8 Steps to Create a Complete Marketing Strategy in 2023

Kayla Carmicheal

Published: October 26, 2023

Creating a marketing strategy is essential to effectively nurture your customers, improve your business’s bottom line, and increase the ROI of your efforts.

Marketing strategy graphic with a woman with a bullhorn and chess pieces for strategy.

A marketing strategy is especially critical if you want to use the highest ROI trends for 2023 : short video, influencer marketing, and branded social media. To get powerful results, you must carefully weave both emerging trends and proven strategies into your plan.

Let's dive into the critical components of a complete marketing strategy in 2023, followed by some examples for inspiration.

Marketing Strategy

A marketing strategy covers a company’s overall approach for promoting its brand to a target audience. The process involves research, goal-setting, and positioning.

A completed marketing strategy typically includes brand objectives, target audience personas, marketing channels, key performance indicators, and more.

A marketing strategy will:

  • Align your team to specific goals.
  • Help you tie your efforts to business objectives.
  • Allow you to identify and test what resonates with your target audience.
  • Empower you to capitalize on emerging trends.

The last one is especially important. Keeping up with marketing trends is important for your strategy, but could be a full-time job.

Why? Because almost 80% of marketers say this industry changed more in the last three years than it has in the past five decades. In short, what worked for your marketing strategy in the past might not fly today.

Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Plan

A marketing strategy outlines the long-term goals and overall approach, while a marketing plan covers the specific actions and tactics to achieve those goals.

Phrased another way, marketing strategy guides the overall marketing efforts of a business. It includes goal-setting, market and competitor research, as well as messaging and positioning for a brand.

For example, say you're creating a marketing strategy for a new fashion brand. Your strategy might target young urban professionals and position the brand as trendy and affordable.

But a marketing plan is a detailed tactical roadmap. It outlines the specific actions and tactics that should achieve the marketing strategy's goals.

For example, the marketing plan for the fashion brand mentioned above might include:

  • Targeted social media campaigns
  • Influencer partnerships
  • Online advertising timeline

Both a marketing strategy and a marketing plan are essential for a business's success.

marketing strategies for small businesses

Free Marketing Plan Template

Outline your company's marketing strategy in one simple, coherent plan.

  • Pre-Sectioned Template
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  • Example Prompts
  • Professionally Designed

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Free Marketing Strategy Template

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To succeed in the fast-paced marketing world — and maintain a sense of relevance with your audience — it's vital to stay ahead of the curve.

To help ease some of that uncertainty, we're going to show you step-by-step how to create a comprehensive marketing strategy. But first, let’s go over the individual components that make up a strong marketing strategy.

Marketing Strategy Components

  • Marketing Mix (4 Ps of Marketing)
  • Marketing Objectives
  • Marketing Budget
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Segmentation, Targeting, & Positioning
  • Content Creation (Including Trending Content)
  • Metrics & Key Performance Indicators

1. Marketing Mix

marketing strategy components: marketing mix

Image Source

The marketing mix, also known as the 4 Ps of marketing, is the preliminary document you must create to understand what you will be marketing, where you’ll be marketing it, and how you’ll be marketing it. The following P’s make up this framework:

  • Product : What are you selling?
  • Price : What is the price?
  • Place : Where will you be selling the product?
  • Promotion : Where will you be promoting the product?

You can then extrapolate this information into a full-fledged marketing plan for each promotional channel. It’s important to lay out the information in broad strokes so that you understand the overall direction of your marketing strategy.

2. Marketing Objectives

marketing strategy components: marketing objectives

You can set your marketing objectives in conjunction with your 4 Ps, or right after. Either way, you should outline your marketing goals before building upon your strategy. Why? Because your goals will inform other components of the plan, including the budget and content creation process.

With every objective, you should aim to be as specific as possible. Try to create SMART marketing goals divided by channel or promotional tactic, and don’t forget that you can always come back and revise your goals as your priorities change.

3. Marketing Budget

marketing strategy components: marketing budget

A marketing budget is an essential element of your strategy. Without allocating funds to hiring the right talent, using the right software, advertising on the right channels, and creating the right content, your marketing strategy won’t have a powerful impact. To get a high return on investment, you must first invest.

Remember that you can always start small — hyper-focusing your budget on one or two efforts — and build upon them once you generate an ROI.

4. Competitive Analysis

Knowing your competition is key when creating a marketing strategy. Otherwise, you risk "yelling into the void" without measurable results. Worse, you won’t know whether you’re differentiating yourself enough from the competition and effectively drawing the attention of your intended audience.

You might already have an idea of who your competitors are, but it’s still essential to sit down and find them. You might end up uncovering a surprise competitor who’s vying for your target buyer’s attention and engagement.

5. Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

marketing strategy components: audience segmentation, targeting, and positioning

Segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP) refers to the process of delivering "more relevant, personalized messages to target audiences." In other words, rather than publishing posts and advertisements on a whim, you’ll go through a methodical process for creating content that resonates with your target buyer.

During the segmentation, targeting, and positioning process, you’ll take three steps:

  • Identify your target audience . This process not only entails interviewing your current customers, but carrying out market research and creating buyer personas .
  • Target a segment of your target audience . It’s best to speak to a narrow group of highly qualified buyers than to send your message out to everyone.
  • Position your brand alongside other brands . What do you do better than your competitors? It’s essential to map this information when creating a marketing strategy.

6. Content Creation

marketing strategy components: content creation

Once you have your budget, competitive outlook, and STP information, it’s time to create your marketing content . But it’s essential to be strategic. For one, you don’t want to publish random content that doesn’t solve for the customer, and for two, you must aim to capitalize on emerging trends so that your brand enjoys high visibility in the marketplace.

The competition is fierce across all formats. According to HubSpot Research , "half of marketers are using videos, with 47% leveraging images, followed by 33% posting blogs articles, infographics (30%) and podcasts or other audio content (28%)." Of these, video has the highest ROI.

marketing strategy components: content strategy data

It’s even more essential to invest in trends that have a high ROI, such as short-form video, influencer marketing, and social media DMs.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in blogging , one of the most proven content marketing techniques. It’s simply important to know where to allot the most resources, especially if you have a limited budget.

7. Metrics & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

marketing strategy components: metrics and kpis

Last, but certainly not least, your marketing strategy must include metrics and key performance indicators to understand how well your strategies are working. The KPIs you choose will vary depending on your business type and preferred customer acquisition channels . Examples of KPIs include:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Organic Traffic
  • Conversion Rate
  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

Now, let’s dive into why it’s important to follow the steps of a marketing strategy.

Why is a marketing strategy important?

Without a defined strategy, you’ll essentially be throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. And that process will cost you money, time, and resources.

But a robust marketing strategy will reach your target audience. It has the power to turn people who've never heard of your brand into loyal repeat customers.

Here are just a few of the top reasons a marketing strategy is essential:

Offers Direction

A marketing strategy outlines clear goals and defines the path to achieve them. It pulls together all marketing efforts within an organization for optimal effects.

Targets the Right Audience

A well-defined marketing strategy helps you find and understand your target audience. This helps your business tailor your messaging and positioning to reach the right people at the right time.

Builds Brand Identity

A marketing strategy helps you create a consistent and cohesive brand identity. This makes it easier to align all marketing initiatives for increased brand recognition and loyalty.

Maximizes ROI

With analysis of market trends, competition, and customer behavior, marketing strategies help businesses find the most effective marketing channels and tactics to invest in. This helps businesses get the maximum return on investment.

Evaluates Performance

A marketing strategy defines key metrics and performance indicators. This makes it easier for your business to measure and track the success of marketing initiatives. It also gives you what you need to make data-driven decisions and optimize future campaigns for better results.

Marketing Strategy Process

  • Conduct market research.
  • Define your goals.
  • Identify your target audience and create buyer personas.
  • Conduct competitive analysis.
  • Develop key messaging.
  • Choose your marketing channels.
  • Create, track, and analyze KPIs.
  • Present your marketing strategy.

1. Conduct market research.

Before you can begin creating your marketing strategy, you need to gather useful data for making informed decisions. Market research is like playing detective, but instead of solving crimes, you're uncovering juicy details about your customers.

Market research will help your businesses make data-driven decisions for your marketing strategy. It also makes it easier to understand your target market, find gaps, and make the most of your resources.

This process is essential for understanding your customers and adapting to changing trends. If you're new to this process, this complete market research guide and template can help.

Once you have the data you need, you’ll be ready to set some marketing goals.

2. Define your goals.

What do you want to achieve through your marketing efforts?

Whether it's increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or diversifying your customer base, well-defined goals will guide your marketing strategy.

Your marketing strategy goals should reflect your business goals. They should also offer clear direction for marketing efforts.

For example, say one of your business goals is to increase market share by 20% within a year. Your goal as a marketer could include expanding into new target markets, updating your brand, or driving customer acquisition.

Other marketing goals might be to increase brand awareness or generate high-quality leads. You might also want to grow or maintain thought leadership in your industry or increase customer value.

Defining clear goals provides direction and clarity, guiding marketing efforts toward desired outcomes. It helps with resource allocation, decision-making, and measuring the success of marketing initiatives.

This SMART goal guide can help you with more effective goal-setting.

3. Identify your target audience and create buyer personas.

To create an effective marketing strategy, you need to understand who your ideal customers are. Take a look at your market research to understand your target audience and market landscape. Accurate customer data is especially important for this step.

But it's not enough to know who your audience is. Once you've figured out who they are, you need to understand what they want. This isn't just their needs and pain points, it's how your product or service can solve their problems.

So, if you can't define who your audience is in one sentence, now's your chance to do it. Create a buyer persona that's a snapshot of your ideal customer.

For example, a store like Macy's could define a buyer persona as Budgeting Belinda, a stylish working-class woman in her 30s living in a suburb, looking to fill her closet with designer deals at low prices.

With this description, Macy's Marketing department can picture Budgeting Belinda and work with a clear definition in mind.

Buyer personas have critical demographic and psychographic information, including age, job title, income, location, interests, and challenges. Notice how Belinda has all those attributes in her description.

You don't have to create your buyer persona with a pen and paper. In fact, HubSpot offers a free template you can use to make your own (and it's really fun).

You can also use a platform like Versium , which helps you identify, understand, and reach your target audience through data and artificial intelligence.

Buyer personas should be at the core of your strategy.

4. Conduct competitive analysis.

Now that you have an understanding of your customers, it's time to see who you're competing with to get their attention.

To begin your competitive analysis, start with your top competitors. Reviewing their websites, content, ads, and pricing can help you understand how to differentiate your brand. It's also a useful way to find opportunities for growth.

But how do you know which competitors are most important? This competitive analysis kit with templates will walk you through the process. It will help you choose and evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and strategies of your competitors.

This process will help you find market gaps, spot trends, and figure out which marketing tactics will be most effective. Competitive analysis can also offer valuable insights on pricing, positioning, and marketing channels.

5. Develop key messaging.

You've figured out who you're talking to, what they've already heard, and what they want to hear. Now, it's time to share your brand's unique value proposition .

In this step, you'll craft key messaging that shows the benefits of your product or service and resonates with your target audience. This process should show off the research and work you have done up to this point. It should also incorporate your creativity, inventiveness, and willingness to experiment.

Well-crafted key messaging:

  • Sets businesses apart from the competition
  • Resonates with the target audience
  • Is flexible enough to be consistent across all marketing channels
  • Builds brand credibility
  • Creates an emotional connection with customers
  • Influences buying decisions

The key messaging in your marketing strategy is critical to driving engagement, loyalty, and business growth. These value proposition templates can help if you're not sure how to draft this important messaging.

6. Choose your marketing channels.

You know what you have to say, now decide on the best marketing channels for your message. Your top goal for this stage of your strategy is to align your channel choices with your target persona's media consumption habits.

Start with media channels you're already using. Then, consider a mix of traditional and digital channels such as social media, TV, email marketing, podcast ads, SEO, content marketing, and influencer partnerships.

To streamline this process, think of your assets in three categories — paid, owned, and earned media.

Marketing strategy, paid media example, Apple billboard

Paid media is any channel you spend money on to attract your target audience. Most of this spending is advertising . This includes online and offline channels like:

  • Direct mail
  • Social media ads
  • SEM (Search engine marketing)
  • Podcast advertising

Owned Media

Marketing strategy, owned media example, blog

Owned media refers to (mostly) online channels your brand owns, including:

  • Organic social media

It also refers to the media your marketing team creates such as

  • Infographics

Earned media

Another way to say earned media is user-generated content . Earned media includes:

  • Shares on social media
  • Posts about your business on X or Threads
  • Reels posted on Instagram mentioning your brand

To decide which marketing channels are best for your marketing strategy, look carefully at each channel. Think about which channels are best for reaching your audience, staying within budget, and meeting your goals.

For example, a business targeting a younger demographic might consider using TikTok or Reddit to reach its audience.

Don't forget to take a look at emerging platforms and trends as you complete this review. You may also want to look at the content you've already created. Gather your materials in each media type in one location. Then, look at your content as a whole to get a clear vision of how you can integrate them into your strategy.

For example, say you already have a blog that's rolling out weekly content in your niche (owned media). You might consider promoting your blog posts on Threads (owned media), which customers might then repost (earned media). Ultimately, that will help you create a better, more well-rounded marketing strategy.

If you have resources that don't fit into your goals, nix them. This is also a great time to clean house and find gaps in your materials.

7. Create, track, and analyze KPIs.

Once you have a clear outline of your marketing strategy, you'll need to think about how you'll measure whether it's working.

At this stage, you'll shift from marketing detective to numbers nerd. With a little planning and prep, your analytics can unveil the mysteries of marketing performance and unlock super insights.

Review your strategy and choose measurable KPIs to track the effectiveness of your strategy. Create a system that works for your team to collect and measure your data.

Then, plan to check and analyze the performance of your strategy over time. This can help you refine your approach based on results and feedback.

Analyzing KPIs helps businesses stay agile, refine their strategies, and adapt to evolving customer needs.

8. Present your marketing strategy.

A finished marketing strategy will pull together the sections and components above. It may also include:

Executive Summary

A concise overview that outlines the marketing goals, target audience, and key marketing tactics.

Brand Identity

You may want to create a brand identity as part of your strategy. Brand positioning, voice, and visual identity may also be helpful additions to your marketing strategy.

Marketing Plan and Tactics

Your marketing plan is the specific actions you'll take to achieve the goals in your marketing strategy. Your plan may cover campaigns, channel-specific tactics, and more.

Not sure where to start? This free marketing plan template can help.

marketing-strategy-template-free

Download for Free

Budget Allocation

Defining a budget for your marketing strategy helps you show that your planned resource allocation aligns with business goals.

Timeline and Milestones

Marketing strategies can be complex and difficult for stakeholders to understand. Creating a timeline that outlines the different tactics, milestones, and deadlines can help.

Your marketing strategy is a living document. It will need constant reviews, revisions, and optimizations to meet your long-term goals. Prepare to revise your marketing strategy at least once a year to address market trends, customer feedback, and changing business objectives.

Recommended Resources

Here are a few tools that can help you track and measure the success of your marketing goals:

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

The Marketing Hub allows you to connect all your marketing tools into one centralized platform.

hubspot marketing hub dashboard

Too often, you’ll find a tool that’s powerful but not easy to use. With this tool, you can attract users with blogs, SEO, and live chat tools. You can then convert and nurture those leads through marketing automation, the website and landing page builder, and lead tracking features.

With custom reporting and built-in analytics, you can analyze your data and plan out your next move. Plus, HubSpot Marketing Hub integrates with over 700 tools .

Pricing : Free; Starter, $20/month; Professional, $890/month; Enterprise, $3,600/month.

trello-for-marketing-planning

Trello keeps your marketing team on track and openly communicating about the projects they're working on. Create boards for individual campaigns, editorial calendars, or quarterly goals.

Built-in workflows and automation capabilities keep communication streamlined, and simplicity keeps your marketing team focused on the work that matters.

Pricing : Free; Standard Class, $5/month; Premium Class, $10/month for 100 users; Enterprise, $17.50/month for 250 users.

3. TrueNorth

truenorth-software

TrueNorth is a marketing management platform built to help you hit your marketing goals. Built specifically for marketing teams, TrueNorth turns your marketing strategy into a visual projection of your growth, which is used to create monthly milestones that help you stay on track.

One of the key benefits of TrueNorth is that it centralizes all your ideas, campaigns, and results in one place, with everything tied back to your goal.

Pricing : $99/month (free for 14 days).

4. Monday.com

monday.com hubspot integration

Everything on Monday.com starts with a board or visually driven table. Create and customize workflows for your team and keep groups, items, sub-items, and updates synced in real time.

You can also transform data pulled from timeline and Gantt views to track your projects on Monday.com to make sure you're meeting your deadlines. Plus, with more than 40 integrations — from SurveyMonkey to Mailchimp and, of course, HubSpot — you can visualize your data and make sure your whole company is collaborating.

Pricing : Basic, $8/month/seat; Standard, $10/month/seat; Pro, $16/month/seat; Enterprise, contact for pricing.

semrush dashboard

SEO continues to be a huge factor in the successful ranking of your website.

SEMrush allows you to run a technical SEO audit, track daily rankings, analyze your competitor's SEO strategy, research millions of keywords, and even source ideas for earning more organic traffic.

But the benefits don't stop at SEO. Use SEMRush for PPC, building and measuring an effective social media strategy, content planning, and even market research.

Pricing : Pro, $129/month; Guru, $249/month; Business, $499/month.

6. Buzzsumo

buzzsumo marketing strategy tool

BuzzSumo allows you to analyze data to enhance and lead your marketing strategy, all while exploring high-performing content in your industry.

Use the platform to find influencers who may help your brand reach, track comments, and find trends to make the most of every turn.

As your needs evolve, you can also use their crisis management and video marketing tools.

Pricing : Content Creation, $199/month; PR&Comms, $299/month; Suite, $499/month; Enterprise, $999/month.

7. Crazy Egg

crazyegg website optimization

Need to optimize your website this year? Consider getting started with Crazy Egg. You'll be able to identify "attention hotspots" on your product pages, track ad campaign traffic on your site, and understand if shoppers are clicking where you want them to.

You can even make sure your "Buy Now" buttons are in the best place.

Crazy Egg also offers recordings, A/B testing, and more to help make sure your website is offering the best user experience.

Pricing : Basic, $29/month; Standard, $49/month; Plus, $99/month; Pro, $249/month; Enterprise, contact for pricing.

Examples of Successful Marketing Strategies

1. regal movies, digital strategy: owned media.

This "Guess the Monday Movie" question is a fun, interactive way to get followers invested in Regal's content:

owned media example, Regal Cinemas

Regal's Instagram post is an example of owned media because the company was in full control of the answers followers gave (and, apparently, they’re hoping for fewer horror movies).

Regal kept true to their brand by asking viewers to guess the secret movie. And this is a popular type of post for this brand. In only two hours, it has over 800 likes and 64 comments.

2. La Croix

Digital strategy: user-generated content, earned media.

User-generated content is one of the best ways to gain traction in your strategy.

It demonstrates your appreciation for loyal customers, builds community, and incentivizes other users to promote your products for the chance at a similar shout-out.

Plus, sometimes the content your brand loyalists create is really, really good.

User-generated content, earned media, La Croix

In this case, the consumer is creating a handmade needlepoint featuring the brand’s product.

3. Small Girls PR

Owned media, Small Girls PR

Small Girls PR is a boutique PR company based in New York, and one of the company's talents is connecting with amazing clients. This post on Instagram is an effective marketing example, as it boosts awareness for your brand and offers social proof by featuring high-profile clients.

4. Superside

Digital strategy: paid media.

Design agency Superside launched an Instagram ad to promote a lead magnet: Their digital ad design guide. While the brand may have created the guide specifically for paid promotions, it’s also possible that they repurposed a high-performing blog post into a downloadable ebook.

marketing strategy paid media example

In this case, all they had to do was repackage their current content, build an ad around it with creative assets, and run it.

In previous sections, we discussed the power of leveraging multiple forms of media in your marketing strategy. This is a great example of it.

Digital Strategy: Owned Media, Influencer Partnership

If you've got the time for influencer partnerships, take full advantage of it.

Influencer marketing is when you partner with influencers, to promote your content on their site. By doing this, your content reaches new audiences you might not be able to reach organically:

Influencer marketing, target

This post from Target highlights new apparel from a trusted partner. More social channels are offering ways for shoppers to purchase in-app or close to it, driving sales and boosting exposure for brands.

What to Expect After Following Your Marketing Process Steps

Ultimately, creating a complete marketing strategy isn't something that can happen overnight. It takes time, hard work, and dedication to confirm you're reaching your ideal audience, whenever and wherever they want to be reached.

Stick with it (and use some of the resources we've included in this post), and over time, research and customer feedback will help you refine your strategy to make sure you're spending most of your time on the marketing channels your audience cares most about.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2019. It has been updated for freshness and accuracy.

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Small Business Marketing 101: Using Email, Social, Video and More

Introduction to small business marketing 101.

Whether your small business has existed for years, or just recently started up, finding the most effective marketing strategies is critical. That’s because small businesses don’t have the same resources to execute as larger scale firms. In fact, you may be the founder and CEO who has also taken up the mantle of marketer.

That’s why Sprout Social worked with our amazing partners at HubSpot, Animoto and Campaign Monitor to put together this guide to small business marketing.

Together, we’ve covered some of the most frequently discussed topics among small business marketers. We’ll continue to work with more partners to expand on these topics over time. For now, keep reading for the following:

  • HubSpot on inbound marketing for small businesses
  • Animoto on video marketing for small businesses
  • Campaign Monitor on email marketing for small businesses
  • Sprout Social on social marketing for small businesses

Small business marketing with inbound

Would you rather have your customers searching for you instead of the other way around? Look no further than inbound marketing. In this section, HubSpot discusses the importance of inbound marketing for small business, the basics of getting started and how to choose the right channels for your organization.

Let’s talk about a framework for bringing the ideal customer to your website. It’s used by tons of businesses, big and small, and it can work for you as well.

What is inbound marketing?

One quick definition we at HubSpot use is to think of outbound marketing as “push” marketing and inbound marketing as “pull.” Rather than interrupt customers with disruptive ads or unethical sales tactics, you attract them via valuable content that helps them accomplish their goals.

To further elaborate, it’s about three pieces:

inbound marketing cycle: attract, engage, delight

You attract prospects and customers to your website and blog through relevant and helpful content.

Once they arrive, you engage with them using conversational tools like email and chat and by promising continued value.

Finally, you delight them by continuing to act as an empathetic advisor and expert.

The inbound methodology isn’t specific to marketing, by the way. The same process and mindset can be used in sales and services, too.

So, how do you actually do inbound marketing?

Inbound 101: The basics for getting started

There have been many books and courses on inbound marketing, so we won’t be able to comprehensively cover the idea here. Rather, we’ll give the 80/20 so you can start to take action. After you get your wheels on the ground, you can always go back and learn more about the methodology.

So what are the basic steps for getting started?

  • First, map out your ideal audience, aka your target market. Who do you want to sell to?
  • Second, map out the channels you can use to attract, engage and delight your customers. Where do they hang out and how do they communicate?
  • Finally, begin crafting content and messaging that will be used to attract, engage and delight customers. Make sure you have analytics in place, because you’ll need to constantly learn and update your strategy based on the results you get.

Let’s dive into each one of these individually.

Know your personas & target markets

It’s possible you know your target market and have already built your buyer personas , but even if that’s the case, it never hurts doing this work again and learning more about your customers. The more you know about your customer, the better you can craft your messaging and strategy.

In defining a target market, you narrow down your audience to the level that you can choose correct marketing channels and start to define a buyer persona for messaging.

In building a buyer persona, you create a representative model of your prototypical customer. As in machine learning, you need to split the difference between perfect accuracy and perfect utility . In other words, you should gather enough data and information to make a buyer persona largely accurate to the real world, but you shouldn’t gather too much information and make it too complex.

How do you gather data to inform your buyer persona? There are many ways, some easier, some harder, depending on the stage of your company:

  • Customer interviews (phone or in person)
  • Digital analytics
  • Surveys (on-site polls like Qualaroo and customer surveys )
  • User testing
  • Live chat transcripts and intelligence via sales and service teams

You’ll want to answer core questions about your ideal buyer, such as:

  • What are their motivations and fears?
  • How do they prefer to make purchases?
  • How much research do they do and what kind of content is useful to them?
  • How do they interact with brands? What do they prefer the relationship to look like?
  • Who do they look to when they’re making decisions? Who influences them?
  • Where do they hang out? How can you reach them?
  • What type of language do they use?

All of these things will help you a) choose channels and b) craft messaging.

Just don’t create a silly made-up buyer persona with a cute name just to go through the motions. Also, it probably doesn’t matter what your buyer persona’s favorite color of car is unless you’re selling paint or used vehicles. Stick to the stuff that’s important and knowable.

Map out your channels and tactics

When you have a target market and buyer persona, you can look into different channels. There are only so many inbound marketing channels:

  • Facebook Ads (suggested reading: Are ads inbound? )

Some channels won’t work for your business no matter how hard you try. For example, virality probably doesn’t make sense if you sell dish soap.

Similarly, some channels could potentially work but will take so much effort and risk to pull off, that you should probably table them for the time being in favor of higher impact channels. For example, if you’re a LawnStarter (lawn care) or ProTranslating (translation services), social media may not pay off.

MoonPie Twitter example

Though oddly enough, MoonPie kills it on Twitter

To identify your best channels, use this heuristic: “how does a customer buy this type of product?”

In the case of lawn care, it’s usually when their lawn grows too long and they need someone right away. SEO and search ads are perfect to capture this type of demand.

Some products, such as Chubbies or Airpods , are naturally viral. Just optimize the viral components and add a little wind to the sail.

Others make a perfect fit for content marketing, such as B2B software companies like Wordable or Mutiny . These products tend to require a little bit of upfront education, and their target customers are accustomed to learning via blogs, webinars and ebooks.

example of good content

Content often works well for SaaS products

In any case, just think about it and discuss with your colleagues before jumping into a channel. Don’t simply join a channel because your competitors have or because it’s new and buzzworthy. We don’t need more gurus or businesses trying to make it big on Snapchat, and we especially don’t need more businesses trying to go viral on Reddit. Do what makes sense for you.

Create content and execute on the playbook

Any inbound channel—nay, any marketing channel—will require some sort of messaging strategy. How you execute on messaging will largely determine how effective the channel becomes.

Let’s say, for example, we want to use blogging and SEO as our inbound channel. This usually forms the basis of such efforts, as it’s an owned channel, and you can generally compete with very large players and win some or much of the time on quality and 10x content .

Now, what do you blog about?

While you can answer this question many ways with some degree of validity, we like to follow the Pillar + Cluster model .

pillar content example

In plain English, your “pillar content” represents the big topic you want to rank for, and “cluster content” represents supporting content that relates to your big topic. Hyperlinking pages together shows Google they’re related to each other.

For example, let’s say your big topic is “personalization” For this, you might create a pillar page called “The Ultimate Guide to Web Personalization.”

Then you could create several cluster content blog posts to support the pillar page. These could be on topics like:

  • How to personalize email newsletters
  • Top personalization tools in 2019
  • Personalization examples
  • How to measure ROI from personalization

…And on and on.

We like to start backwards from our product and branch out from there. So, basically, what’s the end goal? Define that product page, and then come up with high traffic pillar page ideas that can support that. From there, break topic ideas off of your pillar page to create long tail blog posts. A good way to find long tail ideas is on Answer The Public .

keyword research tool

Soon, you’ll bring in tons of traffic, and then you’ll simply have to worry about converting that traffic into leads, users, demos…whatever your goal conversion is.

Unfortunately, that’s a huge topic, and one we can’t crack into here. So here are some resources on email marketing and conversion optimization to check out:

  • Lead Magnets – Ideas to get people to sign up for your list
  • Web forms guide – Best practices to get form completions, no matter the purpose)
  • A/B testing guide – Everything you want to know about running your own tests

Obviously this is a short primer on inbound, and there’s a lot more to talk about. But if we could boil it down to the simplest possible summary, we’d say, “Define your audience, go where the fish are and craft your messaging in a way that resonates with them.”

This sounds easy, but it takes a lot of work. In fact, we’ll end by emphasizing the need to keep learning and improving.

Make sure you have proper analytics in place, and continue to improve and optimize your inbound funnel.

When it works, it really works. And when it really, really works, you can build a moat that is hard to compete with.

Small business marketing with video

Is your growing business interested in taking advantage of the power of video? Then you have come to the right place. This section discusses the importance of video marketing for small business, how to overcome hurdles in video marketing. It ends with ideas to consider for your own strategy.

According to Forbes , 90% of consumers say videos help them with buying decisions. Sixty-four percent say that watching videos makes them more likely to purchase. Forbes also reports that businesses that use video in their marketing see a 41% increase in search traffic compared to those that don’t.

Video has taken social media, and marketing in general, by storm.

But for small business owners or marketers, it may feel daunting. Here at Animoto , we’ve spoken with countless small business owners that already wear a lot of hats. We know adding video to the mix may feel overwhelming—especially without the time, resources or technical expertise needed for video creation.

But guess what? Video marketing isn’t as time-consuming or difficult as you may think. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you get started (and show you how easy it can be). We’ll share:

  • Why video matters for small businesses
  • How to overcome the hurdles to video creation
  • Small business video ideas
  • Tips and tricks for small business video creation
  • How to get started with video marketing today

Let’s dive in!

Why Video matters for small businesses

Video affords marketers at businesses of all sizes a massive opportunity. We’ll take a quick look at what video can do for your marketing on social media, on YouTube, on your website, in your emails and even in your store or at an event.

Social video for small business

According to a recent Animoto survey , consumers rank video as their number one favorite type of content to see from brands on social media, and 93% of marketers using video on social media say it’s landed them a new customer.

Video has become increasingly important on social media, where it generates 1200% more shares than images and text combined. Video can be incorporated into your social marketing throughout the customer journey to maximize the success of your campaigns.

YouTube video for small business

You’ve likely already heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine, after Google. What does this mean for you? More consumers than ever (including your own customers) search YouTube for product reviews, how-tos and more.

Creating YouTube videos means that you’ll get in front of more customers searching for videos related to your industry and products or services.

Website video for small business

Did you know that the average customer spends 88% more time on a website if it has video? Pretty incredible, right? There are all sorts of ways to incorporate video into your website, including an introductory video on your

  • Product videos
  • A personal video for your about page that showcases your small business story

And guess what? These videos can also be repurposed to share on YouTube and social media.

Email video for small business

Including video in email can lead to an up to 19% increase in open rate and an up to 50% increase in click-through rate, according to Campaign Monitor .

The even better news? Adding video to your emails isn’t as complicated as it may sound. In fact, the videos don’t actually have to play in your email. Rather, you can simply link out to them and mention “video” in your subject line to start seeing results.

In-person video for small business

Video doesn’t have to be limited to the web. You can also use it for your in-person marketing—in your shop, at events and trade shows and in sales sessions. Loop a video on a screen to attract foot traffic or include videos to make presentations more engaging.

Overcoming the hurdles to video marketing

Our recent survey on the State of Social Video Marketing showed that marketers aren’t making as many videos as they’d like. The reasons? They say video requires too much time and budget and the tools and software seem too complicated.

As a small business owner, you likely face similar hurdles. We’ll break them down here and show you why video is easier to get started with than you may think.

Myth #1: Video is too time consuming

There’s a common misconception when it comes to video that it takes days (or even more) to create a single video. In truth, this may be accurate when it comes to professional productions with big production crews, designed to be run as television ad campaigns. However, creating videos for social, or to embed on your blog and website, doesn’t have to take a ton of time.

You can get started with as little as a couple hours a week, and as you get better at making videos, you’ll need even less. You can repurpose photos and videos you already have or use stock imagery to save time on production.

We’d also like to call out that even big brands with big budgets have started opting for less polished social videos for a more authentic look. You don’t have to spend hours to reap the benefits of video.

Myth #2: Video is too complicated

But even with the time set aside, a lot of small businesses don’t use video because they believe they don’t have the expertise. Yes, some video editing softwares require advanced know-how. But a wide range of video editing solutions cater to non-professionals. And you can use these to create professional videos on your own. We promise you.

We should also mention that, when it comes to social video especially, you don’t need heavy production. A lot of the most engaging videos are short clips with just a few shots, or even a single clip with text on it. Start simple and as you get more familiar with video creation you can try new, more complicated things.

Myth #3: Video is too expensive

Finally, video production doesn’t have to break your budget. As we mentioned above, you likely have the photos and video clips you need to get started. If you don’t, you can use your smartphone instead of an expensive video camera.

Add text over your video clips and you don’t need to worry about expensive audio equipment (85% of people watch with the sound off anyway). And you can tie it all together with an inexpensive, easy-to-use video editing tool.

Small business videos ideas

Okay, so now we’ve convinced you that you need video. But what types of videos should you make? This is one of the biggest questions faced by small business marketers looking to get started with video. We’ve rounded up some small business video ideas and examples for inspiration.

And to help you out, each of these video examples includes a template that you can customize to make your own .

About us video

Share the story behind your business. Who are you and what products or services do you offer? An About Us lets you show off the people and story behind your business, which can work especially well for small and growing businesses.

Product story video

A product video ad, which we’ll get to next, works when you want to close the deal and make a sale. But telling the story of your product or service can engage with potential customers on a whole other level. Telling the backstory of a specific product can make for share-worthy content, as you can see in this example. Do you offer a product with an interesting backstory?

We promised a product video ad, and here it is. A video ad should be short and sweet. It introduces your product to the target audience and provides a clear call to action (CTA) so they know how they can purchase.

Fun social video

Looking for a quick video idea for your social media pages? Try a quote. Quote videos take little time to make and rack up shares to boot. Just pair a nice photo or video clip with a quote that’s relevant to your business or industry.

How-to video

A how-to video lets you showcase your expertise. Answer a question you hear a lot from your customers or share an insider tip based on your industry expertise. Share it on social media and YouTube too, where potential customers are searching for answers. You can also share your expertise with a list or step-by-step instructional video.

Blog teaser video

If you’ve got a blog or other content on your website, try creating a short video teaser to promote it. Make sure to include a clear call to action with the link where viewers can go to read more.

Testimonial video

With testimonial videos, you can share social proof and help new customers feel comfortable doing business with you. While you can actually shoot interviews with your customers to create testimonial videos, there are some easy alternatives too. Try using quotes from Yelp, social media or customer emails, paired with accolades and imagery of yourself or your product.

Video tips and tricks for small businesses

We hope we’ve inspired you to start making videos. Before you dive in, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your video marketing.

  • Get started with what you have . You likely already have photos and video clips you can use to create your first videos. Look on your phone, your desktop, your website, and your social media profiles for content to get started with.
  • Plan for sound off . When creating videos for social media, remember that 85% of people watch with the sound off. Use text to tell a story that translates whether or not viewers turn the sound on.
  • Keep mobile in mind . More and more viewers watch videos on mobile devices,. Make text large enough to read and go for a square or vertical format for videos designed for mobile or social media.
  • Target your video ads . With the targeting capabilities of Facebook Ads Manager and other social platforms, you can reach the audience most likely to engage with your business or product.
  • One size doesn’t fit all . Creating a video for Facebook? For the Instagram feed? Twitter? An Instagram story? Different types of formats and content work best on different platforms, so plan your video content accordingly. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you out.
  • Use your smartphone . You don’t need fancy equipment to get started. We’ve all got great professional cameras in our pockets. Your phone shoots better video than you think!
  • Pay attention to lighting . Good light (or lack of it) can really make or break the quality of your video. Don’t have professional lighting equipment? Try shooting outside in the sunlight, next to a window or simply turn on as many lights as you’ve got indoors.
  • Pay attention to audio . Similarly, the state of your audio can have a big impact on the quality of your video. When recording, listen with headphones to make sure everything sounds OK. And remember, even if you do plan on using audio you should plan for sound-off viewing and use text or captions.

Animoto for small business

Ready to dive in? We’re here to help. Animoto provides everything small businesses and marketers need to drag and drop their way to powerful and professional videos. With customizable video templates, designed with success in mind, Animoto makes it easy for anyone to create their own videos in minutes. With over a decade in the industry and partnerships with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn, Animoto is used by more than one million businesses worldwide.

Video templates for a variety of small business use cases, including all the ideas we shared earlier in the article, can be selected and customized. Add your own photos, video clips and text. Then, add your logo and update the colors to fit your brand and you’re done

We invite you to try it for free today. Happy video making!

Small business marketing with email

Email marketing is a must-have for business, but that doesn't mean it's easy to get right. In this section, Campaign Monitor discusses why email marketing is important for your small business, how to send amazing emails and, most importantly, how to scale your efforts.

When you started your own business or started working at one, there were probably a few hats you were expected to wear—like creator, CEO, founder or visionary.

But as your business grows, there will inevitably be a few more hats you have to put on—hats that may not fit quite as easily, like email marketing aficionado.

At Campaign Monitor we want to empower you with email marketing tools and tips that are powerful yet simple, so you can get back to doing what you do best.

Email marketing is alive and well

With so many options for marketing a new and growing business, you may struggle to decide where to focus. Research supports prioritizing email marketing. Let’s take a look at the stats:

  • There are over 3.7 billion email users in the world currently, which means the projected number of users by 2021 is 4.1 billion.
  • 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI.
  • Email marketing drives $44 for every $1 spent .
  • 89% of marketers say email serves as their primary channel for lead generation.

Before your first send

So you’ve decided to implement an email marketing strategy. Now what? First, you need to understand the purpose of email marketing: to create, secure and nurture relationships.

Yes, you’ll likely meet other goals along the way, like increasing customer engagement and ROI, but don’t lose sight of the people whose inboxes you’re sending to. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a few tips for maximum success.

1. Start with a plan

There’s no right or wrong formula for your first email marketing plan, as long as it answers the following questions:

  • Why am I sending emails?
  • Who am I sending them to?
  • What value can I offer subscribers?
  • What are my email marketing goals?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to map your customers’ journey. Think of this like mapping out a route for marathon runners; make sure the path is clear of barriers and the signs point the right way. You need to be familiar with the journey your customers take from lead to conversion so you can anticipate any needs or questions they will have along the way.

2. Segment your audience

When setting up your email subscription form, consider the information you’ll need long-term. Name and email address are the traditional fields, but collecting additional demographic information will help you to segment your audience into groups based on age, gender, location or another variable.

Rather than send the same mass email to your entire list every time, segmentation allows you to send customized and relevant content that your subscribers will more likely engage with. After all, proper email list segmentation can double email open rates.

As an example, Facebook segmented their list based on location and invited users to events in their area:

example of email from facebook

3. Personalize your messages

Once you’ve divided your list into groups based on purchase history, interest or other variables, it’s time to create content specifically for the people in that group. Maybe something they indicated interest in has gone on sale, there’s an event happening in their area or you want to address them by name and recommend something they’ll love.

One of our favorite ways to do this using Campaign Monitor is by inserting dynamic content into your message. This shows your audience that you understand and care for them, and it will add an extra “wow” factor that will surprise and delight them. And in case you needed additional convincing, MarketingSherpa ’s research shows that open rates increase by 41% when a personalized subject line is used.

See how Lyft uses the information they’ve gathered about their customers to create a pretty cool personalized email:

example of email from lyft

4. Scale your efforts

So you’ve mapped out a plan, organized your list into segments and created personalized content that drives engagement. It’s time to take all the tools and tactics that work and scale them to reach more people. At this point, automation is your go-to.

By scheduling emails to meet your subscribers at each point in their customer journey (which you already mapped out in step #1), you’ll continue to ensure that your content is relevant and fulfilling your customers’ needs. Plus, automated email messaging can increase open rates by 70.5%.

Paravel uses automation and personalization to send customized trip “postcards” to their customers:

example of email from paravel

5. Measure your success

You made it to the final step—see, that wasn’t so bad. The best way to continue to improve and refine your email marketing skills is to look at the data and find out what works, what you could do better and what you can live without.

Keep an eye on your metrics, try to retarget the subscribers who don’t engage and maintain good deliverability to ensure long-term email marketing success. Seventy-seven percent of ROI comes from segmented, targeted and triggered campaigns, so find what works for you and continue to help it grow.

What to look for in an email marketing platform

When it comes to email marketing platforms, there are a lot of options to choose from and ideas to consider. We’ve given you tips and tricks to begin creating your email marketing strategy, but choosing the right provider can make or break your business growth. Of course, you’ll want to choose a provider that can grow with your business in terms of subscriber list size and functional capability, but what about features to enhance your segmentation, personalization and automation?

If you’re looking for a service provider that will help you focus on your subscribers’ needs, design beautiful emails and scale your success, Campaign Monitor could be the perfect fit. With robust features for segmentation, personalization and automation, as well as 24/7 access to customer support, our team is here to help you drive engagement and increase ROI. Happy sending!

Small business marketing with social

Social media is a critical channel for growing your audience, showcasing your organization, and creating lasting relationships that will yield delighted customers. In this section, Sprout Social discusses the value of social for small business, how to get started on social and shares tips for advanced audiences.

Sprout Social works with thousands of small businesses to help them improve their social marketing strategy while also saving time online. Over the course of working with so many organizations, we’ve gotten good at helping guide their social strategy.

Here we’ve put together the essentials for small business marketing on social, but for a more comprehensive guide you can see our entire guide to social media for small business .

The value of social media for small business

Social is essential for driving your inbound marketing strategy, sharing your videos and increasing leads to email.

But social media is also important on its own.

Social media is valuable for businesses of any size or industry, and finding customers on social media has a direct impact on sales and your bottom line.

In fact, those individuals who follow you on your social channels are 57.5% more likely to buy from you.

likelihood of buying from brands you follow. 57.5% more likely

But it doesn’t stop there. If you can actually manufacture a great positive social media experience that number increases to 71%.

marketing strategies for small businesses

These numbers prove your brand should capitalize on the power of social media for small business marketing.

We’ve broken the next sections down by where you may be in your social strategy, including information for those just getting started and more advanced tips for those with an established presence.

Getting started with small business marketing on social

1. define your social goals.

If you don’t know what you want to accomplish on social media, then you’ll never know when you succeed or fall short. Without this, you’ll likely struggle to maintain a nimble strategy.

Goals can vary wildly from one industry to the next. While a retail company may look for direct purchases from social, someone in higher education may look at new enrollment rates.

Our recent Sprout Social Index asked social marketers about their biggest goals. You can use their responses to help you choose your initial social media goals, then refine those as you get a better sense of what social marketing can provide your business. We’ve included a cheat sheet to define each item below.

  • Increase brand awareness: How familiar social users are with your brand
  • Increase community engagement: Authentic conversations you have with your followers
  • Increase web traffic: The number of website visitors driven from social channels
  • Generate sales/leads: Individuals who purchase your goods or services, or those who fill out a website form, from social channels
  • Distribute content: Sharing your content to your social channels.
  • Increase brand advocacy from customers: Getting happy customers to share their experiences on social
  • Support customers: Using social to respond to customer inquiries and create better customer experiences
  • Grow influencer marketing program: Increase the number of influencers discussing your brand on social

2. Define your core metrics

Think of your social goals as the destination and your core metrics as the map that helps you get there. Once again, we’ve provided a cheat sheet to some key metrics for social media marketing below.

Impressions : The number of times an individual saw your message

Engagements The number of times an individual has interacted with your message, including:

Engagement Rates : The number of engagements divided by the number of impressions

Site Visits : The number of times someone visited your profile page

Mentions : The number of times your handle or brand was mentioned on social. Followers : The number of individuals who follow you on social, usually shown as an increase or decrease over time

New Sales/ROI : The new revenue generated from social visitors, trackable with UTM tagging and website analytics

3. Target your audience and social networks

Social media provides one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience, but first, you have to identify that audience. Consider things like:

Remember the more specific you can get, the better. This will enable you to create a strong social media marketing strategy around these individuals and take a targeted approach to reach the right people at the right time.

Once you know who you want to reach, you’ll have to figure out where they are. Earlier in this guide, HubSpot noted that not every single inbound channel works for small business marketing. The same is true for specific social media networks—not every single one will make sense for your business. Social networks have varied user bases. Don’t invest in one network if your core audience is on another.

Before choosing a platform, ask yourself things like:

  • Which platform best fits your B2B or B2C interactions?
  • How often do you publish content?
  • What’s the lifespan of your content?
  • Are you using social media for customer service?
  • Are you engaging with user-generated content?
  • Can you automate parts of your social media?

The answers to those questions will inform the networks you should choose.

4. Figure out what to share

To figure out what content to post, look no further than what has worked best in the past. If you’ve published to social media before, tools like Sprout Social , Twitter or Facebook Insights can help you understand what resonated most with your audience.

Below is an example of how to view your Sent Messages with Sprout ( available with a free trial ).

sent message report in sprout

Sort your messages by your key metric and you’ll see the top posts for that metric. Look through a handful to find any consistencies and leverage that insight when choosing what to publish.

5. Build your publishing calendar

Once you know what kind of content works, you can create social media posts to automatically publish at the times and days of your choosing. Additionally, you can use a social media publishing tool like Sprout Social to visualize your entire Publishing Calendar, across all of your networks and profiles.

Sprout publishing calendar

Automatically export your calendar as a PDF to share with other key stakeholders throughout your organization.

6. Respond to inbound messages

Unless you sell the most niche product in the world, your customers likely post about it (and you) on social media. Whether they directly tag you or use certain keywords and phrases that relate to your company, it’s your job to respond to their messages to create a better user experience.

Monitor your social channels for conversations or posts that warrant a response. You can use a social media engagement tool to pull in the conversations that directly mention you or mention something relevant to your organization.

7. Analyze your results

Once you’ve established the metrics that matter most to your brand, and spent time on social channels posting and engaging, you can start to track the impact of your efforts.

The frequency with which you analyze your social media results will likely depend on your time and how much you utilize social. Remember that it’s important to track metrics to optimize your strategy. You can use a social media analytics tool to automatically run high-level or in-depth reports if your time is limited.

Advanced tips for small business social

1. search social for new opportunities.

We’ve established that small business marketers must respond to social media posts that tag or mention them. For a more advanced tactic, we suggest monitoring social media for conversations on topics related to your business, and then joining in.

Let’s say you own a pizza restaurant in Chicago that prides itself on its gluten-free offering. By using a social media listening tool , you can track everyone who mentions a term like “gluten free pizza” in the Chicago area.

monitoring

These conversations will populate in your inbox in real time so that you can reach out to anyone looking for a recommendation and suggest your restaurant.

2. Run competitive analyses

Keep an eye on your competition’s social media strategy. Doing so will help you understand the industry and how you measure up as well as develop unique ideas to stand out from the crowd. We’ve created this entire guide on running a competitive analysis , including a free template to help you conduct your research.

3. Leverage relevant hashtags

Hashtags help you get your content in front of new audiences on social media. Not sure which to use? Our free Hashtag Holiday calendar contains a ton of ideas. Just make sure that the hashtags you use actually make sense for your brand and you’re not forcing it.

hashtag holiday calendar

4. Create great visuals and videos

Earlier in this guide, Animoto shared the importance of video:

“Video has become increasingly important on social media, where it generates 1200% more shares than images and text combined. Video can be incorporated into your social marketing throughout the customer journey to maximize the success of your campaigns.”

They also shared some tips to make creating videos easier on your team. Now that you’ve bought in, make sure that you share any and all videos you create with their guidance on your relevant social channels.

5. Get your teammates on social

Social media poses so many opportunities for businesses that it can feel a little overwhelming at times. As a small business marketer, you may be in short supply of resources, but if there is anyone at your organization that can help you keep up, then invite them to join you.

social media team illustration

If your concern is in doubling efforts or reducing how secure your accounts are, then never fear. Social media collaboration tools can ensure that you effectively manage your presence as a team.

6. Boost your content with paid ads

If you don’t get the impressions you hoped for on social media, it could make sense to boost your views by putting some paid advertising dollars into your posts until your presence takes hold. Each native network has its own paid social functionality, or you can use a paid social tool to quickly boost your posts.

Using a social media tool

A social media marketing tool like Sprout Social saves you countless hours managing your presence. Long gone are the days that you should find yourself manually logging in and out of each social profile when it’s time to publish a message, respond to customers or get your social media analytics.

social media quote

Learn all about Sprout Social for your small business and start a free 30-day trial today.

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The Ultimate Guide to Small-Business Marketing

Lisa Anthony

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

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:

Lead generation.

Website traffic.

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

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.

Experiential marketing

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.

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7 Smart Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

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

marketing strategies for small businesses

2. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

marketing strategies for small businesses

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

marketing strategies for small businesses

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

marketing strategies for small businesses

5. Content Marketing

  • Whitepapers or e-books
  • Infographics

marketing strategies for small businesses

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.

marketing strategies for small businesses

2. Help Customers Help Themselves

marketing strategies for small businesses

3. Stay Connected

marketing strategies for small businesses

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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marketing strategies for small businesses

Marketing a small business: First steps and strategies to try

When marketing a small business, you have to make hard choices between different strategies. Here’s the best way to spread the word about your business.

marketing strategies for small businesses

No matter how shoestring the budget, marketing a small business can be the difference between soaring and sinking.

Ben & Jerry’s started out in a refurbished gas station after the partners completed a $5 mail-order course in ice cream making. In 2007, Airbnb’s founders were renting out air mattresses in their loft for $80.

How did these small businesses hit the big time? Sure, they had a great product. But they also had a solid marketing plan.

Marketing can make or break your small business — if nobody knows about your product or service, nobody will buy it. Thankfully, weaving marketing strategies into your everyday management activities doesn’t have to be complicated or costly.

Here’s what to know about marketing your small business to set yourself up for success.

Marketing your small business: First steps

It’s worth thinking about marketing right from the start, even as you’re developing your first product. Researchers estimate that 95% of new products fail — so to land in the successful 5%, you need to examine market research to understand what your customers want and what they don’t.

In other words, it’s all about defining your marketing strategy: the overall approach you’ll take to pitching your product to the world.

How to create a small business marketing strategy

Start creating a high-level marketing strategy for your small business step by step:

1. Determine what makes your brand unique

Think about what makes your product better than the competition. Maybe it’s the pricing, the outstanding customer experience, your round-the-clock customer support, or all of the above. That’s your value proposition, and knowing yours is fundamental to an effective marketing strategy.

Take Airbnb, for example. The company has two value propositions, one for guests and one for hosts. For guests, it’s to save money by living like a local while traveling. For hosts, it’s to earn money from homes and rooms they aren’t using.

2. Conduct market research and identify your target market

Most small business owners don’t have the time or resources to capture large volumes of data directly from customers, analyze it, and act on what they learn. But you can still do market research by examining industry and government reports, competitors’ promotional materials, and online reviews of similar products or services.

Once you identify your target market, consider creating buyer personas — fictional representations of your ideal customers. Buyer personas often include information such as age, gender, education level, goals, and preferred marketing channels. They provide insight into your target customers’ motivation, purchasing patterns, and pain points (problems they need solutions to).

Determining the key demographics of your target market and creating buyer personas allows you to better understand exactly how wide or niche your range of customers is. And that’s key to making smart marketing decisions across the board, whether it’s the promotional channels you focus on (are you going after Gen Z on TikTok or millennials on Instagram?) or the colors on your website .

3. Set SMART goals

Next, you need to determine marketing strategy goals. What do you want to achieve, and how will you know if you’ve been successful?

Structuring your goals using the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) framework will help you keep your strategy on track.

For example, let’s say you want to improve your site’s ranking in search results. Here’s what this objective looks like as a SMART goal.

  • Specific: Rank in the top three results for the keyword “doggy daycare Chicago.”
  • Measurable: Jump from 15th place in Google search rankings into the top three.
  • Achievable: The websites in 4th–15th place don’t have many ways to add new content. Create a blog to add fresh SEO-based content.
  • Relevant: Move up in search results by driving more organic traffic to the site, generating more leads, and bringing in new customers.
  • Time-bound: Achieve this goal within the next 12 months.

This makes your final SMART goal: “Bring in new customers by getting into the top three Google search results for ‘doggy daycare Chicago’ through SEO-based blog content within 12 months.”

4. Calculate your marketing budget

Small businesses — especially if they’re new — don’t have the advantage of brand recognition or word of mouth, requiring them to spend more on marketing.

Aim to set aside 7–8% of your revenue (or up to 20% if your industry is competitive) for your marketing budget . That means that if your gross revenue is $200,000, you should allocate between $14,000 and $16,000 to marketing. That sounds like a lot, but remember that marketing drives revenue.

5. Define your brand messaging

What’s the best way to tell your target market about your product or service and its value proposition? Start by thinking about your brand identity. This is the “personality” of your brand. Consider your company’s values, what it’s good at, and how you want to make people feel.

Personifying your brand helps customers relate to you, making them more likely to listen to what you’re saying and, in turn, be more interested in what you’re selling. In fact, researchers have found that when people like a brand, they respond to it emotionally as though the brand is their friend .

Now imagine that your brand identity and your buyer personas are strangers who’ve just met and are getting to know each other. To break the ice, perhaps you can tell a story about how your product or service helped a person like them, be it a stay-at-home parent in the suburbs or a startup CEO who constantly travels.

6. Choose your main marketing channels

You know what you need to communicate (value proposition), why (SMART goal), how you’ll communicate it (brand messaging), and who you’ll communicate it to (buyer personas and target audience). Next, you need to decide where you’re going to put your message. To do this, consider the following:

Where your audience spends their time

If your target market is a younger demographic, your best bet might be TikTok and other social media channels. If it’s an older demographic, flyers, brochures, and other print media might be more effective.

The nature of your product or service

If you’re selling software that needs some training, consider YouTube tutorials and ads. If your product is decorative, Instagram or Pinterest might be a better fit.

How you can support all stages of the customer journey

Allocate some of your budget to improving brand recognition, some to attracting people to your site, and some to converting site visitors into customers.

Use Webflow's visual development platform to build completely custom, production-ready websites — or high-fidelity prototypes — without writing a line of code.

How to market your small business online

In 1986, Ben and Jerry journeyed across the United States in a purpose-built Cowmobile, handing out free ice cream to promote their products. But thanks to the internet, you don’t have to literally roam the land to share your products and services with others. Instead, tap into the potential of effective online marketing. For small businesses, the road map may vary depending on specific needs and goals, but here are six steps to get started:

1. Perfect your website

Your website is the public face of your brand — it’s a visitor’s first impression. Whether you build your own site or hire someone to build it for you , it needs to be user-friendly and appeal to your target market. If you’re selling directly to consumers, ensure your website has ecommerce capabilities .

Follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices when setting up the site, as this helps it rank higher in search engine results and attract potential customers without paying for ads. If you’re on a budget (and most small business owners are), there’s no need to spend money on advanced SEO tools . Start simple by using a free SEO option and develop an approach to SEO that grows with your business .

Along with all the other basic elements — an about page, contact info, info about the products or services you offer — consider including a blog on your site. Publishing high-quality blog posts attracts new visitors who are already interested in products like yours, and it gives your existing client base an opportunity to keep up on everything exciting happening in your world.

2. Run an email marketing campaign

For most businesses, email lands the highest return on investment — not surprising, as $1 spent on email marketing can bring in as much as $36 .

Airbnb’s email marketing, in fact, is what took them to the next level : The team directly emailed people they knew were looking for specific accommodations with properties that matched what they were searching for, plus occasional suggestions for holiday getaways. In doing so, Airbnb proved that their platform is about more than just finding a place to stay. It can also help plan an entire vacation.

But before you can send out marketing emails, you have to create an email list. To do this, consider asking site visitors to sign up for an email newsletter or provide a downloadable free resource (an ebook, a short course, or a collection of valuable tips) in return for an email address.

If you’ve built a site with Webflow, you can leverage email marketing integration options and other marketing tools, such as Mailchimp, to ensure your campaigns run smoothly and efficiently.

3. Reach new customers on social media

While a website is the hub of your digital marketing efforts and email marketing lets you reach customers directly, social media marketing has the potential to reach new people who haven’t heard of your brand and create a genuine sense of community.

It’s also highly effective in building your customer base: Social media is consumers’ preferred way of connecting with a brand , and 76% of people will buy from a brand they connect with over a competing brand.

Social media platforms are also ideal for customer service. You can hear directly from unsatisfied customers and resolve their problems publicly, showing other customers that you’re trustworthy and care about making them happy. You also give satisfied customers a chance to share their positive experiences, be it on your social media or theirs.

4. Educate and entertain with videos

Videos are an effective way to engage audiences, build brand loyalty and awareness, and influence purchasing decisions. Audiences also love them — 66% of consumers have watched a video about a product to learn more about it.

Customers are more likely to share video content than any other type of content, which can help you reach even more people. Ensure your videos have captions, as 75% of people say they often watch videos with the sound off. And make them short: The sweet spot for keeping viewers’ attention is under three minutes .

Video can boost your other channels, too: Adding a video to your website’s landing page keeps visitors on the site longer , which helps increase conversion rates.

5. Host special events

Never underestimate the power of a well-planned party — whether it’s in person or virtual. To celebrate their first anniversary in 1979, Ben & Jerry’s held a Free Cone Day, an event that proved to be such a success that the company still runs it today.

While digital marketing gets the word out fast, there’s something special about in-person experiences . Event marketing gives people the opportunity to directly interact and engage with a product, help them better understand it, and have a positive, memorable experience with it. Attendees are also more likely to become repeat customers. Plus, events encourage people to create social media posts and drive referrals through word-of-mouth marketing.

6. Create podcasts and webinars

Well-crafted blog content draws potential customers to your site, but podcasts and webinars give them a chance to engage on a whole new level.

Podcasts allow your audience to listen in on an ongoing conversation that explores your company’s core essence one episode at a time. For example, a large part of the Ben & Jerry’s brand is their social and environmental activism. Their podcast reflects this by focusing on social justice themes, a message that says Ben & Jerry’s is about much more than ice cream.

Webinars focus more specifically on your product or service in detail, how it works, and how it can help. They attract people who are close to making a purchase and have a high conversion rate: Somewhere between 5–20% of webinar attendees buy the product or service after attending.

Cross-promotion (sharing content through multiple channels) makes your content even more likely to stick, so consider embedding a video on your website or promoting an in-person event on social media.

If you’re after even more marketing tips for small businesses, such as selling gift cards, recovering abandoned carts, and exploring influencer marketing, browse our list of low-cost marketing ideas for small business owners .

Take your small business to the next level

Once you’ve developed an overall strategy, start to think about how you can use it to create a marketing plan for your small business. While the marketing strategy is a long-term, big-picture account of your approach to marketing, a marketing plan spells out the minute, concrete ways you’ll go about implementing your strategy in the short term. You can start with the above ideas for online marketing and expand as needed.

By studying the marketing strategies of successful multimillion-dollar companies like Ben & Jerry’s or Airbnb, you can gain valuable insights — like understanding the ins and outs of logo design or brand design — to ensure your business’s best chance of success.

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Marketing | How To

How to Create a Small Business Marketing Plan (+ Free Template)

Published February 19, 2024

Published Feb 19, 2024

Michael DeVault

WRITTEN BY: Michael DeVault

  • 1 What’s in a Small Business Marketing Plan
  • 2 How to Create a Marketing Plan in 6 Steps
  • 3 Why You Should Invest in Marketing Your Small Business
  • 5 Bottom Line

Whenever I’m tasked with launching a new small business or helping an existing business increase sales, I sit down with the owner to develop a small business marketing plan. You might be surprised how many small businesses overlook the importance of creating a marketing plan, opting instead to thrust blindly into one advertising medium or another.

Taking a few moments to familiarize yourself with the components of a small business marketing plan will help you navigate the process. It’ll also set you up to maximize your brand presence .

What’s in a Small Business Marketing Plan (+ Free Marketing Plan Template)

When assembling a plan for marketing and advertising your small business, you’ll be pulling together several diverse components from across your small business and the industry in which you’re operating. The parts of your plan may vary slightly, but overall they should include:

  • Customer personas: If you can’t identify your core customers, how do you plan to talk to them? Customer personas help you accomplish this.
  • Marketing and advertising goals: Without setting goals, how do you know what’s working? Setting trackable and achievable goals will guide your planning.
  • Unique value proposition: What sets your business apart from the competition? This is your unique value proposition, which is what drives customers to buy your product.
  • Types of marketing: Where will you market and advertise your products or services? Whether it’s on a small business website or in the local newspaper, you should consider all your options.
  • Marketing budget: How much can you afford to spend on marketing and advertising your company? Setting a realistic budget and sticking to it is key to a successful campaign.

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Marketing Plan Template

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To get expert advice and guidance with your marketing plan, get a free consultation from Straight North. Branding and marketing experts will outline effective strategies to build and grow your business without the hassle of running your own marketing plan.

How to Create a Marketing Plan for a Small Business in 6 Steps

Creating a plan to launch and manage your marketing campaign is straightforward. You can create an effective plan in just six steps. See the steps below to learn more about what you’ll need to do.

Step 1: Identify Your Target Customers

You can’t do a good job talking about your product or service without knowing who you’re talking to. And you certainly don’t want to waste time and money talking to people who aren’t potential customers for what you’re selling. Think about it: If you own a landscaping company, you don’t want to advertise to people living in a condo, right? That’s where identifying your customers comes into play.

The first thing you’ll do is make a list of attributes you think your core customers share. These attributes include age, demographic information, geographic location, and general interests. You can even divvy up customers by age bracket—known as generational marketing . Here are a few key details you should identify about your customers:

  • Service area: Where do your customers live and work? Without knowing this, you won’t be able to adequately target ads to them.
  • Demographics: Are your customers predominately one gender? Maybe they fit into an age bracket. Understanding the demographics of your customers allows you to tailor a message to them.
  • Economic factors: Will customers be able to afford your products or services? You’ll need to consider the income level of potential customers and weigh that against how many people meet those criteria.

This is a good start. But gathering information about potential customers is just a start. You can go a step further with customer personas. A customer persona is a fictional “perfect customer” you create from the information you’ve gathered. The goal is to have a specific individual you’re crafting each marketing message for. Creating a customer persona is easy, especially once you’ve identified some key details about your customer.

Step 2: Set the Right Goals for Your Campaign

It may seem like a given—the notion that you should set goals for your campaign. However, many businesses fail to set proper goals in their marketing plan and, as a result, fail miserably. So what makes the “right” kind of goal? Goals for your campaign should meet four criteria:

  • Be achievable: Your goals should be reasonably achievable with the marketing tools and resources available to your business.
  • Be specific: Each goal you set should have a specific target attached to it. It’s not good enough to say the goal is to “increase sales.” Instead, specify your program will “increase sales by 20%.”
  • Be quantifiable: Even if you set a specific target, you need to be able to measure it. Your goals should be based on things you measure, such as per-ticket sales or new customer counts.
  • Be justifiable: You might set a goal to double your sales, but if doubling your sales costs more in marketing budget than profits generated, you’ve missed the mark. The finish line should justify the effort.

Step 3: Differentiate Yourself From the Competition

With millions of small businesses operating in thousands of industries, it’s a crowded marketplace. How you stand out will greatly affect how your marketing impacts people who may be looking for what you are selling. Ask yourself this question: What makes my product different and better than my competitors?

The answer to this question is your unique value proposition (UVP). Also known as a unique selling position (USP), this differentiating factor drives customers away from your competitors and to you. For example, for a catering company, a unique selling proposition might be “the best vegan food in town.”

The point of a unique value proposition is to set yourself apart from literally everyone else. This question could well be the most important question to ask yourself before opening a small business. Every business should have a unique selling position. After all, if you’re not bringing something unique to the table, why would customers choose you? Ultimately, your unique selling proposition will drive a large part of a startup marketing strategy .

Researching Your Competitors

It probably goes without saying, but in order to differentiate yourself from your competition, you’ll need to learn a little bit about the companies you’ll be competing with. That means spending time on their websites, social media profiles, and the web to understand their positions in the market, how they’re reaching customers, and their value propositions.

Competitor research provides you with insights on pricing and buyers as well as details you can use to create customer personas or help plan your advertising campaign.

Step 4: Choose the Types of Marketing You’ll Do

Armed with your customer personas, a list of achievable goals, and a unique selling position, you’re now ready to pick the kinds of marketing you’ll want to do. Since the ultimate goal is to reach as many potential buyers as possible, you’ll want to focus your efforts where you can reach the most of them.

Generally speaking, there are four types of marketing to consider. Each type of marketing requires different resources and impacts customers in unique ways. Here is a broad overview of each of the four areas:

Internal Marketing

You’ve already done some thinking about internal marketing. Internal marketing includes that unique value proposition, which is part of your brand identity . Additional components of internal marketing include:

  • Mission statement
  • Vision statement
  • Core values statement

Internal marketing shapes everything you’ll say in the rest of your marketing efforts. Start with your internal marketing positions and you’ll have a strong message to share with customers.

Online Marketing

Online marketing includes literally every activity your business undertakes online. Over the years, online marketing has become an increasingly important part of a small business digital marketing plan. This includes:

  • A well-designed website
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Online advertising through Google, Bing, and more
  • Social media marketing on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and more
  • Email marketing
  • Press releases
  • Online reviews and ratings

Each of these types of marketing requires attention and planning of its own. Consider how you’ll establish a website for your small business. Will you pay someone to create a website for you? Or will you do as many small business owners do and choose to do it yourself with the help of a drag-and-drop website builder ?

Online marketing through social media, SEO, email, and a small business website requires specialized tools. These tools include data tracking and analytics, design, and more. They make up part of your marketing technology—or MarTech—stack. Learn more about how to build a MarTech stack with our how-to guide.

Offline Marketing

Not all marketing happens on the interwebs. Depending on the type of business you own and the market you’re in, you’ll probably need to invest in some offline marketing as well. Offline marketing includes those “traditional” types of advertising like newspaper and print ads, as well as some of the newer practices, like vehicle wraps.

While it’s true offline marketing plays a lesser role than it has in the past, it’s nevertheless important to consider what resources you want to devote to this medium. Billboards and direct mail continue to be remarkably effective and affordable ways to reach clients who aren’t at a computer, with the cost-per-impression (CPI) of billboards ranging from $2 to $9.

Offline marketing also includes materials and activities you might not think of as marketing. Business cards, flyers, and brochures are just some of the kinds of marketing materials at your disposal.

Broadcast Marketing

Broadcast marketing is the most familiar form of advertising and marketing. It’s also among the most expensive. Broadcast media includes television, radio, and most recently, podcasting and streaming.

For some small businesses, broadcast will play a role in getting your message out. However, many small businesses find tremendous success without ever investing a dime in broadcast advertising. Only you can determine what forms of advertising are right for your business.

Step 5: Craft a Marketing Budget & Calendar

Now that you’ve got a handle on what you want to say, who you want to say it to, and where, you’re ready to book your ads. Unless your budget is unlimited, it’s not as simple as just picking up the phone and placing orders. You need to decide how much money you can spend and where you can get the most bang for your buck.

That’s where a marketing calendar comes in. Working with local ad representatives, you can determine how much offline advertising will cost you. You can also get a reasonable idea of how much you’ll spend on pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google and Facebook. To help maximize your budget, spread out your ad spend over the course of each month with a media calendar.

Below is a link to our local marketing media calendar template. You can use this template to map out your advertising efforts.

Marketing Calendar Template

Step 6: Track Progress & Update Your Campaigns

With your advertising and marketing efforts now up and running, you’ll want to keep tabs on three core metrics: how much you’re spending, how many people are seeing your ads, and how much your sales are increasing. Measuring each of these relies on different tools, and in many cases, you’ll have to rely on specific tools for individual types of advertising.

For example, if you’re measuring the reach of your Google Ads placements, you’ll spend time in the Google Ads control panel, tracking how many clicks each ad receives—as well as how much each click is costing you. For broadcast advertising, your ad reps will provide you with the estimated number of impressions each ad gets.

Fine-tuning Your Advertising & Marketing

The most important metric to track will be your revenues. You’re advertising to gain business, right? It only makes sense to track how much business you’re receiving. While you can take a top-line view and assume your ads are driving increased revenues, you can and should try to determine which ads are producing the best results and which ones are falling short.

Online advertising makes this easy because you’ll receive reports from Google and Facebook about how many clicks they’ve sent your website. Your website is also a powerful tool to track where customers are coming from. Email marketing is another easily trackable advertising form, as email marketing platforms provide ample data to quantify how well your message is landing.

For offline marketing, it can be more challenging to measure the effectiveness of a campaign. However, it’s not impossible. Offering pricing specials or coupons can help you measure where customers are hearing about you. Also, many broadcast outlets provide tools to help track the success of your program.

Why You Should Invest in Marketing Your Small Business

Now that you’ve developed a marketing plan, you’re ready to get started growing your business. However, you may still be wondering why you should invest the time and money into marketing efforts that may or may not work. The answer is simple: Marketing is the only way customers have to find out about your business and what you’re offering.

Put another way, everything you do to spread the word to potential customers that you can fill their needs—from television ads to handing out business cards at a trade show—is all marketing. Plan well and your efforts will bear fruit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a marketing plan.

A marketing plan is a written strategy outlining target customers, sales and revenue goals, the kinds of marketing you’ll use, and when you’ll run the ads based on that plan. Marketing plans control everything from billboards to Facebook ads. With an effective marketing plan, you can control expenses, grow your customer base, and drive sales.

How do you create a marketing plan?

To create a marketing plan, you must identify your target audience, set goals for your marketing campaign, and differentiate yourself from your competition. Then, you’ll choose the kinds of marketing and advertising you want to use, such as running ads on television or launching a website. Set a budget you can afford—a good rule of thumb is 10% of gross revenues—and track the progress of your marketing efforts, updating your plan as you go.

Do I have to make a marketing plan for my small business?

While no one is forcing you to create a marketing plan, it’s still a good idea to make one. A marketing plan guides the message you create and provides a framework for sharing that message to potential customers. It also gives you the ability to control expenses, maximize return on investment (ROI), and modify marketing plans that aren’t working.

Bottom Line

Creating a marketing plan for your small business doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, it’s really quite simple. Identify your customers, craft your message, and decide where you should share that message. Once your marketing plan is up and running, remember to take some time to make sure it’s producing the results you want, and make adjustments to help maximize return on your investment.

About the Author

Michael DeVault

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Michael DeVault

Michael DeVault is a career journalist with more than 20 years in media and marketing. He has an extensive background in franchise marketing, having worked with some of the biggest names in franchising, including iconic names like SONIC, Captain D’s, and Fantastic Sam’s.

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19 Awesome Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

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.

Facebook Advertsing

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.

Additional Reading

  • 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:

Google my business

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:

Google Plus Profiles

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

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.

Greatest commercial impact activities

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.

organic social media

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.

coupon deal sites

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 :

Email Marketing

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

8. Webinars

A webinar is essentially a seminar that takes place online. It can be in the form of a presentation, demonstration or discussion.

webinars

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.

free consultation strategy

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.

Niche print media

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:

Direct mail marketing

Image Credit: Freelogoservices

With this one. You’re more likely to open the following envelope, right?

free logo service

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.

Here’s why:

  • 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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Small Business Marketing Strategies: A Definitive Guide to Skyrocket Sales

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Eric Melillo

Updated: October 25, 2023

11 Effective Small Business Marketing Strategies

Leveraging cold calls and cold email, building local business partnerships, boost your business: ppc and facebook ads, developing a successful referral program, power of seo and content marketing, utilizing social media for customer service, over to you.

Small business marketing strategies

Small business marketing strategies are the lifeblood that can pump vitality into your brand and customer base. Think of it as the toolkit that helps you attract attention, build a following, and, ultimately, boost your bottom line.

I’ve worn multiple hats as a digital marketer so I know first-hand the hurdles you might face. I get it – building brand awareness and getting noticed amidst a sea of competitors – especially in Google search is a grind. Rest assured, you’ll find tried-and-true techniques here to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Understanding the ins and outs of marketing is non-negotiable if you’re aiming for business longevity and growth. For bloggers, marketers, and new entrepreneurs, mastering these strategies can be your side hustle’s secret sauce or the ladder to scaling your existing operations. So, let’s get down to the brass tacks and elevate your small business marketing game.

In today’s digital age, small businesses need effective marketing strategies to stand out in a competitive market. Here are ten proven strategies to help small businesses reach their target audience and grow their customer base.

Use ChatGPT for Marketing

To use ChatGPT and other AI for marketing , integrate these tools into various facets of your strategy, such as content creation, customer service automation, and data analysis. ChatGPT excels in drafting blog posts, automating FAQs, and generating social media content. Other AI technologies can assist with predictive analytics, personalization, and SEO optimization. The synergy of these applications enhances marketing efficiency and effectiveness.

Utilize social media platforms

Social media platforms provide an excellent opportunity for small businesses to engage with customers and promote their products or services. Businesses can build brand awareness and establish a strong online presence by creating compelling content and actively participating in conversations. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer various advertising options that allow businesses to target specific demographics and reach a wider audience.

Create a compelling website

A well-designed website is crucial for any small business. It serves as the online storefront where customers can learn more about the business’s unique value proposition and make purchases. The website should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for mobile devices. Including customer testimonials or case studies can also help build trust and credibility.

Develop an email marketing campaign

Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to nurture leads and maintain customer relationships. Small businesses can send targeted messages directly to their audience’s inbox by collecting email addresses through website sign-ups or purchases. Personalized emails with exclusive offers or valuable content can help drive engagement and conversions.

Offer discounts or promotions

Discounts or promotions are powerful incentives that attract new customers while encouraging repeat purchases from existing ones. Small businesses can create limited-time offers or loyalty programs to reward loyal customers. These strategies not only increase sales but also generate positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Collaborate with influencers or bloggers

Influencer marketing has gained significant traction in recent years as more consumers turn to influencers for recommendations on products and services. Partnering with influencers who have a relevant audience allows small businesses to expand their brand reach organically. By providing influencers with free samples or offering affiliate partnerships, businesses can tap into new markets and gain credibility through trusted recommendations.

Leverage search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is crucial for small businesses to improve their online visibility. Businesses can rank higher in search engine results by optimizing website content with relevant keywords, creating high-quality backlinks, and ensuring fast page loading speeds . This increases the chances of attracting organic traffic and potential customers.

Utilize online directories and review sites

Online directories such as Google My Business , Yelp , or TripAdvisor are essential tools for small businesses to establish an online presence. These platforms allow businesses to provide accurate information about their location, contact details, and operating hours. Positive reviews on these sites can also significantly impact a business’s reputation and attract new customers.

Host webinars or workshops

Hosting webinars or workshops is an effective way for small businesses to position themselves as industry experts while providing value to their target audience. By sharing knowledge and insights through these virtual events, businesses can build trust with potential customers and establish themselves as thought leaders.

Implement content marketing strategies

Content marketing involves creating valuable and relevant content that attracts and engages the target audience. Small businesses can leverage blog posts , videos , podcasts , or infographics to educate their audience about industry trends or solve common problems. Sharing this content on social media platforms or through email newsletters helps drive traffic to the business’s website while building brand authority.

Monitor analytics and adapt strategies

Small businesses must regularly monitor marketing analytics to evaluate the success of their strategies. Tracking metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, or email open rates provides valuable insights into what works well and needs improvement.

Reaching out directly to potential customers can be a powerful marketing strategy for small businesses. By leveraging cold calls and cold emails, you can make direct contact with individuals who have shown interest in similar products or services before. This lets you establish a personal connection and showcase how your offerings can solve their pain points or meet their needs.

Crafting personalized messages is key when using cold calling or emailing as a marketing strategy. Take the time to research your potential customers and tailor your message accordingly. Highlight specific pain points they may be experiencing and explain how your product or service can provide a solution. By showing that you understand their needs, you will more likely capture their attention and generate interest.

In addition to promoting your business, cold calls and emails also present an opportunity to gather valuable feedback from potential customers. Engage in conversations with them and ask questions about their preferences, challenges, and expectations. This feedback can provide valuable insights that will help you refine your marketing approach and better align your offerings with customer needs.

To effectively implement cold calling as part of your small business marketing strategy:

Use targeted lists

  • Identify potential customers who have expressed interest in similar products or services.
  • Gather contact information such as phone numbers or email addresses.
  • Segment your lists based on demographics, interests, or other relevant criteria.

Prepare a script

  • Craft a concise script that highlights the benefits of your product or service.
  • Practice delivering the script confidently and naturally.
  • Be prepared to address common objections or concerns.

Personalize each call

  • Address the recipient by name.
  • Reference any previous interactions they may have had with your business.
  • Tailor the conversation based on their specific needs or pain points.

When it comes to leveraging cold emails for small business marketing:

Build an email list

  • Collect email addresses from interested prospects through lead generation efforts.
  • Offer incentives such as free resources or exclusive access to a webinar in exchange for their contact information.
  • Ensure compliance with data protection regulations and obtain permission to send marketing emails.

Craft compelling subject lines

  • Capture the recipient’s attention with a concise and intriguing subject line.
  • Highlight the value proposition or benefit they can expect from opening the email.

Personalize the content

  • Use merge tags to insert the recipient’s name or other relevant details into the email.
  • Tailor the message to address their pain points, challenges, or interests.

Include a clear call to action

  • Clearly state what you want the recipient to do next (e.g., schedule a call, visit your website, and purchase).
  • Provide easy-to-follow instructions and include links or buttons for quick engagement.

By leveraging cold calls and cold emails as part of your small business marketing strategy, you can directly connect with potential customers who have shown interest in similar products or services. Creating personalized messages highlighting how your offerings solve their pain points will increase engagement and generate leads. Gathering feedback during these interactions will provide valuable insights for refining your marketing approach. So don’t hesitate to pick up that phone or send that email!

Collaborating with other local businesses can be a powerful strategy to boost your small business’s marketing efforts. By forming partnerships, you can tap into new potential customers, increase brand visibility, and create mutually beneficial relationships within your local area.

Cross-Promotions and Joint Events

One effective way to build partnerships is through cross-promotions or joint events. This involves teaming up with other local businesses to promote each other’s products or services. For example, if you own a bakery, you could collaborate with a nearby coffee shop for a “Coffee and Pastry Pairing” event.

By joining forces with complementary businesses that cater to the same target audience but offer different products or services, you can leverage each other’s customer base and attract new leads. This approach allows you to expand your reach beyond your existing customer network.

Establishing Trust and Credibility

When partnering with other local businesses, choosing companies that share similar values and have a good reputation in the community is important. Building trust is essential for successful collaborations as it ensures customers feel confident about the recommendations they receive from both businesses involved.

By associating yourself with reputable partners, you enhance your own credibility in the eyes of potential customers. When people see that established companies are endorsing your business through partnerships, they are more likely to trust and engage with your brand.

Value Additions for Customers

Partnerships also provide an opportunity to offer value additions for customers. Combining products or services from different businesses can create unique packages or promotions that entice customers with added benefits.

For instance, if you run a fitness studio, collaborating with a nutritionist could allow you to offer discounted fitness classes along with personalized meal plans. This adds value for customers and encourages them to explore both businesses involved in the partnership.

Leveraging Local Events and Community Groups

Another way to build local business partnerships is by participating in community events or joining local business groups. By actively participating in these activities, you can connect with other business owners and establish relationships that may lead to future collaborations.

Attending networking events, trade shows, or industry conferences provides an opportunity to meet like-minded entrepreneurs who may be interested in partnering with your small business. These connections can open doors to new opportunities and expand your reach within the local business community.

Online Collaborations

In addition to offline partnerships, it is essential to explore online collaborations. Partnering with local businesses on digital platforms can help increase your online visibility and attract a wider audience.

Consider guest blogging on each other’s websites or featuring complementary businesses on your social media channels . This cross-promotion allows you to tap into each other’s online following and gain exposure to new potential customers who may not have been aware of your small business.

Building local business partnerships is a strategic approach that can benefit small businesses significantly. By collaborating with other companies in your area, you can expand your reach, enhance credibility, offer value additions for customers, and tap into new potential leads. Remember to choose partners wisely based on shared values and reputation within the community. Together, you can create powerful marketing initiatives that benefit everyone involved.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and Facebook Ads are potent avenues for small businesses to increase online visibility. PPC, especially via platforms like Google AdWords, lets you target users actively searching for similar products or services. This effective direct targeting can quickly drive traffic to your website or landing page. On the other hand, Facebook Ads let you reach a broader audience thanks to its diverse targeting options, making it another essential tool in your marketing arsenal.

Maximizing PPC Through Keyword Research

Success in PPC advertising hinges on effective keyword research. A well-thought-out list of keywords will target terms your potential customers will likely use in their searches. This level of precision:

  • Optimizes your ad campaigns
  • Increases the chances of reaching your target audience
  • Maximizes your return on investment

Facebook Ads: Targeting and Engagement

Facebook Ads provide a unique opportunity to connect with a massive user base. Its robust targeting options allow you to specify audiences based on demographics, interests, and location. This precision increases the chances of conversions and helps you make the most of your ad budget.

In addition, Facebook Ads offer a variety of creative ad formats, including:

  • Image-based ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Lead generation forms

These formats help you engage effectively with your target audience.

Community Building

One of the standout features of Facebook Ads is the ability to drive user engagement and foster brand awareness. Effective campaigns can prompt users to like, comment on, and share your content, increasing your brand’s visibility and helping you build a loyal customer base.

PPC vs. Facebook Ads: A Comparative Insight

While both PPC and Facebook Ads aim to increase your online presence, they do so in different ways. PPC is designed to capture the attention of users actively searching for services or products like yours. In contrast, Facebook Ads target users based on their general interests and online behaviors, allowing you to reach potential customers even before they realize they need your products or services.

Encouraging satisfied customers to refer friends and family is an effective way for small businesses to attract new clients. You can motivate your existing customers to spread the word about your products or services by offering incentives such as discounts or exclusive rewards programs. Implementing a simple and user-friendly referral system will make it easy for customers to refer others, maximizing the chances of success.

Incentivize Referrals with Discounts and Rewards Programs

One of the most powerful ways to encourage referrals is by offering incentives like discounts or exclusive rewards programs. When customers feel that they are gaining something valuable by referring others, they are more likely to promote your business actively. For example, you can discount their next purchase for each successful referral they make. This creates a win-win situation where the referrer and the referred customer benefit from the arrangement.

Implement a User-Friendly Referral System

To ensure that your referral program is successful, it’s crucial to implement a simple and user-friendly system. Customers should be able to easily understand how the program works and navigate through the referral process without any confusion or hassle. Consider creating a dedicated webpage or section on your website where customers can access all the necessary information about the referral program.

Here are some key elements to consider when designing your referral system:

  • Clear instructions: Provide step-by-step instructions on how customers can refer their friends/family members.
  • Easy sharing options: Offer multiple channels for sharing referrals, such as email, social media platforms, or direct messaging.
  • Personalized links: Provide unique referral links that track who referred whom, making it easier to identify successful referrals.
  • Automated tracking and rewards: Utilize software or tools that automate tracking referrals and reward fulfillment processes.

Streamlining the process and removing any barriers or complexities increases the likelihood of customers participating in your referral program.

Leverage Online Reviews and Testimonials

Online reviews and testimonials can be a powerful resource for your referral program. Positive reviews from satisfied customers serve as social proof, demonstrating the value and credibility of your business to potential new clients. Encourage customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, or industry-specific review sites.

Here are some ways you can leverage online reviews in your referral program:

  • Highlight positive reviews: Showcase positive customer feedback on your website or social media channels to build trust with potential customers.
  • Share testimonials: Create compelling testimonials highlighting the benefits and results customers have experienced using your products or services.
  • Offer incentives for leaving reviews: Provide discounts or exclusive offers for customers who leave reviews.

By leveraging online reviews and testimonials, you not only enhance the effectiveness of your referral program but also strengthen your overall online reputation.

Monitor and Measure Success

To ensure the success of your referral program, it’s essential to monitor its performance regularly. Track key metrics such as the number of referrals, conversion rates, and revenue generated from referrals. This data will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your program and make necessary adjustments if needed.

Consider implementing a system that allows you to track referrals accurately. This could involve assigning unique codes or tracking links to each customer so that you can attribute successful referrals correctly.

Regularly reviewing these metrics will provide valuable insights into how well your referral program is performing and allow you to optimize it for better results.

In today’s digital age, small businesses need to leverage the power of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and content marketing to enhance their online presence and attract more customers . These strategies can significantly impact a business’s visibility in search engine results, drive organic traffic to their website, and ultimately increase sales and revenue. Let’s explore how optimizing website content with relevant keywords and creating high-quality, informative content can benefit small businesses.

Optimize Website Content for Improved Search Engine Rankings

Small businesses need to optimize their website content to improve search engine rankings. This involves incorporating relevant keywords throughout the site that potential customers will likely use when searching for products or services related to the business niche. Search engines can better understand what the website is about by strategically placing these keywords in page titles, headings, meta descriptions, image alt tags, and within the body of the content itself.

Optimizing website content helps search engines recognize its relevance and improves user experience by providing valuable information that aligns with their search intent. When a small business implements effective on-page SEO techniques such as optimizing URLs, improving page load speed, using descriptive anchor text for internal links, and implementing structured data markup, it enhances its visibility in search results and overall user satisfaction.

Increase Organic Traffic with Quality Content

Content marketing is crucial in attracting organic traffic to a small business’s website. Small businesses can position themselves as industry experts while attracting potential customers actively seeking solutions or information by creating high-quality and informative content that addresses customer pain points or provides valuable insights related to the business niche.

When developing content marketing strategies for small businesses, it is important to identify target audience personas and tailor the content accordingly. By understanding their needs, preferences, challenges, and interests, businesses can create compelling blog posts, articles, videos, or resources that resonate with their target audience and establish trust and credibility.

Creating valuable content drives organic traffic and encourages website visitors to stay longer, explore more pages, and engage with the business. This increased engagement signals to search engines that the website provides relevant and valuable information, which can result in higher search engine rankings over time.

Harness the Power of Influencer Marketing

In addition to optimizing website content and creating quality content, small businesses can further amplify their marketing efforts by leveraging influencer marketing. Influencers are individuals or entities with a significant following on social media platforms or within a specific industry. Collaborating with influencers allows small businesses to tap into their established audience base and gain exposure to potential customers interested in their products or services.

When working with influencers, small businesses must choose influencers whose values align with their brand and target audience. Small businesses can benefit from increased brand awareness , credibility, and potentially even direct sales by partnering with influencers with authority and influence within the business niche.

Influencer marketing can take various forms, including sponsored posts on social media platforms, guest blogging opportunities, product reviews, or endorsements. These collaborations enable small businesses to reach a wider audience while leveraging the trust and influence that influencers have already built with their followers.

Small businesses can significantly enhance their online presence by harnessing the power of SEO and content marketing strategies, optimizing website content with relevant keywords, creating high-quality, informative content tailored to target audience personas, and collaborating with influential individuals within the industry through influencer marketing initiatives. These strategies help drive organic traffic to their websites while establishing credibility and trust among potential customers.

Social media has become an integral part of our lives in today’s digital age. Not only does it allow us to connect with friends and family, but it also provides businesses with a unique opportunity to engage with their customers. One area where social media can be particularly effective is customer service. By utilizing social media platforms as a means of communication, small businesses can respond promptly to customer inquiries or complaints, showcase exceptional customer service experiences, and ultimately build trust with potential customers.

Responding Promptly to Customer Inquiries or Complaints on Social Media Platforms

One of the key advantages of using social media for customer service is the ability to respond promptly to customer inquiries or complaints. Unlike traditional channels such as phone calls or emails with longer response times, social media allows businesses to address customer concerns in real time. This instant responsiveness shows that you value your customers’ opinions and demonstrates your commitment to providing excellent service.

To effectively utilize social media for customer service, it’s essential to actively monitor your social media accounts and respond promptly when customers reach out. This includes acknowledging their concerns, answering their questions, and resolving any issues they may have encountered. By doing so, you not only provide a satisfactory experience for the individual customer but also create a positive impression for anyone else who sees the interaction.

Showcasing Exceptional Customer Service Experiences and Building Trust

Social media provides an excellent platform for showcasing exceptional customer service experiences. When you go above and beyond in addressing a customer’s needs or resolving an issue publicly on social channels, it creates a positive image of your business in the eyes of your existing and potential customers.

By sharing these positive interactions on your social media accounts, you can highlight how much you value your customers and their satisfaction. This helps build trust with potential customers researching your business online before making a purchase decision. When they see examples of your exceptional customer service, they are more likely to choose your business over competitors.

Building an Online Presence and Engaging with Customers Throughout Their Journey

Social media allows small businesses to build an online presence and engage with customers throughout their journey. From the moment a potential customer discovers your business on social media to their first purchase, you can connect with them at every step.

By utilizing different social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you can tailor your content to reach a specific audience. For example, if you operate a boutique clothing store targeting young adults, platforms like Instagram may be particularly effective in showcasing your products and engaging with your target demographic.

You can use social media throughout the customer journey to provide valuable information about your products or services, share updates and promotions, and even gather customer feedback. Engaging with your audience on social media platforms creates a sense of community around your brand and fosters long-term customer relationships.

Leveraging Social Media Tools for Effective Customer Service

To make the most of social media for customer service, it’s important to leverage tools to streamline the process. Many social media apps offer features designed for businesses to manage customer interactions efficiently.

For example:

  • Use chatbots: Implementing chatbots on your social channels can help address common inquiries or direct customers to relevant resources.
  • Utilize scheduling tools: These tools allow you to schedule posts in advance to maintain a consistent presence on social media without manually posting each time.
  • Monitor mentions and hashtags: Keep track of any mentions of your business or relevant hashtags related to your industry.

So, you see, small business marketing strategies are not just about spending money on ads. It’s about a mix of things like cold calls, emails, and even local partnerships. These steps help you reach the right people, get more people to visit your website, and yes, sell more stuff.

Don’t forget, it’s super important to keep an eye on how well your strategies are working. Change things up if needed. And always, always focus on making your customers happy. When you do that, you’re not just selling products; you’re building a business that people trust and want to stick with.

How long does it take for small business marketing strategies to yield results?

The time frame for small business marketing strategies to yield results varies depending on the approach and industry. Generally, digital marketing efforts like SEO can take 3-6 months, while paid advertising can offer immediate returns. Traditional marketing methods may require 6-12 months for noticeable impact.

Are all small business marketing strategies suitable for every industry?

Not all small business marketing strategies are universally suitable for every industry. Strategies must be tailored to meet the specific needs, consumer behaviors, and regulatory constraints inherent to each industry. For instance, what works in retail may not be effective in healthcare due to privacy laws.

How much should I invest in small business marketing?

The amount you should invest in small business marketing depends on various factors, including your industry, target market, and available budget. It is recommended to allocate a percentage of your revenue towards marketing efforts. A common rule of thumb for small businesses is to allocate around 7-8% of their total revenue for marketing purposes.

Should I focus more on digital or traditional marketing strategies?

The choice between digital and traditional marketing strategies largely depends on your target audience’s preferences and behavior. In today’s digital age, online presence is crucial for most businesses. However, some industries may still benefit from traditional marketing channels such as print advertising or direct mail campaigns. It is advisable to conduct market research to identify the most effective channels for reaching your specific target audience.

How do I measure the success of my small business marketing strategies?

Measuring the success of your small business marketing strategies requires setting clear goals and tracking relevant metrics. Depending on the strategy employed, you can track metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, customer acquisition cost (CAC), return on investment (ROI), or customer lifetime value (CLV). Regularly analyzing these metrics will help you assess the effectiveness of your strategies and make data-driven decisions to optimize your future marketing efforts.

What are good marketing strategies for a small business?

Effective marketing strategies for small businesses often include Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for organic online visibility, Social Media Marketing for audience engagement, and Local SEO to capture nearby customers. Email Marketing is also commonly used for customer retention and personalized communication.

What are the 4 marketing strategies?

The four foundational marketing strategies are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion, collectively known as the 4 Ps. ‘Product’ refers to what is offered to consumers, ‘Price’ involves setting appropriate pricing, ‘Place’ focuses on distribution channels, and ‘Promotion’ includes advertising and public relations.

How do small businesses promote themselves?

Small businesses commonly employ a mix of online and offline strategies for promotion. Online methods include SEO, social media marketing, and Google Ads. Offline strategies often consist of local networking, print advertising, and community involvement. These methods are tailored to target specific audiences.

What three strategies are most widely used by small businesses?

The three most widely used strategies by small businesses are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for organic web visibility, Social Media Marketing for customer engagement, and Email Marketing for personalized communication. Each approach serves distinct purposes, from traffic generation to customer retention.

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8 marketing strategies for small businesses.

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.

marketing strategies for small businesses

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.

marketing strategies for small businesses

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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Elevate Your Business with Effective Small Business Marketing

As a small business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities—especially if you’re operating with a small staff or as a solo contributor. It might be tempting to focus only on day-to-day administration tasks, but it’s essential that you regularly get your offerings in front of people as well. That’s where marketing comes in.

Even if you have limited resources, it’s important that you get your business online and in front of your market. Regardless of the age of your small business or your budget, marketing is a can’t-skip part of running a successful operation. Learn more about small business marketing and digital marketing tips, and how to create and deploy a strategy in this marketing guide.

Small business marketing is the practice of promoting your business’ goods or services. There are a variety of ways to reach new and existing customers, both online and offline, through different marketing efforts. For example, you might use content marketing to engage buyers through various stages of their customer journey or use paid social media ads to get your business directly in front of your ideal buyer.

Examples of small business marketing include:

  • Advertising in a local newspaper or online publication.
  • Exhibiting at an event to introduce your brand.
  • Launching a referral program.
  • Sharing user-generated content (UGC) on social media.
  • Content marketing strategies like starting a company blog and publishing articles on your product and industry to educate and position yourself as a thought leader.
  • Incorporating SEO best practices, such as having a high-speed, user-friendly website with relevant keywords for your business on it.

Once you start seeing results and have more resources, you can build off of these foundational pieces of your marketing strategy. Whether you have a small or large budget, you’ll be able to develop a strategy that fits your needs.

Many factors—such as your competition, location, or product-market match—can influence the success of your small business. To ensure you’re reaching the right people and boosting your small business’s visibility, it’s essential to promote your business on and off the web. And you’re not off the hook if you’re strictly a brick-and-mortar store— 76% of consumers reported looking at a business’s online presence before visiting it in person.

You should treat marketing like payroll, inventory, or any other routine task you regularly complete to keep your business running smoothly. Small business promotion helps you:

  • Example: Connect with other owners through your local small business development center to network and get advice on growing and marketing your business.
  • Example: Diversify your channels—such as using a combination of social media, organic SEO, and email marketing—to sell your goods and services. Once you gather analytics, you’ll likely find that certain offerings do better with certain people on certain channels.
  • Example: Use an SEO toolset like Ahrefs to conduct competitive online research to see what keywords your competition is ranking for. Or try a heatmapping tool like Hotjar to visualize user behavior and get feedback on your site.
  • Example: Create a content calendar and consistently publish articles and social media posts about your industry and products to inform and engage users on their buyer journey.
  • Example: Conduct market research to understand your customers’ wants, needs, and pain points, as well as gain insights on your brand, business, and competitors.

Businesses in all industries have their share of challenges, and small-sized operations are no exception. When it comes to small business marketing challenges, they typically include one or more of the following:

  • Tip: As you set your annual or quarterly budget, the general rule of thumb is to spend between 7% and 10% of your gross revenue on marketing, according to Small Business Trends .
  • Tip: Consider using next-generation AI tools or outsourcing social media or content marketing tasks to freelancers to meet your needs without maxing out your budget. If you choose the latter, make sure you have content and social media marketing guidelines in place to share with them for alignment on communication.
  • Tip: Leverage free or low-cost marketing opportunities—such as partnering with aligned brands on a contest or giveaway with an email newsletter swap component—to get exposure in front of new audiences. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different content marketing strategies.
  • Tip: Visit trusted authority sites for online guides on topics like social media strategy and SEO for small businesses .

There’s no shortage of marketing channels for you to choose from when it comes to creating a brand and growing your business. Here are nine of the most popular types of marketing:

  • Content marketing: blog posts, white papers, e-books, or a variety of other written content. You can create a variety of organic and paid content to inform, educate, and entice people to check out your services and help nurture potential buyers, create a digital footprint for SEO, and otherwise serve your customers. And if you’re not a strong writer, generative AI tools can help you create content that converts— AI for small business marketing , for the win!
  • SEO marketing: keyword-targeted online copy, a healthy backlink profile, a fast website load speed, and a responsive site design. These are key examples of how to optimize your site and content to make it easier to find—both for search engines and customers—on the web.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing: paid advertising that appears on search engines, social media, apps, or websites. This type of ad is usually placed at the top of a search engine or a distinct spot on a website to grab attention, and an advertiser pays a fee each time a person clicks on a PPC ad.
  • Social media marketing: Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, TikTok, or other social media platforms. These channels are a great way to promote your business and engage with customers. Depending on which social media platform you use to promote your business, there are social media marketing guides available online that can help you cater your posts to your specific audience.
  • Event marketing: trade shows, industry conferences, or sponsored events. This consists of in-person or virtual events to showcase your brand and connect with people.
  • Digital marketing: SEO, email marketing, content marketing, or any other type of marketing that leverages digital and internet channels. Digital marketing for organic (unpaid) means, like a social media posting on a company page, or through paid efforts, like a PPC ad that appears at the top of a search engine, can help you reach customers.
  • Experiential marketing: an immersive experience that connects a brand with its audience—think, fun filters on social media that transform you into a character ahead of a movie’s release date or a special event that capitalizes on a pop culture moment. These types of campaigns can take place in person or virtually (or both).
  • Email marketing: through an email marketing software platform, you can use email marketing to grow a list of subscribers to send curated offers and information via email on behalf of your business. Email is a channel that you have a good amount of control over since you’re communicating directly one-on-one with your customer.
  • Influencer marketing: leverage people with large followings and communities online to tap into their influence to help promote and sell your products. Microinfluencers, people with a smaller but still engaged following, can also be a powerful marketing tool for your small business marketing

Other types of small business marketing include word-of-mouth communication and direct mail marketing (via snail mail). Different types of marketing can be blended and launched at the same time, too. For instance, you could host an in-person event and launch a contest with a branded hashtag for attendees to create UGC for your business to win a prize.

When building your small business marketing foundation, you’ll want to establish and set up the following tools and technology for your business:

  • Build a website and secure a business email address to cement trust and credibility. Because you’re building a brand, it’s also essential to select a website and email address that clearly reference or include your business name.
  • Start a blog on your website to establish yourself as an authority in your space and help lay the tracks for SEO . Identify the keywords you want your business to rank for and start to write content around them. and start to write content around them.
  • Social media platforms. Secure your business name across the major social media platforms. Even if you don’t intend to use a certain channel for your business, it’s a good idea to create an account so you “own” your name on a particular platform.
  • Digital marketing platforms. If you have an existing base of customers—and even if you don’t now but want to remain future-focused—get a customer relationship management system and email marketing platform to start cultivating and nurturing your leads and customers. Digital marketing tools for SEO can also help you monitor keyword rankings and conduct online competitive analysis of your competitor’s website.
  • Business tools. Explore essential business tools like Microsoft 365—which can work for the web, desktop, or mobile devices— that help teams stay connected and do their jobs. There are exciting and emerging AI capabilities in Microsoft 365 that can be used for your business as well.

The best marketing tools are nothing without a strategy in place. Before you start purchasing tools and cobbling together a marketing plan, make sure you have the following outlined:

  • Determine your ideal customer. If you haven’t already, get super clear on who you’re marketing to and their needs and wants. You can use market research to gather information on your ideal buyer and determine how your product or offer stands out among the competition.
  • Create your brand messaging framework. Determine your brand mission statement, voice, and tone so you have alignment across the business about who you are and how you communicate with customers.
  • Create measurable goals. It’s important to establish goals for your small business marketing strategy—are you looking for new leads, new social media followers, new email signups, or new online purchases? Consider using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals and KPIs when outlining your metrics for success.
  • Decide ownership. Establish who on the team will manage marketing for your business. Whether you decide to hire in-house, work with freelancers, or use a marketing firm, it’s necessary to appoint someone (or multiple people) to oversee not just communications, but report on results.
  • Create an internal marketing guide. Set up guidelines and expectations around communications for your internal and external channels, and don’t be afraid to reference published marketing guides online to pull from the latest digital marketing tips.

Remember that creating a brand and developing a marketing plan takes time. And implementing SEO for small businesses takes time to take hold, grow, and drive visitors to your site as well. You’ll likely need to pivot and make adjustments to your marketing strategy, too, but that’s why it’s important to measure and track your progress alongside your goals.

By following the steps in this marketing guide, you’ll be able to solidify a strategy to promote your small business.

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Email Marketing for Small Business: Here’s All You Need to Know

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Email is still the most important marketing asset small businesses have. Here’s how to make the most of it.

marketing strategies for small businesses

Blake Miller

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Small businesses tend to have a more intimate relationship with their customers than enterprise-level brands. This closeness can lead to increased customer loyalty , but it can also amp up increased customer expectations. That’s where email marketing for small business really comes into play.

According to research at Gartner , 64% of consumers and B2B buyers report feeling overwhelmed by brand communications. For small businesses, this is an opportunity to design email marketing campaigns that truly connect with customers. 

Small biz, big results

You don’t need a big budget or a team of marketers to find more leads, grow your engagement, and earn more revenue. See how the right technology can pay off for your small business.

marketing strategies for small businesses

What can you do to make sure your small business email marketing is hitting the bullseye for your target audience? Let’s take a look. 

Table of contents

Why is email marketing essential for small businesses.

  • What are the keys to successful small business email marketing?  
  • How do you measure the success of small business email marketing?
  • How do personalization and segmentation work in small business email marketing?
  • How can AI help with email marketing for small business?

What are some best practices for email marketing for small business?

Common mistakes in small business email marketing.

Creating meaningful connections with your audience is hard for any business. But then also factor in that small businesses are often on a tight budget and have small staffs. Email marketing , with all its versatility, can amplify your brand’s voice and deliver real results at a low cost.

With email marketing, you can make direct connections with my customers without breaking the bank. You can tailor content to ensure that the right content reaches the right audience, tracking results to fine-tune my messages along the way. 

Automation saves time , freeing up resources all small businesses need. Email marketing for small business isn’t just about selling. It’s about building stronger relationships over the long term. 

Say I own a boutique bookstore. The email newsletter I send to my subscribers can include updates about the latest book arrivals. I might even include exclusive discounts for loyal customers. If I segment my audience based on preferences, I can tailor my messages to become more relevant to each individual. 

With tracking tools, I can see that maybe fans of fiction engage more with links to author interviews, while the non-fiction buffs appreciate history recommendations. Maybe I’ll send a weekend flash sale email, offering a 20% discount on all historical titles. I can make the language specific for my segmented history buffs, which will make them feel seen and understood.

As my audience grows, so does my revenue. It’s a ripple effect – engaged customers become advocates , sharing the emails with their book-loving friends. This helps expand reach organically. And the more I communicate through email, the more it becomes clear that I’m not just selling books, I’m building a community. 

What are the keys to successful small business email marketing?  

You don’t need a team of marketers or a big box budget to earn customers and keep them engaged. Email marketing for small business has simple, yet effective, steps for success.

1. Build your email list

First, you’ll want to build a targeted email list . Rather than casting a wide net, a focused list ensures that your messages will land with the right audience. When you take time to understand your audience’s preferences and tailor your messages accordingly, you build a community of engaged subscribers who are more likely to become loyal customers. 

2. Develop your content strategy

Content is the bridge between your brand and your audience, so when your emails are compelling, you build trust. When content is interesting and relevant, subscribers feel encouraged to take action. A skincare company with a new collection might send an email that starts with something like, “As winter’s chill sets in, we’ve got the perfect remedy to keep your skin glowing and protected.”  

In that email, they’ll introduce the new featured product and underneath they link helpful resources: a DIY winter skincare routine; an exclusive subscriber discount; a “behind-the-scenes” skincare producer interview; and a winter skincare tips free ebook. 

The email ends with a call to action (Something like: Ready to embrace winter with beautiful, nourished skin? Explore our Winter Skincare Collection now ) and a ‘Shop now’ button. It closes with a genuine expression of gratitude for their customer’s support. As a small business, your customer relationships are priceless. Develop your content around what resonates with them.

3. Maintain your deliverability

When you’ve nailed your content, you’re going to want to make sure it arrives where you want it, when you want it. Focus on deliverability best practices , such as maintaining a clean and engaged subscriber list, avoiding spam-triggering content, and utilizing authentication protocols. You’ll increase the likelihood that your deals and updates make it to your customers’ inboxes. 

marketing strategies for small businesses

Build and send emails that resonate

See how Marketing Cloud Engagement can help you use email marketing to build long-term relationships with your audience. Start with this lesson on Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform.

Get to Know Marketing Cloud Engagement

marketing strategies for small businesses

How do you measure the success of small business email marketing? 

Let’s dive into email marketing metrics . Here are the key ones you should keep an eye on:

Click-through rates (CTR)

Clicks are the foot traffic of the digital world. The higher the click-through rate, the more people are strolling around your “digital aisles.” One time, I tweaked my product descriptions to create a sense of more urgency, and boom — more clicks. It’s like rearranging items in your store and watching what people are drawn to.

Engagement rates

Think of engagement as customers stopping by for a chat. High engagement means your content is striking a chord. When I shared stories about a local author’s book launch adventure, my engagement rates shot up. It’s like inviting customers behind-the-scenes for a friendly chat.

Subscription growth

Subscribers are like your fan club. You want this number to climb. After I added a simple subscription form on my website with a promise of exclusive discounts, my base grew. It’s like offering a VIP membership—everyone wants to be part of the club.

Conversions

A conversion is where window shoppers become actual buyers. Track them by checking your call-to-action buttons. Are they enticing enough? I revamped mine, making them bolder, and conversions skyrocketed. 

Keep in mind, the customer journey contains the specific interactions or stages where conversions are most likely to occur. When you identify key touchpoints, you can better understand your customers’ behavior. And strategies like segmenting data and evaluating the impact of A/B testing will help you gain insights into what resonates best. 

Customer feedback and analytics tools can help perfect this, but remember — metrics are your compass, not your destination.

How do personalization and segmentation work in small business email marketing? 

Smaller businesses are faced with unique challenges. It’s typical to have a more limited marketing budget and a team of one. Establishing and maintaining customer loyalty can be a major hurdle when you’re busy with the nuts and bolts of your operations. Cultivating a sense of connection is crucial for the growth and success of a small business — and personalization and segmentation can help. 

Here’s how properly using email marketing for small business can help you grow, even when you’ve got your hands full. Personalization is customizing content for individual subscribers so they feel valued. Segmentation is when you categorize your audience based on various characteristics or preferences. 

Let’s say you run a local coffee shop. Knowing and remembering each customer’s favorite brew or preferences is challenging in a busy environment. But you can use data and AI to recommend a new drink they may enjoy, creating a personalized coffee journey. 

Email drips are part of the personalization process because they can automate sequences of emails that unfold over time. A new subscriber might receive a welcome email introducing them to your most popular blend, followed by emails highlighting various coffee origins, brewing tips, and exclusive promotions. 

Drips nurture relationships, provide valuable information, and gently encourage action. And in the context of the small coffee shop, these cost-effective, automated campaigns won’t strain your financial resources.

Even if you have the best brew and your spot is popular among locals, earning new customers can be difficult when competing with larger coffee chains. Segmentation lets you categorize customers into groups: Who are the regulars versus occasional visitors? Once you know that, you can send targeted promotions that cater to each group. 

If someone has a specific question, for instance, you can use that to provide tailored support or follow-ups. The value of having well-defined segments lies in delivering more personalized, timely, and meaningful content to specific groups. And you can do all this better with AI. 

Machine learning algorithms can identify nuanced segments within your audience that go beyond basic demographic data. It considers browsing history, engagement patterns, and predictive analytics. 

With a small team, finding the time to personalize each customer interaction can be daunting. With AI, you can dynamically adjust your segmentation strategy based on individual customer behavior. This helps you craft unique emails. 

An AI-driven system that predicts which drink my customer might like and adjusts segment criteria in real-time helps me streamline the personalization process.

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How can ai help with email marketing for small business .

Generative and predictive AI offer value for small businesses where single-person marketing departments are often the norm. 

Generative AI for email marketing, specifically, is revolutionizing content creation with its ability to produce tailored and dynamic content at scale. Let’s take that bookstore example again. After some trial and error, the bookstore owner can now prompt it to generate compelling and personalized copy.  

The bookstore audiences resonate with content they can relate to, so the deeper they connect with the brand, the better their engagement. The single owner can prompt AI to craft individualized book recommendations based on customer preferences. As a one-person show, it can free up time for focusing on the bookstore’s bigger picture strategy. 

Predictive AI is a game-changer in how it can optimize send times. It determines the best time to dispatch emails by analyzing customer behavior, with the goal of landing in inboxes when recipients are most likely to engage. 

Using predictive AI for sending e-newsletters at our fictitious bookstore means that the system learns from customer interactions and sends the mail at the right time for them. If historical data indicates that subscribers are more active on Saturday mornings, the AI automatically schedules emails to hit inboxes during this peak period. 

The power to automate and predict behavior will have the small bookstore owner feel as though they have their own personal assistant . 

Email marketing for small business is all about the partnership between you and your customer. As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to connect deeply with your audience, albeit with fewer resources than larger companies. 

Here are some points to consider for maintaining ongoing engagement. 

1. Know your customers 

Understanding your customers is not just a strategy – it’s a lifeline. As a small business, you can maximize the impact of your campaigns by using segmentation to divide your customer base based on key characteristics. This involves creating detailed customer personas, allowing for even more targeted and personalized communication.

2. Use compelling subject lines 

Use the power of brevity and your limited time to your advantage and keep it short. Craft clear and concise subject lines that convey value. Personalize it with customer names or tailor content based on preferences — a dedicated customer-centric approach will set your small business apart.

3. Do A/B testing

Building marketing strategies can be time consuming. Your small business can use data-driven insights from A/B testing to refine your approach — and the more you do it, the easier it will become. (And later you can even automate it using AI!) 

Experiment with elements like subject lines, content, and calls-to-action so that every email campaign is more than just a message: It’s a connection with the audience you respect.

4. Be mobile-friendly 

Most people use their phones to open email. For small businesses, where simplicity and clarity matter, forms should be easy to read, and the overall design should stay clean and focused. 

When you prioritize a mobile-responsive design, you maximize the reach and impact of your email campaign. You’ll earn more customer loyalty when emails are accessible and compelling on the devices audiences use most.

5. Build subscriptions 

Incentivizing sign-ups is key for small businesses. Take advantage of the channels you already use to communicate your offering on exclusive content or discounts for subscription. You may not have tons of resources, which is why when you learn more about how to use AI , you can put it to the test and automate content and send times. Make sure to be transparent about how often you plan on sending content, and always address readers by their name. This straightforward approach enables subscribers to feel the unique value your small businesses offer. 

Even when you’re following the “dos” of best practices in email marketing for small business, there are always some “don’ts” to avoid. 

For example, daily email blasts can lead to subscriber fatigue, and increased opt-out rates. Another mistake is clever wordplay at the expense of clear communication. Subject lines like “Don’t Miss Out – We’re PUNbelievable!” may confuse (and annoy!) recipients. 

Ignoring mobile optimization is also a big no-no, as we are seeing most people use their phones for email. Addressing recipients as “Dear Customer” instead of using their names can create a sense of detachment, which is the opposite of what you want. 

Last, please don’t overlook your analytics. If you don’t know your open rates, engagement, and conversion data, how can you identify areas for improvement?

Long-term success goes beyond sending content and waiting for sales. How small business owners manage email marketing is especially important – even more so as we transition into a cookieless future . 

Personalized, targeted communication has become vital as data privacy takes center stage . When we cultivate strong connections through permission-based marketing, business is bound to thrive.  

Take your small biz marketing up a notch

Marketing Cloud Growth Edition has data and AI capabilities that are built to help small businesses create better campaigns. 

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Blake Miller, senior director of product marketing at Salesforce, has over 20 years of experience working in media and technology, primarily in product development, sales, and marketing. For the last decade, he has been focused on email marketing and advertising technology, helping brands create relationships at scale. Prior to joining Salesforce, he worked at ESPN and CareerBuilder. He has an MBA from DePaul and BA from Baylor.

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  • June 14, 2023

14 Small Business Marketing Strategies to Try Today

Small business marketing strategies

We get it. The everyday demands of running your business are enough to keep you busy, and it’s easy to forget the importance of growing and maintaining a customer base. However, applying a few small business marketing strategies is a great first step into growing your business for the future.

Still trying to figure out where to start? We rounded up 14 digital marketing tips for small businesses that you can implement today.

Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Implementing social media marketing for your small business can be relatively easy. It’s a great way to attract new customers to your store and keep returning visitors in the loop.

While every social media platform has its quirks and benefits, you can implement these tips across platforms, depending on where your audience engages the most.

Plan what you can in advance

You’ll see a considerable benefit from social media marketing if you regularly post. But, coming up with the content daily can feel burdensome for many, especially considering how many other obligations you have as a small business owner. 

Instead of reinventing the wheel every day, consider creating a rough calendar of content you’ll post each day, including a caption. Take a few hours to jot down ideas, create a short list, and plan your content days or weeks ahead of time. 

Knocking out multiple posts simultaneously will save you time, freeing you to focus on other tasks. 

Embrace collaborations

Collaborating with other small businesses or local influencers can benefit you twofold. First, it takes the burden of single-handedly creating content off your hands. Secondly, when posts are shared across multiple accounts, you’ll likely draw in new customers who may not know your brand. 

Consider reaching out to nearby small businesses to collaborate on posts, or tap into your network of local guides, personalities, or influencers to create a campaign together. 

Encourage engagement

Like the tip above, user-generated content (UGC) can benefit your business. UGC is pictures, videos, or text created by customers. For example, if someone visits your salon for a treatment and shares it on their Instagram story, it’s UGC. 

When customers share their experiences on social media, consider resharing them. It only takes a few clicks, and you get the benefit of another post, as well as fostering a conversation with your guests. 

Reply when appropriate

While replying to and liking comments on social media can be a full-time job on its own, it’s important to take the time to engage with reviews, whether negative or positive, as it can benefit you in the long-run. When appropriate, engage with customers who post, comment, or mention your business online. Thanking visitors for a positive word or mention can help build community, and responding to negative comments appropriately conveys brand voice and customer service. 

How do I approach a negative review? Check out our guide to responding to negative customer reviews . 

Offer discounts

Try using social media posts to do a special promotion, flash sale, or secret sale. Consider sharing a one-day-only promotion on social media on days with slower store traffic, encouraging followers to use a secret phrase at checkout for freebies or a small discount. 

With this strategy, you’ll see how active your online audience is, translating followers online to foot traffic in real life. Plus, running these campaigns encourages visitors to follow and engage with you online, so they can benefit from sales and discounts. 

Try a trend (or two)

You don’t have to chase every viral challenge or trending TikTok song, but when one comes up that aligns with your brand, create content around it.

Capitalizing on a popular trend or meme online can increase your brand engagement. Using the appropriate hashtags can open yourself to a broader audience than your regular customers. 

While only some trending posts will go viral, joining in on the conversation could get more eyes on your business and boost engagement on your social media channels.

Show off your business

Use your business as a backdrop, giving new customers a sense of what to expect before they visit. Consider creating a series of posts that offer a tour through the space, sharing features, new inventory, or staff spotlights. 

Showing off your space helps you share your story and voice as a brand.

Use engagement data to drive next steps

Don’t shy away from trying new ideas or post styles when you’re in the early days of social media strategy. If you don’t know your online audience yet, you may be unsure what will work and what won’t. 

As you build out your posts, keep a close eye on analytics. Look at what performed well, what didn’t, and what posts get the most engagement. Do more posts in the style that performs well, and consider phasing out certain post styles that don’t perform well. 

Aim to look back on social media performance at least quarterly. 

Email Marketing for Small Businesses

Hand in hand with social media marketing, having a solid email marketing strategy can help retain customers and drive growth. Even mores, building a robust email subscriber list can foster a strong connection between customers and businesses, ensuring repeat visits and new eyes on your business.

Once you’ve selected your business’s best-fit email marketing service , it’s time to talk strategy. Consider trying one or more of these small business marketing ideas in your next email campaign.

Offer a peek behind the curtain

With more space than a social media post, email newsletters can be a great opportunity to give customers a peek into the inner workings of your operation. Whether you’re testing out new recipes, expanding your storefront, or prototyping a new product, giving readers a backstage pass to your process can help create a closer bond. 

From sharing woes to celebrating wins, letting your email subscribers get to know you will put a face to the business.

Show what’s coming up

If you have upcoming events or collaborations, consider sharing them in an email newsletter. Sharing your events calendar in an email at the beginning of the month gives readers ample time to plan and buy tickets for an event if required. 

If you have regular programming scheduled, consider sharing these updates monthly so visitors can anticipate the frequent updates. 

Drive traffic to your online store

Did you just upload a bunch of new inventory or products? Constantly selling out? Share with customers via email when new products come online or when best sellers are back in stock.

Build brand voice

Sharing updates, news, or new products over email marketing can be a great tool to build your brand voice. Whether customers have visited your space or have never been there before, you can use emails to give them an idea of who you are and what they can expect when visiting. 

Having a voice that translates into email marketing will remind readers what it’s like to visit your business. 

Get a better idea of your customer base

Email marketing tools collect engagement insights, including age and location. Use this data to inform what products to stock, events to host, or strategies to roll out. 

As you begin to share emails, don’t be afraid to try something new and gauge your audience’s reaction. 

Create personalized content

Depending on your email marketing tool, you can create personalized email content for customers. For example, if they purchased a breadmaking kit from your online storefront, you may feed them into an email campaign that guides them through the process, sharing tips and tricks as they create their first loaf. This allows visitors to interact with you long after they leave the store. 

Small business marketing strategies can be a valuable tool to expand your customer base; for some, these campaigns can be a fun, creative outlet to focus on. If business operations and payroll woes keep you from pursuing marketing campaigns, consider using Get Beyond’s suite of tools to help automate processes, leaving you more time to do what you love.

Get Ahead with These Small Business Marketing Strategies

Implementing effective marketing strategies is essential for the growth and success of small businesses in today’s competitive market. Having a small business marketing strategy can significantly impact your small business’s visibility, customer engagement, and overall profitability. 

Remember, marketing is an ongoing process that requires adaptability and creativity, so stay informed, experiment, and consistently refine your approach to maximize the potential for success. With the right marketing strategies in place, your small business can thrive and achieve your goals in today’s dynamic business environment.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. Your business’s circumstances, goals, and objectives are unique to your business, so any information or opinions in this blog should not be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.  We urge you to always consult with a professional advisor before making important business decisions.   

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Small Business Trends

What is integrated marketing.

What Is Integrated Marketing?

What is integrated marketing? It’s key for optimizing efforts across both online and offline channels, enhancing brand coherence.

At first glance, the statistics seem like they’re at odds with each other — as though someone had mixed some generational marketing numbers up and accidentally placed ones that spoke to Boomers’ shopping preferences beside stats for the Millennials.

Consider the chart from The NPD Group that states 81 percent of Millennials’ retail purchases take place in a brick and mortar store.  Another statistic from Valassis seems to muddy the waters further. It states that 51 percent of respondents between the ages of 18- 34 reported the newspaper was the top source where they spotted deals.

What is Integrated Marketing?

Integrated marketing is a strategic approach that unifies all aspects of marketing communication, such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, to provide a consistent and seamless customer experience across all channels.

The goal is to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are centered around a single, clear message about the brand or product.

This approach helps to amplify the message, increase brand awareness, and drive customer engagement by ensuring that customers receive the same message in various forms, regardless of the channel or platform they use to interact with the brand.

Small Business Deals

Integrated marketing recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that transcends traditional and digital marketing boundaries, focusing on the optimization and coherence of all marketing efforts to achieve maximum impact.

Tech Savvy Generation

It may seem odd to find out that the most tech savvy of all the generations jumps from digital to traditional when they shop, but the concept is old hat to marketing gurus like Mark Schmukler. In fact, Schmukler and other forward thinkers have long championed a concept called integrated marketing that mimics the preference for something old and something new as a preferred way to market both on and offline. Schmukler started his career in engineering and switched to marketing over thirty years ago, so he understands the nuts and bolts of this specific tool.

“I’ve worked in the older ad agencies which practiced outbound marketing and the new digital agencies which are really inbound,” says the CEO and Co-founder of Sagefrog Marketing Group. “We have always believed in optimizing across all available channels .”

What Is Integrated Marketing?

Smart Philosophy

It’s a smart philosophy and one that works perfectly with the definition of integrated marketing as a method that combines outbound traditional marketing with inbound marketing. It’s a bridge between older styles where ads on television, print, radio and flyers and brochures got a message out to potential customers. Inbound marketing is primarily digital and designed to draw clients in.

The Inbound version took hold with the introduction of search engines generally and Google specifically in 1998. HubSpot was one of the companies that helped to define inbound marketing in the new digital age.

Those Twitter hashtags that appear during commercials are one common example. They entice people watching television to interact and engage with the brand online.  Most recently, big names like Porsche have used pop-up events at football games and geo-targeted mobile friendly content to let people know these events are coming up and get them sharing the message.

Pendulum Swings

Schmukler is quick to point out there have been a few trends over the years as the pendulum swings back and forth between the marketing techniques.

“What happened was the trend went from traditional to digital and now I see it starting to cycle back. The common thread is about optimizing across all channels. It’s not an either or world.”

For small businesses that listen to the integrated marketing gospel preached by people like Schmukler, the payoffs of integrating inbound and outbound techniques can be large. Core Solutions is an EHR provider that used Integrated Marketing to triple its traffic in less than five months and increase leads by more than 700 percent in only one year.

What Is Integrated Marketing?

Good Measure

They did this by combining content marketing with email marketing and social media with measures of more traditional public relations added in for good measure.

Still, there are some things that don’t change when small business is looking to mesh the marketing types together into these integrated platforms. One is the desire to find the best leads and Schmukler has some advice for small businesses on one of the best foundations to start out with.

“You find the highest quality, highest value leads with live venues, tradeshows, networking and conferences in your industry. Digital marketing is good for getting quantity leads and live venues are good for quality,” he says.  “If you’re looking for high value client leads, the live venues are where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck.”

Nurturing Customer Relationships

Building and maintaining strong customer relationships is a cornerstone of successful integrated marketing. Here are some valuable insights into nurturing customer relationships within an integrated marketing framework:

  • Personalization : Tailor your marketing efforts to individual customer preferences and behaviors. Use data-driven insights to deliver personalized content and offers that resonate with each customer segment.
  • Consistent Branding : Ensure that your brand message and identity remain consistent across all channels. A unified brand image fosters trust and recognition among customers, whether they interact with your brand online or offline.
  • Multi-Channel Engagement : Engage with customers across various touchpoints. Encourage them to interact with your brand through social media, email, live events, and other channels. Consistent and meaningful engagement deepens customer loyalty.
  • Data Analytics : Leverage data analytics to gain actionable insights into customer behavior. Analyze customer journey data to understand their interactions with your brand, helping you refine your marketing strategies.
  • Feedback Loops : Create feedback mechanisms to gather customer input and insights. Use surveys, reviews, and social media listening tools to understand customer sentiment and make improvements accordingly.
  • Customer Support : Provide exceptional customer support across all channels. A seamless support experience, whether through traditional phone support or digital chatbots, reinforces customer trust and satisfaction.
  • Omnichannel Experiences : Strive for a seamless omnichannel experience where customers can transition effortlessly between online and offline interactions. Ensure that information and preferences are synchronized across all touchpoints.
  • Loyalty Programs : Implement loyalty programs that reward customers for their engagement and purchases. Loyalty programs can bridge the gap between online and offline shopping experiences.
  • Content Strategy : Develop a content strategy that caters to customers’ information needs and interests. Share valuable content that educates, entertains, or solves their problems.
  • Community Building : Foster a sense of community among your customers. Encourage them to interact with each other and share their experiences, creating a loyal customer community that advocates for your brand.
  • Responsive Marketing : Be responsive to changing customer preferences and market dynamics. Adapt your integrated marketing strategies based on real-time feedback and insights.
  • Measure and Optimize : Continuously monitor the performance of your integrated marketing efforts. Analyze key metrics and adjust your strategies to maximize customer engagement and conversions.

What Is Integrated Marketing?

The Role of Data Integration in Integrated Marketing

In the era of integrated marketing, data is a critical driver of success. Here’s a deeper dive into the role of data integration and analytics:

  • Data Silos and Challenges : Many businesses face the challenge of data silos, where customer information is scattered across different departments and systems. Integrated marketing seeks to break down these silos by centralizing and unifying data from various sources, including CRM systems, social media platforms, email marketing tools, and website analytics.
  • Customer Insights : Integrated data provides a comprehensive view of each customer’s journey. By combining data from online and offline interactions, businesses gain richer insights into customer behavior, preferences, and conversion paths. This knowledge enables more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
  • Personalization and Segmentation : Integrated data empowers businesses to create highly personalized marketing experiences. By segmenting customers based on their behaviors and preferences, you can deliver tailored content and offers that resonate with specific audience segments.
  • Attribution Modeling : Integrated data allows for advanced attribution modeling. Businesses can accurately attribute conversions to the most influential touchpoints, whether they occur online or offline. This insight guides marketing budget allocation and optimization efforts.
  • Real-Time Decision-Making : With data integration, businesses can make real-time marketing decisions. For example, if a customer visits a physical store and interacts with a product, this data can trigger personalized email recommendations or targeted social media ads in real time.
  • Marketing Automation : Integrated data fuels marketing automation. Businesses can set up automated workflows that deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time. This efficiency enhances customer engagement and conversion rates.
  • Predictive Analytics : Integrated data supports predictive analytics models. By analyzing historical data and trends, businesses can make data-driven predictions about future customer behaviors, allowing for proactive marketing strategies.
  • Data Privacy and Compliance : It’s essential to prioritize data privacy and compliance when integrating customer data. Ensure that you adhere to regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, and implement robust security measures to protect customer information.
  • Continuous Improvement : Integrated data is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process. Regularly audit and refine your data integration processes to ensure data accuracy and relevance. This iterative approach leads to continuous improvement in your marketing efforts.
  • Data-Driven Culture : Fostering a data-driven culture within your organization is integral to successful integrated marketing. Encourage cross-functional teams to collaborate on data initiatives, share insights, and align strategies for a unified customer experience.

Leveraging Integrated Marketing for Competitive Advantage

In today’s saturated market, standing out among competitors is more challenging than ever. Integrated marketing offers a strategic solution by ensuring a consistent and cohesive message across all channels, enhancing brand recognition and customer loyalty.

This approach not only aligns marketing efforts but also strengthens the overall brand presence, making it a critical tool for gaining a competitive edge.

Key Strategies for Gaining Competitive Advantage through Integrated Marketing:

  • Unified Messaging: Develop a core brand message and ensure it is reflected consistently across all marketing channels. This consistency helps reinforce your brand identity, making it more memorable to consumers.
  • Cross-Channel Analytics: Implement analytics tools that track customer interactions across channels. Understanding which channels drive the most engagement and conversions enables businesses to allocate resources more effectively, maximizing ROI.
  • Customer-Centric Campaigns: Center your marketing efforts around the customer journey. By integrating customer feedback and behavior data into your strategy, you can create personalized experiences that resonate deeply with your audience, fostering loyalty.
  • Innovative Content Strategy: Use integrated marketing to push creative boundaries. By coordinating content across platforms, you can create compelling narratives that capture attention and encourage engagement across customer touchpoints.

Enhancing Customer Engagement through Integrated Marketing

At the heart of integrated marketing is the goal of deepening customer engagement. In an era where consumers are bombarded with information from countless sources, capturing and maintaining their attention is paramount.

Integrated marketing leverages multiple channels to engage customers in a more meaningful and sustained manner.

Strategies for Boosting Customer Engagement:

  • Seamless Omnichannel Experience: Ensure that customers receive a seamless experience, whether they are interacting with your brand online, in-store, or through social media. Consistency in service and messaging fosters trust and satisfaction.
  • Interactive Campaigns: Use the interconnectivity of channels to create interactive marketing campaigns. Encourage customers to participate in social media challenges, online contests, or in-store events that are promoted across platforms.
  • Educational Content: Beyond promotional content, provide value through educational materials that help solve customer problems or answer their questions. This approach positions your brand as a helpful resource, encouraging ongoing engagement.
  • Community Building: Utilize integrated marketing to build a sense of community among your customers. Encourage user-generated content, facilitate discussions on social media, and create spaces for customers to share their experiences and connect with each other.

By implementing these strategies, businesses can leverage integrated marketing to not only navigate the complexities of modern consumer behavior but also to create more meaningful connections with their audience. Integrated marketing isn’t just about coordinating different marketing channels; it’s about creating a unified customer experience that resonates on multiple levels, driving engagement, loyalty, and ultimately, business success.

What Is Integrated Marketing?

Integrated Marketing: A Powerful Strategy

Integrated marketing stands out as a potent strategy in today’s marketing world, combining the best of traditional and digital approaches to meet the complex demands of modern consumers. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Harmonizes Traditional and Digital Marketing: It blends outbound and inbound marketing tactics for a unified brand experience across all channels.
  • Adapts to Consumer Behaviors: This approach is flexible, catering to the varied preferences of consumers, including the tech-savvy Millennials who appreciate both digital and physical shopping experiences.
  • Driven by Data Integration: Success in integrated marketing hinges on the use of unified customer data to tailor marketing efforts, foresee behaviors, and automate interactions.

Strategies for Success:

  • Embrace Data Integration: Leveraging comprehensive customer data is crucial for personalized marketing.
  • Prioritize Customer Relationships: Building strong connections with customers is essential for brand loyalty.
  • Foster Data-Driven Culture: Making decisions based on solid data ensures adaptability and resilience in a changing market.

Integrated marketing is more than a mere strategy; it’s a philosophy that values customer diversity and strives for memorable brand experiences, guiding businesses toward sustained growth and deeper customer engagement.

Integrated Marketing Photo via Shutterstock

email and content marketing

That’s why integrated marketing is important. 🙂

Hi John. Agreed. It stands to reason that small businesses want to take advantage of all the platforms they can. Working the social media/live event angle is making the most of your opportunities. Don’t you think?

Great post! I never thought of Twitter’s hashtags as a form of integrated marketing!

Thanks Alex. The possibilities are limitless.

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Top 5 Best Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses in 2024

Benzinga Team

February 21, 2024

Best Marketing Strategy

The prosperity of any thriving business hinges on marketing. This procedure involves pinpointing customer needs and meeting them through the development and promotion of a product or service. In the fiercely competitive business landscape of today, possessing an effective marketing strategy can significantly influence a business’s success.

When it comes to marketing a product, there are numerous strategies that can be employed. However, finding the best strategy for a specific product type can be a daunting task. This is because different products have different target audiences, and what works for one product may not work for another.

In this article, we will be discussing the best marketing strategy for a specific product type. We will be looking at the critical things people should pay attention to when marketing this product and how to create a successful marketing campaign.

So, what is the product type we will be discussing? Stay tuned to find out.

Best Marketing Strategies

We have researched and tested various marketing strategies to bring you our top picks for the best marketing strategies. Whether you are a small business owner or a marketing professional, these strategies can help you reach your target audience and increase your ROI. Check out our list below to find the best marketing strategy that fits your needs and budget.

1. The Best Marketing Strategy

marketing strategies for small businesses

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to marketing, then The Best Marketing Strategy is a great option to consider. With its enhanced typesetting and word wise features, this book is easy to read and provides valuable insights into the world of marketing.

  • Provides practical advice on marketing strategies that actually work
  • Easy to read and understand, even for beginners
  • Covers a wide range of marketing topics, from social media to email marketing
  • The book is only 29 pages long, so it may not cover everything you need to know about marketing
  • Some of the advice may be too basic for experienced marketers
  • The book is only available in English

In this book, the author shares his experience and knowledge on marketing, making it a great resource for anyone looking to improve their marketing skills. The book covers a wide range of topics, from creating a marketing plan to measuring your success.

One of the best things about this book is that it provides practical advice that you can implement right away. The author doesn’t just talk about theory; he provides real-world examples and actionable steps that you can take to improve your marketing efforts.

Another great feature of this book is that it’s easy to read and understand. The enhanced typesetting and word wise features make it accessible even for beginners. The author explains complex concepts in a clear and concise manner, making it easy to follow along.

However, the book is only 29 pages long, so it may not cover everything you need to know about marketing. Some of the advice may also be too basic for experienced marketers. Additionally, the book is only available in English, which may be a limitation for some readers.

Overall, if you’re looking for a practical guide to marketing that’s easy to read and understand, then The Best Marketing Strategy is definitely worth checking out. With its actionable advice and real-world examples, it’s a great resource for anyone looking to improve their marketing skills.

2. How to Market a Book Release: Develop Your Best Marketing Strategy for Each Launch

marketing strategies for small businesses

We highly recommend purchasing How to Market a Book Release: Develop Your Best Marketing Strategy for Each Launch by Misty Beller. This book offers practical tips and advice for marketing your book, making it a valuable resource for both new and experienced authors.

  • The book includes relatable stories at the start of each chapter, making it easy to understand and apply the concepts discussed.
  • The author provides step-by-step instructions for marketing your book, making the process less intimidating.
  • The book covers a wide range of topics, including finding your target reader, preorders, and website development .
  • Some readers may find the book’s format, which features a character narrative alongside marketing steps, distracting.
  • The book is geared towards fiction authors, so non-fiction authors may find some of the advice less applicable.
  • While the book covers a lot of ground, some readers may expect more in-depth information on certain topics.

In How to Market a Book Release: Develop Your Best Marketing Strategy for Each Launch, Misty Beller offers a comprehensive guide for marketing your book. The book is easy to read and understand, thanks to relatable stories and step-by-step instructions. While the book is geared towards fiction authors, non-fiction authors may still find some of the advice useful. Overall, we highly recommend this book to anyone looking to successfully market their book.

3. Best Marketing Strategy Ideas

marketing strategies for small businesses

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to marketing strategy, Best Marketing Strategy Ideas is a great option. We found it to be an informative and helpful resource for businesses of all sizes.

  • Provides a comprehensive overview of marketing strategies
  • Easy to read and understand
  • Offers practical advice and tips for implementation
  • Only 10 pages long
  • X-Ray feature is not enabled
  • Limited to English language only

In our experience, Best Marketing Strategy Ideas is a great resource for businesses looking to improve their marketing efforts. The guide covers a wide range of topics, from identifying target audiences to creating effective advertising campaigns. The language is clear and concise, making it easy to understand even for those without a background in marketing.

One of the standout features of this guide is its practicality. The tips and advice provided are actionable and can be implemented immediately. We found this to be particularly helpful for small businesses with limited resources.

While the guide is only 10 pages long, it manages to cover a lot of ground. However, we do wish that the X-Ray feature was enabled, as it would have made it easier to navigate through the content. Additionally, the guide is only available in English, which may limit its usefulness for businesses operating in other languages.

Overall, we highly recommend Best Marketing Strategy Ideas for any business looking to improve its marketing efforts. At its affordable price point, it’s a great investment for any company looking to up its marketing game.

4. Facebook: The Top 100 Best Ways To Use Facebook For Business, Marketing, & Making Money

marketing strategies for small businesses

If you are looking to improve your Facebook marketing strategy, then this book is a great resource.

  • Provides step-by-step instructions for setting up a Facebook business page
  • Teaches how to optimize your profile to be both appealing and informative
  • Offers an incredible array of techniques to increase your effectiveness with Facebook
  • Contains some information that can be easily found online for free
  • Some of the information may be outdated
  • The book is shorter than expected

This book is a great investment if you are new to Facebook marketing and want to learn how to use it to your advantage. The step-by-step instructions for setting up a Facebook business page are easy to follow and will help you increase your business presence across the world by accessing the billions of Facebook users.

The book teaches you how to optimize your profile to be both appealing and informative, and how to create the perfectly structured post that will grab attention and create a buzz. You will also learn the best ways to engage your audience and keep them hungry for more.

The book also covers how to market and make money with Facebook ads, and how to master the many powerful features built into Facebook Pages. You will discover just how unbelievably powerful Facebook is and how to use it to your advantage.

Overall, this book is a great resource for anyone looking to improve their Facebook marketing strategy. While some of the information may be easily found online for free, the step-by-step instructions and incredible array of techniques make this book a valuable investment.

5. Digital Marketing Formula: The Best Marketing Strategy For Your Business

marketing strategies for small businesses

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to help you with your marketing strategies, Digital Marketing Formula: The Best Marketing Strategy For Your Business is definitely worth considering.

  • Provides valuable information for those who are new to marketing
  • Easy to follow and understand
  • Offers practical tips for expanding your business to the digital world
  • Only available in English
  • Limited to 75 pages
  • X-Ray feature not enabled

The book begins by presenting the formula that the author has devised to bring unprecedented results to their clients. The author then proceeds to untangle the problem step-by-step, helping readers see their solution and path to the implementation and effective use of the conversion formula proposed.

One of the biggest advantages of Digital Marketing Formula: The Best Marketing Strategy For Your Business is that it provides valuable information for those who are new to marketing. The book is easy to follow and understand, offering practical tips for expanding your business to the digital world.

However, the book is only available in English, which may limit its audience. Additionally, the book is limited to 75 pages, which may not be enough for some readers. Finally, the X-Ray feature is not enabled, which may make it difficult for readers to quickly access relevant information.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to help you with your marketing strategies, Digital Marketing Formula: The Best Marketing Strategy For Your Business is definitely worth considering. It provides valuable information for those who are new to marketing, is easy to follow and understand, and offers practical tips for expanding your business to the digital world.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best marketing strategy, it’s important to consider a few key factors. Here are some things to keep in mind as you make your decision:

Target Audience

The first thing to consider is your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? What are their interests, needs, and pain points? Understanding your audience is crucial when it comes to choosing a marketing strategy that will resonate with them.

Budget is another important factor to consider. How much money do you have to spend on marketing? Different strategies have different costs, and it’s important to choose one that fits within your budget.

There are many different marketing channels to choose from, including social media, email marketing, content marketing, and more. Each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to choose the ones that will be most effective for your business.

Finally, it’s important to consider the metrics you’ll use to measure the success of your marketing strategy. What are your goals? What metrics will you use to track progress? By setting clear goals and metrics, you’ll be able to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy and make adjustments as needed.

In summary, when choosing a marketing strategy, it’s important to consider your target audience, budget, channels, and metrics. By keeping these factors in mind, you’ll be able to choose a strategy that will help you reach your marketing goals and grow your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the essential components of an effective marketing management strategy.

An effective marketing management strategy should have a clear understanding of the target audience, well-defined objectives, a comprehensive marketing plan, and a way to measure success. It should also focus on building a strong brand image and maintaining a positive reputation.

Can you provide examples of successful marketing strategies used by leading companies?

Leading companies like Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola have successfully implemented marketing strategies that focus on building a strong brand image, creating emotional connections with their audience, and staying relevant in the market. For example, Apple’s “Think Different” campaign focused on the company’s innovative and creative culture, while Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign emphasized the company’s commitment to helping athletes reach their goals.

What are the top five marketing strategies that have proven effective across industries?

The top five marketing strategies that have proven effective across industries include content marketing , social media marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO). These strategies help businesses reach their target audience, build brand awareness, and increase customer engagement.

How can small businesses leverage marketing strategies for substantial growth?

Small businesses can leverage marketing strategies for substantial growth by identifying their target audience, creating a strong brand image, and developing a comprehensive marketing plan. They can also use social media platforms to reach a wider audience, collaborate with influencers to increase brand awareness, and invest in SEO to improve their online visibility.

What are the latest trends in marketing strategies for the year 2023?

The latest trends in marketing strategies for the year 2023 include the use of artificial intelligence (AI), personalized marketing, interactive content, and video marketing. These trends aim to provide a more personalized and engaging experience for customers, while also improving the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

How should a business develop a marketing strategy plan to ensure business growth?

A business should develop a marketing strategy plan by identifying its target audience, setting clear objectives, conducting market research, and creating a comprehensive marketing plan. The plan should include a budget, a timeline, and a way to measure success. It should also be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the market and the business environment.

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