Marketing for Small Businesses: What Works and How to Do it Well

Employees holding their phones

Running a small business can be tough. In between managing your overheads, inventory, innovating your products or services, you also have to worry about marketing. While it might seem a little intimidating at first, marketing a small business pays off in the long run.

When it comes to marketing for small businesses, finding the appropriate tools and practices is often more effective than large budgets or expensive strategies.

Explore the Digital Landscape

One of the most cost-efficient ways to market a small businesses is to consider digital marketing campaigns. Digital marketing is any marketing effort done through the internet. This could include social media management, search engine optimization, link building, and the like. Digital marketing is a popular method of marketing for small businesses for a number of reasons, but mainly for its scalable costs, ease-of-use, and wide reach.

There are numerous digital marketing tools that your small business can use without breaking the bank. Social media platforms are free to use and is widely available. It also allows marketers to deliver multimedia collaterals to customers such as photos, videos, polls, etc.

It’s also a good idea for small businesses to maintain a website. Websites are like interactive calling cards that people can view on the internet. In your company’s website, list down all necessary information about your brand, products, and/or services, as well as contact information like business address, phone numbers, email addresses, among others. It’s also an opportunity for you to generate leads around the clock, as websites are always up and are always accessible.

In a world that is increasingly becoming more and more connected thanks to technology and the internet, companies that do not invest in some form of digital marketing will become relics of the past.

Introduce Yourself with Great Branding

Branding is one of the ways that a company makes its mark on its customers. It is made up of 2 parts: identity and logo. A logo is an icon that incorporates your brand identity and makes it distinct from your competitors, while Identity is the various visual aspects that are related to your brand, such as colors and fonts, and is what conveys the general image of your company to customers.

Deploy your branding wherever you can: on your company website, on your products, at your brick-and-mortar store, calling cards, flyers, etc. This helps you build brand awareness and makes you more visible to the market.

Branding does require professional help, from graphic designers to art directors. It can be a moderate investment, but one that has potentially high returns. Be warned though: you get what you pay for with branding. Make sure that the design company you are hiring has a history of success and takes their time trying to understand you and your business before proceeding with any kind of design proposals.

This isn’t just for vanity; branding is the way you can create a lasting impression with customers, and introduce yourself to future ones. Having a strong brand identity helps people retain information about you, and helps them associate certain colors and shapes with your brand, which is how a “household name” starts.

Collaborate with the Community

Small businesses thrive in local communities. More often than not, local communities in suburban areas will rely on small businesses for their retail needs. After all, why support large corporations when the store on Main Street offers comparable products or services?

Every opportunity you can take to make your presence known to the local community should be taken, whether it’s sponsoring a little league team, holding a charity event like fun runs, or by simply making your products or services more accessible to people. This builds a positive image to people, and it encourages them to associate you and your company with quality and trustworthiness.

If you can, coordinate with non-competitor businesses to organize community events. Not only does this encourage a sense of community, it’s also an opportunity to network. Ask other non-competing businesses to promote your brand, and you can, in turn, promote theirs. Having a large network of like-minded businesses makes the process of customer referrals easier, and furthers your image as a brand that

In those moments where you’re interacting with your community, prepare an elevator pitch of what your company does or make. Remember: the average adult only has a 10-second attention span, so make sure your sales talk captures their interest in that time.

When in doubt, always consult a professional marketer that you trust. It might cost money, but just like any investment, it can lead to higher returns in the future.