50 Ideas for Your 2023 Small Business Marketing Strategy

Katherine Boyarsky

Published: May 19, 2023

Whether you’re launching a new business or already have one, having a small business marketing strategy that includes a strong online presence for your brand is essential.

A woman runs her small business from her laptop

Consumers learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else, with Statista predicting the number of ecommerce users to grow to nearly 290 million by 2027 .

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If you’re a small business owner with little experience in online marketing, creating a strategy to boost your online presence may feel overwhelming. Have no fear — we’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’ll help you build and optimize your small business marketing strategy using inbound marketing , setting you up to attract new clients and ultimately grow your business.

Small Business Marketing

Marketing is meant to raise brand awareness and build a pipeline of qualified leads that turn into sales. With a small business, getting the word out can be challenging due to less visibility and lack of resources (like budget or time).

However, there are key strategies that can help you scale your small business’s marketing efforts.

Whether you’re struggling with a limited budget, the time restraints caused by a smaller team, or even a lack of direction, a marketing plan appropriate for your business can guide you as you scale.

Small Business Marketing Strategies

  • Know your audience.
  • Emphasize your value proposition.
  • Stay focused on singular goals and objectives.
  • Capitalize on short-term plays.
  • Double down on what works.
  • Understand the power of existing customers.
  • Use free promotional tools.
  • Create a website to own your online presence.
  • Consider blogging to attract prospects for your website.
  • Promote yourself on social media.
  • Collaborate with influencers to create brand awareness.
  • Create short-form video content.
  • Stick to a social media posting schedule.
  • Invest in ads.
  • Make sure you're capturing web prospects’ information.
  • Use email marketing to nurture leads.
  • Manage relationships with a CRM.
  • Lean into word of mouth as a promotion channel.
  • Connect with other local businesses.

These strategies are fundamental as you generate awareness and revenue for your organization:

1. Know your audience.

A key mistake is thinking that “anyone” is your buyer. Larger companies may be able to appeal to a wide market, but they say “the riches are in the niches” for a reason.

You’ll have the most leverage as a small business in a niche. And to develop a niche and appeal to buyers within it, you must understand their pains, problems, triggering events, and priorities.

What is pushing them to make a purchasing decision? What does it look like if they succeed? Knowing these things will help you craft messaging that resonates and makes a compelling case for your solution.

Start by thinking about your existing customers and who you’d like to work with. Then, create a buyer persona to get into your ideal client's head.


Download Free Buyer Persona Templates

2. Emphasize your value proposition.

If there’s no difference between you and your competition, there’s no reason why a buyer would be compelled to work with you.

Your value proposition is what will differentiate you from others in your space and make up your prospects’ minds that you're the provider to go with.

What do you do better than anyone in the industry? Conveying this makes a compelling argument.

3. Stay focused on singular goals and objectives.

If you’re exploring the world of marketing, you may have noticed that there are a gazillion directions you can go in. It’s tempting to do it all at once and craft a complicated machine in hopes that you covered all your bases.

However, this strategy makes it easy to take on too much.

Instead, identify where the biggest impact will be. Where is the biggest blind spot in your marketing prohibiting your growth?

Set a performance goal around that one key area and focus your resources on the activities and tactics that will achieve that one performance goal.

You can expand your efforts or pivot to other initiatives when you’ve made more progress toward that singular goal.

4. Capitalize on short-term plays.

Start scrappy. As you scale, it’s critical to see ROI sooner. This will give you the momentum and cash flow to put toward larger projects, long-term plays, and more sustainable growth models.

Tactics that take time to build (such as SEO) are poor fits for your primary initiatives because you won’t see a return soon enough for your liking. If you have enough resources to start there, great. However, don’t put all your eggs in that basket.

If you have evidence that people are taking to Google with purchasing intent for your particular solution, you may find that paid ads will give you that short-term ROI.

5. Double down on what works.

Once you have your initiatives running and you’ve experimented with a few things, pay attention to the data. This can inform you of what’s working. As you scale, it’s a good idea to double down on proven methods of generating revenue.

6. Understand the power of existing customers.

On average, acquiring a new customer costs five times more than closing an existing one. This means you shouldn’t stop marketing once they’ve made a purchase.

Identify your opportunities for repeat purchasing, upselling, and cross-selling. Because your existing customers have already made a purchase, they already know, like, and trust you.

If you’ve provided a good experience, you’ve given them a reason to do business with you again should the need ever arise.

Even if the need doesn’t arise (in cases where it’s a one-and-done purchase with no upsell opportunities), you should still delight your customers. Word of mouth is a powerful (and free) promotional tool.

7. Use free promotional tools.

Speaking of free promotional tools, it’s important to note that since you’ve committed to a limited goal and scope, there’s no need to inflate your overhead with gadgets.

Use free promotional tools where possible, and only commit to paid tools if you know they will drastically improve existing operations or performance. Here’s a helpful list of marketing tools (some free, some paid).

8. Create a website to own your online presence.

A professional-looking website is one of the most important assets you will create for your small business. This is where you will show who you are, what you offer, where you are, and how a potential customer can contact you.

It is a channel you will always own, and it has the capability of generating organic traffic in addition to being a place to send traffic from advertising and other marketing initiatives.

Your website isn’t just a simple brochure, either. You can turn it into a 24/7 salesperson by understanding how to convert traffic and turn them into leads (more on that later).

For one of the best website tools, check out HubSpot’s CMS .

marketing strategy for small scale business

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9. Consider blogging to attract prospects for your website.

Blogging is a great way to generate organic traffic, particularly for those prospects who have not reached a purchasing decision yet . In addition, it can establish credibility in your space and position you as a thought leader.

To start a blog, you can use an inexpensive or free website tool to make a free site and use one of their templates.

Even if you only publish once a week, it will improve your website’s visibility online and help educate your potential customers on why they should trust your company.

If you plan to write your posts yourself, check out this beginner’s guide to writing .

Once you start writing, you can add a call-to-action (CTAs) on your posts for visitors to subscribe to your blog and receive emails.

This is a great way to start collecting leads and offering potential customers a way to get information if they aren’t ready to buy anything from you yet.

blog post templates graphic

Download Free Blog Post Templates

10. Promote yourself on social media.

With billions of potential customers using various platforms daily, social media is a powerful business tool. Social media marketing can help you engage with potential customers, build brand awareness, and promote your products.

Why wouldn’t you want to be seen where your potential customers spend their time?

The Social Media Content Calendar Template Every Marketer Needs [Free Template]-4

Download the Free Social Media Content Calendar Template

11. Collaborate with influencers to create brand awareness.

Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are top of the list when it comes to social media platforms . But, if your small business is not yet well known on these outlets, consider collaborating with well-established influencers in your niche.

Influencer marketing is currently the top marketing trend. Collaborating with influencers is a surefire way to get your business in front of the eyes of your audience. Influencers understand their (and your!) niche.

Not only do they understand the niche, but influencers have a knack for storytelling — meaning, they’ll be able to effectively tell your business’s story and sell your brand to the appropriate audience.

Consider reaching out to influencers in your niche to add to your small business marketing strategy.

12. Create short-form video content.

Marketers know that a good marketing strategy for your small business should include more than just written content. In fact, in 2022, 44% of social media marketers focused their efforts on creating video content for TikTok.

Adding short-form video content to your marketing strategy is a great idea, as platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook make connecting and engaging with your audience convenient.

Short-form video content is easily shared, meaning you can quickly get your product or service in front of the right audience — and their friends.

13. Stick to a social media posting schedule.

You shouldn’t just post to your social media platforms hoping that something will become a viral post. Instead, you must focus on intentional content creation and posting.

After you find the social media platform that works best for your business, create a social media content calendar and stick to a regular posting schedule.

But, don’t just post every day for the sake of posting. 83% of social media marketers say it’s better to post at a lower frequency with high-quality content than daily posting.

You’ll likely post irrelevant, low-quality content when you post daily.

Take the time to create engaging, thoughtful content and schedule it for the appropriate times to stand out from the competition.

14. Invest in ads.

Organic traffic takes a while to build, and as a small business, you want to invest in short-term plays. Pay-to-play tactics that target buyers with high intent are great for short-term wins to jump-start other objectives.

80% of brands use some form of paid advertisement. Google Ads are perfect if you know that your target audience is searching the web for your product or solution. If they aren’t, you might consider social media ads instead.

Individuals on social media have less buying intent, but with highly targeted ads and enough impressions, you’ll gain the interest of your audience.


Download the Free Advertising Planning Kit

15. Make sure you’re capturing web prospects’ information.

We’ve been talking a lot about visibility and traffic but haven’t really covered how these will help drive revenue yet. One simple way to start generating leads or customers from your website is to implement a conversion tool.

A simple, free option is HubSpot Marketing Free . By using this tool to add a pop-up widget to your website , you can start collecting the email addresses of potential customers.

From there, you can send out promotions and offers and convert them into paying customers. You can also implement any of these 24 conversion tools to help you optimize your website and use it to drive leads.

16. Use email marketing to nurture leads.

Just because you’ve converted website traffic into leads doesn’t mean those leads are ready to buy yet. It’s important to stay top of mind and move them closer to a purchasing decision.

Email marketing is a critical part of your marketing toolkit, and it is the most effective method of marketing. In fact, 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.

This strategy is an easy, free, and scalable way to communicate with both new and existing customers.

Once you have an email marketing tool in place (many are inexpensive or even free), experiment with emailing out newsletters (with your sleek new blog posts) and other promotions to your database.

We know small business owners don’t have tons of free time to devote to digital marketing, so consider using marketing automation to make this process even easier for yourself.

To get started planning your email marketing strategy, check out this guide and template from HubSpot .

17. Manage relationships with a CRM.

Email marketing works best when you’re sending personalized, targeted emails. This begins with a customer database or customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Your CRM stores information about your leads, prospects, and customers so that you can keep track of customer interactions and identify sales opportunities more effectively.

HubSpot has one of the best CRMs (and, best of all, it’s totally free).

18. Lean into word of mouth as a promotion channel.

As mentioned previously, delighting customers can have a big impact on your business, primarily in repeat purchases and word of mouth.

If you provide a great experience, your customers will be more inclined to leave reviews, give testimonials, and tell their friends about you.

That’s why measuring customer satisfaction and encouraging customers to spread the word is a good idea.

19. Connect with other local businesses.

Take your business to the local community and connect with other local business owners in your area. Consider partnering with local businesses to create discounts, deals, or coupons for customers.

Start a live stream with local business owners during a promotional event or coordinate a giveaway.

Connecting with other small businesses is both great for word of mouth and collaboration. If you collaborate with other local businesses, advertise the promotion or sale on your social media outlets.

Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are tips for improving whichever marketing strategies you choose.

  • Determine your brand's identity.
  • Identify your buyer persona.
  • Design a logo and other assets.
  • Build your website with a CMS template.
  • Draw up a go-to-market strategy.
  • Hire a freelancer to help you scale your content.
  • Consult agencies and freelancers for web design help.
  • Track your site with analytics tools.
  • Boost your Google ranking with SEO.
  • Research keyword opportunities.
  • Optimize your website for mobile devices.
  • Write optimized blog posts.
  • Experiment with photo and video content.
  • Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp.
  • Build out your social media strategy.
  • Use social media for customer service.
  • Build interesting landing pages.
  • Plan an email marketing strategy.
  • Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages.
  • Share your distribution channels on your website.
  • Offer a free webinar.
  • Try co-marketing.
  • Encourage happy customers to share their experiences.
  • Try out marketing experiments.

1. Determine your brand’s identity.

A consistent brand identity to promote your business will make you look more professional and help you attract new customers. According to a 2020 study, nearly 9 out of 10 people are brand loyal .

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has described a company’s branding as “what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

In other words, your brand is people's feelings and emotions when hearing your company name. It combines your brand name, logo, aesthetic, and the design of all your assets, plus the values you support, which is becoming more important to consumers .

2. Identify your buyer persona.

When you imagine a customer searching for your product or service, what are they like? What are their pain points? What is their job? Creating a buyer persona that tells the story of your ideal customer can help you optimize a website for them.

By learning more about your target customer through creating a buyer persona, you can better figure out what types of things they may be searching for so you can include those terms on your website.

3. Design a logo and other assets.

To start getting the creative juices flowing, consider your color scheme and peruse palettes with Adobe Color or Coolors . You can create your own or look through pre-made or customized color palettes.

To create a logo, I’d recommend checking out Upwork or Freelancer .

There are free and less expensive options for designing your own logo online, although using a freelancer or agency can give you a higher quality product and connect you with a designer who can change and update your brand assets as your company grows.

4. Build your website with a CMS template.

If you’re a tech-savvy small business owner, you’ll probably want to build your own website. A content management system (CMS) makes the process simple.

Most CMSs offer customizable templates for your site that you can get for free or for a small fee. There are templates for various skill levels — from beginner all the way to advanced.

Once you’ve created your website, most CMS platforms offer plugins to help you optimize your content for search (look for SEO plugins). This will help you rank better in Google — which we’ll discuss more in-depth in a bit.

5. Draw up a go-to-market strategy.

Once you’ve activated all the tools you need to promote your product or service, you’ll need to create a promotional plan that aligns with the customer journey.

Consider which content will attract, engage, and delight your prospects and how you will convert them into a customer.

To help you plan out this process, use this template.

6. Hire a freelancer to help you scale your content.

If you need help creating regular blogs or promotional content, consider hiring a freelancer over investing in a full-timer. Try Upwork for a freelance blogger, videographer, or photographer.

You could also consider hiring a marketing agency for a larger project.

7. Consult agencies or freelancers for web design help.

If you aren’t technical and want a website built for your small business, you can use a freelancer or a marketing agency specializing in web design.

This is a great option for businesses with an existing website that needs to be updated and revamped for SEO to help improve your Google ranking.

To find a freelancer or marketing consultant in your area, you can use Upwork (filtering by design/creative), Codeable (for WordPress experts), or Freelancer .

8. Track your site with analytics tools.

If you’ve never made a website and aren’t entirely comfortable with the technical elements, many free tools and services can help you get started.

When you create your website, implement Google Analytics or HubSpot Marketing Free (both of which are free products) so you can easily track who’s looking at your site.

9. Boost your Google ranking with SEO.

If you already have a business, have you ever searched for yourself or your product/service online? If so, did you think, “Why isn’t my website showing up on Google?”

If so, you probably thought, “How do I rank on Google?” or “How can I improve my Google ranking?”

There are a lot of factors that play into why a certain site or page appears in the top spots on the Google (or another search engine) search engine results page ( SERP ).

Backlinko reports some of Google’s top factors, which include having relevant keywords (and their placement on your site), the length of your content, having high-quality content, how fast your page loads, how often you post content, and more.

When it all boils down, Google tries to find the best content to present to the person searching.

For example, if I’m searching for the best salon in Newport, Rhode Island, it wouldn’t be helpful for me to find a web page of a salon that has closed down and is located in Newport, Kentucky.

It would, however, be helpful for me to find a salon in my area with great Yelp reviews, an easy-to-navigate website, and contact information readily available.

Google always wants to surface the most relevant, highest-quality piece of content.

To rank higher on Google, you can leverage the power of SEO . To start learning everything there is to know about this powerhouse marketing tactic, check out The Ultimate Guide to SEO.

HubSpot explains SEO as “techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

This makes your website more visible to people looking for solutions that your brand, product, or service can provide via search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.”

In other words, it’s the basic concept of structuring your website and blog posts to be in the best shape for appearing first on search engines.

SEO strategy usually consists of a few things. These include buyer persona research , keyword research, and on-page SEO research.

These three areas can help you learn how your target market is searching online and position your business to get discovered by the right people.

10. Research keywords opportunities.

Keyword research is an extension of buyer persona research. You can use the personas you’ve created to search for the best keywords for your brand, then use a tool like KW Finder to find related keywords for your target audience.

Then, you can do some on-page SEO research and optimization. This is where you put those keywords in the correct places on your website — like in the meta description, page titles, and H1 tags.

11. Optimize your website for mobile devices.

Most Google searches are done on mobile devices , so it’s important to have a site that looks clean and is easy to navigate when someone enters it on their smartphone.

A mobile site can also be beneficial for SEO, with search engines like Google, which reward you with a higher ranking if you have a mobile site.

You don’t have to be a tech expert to build a site that looks good on mobile. In fact, most CMS platforms like HubSpot already offer mobile-optimized templates.

12. Write optimized blog posts.

Content and blogging are extremely important for your search engine ranking. The more often your desired keywords appear in your high-quality and helpful content, the more likely you are to appear in search results.

A great way to become an authority on your topic, product, or service is to blog.

Make sure you’re writing with SEO in mind — use these SEO tips for bloggers or leverage a WordPress plugin like Yoast .

13. Experiment with photo and video content.

According to HubSpot Research , more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands. Additionally, most social media apps, like Facebook and Instagram, are embracing more visual layouts.

To keep up with these trends, it’s a good idea to make a few marketing videos. If you use these tips , producing a few can be quite inexpensive.

14. Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp.

If your business is focused on a local area, the most important accounts for you are Facebook, Yelp, and Google’s business feature.

Having high Yelp reviews improves your authority online and helps your search ranking. You can claim your business on Yelp for free, customize your profile, add pictures, and ask for reviews.

The same thing goes for registering your Google business page. You can register your business with Google (for free) and add pictures.

If you’ve ever searched for your business in Google Maps and been disappointed not to see it, it’s because you haven’t claimed it yet!

On Facebook, you can create a Facebook business page so that people can find your location and hours.

For any business, having up-to-date social media accounts will help you be found and engage with prospects.

Create a Twitter account , Facebook page , learn how to use Instagram , create a Pinterest page (if relevant), and use them to discover new clients.

15. Build out your social media strategy.

While Facebook and Yelp will be great tools for local searches and reviews, platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter will offer you even more opportunities to share your posts, content, and promotions.

If your customers can purchase your products or services online, these platforms will also give them another way to find you.

Be sure not to spread yourself too thin by joining too many platforms at once. To make strategizing easier, here’s a guide to the five types of social media platforms and the pros and cons of each.

16. Use social media for customer service.

Once you’re on your chosen platforms, be sure to answer customer or follower questions when they ask them through post comments or direct messages. This will make your company look responsive and credible.

Here are some great examples of how brands have used Twitter for customer service.

If you have the means, consider hiring a social media manager with community management experience.

On top of posting content on a regular schedule, community managers are charged with responding to questions or concerns of followers.

Interested? We published a guide on what it takes to be a great social media community manager.

17. Build interesting landing pages.

A landing page offers your potential customers a free resource in exchange for filling out a short contact information form.

When they receive the resource, they might be even more pleased by your company and more interested in buying the full product.

Because landing pages raise your chances of customer conversion, you want yours to look enticing. To get started, read this landing page guide to learn more about what makes this strategy successful.

Then check out these free and professionally designed templates .

18. Plan an email marketing strategy.

Once you start creating regular content and building out landing pages, you’ll want to share them with the prospects who seem most interested in learning more about your product.

For this reason, we suggest building an email marketing strategy.

While you want to be careful not to bombard those who sign up for your email list with too many emails, you want to send just enough to keep your prospects informed and engaged.

Here’s how our metrics improved when we streamlined our email marketing strategy.

If you’ve never sent regular newsletters before, you can use HubSpot or a number of other affordable tools to create and send an email with a professionally designed template.

Many email tools also offer basic analytics that allow you to track open and click rates.

19. Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages.

Placing a coupon in your marketing emails can engage and delight your audience. After buying a product or service at a discounted rate, they might also be more willing to pay full price.

If you have a subscription service, offering prospects a code for a free trial can also be helpful so they can test it out.

20. Share your distribution channels on your website.

Once you have a few social media accounts and a newsletter, connect them to your website so your visitors can follow you.

One way companies do this is to display all of their linked social icons and a newsletter sign-up CTA on all pages of your website. A good place to include these is on the top right corner or the footer of each page.

This way, they’re visible but aren’t distracting from any content.

21. Offer a free webinar.

A webinar allows potential customers to sign up for a short online course hosted by you. These courses are usually between 30 minutes to an hour and allow you to give tips and answer questions related to a topic your brand is familiar with.

While this strategy can help you boost your credibility in your field, it can also offer you potential leads and sales opportunities .

22. Try co-marketing.

Is there a local business in your area that isn’t a direct competitor but offers a product or service to a similar target audience?

Consider working with them on a cobranded campaign where you promote each other on social media, via email, or in your blog.

While you’ll give your partnering company added promotion, it will also allow their fanbase to learn more about you.

23. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences.

When a happy customer talks about how great your company is on social media or a review site, your product or service looks like a good investment.

Even on social media, word of mouth is still a huge factor in someone’s purchasing decision .

If a prospect sees a friend raving about your business on Facebook or if they post a photo of a meal from your restaurant on Instagram, they might be more likely to go.

After all, 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals .

If customers tell you they love your product, encourage them to share the experience on Yelp, Google, or social.

If you have a physical business, you should place signs up with your account handles so customers know who to tag if they post a picture of your product.

24. Try out marketing experiments.

If you’re interested in a new social platform or a new marketing trend, don’t be afraid to experiment. If an experiment goes well, you could be ahead of the game, and it never hurts to be a thought leader in your industry.

When you experiment with a new marketing strategy, have a solid hypothesis or question in mind. This will keep you focused on the end goal and reduce the desire to chase the next big thing as it comes along.

Also, prepare for your next steps if you get good or bad results. Here’s a quick guide to leading a successful marketing experiment.

Small Business Advertising Ideas

Now that we’ve covered some marketing strategy basics, let’s look into how you can put your advertising dollars to work. Below are some ways to tackle advertising for small businesses.

  • Set up Google My Business.
  • Consider PPC ads with Google & Bing.
  • Run social media ads.
  • Sponsor products on Etsy & Amazon.
  • Leverage user-generated content.
  • Develop a referral program.
  • Advertise with your local chamber of commerce.

1. Set up Google My Business.

Creating a free Google My Business profile is a simple first step to helping potential customers find your business. It only takes a few minutes to add your business contact information, business hours, photos, and a list of your services.

Another perk of having a Google business profile is that you don’t need a storefront to create one. Your profile also comes with analytics that can help you better understand how customers are connecting with your business.

Additionally, you can check out and respond to customer reviews and learn what keywords brought them to your business page.

2. Consider PPC ads with Google & Bing.

Using pay-per-click (PPC) ad programs like Google Adwords or Microsoft Advertising can also help drive customers to your business. If you’re working hard on SEO, but are still looking for an extra boost, consider PPC advertising.

With this search engine marketing technique, you use Google AdWords or Microsoft Ads to show up as an advertised listing in search results.

Before you dive into PPC, you’ll want to make sure your landing page is as optimized as possible. If you are paying by the click and those who click on the page don’t convert, you will lose advertising dollars.

To help you get started, read this Ultimate Guide to PPC . Then, use this PPC planning template to create an optimized campaign. You can also use a few handy tools and software to edit, track, and report on your campaigns.

3. Run social media ads.

Most major social media platforms offer affordable advertising options that can help you target your posts to a specific audience.

While many small businesses have been advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for years, Instagram now allows brands to advertise through its Shoppable tool .

Pinterest is also an excellent option for small businesses to advertise. In fact, Pinterest users say the platform has more influence on their purchasing journey than other platforms.

Shopping ads on Pinterst drive three times the conversion of other competing platforms.

4. Sponsor products on Etsy & Amazon.

If you’ve already set up shop on Amazon, you can boost your products by participating in their sponsored products program.

This cost-per-click ad program generates ads from your product listings and automatically targets your ads, making it a great option if you’ve never created a campaign before.

If you’re a maker and sell your wares on Etsy, consider using Etsy Ads to advertise your products. Similar to Amazon, this is a cost-per-click model with a default minimum daily budget of one dollar.

With Etsy Ads, your products will stand out in Etsy Search, category pages, and marketing pages.

5. Leverage user-generated content.

Some of the best advertising you can get is from existing customers. Happy customers can vouch for your brand and add social proof to your marketing campaigns.

Ask your customers to leave reviews, or if they’ve already created content on social media involving your brand, ask permission to share it.

6. Develop a referral program.

Speaking of enlisting the help of your existing customers, you can incentivize them by using a referral program . Offer a discount, free gift, or other perk in exchange for them bringing in new customers.

Referred customers are 18% more loyal than those who aren’t and spend 13% more on purchases. Since these new customers will have been referred to you by someone they know, they’re more likely to have a positive customer experience.

7. Advertise with your local chamber of commerce.

If you have a storefront, advertise with your local chamber of commerce.

Each city is different, but you can typically be featured on their website, promoted on their social media channels, and included in their email newsletter for an annual fee.

It’s a great way to get your brand out there and an excellent opportunity to network with fellow small business owners.

Start Marketing Your Business Today

Small business owners looking for a way to track ROI and brand awareness need digital marketing.

Not only is digital marketing a must-have for promoting your products or services, but optimizing your online assets is also critical to your business’ overall success.

You may have a long road ahead to build your online presence, but any steps you can make will have a huge impact on your business.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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What is a Marketing Plan & How to Write One [+Examples]

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Technical Marketing: Best Practices and Career Tips

Technical Marketing: Best Practices and Career Tips

6-Step Checklist to Create a Scalable Marketing Plan for Small Business

6-Step Checklist to Create a Scalable Marketing Plan for Small Business

Startups are regarded as some of the best workplaces to work at.

Small (but incredibly close) teams, working tirelessly to make your idea a reality—the whole shebang. Even the smallest victory makes you feel like a Fortune 500 firm, bringing you one step closer to “making it”.

While this may be a somewhat romanticized version of how you got started, here’s a reality check:

  • 20% of small businesses fail in their first year
  • 30% in their second year
  • 50% after five years in business
  • 70% in their 10th year in business

There’s no denying that establishing a business is a one-of-a-kind experience but you’ve to identify and plan for when it’s time to expand.

Scaling your business in the right direction can help prevent the doomsday often observed by small businesses.

Everything in your business must expand for it to thrive. Scaling your sales and marketing will be important if your organization intends to handle an increased and developing load.

This article will take you through actions to better equip the people who drive your company’s scalability. So, gear up for some basic yet effective marketing plan for small businesses.

How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your Small Business

1. perform thorough market research.

Most small businesses perform market research before launching their company to identify the scope of their venture. However very few continue the process fervently once the business takes off.

Thorough market research acts as the baseline to make informed decisions about the marketing plans , operations and potential target audience.

When you gather data about the consumer and other companies systematically, you can better understand what that group of potential consumers needs through quick analysis.

Ongoing research can keep you up to date about the industry shifts, latest legislative trends, and ever-changing consumer preferences. This turns out to be a scalable operation as you can shape the efforts and resources whenever the focus needs to be in the present scenario.

Thorough market research can help businesses run more efficiently and market more effectively through two types of data.

  • Primary: This is the first-hand information you collect yourself . Primary data can also be collected with the help of a market research firm.
  • Secondary: You can find secondary data through pre-existing information. For example, keeping a tab on relevant data shared in government or industry reports.

2. Allocate Marketing Budget

Ahead of allocating a marketing budget, etch out the total finances available for spending. This will be a critical component in determining the size of your marketing budget. Assigning a proper budget is the initial component of your research for developing a scalable marketing strategy .

Marketing often accounts for 7-10% of a company’s total income . If you’re a new company or want to focus on rapid expansion, you can invest a higher amount—up to 20% .


This information can be obtained through a variety of methods, including one-on-one interviews, in-app micro surveys, email questionnaires, customer success teams , and others as observed in the next segment.

Interesting read: 9 Small Budget Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business

3. Carve the User Persona

As you can never completely understand what the customers exactly want, these personas help understand them a little better by building on your research data and passing on that information reliably.

A buyer persona proves to be an ideal way to answer several marketing questions. A few examples include:

  • What makes your target audience tick?
  • What is their usual thought process and mindset?
  • How do they express their opinions?

The result will help you create relatable content that will draw your potential customer’s attention and expand the product vertical or services as per their specific needs.

Another advantage of etching out buyer persona is that you can communicate uniform insights to partners, employees and everyone involved in the process. Here’s how it makes scalable marketing possible for small businesses.

  • Your small business is most probably outsourcing tasks such as content creation, and web development. Such external partners need the necessary information to bring forth a goal-oriented and customer-centric asset.
  • The way you collect data from real customers differs from the big companies as your resources are limited.
  • Your company’s relationship with the customers is more intimate and intricate than large corporations.

4. Identify User Journey Touchpoints

Once you have identified your user’s needs and traits through market research and buyer persona , it is only fit to figure out their journey with your small business.

While identifying their journey, look out for essential customer touchpoints. These are your brand’s opportunities for customer contact from start to finish of the journey .

In case you are worried about missing touchpoints, try placing yourself in the customer’s shoes while strategizing. An omnichannel strategy will help recognise a plethora of ways for the customers to experience your brand.


Small businesses with effective omnichannel presence tend to impact major touchpoints resulting in 10% year-over-year growth , a 10% rise in average order value, and a 25% increase in close rates.

5. Optimize the Content Marketing Funnel

A content marketing funnel is a method that converts as many leads as possible into actual consumers who pay for your products or services by guiding them via a step-by-step content flow.

Consider the wide top of a funnel. This is where a huge number of individuals may learn about your products or services. All of these individuals are leads or potential customers.

Many will drop off as they pass through your funnel into the much-tapered neck. Finally, only a small percentage of leads will make it to the bottom of the funnel and become customers.

A scalable content marketing funnel isn’t about making a single purchase. An efficient funnel takes your finest clients to replenish the funnel’s top . It’s a cyclical method that generates goodwill and confidence through time, rather than in linear progression.

cyclical method

6. Build Repeatable Marketing Workflows

Efficiency is the key to scalability. Your firm becomes more lucrative and can uncover new areas for possible expansion and diversification. This leads to meeting greater demand with the same or fewer resources .

Efficiencies, on the other hand, do not appear on their own.

You and your team must construct them using wiser techniques and useful technologies. When done correctly, you may create repeatable marketing workflows to aid in the acquisition, nurturing, qualification, and sales.

Obtaining Leads: Manage all inbound and outbound marketing activities from a single platform to attract and acquire new leads. Marketing automation helps you to boost SEO to attract high-intent visitors, create and optimize landing pages and conversions, and also manage all of your social media efforts .

Nurturing Leads: You can better identify each contact’s place in the buying journey and automatically segment them into relevant campaigns with personalized messages. You can continue to track their involvement and easily change your strategy as needed.

Sales Enablement and Lead Qualification: Marketers can use a good scoring system to automate the lead qualification process, improving existing nurturing and providing your sales team with transparent and complete data into contract-specific journeys.

Ready to Scale?

One of the best aspects of creating a scalable marketing plan for your small business is that there is always room for growth. Although your campaigns are automated, you can make regular changes to them.

The magic elixir in this case is testing.

Everything from email subject lines to paid search headlines should be A/B tested and the results should be continuously monitored.

Marketing automation’s precise insights into performance can help you understand what’s working, what isn’t, and how and where you can improve.

Speaking of automation, do include SocialPilot in your marketing mix—a handy tool that will take care of your social media marketing. Use its scheduling posts in advance feature to scheduled reports to save on your time.

Try it for free now!

Frequently Asked Questions

🌟 How to scale a small business?

Scaling a business, small or big, is always a challenging endeavor. First and foremost you have to think big and plan accordingly. You can take the following steps for the successful scaling of your small business.

  • Etch out the scope and future plans for your business.
  • Do not refrain from investing in new technologies for your team.
  • Implement through marketing and sales strategies.
  • Always aim to standardize the processes while leaving room for creativity.

🌟 How to create a marketing plan for a small business?

You can create an efficient marketing plan through the following steps:

  • Perform Thorough Market Research
  • Allocate a Marketing Budget
  • Carve the User Persona
  • Identify User Journey Touchpoints
  • Optimize the Content Marketing Funnel
  • Build Repeatable Marketing Workflows

🌟 What are the best tools for small business marketing?

Here are the most useful tools for small business marketing:

  • Google Analytics : To analyze and track customer data
  • SocialPilot : For a seamless social media marketing
  • Survey Monkey : For lead generation through surveys
  • Mailchimp : For effective email marketing strategies

🌟 What is a marketing funnel?

The marketing funnel represents the journey of converting leads into customers. This journey has several different stages. The main marketing stages are: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.

🌟 What are the types of marketing for a small business?

Marketing branches out into numerous different subcategories. When it comes to small business marketing you have to make sure you implement the following types of marketing strategies to your campaign:

  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer marketing

About the Author

Picture of Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson is Digital Marketing Manager at PACK & SEND , a 25+ years old and respected brand in ecommerce, logistics, and freight delivery solutions. Tim has 20 years of combined experience in sales and marketing.

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The Ultimate Guide to Small-Business Marketing

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Creating a small-business marketing strategy can help you reach, develop and maintain relationships with your customers. Online marketing — including a business website, social media profiles and email campaigns — can help a small business reach a larger audience. Traditional marketing tactics such as print ads, billboards and flyers, as well as “experiential” workshops and pop-up events that allow customers to experience your products and brand, can help broaden your outreach.

Your marketing strategy will depend on your goals, customer base, market niche, budget and personal preferences. Here’s how to get started.

Define your marketing goals

First, decide what you want to accomplish with your marketing campaign and how it can help you reach your business goals. Identify your unique selling proposition, or USP. This is what makes your business stand out from its competitors and should be highlighted in your marketing materials.

The business plan you developed when starting your small business can be a valuable resource as you build out your marketing strategies. Chances are you’ve already done some of the legwork by conducting market research and outlining a plan for the marketing and sale of your products or services.

Use numbers (e.g., website visitors, leads generated, customers gained or revenue grown) when defining your marketing goals so you can more easily track and measure your results, and ultimately evaluate success.

While each business will have its own marketing objectives, here are a few metrics you may want to measure:

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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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 strategy for small scale business

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.


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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How to create a small business marketing strategy, what you need to know when implementing a successful marketing strategy..

As a small business owner, you already know that you need a strong marketing plan — but you may not know how to go about creating an effective strategy. Should you stick with your tried-and-true marketing strategies, or mix it up with a new approach? How do you go about selecting and building a marketing strategy that works for your small business when there are dozens of options?

Here is what you need to know to create and implement a successful marketing strategy for your small business.

How to make a success of your first steps with a CRM?

Experiment, evaluate and scale your small business marketing budget.

Building a marketing strategy for a small business can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to your online marketing options. There are many different methods and hundreds of articles all claiming to know the ‘most effective’ strategy.

The truth is that your small business’s best marketing strategy depends on your specific audience and your business model.

Before discussing how to choose the right strategy for your business, let’s look at six of the best small business marketing tools.

6 Small Business Marketing Tools

Email Marketing

Social media.

Social media marketing  can help your small business reach thousands of customers and prospective customers. However, many small businesses marketers are overwhelmed by the number of different platforms. Should you be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter?

Rather than trying to be active on every platform, find one or two platforms where your customers are most active and focus there. Share informative, helpful posts related to your industry — not just product content meant to drive sales.

Content Marketing

What Small Businesses Need to Know About Content Marketing

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

Referral marketing, event marketing.

Event marketing  is an experience-based marketing strategy where brands promote their business through in-person or digital events such as classes, conferences or happy-hour events. Connecting with people in person or at events can create a stronger bond that can be leveraged to drive sales, increase brand trust and build brand awareness.

Now that we’ve covered some core marketing strategies for small businesses, let’s talk about how to figure out which marketing strategy will be successful for your brand.

Create a marketing strategy for your small business.

5 Steps to Create a Marketing Strategy for a Small Business

Step 1: Where Do You Stand?

Step 2: outline your ideal target audience.

Who is your main audience? Whom do you want to target? Many small business owners assume their current audience is their ideal audience, which isn't always the case.

Start by asking what problem your product solves and then outline who is most likely to need that solution. Then compare that audience to your current customer base. You may find your current audience is not the best one for your product. Performing market research may provide additional insights into the identity of your ideal audience — and thus your target customers.

Step 3: What Budget and Resources are Available?

Small businesses do not have unlimited resources and must be careful about where they focus attention and resources. Spending £100,000 on PPC and a billboard campaign might bring in a lot of customers, but it's unlikely to fit into a small business’s marketing budget.

Write down your monthly marketing budget and consider what resources you have available, such as a marketing platform. Include the amount of cash you can spend specifically on marketing initiatives and the internal resources you can rely on, such as an email list or an employee with social media marketing experience.

Step 4: Find the Lowest-Hanging Fruit

Now that you understand where you stand, whom you want to target and your available resources, it is time to figure out which of the strategies from the first section are easiest to implement.

For example, if your company has a dedicated  social media following , a target audience between the ages of 20 and 35 and a low monthly budget, then referral marketing may be the best choice. It requires little upfront investment and can magnify the power of a dedicated fan base. On the other hand, if you have a strong email list but haven’t been sending regular  email campaigns , it may be time to invest in an email marketing course to make better use of your list.

Once you’ve settled on a strategy, outline your goals. Do you want to drive sales of a specific product, increase website traffic or increase brand awareness? Goals should be specific, such as, ‘Increase sales of X product by 20% in the next three months’.

Step 5: Test Your Strategies

As a small business owner, you likely have a lot on your plate. It can be time-consuming to spend money and resources on a new marketing strategy, only to find out it isn’t as effective as you’d hoped.

Rather than getting frustrated, focus on testing different approaches. If your content marketing isn’t driving conversions, do some research to find out if the content is useful to your target audience and where they are in the buying process. If email marketing isn’t increasing  sales-qualified leads (SQL) , conduct A/B tests: try different subject lines, reword your call to action (CTA) or send emails at different times of the day.

Start small and grow.

The right small business marketing strategy can make a major difference in your small business's success. While there are many ways to go about marketing your products and services, the strategies above tend to be the most effective for small businesses. Start by choosing one or two strategies and then test to find out what works well for your company.

If you need help building a strong foundation for your small business’s digital marketing strategy, check out our latest State of Marketing Report

8,200 marketers weighed in on what’s working — and what’s not in the State of Marketing report.

Small business marketing faqs, what is small business marketing strategy.

Small business marketing strategy is a combination of tactics used by SMEs to market their products and/or services.

What are some small business marketing tactics?

Here are 6 marketing tactics:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  •  Pay-per-click (PPC)
  •  Referral marketing
  •  Event marketing.

How do I market my small business?

  • Evaluate where you stand in your current strategy
  • Outline your ideal target audience
  • Determine your marketing budget
  • Find the lowest-hanging fruit
  • Test your strategies

More Resources

learn more about state of service

How to Attract Customers to Your Small Business

How to Create a Small Business Marketing Strategy

How to Conduct Market Research for Your Startup or Small Business

How to Create a Small Business Marketing Strategy

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Your Guide to Small Business Marketing (+ Real Life Example)

Learn how to market your small business with this step-by-step overview.

[Featured image] Two women and two men sit at a conference table discussing business marketing.

As a small business owner, the path to success requires connecting your product or service to the right customers. There are a number of marketing channels you can use to reach different audiences, but before you begin messaging, it's worthwhile first to take a few foundational steps.

Marketing should be part of a holistic business strategy that brings greater visibility to your brand and gets people excited about your products or services. Marketing your small business does not need to be complicated to be effective. In this article, we'll go over the steps you can take to set up your business marketing for success.

How to market your small business

When marketing your small business , you should ultimately aim to communicate your value. You'll likely end up doing this in two ways: by communicating the value of your company's product or service, and by communicating the value of your brand.

Both of these kinds of messaging will help you remain competitive over time. However, before you begin communicating anything, it's worthwhile to go through some formative steps to help you define aspects of the larger market in which your company will be situated.

Small business example: Terracotta

Across the steps that follow, we'll use a fictional company called Terracotta , a small ceramics business based in Los Angeles, to provide more concrete examples. Let's dive in.

1. Begin with the four Ps.

A marketing strategy is a long-term vision that defines the value of your product or service. To understand what your value is, begin by outlining the four Ps , which is a marketing mix that looks at four essential components: product, price, place, and promotion.

Answer the following questions:

Product: What do you sell?

Price: What do you charge?

Place: Where do you sell it?

Promotion: What, if any, messaging have you done to convey its value?

Terracotta’s four Ps

As the owner of Terracotta, you offer a product because you sell handmade pottery bowls in the Greater Los Angeles area. You recently launched, so your customers have been friends, word-of-mouth consumers, and people who found your shop when passing by. You’ve created a brand logo and website, and you've acquired social media handles, but have done no actual promotion.

2. Conduct a market analysis.

A market analysis is an opportunity to define your target audience as well as the larger competitive landscape your product will be situated in, among other pieces of information. Both of these primary factors will lead you to develop more specific marketing efforts.

Target market

Your target market will be the groups of potential customers that your goods will most resonate with. You may want to conduct surveys or interviews or use marketing analytics tools to "listen" and understand their unique needs.

Once you have this information, it's a good idea to segment these groups by demographics (age, gender, marital status, education, and income) and psychographics (lifestyle, hobbies, and interests).

After you segment your audience, create personas for each group. These are fictionalized representations of your ideal customers and can help you market to them more specifically by addressing their needs and desires.

Learn more: What is a Niche Market? And How to Reach One

Terracotta’s target audience

Females between 25 and 55 years old who enjoy spending time bonding over an activity, like making pottery or shopping. Salary ranging from $50,000 to $95,000. Lives in Los Angeles or is a tourist. Attended college or university.

Buyer persona 1 : Fran is 27 years old and enjoys supporting ethical, sustainable brands. She loves plants and enjoys decorating her studio apartment. Fran has bought several Terracotta bowls and is considering taking up pottery as a hobby.

Buyer persona 2: Callie is a 43-year-old mother of three. She lives in Manhattan Beach with her family and works from home. She does yoga and pilates three times a week. When shopping downtown, she enjoys picking up a few specialty items for herself or friends.


After defining who you’re selling to, it's important to do a competitor analysis to differentiate your product or service from other businesses that exist in the market.

You can find competitors by conducting an online search to see what companies sell similar products in your area. Make a list of your five main competitors and spend time looking at their branding and messaging. How do they convey their value? Now, look at your product or service. What are your strengths and weaknesses compared to these other businesses? What makes your product unique? How does your pricing strategy compare?

Whether it is customer service, quality products, location, or price point, identify what makes your business special, and use this to position your brand.

Terracotta’s competitors 

With Terracotta , your main competitors in Los Angeles are numerous craft brands that sell handmade ceramic bowls. The differentiating factor is that your bowls and vases have a natural brown-orange color and are sold unglazed. The brand’s ethos relies on these earthy imperfections, so the price point is slightly lower than other craft brands.

3. Devise your business' marketing strategy.

Now it’s time to develop your marketing strategy. The marketing strategy you develop will depend on your unique needs, your marketing budget, and your audience.

There are many types of marketing to choose from, such as traditional (print, advertising); digital ( social media , content , email , and SEO ); event, influencer , and guerrilla . You will likely work with a few different types of marketing, rather than choose one and pursue it exclusively.

Considering your target audience and your competitors, which channels make the most sense to focus on? For example, if your audience is highly active on social media, then developing a robust presence on Instagram and Facebook might make sense, or if you learn that your audience listens to a lot of local radio, placing a spot with local stations might be a good idea.

Learn more: How to Get Started with Inbound Marketing

Small business marketing strategies in action

Let’s take a closer look at what strategies might work for brick-and-mortar, online, and hybrid small businesses: 

Brick and mortar: Strategies should be location-based for businesses that sell products and services in a physical shop. You might choose from a combination of the following: 

Paper flyers at local businesses

Social media platforms (including Facebook, Instagram, Google Maps, and Yelp) for promotions, updates, and ads (targeted by location to reach customers passing by)

Signage and displays

In-store and local events

Content marketing (local neighborhood guides and partnership opportunities)

Online: Online businesses can take advantage of the many types of digital marketing available today to drive traffic and convert it into sales.

Marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, and eBay, in addition to your website

Social media and sponsored ads (targeted by interest)

Content marketing (blogs and videos to drive SEO traffic)

Hybrid: Small businesses can select from both strategies, using a tailored combination that works for their offering and audience.

Small business marketing venn diagram showing brick and mortar, online business, and hybrid.

Terracotta’s strategy

As a brick-and-mortar business, you create a strategy for Terracotta that involves a combination of in-person and online marketing:

• Official launch event

• Weekly Instagram posts and daily stories featuring new products

• Paid Instagram advertising (sponsored ads)

• Booth at local craft shows, farmer’s markets, and festivals

• Etsy shop

• Media features from select publications

4. Create a marketing plan.

A marketing plan is how you will go about enacting the marketing strategy you've created, such as hiring a social media intern, working with local contractors to develop blog content, and the timeline for your marketing campaigns.

It helps to figure out which channels you'd like to focus on. Understanding those factors will determine the plan you eventually put in place.

Terracotta’s marketing plan

For Terracotta, you created a Google marketing calendar with different colors for each part of the plan. You hired a full-time intern to help with event planning and digital marketing and help out in the store.

You are in charge of measuring impact and tracking sales. After three months, you compare the percentage of monthly sales to refine the strategy and plan.

5. Review your efforts.

Marketing doesn't end once your messaging is out in the world. It's important to monitor how potential and current customers receive and respond to that messaging, as well as your return on investment (ROI).

ROI explains how the efforts you've made have paid off. If your marketing efforts increase sales, that can be a good indication that you've successfully conveyed your value. However, if you find that's not the case, you will likely need to adjust your marketing strategy and marketing plan.

It's important to use analytical marketing technology (MarTech) to track and monitor how things are going. Data is a big part of marketing now, and different software applications can tell you what's working and what's not so you can adjust your strategy.

Learn more about marketing

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Business growth

Business tips

Start small: Getting your first customers through small-scale marketing tactics

Hero image of a dog licking Cooper's Treats

Of course, even if you're braver than I, you may well decide to start with those major, digital advertising platforms anyway. There are good reasons to do so: they have immensely powerful targeting abilities and huge audiences that make it easy to scale your advertising as your business grows.

Ultimately, though, I think there's a better way for most businesses to start out: small.

As you scale your small business marketing, take a look at these 4 ways to use marketing automation to grow your business .

Why start small?

Small scale marketing is personal, and people like personal. They increasingly want to support small businesses over giant behemoths. They want to know who's behind the products they buy and what drives them. 

I got my first sales to people who were neither friends nor family when I posted about my startup on Hacker News , a Silicon Valley discussion forum about startups. I had just put up the first version of my site (and let me just say, with the benefit of hindsight, that it looked like the work of a ten-year-old trying to make his first website), and I posted about it in a discussion thread about people's side businesses . Even though I barely knew what I was doing—and the site was decidedly less than mediocre—people left me great feedback. And a bunch of them actually bought my products! It was the perfect audience because these were all people who were interested in startups—not just the products, but the journey of starting a company. For that reason, they saw my dubious-looking site as an interesting starting point, not a poorly-designed dog treat store, and they recognized and valued that I was not only doing something interesting, but also putting myself out there.

Alex and his dogs

That's one of the big benefits of starting small: if you do it in the right places, people give you the benefit of the doubt. They understand that you're one person and not a giant corporation, and they judge you accordingly. When your cable company has an outage, you get angry. When your favorite local cafe gets your order wrong, you cut them some slack. 

This isn't to say that people will buy garbage from you just because you're a small business, but it does mean that they'll generally engage with you in a friendly way when you talk to them. Starting small means that even when someone doesn't buy your product, they'll often be willing to give you helpful feedback. Arguably more important is that when they do buy your product, they feel a real connection to you, and they'll be much more inclined to share your business with others. 

How to start small

When I say start small, I mean be hands-on, engage with prospective customers directly, and show your products off to people who are likely to be passionate. Here are a few examples.

Farmers' markets, craft fairs, and other events

Setting up a table and pitching your wares to folks passing by is the essence of starting small. Depending on what type of product or service you're selling, farmers' markets might work, or there may be less frequent events that are more domain-specific (for example, if you're starting a sportswear company, many marathons have vendor villages). 

People come to these types of events specifically to see what's out there, so the fact that you're a new brand that they haven't heard of is intriguing, not off-putting. You'll have the chance to engage with people and tell them not only about your product, but also about you and why you decided to start a company. You'll also have the chance to ask people for feedback—if they seem hesitant to buy, you can ask why and expect a real answer. Good luck with that when people abandon their carts on your website.

Dog sniffing treats on the counter

One big recommendation if you're starting out at events like this: try to find a way to collect emails from people who aren't ready to buy. Simple games and giveaways work great for this. While I haven't had too many opportunities to attend local events due to the pandemic, at the few I've been to, I ran a simple game where I filled a big jar with treats (made using our Baked Biscuit Mix, naturally) and had people write down their guess of how many treats were in the jar. The prize was a free Baked Biscuit Starter Kit . 

We contacted the winner by email, which meant that we collected everyone's email addresses along the way. Since the prize was inexpensive for us, it was a cost-efficient way to gather several dozen emails at each event from people who now had a connection to the business. I also followed up with a coupon for everyone who didn't win, which led to some additional purchases.

As you start to collect more emails, here are 4 ways to automate your email marketing for better communication .

Local meetups

If you can find groups of people who might be interested in your products, you can probably get in front of them cheaply. Reach out to an organizer and offer to supply a few pizzas next time they meet up—you'll likely get a positive response and often a chance to pitch your product for a few minutes. 

You shouldn't necessarily go for the hard sell. Instead, tell people about your business and ask for feedback. If you've found the right people, the feedback will be helpful, and if your product is great, you'll probably see some sales as well.

While this is tougher during a pandemic, online groups are a great place to start. I've posted about my business in several San Diego (where we're located) dog-related Facebook groups and have been well received and made several sales. The key here is to be authentic: I explain that I'm a local small business, and people appreciate that. If I were to post in every local dog-related Facebook group for every part of the country, I would surely get a frostier welcome.


Influencers are a great way to give people a more personal connection to what you're selling by having someone they know (or at least follow on social media) bring it to their attention. While you probably don't have the budget to get a post from any of the Kardashians, this is another place where you can—and should—start small.

Dog eating a treat

I've had great success with micro-influencer giveaways . I look for dog accounts with between 3,000 and 10,000 followers, give the influencer a sample of my product, and they take pictures with it to post on Instagram. They then run a giveaway where their followers have to follow my account in order to win. 

These work well because influencers of this size don't get a lot of sponsorship from brands, so when you reach out , they're often very receptive. They rarely ask for anything more than a free product, and they're genuinely enthusiastic when they post. 

You can start small even on social. To help, here are three workflows that can help you automate your Instagram for Business account so you can focus on the more personal parts of marketing.

Continuing to grow

So you've started small—now what? Getting your first few sales is a great feeling, but you need to keep selling more in order to have a real business.

The key is to turn those early customers into brand ambassadors. It's time to capitalize on the passion of your early customers.

Referral programs

Since these folks are already inclined to talk about your business, give them a good reason to. You don't need a wildly complex affiliate scheme where they get a percent of sales they refer. Instead, just something like a discount on their next purchase for each referral or a small gift is great. You're not looking to give major incentives to convince people to talk about brands. All you want is a little nudge to people who would already say good things if asked.

Engage early customers in product decisions

If you want your early adopters to feel connected to your brand, include them in its decisions. When I was at the point where I had to make a decision on what our second product would be, I emailed my list with two options and asked them to select one. 

This worked on a number of levels. First, that email got a very high level of engagement. Second, almost everyone voted for the same thing, which was really helpful. Third, I followed up with all the folks who voted for the winner before I launched it, and I gave them a discount code and the ability to pre-order as a thank you. That drove sales right away and helped to get some early reviews, which are really important.

  • Email marketing

If you take one thing away from this, let it be this: capture people's emails. Email marketing is incredibly cost-effective, and it's really important for new businesses. You're likely to meet a lot of people who like what you have to say but just don't think your business is mature enough to buy yet. If you have their emails, you can follow up as you grow and improve. If they gave you feedback, you can reach back out once you've incorporated it. Building a passionate base of customers means communicating to them regularly, and email is far and away the best way to do so.

When you're using email, because you're no longer face-to-face, you may have the urge to revert back to the impersonal with promotions and discounts. Resist that, and keep engaging in meaningful ways. 

When you join my email list, you receive four emails over the course of about a week. The second email is focused around this interview with me about the story of starting Cooper's Treats that was published in Thrive Global. I think it's the perfect introduction to my business (and the fact that it's in a major publication lends me some credibility as well) because it doesn't just tell what my business is or how I started it—it talks about why . The what and how of your business make people choose to buy. The why makes people care.

Email marketing doesn't have to be expensive. Check out Zapier's picks for the best free email marketing apps .

Small is wonderful

I hope I've convinced you that small isn't a bad word; rather, it's an asset that can help you gain not just customers but ardent supporters. While many startups are out there trying to convince the world that they're bigger than they are, at Cooper's Treats, we're not shying away from being small—and we hope you won't either. 

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Alex Willen picture

Alex Willen

Alex Willen is the Founder of Cooper's Treats, a premium dog treat business that he founded during the pandemic. He spent a decade as a product manager in Silicon Valley before leaving to start his own business, and he's never looked back. He lives in San Diego, CA with his wife Maggie and two dogs, Cooper and Maple.

  • Small business

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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 strategy for small scale business

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 strategy for small scale business

7. Email Customers and Potential Customers

There are many advantages of using email as a marketing strategy. It is easy to do, can be automated, provides instantaneous communication, costs very little, and can reach a large number of potential customers.

Once email addresses are added to an email list, it is important that a business provides interesting, valuable, and relevant content to their list so the emails get opened and not just merely diverted to spam mail.

8. Use Google AdWords

Remember, the key is for people to find you when they search on Google, and by using Google AdWords , you can greatly increase your chances of people seeing your name.

Google AdWords is more expensive than other marketing tactics we have discussed here but should still be considered as it is a powerful marketing tool. The key is for people to find you when they search on Google and by using Google AdWords, a business can greatly increase the chance of people seeing their name.

What Are the Best Types of Advertising for a Small Business?

Watch the video to learn about 7 types of advertising to consider in your digital marketing strategy—including 3 that are beneficial for almost every small business.


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19 Awesome Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

marketing strategy for small scale business

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.


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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  • Main content

Remarketing is a low-cost and effective advertising strategy — small-business owners share the 3 tips they swear by

  • Remarketing to customers who have previously engaged with your brand can lead to new purchases.
  • To remarket successfully, share content that gives customers more information about your business.
  • Don't be afraid to customize ads for specific audiences and adjust based on performance.
  • This article is part of " Marketing for Small Business ," a series exploring the basics of marketing strategy for SBOs to earn new customers and grow their business. 

Insider Today

When sisters Lindsey and Courtney Glasser started their clothing brand, Grey Bandit, in 2017, they relied heavily on influencer marketing to get in front of new customers. But as influencer marketing grew more popular, the rising costs became harder to justify — especially since they didn't always see it translate to sales.

The Glassers started to experiment with remarketing as a way to maximize the impact of the followers they already had, serving ads on Instagram to people who had previously engaged with their posts or visited their website.

"Remarketing is so valuable because you already know this person is interested in some capacity," Lindsey Glasser told Insider. "You don't have to spend $10,000 to see a return."

Joe Karasin, the owner and chief marketing officer of the consultancy Karasin PPC , agreed that remarketing can be a gold mine — one that too many businesses overlook. 

"The vast majority of consumers these days are not 'one-click ponies,'" he told Insider, explaining how customers typically require multiple touch points with a brand before deciding to make a purchase.

"For businesses, it means that you need to be more present and take a kind of tiered approach to how you introduce yourself," Karasin said. By using cheaper channels for initial acquisition and investing more in remarketing, he said, you can see higher conversion rates.

Insider talked with the Glassers and Karasin to learn about remarketing strategies for small businesses on a budget.

Think creatively about audiences and platforms

The Glassers have found that the most successful remarketing happens when they target customers who had the highest intent, such as shoppers who abandoned their carts. But for brands just starting out, that audience may be too small to have much of an impact.

Courtney Glasser said it's better to start by targeting based on audience and engagement. "When we first started using ads, I was just retargeting people that were on our site, and then I started to narrow it down as we had a bigger audience," she said. 

"If your Instagram posts are getting a lot of visibility and people are engaging, you might want to retarget your ads to people who have DMed you or liked your posts," she added.

To cut costs, it can also be worth looking into less popular platforms, such as Pinterest, that attract your target audience. "Pinterest is where we see the strongest ROI for the lowest cost," she said.

Look for ways to share more about your brand

Not all customer touch points are created equal, according to Karasin. Blasting the same messaging about your brand to every corner of the internet is the wrong approach, he said, because it does nothing to deepen the relationship with the customer.

"Now that consumers are more savvy about internet marketing, they think, 'It doesn't matter if I see this brand in 20 different places, that just means they're blowing a bunch of money,'" he said. 

Instead, he recommends finding ways to educate customers or build more trust through remarketing. 

For example, when working with a real-estate client, Karasin launched a remarketing campaign using YouTube and TikTok videos to showcase how the agent marketed properties in the area and the amount they sold for. The agent was able to recapture 19 clients over a six-month period, resulting in an additional $400,000 in commissions, Karasin said. The campaign cost $1,500.

The Glassers agreed that showing new aspects of their brand to customers is an effective strategy when remarketing. For instance, when a shopper abandons their cart, they don't serve them ads featuring the same product they were considering but instead show them ads for new seasonal products.

Watch the performance data and adjust

Lindsey Glasser said successful remarketing is a trial-and-error process. 

"If you're wanting to start running remarketing ads, have a few different types of content and a few different kinds of audiences and see what's working and what's not," she said. These ads can cost as little as $5 a day, Courtney Glasser said.

"If you see that something's doing well, it's OK to take a little bit of a risk and add a little bit more money," Lindsey Glasser said.

To monitor ad performance effectively, Karasin suggested that nontechnical business owners get support in setting up their pixels and attribution tracking. 

"Don't screw up the attribution setup — otherwise, you're just going to get bad data and then you're going to either not see the value of what you're doing or overvalue what it is you're doing," he said. 

Correction: November 9, 2023 — An earlier version of this story misspelled Lindsey Glasser's first name. 

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7 Strategies to Scale Your Small Business and Achieve Sustainable Growth Seven key strategies small business owners can use to unlock long-term growth.

By Erica Dushey Sarway • Oct 9, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Implement these seven strategies to successfully scale your small business.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As we approach the last quarter of 2023, businesses start assessing their performances, and many consider scaling and expanding their operations. With rapid changes in technology, consumer behavior and market dynamics, it's crucial that businesses constantly adopt innovative strategies to remain competitive and achieve sustainable growth within their industries.

So, businesses looking to bring themselves to the next level in this coming year have a few different strategies they can use to achieve long-term growth.

Related: How to Scale Your Small Business in 8 Steps

1. Embrace digital evolution

In today's fast-paced business landscape, embracing technology is not an option but a necessity. Small businesses can use it to their advantage to help streamline operations, enhance customer service experiences and even reach new markets. User-friendly ecommerce platforms, efficient inventory management systems and cloud-based drives are different examples of ways to help improve productivity and scalability.

Also, businesses can use data-driven decision-making technology to help collect and analyze customer data . This can help provide insight into their customers' preferences and behaviors to tailor marketing strategies, optimize product offerings and provide personalized customer experiences, ultimately driving growth through each quarter.

2. Expand online presence

In a post-pandemic world, the importance of a strong online presence cannot be emphasized enough. Consumers are increasingly turning to the internet to discover, research and purchase products and services. Focusing on optimizing your website for search engines (SEO) can vastly improve visibility and drive organic traffic.

Social media platforms remain a huge player in reaching broader audiences. Developing a robust social media strategy that engages customers, encourages sharing and builds brand loyalty is essential to any business. By being consistent and posting relevant content, small businesses can easily connect with their target audience and build a loyal customer base .

3. Diversify revenue streams

Overreliance on a single product or service can become a significant risk to small businesses. If a business can diversify its revenue streams with new offerings, it can help build the business up and give room for scaling. This offering can be a complementary product line or a service that aligns with your core product. This not only provides added value to existing customers but also opens up new markets and revenue opportunities.

Additionally, strategic partnerships or collaborations with other businesses in the industry are super helpful. These alliances lead to shared resources, increased visibility and access to new customer bases, which ultimately drives growth without a substantial capital investment that not many small businesses have.

4. Focus on customer engagement and retention

Acquiring new customers is an essential element for growth, but retaining existing customers is equally vital. Small businesses should try to prioritize customer engagement and retention strategies. By implementing loyalty programs , offering personalized recommendations and providing exceptional customer support, businesses can create a positive customer experience that will keep them loyal.

With that, businesses should regularly seek honest feedback from customers and use it to make improvements to their products or services. Happy customers are more likely to become brand advocates and refer new business, further fueling growth efforts.

Related: 3 Crucial Strategies for Sustaining Growth in a Competitive Market

5. Invest in employee development

Your team is the backbone of your business, and their growth and development directly impact your company's success. Investing in training and development programs to build your employees' skills will empower them to take on new responsibilities as the business expands. A skilled and motivated workforce is essential for maintaining the quality of the products or services as the business scales.

Additionally, fostering a positive workplace culture can lead to higher employee satisfaction and retention rates. When your employees feel valued and aligned with your company's mission, they become more motivated to contribute to the business's success.

6. Secure financing wisely

Scaling a small business often requires some sort of capital investment for expansion, marketing and infrastructure development. Securing this type of financing can be challenging, especially for newer businesses. However, there are many different financing options businesses can explore, including traditional bank loans, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, working capital loans, accounts receivable loans and so much more.

Before a business even starts seeking financing, they need to ensure they have a well-defined business plan and financial projection that can show the potential for profitability and growth. Also, it's crucial to assess the terms and conditions of each financing option, considering the impact on your business's financial health and long-term sustainability.

7. Monitor and adapt to market trends

The business landscape is ever-evolving, and staying attuned to market trends is essential for small businesses. Monitoring industry developments and keeping an eye on emerging technologies can help businesses adapt strategies accordingly. This allows them to grow as well as be open to pivoting their business model if market conditions change or new opportunities arise.

Regular competitive analyses can also help businesses understand their competitors' strengths and weaknesses. In turn, this helps identify gaps in the market that the business can fill and helps refine products, services and marketing strategies.

Related: 15 Ways to Scale Your Business and Make More Money

Scaling a small business today requires a combination of innovative thinking, strategic planning and adaptability. Embracing technology, expanding your online presence, diversifying your offerings, focusing on customer engagement, investing in employee development, securing financing wisely and monitoring market trends are all essential strategies for success.

These components can help small businesses thrive in today's competitive business landscape. By continually assessing and adjusting their approaches, businesses can position themselves for sustainable growth and long-term success.

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

VP Marketing & Sales

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marketing strategy for small scale business

  • 3 Tips to Scale Marketing for Small Teams

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  • September 28, 2023
  • Marketing Strategy

Marketers are creative, constantly looking for new ways to reach their target market and get results. But we’d argue that small marketing teams like yours must be even more creative … because you don’t have a huge internal team to back you up. 

Yep, you’re doing more with less. But expectations for results don’t really reflect that, do they? 


But hey, every challenge also has a solution, right? One of the best solutions for small teams is leveraging tools specifically designed to scale marketing. We’ve compiled our favorite hacks for scaling marketing so you can get results without driving your internal team to burnout. 

How Small Marketing Teams Can Drive Engagement at Scale

Superfans. Everybody wants them, right? An audience that opens your emails , comments on your blogs, downloads your eBooks — or whatever. But to reach that level of engagement, you need a solid game plan. And furthermore, you need the internal resources to implement it. 

So, where do you start? 

We recommend focusing on three pillars for efficient, effective, and sustainable scalability. 

a small marketing team at a conference table discusses how to scale marketing operations

Scale Marketing: Identify Simple MarTech Solutions to Key Challenges

Growing businesses need the right marketing technology to continue expanding at scale. For most organizations, this includes a customer relationship management (CRM) system or business intelligence (BI) tool as the foundation of their sales efforts. 

But to execute strong inbound and outbound marketing campaigns, you need to integrate these sales tools with a marketing automation platform, which is the functional layer of successful companies.

Marketing automation makes it much easier to manage, measure, customize, and optimize the customer experience across multiple online channels (e.g., email, web, social, events) and through all stages of the sales funnel. When you move from a cobbled-together set of disparate tools to one cohesive platform, you make marketing more effective and set the stage for anticipated, sustained, and scalable business growth. 

According to Kevin Butler (VP of strategy at Goose Digital , one of the fastest-growing marketing agencies in Canada), “The system of record is the CRM platform. The system of execution is the marketing automation platform. So when these two solutions are integrated and working well together, you’re off to the races.”

In addition to CRM systems and marketing automation platforms, there are literally thousands of solutions you can integrate into your MarTech stack. These plug-ins help you plan, manage, and execute webinars , track and transfer data, import and export behavioral data, and even coordinate additional outbound campaigns. (At Act-On, we offer hundreds of simple and seamless MarTech integrations through Zapier .)

Scale Marketing: Develop Repeatable Marketing Workflows

The key to scalability is efficiency. By meeting increased demand with the same or fewer resources, your business becomes more profitable and can identify new areas for potential growth and diversification. But efficiencies don’t just appear overnight of their own accord. 

You and your team have to build them through smarter strategies and helpful technology. Done properly, you can develop repeatable marketing workflows that help with acquisition, nurturing, qualification, and sales.

Lead Acquisition

Attract and acquire new leads by managing all inbound and outbound marketing programs from a single platform. With marketing automation, you can improve SEO to drive high-intent traffic, build and optimize landing pages and web forms to generate conversions, and manage all your social media campaigns to increase awareness and share of voice in your industry.

For example, Goose Digital leveraged marketing automation to capture all the data intelligence required to execute its lead strategy and grow results. 

“What I love most about Act-On is the flexibility of the platform. Creating segments and building out the automation with conditional logic is easy and intuitive,” says Butler.

Lead Nurturing

Once you’ve acquired the lead, it’s time to guide them through the funnel along a fun and educational experience. By developing accurate, actionable lead and customer scoring programs based on demographics, “firmographics,” and behaviors, you can better understand each contact’s position in the buying journey . Then, you can put segmentation on auto-pilot , serve each person up relevant messaging and content, and watch your results improve. 

Do you want to see how this plays out in real life with marketing automation examples? Here’s one to consider. Avery Dennison leveraged automated programs to strengthen their lead nurturing, saving countless hours and tripling email open rates . The company’s biggest problem now, according to James Moat, director of global digital corporate communications, is putting enough staff in place to follow up with the increased leads! 

Lead Qualification and Sales Enablement

With a good scoring system in place, marketers can automate the lead qualification process to both improve existing nurturing and provide your sales team with transparent and comprehensive insights into contact-specific journeys. 

Act-On allows you to build custom dashboards (here’s a great example from our partner The Marketing Guys ) to integrate granular and aggregate data into single views. Doing so allows you to track engagement, opportunities, and ROI — from initial campaigns to annual recurring revenue. The Marketing Guys, for example, have generated 25% in annual revenue growth. 

Scale Marketing: Scale Smarter, Not Harder

The best part about scaling marketing is that there’s always room for improvement. Sure, your campaigns are automated, but you can regularly tweak these programs to drive more engagement and revenue. This is critical because, as you continue to grow, your objectives will evolve. Marketing automation allows you to scale in proportion to that growth.

The magic elixir here is testing. Be sure to run your automated marketing campaigns long enough that you’ll have ample datasets to work with. A/B test everything, from email subject lines to paid search headlines and then closely monitor the results. The clear insights into performance afforded to you by marketing automation will help you understand what’s working, what isn’t, and how and where you can improve. 

Most importantly, don’t adjust your efforts simply for the sake of doing so. When you have reliable data, there’s no need to react haphazardly. Every single action should improve efficiency and efficacy, so make sure your entire team is on the same page and that you meet regularly to adjust your short-term plan of attack and long-term goals and objectives.

Scaling Marketing: Helping Small Marketing Teams Grow 

Regardless of the size, shape, or makeup of your marketing team, Act-On’s marketing automation platform can help you execute all the tasks above for scalable, sustainable business growth. Our solution helps all marketers improve every aspect of the customer life cycle, including demand generation, lead nurturing, data management, customer loyalty programs, and even sales enablement.

Want to learn more about how marketing automation helps with scaling marketing? Check out our on-demand webinar as Act-On’s SVP of marketing, Jeff Day, and solutions consultant, Mike Felix, run through how to fine-tune your marketing automation platform for pure performance and build the pipeline you need to drive your business.

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The Importance of Market Research

Creating a business plan, legal requirements, exploring funding options, crafting a marketing strategy, managing and growing your business, how do i start a small business for beginners, how do i create a business plan, what are six ways to grow and scale a business, the bottom line.

  • Small Business
  • How to Start a Business

Starting a Small Business: Your Complete How-to Guide

From market research to managing growth

marketing strategy for small scale business

The U.S. is home to 33.2 million small businesses, which drive over 43% of GDP.   If you are looking to start a business, there are key factors to consider—from market research and creating a business plan to scaling your business. These factors are critical to your journey and can make a big difference no matter what stage of the process you are in.

Entrepreneurs who take concrete action can differentiate themselves from competitors, innovate, and grow. For successful entrepreneurs, the execution of the business is often what means the most. 

Key Takeaways

  • Starting a small business involves extensive market research of your target audience, competitors, and gaining a deep understanding of the industry.
  • It is important to build a comprehensive business plan that includes the product or service description, your target customers, financial projections, and all other key details.
  • Understanding the legal requirements of starting your business involves knowledge of business registration, permits, licensing, and other regulatory requirements.
  • There are various types of funding channels for starting a business, including financing it yourself, securing external funding from your network, and applying for government and corporate grants and loans. 

Being clear about your business goals involves doing your research. Successful entrepreneurs often do extensive research on their field. This includes understanding their prospective customers, the technical aspects of the industry, and the challenges other businesses are facing. 

Understanding how other players operate in an industry is important. Attending conferences, joining associations, and building a network of people involved in the field can help you learn how decisions are made. Often, comprehensive market research takes six months to a year. 

Understanding Your Target Audience

Knowing your target market is critical for many reasons. These are the customers who are most likely to purchase your product, recommend it to friends, and become repeat buyers. Apart from driving your bottom line, having a strong understanding of your target audience will allow you to tailor your offering more effectively, reach your customers more efficiently, and manage customer expectations.

Compiling demographic data on age, family, wealth, and other factors can give you a clearer understanding of market demand for your product and your potential market size.

It’s important to ask, “Why would someone buy this and part with their discretionary income?” or “Will someone love this enough to tell someone about it?” At the heart of these questions is understanding whether your business solves a key problem, as well as whether it delivers the “more” that connects to your audiences’ human emotions.

Assessing Market Trends and Opportunities

To find an advantage in a given market, look at key market trends in customer behavior and the business landscape. Explore the state of business conditions and consumer spending, along with the economic environment and how interest rates may affect financing and business growth.

Several resources are available to dive into market trends across industries, such as Statistics of U.S. Businesses and the U.S. Census Business Builder . To analyze the competitive landscape, and in turn, identify key opportunities, Porter's 5 Forces is a classic model to help businesses build their competitive strategy.

A business plan is a road map for achieving your business goals. It outlines the capital that you need, the personnel to make it happen, and the description of your product and prospective customers.

There are a number of models for creating a business plan. The Small Business Administration (SBA) , for instance, provides a format that includes the following nine sections:

  • Executive summary: This should be a description of your company and its potential for success. The executive summary can cover your mission statement, employees, location, and growth plan.
  • Company description: This is where you detail what your business offers, its competitive advantages, and your strengths as a business.
  • Market analysis: Lay out how your company is positioned to perform well in your industry. Describe market trends and themes and your knowledge of successful competitors.
  • Organization and management: Who is running your company, and how is your business structured? Include an organizational chart of your management team. Discuss if your business will be incorporated as a business C or S corporation, a limited partnership, a limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship. 
  • Service or product line: Here is where you describe how your business will solve a problem and why this will benefit customers. Describe how your product lifecycle would unfold.
  • Marketing and sales: Detail your marketing strategy and how this will reach your customers and drive return on investment. 
  • Funding request: If you're looking for financing, lay out the capital you’re requesting under a five-year horizon and where, in detail, it will be allocated, such as salaries, materials, or equipment. 
  • Financial projections: This section shows the five-year financial outlook for your company and ties these to your request for capital.

Having a coherent business plan is important for businesses looking to raise cash and crystallize their business goals.

Setting Goals and Strategies

Another key aspect of a business plan is setting realistic goals and having a strategy to make these a reality. Having a clear direction will help you stay on track within specified deadlines. In many ways, it allows companies to create a strategic plan that defines measurable actions and is coupled with an honest assessment of the business, taking into account its resources and competitive environment. Strategy is a top-down look at your business to achieve these targets.

Financial Projections and Budgeting

Often, entrepreneurs underestimate the amount of funding needed to start a business. Outlining financial projections shows how money will be generated, where it will come from, and whether it can sustain growth. 

This provides the basis for budgeting the costs to run a business and get it off the ground. Budgeting covers the expenses and income generated from the business, which include salaries and marketing expenses and projected revenue from sales.

Another important aspect of starting a business are the legal requirements that enable you to operate under the law. The legal structure of a business will impact your taxes, your liability, and how you operate.

Businesses may consider the following structures in which to operate:

  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Partnership
  • Sole Proprietorship

Each has different legal consequences, from regulatory burdens to tax advantages to liability being shifted to the business instead of the business owner.

Registering Your Business

Now that you have your business structure outlined, the next step is registering your business . Your location is the second key factor in how you’ll register your business. In many cases, small businesses can register their business name with local and state government authorities. 

If your business is being conducted under your legal name, registration is not required. However, such a business structure may not benefit from liability protection, along with certain legal and tax advantages. Often, registering your businesses costs $300 or less.

Before filing, a business structured as a corporation, LLC, or partnership requires a registered agent in its state. These agents handle the legal documents and official papers on your behalf.

Businesses that are looking to trademark their product, brand, or business, can file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Understanding Permits and Licenses

If your business conducts certain activities that are regulated by a federal agency, you’re required to get a permit or license. A list of regulated activities can be found on the SBA website, and includes activities such as agriculture, alcoholic beverages, and transportation.

There are many different ways to fund a business. One of the key mistakes entrepreneurs make is not having enough capital to get their business running. The good news is that there are several channels to help make this happen, given the vital role entrepreneurs play in creating jobs and boosting productivity in the wider economy.

Self-Funding vs. External Funding

Bootstrapping, the term commonly used to describe self-funding your business, is where companies tap into their own cash or network of family and friends for investment. While the advantage of self-funding is having greater control, the downside is that it often involves more personal risk.

External funding involves funding from bank loans, crowdfunding, or venture capital , among other sources. These may provide additional buffers and enable you to capture growth opportunities. The drawback is less freedom and more stringent requirements for paying back these funds.

Grant and Loan Opportunities

Today, there are thousands of grants designed especially for small businesses from the government, corporations, and other organizations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides a weekly update of grants and loans available to small businesses. 

For instance, Business Warrior offers loans between $5,000 and $50,000 to small business owners. As another example, Go. Be. Elevate Fund offers $4,000 to grant recipients who are women and/or people of color business owners to help them grow their businesses.

When it comes to marketing, there is a classic quote from Milan Kundera: “Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation." In order to reach customers, a business needs a marketing strategy that attracts and retains customers and expands its customer base.

To gain an edge, small businesses can utilize social media, email marketing, and other digital channels to connect and engage with customers.

Branding Your Business

Building a successful brand goes hand in hand with building a great experience for the customer. This involves meeting the expectations of your customer. What is your brand offering? Is it convenience, luxury, or rapid access to a product? Consider how your brand meets a customer's immediate need or the type of emotional response it elicits. Customer interaction, and in turn loyalty to your brand, is influenced, for example, by how your brand may align with their values, how it shifts their perception, or if it resolves customer frustration.

Digital Marketing and Social Media

We live in a digital-first world, and utilizing social media channels can help your business reach a wider audience and connect and engage in real time. Given that a strong brand is at the heart of successful companies, it often goes without saying that cultivating a digital presence is a necessity in order to reach your customers. 

According to HubSpot’s 2023 report, The State of Consumer Trends, 41% of the 600-plus consumers surveyed discovered new products on social media and 17% bought a product there in the past three months.

Managing a business has its challenges. Finding the right personnel to run operations, manage the day-to-day, and reach your business objectives takes time. Sometimes, businesses may look to hire experts in their field who can bring in specialized knowledge to help their business grow, such as data analysts, marketing specialists, or others with niche knowledge relevant to their field.

Hiring and Training Staff

Finding the right employees involves preparing job descriptions, posting on relevant job boards such as LinkedIn, and effectively screening applicants. Careful screening may involve a supplemental test, reviewing a candidate's portfolio, and asking situational and behavioral questions in the interview. These tools will help you evaluate applicants and improve the odds that you'll find the people you are looking for.

Once you have hired a new employee, training is the next essential step. On average, it takes about 62 hours to train new employees. Effectively training employees often leads to higher retention. While on-the-job training is useful, consider having an onboarding plan in place to make the transition clear while outlining expectations for the job.

Scaling Your Business

Growing your business also requires strategy. According to Gino Chirio, executive vice president at the consultancy group Maddock Douglas, there are six ways that companies can grow their business to drive real growth and expansion:

  • New processes: Boost margins by cutting costs.
  • New experiences: Connect with customers in powerful ways to help increase retention.
  • New features: Provide advancements to your existing product or service.
  • New customers: Expand into new markets, or find markets where your product addresses a different need.
  • New offerings: Offer a new product.
  • New models: Utilize new business models, such as subscription-based services, fee-for-service, or advertising-based models.

With these six ways to grow a business, it is important to consider the risk, investment, and time involved. Improving your margins through new processes is often the most straightforward way to grow. Offering new features is also effective since it is tailored to your existing market with products you have already delivered.

By contrast, offering new products may involve higher risk since these have not been tested in the market. However, they may offer higher reward, especially if you have a first-mover advantage and release your product in the market before the competition.

A good place to start building a business is to understand the following core steps that are involved in an entrepreneur's journey : market research, creating a business plan, knowing the legal requirements, researching funding options, developing a marketing strategy, and business management.

A business plan is made up of a number of primary components that help outline your business goals and company operations in a clear, coherent way. It includes an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management description, service or product line description, marketing and sales plan, funding requests (optional), and financial projections.

Business growth can fall into the following six categories, with each having varying degrees of risk and investment: new processes, new experiences, new features, new customers, new offerings, and new models.

Knowing how to start a small business involves the key steps of market research, setting up a business plan, understanding the legal requirements, exploring funding options, crafting a marketing strategy, and managing your business. 

For aspiring small business owners, these steps can help you successfully deliver your product or service to the market, and ultimately grow. While it can take a considerable amount of work, the payoffs are manifold: independence of work, personal fulfillment, financial reward, and following your passion.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce. " The State of Small Business Now ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Market Research and Competitive Analysis ."

U.S. Small Business Administration." Write Your Business Plan ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Choose a Business Structure ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Register Your Business ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Apply for Licenses and Permits ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Fund Your Business ."

U.S. Chamber of Commerce. " 52 Grants, Loans and Programs to Benefit Your Small Business ."

Ogilvy. " Behind Every Brand Is a Great Experience, and Vice Versa—Why Today's Customer Expects Synergy ."

HubSpot. " The State of Consumer Trends in 2023 ."

Training Magazine. " 2022 Training Industry Report ."

Harvard Business Review. " The Six Ways to Grow a Company ."

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Profile image of Zenty Lopez

This study was conducted to know the strategies of small scale business to the economic growth of small business. The main objective and significance of the study is to know how they handle their small business. To identify, how they grow their business and how they can manage to boost it up. Here in our country, you could see many small business. For example, sari-sari stores in every corner of the street. That is the reason why we come up with an idea of finding out which kind of small business do they choose using the triangulation. We have find out the reason why small business are successful here in our country. Though it is just a small business, it assures that their products are in a good quality. They consider the small business sometimes because the product of their business is in good quality. And when they see the facilities and background or feedback of other customers they motivated of them. The small businesses will have a good image, thus attracting more customers....

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Small Scale Business- Marketing Strategies and Ideas

  • January 7, 2022
  • Bhawika Gupta


Let’s dive into the meaning of small scale business first. All the businesses which run with lesser funding, a limited market value, including few employees and machines are categorized as a small scale business or MSMEs (micro, small, medium enterprises). Small Scale Business, as clear by its name, has not had a wide reach among people but aspires to grow into a million-dollar company. To turn into a big business, it needs an amazing marketing strategy and that is what we are going to discuss in this blog. A well-planned strategy has the capacity to turn things upside down. Hence, your planning and ideas should be fool-proof and should contain a backup plan.

9 Marketing Strategies and Ideas- Small Scale Business

MSMEs require a smart plan to excel in the market. Here are some basic strategies and ideas which you can use to do wonders in your business. Just take a look-

small scale business

1. Social Media Page

Creating a social media page is the first thing that a company should do. It does not require a penny to start and it can improve your brand image among your audience. People from all over the world are active on these platforms. The most active platforms are Instagram , Twitter and Facebook. Billions of people have their accounts there which means, you could have billions of potential audiences. If you do not have social media page or don’t know anything about social media marketing , then they will get attracted to your competitors who have. It is quite easy to provide updates on these platforms.

People have started turning to the digital and online mode which means they like to get served online. The seminars which the companies used to conduct have now taken the place of word webinars. An online webinar has made the work easier, now your audience does not have to step out of their house. You can explain there about your company and what makes your company unique. The requirement of a good speaker is a must. He can get you, clients, through that online webinar. Webinars are a good source of online training sessions, both live and recorded.

3. Content Marketing

It includes creating engaging content for the audience that can keep on updating them about the company. Content not only includes writing Q/A sections, blogs and articles but also includes podcasts, video scripts, voice-over and many more. Content requires being interactive which can hold the interest of readers as soon as they look at it. Your content has to be SEO-friendly and have to include required keywords focusing on the business that helps you to rank better on the Google search engine result page. Content Marketing is quite a popular tool of marketing as well.

4. Google ads

Google ad, adword or PPC, all are similar words to Google ad campaigns . The option we see on the top of SERP with ‘Ad’ is a paid advertisement put on Google for the people looking for something similar to the keyword. Google ads attract the most potential and relevant audience and it has benefited most business owners. According to research, people click on the first option that comes to their screen after searching for something. Google ads are the most powerful weapon to use when you want to be the centre of attraction.

google ads for MSMEs

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is just a fancy name given to a very old form of marketing. In this type, if you associate with affiliates then they will promote your products among the people. You do not need to find ways and techniques of marketing from your own, the affiliate will do that. You have to pay a share of the profits which you have made through their marketing techniques. This technique has been earning fame among small scale business. Affiliates have a strong marketing knowledge as well as connections with people. They can create brand awareness in a short span of time which promotes overall sales and market value.

6. Email Marketing- Small Scale Business

One such marketing technique for the small scale industries is marketing through emails. Email generation can target audiences of small scale business with a personalized experience. Target your previous clients to turn them into regular clients. Make a healthy relationship with them through mails, send updates and offers related to your MSMEs. Email marketing strategies is the linchpin to MSMEs. People don’t buy immediately after visiting your website; you can collect the data of their email addresses and send them emails regarding the business. This is how you shift visitors into a customer.

7. Social Media Advertisement

Marking the presence on social media platforms is the keystone for a small scale business. Social media and the internet rule the world and everybody is aware of that. Organic social media reach is possible but ads increase the visibility of your business. Facebook advertising and Instagram ads are tools to make a virtual and stupendous impact on your audience. Social ads are shown on the basis of your location, gender, choice, preference etc. Basically, the potential audience witnesses these ads, which can turn into your customers. Social media has made it as easy as a pie to start a campaign, all the procedures and steps are given there, and you need to add heading, description, target, budget, and you are done.

marketing strategy for small scale business

8. Influencer Marketing

The latest form of marketing is influencer marketing where you hire an influencer to promote your product through a picture or a video on social media platforms. Influencers are the people who get fame on social media through any activity like making videos, art, or through their dance, or anything. They have a good range of fan following and these influencers have the power t make an impact on people. Beauty brands especially have used this mode of marketing to its full extent. Moreover, this medium of advertising is inexpensive too and provides excellent results.

9. Print Advertisement- Small Scale Business

Last but not least important medium is a print advertisement. I agree that online media is all over our minds but that doesn’t mean that print media has eloped. The reach of print media is inarguable; people still prefer to read from paper, then from the screens of their devices. It has a different audience base, which needs to target too. This mode can never be out of style, not now at least. The print ad has lower competition, so if you plan smartly, you can advertise your small scale business economically.

advertising strategy

Impact of Omicron on Small Scale Business

Covid-19 has shattered our lives within a few months. Our work-life became haywire and unorganized and many people suffered huge losses in their businesses. Small industries were forced to shut down due to this condition. Not just in the first wave, but in the second wave too, people suffered a lot. Now the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 or third wave is at our doorsteps and people are very scared of that. Small scale business were affected the most, so as a result, people have started getting prepared for what is going to happen next. The impact in India third wave on small scale business has both positive and negative results.

Talking about the positive side , we should keep in mind that there is a chance, that this time economic fall will not be that severe, because people have experienced this before. People have shifted to online shopping for everything they require, which has boosted the online market base. Omicron could be a help to the SSI if they plan to switch to digital marketing . People can avoid spending time in markets, can avoid crowds, and can follow social distancing if everything shifts to online mode.

 In case of the negative side of it, many businesses will not be able to deliver their products and few niches are built in such a way, that they need to be available in the market. Also, unbalance of demand and supply is the biggest possibility here. Businesses can run out of stock if the government implies a full lockdown and ban on any import and export of goods.

Though there are both positive and negative impacts, still shifting to the online marketplace is worth a try . It increases the possibility of getting known and can be beneficial too. It is better that you do not wait till the omicron touches its peak, start implementing those marketing strategies and ideas so that you will have a well-established business, just in case anything happens. Also, if you think that is not your cup of tea, then you can hire a digital marketing company or small business marketing companies to do that for you. The company will not only complete the task but will do it with perfection and will provide exemplary results too.

15 Trending Small Business Ideas

Everyone aspires to be an entrepreneur, be their own boss, by starting their business. The smartest move is to start an online business (keeping the current situation in mind). The low-cost business ideas are hard to find and yet we have made a list of top online business ideas which are trendy and affordable too.

small business ideas

  • Social Media Management
  • Online Advertising Strategy
  • Homemade Cakes
  • Handcraft Items
  • Youtube Channel
  • Online Tutors
  • Home Decore
  • Freelancing
  • Web Developer
  • Graphic Designing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • App Developer
  • Online Advertiser
  • Seller on Amazon

These were the few top and popular ideas to start earning money right now. These are the best small scale business ideas for ladies because online business in India is accelerating its speed with the span of time. Try to support small business of others too, this will boost the online business and motivate others to work hard. Comment down your reviews and more ideas of marketing below !

marketing strategy for small scale business

Small Business Trends

Learn how to implement a successful personalization strategy and scale it.

marketing strategy for small scale business

The term ‘personalization’ is often echoed in marketing circles, but the real question is, how do we effectively integrate it into our operations? How to Implement a Successful Personalization Strategy… and Scale will share insights from a seasoned professional on developing, overseeing, and expanding your personalization approach to enhance customer experiences and maximize conversions across our diverse marketing platforms.

Key Insights:

  • Discover practical steps to initiate a personalization strategy and pinpoint your starting point.
  • Grasp the nuances of navigating data privacy, amplifying first-party data usage, and adapting to a world without cookies in personalization.
  • Learn strategies to broaden and continually manage personalization within your omnichannel marketing efforts.

Click the red button and register now to attend How to Implement a Successful Personalization Strategy… and Scale it on Thursday, 16 November 2023, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm.

marketing strategy for small scale business

Register Now

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

More events.

  • Digital Summit Raleigh November 13, 2023, Raleigh, NC, United States
  • Roundtable on Premium Networks and Differentiated Services November 14, 2023, Menlo Park, CA
  • AMA Chicago Presents: How to Implement a Successful Personalization Strategy… and Scale it! November 16, 2023, Online
  • The Change Conference November 21, 2023, London, United Kingdom
  • Digital Summit Kansas City November 29, 2023, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
  • IFA Chicago 2023 Magic Hour Gala November 30, 2023, Chicago, IL
  • LEAP HR: Construction | Phoenix, Arizona | December 4-6 2023 December 04, 2023, Phoenix, United States
  • Solar Business Expo (SBE) International 2023 Network with Solar Professionals! December 05, 2023, Houston,Texas, United States
  • Immersive Technology and the Future of Brand Marketing December 05, 2023, Chicago, IL
  • Innovation Review on Infotainment & Apps December 06, 2023, San Jose, CA
  • PCMA Convening Leaders 2024 | January 7-10 | San Diego, USA January 07, 2024, San Diego, United States
  • Chief Data and Analytics Officer (CDAO) Financial Services 2024 February 13, 2024, New York, New York
  • LEAP HR: Retail 2024 February 26, 2024, Austin, United States
  • The Venture Debt Conference 2024 March 06, 2024, New York, New York
  • Safety In Beauty Conference March 06, 2024, London, England
  • Responsible Business USA 2024 March 26, 2024, New York, New York
  • Responsible Business USA 2024 March 26, 2024, New York, United States
  • Insurance Innovators USA 2024 | 22-23 April | Music City Center, Nashville April 22, 2024, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Think | INNOVATE 2024: Operational Excellence Executive Innovation Conference May 02, 2024, Columbia, Maryland

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends .

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar .

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