36 Types of Marketing Strategies for Small Business – Top Choices

25 Types of Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses - Which Ones Do You Use?

You’re a small business owner. You don’t have an endless marketing budget, or an abundance of time you can spend doing the marketing yourself for the that matter. You do, however, need to market your products or services to remain competitive. What do you do?

Fortunately, there are plenty of marketing approaches small business owners can adapt to successfully market their businesses without breaking the bank!

Marketing Strategies for Small Business

Check out the following 36 types of marketing strategies that prove effective for small businesses.

1. Get Yourself a Website

Don’t have a website yet? With around 59% of the world online, businesses that don’t have a website are likely to be missing out on a serious chunk of the market. You don’t necessarily have to sell your products on your website. Simply making it an online portal to share information about your brand, customer testimonials, prices and expertise, will put your business in the global spotlight.

Data and analytics are the foundations of measuring the success of your website, such as how many visitors it attracts, how long visitors stay on your site, and how they are finding your website.

2. Get Savvy on Social Media

It’s free and it’s there for the taking. Establishing a presence on a few of the numerous social media sites can help small businesses build up relationships with customers. Posting engaging content on social media can promote your services or products to a wide audience. Use Google Analytics to track the success of your social media marketing campaigns.

Types of Marketing Strategies

3. Try Google My Business

One of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses is to list your company for free on Google My Business (GMB). GMB is particularly powerful for businesses wanting to target local clients, because it immediately gives your business visibility on Google.

4. Don’t Forget Email Marketing

Email remains one of the highest converting channels for nurturing leads. Email marketing for small business typically involves highlighting new products, special offers and other important business updates, and prompting your email list recipients to click through to your website. Email marketing statistics can be measured and used to ensure subsequent email campaigns are honed and are more tightly focused.

5. Write a Blog

Writing and regularly updating a blog will help increase awareness of your brand. It will also help improve your website’s rankings on the search engines, making it more likely your business will be found online. Boost engagement by encouraging readers to ask questions while making sure you to any comments.

Types of Marketing Strategies

6. Attend Networking Events

We might be engulfed in the digital age, but face-to-face networking still holds great importance in the world of business marketing. Do a quick search on any relevant networking events in your area, and make the effort to attend them. How do you measure the success of business networking, you might ask? How many business cards you’ve handed out, of course!

7. Network Online

Don’t have time to physically go to networking events? Then participate in online networking activities instead. LinkedIn is the leader in social networking for professionals, so make the effort to be active there and on similar platforms.

8. Offer Consultation Services

If your business involves providing professional services, why not encourage people to have access to your expertise by offering free consultations? This is a great way of building your brand awareness and helping you to be seen as a leader in your industry.

Types of Marketing Strategies

9. Experiment with Facebook Advertising

Join the two million small businesses actively advertising on Facebook. Affordable Facebook advertising is an effective and inexpensive way for small businesses to market to their target audiences. Facebook advertising also excels in advanced targeting, which enables you to target a specific audience based on particular demographics, such as location, gender, age and interests.

The effectiveness of Facebook ads can be measured by creating a report that measures and monitors a number of metrics, such as the click-through rate of the adverts.

10. Try Google AdWords

With more than 40,000 search inquiries made on Google each second, Google has an unparalleled ability to get your business before an all but limitless audience. Google AdWords involves Google assigning a quality score to your ad, which depends on the relevance, landing page your ad sends traffic to and click-through rate.

Read more on this topic in our Google Adwords Tutorial.

11. Explore Coupon Deal Sites

Another marketing strategy for small businesses strapped for cash and time is to use coupon deal sites to promote products or services. By offering limited-time discounts on coupon sites like Groupon, your business will enjoy mass exposure and could benefit from a flood of new customers.

12. Host a Webinar

Hosting a webinar — seminar online — is one marketing strategy businesses tend to overlook. Holding a webinar about a subject in which you have expertise can be an effective way to bring new subscribers to your email list. Encouraging your webinar participants to send you feedback about the webinar or seeing how many subscribe to your emails, are good ways to gauge the effectiveness of this online event.

Types of Marketing Strategies

Looking for a tool to run your webinar? Here’s our list of webinar services.

13. Get Endorsed

Getting your products or services endorsed by others is a great free marketing tactic for small businesses. Better still, getting your brand endorsed by a celebrity or recognizable figure in your field would create some incredible excitement about your brand.

14. Brush up on Keyword Marketing

Having a website that is keyword-optimized to your specific industry and business is crucial to the success of your online marketing ventures. Research the optimum keywords for your business, then set about introducing them in a natural way into the content on your site to help boost its rankings on the search engines.

Get started with these tips on doing keyword research for small business.

15. Create Landing Pages

What is a landing page? It is an important marketing tool for small businesses helping create awareness and engagement with specific content. Landing pages prompt visitors to provide data through different call-to-actions in exchange for information, which can result in a significant increase in conversions.

16. Win a Business Award

There’s nothing quite like attaching an award to your business to promote its credibility and appeal. Making the effort to enter a business award competition will give you an incredible amount of free publicity in the first place, win or lose. And winning will give a huge boost of added publicity — at least in your industry.

17. Get Active on YouTube

With a staggering 1.9 billion users every month, YouTube is a portal no small business can afford to ignore. Making a short but inspiring video related to your products or services can be an effective way to drive interest to your business. Gage the success of your YouTube video by seeing how many views it gets, or, better still, how many inquiries you receive as a result.

18. Try Other Pay Per Click

Certainly Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are not your only two options for this kind of advertising. Other options include Microsoft ads and Ignite Visibility. They might not be free marketing tools, but pay-per-click ads can certainly be effective. Simply select your keywords, write an ad and let these networks do the rest.

19. Do Charity Work

One marketing strategy you may have overlooked is getting involved in charity work. From attending local charity events to donating funds to important causes, being actively involved in charity work is an effective way to boost your business’s corporate responsibility and credibility.

20. Sponsor Local Sports Teams

It might cost you something, but compared to putting an ad in a newspaper, sponsoring local sports teams is a great PR tactic for small businesses. Each time the team plays, the name of your company will be on display for all the spectators to see.

21. Create a Company Newsletter

A well-written newsletter can be a cost-effective way for small businesses to build communication and rapport with customers and prospects. To make your newsletter successful, keep the content informative, entertaining and digestible. These steps improve the chances of the newsletter being clicked on, opened and read when it’s sent out to your subscribers.

22. Contact the Media

Get your brand media attention from the local press by reaching out to journalists. Having one single article published in a paper about an inspiring or innovative aspect of your business can be a great way of generating interest in your brand and ultimately reaching out to customers.

23. Look after Existing Customers

Remember to look after your existing customers to help them remain loyal to your brand. The odd free gift or free offer won’t go amiss in helping your business retain its existing customer base.

24. Offer Incentives to Staff

Referrals can be the most effective means to find new clients and your staff provides a great opportunity to acquire referrals. Treat your employees to vouchers, freebies and other incentives involving your products and services so they spread the word about how great your company is to friends and family.

Read this for tips on getting employees involved in social media to promote your brand.

25. Partner with Other Businesses

Teamwork is what drives business success. Combining knowledge and resources with other companies can bring mutual marketing benefits to all involves. Simply identify a segment of your business which complements the products or services of another company. Then work with them on marketing initiatives benefiting  you both.

26. Content Marketing

Develop and share relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media to attract, engage, and retain an audience. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it’s time to buy what you sell.

27. Influencer Marketing

Partner with influencers who have a large following and credibility within your target market to promote your products or services.

28. Affiliate Marketing

Set up an affiliate program where affiliates earn a commission for marketing your products. This can increase your presence online and drive sales.

29. Local Partnerships

Form alliances with local businesses to reach a broader audience. Collaborate on joint promotions or events to maximize exposure.

30. Referral Programs

Encourage your satisfied customers to refer others to your business. Offer incentives to both the referrer and the referred to boost participation.

31. Guerrilla Marketing

Employ unconventional, low-cost tactics to attract attention to your business. This can include creative outdoor campaigns, viral social media posts, or interactive installations.

32. Podcasting

Create a podcast related to your industry or products. This medium can help you reach a new audience and establish you as a thought leader in your space.

33. Webinars and Online Workshops

Host webinars or online workshops to educate your audience about your industry or product. This not only positions you as an authority but can also generate leads.

34. Direct Mail

Despite the digital age, direct mail can still be an effective marketing strategy. Personalized postcards or brochures can grab attention in a way digital methods can’t.

35. Loyalty Programs

Develop a loyalty program to encourage repeat business. Offer rewards, discounts, or exclusive deals to loyal customers.

36. Community Involvement

Get involved in your local community through sponsorships, volunteering, or participation in community events. This builds goodwill and enhances local visibility.

Insights for Implementing Marketing Strategies Effectively

  • Understand Your Audience: Before implementing any strategy, have a deep understanding of your audience – their needs, preferences, and behaviors.
  • Set Clear Goals: Define what you want to achieve with each marketing strategy. This could be brand awareness, lead generation, customer retention, or sales.
  • Track and Measure Results: Use tools and analytics to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Adjust your strategies based on the results and feedback.
  • Consistency Is Key: Maintain a consistent brand message and visual identity across all marketing channels to build brand recognition and trust.
  • Engage and Interact: Regularly engage with your audience on social media, through email, and other platforms. Interaction fosters relationships and loyalty.
  • Focus on Quality Content: Whether it’s a blog post, social media update, or email, ensure your content is high-quality, relevant, and provides value to your audience.
  • Leverage Technology: Embrace digital tools and technologies for automation, analytics, customer relationship management, and other marketing tasks.
  • Stay Updated with Trends: Keep abreast of the latest marketing trends and adapt your strategies accordingly. This keeps your marketing fresh and relevant.
  • Personalize Your Approach: Tailor your marketing messages and offers to individual customer preferences and behaviors for a more personalized experience.
  • Allocate Budget Wisely: Determine which strategies offer the best return on investment (ROI) and allocate your budget accordingly.
  • Experiment and Innovate: Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and innovate with your marketing strategies. Sometimes, the most creative campaigns are the most effective.
  • Seek Customer Feedback: Regularly ask for customer feedback to understand their needs and improve your offerings and marketing tactics.

Exploring Future Horizons: Innovations in Marketing Strategies

As the world of business and technology continues to evolve, so too do the strategies that empower small businesses to market effectively. Here are a few innovative trends and concepts to watch for in the realm of marketing:

  • Voice Search Optimization: With the rise of virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, optimizing your content for voice search can enhance your online visibility.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences: Incorporating AR elements into your marketing campaigns can offer unique and interactive experiences for your audience.
  • Video Live Streaming: The popularity of live streaming on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube provides opportunities for real-time engagement and storytelling.
  • Personalization at Scale: Advanced data analytics and AI are enabling businesses to deliver personalized experiences to customers on a larger scale.
  • Micro-Moments: Capitalizing on consumers’ immediate and intent-driven actions, micro-moments involve delivering the right information at the right time.
  • Inclusive Marketing: Celebrating diversity and inclusivity in your marketing campaigns can resonate with a broader range of audiences.
  • Blockchain for Transparency: Blockchain technology can enhance transparency and trust in marketing by tracking data and transactions securely.
  • Ephemeral Content: Content that disappears after a short period, like Stories on Instagram and Snapchat, can create a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out).
  • Chatbots and AI: AI-powered chatbots provide instant responses to customer inquiries, enhancing user experience and efficiency.
Voice Search OptimizationOptimize content for voice-activated virtual assistants to improve online discoverability.
Augmented Reality (AR)Infuse marketing campaigns with interactive AR elements for engaging and immersive experiences.
Video Live StreamingUtilize live streaming on social platforms to connect with audiences in real time.
Personalization at ScaleLeverage AI and data analytics for delivering personalized experiences to a larger audience.
Micro-MomentsProvide timely and relevant information during customers' intent-driven actions.
Inclusive MarketingIncorporate diversity and inclusivity in campaigns to resonate with a broader range of viewers.
Blockchain for TransparencyEnhance transparency and trust using blockchain technology to secure data and transactions.
Ephemeral ContentCreate urgency and FOMO with short-lived content like Stories on social media platforms.
Chatbots and AIEmploy AI-powered chatbots for instant customer responses, improving user experience.

As these trends continue to shape the marketing landscape, staying open to experimentation and adapting your strategies accordingly will be key to maintaining a competitive edge.

Have we missed any types of marketing strategies? If you have any marketing secrets you’d like to share with us, don’t hesitate to comment below!

Further Reading

  • One Page Marketing Plan

Team Strategy Photo via Shutterstock

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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.".