Small business marketing strategies are key in getting your startup off the ground.
Picking the right digital marketing materials could scale your business tremendously! And vice versa, picking the wrong content marketing strategy could cost you time and money.
So, take a look at the top 20 small business marketing best practices and start driving more organic traffic and reaching prospective consumers today.
Let’s jump right in!
Top 20 Small Business Marketing Strategies
1. Facebook advertising
Facebook currently holds about 3 billion users. You can find the right audience within that user base and put ads in front of them.
Facebook advertising can be used to meet different company’s goals. They have different campaign marketing objectives to choose from based on what you’re looking to achieve.
You can use Facebook ads to increase awareness, lead form completions, lead generations, direct sales on your website, and everything in between.
So long as you have an ad spend budget to fuel your paid ads, you can jumpstart your traffic and bring in some potential customers.
2. Google advertising
There are over 5.6 billion Google searches that occur per day. People all over the world turn to Google when they need information.
When they make an organic search query that relates to your product or service, you want to make sure you appear in the search results.
A quick cost-effective way to meet that goal is to perform pay-per-click advertising. This is when you pay Google to appear in the top spaces for any given search query.
Google ads ensure your website appears for relevant search queries with high intent.
If you own a pet grooming business, and someone searches “pet grooming near me” in your area, you’d want your website to be the first result they see and click on.
Google advertising, or PPC, can achieve that for you faster than any other method.
Now if you want to know the difference between Google ads vs Facebook ads, then read this post next.
3. Segment your retargeting audiences
Retargeting is when you put your brand in front of an audience that has already seen it.
On average, people need to see content from you at least 7 times before taking a desired action.
Most business owners know to retarget their website traffic to bring them back to the site to convert.
But most stop there. It’s important to take it a step further and segment your retargeting audiences.
People that have seen an ad from you once may not even remember you.
They should receive different retargeting ads than people who have been to your website on a regular basis and added to cart.
Instead of creating 1 or 2 retargeting ads to send to everyone, create specific retargeting ads to meet people where they’re at in your sales funnel.
Retargeting ads for your earned media engagement vs your website traffic vs your add to carts vs your existing customers should all look different.
4. Create an email drip campaign
Email marketing serves as a positive alternative to direct mail.
The magic of email marketing really kicks in when you set up marketing automations known as drip campaigns.
In a drip marketing campaign, you write out the emails you would like sent, and the email marketing software sends them automatically when users take certain actions.
For example, if someone makes a purchase on your website, they should automatically receive a confirmation email.
This isn’t something you manually log in and send every time you receive a purchase.
It’s something you set up one time in advance that your software carries out for you every time after.
Beyond logistic emails, you’ll want to automate marketing emails too.
You can say if a customer opens one email, send them this one. If a customer does not open this email, send them that one.
You set up all the instructions for the email marketing software to follow the first time, and it’ll execute it every time.
When you segment your audience and fine-tune who is receiving what emails, that’s when your email marketing really starts to take off.
5. Add SMS marketing to your email campaign
SMS marketing is very similar to email marketing, except you’re sending messages via text message on a mobile device instead of email.
It’s becoming increasingly normal for businesses to ask customers for both their email and phone number on their website pop-ups.
Customers are usually willing to submit both in order to get a lead magnet such as a 10% discount.
SMS mobile marketing has become extremely commonplace with eCommerce stores in particular.
This is because marketing text messages are a great way to follow up on abandoned carts.
People check their text messages more often than their email, so the same strategies that work together for email marketing often work best for SMS marketing too.
You just follow a shortened and simplified version.
6. Partner with an influencer for mass exposure and immediate sales
Influencers are personalities on social media with a notable follower base.
With influencer marketing, you pay the influencer to promote your brand to their thousands or millions of followers.
You want to partner with an influencer whose followers are largely aligned with your target customer.
Influencer marketing is a great way to get massive brand exposure quickly as well as increased sales. Here are some more tips you can try for your influencer marketing strategy.
7. Offer a free lead magnet
Lead magnets help you capture your target market’s contact information.
A lead magnet is something you give your audience for free in exchange for their name, email address, and any other information you want.
The most common lead magnet out there is a discount code. A pop-up appears on your site offering 10% off in exchange for name and email.
But that isn’t the only kind of lead magnet there is to offer. You can also offer free ebooks, ultimate guides, PDFs, consultations, budget calculators, and more.
You want to ensure the lead magnet you offer is something your audience cares about while remaining related to your business.
8. Build a squeeze page to collect email addresses
A squeeze page or a landing page takes the lead magnet strategy to the next level.
In this scenario, you create a landing page specifically for the lead magnet.
The trick here it’s a standalone landing page. The difference between hosting your lead magnet here as opposed to your website is that there isn’t anywhere else for them to click.
On your website, they can get distracted looking at other things and eventually click off.
But on a squeeze page, the only action item for them to click on is to submit their contact information to get the lead magnet.
It’s a great way to start building your mailing list and SMS list.
9. Optimize your website for SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s the organic process of ranking high on Google in your search engine marketing efforts.
Earlier we talked about PPC advertising and it being the quickest way to rank your website in the Google search results.
SEO takes longer, but it’s an organic (free) method as opposed to PPC and its effect usually lasts much longer.
With PPC, you stop ranking as soon as your ad budget runs out. With SEO, the efforts you put in now will help you rank for months and years to come.
There are hundreds of things you can do to rank on the first page of Google, but one of the biggest is to optimize your website.
Customers aren’t the only ones looking at your website. Google is too.
Whenever someone enters a search query on Google, Google has to decide which website to display advertising at the top.
Google reads your website to help make that decision.
Google takes hundreds of ranking factors into consideration when making that decision, but a lot of them can be done right on your website.
Updating your metadata, acquiring high-quality backlinks to your site, using alt tags, and ensuring everything functions on your site…
…are just a few ways you can optimize your website.
If you want to learn more about these Google ranking factors, then add this post to your reading list. Above all of that, however, is content creation.
Publishing high-quality, authoritative content is the best way to rank higher in the SERPs (search engine result pages).
Which leads us to our next strategy!
10. Write a blog
They say content is king for a reason. Writing a blog serves a dual purpose.
The first is that you’re providing helpful, educational brand value to your audience. The second is that you’re telling Google what you’re an expert on.
You want to publish great content around the keywords your target market is searching for.
Continuing with our dog grooming example, you’d want to publish content on how to trim a dog’s nails, how to groom different types of breeds, how often to groom, and so on.
Establishing yourself as an expert within your field gives you a sustainable competitive advantage. This shows customers you’re better than your competitors and shows Google you should be ranked first for relevant search queries.
Hosting a social media giveaway is a great social networking strategy if you’re trying to grow your followers and engagement. This strategy can also serve as a company’s value proposition and improve your customers’ journey.
Make the requirements to enter be to follow you, like your post, and tag a friend in the comments.
This will ensure you get maximum engagement and brand exposure.
When selecting the giveaway prize, make sure you pick a prize your audience actually wants and one that is related to your business.
Giving away an Amazon gift card may draw in a lot of entries, but you’ll lose those followers as soon as the giveaway is over because those people just want the Amazon gift card.
They don’t actually care about your new product or service.
You won’t attract potential clients with a giveaway prize that vague.
Giving away a gift card to your business would be much more effective in garnering new followers and retaining them.
Here are some more Instagram giveaway ideas you can check out after this.
12. Make a list of your customers’ pain points and goals
If you haven’t performed this local marketing strategy yet, you need to.
In order to make any marketing strategy work, you need to understand what motivates your audience.
To do that, you need to understand your customers’ pain points and marketing goals. What problems are they trying to solve as it relates to your product or service?
Or what business goals are they trying to achieve?
Making a list of both will tell you exactly why your audience looks for what you offer.
In turn, you’ll then know exactly what to address in your marketing content.
13. Nail down your customer avatar
What other attributes describe your ideal customer?
You want to know more than just basic demographics. What makes your potential buyers tick?
Maybe your product or service serves more than one audience and you need to map out all the different segments of your target market.
The way you market to one demographic may be different than the way you market to another.
Pinning down your customer avatar will guide you in then creating marketing content directly for that audience.
14. Evaluate your competitor’s online presence
How are your competitors performing in the online space? Are they taking away potential business from you?
What are they doing well and what are they doing poorly?
Look at all of their content and engagement to see how your shared customer base is responding.
On Facebook, in particular, you can look at the Facebook Ad Library to see all the ads they’re running if they’re running any.
Analyzing their efforts will provide you a competitive analysis and show you what to do and what not to do when it comes to winning over your shared target audience. This will help you create the perfect buyer persona, increasing your marketing success.
15. Get organic views and brand exposure from Instagram Reels and TikToks
TikToks and Instagram Reels have quickly become the fastest-growing video marketing paid media type.
TikTok is by far the fastest-growing social media platform we’ve seen in a long time.
The reason is because customers are responding most and best to short-form videos.
As a result, social media advertising channels are rewarding creators and business pages who post these short-form videos with extra reach in the algorithm.
Smaller companies are seeing their content reach millions of people organically. That kind of brand exposure is huge! Especially, when you don’t have to pay for it.
TikTok and Instagram in particular have trending hashtags for #SmallBusinessCheck where you can show off what you make or what you do.
Be sure to stay on top of trending audios, challenges, and more within the TikTok and Reels space to capitalize on the growth there.
16. Manage and respond to reviews
In today’s digital world, reviews can make you or break you.
The more positive, authentic reviews you have, the better. Don’t hesitate to ask every one of your satisfied customers for a positive review about their customer experience.
The dissatisfied customers will often go out of their way to leave negative reviews in a public forum such as Google Reviews.
You need to make sure you’re balancing this out by having your happy customers leave reviews as well.
Plus, Google Reviews are one of the things Google looks at when it comes to SEO.
So this is another one of those small business marketing strategies that doubles as something both your audience and Google care about.
17. Get listed in industry-specific directories
Beyond just Google reviews, there are other industry-specific directories you can get listed on.
These directories will often have their own review system, so you’ll want to make sure your audience is leaving reviews here as well.
Oftentimes, service-based businesses will find that there are directories around the service they provide.
For instance, there may be a directory ranking all of the top dog groomers in your state. If it’s a reputable website, your audience is likely looking at it.
If that’s the case, it’s likely influencing your audience’s purchasing decision, thus making it something you should care about.
Do some market research and determine which directories are worth getting listed on.
18. Encourage referrals
Work smarter not harder. If you already have happy, satisfied customers, then get as many referrals from them as you can!
The best way to do this is to incentivize them with a reward system.
Offer them a discount or freebie for every paying customer you receive as a referral from them.
19. Create educational YouTube videos
YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, owned by the #1 search engine, Google.
If the nature of your business is one where people often “look up” the product or service you offer, then YouTube may be a great route for you right behind SEO and PPC.
Your customers search for things on YouTube the same way they do on Google, making it another great opportunity for inbound marketing.
The only difference is on YouTube they’re often prepared to devote even more time and attention.
People are accustomed to watching long-form videos on YouTube, making it the perfect platform to establish your brand as an expert in your field.
20. Make informed decisions based on Google Analytics
You can try every small business marketing strategies on this business list but you’re not going to scale if you don’t ultimately look at the data and make informed decisions from there.
If you implement 3 strategies and see an influx of customers, you won’t know which of those strategies really generate leads without looking at your analytics.
Understanding exactly where your customers are coming from will allow you to reallocate the budget from strategies that aren’t working to strategies that are.
This will keep you from wasting money on marketing strategies that are failing you. Instead, you will make money.
When you increase the budget on the strategies that are driving customers, you can scale your business.
Download our small business marketing strategies PDF here.
What is the marketing strategy for small businesses?
The overarching marketing mix for small local businesses should follow brand awareness, engagement, conversion rates, and retargeting.
Meaning, that your overall long-term plan should move people from the top of your sales funnel to the bottom of your sales funnel into a conversion.
The small business marketing strategies we’ve listed on this page will help you do that.
What are the 4 types of marketing strategies?
The 4 types of small business marketing strategies could be categorized as social media marketing, SEO, PPC, and email marketing.
We share multiple strategies within each above in this post.
What is the most successful marketing strategy?
For most businesses, an inbound marketing strategy reports success. The reason is because you’re drawing customers into your brand.
Cold calling and other outbound marketing strategies are becoming less and less effective.
Inbound marketing works because it involves brand positioning. You position yourself in a way for customers to come to you.
Another successful marketing strategy involves user generated content.
User generated content is content shared by users who have experience with your brand. This marketing strategy plays a key factor in building brand awareness and generating potential customers.
If you need help with any or all of the marketing strategies we’ve listed here, contact us today to get your free custom proposal!