26 Best Marketing Strategies for Small Business to Keep Competitive and Drive Growth

26 Best Marketing Strategies for Small Business to Keep Competitive and Drive Growth

Small Business Strategies

The success of a small business can be directly tied to its marketing strategy. And most of that strategy happens online. 

Think about it: especially in our post-pandemic economy, when was the last time you did business with a company because you “drove by and saw the sign”?

Sure, it happens. But it’s not the norm. And data backs that up. 

In a 2021 study on small business marketing, researchers found that 81% of shoppers research online before purchasing. Similarly, 60% of consumers begin their research with a search engine before going to a company’s website.

We don’t go to restaurants unless they have at least 4 stars on Yelp or Google Maps. We don’t trust businesses that don’t have a website (and yet, according to the aforementioned data, 36% of businesses still don’t). We don’t purchase products from businesses that aren’t top-of-mind in our social media feeds.

This is the reality of our consumer-centric economy. But there is a silver lining. There has never been less of a barrier to entry for small businesses to get in front of their target customers. 

Unlike legacy advertising, mom-and-pop shops can experience viral success without needing the permission of a gatekeeper. Local brands can become global successes thanks to the tools we all have at our disposal.

And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg either. 47% of businesses spend less than $10,000 on digital marketing. 

In this post, we’re going deep into the specific strategies, tactics, and channels small businesses can leverage to reach their target audience and dominate their competition.

Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar business, ecommerce shop, or software company, you’ll come away from this post with actionable ways to drive growth in your business.

Let’s dive in.

Why is it Important to Build a Small Business Marketing Strategy?

Why even bother with a marketing strategy? Why not focus on building a superior product and letting it speak for itself?

Unfortunately, the “build it and they will come” mindset doesn’t reflect reality. Let’s think about the data points mentioned in the intro.

If 81% of consumers research online before purchasing, and you have no online marketing presence, how can you expect them to find you instead of your competitors?

That leads to the first and simplest reason why it’s important to have a marketing strategy — because your competitors have one.

All things being equal, it doesn’t matter if your product or service is superior. If your competitors’ marketing strategy is firing on all cylinders, they’ll be the ones getting the traffic, leads, and sales from prospects. 

Therefore, having a digital marketing strategy is a baseline necessity for staying competitive. 

But how exactly does a digital marketing strategy help you grow? As a general rule, growth comes from increased capital. And increased capital comes from more traffic, leads, and customers. 

When you have more cash flow, that means:

  • More resources dedicated to R&D and new products.
  • The ability to hire and expand personnel.
  • Technology to automate repetitive tasks and processes.
  • Reinvesting back into more marketing channels, leading to even further growth.

Thus the flywheel effect continues as you experience more and more success. 

General Steps for Creating a Marketing Strategy

Setting up a strong foundation for your strategy is key to success.

The value of a marketing strategy is clear. Where things become challenging is how to actually execute on those things. 

Before we get into specific channels, strategies, and tactics, let’s start at ground zero with a step-by-step plan for building a marketing foundation.

Step 1: Audit your current marketing footprint

What is the current state of your marketing strategy? Are you starting from absolutely nothing or do you have existing channels and assets? 

The first step is to pause and assess your current standing. The following are some helpful milestones in the audit process:

Do you have a website?

A website is truly your home base. It’s the one corner of the internet over which you have complete ownership and control. 

Facebook can change its algorithm. YouTube can adjust its advertiser terms of service. Instagram can stop showing your posts to your followers. But your website is yours and yours alone.

Later in this post, we’ll talk more about some practical tactics for building a website and some of the most popular platforms.

In addition to being the central online hub of your business, websites also offer numerous other benefits:

  • A website is essential for ranking in organic search.
  • A website is a central repository for all your blog posts and content marketing.
  • A website acts as a funnel for capturing, nurturing, and converting leads.
  • A website can facilitate online transactions and help you build a loyal audience.

The last point segues perfectly into the next milestone.

Do you have an audience?

There’s a reason Kevin Kelly’s 2008 essay 1,000 True Fans has been cited endlessly by marketers — it’s proven itself to be true time and time again.

The premise is simple: you don’t need a massive audience. You don’t even need a big audience. All you need is 1,000 true fans. Why? Because 1,000 true fans will follow you to the ends of the earth.

If you make a new product, they’ll be the first one to buy. If you beta test a new feature, they’ll be the first ones to try. They’re the strongest advocates, evangelists, and referral sources for your brand.

But building that audience takes time, loyalty, and trust. It won’t happen overnight. That’s why it’s important to focus on audience-building and assess your current “tribe.”

You may have an audience and not even realize it. Your audience can include:

  • Social media followers
  • Email list subscribers
  • Loyal customers or regular patrons

We’ll talk about some specific ways to build your audience later in the post. For now, see if you can notice any demographic or psychographic patterns in your audience. 

This will come in later as you develop your branding, vision, and unique selling proposition (USP).

Do you have a way to capture and communicate with that audience?

Once you’ve assessed your audience, the next and most important question is if you have a way to communicate with them.

Communication with your audience can happen through many channels. Email and social media are the two primary ways. 

Due to the volatility of social platforms, email is the most reliable way to capture and communicate with your audience. 

Do you have a way to measure your marketing success?

What gets measured gets managed — even if you measure and manage the wrong things (we’ll talk about vanity metrics in the next section).

It’s essential to track and analyze your marketing efforts both qualitatively and quantitatively. Most social platforms come with built-in analytics tools, and the industry standard for web analytics is Google Analytics (which is entirely free).

But how can you cut through the noise and only measure the important metrics? That’s where key performance indicators (KPIs) come in.

What are your Performance Goals (KPIs)?

KPIs are the lifeblood of growth in business. They’re the North Stars of any digital marketing strategy, and often how stakeholders will assess the success of the business as a whole.

KPIs do at least three critical things in small business marketing:

  1. They help you benchmark the current status of your marketing efforts.
  2. They help you determine if your efforts are resulting in a positive ROI.
  3. They help you avoid the “shiny object syndrome” of chasing non-essential vanity metrics.

How to determine your most important KPIs

Thankfully, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to choosing your KPIs. Many businesses and industries have blazed the trail in this regard. Oftentimes, choosing KPIs is as easy as looking at industry standards or competitors.

For example, if you do a Google search for “[your industry] KPIs,” you’ll find comprehensive lists of suggested metrics. While many KPIs are relevant across verticals, some are unique to your industry. 

For example, if you’re an eCommerce business that sells a wide variety of SKUs, you may want to focus on increasing your average order value (AOV). That would be a strong KPI to track. Or, if your business relies on recurring revenue, you may want to track and reduce your customer churn rate — a very common KPI in the software world.

Your most important KPIs should flow out of your goals

If your goal is to grow, ask yourself what levers you must pull to make that happen. Maybe it’s more sales, more YoY revenue, or an expanded product line. Those variables should dictate your KPIs — and those KPIs can change as the goals of your business change.

How many KPIs should you have?

There’s no hard and fast rule here. It can be tempting to track everything under the sun, but any more than 5-7 KPIs at a given time may be biting off more than you can chew. 

Generally speaking, if you have any more than 10 KPIs, they can cease to be meaningful. Forcing yourself to prune your list will help you only track what moves the needle for your business — and nothing else. 

Examples of common marketing KPIs

  • Monthly website traffic
  • The conversion rate for bottom-of-funnel content
  • Ranking keywords
  • Weekly blog posts published
  • Resource downloads
  • New leads or prospects

Avoiding “vanity metrics”

Vanity metrics are data points that look good on a graph or in a slide deck but don’t actually help you reach your goals. 

The reality is there are thousands of things to track: Social shares, social engagement, YouTube comments, email clicks, bounce rate, eCommerce cart abandonment. The list goes on and on.

The hard part isn’t tracking data points. The challenge comes from choosing which ones to track and which ones to ignore. That’s why we recommend pruning your list of KPIs to only the essentials necessary for real growth. 

Step 2: Define your Target Audience

Intimately knowing your target audience is the first step in any marketing effort. It determines what language you use in your blog posts, and on which channels you promote them.

It determines your branding, your colors, your logo, even the typefaces on your website. 

A brand with a target audience of 32 to 40-year-old male sales professionals will look and sound different than one with an audience of 23 to 30-year-old stay-at-home moms. 

Study and interview your existing (or your competitor’s) customers

One of the best ways to better understand your target audience is to study and interview the people who already support your business.

Reach out to them via email. Or better, see if you can schedule a call. When you speak with them, gather as much data as possible. Such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Internet browsing habits
  • Preferred social channels
  • How your solution helps them solve a problem (that’s a big one).

Also, it may feel a bit Orwellian, but take the time to look at their social profiles. What do they like/comment on? What other pages do they follow on Facebook? Is there any overlap between those brands/pages and your own?

If you don’t have your own audience yet, study your competitors.

Note: if you want to hack the marketing process, get comfortable with competitor analysis. It’s one of the most comprehensive ways to accelerate marketing growth.

Go to your competitors’ social profiles, and look at the kinds of people that engage with the posts. See if you can discern any patterns. It’s not as effective as a real-life conversation, but it’s a start.

Use Google Analytics

If you’ve already got Google Analytics set up on your website, you’re likely sitting on a goldmine of audience data. 

From your GA dashboard, click Audience. From this dropdown menu, you can click any of the subcategories to see reports on your audience:

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Geographical location
  • And preferred browsing devices

Step 3: Set a budget for your digital marketing

With so many strategies and tactics at your disposal for marketing your business, your only limiting factors are time and money. 

Setting a budget can often provide helpful boundaries and set the scope for your marketing efforts. 

Factors that determine your marketing budget

Determining your marketing spend often begins with asking yourself the following questions:

“Will I hire experts or do this myself?”

In 2020, the average monthly cost of a small business marketing agency is anywhere between $500 and $6,000. And that’s only for one marketing discipline — SEO, email marketing, PPC ads, etc.

While in some cases this is cheaper than hiring a full-time marketing employee, many small businesses simply can’t afford these prices.

Most small businesses start off doing all their marketing on their own, and then as they grow, they outsource bits and pieces to freelancers or agencies.

The benefit of this approach is that you, the business owner, can learn the basics of marketing and “speak the language” to any agencies you hire in the future.

This due diligence will ensure that you’re not getting taken advantage of and help you articulate your goals to whomever you hire. 

“Will I run ads or rely on free channels?”

Many digital marketing channels are free, only requiring a bit of time and education to get started. For example, you can write valuable content for your audience, post it on your site, and start ranking on Google. 

Or, you can post engaging photos and videos of your business on Instagram and grow your audience.

Where these platforms make their cash is in ad revenue. Organic digital marketing is a bit like starting a campfire with sticks and kindle. It’s a slow, steady, but highly sustainable strategy. 

Running ads is like dumping gasoline on that fire and tossing a lighter in the mix. 

In other words, do you have the luxury of patience, or does your business require rapid growth?

Your traffic and impressions are only limited by your ad spend. However, without engaging content or a compelling offer, you’ll likely be driving unqualified traffic and wasting your resources.

Ads tend to convert best when you’ve already got a great conversion funnel established for prospects, and you just need to dial up the traffic to 11. 

Recommended marketing budget figures

The U.S. Small Business Association recommends spending 7-8% of your gross revenue on marketing. That’s just a benchmark, of course, not a hard and fast rule. 

Maybe you’re a B2B startup with some investors that want to see rapid growth. In that case, you’ll probably want to spend something more in the 10-12% range. 

If you’re just starting out in your small business journey, you may be working with 7-8% of zero. Don’t be discouraged. With a little elbow grease and determination, many of these marketing tactics can be bootstrapped, at least until you start getting some cash flow.

Step 4. Establish your unique selling proposition (USP)

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a value statement that articulates why your business is superior to the competition and the best choice for prospective customers. 

If you’ve had any success in business at all, you know that competition is good. Competition means there’s a market of people willing to buy. Competition also means there are other brands competing for customers’ loyalty and wallet equity.

So how do you stand apart from the crowd? What’s your unique angle?

USPs can be simple, like Skullcandy. The headphone brand simply states: “Big Sound on a Budget.” 

This communicates so much in so little space. They offer great sound — something all headphone brands aspire to — yet at an approachable price. That’s their unique angle.

USPs can also be more in-depth, but usually don’t exceed more than two or three sentences. As a general rule, the more succinct you can make your USP, the better.

As you’re crafting (or refining) your own USP, the three things you’ll want to consider are:

  1. What is my unique angle in the marketplace?
  2. What does my business do better than anyone else?
  3. How do I solve my customers’ problems?

Step 5. Establish your brand identity

What exactly is a brand? It can be tough to define, but we know it when we see it.

A brand is more than just a logo, a name, or a color scheme (but not less than those things). It’s the composite result of all those things combined. 

The following components are what make up a brand:


Logos can be symbols (like the NIKE swoosh) or simply recognizable fonts styled in a certain way (like Google).

Voice and tone

If you read the copy on Apple’s website, they have a very distinct voice. They’re succinct, pithy, and slightly clever. That voice is shot through every word of their copy. 

Your voice and tone should largely be dictated by your audience research. If your audience speaks formally, you should too. If your audience uses particular industry lingo, you should too. 

All of this helps you engender trust and build your brand identity.


Established brands don’t just choose colors arbitrarily. Colors have meanings. Psychological studies show that certain colors evoke certain emotions in humans. 

For example, the color red can create feelings of power, passion, and energy. While green creates feelings of health, nature, prosperity, and growth.

Why do you think almost all budgeting or finance software has a green color palette? 

Fonts and type

Similar to color schemes, typefaces are not neutral. How you interpret a strong, regal font is going to be much different than a flowery, handwritten font. 

Much of this is intuition and depends upon your brand identity. Generally speaking, designers recommend no more than three different font families on your site (preferably two). 

Step 6. Choose your channels

Alright. So you’ve established your budget, your USP, your branding, and done your audience research. At this point, it’s time to decide what marketing channels to focus on.

And yes, you must choose. You cannot focus on all of them. Hopefully, your audience research should reveal which channels are the best choices.

We’d recommend making at least one of those channels content marketing and SEO on your own website. As mentioned above, your site is the only marketing property you truly own.

Plus, content created on your website can then be repurposed in different formats for different social and marketing channels. 

Double down on the channels that are already working

If you’re already seeing traction in particular marketing channels, don’t reinvent the wheel. Any experienced marketer will tell you that it’s all about experimentation.

You try a strategy or tactic, evaluate its success, and then either remove it or double down on it. If you’ve already started building an audience on LinkedIn, don’t start from the bottom on Pinterest and Facebook just because you want to diversify.

In short, push the pedal down on channels that are already working and slowly introduce others as your resources allow. 

Step 7. Test your Strategies

We’ve already mentioned (and will continue to drive home) the importance of regular testing. It’s impossible to judge the efficacy of a marketing strategy by gut feeling.

It’s critical that you implement systems and processes to analyze marketing efforts in regular intervals — weekly, monthly, and at the very least quarterly. 

This can get a bit technical, but you’ll also want to make sure you isolate any variables you’re testing. 

For example, if you’re trying to determine whether or not an email subject line is resulting in higher email engagement, don’t also change the send time of the email. In the case of an improvement, you won’t be able to trace back the variable responsible. 


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List of Marketing Strategies

So far, we’ve talked about a lot of high-level digital marketing fundamentals. In this section, we’re going to get into the nuts and bolts of some specific strategies and tactics. 

1. Stay focused on singular goals and objectives

This goes back to the topic of KPIs, but if you chase too many goals, you’ll achieve none (or only half-measures).

As a small business, you have finite resources and time. This means you’ll want to focus on the most critical objectives one at a time. 

For example — if your website is in shambles (or doesn’t exist), that should be your primary goal. If it exists but it isn’t getting traffic, that should be your primary goal. If it exists, is getting traffic, but isn’t converting… you get the picture.

If your goal feels too audacious, break it down into smaller chunks. Business changes so much, so anything beyond 90-day goals gets into the realm of assumption and speculation.

2. Leverage existing customers

Existing customers are an endless treasure trove of content, information, and perhaps even revenue. 

Let’s say you have just one customer who’s a raving fan of your brand. Think of all the ways you could leverage her:

  1. You could interview her for a podcast, which you could then transcribe and turn into a case study or testimonial for your site. This would also give you more intel and language into the pain points of other prospects.
  2. You could incentivize her through advocacy programs to share your social posts or even speak at in-person events down the road.
  3. You could ask her for referrals of industry colleagues and the opportunity to set up a meeting with other prospective customers. 


And this is just from one customer and a few weeks’ worth of work. Imagine if you leveraged customers across multiple industries and demographics. You’d have endless content! 

3. Build a website

We’ve talked about the “why” and “what” of website building, now let’s get into the “how.” 

There are many powerful, yet affordable website solutions for small businesses. They run the gamut from highly customizable to completely out-of-the-box. 

The best solution for ecommerce stores with inventory needs

If you’re an eCommerce shop that sells physical products, there’s really no better solution than BigCommerce integrated with SkuVault.

BigCommerce is the most flexible, feature-rich solution for businesses looking to sell online. The platform exists solely to support eCommerce businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

And the platform scales with you, providing growth, security, and ease-of-use without the added complexity.

BigCommerce features a visual storefront page builder to help you create beautiful, engaging layouts. Further, they have built-in support for SEO, brick-and-mortar integrations, and cross-channel selling.

And when you integrate with SkuVault, the most robust inventory management platform on the planet, you get all your essential logistics data in one place.

Together, SkuVault and BigCommerce is the solution multichannel retailers need to sell more, and ensure every new order is fulfilled quickly, without adding more resources, overhead, or complexity.

To learn more about how BigCommerce and SkuVault help small businesses scale and grow without the headaches, click here

4. Utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

68% of online activities begin with a search engine. So how do you get a slice of all that traffic?

Answer: Search Engine Optimization. As its name implies, SEO is the practice of optimizing your website and its content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Moreover, SEO is one of the most effective ways to reach more potential customers online. and it’s one of the most effective long-term strategies for small businesses. 

Why? Because it targets potential customers who are actively looking for your products or services. Your traffic can’t get much more qualified than that. 

And contrary to popular belief, SEO is not dead — in fact, it’s more important and prevalent than ever. In an age where buyers are inundated with advertising messages from all directions, SEO can help you cut through the noise and reach buyers who are actually interested in what you have to offer.

That’s because SEO is all about earning organic search traffic from Google and other search engines. When done correctly, it can result in consistent leads and sales for your business at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising channels.

The main components of SEO are:

  • Technical SEO: This is the process of optimizing your website’s infrastructure and architecture for better search engine visibility.
  • On-page SEO (or Content SEO): This is the practice of optimizing your website’s content, including title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, images, and more, to rank higher in SERPs.
  • Off-page SEO (or backlinks): This is the process of earning links from other websites, including citations from business directories and your Google Business Profile. 

When done correctly, SEO can result in a steady stream of leads and sales for your business at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising channels.

5. Create a blog (and start writing content)

SEO helps you rank highly, but great content keeps searchers engaged. This approach is one of the most important parts of marketing because it shows you are the subject matter expert.

Content is also what draws people in and makes them interested. Your efforts here will increase search engine authority, brand awareness, and reach.

“Content” can take many forms, including blog posts, videos, infographics, eBooks, webinars, podcasts, and more. Also, don’t skimp on quality. Remember, the competition is also striving to make the best possible content to win over your prospects. 

Make sure all of your content is well-written, deep, informative, and engaging.

6. Use Keyword Research

Just as having high-quality content on your site is essential, so is having the right keywords. They will cause your content to rank higher in search engines, so do your research and determine which ones are being used the most in your industry.

Then use those words throughout your website (including in the titles of blog posts), social media bios and descriptions, etc.

As your content ranks, search engines will pull it up for relevant searches. The increase in traffic and leads this produces can significantly boost sales.

7. Content marketing

The final piece of the SEO puzzle is content marketing, and it should be at the core of your small business. 

This involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant content with your target audience on a consistent basis. When done correctly, it can help you attract more website visitors, leads, and customers.

There are many different types of content you can create, and the type you choose will depend on your target audience and what you want to achieve. Some popular types of content include blog posts, infographics, videos, eBooks, case studies, etc.

8. Use CRM Tools

A CRM (customer relationship management) system is a valuable tool for small businesses. It helps you keep track of your customers’ contact information, purchase history, preferences, and more. This information can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to appeal to them.

A CRM also allows you to automate many marketing tasks, such as email marketing and customer segmentation. This can save you a lot of time and energy, allowing you to focus on other areas of your business.

9. Implement Email Marketing 

Email marketing is an effective way to reach your target audience and boost sales. When done correctly, it can result in more website visitors, leads, and customers. 

There are many ways to use email marketing, but a popular method is to create an email list and send them regular updates with content that is relevant to them. You can also offer exclusive discounts and other incentives to encourage people to subscribe.

10. Try Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a great way for small businesses to promote their products and services. It can increase brand awareness, generate leads and drive traffic back to your website.

Some of the most popular platforms include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Each has its own unique benefits for small business owners:

Facebook: You can use this platform to connect with customers in real-time, share content, run ads, and more.

Twitter: You can use Twitter to share short snippets of information about your business, run contests and giveaways, and more.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B businesses as it allows you to connect with other professionals in your industry.

Instagram: Instagram is perfect for visual brands, as it allows you to share photos and videos with your followers.

11. Launch a Referral Program 

Referral programs can be a fantastic way to grow your business and generate more customers. To do it, you offer an incentive for people to refer their friends and family members.

You could offer discounts, rewards, or free products for referring friends who then make a purchase. This is also known as word-of-mouth marketing.

This can be done in many different forms, such as: 

Giveaways and contests – Offer a prize to anyone who refers a certain number of new customers.

Discounts and coupons – Provide discounts on products or services for each referral made.

Loyalty program – Offer rewards (points, gift cards, etc.) that can be redeemed at your store when they refer someone else to become a customer too!

Social media – Post about your referral program on social media and ask followers to share it with their friends.

12. Host an Event

Hosting a local event can be a great way for small businesses to connect with customers in person. You could host a seminar, workshop, or other learning-focused events that are relevant to your industry.

This could be an excellent opportunity to network with potential customers, as well as other businesses in your community. It also allows you the chance to show off what makes your business unique and memorable!

13. Use CRM Tools

A CRM (customer relationship management) system is a valuable tool for small businesses. It helps you keep track of your customers’ contact information, purchase history, preferences, and more. This information can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to appeal to them.

A CRM also allows you to automate many marketing tasks, such as email marketing and customer segmentation. This can save you a lot of time and energy, allowing you to focus on other areas of your business.

Marketing Tips for Small Business

Once you have your marketing strategy in place, it’s vital to execute it effectively to help generate growth and keep your company competitive. Here are some of our best tips and recommendations for doing just that:

1. Nail down your brand’s identity

Having a solid and consistent brand identity is one of the most crucial factors in your marketing strategy and will make your business stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

First, define your brand with exercises such as picking out a few words that best represent your brand voice or describe your brand. Then, determine who your competition is.

2. Know your audience

Now that you have a good understanding of who you are as a brand, it’s time to start focusing on figuring out who your target customer is. 

This approach will help inform all your marketing decisions and give you a better idea of where to allocate resources (time and money). You can do this by creating buyer personas.

3. Professionally design your logo and other brand assets

This tactic will give your business an instant boost in credibility. A well-designed logo and branding will communicate to your customers that you are a serious business.

It also helps with marketing efforts down the line as people will start to remember your name and logo and drive growth.

4. Use a template for your website

A customizable template that looks professional, polished, and on-brand makes it easy to keep your site updated and looking good. It also makes it easier to manage content and optimize SEO.

5. Consult freelancers or agencies if you need help

Getting started with your strategy can be difficult if you aren’t sure where to begin. Consider reaching out to an agency or freelancer. 

In addition, free resources you can use to get help with your startup or small business are the Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE, which offer free workshops on just about anything business-related, including savvy digital market strategies.

6. Use responsive web design best practices

Your website should be responsive, so it can look good on any device, mainly because there are 6.4 billion smartphone users you can target with SMS marketing strategies.

All BigCommerce web templates come mobile-friendly and responsive out of the box, leaving you one less thing to worry about. 

7. Optimize your blog posts and website pages

You’ll inevitably see some content perform better than others. Don’t ignore these signals, this is the marketplace speaking to you!

Double down on these successful pieces of content by further optimizing them. Beef up blog posts with fresh statistics, more engaging images and deeper information.

Doing so helps you get better search engine visibility and more website visitors.

8. Use video content

Some visitors to your site like to read, and others want to watch. Why not give them both options? Video content is a great way to do this as it is engaging and can help you explain complex topics in an easy-to-understand manner. 

(Plus, YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the internet.)

And whether it’s a YouTube channel or short videos on your website, video content is often severely underutilized in most verticals. 

Simply putting out engaging video content could be a powerful differentiator for your brand.

9. Use high-quality photos

This is especially important if you’re using social media to market your business. Photos that are high-quality and on-brand will help you stand out from the competition. 

Resist the urge to use poor-quality stock images as they tend to make your website look unprofessional.

10. If you need help with grind work, hire a freelancer

Consider hiring outside assistance, particularly if you are busy with tasks like growing your business. A virtual assistant can help with certain menial tasks that may be overwhelming you. 

Some top companies to consider hiring talent from include Toptal, Fiverr, Upwork, and People per Hour.

11. Get business pages on Yelp and Facebook

Claim and complete your profiles on these sites for free, as they are popular directories of businesses. By doing so, you’ll make it easier for people to find you online.

These also count as backlinks that help you on the SEO front. 

12. Follow best practices for your landing pages

Make sure your landing pages are high-quality and relevant to the offer you’re promoting. Also, make sure they are easy to navigate and have a clear call-to-action (CTA). 

BigCommerce’s easy-to-use page builder helps you create aesthetically-pleasing landers that actually convert. 

13. Plan out your email marketing 

Email marketing campaigns are a great way to engage with your prospects and customers and make them aware of promotions. 

You can take this a step further with email automation. For example, you can set up a timed email sequence to go out once per day, offering relevant content to prospects until they purchase.

You can even segment customers by demographic, product type, and funnel stage. These controls allow you to give the perfect messaging to the right customers at the right time.

And the best part? All you have to do is set it up once and maintain it, and the automation does the rest. You can use several platforms for this purpose, including HubSpot’s free email marketing tools, Mailchimp, and ConvertKit.

14. Use coupons as incentives on emails and landers 

Coupons are a great way to incentivize customers to act and make a purchase. Just be sure the coupon you offer has an expiration date, so it doesn’t seem too good of a deal, and people will wait to take advantage of it.

15. Offer free webinars

Hosting live or recorded webinars is a great way to educate your audience on topics they’re interested in and build leads. 

They build trust with prospects and customers by sharing your expertise, and you can use them to introduce people to your product or service, share tips and tricks or answer common questions. 

And you don’t have to be a pro speaker—just make sure the content of your webinars is high-quality and relevant.

16. Promote your content on social media 

Social media content doesn’t need to be rocket science. If you have existing content on your blog or YouTube, much of that can be repurposed to match the format of a particular social channel.

Then, you can use a tool like Buffer or CoSchedule to plan out tweets or posts in advance, once again automating the heavy lifting of remembering to post. 

And don’t forget about communities like LinkedIn, Quora or Reddit, where you can answer questions and share information relevant to your niche. 

17. Use PPC advertising 

Pay-per-click advertising is a good way to generate leads quickly by only paying when someone clicks on your ad. 

The cost-per-click (CPC) will vary depending on the keywords you’re bidding on, but it’s an effective marketing tactic that can work well for businesses of all sizes.

The Google Keyword Planner is a powerful free tool that offers insights into search volume, CPC numbers, and how steep the competition is. 

18. Advertise on social media 

For businesses of any size, paid social advertising is a sure-fire way to bring in sales and internet traffic from day one. Plus, it helps you reach your target market by using targeting options to ensure your ad reaches the right people. 

19. Encourage happy customers to rate, review, or give you a testimonial

One of the best ways to build trust and elevate your brand is through positive customer reviews. 

As a small business, you can encourage happy customers to provide ratings and reviews on sites like Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook and TripAdvisor.

You could even offer them an incentive for doing so (like a discount coupon).

20. Use analytics tools to run experiments

It’s essential to keep tabs on how your marketing tactics are working, and analytics tools can help. You should also be A/B testing different tactics like your homepage or ad headlines to see which one gets the best results. 

These experiments will give you insight into what works and doesn’t so you know where to focus your efforts moving forward.

21. Build a referral program

Referral programs can be a fantastic way to grow your business and generate more customers. You could offer discounts, rewards or free products for referring friends who then make a purchase. This tactic is also known as word-of-mouth marketing.

The Takeaways

Although small businesses often don’t have as much budget as their corporate brethren, they have many advantages over their larger counterparts when it comes to marketing and growth.

They are more nimble, have fewer levels of management, and are able to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace.

In addition, they can be more creative with their marketing strategies, using guerrilla tactics and unorthodox methods to get their message out.

And finally, they can often be more personal with their customers, developing relationships that lead to loyalty and referrals.

The Final Word

As you can see, there are enough marketing strategies out there to make your head spin. Try not to get overwhelmed. Start with a strategy, then find your audience, and slowly but surely test out each tactic.

The key is to find the specific ones that work well for your business and focus on those.

Of course, marketing is always evolving, so it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and changes to stay ahead of the competition.

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