Marketing is one of the most powerful tools for businesses. If you currently own a small business and don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing, you might feel lost and don’t know what to do.
However, not having all the answers is no reason to abandon marketing altogether. Marketing is one of the most powerful business tools and can help you attract new customers as well as boost consumer awareness for your brand.
Here are some useful marketing tips for small business owners to consider. These tips are very cheap (with some even being free) and can help you grow your business without a huge marketing budget.
8 Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners
Regardless of which industry or sector you’re in, your small business could likely benefit from some additional marketing. Here are some tips to try that could help you extend your reach and bring your business to another level.
Learn About Your Target Audience
Before setting out and marketing your products and services, you need to have a deep understanding of exactly who your target audience is. Ideally, you should be able to answer questions such as:
- What age range is your target audience?
- What kind of income does your target audience earn?
- Is your target audience still in school?
- What stage of their career is your target audience at?
- Where does your target audience live?
- What kind of social media platforms do your target audience interact with?
These questions scrape the surface of information that you should ideally have about your target audience. If your business has a specific offering, you should dive into the necessary details about your target audience that will affect their purchases.
Create a Website for Your Business
One of the best ways to attract new customers is to have an effective website for your business. Ideally your website will rank high in Google, attract visitors, and convert those visitors into paying clients/customers.
Some of the most important tips to focus on when creating a website are:
- Focus on the homepage – If you have a poorly designed homepage, visitors will click away as soon as they lay their eyes on it. Spend time upfront to make sure that your homepage is especially attractive and has the power to keep visitors on your website.
- Conversion is king – You may have heard the term “cash is king,” but in the world of online marketing, conversion is as good as cash. Make sure that your website optimizes for conversion, otherwise you could have tons of visitors but no additional revenue.
Building a solid website is foundational to the success of your marketing efforts. Nowadays with digitization occurring at an increasing rate, you can’t afford not to have a website for your business.
Build Organic Traffic
Once you have your website set up, you’ll need to work hard to attract visitors to it. One of the best ways to do so is to build organic traffic to your site. The steps to do this are:
- Post compelling content on your website
- Build lots of backlinks to it and get it noticed by many people
- Rank the content higher in Google
- Attract organic traffic from Google search engine
Of course, your content needs to be helpful and on brand. This is why it’s so important to figure out who your target audience is. Knowing the specifics of your target audience will allow you to write content that is directed towards them and help you attract the right kind of visitor to your site.
Start an Email List
At the end of the day, if you run social media accounts, you don’t really own your followers. Your followers engage with your content on a platform and the platform has all the power. If you’re really big on Instagram but Instagram comes out with an algorithm change, you could lose a lot of engagement and revenue.
This is why having an email list is so crucial. Email newsletters are a powerful way to market your business and email addresses are things that you actually have ownership over. Nobody can take those email addresses away from you.
The best part about email marketing is that you don’t need to type out each email yourself. There are many tools you can consider that make email marketing a lot easier. Many tools have automation features that allow you to run email newsletters for weeks on end without needing to be present.
One of the best ways to get noticed is to have your brand mentioned by a reputable influencer. If you have a little bit of a marketing budget, consider contracting some influencers to advocate for your business.
The best part about hiring influencers is that they will do a lot of the marketing work for you. You don’t need to worry about spending time and effort creating effective content because the influencers will do that. If you can find a way to tie their compensation to the amount of revenue they generate, even better!
Run Online Ad Campaigns
Once you have a website set up and know the ins and outs of organic traffic building, you can start running online ad campaigns to direct even more traffic towards your website.
The important thing about online ad campaigns is that you need to keep a close eye on your metrics. It’s not enough that your ad needs to direct visitors towards your site. You also need to make sure that you’re making more money off the visitors that click through from the ads than you’re spending on the ads. Otherwise, you’re just losing money.
If done right, online ad campaigns can be a powerful way to drive traffic to your site and potentially land some new clients and customers.
Use Cold Emailing
While cold emailing has been largely replaced by newer marketing methods, it still works. The amazing thing about cold emailing is that you can do it for very little cost and it can still be effective.
When you cold email, make sure that you have a compelling hook and subject line. Otherwise, your emails will never get read.
One caveat to cold emailing is that it can take up a lot of time. Though you might be able to save a couple dollars in advertising spend, you’ll be spending a lot of time optimizing your subject lines, crafting different versions of emails, and making sure that your cold emails are effective.
Connect with Other Local Businesses
One of the most powerful ways to reach an audience is to connect with local businesses and get them to support your company.
One way to go about this is to provide some of your business offerings to the local businesses for free in exchange for them promoting your business.
At the end of the day, people will tend to trust local businesses more than large enterprises so if you can partner with some trusted local companies, you can seriously push forward your marketing efforts.
Important Things to Keep in Mind
Though the marketing tips listed above will work for nearly every small business, each company is unique and marketing strategies can slightly differ from business to business.
With hundreds of types of small businesses in every city, you’re probably able to find online marketing resources that are specific to the industry you’re in. It’s useful to check these resources out and implement marketing ideas specific to your business.
For example, if you own if you own a retail clothing store, check out marketing tips specific to retail stores. If you own a café, check out marketing strategies for caféhttps://pos.toasttab.com/blog/on-the-line/cafe-marketing-ideas. If you offer financial planning services, you can get useful marketing ideas for financial advisors from websites that cater to your industry.
Another way to potentially free up your time to focus more on marketing activities is to outsource other business tasks. Consider hiring a small business financial advisor who can help you reduce the number of hours you spend each month worrying about your balance sheet. Every extra hour you can outsource is another hour you can spend driving more visitors to your business and growing your company.
Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners
One of the best ways to expand your business is to implement effective marketing strategies. Not only can you build more brand awareness but you can also directly attract more customers.
At the end of the day, business owners who choose to invest in their business are going to outstrip those who sit back on their heels and watch as the innovation and ideas speed by them.
Jeff is a Harvard 2025 student passionate about making smart financial decisions both in school and in the workplace so that he can spend more time doing what he loves (like playing golf, spending time with family, and travelling). He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys sharing all things personal finance, academic, and golf-related. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.