to 20% range. This helps to shatter any illusions about instant success, but it is also an opportunity for improvement. However, it helps to consider that if you convert 0.5% of 1 million leads to sales, you've got 5,000 sales.
The more exposure you have, the more leads you can generate and convert. Ultimately, this turns into sales, profits, and growth.
Google Search Central. " Google Search Essentials ."
Radicate Group, Inc. " Email Statistics Report, 2021-2025 ," Page 3.
Unbounce. " The 2021 Conversion Benchmark Report ."
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Why is it Important to Build a Small Business Marketing Strategy?
Can small businesses compete against enterprise behemoths, components of a small business marketing strategy, 5 questions answered on small business marketing strategy, implementing an effective small business marketing strategy, over to you, 7 smart marketing strategies for small businesses.
- A marketing strategy helps you optimize your online assets and promote your company.
- You need to develop your audience, value proposition, and technology before diving into digital tactics.
- The right strategy combination—search engine optimization, social media, etc.—will help you earn brand awareness and conversions quickly.
- Understand your target audience’s problems and priorities so you can present your business as the solution
- Build a strong value proposition that differentiates you from your competitors
- Set performance goals so you can focus your budget and resources on meeting objectives
- Identify how you can leverage current customers to become your brand advocates
- Use free promotional tools and automation where applicable
1. Search Engine Optimization
- Creating a Google My Business account
- Requesting reviews from your customers
- Optimizing your website with local keywords
- Creating blog posts or videos that relate to the local community
- Using location pages
- Focusing on getting high-quality backlinks
2. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
3. Email Marketing
- Segment your customers based on demographics or activity
- Use a CRM or EPS to automate sending emails at the right time
- Develop compelling subject lines to make sure your email gets clicked
4. Social Media Marketing
- Facebook: Post entertaining pictures, status updates, and customer success stories
- Twitter: Share news and answer customer inquiries in real-time
- Pinterest: Spread visual content like blogs, infographics, e-books quickly
- YouTube: Dominate with user-generated and branded video content
- Instagram: Display high-resolution imagery that showcases your services
5. Content Marketing
- Whitepapers or e-books
6. Ratings and Reviews
- Encourage reviews —make reviews easy to post, and have a link where people can read reviews.
- Respond to negative reviews—try to resolve issues and improve the customer’s disposition.
- Consider using online review software—get the most from customer feedback and online reviews.
- Make sure your reviews are organic —don’t sabotage your reputation with paid reviews.
7. Online Reputation Management
1. bring your brand personality to life.
2. Help Customers Help Themselves
3. Stay Connected
4. Use Familiarity to Your Advantage
5. invest in chatbots & voice tech, 6. prioritize video content.
- Twitter claims that 82% of its users view video content on the app.
- A HubSpot survey found that nearly half (45%) of individuals watch over an hour of video content on Facebook or YouTube each week.
- SEO improves your online visibility when potential customers search for your services on Google.
- Paid search is a great way to supplement SEO efforts and drive more traffic to your website.
- Email marketing allows you to stay top-of-mind with relevant customers.
- Social media keeps you connected with your customers and relevant in real-time.
- Content marketing helps you establish your thought leadership through credible materials.
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About the Author - Giana Reno
Giana is the Director of Content for Marketing Insider Group , a top-rated Content Marketing Agency . Connect with her on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on all things MIG.