20 Incredible Marketing Best Practices Examples

20 Marketing Best Practices for Small Business Owners

Marketing remains essential for small businesses. It allows them to compete with others. But it also allows them to sell products and services. And it enables them to become profitable and grow. But the ways to market your small business seem endless.

So how do you know which small business marketing tactics will be right for you?

Marketing Best Practices

Fortunately you’ll find some help below. Check out these 20 marketing best practices for small business owners.
best marketing practices

Set Attainable Goals

Setting attainable goals in marketing is crucial for tracking progress and measuring success. It involves assessing your business’s current market position, identifying unique strengths and weaknesses, and establishing clear, measurable, and time-sensitive objectives.

Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, boosting online engagement, or driving sales, each goal should be realistically achievable within a set timeframe.  To do this, you need to:

  • Start by determining your current position in the market. This involves understanding your current market share, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and examining the competitive landscape.
  • Next, decide what you want to achieve. These goals could include expanding your market share, introducing new products or services, or enhancing customer satisfaction. The key is to keep your goals realistic, measurable, and time-bound.

Shanelle Mullin, Director of Marketing at Onboardly, tells marketing guru Neil Patel:

“The key to setting achievable marketing goals is to spend time evaluating your current position. Many startups set lofty, unattainable goals and end up discouraged, which can be detrimental in the early days. On the other hand, some startups set easy, insignificant goals and end up missing out on growth potential.”

Define Your Target Market

Defining your target market is foundational in crafting effective marketing strategies. This step requires thorough research to understand the demographics, interests, consumer habits, and geographic locations of your potential customers.

By clearly identifying your target audience, you can tailor your marketing messages to resonate more deeply, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates. To establish this, consider these key factors:

  • Age: Different age groups have varying preferences and purchasing behaviors.
  • Gender: The needs and wants of males and females can greatly differ.
  • Interests: Understand what hobbies, activities, or topics your target audience is interested in.
  • Location: Geographic location can influence consumer preferences and purchasing habits.
  • Consumer habits: How frequently and why does your target market purchase your product?

best marketing target market

Establish a Clear Brand Identity

A strong brand identity sets the tone for your business and differentiates you from competitors. It encompasses elements like a well-thought-out brand name, a memorable logo, a consistent color scheme, and the use of imagery that aligns with your brand’s ethos.

This identity should be reflected across all marketing channels to build brand recognition and loyalty. This includes:

  • Selecting the right name that resonates with your brand’s mission and vision.
  • Designing a suitable logo that’s memorable and aligns with your business.
  • Choosing appropriate colors that evoke the emotions you want associated with your brand.
  • Using relevant imagery, which can significantly enhance the visual appeal of your brand.

Have a Website

Expanding on the importance of having a website for your business, it’s not just about having a digital presence, but about making that presence work effectively for your brand.

Maximizing Your Website’s Potential

  • User Experience (UX) Design: Focus on creating a website with an intuitive layout, clear navigation, and responsive design. The easier it is for visitors to navigate and find information, the longer they are likely to stay on your site.
  • Content Quality: Populate your website with high-quality, relevant content. This includes detailed descriptions of your products or services, engaging blog posts, and resources that provide value to your audience. Content should be updated regularly to keep the site fresh and engaging.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Implement SEO best practices to improve your website’s visibility on search engines. Use relevant keywords, optimize meta tags, and create quality backlinks. Remember, good SEO is about matching content to user intent, not just stuffing in keywords.
  • Mobile Optimization: With the increasing use of smartphones for internet browsing, ensure your website is mobile-friendly. This means quick loading times, readable text, accessible navigation, and touch-friendly buttons and links.
  • Loading Speed: Optimize your website’s loading speed as slow-loading pages can lead to high bounce rates. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to check your site’s speed and implement recommended changes.
  • Call to Actions (CTAs): Your website should guide visitors towards taking specific actions, like making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or contacting you for more information. Clear, compelling CTAs are essential for converting visitors into customers.
  • Analytics: Use website analytics tools to track visitor behavior, such as Google Analytics. This data helps in understanding your audience better and refining your marketing strategies based on actual user interaction.
  • Customer Trust: Build trust through your website by including testimonials, case studies, and trust badges (especially for e-commerce sites). Also, ensure that your contact information is easily accessible for queries or support.
  • Integration with Social Media: Integrate your social media profiles with your website. This can help in driving traffic from your social media to your website and vice versa, creating a cohesive digital marketing ecosystem.
  • E-commerce Capabilities: If your business sells products, consider adding e-commerce capabilities to your website. This includes shopping carts, product catalogs, and secure payment options.
  • Accessibility: Make sure your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. This involves using alt-text for images, ensuring color contrast, and using accessible web design principles.
  • Regular Updates: Keep your website updated with the latest information about your products, services, and company news. Regular updates signal to both visitors and search engines that your site is active and relevant.

By focusing on these aspects, your website can become a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, effectively showcasing your brand and engaging with your audience in meaningful ways.

Use Facebook Advertising

With more than three million businesses advertising of Facebook, this method of marketing is a practice no small business can afford to ignore. Facebook advertising excels at target marketing; it allows businesses to reach specific audience segments based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.

To make the most of Facebook ads, it’s essential to clearly define your target audience, create compelling ad content, and continuously monitor and adjust your campaigns based on performance data.

Use More Than One Channel

Despite the importance of Facebook advertising, when it comes to marketing avoid ‘putting your eggs in one basket.’ Instead use multiple channels, both online and offline, to extend the reach of your brand to as many people as possible and to determine which channels are most effective for your business.

Utilizing multiple marketing channels diversifies your reach and mitigates the risk of over-reliance on a single platform. This multichannel approach should blend both online (social media, email, SEO) and offline (print ads, events, direct mail) strategies. Regularly assess each channel’s effectiveness and adapt your approach accordingly to maximize engagement and ROI.

Use Google My Business

Small businesses should not ignore Google My Business as an effective marketing practice. By listing your business on this free marketing channel you’ll enjoy better search visibility, gain customer insights and be able to display useful information to help customers find you.

Google My Business (GMB) boosts your local search visibility, allowing potential customers to find essential information like your business location, hours, and contact details easily.

Regularly update your GMB listing with accurate information, encourage customer reviews, and post updates or offers to enhance engagement.

Prepare for a Google Ads Campaign

Google Ads is a tried and tested marketing method for small businesses, hailed as one of the “most productive and quickest methods for bringing huge traffic on the verge of converting.”

Google Ads can drive significant targeted traffic to your business. Preparation involves setting a realistic budget, conducting thorough keyword research, and crafting compelling ads with clear calls-to-action. Also, create optimized landing pages that provide a seamless user experience from the ad click to conversion.

You should adequately prepare for it by:

  • Setting a proper budget: Define how much you’re willing to spend on ads and ensure it’s sustainable for your business.
  • Finding the right keywords: Use keyword research tools to discover the terms your target audience is searching for.
  • Creating significant landing pages: These pages should be relevant to the ad and offer a clear, engaging call to action for your visitors.

Be Mindful of SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of creating a website to help businesses rank higher on the search engines, which, in turn, brings more potential customers to their site, eventually increasing conversion rates.

SEO is vital for improving your website’s visibility in search engine results. Incorporate relevant keywords, optimize website speed, ensure mobile-friendliness, and produce quality content. Regularly update your SEO strategy to keep up with search engine algorithm changes and industry trends.

When designing a website or other online portal such as social media profiles, you should be mindful of SEO and the benefits incorporating relevant keywords into online marketing portals is likely to bring to your business.

Don’t Discount Email Marketing

Email marketing has long been a simple, cost-effective way to drive revenue for small businesses. Every time you add a new subscriber to your email list, they are a potential paying customer and therefore time and effort should ideally be put into developing email marketing campaigns.

Email marketing remains a powerful tool for nurturing leads and driving conversions. Build a robust email list, segment your audience for personalized communication, and craft compelling emails with clear calls-to-action. Monitor key metrics like open rates and click-through rates to refine your email marketing strategies.

best marketing practices online

Make Emails Mobile-Friendly

With a whopping 66% of emails now being opened on mobile devices, ensuring your emails are mobile-friendly is crucial. Use responsive design templates, keep your content concise, and use large, clickable buttons to improve the user experience on mobile devices.

Prioritize Content Marketing

Research shows that in 2016, 18% of marketers said content marketing had the greatest commercial impact on their business.

Content marketing is key to engaging and retaining your audience. Develop a diverse content strategy that includes informative blogs, engaging social media posts, captivating videos, and insightful infographics. Consistently deliver valuable and relevant content to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. It should be a key component of your marketing strategies, and can include:

  • Blogs: Regularly updated blog posts can boost SEO, build relationships with customers, and position your brand as an industry expert.
  • Social media posts: These can help you connect with your audience on a more personal level.
  • Videos: Video content is highly engaging and can improve comprehension of your products or services.
  • Infographics: These can simplify complex information and make it easier for your audience to understand your message.

Combine Online and Offline Marketing Strategies

Again, avoiding putting “all your eggs in one basket” by concentrating solely on online or offline media. Instead, combine online channels like blogs and social media with traditional, offline marketing practices such as newspaper and radio advertising to help extend your reach as far as possible.

Integrating online and offline marketing creates a cohesive brand experience. Coordinate your digital campaigns with traditional marketing efforts like print ads, in-person events, or community outreach to reinforce your brand message and extend your reach.

Share Your Knowledge

Don’t be afraid to use your expertise to your commercial advantage by sharing your knowledge of your particular business or niche through the likes of YouTube tutorials, webinars, blogs and more.

Leveraging your expertise through educational content like tutorials, webinars, or informative blogs establishes credibility and trust with your audience. Share your knowledge freely to position your brand as an authority in your field.

Promote Free Consultations

Offering free consultations is an effective way to engage potential customers. Use these sessions to showcase your expertise, understand customer needs, and build relationships that can lead to sales.

Network Online and Offline

Attending networking sessions, both online on portals like LinkedIn and offline by attending networking sessions in person, is an effective marketing practice for small business owners.

Networking is essential for building relationships and uncovering new opportunities. Engage in online communities relevant to your industry and attend local events or conferences to connect with peers, potential clients, and industry influencers.

best marketing ideas

Join Local Business Groups

One effective way to physically network and to showcase your business is to join local business groups where you’ll have the opportunity to meet like-minded people and share common business stories and goals.

Send Out Surveys

Customer feedback is a powerful tool for small business owners, as WordStream writes, “Look for feedback, because the best companies are constantly improving.”

Make Applications for Awards

You might be a small business but that doesn’t mean to say you can’t win a fantastic business award. Being an “award-winning business” can be one of the most effective ways to boost your business’s credibility and success.

Be Different and Stand Out

In a saturated market, standing out from the crowd is essential for attracting and retaining customers. To ensure your small business gets noticed, consider:

  • Taking a controversial stand on industry trends and issues: While this should be done judiciously, it can spark conversation and engagement.
  • Publishing striking content that nobody can resist: This could be unique insights, compelling stories, or high-quality graphics and videos that capture attention and encourage sharing.

best marketing practices

Hers a handy summary of those marketing best practices for your reference:

Marketing PracticeDigital/OfflineCost InvolvedEngagement Potential
Setting Attainable GoalsBothLowHigh
Define Target MarketBothLowHigh
Establish Clear Brand IdentityBothMediumHigh
Having a WebsiteDigitalMediumHigh
Facebook AdvertisingDigitalMediumHigh
Multi-Channel MarketingBothMediumHigh
Google My BusinessDigitalLowMedium
Google Ads CampaignDigitalHighHigh
Email MarketingDigitalLowMedium
Mobile-friendly EmailsDigitalLowMedium
Content MarketingBothMediumHigh
Combine Online and Offline StrategiesBothHighHigh
Sharing KnowledgeBothLowHigh
Promoting Free ConsultationsBothLowMedium
Networking (Online and Offline)BothLowMedium
Joining Local Business GroupsOfflineLowMedium
Sending Out SurveysBothLowMedium
Applying for AwardsBothLowMedium
Being Different and Standing OutBothLowHigh


Image: Depositphotos.com

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".