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When running a small business, it’s crucial to market yourself in the best way possible. However, there are so many different marketing strategies out there; how do you know which one is right for you?
This article will discuss the best ways to market your small business. We’ll also talk about what to consider when selecting a marketing strategy. So whether you’re just starting or looking for new ideas, read on for some great tips!
What to consider when selecting a small business marketing strategy
Here are some considerations you should consider before jumping into marketing strategies.
→ Having a marketing strategy
Any good marketing strategy starts with setting goals. What do you hope to achieve with your marketing efforts? Are you looking to acquire new customers, improve your company’s reputation, or increase the average purchase amount per customer?
Once you’ve defined your goals, you can begin to construct a marketing plan that will help you achieve them. This plan should consider your limited time, resources, and budget and focus on the local marketing strategies that will most likely help you reach your objectives.
→ Insights into customers and markets
Another consideration when starting a business is understanding your target customers. What motivates them to seek out a business like yours? Insight into these attributes dictates the best ways to reach your customers.
You can competitor research to see how other businesses reach their target market and learn industry trends that could change how customers engage with businesses like yours. Try conducting customer surveys to get first-hand feedback about what they want and need from a business like yours.
With this research in hand, you can more confidently move forward in starting your own successful business.
→ Return on Investment
That’s why it’s essential to test different strategies, collect real-world results, and evaluate which tactics deliver the best ROI. By focusing your efforts on the tactics that offer the most bang for your buck, you’ll be able to maximize your limited resources and achieve your marketing goals.
Related: Business Marketing Plan
30 best ways to market your small business
There are many ways to market your small business, and the best approach depends on your products, services, and target audience. Here are 30 of the best ways to market your small business:
1. Use Google’s free marketing tools
Creating a marketing strategy for a small business owner cannot be easy. Luckily, Google provides several great tools to help you with search engine optimization (SEO) for your business.
Google Analytics lets you see how visitors interact with your website and where they are coming from. This gives you the information you need to create better-targeted content and focus your marketing efforts on the websites, blogs, and other places your audience is most likely to be.
Google Search Console is another free tool from Google that can help small business owners with their SEO. Using this tool, you can see how often your website appears in Google searches, what keywords are associated with your site, and where your website ranks in Google search results. This information can be very valuable in helping you improve your website’s ranking in Google search results.
Google Trends allows you to stay on top of buzzwords and trending topics so you can join larger conversations and draw attention to your business.
Finally, Google My Business is a simple but effective tool that lets customers easily find your business information online. By taking advantage of these free Google tools, you can improve your website’s ranking in search results and reach a wider audience.
Related: Google Review Automation Tools
2. Create a blog focusing on your niche
Blogging is a great way to market your small business online. Creating content focused on your niche can attract readers interested in what you have to say.
Not only does blogging give you a chance to share your expertise with potential customers, but it also allows you to show your personality and build relationships with your readers.
Most consumers would rather learn about a company through an article than from an advertisement, even though traditional advertising is still alive. By blogging, you can create awareness of your small business by sharing industry knowledge or stories about it in a certain voice and style that people will begin to associate with your company. It is a good way of drumming up interest in your business.
When it comes to blogging, more is more. If you stick to a publishing schedule, your business will appear reliable, making it easier for your team to keep up with publishing. Also, try to blog about topics related to your business so that people will want to read more about what you do and the products or services you offer. We suggest coming up with a list of potential blog topics related to your business and then brainstorming how to tie those topics back to what you or your company offers.
3. Create video ads for your business
More consumers are watching short clips and making purchases based on them, so video is a central part of marketing today. Though they may seem out of reach, there are some great tools you can use to make great videos on your own, even if you don’t have access to marketing teams or video shoots.
Suppose you want to engage with potential customers. In that case, you can use a business marketing video maker app like Boosted to turn your clips into professionally branded, engaging, and fun videos that help you reach out to them and engage them with your business marketing campaign.
With Boosted, you can add text, visual effects, and different layouts to your short videos using clips from your collection or stock footage. Video marketing analytics can help you understand and benefit from the performance of your videos. You can create and upload videos for free in a matter of minutes.
Social media marketing uses social media platforms to connect with your audience and build relationships that benefit your business. These platforms allow you to respond to real-time customer feedback and show how much you care about their experience with your business.
It also shows your commitment to communicating directly with your customers by frequently posting to your social media channels. Even a small comment or update can refresh your presence.
In addition to demonstrating your expertise, you can promote your business by commenting on other people’s and businesses’ social media posts. You can gain more exposure and introduce yourself to new audiences by following Facebook pages related to your type of business and participating in silly Twitter threads.
5. Use email marketing to promote discounts and promotions
There is no doubt that email remains at the top of most marketers’ toolkits, regardless of its lack of speed compared to social media or instant messaging. Using inexpensive email tools like Vbout or GetResponse gives you more control over your campaigns.
You can do many things with an email marketing tool, such as segmenting your audience based on various factors, scheduling automated emails, and even seeing how well each email performs to get more clicks back to your site and, ultimately, more conversions.
Related: Best Marketing Automation Software
6. Make graphic content that is fun and creative
The best way to get readers to stay on your website is to write blogs and long-form content, but sometimes short, more easily digestible posts will do just as well. The longer you have been in your business, the more likely you are to have interesting tips and explanations you can share with consumers.
Use free online design tools to create unique infographics, images, and other visuals that you can easily upload to social media and embed on your blog, demonstrating your expertise and making your readers curious.
If you’re working on a budget, there are plenty of ways to promote your company. Marketing is hard, but it shouldn’t stop you from promoting your business. Start your journey from an anonymous small business to a household name by finding free and affordable tools that make it easy to do more with less.
Small business owners can use vlogging to market their businesses without spending much money. Here are some tips for making a successful vlog.
7. Contribute to a website or magazine in your industry
You can quickly become one of the most significant expenses of your business, no matter how big or small you are. It is not only expensive, but you don’t even know if you will even get any return on your investment just because you advertise your company in a magazine.
There is no doubt that you could spend thousands of dollars on advertising and not get anything back from your ad campaigns.
Having said that, how can you get your name out there, perhaps by having your work featured in an industry-leading magazine or website, without spending a fortune on advertising your business?
One easy way to work your way to the top of the market; submit a relevant, informative article to an industry-leading publication, which is usually possible at no cost.
Virtually all magazines and websites allow guest submissions. In addition, with some magazines and websites, you can advertise your small business in the author’s bio to promote your work.
8. Organize an event
A contest or event can help your brand get noticed if you already have a strong social media following or are simply looking to generate some interest.
If you plan on offering a sale or discount, you might consider promoting it on your own or running a contest where people can win a gift basket.
In this case, offer something for free since this almost guarantees that your audience will feel as though they’re getting something out of their interactions with your brand in the form of a value proposition.
A popular way to expand your reach is to reach similar businesses in your industry and suggest they sponsor a contest or giveaway together. Doing so encourages interest in both co-sponsor companies, allowing them to reach new potential customers.
In addition, consider incorporating unique and promotional accessories that serve as excellent giveaways, leaving a lasting impression on attendees. You can effortlessly imprint your brand name or a catchy slogan on these custom-designed silicone bands, creating a tangible and mobile advertisement for your small business. As event-goers wear these wristbands, they become walking ambassadors for your brand, sparking conversations and generating curiosity. This subtle yet effective approach ensures your business stays top-of-mind long after the event concludes, making custom silicone wristbands a valuable investment in your marketing arsenal.
9. Set up an affiliate program
A commission is earned when a sale is made through affiliate marketing by promoting and selling another company’s products or services.
In this way, you, as an affiliate, can make money through sales without owning any of your products or services.
As a result, the company running the affiliate program will benefit from having other people do their advertising for them and will only be required to pay when a sale is made for the company running the affiliate program.
This means that if you manage to launch an affiliate program for your small business, you will be able to get people to promote your products or services without having to do too much work on your own, so in essence, you won’t have to do anything yourself.
This means that you will not have to do any of the hard work of marketing and promoting your products or services, as your affiliates will do all that for you. You will only have to pay them a commission when they make sales for you.
It goes without saying that if an affiliate program is properly designed and implemented, it will be a win-win scenario for any small business; it guarantees an increased marketing effort, and you will only have to pay when those marketing efforts are successful in making a sale.
10. Host your first webinar
Small businesses can generate significant online interest by hosting webinars, even if they are expensive.
A webinar is a workshop conducted over the Internet using a video feed. Sometimes, but not always, a webinar will be presented to an audience that is life at the time of the event.
There is one critical difference between a webinar and an infomercial, and that is the fact that a webinar is not intended to sell anything. Instead, a webinar is designed to provide your viewers with information through an unscripted, interactive format.
In today’s world, one of the best ways to market your business is to build trust by providing your audience with valuable information.
11. Make Facebook groups and stay active in them
You can generate some buzz around your business with a Facebook group and groups on other social platforms like LinkedIn without spending a dime when you’re trying to market on a budget.
As a member of these groups, you can freely share information with your peers. In addition, once you’ve joined, you can offer valuable advice to them.
As other members of the group start to see the true value in the information that you are providing to them, they will gradually begin to want to know more about you, your business, and what you are offering to them as they begin to see the value that you are providing.
As a great and inexpensive marketing tool for small businesses, you should consider using a Facebook video ad maker to help create promo videos to share in Facebook groups as a great and cost-effective way to advertise.
12. Decide who you want to reach
You can market your business more effectively if you know what kind of audience you are trying to reach.
It is appealing to be active on social media and your company blog. Still, if you want your business’ content to resonate and connect with all of your potential customers, then you must make sure you are creating content for the right type of people, that is, if you want your business’ content to be shared and read by all of them.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of an ideal buyer that most marketers use to learn more about their target audience.
Businesspersons help businesses understand how their target audience feels about their needs, wants, and desires.
In other words, by understanding your audience’s concerns, you will be able to craft your brand’s digital content to meet their needs and provide the information they need.
By building trust with your audience, you will be able to establish yourself as an industry thought leader, ultimately making it easier for you to market your business effectively.
13. Advertising on Facebook
Among other criteria, targeting a specific audience with Facebook ads is possible based on location, interests, age, and online behavior.
It’s easy to create Facebook ads. You only need a great headline, some descriptive copy, and one image.
Additionally, Facebook Ads Manager enables you to run and test multiple ad sets without needing advanced technical expertise, so you can hone in on a winning formula and reach profitability.
The downside is that new users often struggle with their initial campaigns. It takes persistence, but Facebook’s popularity has spawned numerous third-party tools to aid you.
14. Identify the perceptions of your audience
Getting your small business and its products or services in front of the right customers requires knowing your positioning goals. In other words, how do you want customers to perceive your business?
Customers can use several everyday resources to determine their impressions of your business, including media outlets, reviews, features, packaging, retail, and word-of-mouth.
Identifying your unique selling proposition or USP will help you understand how your audience perceives your brand. In essence, a brand’s unique selling proposition refers to its ability to differentiate itself from its competitors in one or more ways from the competition.
Your audience members will likely turn to your competitors when there are few differences between you and your competitors. Still, they have taken the time to position themselves as more appealing.
Then, you will be able to identify your brand in a way that your target audience will relate to by knowing their perception.
15. Provide instructional videos as a demonstration
Instructive videos are an excellent way to provide your customers with the knowledge and information they need, whether they are considering purchasing your product or have already done so.
Make sure you focus on being educational but don’t forget to allow some creativity, to ensure that you do not overdo it.
Video content can be created without a videographer, with today’s smartphones having enhanced video cameras, and then could be edited using a video editor. This is great news for small businesses.
When filming a video, ensure you have sufficient light in the room, and the best type of light is natural light. Also, you must clear your background and foreground to avoid distractions from clutter and other objects.
It would be best if you also took the time to script out what you want to say, which will help you not miss any major points without making you feel like you are memorizing and repeating everything word-for-word so that you are not losing focus.
Be prepared, but above all, don’t be scared to lose a little bit of that creative side you know you have inside of you. Just remember to sound approachable and real, not robotic.
16. Organize a virtual party
The health and safety of businesses and customers are both important concerns, so hosting a virtual party is a comfortable and super affordable way to reach many potential customers.
A range of video networking platforms can host scheduled events, including interactive experiences such as location tours, product demonstrations, product giveaways, and Q&A sessions.
Imagine that you are at a virtual party, but instead of a webinar, you are at a much more casual and much less scripted affair.
As part of this event, live social networks, such as Facebook Live and Instagram Live, can also be used to broadcast the event live.
Hosting virtual events today is becoming increasingly popular because social distancing has become a routine part of everyday life. This gives your brand a chance to stay top-of-mind with potential customers when they are unable to visit your store or location physically.
17. Design an infographic for your business
In addition to having different wants and needs, consumers also absorb information differently.
Some people can hear something and retain each word; others learn best through long-form reading, while others are visual learners who need everything laid out for a glance to take it all in. The infographic is here to help those who prefer to absorb information visually.
This infographic combines visual graphics with correlated text information. It provides information that’s easy to understand and aesthetically pleasing but also conveys essential or fun-to-know information.
In addition, you can even go one step further by using colors that complement your brand style or personality. This will allow your business to connect even more with your audience!
18. Creating evergreen content from old recycled content
Those businesses that have existed online for a while might already have old content they haven’t updated, reviewed, or looked at since they first published it.
To come up with new content ideas, it’s never a bad idea to go through some of your old content and see if there is anything that can be improved or updated to help you come up with something new.
The content that has been recycled recently can often perform just as well as the content that has been created from scratch.
This will allow you to provide your audience with more valuable and informative content. When you recycle old content, you add more information, making it even more valuable.
Additionally, this establishes your brand as an expert in the field of your expertise.
Regularly sifting through old content to see if any of it can be updated is a win-win for both you and your audience.
19. Use LinkedIn
When used properly, LinkedIn groups can be a huge lead-generation opportunity. Although LinkedIn is an audience-focused platform, B2B and B2C businesses can profit.
Content on LinkedIn should always be professional and informative, typically geared toward the educational and informative sectors. Examples include eBooks, articles, and webinars.
Businesses cannot interact with or engage with groups on the platform since groups are only accessible to individual accounts.
Individual business owners can, however, benefit from joining groups by connecting their profiles with others in their industry, which can help them establish their standing as an expert in their field.
It would be best if you always remained professional, polite, and courteous within groups, regardless of your opinion.
20. Programs that do not involve affiliates
The best way to grow your business is to incentivize referrals from existing customers. After all, one positive customer experience can lead to many new businesses if you know how to offer the right incentives.
Suppose you create a long-term referral/loyalty program. In that case, you can reward customers with free products, discounts, or other incentives once a new customer is successfully referred. You can also reward customers once for successfully referring a new customer.
In addition to rewarding existing customers, you can encourage new customer growth for your business by motivating them to introduce new faces to your company.
As a result, incentivizing new customers encourages them to commit to their purchase, as they will likely receive a reward in exchange.
Incentives work in practically all businesses, although starting an incentive program may require substantial resources.
21. Be a part of our spotlights and awards
It may be worthwhile to apply for industry awards or spotlights that are purely merit-based. However, remember that many of these awards are “pay-to-play” and may require substantial donations.
When applying for or being nominated for an award, research its reputation and the potential impact on your business. If it’s a highly regarded and recognized award, it will certainly help you more than an award nobody has heard of.
In addition, ask yourself whether winning an award or a professional spotlight will directly impact your business. Will it impress your customers? Is applying for an award or spotlight worth your time?
22. Marketing through guerrilla tactics
Even though it might sound complicated, guerrilla marketing is a great tool for small businesses since it involves a surprise or unconventional approach to reaching out to customers.
Use non-traditional methods to get your brand noticed if you’re looking for an out-of-the-box advertising option.
Guerrilla marketing can be very effective if you invest more time and creativity in promoting your business and products. This tactic has worked many times and continues to do so today.
If you can come up with some unconventional idea that piques a lot of curiosity in the minds of potential customers, then this tactic can be a great way to get your brand in front of hundreds of new customers quickly.
It must be said, however, that guerilla marketing carries certain risks, not least because you will put your brand at the forefront. So while you will be trying to attract good publicity, you might also end up drumming up some bad publicity simultaneously.
23. Mobile Marketing
According to guerrilla marketing, getting your brand in front of new customers is easier than showcasing it when they’re not expecting it.
Your business can advertise on various vehicles with static or video advertisements through mobile marketing.
There are even immersive display trucks that brands can hire for interactive customer experiences. However, hiring vehicles to display your brand name isn’t always free or inexpensive.
Nevertheless, mobile advertisements can help you reach many new potential clients in some areas with high vehicle or pedestrian traffic, so the investment is often worthwhile.
24. Take part in networking events
You must participate in networking events if you are looking to build your brand. Being part of these events forces you to step out into the business world as a business owner and face your self-doubt.
During most interactions, your company’s unique attributes and actions can usually be communicated in 20 to 30 seconds.
You’ll be polished and practiced at getting your message across by the end of an evening of networking, so you’ll be much more confident when you speak to someone about your business and how you can help them.
Also, you can make valuable connections at events such as these that can lead to future business relationships and customers for you.
25. Sponsorship opportunities for events
Many organizations seek sponsorship to raise funds for events they organize, including conferences, fairs, tournaments, competitions, and many others.
Even though business owners are unlikely to see direct conversions from running an event, for small businesses, organizing, planning, and executing events like these can be highly beneficial for developing your brand exposure and helping to increase sales.
The most important thing to consider when you’re doing this is the type of event you’re going to hold. For instance, if you sell educational children’s books, you might want to consider having a family-friendly book fair in your city if you sell these books.
You can contact various local businesses during the planning phase to raise sponsorship funding for your event. In almost any city, grocery stores, radio stations, and union halls are excellent organizations that are likely to offer sponsorships in exchange for some free publicity.
You should ensure that the type of business or industry you’re a part of is appropriate for your event idea.
Your brand will be seen as an approachable, friendly organization by those who attend your event because you’ll be actively putting on events in your community.
26. Take advantage of the trade show season
Any small business owner looking to get their foot in the door can benefit greatly from a tradeshow, which gathers industry professionals, media, and enthusiasts under one roof.
It can be extremely simple for anyone in a highly competitive industry to market and promote their business at the next tradeshow in their city. In addition, you’ll benefit from the increased brand awareness that these events provide since many industry professionals attend these events.
In addition to compelling media materials, you should bring some business cards, posters, banners, and flyers, which should always include your logo, URL, message, and social media accounts.
It’s at trade shows where you will find countless highly targeted leads for your company. Each person who walks through the doors is an interested buyer. So don’t miss out on showcasing your product at these trade shows and taking advantage of their atmosphere.
27. Partnerships with other small businesses
Building your brand by allying with other small businesses, especially indirect competitors, may appear counterproductive.
As a business, you can benefit from working with other companies and individuals in all aspects of your brand, from marketing to outreach to production and everything in between.
You can extend your market reach by doubling your exposure without putting in much additional effort by forming a joint venture with a business or a group of businesses. In this way, your company can gain access to new markets that it would not otherwise be able to access, establish credibility, and generate additional revenue for the business.
As a result of joint ventures, each company keeps its personal property, and they usually come together for a specific project or event to accomplish that project.
Thus, you can pool your resources with the strategic alliance to provide a higher level of customer service than you could alone.
28. Marketing through influencers
The term influencer has probably been thrown around a lot lately, but if you aren’t familiar with it, let’s explain what it means.
In essence, an influencer is someone who enjoys a large, active, and dedicated following on social media. They are considered experts in their field and highly trusted by their followers.
Connect with an influencer to help market your products or services if you want to build your business. To get started, look up some well-known influencers within your target market. These influencers may request free products from you in exchange for a recommendation.
Some influencers charge extremely high prices for their services, so you should be prepared to pay for longer-term, ongoing collaborations.
29. Using Pinterest for your small businesses
A unique aspect of Pinterest is that it relies solely on photographs for engagement.
In addition to the photos, users can save images or products they like to their profiles while browsing, allowing you to offer thousands of products to potential buyers anytime.
You can connect with customers if your business sells products by creating boards and pinning images of your products. Make sure they look neat and professional in high resolution, if possible.
You can broadcast your blog posts or company updates on Pinterest if you don’t have a product. You need to include photographs in your blog posts for this to work. Then, you can pin the photo to a board and write a brief post description with high-quality keywords.
30. Making cold calls to B2B firms
You’ll need to learn how to handle rejection well because it will happen often. Cold calling is an effective marketing tactic, especially if you’re trying to get new leads in your industry.
When it comes to cold calling, remember that it’s not always about what you say but what you don’t say.
It is essential to understand that cold calling is not about getting a sale but rather about setting up a meeting or making your leads interested in what you offer so that, at the very least, they will be interested in learning more about your business or brand.
You won’t have a lot of success cold calling and reciting cold hard facts from a cue card if you’re cold calling and reciting cold hard facts from a pre-written script because no one wants to hear a pre-written sales script.
Related: How To Promote Your Business Locally
Now that we’ve gone over 30 of the best ways to market your small business, it’s time for you to decide which strategies are right for you. Remember the factors we discussed when deciding: budget, target audience, and goals. And don’t forget to experiment with a few different strategies to see what works best for you.
We’d love to hear about your experiences marketing your small business – tell us about your favorite strategy in the comment section below!