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45 small business marketing ideas to help you connect with your audience

Hana LaRock
6
minute read
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Though there are a lot of ways to target your audience and reach any specific marketing goals you have laid out, how do you know which ideas are best for you? After all, as a small business, you’re not going to be able to conduct every marketing tactic there is, and each small business marketing idea you do try will require prioritization and fine-tuning in order to see results. It just may take some time before you get it right.

45 small business marketing ideas

With all this in mind, we’ve put together a hefty list of small business marketing ideas. Remember, you won’t get to them all (nor will all of these fit your unique business), but don’t be afraid to try something new; just be sure to assess your metrics so you can double down on what works (and nix what doesn’t!).

1. Create a website or landing page

A website or landing page makes it easy for all types of customers to find you, increasing your organic inbound marketing.

2. Create a sales page

Create a page dedicated to one product or service. You can also utilize sites like Amazon and GumRoad, depending on what you’re selling.

3. Make a short video

Videos are a great way to attract new customers, and Facebook recommends that the ideal length for mobile video ads should be 15 seconds or less. 

4. Write blog posts that offer value to customers

To drive your blog post topics, research what your customers want to learn and write posts with SEO strategies in mind.

5. Create an ebook and/or other marketing materials/brochures

Blog posts don’t have to be the only medium to reach your customers. Try other materials, like ebooks or downloadables!

6. Make sure your published content is mobile-friendly

Always check that your content reads just as well on mobile. According to Techjury, more than half of page views are from portable devices. 

7. Event marketing

Even though they’re bigger companies, check out Nike Run Club or Lululemon free yoga classes for some inspiration for how you can do your own event creation and marketing.

8. Co-host an event with a relevant influencer or partner/business

Influencer marketing isn’t for everyone, but if your audience is on TikTok or Instagram, it doesn’t hurt reaching out to someone who can help get more eyes on your biz.

9. Host a webinar or an online event/session

Hosting a webinar is a great way to connect with your audience who may not all be located in the same area. 

10. Host a charity event

If you’re a local business, getting involved by giving back to your community can go a long way.

11. Don’t neglect social media posts

This may also fall under content creation, but sometimes companies lose out on potential clients by not getting on social media. Create those accounts!

12. Boost reviews

Don’t be afraid to ask happy customers for reviews in order to get your stars up on sites like Google and Yelp.

13. Start a hashtag

If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, you don’t have to always use others’ hashtags; start your own and see what happens! #Whynot?

14. Give something away for free as a lead capture tool

Trade free, valuable content in exchange for email addresses.

15. Offer discounts

Holidays are a good time to offer discounts and sales to customers, but you can do it anytime! 

16. Customer referral program

Offer perks when customers refer-a-friend for both that customer and their friend.

17. Invest in some “swag” that you can give away

Whether its hats, t-shirts, coffee mugs, or stickers, it doesn’t have to cost a lot to get others to ultimately promote your brand for free. 

18. Free demo, trial, or quote

If you’re offering services, give your prospective customers a chance to see what the costs and experience will look like for them with a free trial or demo.

19. Give first-time shopper promo codes

You get their email, they get a discount in their inbox.

20. Offer a personal shopper

Get a bot or a human to help guide your prospective customers through their buying decision.

21. Create tiered packages with different perks

The bigger the package, the bigger the discount/other perks included.

22. Create a contest

Whether on social media, on your site, or in-person, contests are a great way to get people engaged. 

23. Partner with other businesses

Partnerships are more common than you think, and can bring a lot more eyes on your business that you might not otherwise have. According to Forbes, “To go beyond the unexpected, brands should begin embracing their similarities rather than just trying to be bigger and better than the competition.”

24. Engage with other businesses on social media

Don’t wait for people to like your content; like theirs, too! 

25. Make texting a contact method

Traditional contact methods are boring; allow your prospective customers to text you and watch the magic happen.

 An example of a business to consumer text conversation
An example of a business to consumer text conversation.

26. Try direct mailers

Depending on the industry, get yourself out there to people’s doors to market.

27. Put stickers or business cards at local businesses

Ask local businesses if you can leave a mark of your presence. We’re all in this together!

28. Get involved in the community

Get to know people; even if you just introduce yourself when you go to get your morning coffee. 

29. Abandoned shopping cart reminders

Sometimes, people browse and need to give their cart a second thought. Nudge them with a reminder of what’s there. According to Moosend, more than 40% of these emails are opened. Not bad!

30. Customer reminders

Stay on top of reminding customers of recurring services, like check-ups or subscription renewals.

31. Hold customer appreciation events

Make them feel special with events just for them. Wine-tasting, anyone?

32. Have a “members-only” subscription

Consider providing a newsletter or access to a forum that’s only available to special VIP members

33. Exclusive new/early release invitations

New items dropping at the store? Old customers get first dibs. Give them a special code to access the deals. 

34. Do timed sales

A timed sale is a great way to increase buyer incentive; give them a limited (but fair amount) of time to make that order and score that discount.

35. Donate to a cause on behalf of your customers

If you’re local, consider donating proceeds from sales to an important cause in your area. If you’re not local, go broader!

36. Show customers their growth

Send customers updates with how your products/services are helping their growth. Infographics make an easy-to-read solution for metrics.

37. Engage with reviews

Boosting reviews is a good idea for marketing to new customers, but for ones you already have, give those reviews attention. If they report a problem, address it publicly.

38. Send out customer satisfaction surveys

Customer satisfaction surveys allow you to get feedback on how you’re doing. But, give your customers an incentive to fill it out.

39. Make your voice heard on important issues

Some businesses like to refrain from getting political, but sometimes, it can work in your favor. Just make sure you’re well-educated on your stance. According to Harvard Business Review, “With a 24-hour news cycle and social media fanning polarization, it’s more problematic for organizations and their CEOs to remain neutral.”

40. Check in with customer post purchase

Send follow-up emails just to see how they liked the product.

41. Personalize emails

Personally addressed emails and subject lines can increase open rates for small businesses. 

42. Create email marketing workflows

Have emails ready to be sent through automated drip campaigns so you can sit back and relax. 

43. Send holiday gifts

Sending little gifts during the holidays can remind customers to come back. Doesn’t matter if they are digital gifts or physical ones! This includes birthday discounts.

44. Automate marketing tasks

Emails should definitely be automated, but see what else you can automate. Social media posts? Text campaigns? You should also be automatically collecting results of your individual campaigns. 

45. Targeted text marketing

Speaking of texting, this isn’t usually the first marketing idea that comes to mind for small businesses, but it works. In a world where people are constantly texting, this can create ease for customers, while also giving you more opportunities.

An example of sending a customer a coupon code via text message
An example of sending a customer a coupon code via text message.

Things to consider: Small business marketing

Now that you have a long list of small business marketing ideas at your disposal, there are still some important considerations you’ll want to think about. A marketing idea is only as good as its execution. To help you see an idea to out to its fullest potential, here are a few things you can do:

  • Know your value proposition/write a unique selling proposition (USP): Having a good marketing idea is one thing, but how are you setting yourself apart from your competitors? Before going forward, it’s important to know your USP so you can add those creative and smart touches to your campaign. 
  • Take advantage of a CRM: Being able to automate your marketing campaigns and keep track of how they are performing can make you more efficient and productive overall, with less time spent on the tedious, repetitive tasks.

The bottom line

Remember, small businesses have the benefit of taking more creative and personal approaches with their marketing. If they make sense for you, give some of these creative ideas a try! Just make sure you’ve laid out your goals and your strategy before executing the plan.

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