Ultimate Guide to Small Business Marketing
This guide will help you build your marketing strategy and fine-tune your campaigns.
Table of Contents
What Is Small Business Marketing?
Small Business Marketing Basics: Tools and Technology
Digital Marketing Platforms
Getting Ready to Market Your Small Business
Identify Your Value Proposition, Audience, and Goals
Lock Down Your Brand Messaging Framework
Create and Launch Your Website
Content and SEO
An Overview of Marketing Channels and Activities
Visuals and Visual Content
Online Marketing Activities
Offline Marketing Activities
Relationship-Building Marketing Activities
Handling Your Marketing: Do It In-House, Hire a Consultant, or Use a Firm?
5 Common Questions About Small Business Marketing
- Which marketing is best for my small business?
Social media, email marketing, blogging — there are plenty of ways for businesses to promote themselves online. It’s important to focus on the best type of marketing to reach your target user.
Do some market research and get clear on your audience. And while you can — and should — experiment with different marketing platforms, be careful about going all in on channels where your customers don’t spend time. If your Gen Z small business customer spends their free time on TikTok, don’t pour your limited resources into local newspaper ads.
Ultimately, your best marketing strategy is what speaks directly to your users, serves them, and inspires them to make a purchase.
- What are some marketing ideas for small businesses?
You can host virtual or in-person events or social media contests in which you ask users to tag others, follow your business account, and share it for extra entries. These are just a couple of ways to expand your reach and connect with your community.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of ideas when it comes to promoting your small business.
- How can I advertise my small business?
There are a variety of paid and unpaid ways you can advertise your small business. For some hyperlocal ideas and depending on your target market, try advertising in community newspapers and Facebook groups. If it will help you reach your audience, you can sponsor local sporting events or tournaments, and place fliers and business cards in places like coffee shops that have a community bulletin board.
- How can I promote my business without spending money?
SEO is a good free or low-cost pathway. You own your website, after all, as opposed to hosting all your content on a third-party site, such as Instagram or YouTube, that could shut down tomorrow.
From a top-level view, through a combination of keyword research and best SEO practices, you can create content that both appeals to your customers and search engine bots. Good SEO and content can take time to deliver results, but it’s worth the investment.
Social media marketing is another popular option. You can record and upload business content directly from your smartphone. Use multiple channels that work together, such as a specific landing page for a specific Instagram post that has a specific call to action.
- What are some small business marketing strategies and trends?
Personalized, one-on-one (or 1-to1) marketing is a good go-to. Whether you own a brick-and-mortar shop or operate solely online, using customer data to influence customer experiences and make them as personalized as possible is an effective tactic. This can be as simple as including someone’s name in an email communication, or more involved, such as suggesting product recommendations based on their past purchases.
A survey of 1,000 adults revealed that 80% want retailers to personalize their shopping experience. Alternatively, consumers will consider going to a competitor if a business gets it wrong. When it comes to small business marketing trends, digital marketing continues to lead the way.