40+ Small Business Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

If you're a small business owner, then you know that marketing can be tough. It seems like everyone is competing for attention, and it's hard to stand out from the crowd. But don't worry, we have sought the opinions of experts and they share these small business marketing strategies that work:

#1. Know Your Target Audience

‌‌"I believe that a marketing strategy can make or break a company. As a business leader, I have learned that having a simple yet effective marketing strategy in place is of utmost importance for any type of business. As a member of the retail industry, the simple and best marketing strategies that have been tried and tested are to know your target audience and to maximize online advertising. Having these strategies in place are good ways to jumpstart your business. Be consistent in your business processes, and always keep your eyes on achieving a common goal. There is no one fits all strategy for a business. Find the ones that work best for your industry, and stick to it."

Thanks to Emily Cooper, Oliver Wicks

#2. Collect Reviews From Customers

"Collecting reviews from my customers on platforms like Google My Business increases my odds of getting new customers. Good reviews symbolize people’s trust in a business and over 90% of people check reviews before approaching a business. The more good reviews you have the more customers you’re going to get."

Thanks to A guide to advanced aesthetics

#3. Never Wait For a Bigger Audience

"A strategy that actually works is to never wait for a bigger audience to share your best work. People think they need to grow

their newsletter to a certain size before sending out an email or growing their Instagram following before posting their first live video. In reality, it's doing these things, even if you're doing them to an audience of 0 at first, that makes you grow. This is the time for practicing your craft and you can always reshare as your audience grows and new people join the party but never make the mistake of holding yourself back until you've reached arbitrary number goals, or you might never get there at all."

Thanks to Johannes Larsson, CEO of Financer.

#4. Put an Emphasis On User Design And Value On Products

"Our marketing plan is fairly simple. We put an emphasis on user design and value in our product. In the beginning, we reached out organically to thousands of real estate investors through public forums seeking advice. When we launched, we sent our site to all of them. Following that, we have had explosive organic growth. We have spent under $100 in paid advertising. We believe that a more grass roots approach is optimal in the beginning of a company especially as SaaS. We plan on scaling with more paid ads once we understand how we can improve our product. Happy to answer any other questions."

Thanks to Moe Soloff, Owner, Leads Rating.

#5. Getting Placement In Top 10 Blog Articles

"Our secret marketing weapon for growth is getting placement in "Top 10" blog articles. For example, "Top 10 Best Sunglasses for Women."  These articles are so powerful because they are one of the first places customers look when starting their buyer journey. The publications generally have a lot of inherent trust (aka social proof) so conversion rate is generally extremely high."

Thanks to Philip Pages, Founder at PostPurchaseSurvey.

#6. Give Existing Customers The Much Needed Value

"There is a widespread misconception among businesses that marketing is just for the new and potential consumers. Marketers tend not to give existing consumers much value, due to which they lose out on many potential leads. Try to give your repeated customers a personalized experience as it acts as a customer retention key. Focusing on such little things can help build a relationship between the business and the consumers, increasing the chances of lead generation and profitable transactions."

Thanks to Eamonn Turley, Multiquotetime.

#7. Leverage Influencers

"We've seen great success with influencers specifically on YouTube. The key is to set up affiliate partnerships where both parties make money when your products are purchased. Having an influencer whose goals are aligned with yours is an unbelievably powerful marketing superpower."

Thanks to John Cammidge, Owner, Jcammidge.

#8. Make Use Of Posters

"There are many places to post notices and adverts for free, including supermarkets, public areas, and shopping malls. However, you should strive to make your poster fairly visible and offer detachable tabs that clients may submit for a discount using this strategy, even though it is hit-or-miss. To see where the most leads are coming from, use different colors for each area. If you know where your leads are coming from, you can focus your marketing efforts there."

Thanks to Vishesh Raisinghani, the Financial Expert at PiggyBank.

#9. Industry Network

“We provide specialized digital directory signs that are installed in large commercial buildings, malls, and office lobbies. The point is that we need to be identified early and at very specific events as a solution. Planning for solutions such as ours can begin as early as conceptual drawings, but also later during ownership transitions. For this reason, we focus on building key industry relationships by networking with architects, property management staff, and construction companies.

Building relationships intentionally with the right people fosters referrals and expands our network to be seen as a leading solution for signage that traditional advertising could not accomplish. Identify whom your business should network with, and take steps to build those relationships. This will pay dividends over time for you.”

Thanks to Sam Rogers, Owner, Digital Directory Express

#10. Search Engine Optimization

"SEO simply refers to the process of obtaining free, natural traffic to your website. Basically, if you can reach to the top of the SERPs, or at least page one, you've succeeded with SEO. It takes time and patience to rank on the first page of search engines. It's not a one-time marketing strategy that you can develop, apply, and then forget about. To progressively move your website up the search engine results pages, you'll need to fine-tune your SEO efforts."

Thanks to Taylor Murchison, SEO Growth Director, On The Map Marketing.

#11. Having a Quality Website

"Our marketing strategies switch year over year. The main part of our current marketing strategy for 2022 is to grow our organic traffic. We are working on SEO to make sure all our pages are optimized. We are writing 2-3 new blog articles every week, and updating our old articles to make sure they have great information and google optimized. We have been doing this for the last couple of months and already see an uptick in traffic and conversions. We then make sure quality backlinks are going to our pages focusing on the keywords that we are focused on.

Soon as we get our page in the top 3 for the keyword we are focusing on, the orders increase dramatically. Social Media comes and goes and tracking techniques changes make it harder to retarget potential customers. Having a quality website that is fully optimized has been the best strategy for us."

Thanks to TJ Schieber, We Buy Houses Atlanta Georgia.

#12. Concentrate on Market Segmentation

"Market segmentation entails dividing a larger market into smaller groups based on demographic data or purchasing habits. Then, as your target audience, you can select one of these segments. Marketing to a very specific group of potential customers is far easier than trying to appeal to a large group of people."

Thanks to Ankush Sharma, DataToBiz.

#13. Marketing Through Thought Leadership

"As an online small business in a highly competitive industry, we've had to employ a number of unique marketing strategies in order to differentiate ourselves from major competitors and attract clients. One of the strategies that we've focused on in recent years is marketing through thought leadership, something which has bolstered our online presence and increased our authority in the industry. We're always on the lookout for ways to share our expert knowledge, whether that be by providing comments on market conditions or writing research pieces to be shared on our blog.

We often engage with journalists and bloggers looking for insight on the US office market, something which has opened the door to many additional opportunities, to the point where we're frequently contacted for comment without needing to pursue opportunities. This form of digital PR is completely free and can result in great exposure for your brand."

Thanks to Michael McCarty, CEO, EDGE Fall Protection, Inc.

#14. Invest In Customer Retention

"Your small business's long-term success depends heavily on customer retention, and you can't argue with that. Making a sale to a brand new customer is 6 times harder than to an existing one. If you want more customers to keep coming back for more, you must improve your customer service skills. To accomplish this, the first thing you should do is figure out where you're losing customers. Determine your customers' definition of success and assist them in achieving their goals. As a small business, you have the privilege of creating meaningful and honest relationships with your clientele, and you really shouldn't waste it."

Thanks to Jess, Practically Green

#15. Post Case Studies on Your Website

"Case studies show how effective your product or service is. Your case study can focus on how your customers can cut expenses, produce more leads, or grow into new areas, especially if you have a B2B audience. Case studies can be in the form of movies, infographics, or blog articles, among other formats. To begin, choose a case study subject whose experience with your company provides a compelling story. Maybe your product or service helped them achieve a critical objective, or they saw significant benefits after switching from a competitor. Your case study should live on your website as a demonstration of how your product or service works through the eyes of an existing customer, regardless of the details."

Thanks to Jacob Sherman, Sales Development Executive at New Reach Agency.

#16. Referral Networks

"Referral networks are extremely beneficial to a business, as they often contain customer referrals who are rewarded with discounts or other incentives for each referral. Referral networks, on the other hand, include business-to-business referrals. If you've ever said something along the lines of, "We don't do/sell it here, but X down the block does," make sure you're getting a reference in return. Regardless of your industry, make sure you build a referral network that shares your values and commitment to excellence."

‌‌Thanks to Liam Quirk, Enofaber

#17. Search Engine Optimization

"SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google and other search engines. By investing in SEO, you can improve your website's ranking in search results and attract more visitors. It works. A well-planned and executed SEO strategy will yield results in terms of increased organic traffic and better positioning. 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 for a product or service online prior to making a purchase. They won’t find your business if it doesn’t show up in Google's search engine."

Thanks to Alex Shute, Editor-in-Chief, FaithGiant.

#18. Employ Email

"There are several benefits to employing email as a marketing tool. It is simple to implement, can be automated, allows for quick contact, is inexpensive, and can reach many potential customers. The business must send engaging, meaningful, and relevant information for the emails to be opened rather than filtered as spam."

Thanks to Luke Shaw Ph.D, The Best Degree Review.

#19. A Blog

"A blog is one of the most important online channels you can own as a small business because it allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your industry and create valuable content that's optimized for SEO. The best way to start a blog for your business is with WordPress, which has millions of plugins and themes that ensure your blog is optimized for SEO and customer experience. Once you have a blog, make sure to promote it on all of your online channels and update it regularly with fresh content."

Thanks to Roger Huang, Head of Growth Operations, Springboard

#20. Focus On Educating First and Selling Second

"It is so important to focus your marketing efforts on educating first and selling second. People don't like to be sold to. Therefore, provide value 80% of the time and ask for the sale 20% of the time. You can educate consumers by sharing interesting articles related to your industry on your social media channels, sending out a weekly newsletter with helpful how-to tips, producing a weekly informational podcast for your website visitors, etc."

Thanks to Nathan Liao, Founder, CMA Exam Academy.

#21. Internal Social Marketing

"One of the best marketing strategies is what we call ISM – “Internal Social Marketing.” This is essentially using your existing customers to grow your business from the inside out. Say you’re a restaurant owner who does catering for offices and parties. We create sweepstakes that are free to enter for everyone. The grand prize is a full dinner, free of charge, for an event. The kicker is that everyone who entered will receive a small discount on their next purchase (say, 5% or 10%).

What does this do? It promotes groups of people to share in the hopes their group gets selected, and it builds awareness of your brand. Today, most businesses are perfectly content to give away their product to market themselves instead of giving away their money. By the end of the sweepstakes, you’ll have a lot of entrants who have discounts, but there'll be a lot of new customers in addition to existing customers."

Thanks to Lee Mamane, Promotion LA.

#22. Customer Base

"The first thing that any business needs from its marketing is a customer base. For small businesses, the only way to create this kind of base is through word-of-mouth advertising. Word of mouth advertising happens when satisfied customers tell people about your products or services, and those people become new customers.

To start getting positive word of mouth, you need to create happy customers who are eager to share their happiness with others. Aim to get referrals from at least 25 percent of your customers, and you will notice a positive shift in sales."

Thanks to Becky Usanga, Techy10

#23. Do an Inventory of Your Current Activities

"Your money and time are valuable. One or more of these categories should be the focus of your small business's marketing strategy. Take a look at your whole marketing strategy and see how much money you're spending compared to how much money you're making. When it comes to marketing, where do you put the most effort? What about the money? If you're dreading that one small company marketing approach you do every day, does the effort pay off? Those small business marketing methods that deliver results, don't take up too much time and don't break the bank are the most successful ones to try out. For the time being, only concentrate on those."

‌‌Thanks to Martin Luenendonk, FounderJar

#24. Reviews and Referrals

"We usually work on reviews and referrals from our clients, those who took our services and we delighted them with the outcomes and progress. This is a highly effective and result-oriented business move that every business owner must take to spread the word for their business and offerings. Without word of mouth, marketing for your business all by paid means can be very difficult and costly. So the small businesses should chase their clients to collect reviews on Facebook, Google Business, Trust Pilot, Clutch, and other business listings."

Thanks to Usama Hashmi, Growth Marketer, Ideators.

#25. Be Present On All Platforms Your Competitors Are

"Small businesses should be present on all platforms where their competitors are present. This is a key to attracting relevant traffic from the same grounds where their competitors are getting it. If you list your business on all those online places, your chances of getting noticed by the same relevant audience and personas are exponentially higher than without listing. At the beginning of our digital marketing campaigns, our primary aim was to get listed on more than 50 business portfolios, directories, and B2B listing websites such as Goodfirms, Linkedin, Glassdoor, etc. In the next month, we were already getting hundreds of referral traffic from these websites, and ultimately, we were getting a few qualified leads as well."

Thanks to Jonathan Merry, Bankless Times

#26. Make Your Initial Clients Your Affiliates and Referrals

"This tip will be more promising than any other business tip specifically for small business owners. With this, you can actually maximize the outcomes from your current clients, not just in revenues but in building a solid clientele. The only requirement, in this case, is to deliver exceptional services to them, delight them with your attitude, services, professionalism, and communication. Once done, your clients will easily become your referral and affiliate and they will bring in new leads and clients from their circle."

Thanks to Muhammad Alhan, Marketing Manager, 10pearls.

#27. Google Maps and Google My Business

"For our small business, we found Google Maps, and Google My Business to be very effective and result-oriented in terms of bringing regular clients, orders, and business. On our dashboards, almost 80% of leads come through Google maps, from local people searching or calling for our services once they see our business on the maps. This simple marketing strategy is highly fruitful for small businesses."

Thanks to Hamza Manzoor, Co-founder, Urgent Resume.

#28. Content Marketing

"Content Marketing is one of the best marketing strategies we leverage at Local Furniture Outlet. By creating content that is related to products and services we offer, we are able to provide solutions to customer pain points while creating a unique brand outlook for our business. The carefully curated, high quality content is then distributed through different digital channels including social media, blogs, newsletter, and so on. Leveraging different types of content including articles, blog posts, videos, and infographics provides you with a series of avenues to generate more leads that eventually transform into sales."

Thanks to Aaron Masterson, Founder, Local Furniture Outlet.

#29. Nurture Your Existing Clients First To Get Leads and Referrals.

“If you are a business owner who is tight on time, our top marketing tip for you is to nurture your existing clients first to get leads and referrals. Focus on developing a strong relationship with them and ask them to always leave feedback or review, and spread the word of mouth. This is the quickest way to get high-quality leads for your business. Another piece of advice is to hire a professional marketing virtual assistant so you can save more time in doing this. They can definitely help you with PPC campaigns, FB ads, email marketing, content writing, blogging, and other marketing efforts which are all very important to increase your visibility and reach, and generate leads for your business."

Thanks to Pavel Stepanov, Virtudesk.

#30. Leverage Online Ads

"You may utilize your targeted prospects for this. Furthermore, you may place advertising on several sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Ads, and many others. You may run advertising on the channel after prospecting, which is more advantageous."

Thanks to Christopher Andrew, 420 Expert Adviser.

#31. Use Search Engine Optimization

‌"Search engine optimization (SEO) can be an important aspect of your online marketing strategy. SEO can help your website rank for certain keywords. Keywords are the phrases that people search for on search engines. When someone searches for something related to your product or service on a search engine(Google), SEO helps people learn about your website! It's also very useful for small or medium-sized businesses with limited advertising budgets, because you can optimize your website so that it still ranks ahead of your competitors in the natural rankings! In addition, consumers usually trust the first few natural search results on Google more. So, imagine automatically associating trust with your brand and business!"

Thanks to Jessica Weight, Dream Team Fundraising

#32. Set Sail with the Support of Word-of-Mouth Promotion

"Using your customer's voice to get them to speak about their experience with your company is one of the most cost-effective small business marketing tactics. That means first creating a fantastic product or service, and then delivering it to your clients in a spectacular way.  Encourage clients to communicate about your small business on social media and share their thoughts, increasing your chances of attracting new customers."

Thanks to Geoff Cudd, FindTheBestCarPrice.

#33. Marketing Automation

"A marketing automation system simplifies the process of navigating the seas: For small businesses, marketing automation solutions have become more accessible and affordable than ever before, allowing you to get the most out of your money. Using next-generation solutions, you can automatically gather visitors from your website and deliver the relevant message to them at the perfect time."

Thanks to Martin Lassen, GrammarHow.

#34. Take Your Business Online

“As more and more customers spend a majority of their time online, so too has the importance of the online presence of your business. Investing in SEO is a fantastic way to increase the visibility of your website, and thus its exposure to online users. By optimizing your website with targeted keywords and creating content such as blog posts that are informative, you’ll increase your website’s reputation and your standing in Google’s search rankings.”

Thanks to Mitch Hard, Overdraft Apps

#35. Use LinkedIn For Prospecting

"The most effective LinkedIn prospecting strategy I’ve discovered that generates qualified leads, is to reach out to first degree connections once or twice a year to request a 15-minute call to catch up. It’s a manual process that takes time, since I customize each note, but it works. I’ve landed half a dozen clients after generating a dozen leads via this strategy the past 2 years. Specifically, I send a 2-3 sentence (brief is key) note to request a call and include a link to our latest agency news at Anvil. If the timing is right (it’s all about timing) they respond with interest and we schedule a call. Although my response rate is low (1-2%) the conversion from response to lead is high (30-50%). Once they are qualified and go to the proposal stage, the conversion rate is very high (60-80%)."

Thanks to Peter Beeda, FHA Lend Mortgage.

#36. Running Dynamic Remarketing Ads

"Running dynamic remarketing ads has been most effective for me because firstly, setting them up is very easy on the Google Ads platform. Secondly, through dynamic remarketing ads, I could target my audience (shopping cart abandoners) with highly personalized messages (ads had images of products that customers added into their shopping cart but did not end up buying)."

Thanks to Erik Wright, New Horizon Home Buyers

#37. Develop a Good SEO Strategy

“Over half of all online actions start on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Most of them come from organic searches from these websites, making it extremely important for your small businesses to consider improving their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Developing a good SEO strategy can help you increase traffic, generate leads, close sales, improve your brand loyalty, and position your website on top of your competitor's. You can learn SEO through courses online, or you can work with a digital marketing agency. They can assist you with improving your website with SEO-specific strategies in mind. This is an excellent strategy as over 35% of all traffic comes from local sources, so ensuring you have a strong SEO will make sure your customers will be more likely to find your business when searching for your services.“

Thanks to Rich Rudzinski, Tragic Media

#38. Help The Community

"One of the best small business marketing strategies is to help the community. In trying times, helping the community is important, and ultimately it is the small businesses that provide the backbone for every economy. Helping the community will remind people of that and they will, in turn, help out these businesses."

Thanks to Findithealth.

#39. Stay Consistent In Your Messaging

"It may sound obvious, but way too often different people across a company (or even across a single team!) present their messaging differently. They focus on too many differentiators, ruining the effect of one strong message that should be communicated. If you sell water bottles, do you claim that you satiate marathon runners, use BPA-free plastic that's safe for babies, AND have big, easy-to-unscrew caps for older people with dexterity issues? Yes, you can have various features, but don't confuse your audience with too many factors flying at once. Make sure that your messaging has a focus."

Thanks to Richardson Kelly, Jooksms.

#40. Run Google Ads

"A tested and true small business marketing strategy is running Google Ads. I feel like many small business owners don't give enough time or effort to give this strategy a chance. There are many different styles owners can try, like local ads, shopping ads, or retargeting. They don't have to be expensive, start with a small budget of $10 a day, dial in your campaigns, and ramp up your spending from there. All businesses need leads and customers, and Google Ads is one of the surest ways of bringing potential customers to your store or website."

Thanks to Michael Dadashi, Owner, Infinite Recovery.

#41. Don't Ignore SEO

"When operating a small business, margins are everything. Getting a solid ROI is crucial, especially in terms of marketing. We’ve found great success with SEO on a smaller, more local scale. SEO can be an unattractive prospect for some businesses mainly due to the fierce competition and might of mega corporations, but you can’t ignore search engine optimization.

‌‌We wanted to drive highly local, targeted traffic to our website. SEO was a great fit for us, it’s far more cost effective than PPC ads and social media marketing. We also considered the fact that most consumers actively search for a product or service online prior to purchasing or even engaging with a business. Visibility high in the search engine results page is absolutely essential then. Google now actually favours local businesses first in the search results due to a recent algorithm shift, so SEO really cannot be ignored."

Thanks to Greg Tuohy, Docutec.

#42. Leverage LinkedIn Lead Form Ads

One of the best small business marketing strategies for B2B companies is by leveraging LinkedIn lead form ads, and sponsored DMs to retarget website visitors who otherwise would leave the site and never return. We recommend segmenting visitors into 3 stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Based on which pages of your website they visited, you can display the most relevant offers. Doing this has allowed us to maximize our ROI from SEO and Google ads."

Thanks to Chris Mitchell, Intelus Agency

#43. Don't Neglect Face Adverts

"It is only through an effective marketing strategy that small businesses can stand out in between the giants. While it may seem impossible, through focusing on the fundamentals of your business and taking advantage of new tools, small businesses can definitely carve their own share of the market. One such tool I'll definitely recommend is not neglecting Facebook adverts. Facebook provides the bridge between connecting targeted audiences to your organization while also generating word of mouth that can help solidify your company's name."

Thanks to Henry Ford, Owner, Skilled Golf.

#44. Build Your Reputation

"One of the most successful small company marketing methods is to have a solid reputation in your field. Being a featured speaker at a formal event demonstrates to prospects and clients that you are a subject matter expert in your profession. Consider contacting local groups that conduct frequent conventions, exhibitions, and workshops. Pitch your speech to them and you'll be included in their programming for their next event. This may be a virtual event rather than an in-person one, since people prefer remote conferences now due to their convenience, but speaking through video chat may be just as successful."

Thanks to Jessica Lipton, Elevate Delta 8.

#45. Use The Same URL From Last Year, Instead of Creating a New Landing Page For Your Easter Promotion

"Instead of creating a new landing page for your easter promotion, use the same URL from last year. If this is the first time you are doing an Easter promotion, create a URL that’s not tied to the current year. Last year’s URL is already indexed on Google and ranking for your keywords, so why start over each year? You will keep building page authority and get more traffic if you use the same URL every year. Of course, you can still make changes to the page itself."

Thanks to Leslie Gilmour, Cube Digital.

#46. Cold Email

"Cold emailing is one of the most successful tactics for small company marketing. It is an excellent technique to establish contact with prospective clients who may be unfamiliar with your brand. When marketing your small business via cold email, you can begin by compiling a list of potential customers, researching the companies you wish to target and identifying the decision-makers, and then crafting a personalized email that introduces your business and explains why you believe they would be a good fit for your products or services. Additionally, send the email and, if required, follow up with phone calls. Keep an eye on your outcomes and make any adjustments to your plan."

Thanks to Mark Taylor, Director, What Removals.

#47. Have a Clear Brand Identity

"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 businesses 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 their logo, they should put it on everything: advertising, business cards, website, envelopes and email signatures."

Thanks to Admir Salcinovic, PriceListo.

‌‌‌‌With the right marketing strategy, the returns on your investment would be overwhelming.

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌

‌‌