Small Business Marketing Guide [4+ Strategies for Growth]

Macy is a Content Writer at WebFX. With a Content Marketing Certification, she's an expert in crafting pieces filled with the facts about all things digital marketing. You'll find many of her pieces featured on UpCity's Top Digital Marketing Articles of the Week. When she isn't clacking her keys, she's wondering why her dog is so cute. Follow her on Twitter @iinfinitestorm.

Marketing your small business is no easy feat.

There are dozens of strategies available to your business, and it’s hard to know what they do, how they help your business, and if they’re the right fit for your company.

To help you create an effective marketing strategy for your small business, we’ve created this small business marketing guide.

We’ll cover the five most popular marketing strategies and break down how they help your business. Then we’ll provide you with some small business marketing tips!

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Small business marketing guide: Strategies for growth

To get started marketing your small business, let’s look at the strategies you can use to help your business grow online.


 Small business marketing with search engine optimization (SEO)

The first strategy we’ll look at is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of boosting your website’s ranking in search results. When users conduct searches, they use search engines to help them find valuable information.

How SEO helps your small business

Did you know that 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine?

SEO is a valuable strategy to add to your small business marketing plan because it enables you to reach people searching for your business, products, and services. You’ll increase your business’s reach, which allows more people to discover your brand.

As a result, you can drive more qualified traffic to your site, which results in more leads and sales for your company.

How to get started with SEO

SEO is an intricate strategy that takes some time to develop. Here are a few critical components of developing an SEO strategy:

  1. Conduct keyword research: Keyword research helps you find the right key terms for your site. You can use a keyword research tool, like KeywordsFX, to help you find the right terms for your site.
  2. Focus on long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific, so you know the people searching them are looking for a particular product or service you offer. So, focus on keywords that are three words or longer for maximum results.
  3. Ensure your site loads quickly: Slow loading sites will cause users to bounce, which increases your bounce rate and hurts your ranking. Use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to check your site load time and get suggestions for making your site load faster.
  4. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly: Google uses a mobile-first index, so you need to have a mobile-friendly site to rank well in search. Integrate responsive design into your site to ensure your site adapts for all devices and provides a positive experience.

Small business marketing with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

When you do marketing for small businesses, you should add pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to your list. PPC ads are paid advertisements that appear at the top of the search results above the organic listings. These ads have the word “ad” tagged on them to indicate paid content.

How PPC helps your small business

PPC advertising helps your business increase brand exposure. Since your ads appear at the top of the search results, your audience sees them first — before anything else — when they conduct searches. So, even if they don’t click on your ad, they become familiar with your business.

Additionally, when users click on your ad, you’re more likely to earn a sale from it. Ad clickers are 50% more likely to buy a product than organic visitors. As a result, you can increase sales for your business and grow online.

How to get started with PPC advertising

To get started with PPC advertising, follow these best practices:

  1. Choose relevant, long-tail keywords: Like SEO, you’ll want to choose long-tail keywords for your PPC ads. These keywords cost less because they’re specific, so fewer companies bid on them.
  2. Optimize your ad content: Your ad content is the first thing your audience sees when your ad appears in search results. You’ll want to ensure that your ad content is relevant to the search results so users will click on your ad.
  3. Create custom landing pages: Once someone clicks on your ad, you need to deliver relevant information to them through your landing page. Make sure your landing pages are organized and focused on providing information related to your ad content.

Small business marketing with social media marketing and advertising

If you want to know how to market a small business, look at social media marketing and social media advertising for guidance. Both these strategies enable you to connect with your audience on a personal level and deliver tailored content.

Social media marketing involves creating social profiles to share valuable information with people who follow your business.

Social media advertising involves creating advertisements that appear in targeted users’ newsfeeds, whether they do or don’t follow you, to try and get them to convert.

How social media helps your small business

Social media marketing helps your small business by enabling you to connect directly with people who want to hear from your company. You build relationships with your audience by engaging with them in comments, posting tailored content, and answering their messages.

You help them get to know your business better by engaging with them on social media. By building these relationships, you help nudge leads towards conversion.

Social media advertising helps you reach people who haven’t discovered your business yet but are likely to enjoy your products or services. These ads allow you to obtain valuable leads and conversions to help your small business grow online.

How to get started with social media

To get started with social media, you first need to decide which platforms you’ll use to market and advertise your business. You can choose from multiple social platforms, like:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. Pinterest
  5. LinkedIn

Once you know what platforms you want to use, you can create and set up your selected platforms’ profiles.

To start a social media marketing campaign, the first step after creating your profile is to start posting valuable content. The type of content will depend upon your platform. Some example content formats for each platform include:

  1. Facebook: Text posts, images, videos, GIFs, links to content
  2. Twitter: Text posts, images, videos, GIFs, links to content
  3. Instagram: Photos and videos
  4. Pinterest: Photos, videos, GIFs
  5. LinkedIn: Photos, videos, links to content, text posts

Posting on these different platforms enables you to increase your business’s exposure to interested leads. Posts can be shared on followers’ timelines, enabling more people to discover your business and content. They can also appear just from someone liking a post and their friend seeing it!

Additionally, social media posts can help drive traffic back to your website. When you post links to your site in your content, it helps drive traffic to your page, increasing brand exposure and leads for your business.

Regardless of the content format, you’ll want to ensure that your post is relevant to your audience and encourages them to engage.

With social media advertising, you set up advertisement campaigns targeted at people most likely to want your products or services. You set your bid amount, upload your ad content, and launch your advertising campaign. You can launch multiple ads at once to reach different audiences.


Small business marketing with email marketing

In this guide to small business marketing, we’ll also look at email marketing. Email marketing is a strategy that allows you to send tailored content directly to subscribers to nudge them towards conversion.

These emails can be advertisements for new products to information about a new promotion or sale to an email newsletter that provides beneficial content.

How email marketing helps your small business

Email marketing provides you with a direct line of communication with people you know are already interested in your products or services. These subscribers choose to subscribe to your emails because they want to hear more from you.

When you use email marketing, you can send tailored content to your subscribers, enabling you to deliver a more personalized experience. As a result, you can nurture these leads towards conversion and earn more sales for your small business.

How to get started with email marketing

Before you start this small business marketing tactic, you need a list of subscribers. You can obtain subscribers by adding an email sign-up bar to your website or asking for emails when customers purchase from you in-store.

Below is an example of an email sign up from Hydro Flask. They have a small box at the bottom of their page that invites people to join their email list for the latest information and sales.

Once you have a list of subscribers, you can start sending content. Follow these best practices for email marketing success:

  1. Segment your audience: Not everyone is interested in your business for the same reasons. You must segment your audience so you can deliver content that’s more aligned with their interests, rather than a generalized, blanket message.
  2. Personalize your audience’s experience: Personalization is a critical component of your email marketing campaign. Whether it’s delivering content aligned with a subscriber’s interest or using their name in the subject heading of an email, personalization goes a long way in engaging your audience.
  3. Use automation tools: When you have many subscribers with different interests, you can easily get bogged down with sending emails. Use an email automation tool, like MyEmailFX, to help you create, send, and monitor your email campaigns with ease.

Small business marketing with content marketing

The last strategy we’ll cover in this small business marketing guide is content marketing. Content marketing is a strategy where you share your expertise with your audience in the form of helpful information they want.

How content marketing helps your small business

Content helps your business establish trust and authority. When you share your knowledge, you show your audience that you’re an expert in your field, and they can trust you to provide products or services that are top quality.

Creating content and SEO are intertwined. Creating content helps drive traffic to your site, but SEO is what helps your content rank in search results in the first place. By using these two strategies together, you can help boost traffic on your site.

How to get started with content marketing

To start with content marketing, you need to generate a list of topics that are relevant to your industry. Think about common points of discussion or questions that come up in your industry or from customers.

You can do this by conducting keyword research to find relevant terms and seeing what content is out there. Tools like Google Trends are also helpful for finding popular topics.

Once you have a list of topics, you can choose the content format. There are numerous formats you can choose from, including:

  1. Videos
  2. Blogs
  3. Infographics
  4. Podcasts
  5. Ebooks
  6. Guides

After picking your content format, you can start creating! Make sure you use your core keyword throughout and provide information that’s relevant to the search intent for the topic.


How to market a small business effectively

For the first part of this small business marketing guide, we covered the different strategies you can use to market your business. Now that you know what methods you can use, it’s time to look at how to market a small business effectively.

Here are four tips to help you get started with small business marketing:

1. Set goals

Before you use strategies from this small business marketing guide, you need to set goals for your business. You need to establish what you want to achieve for your business to determine if your marketing strategies can help you achieve those goals.

You can focus on goals that help you:

  1. Increase sales
  2. Increase leads
  3. Increase form submissions or sign-ups
  4. Increase brand awareness

When you set up your goals, focus on SMART goals. SMART goals are:

  1. Specific: A goal like “increase leads” is too generic and difficult to measure. It’s better to set a goal like “increase leads by 10% by the end of the quarter.”
  2. Measurable: Set goals that you can tangibly measure. If you focus on a goal like “increase the number of times someone looks at this product image” you can’t really measure it to see if it happens. Tracking actions like clicks and sales, however, it measurable.
  3. Achievable: Don’t make goals unrealistic for your team. While increasing leads 100% may seem great for business growth, it may not be feasible for your team. Focus on goals that are slightly challenging but still doable for your company.
  4. Realistic: This parameter goes along with achievable. Set goals that are realistic for your business, business structure, and team.
  5. Timely: Set a time frame for when you want to achieve your goals. A time frame keeps your goals on track and ensures your team stays focus.

2. Know your audience

When you market your business online, you’re trying to reach people most likely to purchase your products or use your services. When you use these strategies from our guide to small business marketing, you need to ensure you’re targeting the right people first.

You can determine your target audience based on who already buys your products or uses your services. Look at characteristics like:

  1. Age
  2. Gender
  3. Location
  4. Occupation
  5. Income
  6. Buying Habits
  7. Hobbies/interests

Knowing this information helps you figure out who’s most interested in your small business. You can use this information to form buyer personas. These personas help you target new people who are most likely to want your products or services.

3. Know your product or service value

When you do small business marketing, you need to know your product or service’s value to the customer. People won’t want to buy your product or use your service if they don’t see how it will improve their life or solve their problem.

As you market your business, you want to ensure that you highlight your product or service’s value. To help you deliver the value of your product, ask yourself questions like:

  1. What’s the benefit of my product/service?
  2. Why would users want to use my product/service?
  3. How does my product/service meet my audience’s needs?
  4. How does my product/service solve my audience’s problem(s)?

When you can answer these questions, you will have a better idea of how you can effectively market your product’s value to your audience.

4. Track your campaigns to improve them

The last tip we’ll provide in this small business marketing guide is to track your campaigns. If you’re investing money in marketing strategies, you want to ensure that you’re getting a return on them.

The type of metrics you monitor will depend upon your strategy. Some standard metrics include:

  1. Impressions
  2. Clicks
  3. Clickthrough rate (CTR)
  4. Conversions
  5. Form submissions
  6. And more

By tracking these metrics, you can figure out if your campaigns are driving the return on investment (ROI) you want to drive. If you aren’t seeing positive results, you can adjust and adapt your strategies to work better.

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Need more help than a small business marketing guide?

With this guide to small business marketing, you can start growing your business online and reaching new leads for your business. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, though, you may feel like you need extra helping with marketing your small business.

At WebFX, we have over 20 years of experience in marketing small businesses. To date, we’ve driven over $2.4 billion in sales and over 6.3 million leads for our clients. We know how to drive results that help our clients thrive online.

As a full-service digital marketing company, we offer dozens of strategies to help you grow your business and reach the right people. Check out our 550+ client testimonials to see what it’s like to partner with market experts like WebFX!

If you’re ready to start doing digital marketing for your small business, contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about partnering with our digital marketing services!