It’s no secret: Maximizing the potential of digital marketing can bring your small business a consistent flow of customers and accelerate your growth.
The problem is that most businesses get lost in the noise or simply don’t know what they’re doing—leading to wasted resources and even failure.
In fact, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year while 50% fail after five years in the business.
That’s why we’ve come up with a list of effective marketing strategies you can use as your guide this year.
20 Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses
Here are our top 20 marketing strategies for small businesses in 2023:
- Lead Magnet Nurture Sequence
- Host A Webinar
- Collaborate With An Influencer
- SMS Marketing
- Host A Giveaway
- Invest In Sales Funnels
- Strategic Blogging
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Offer A Referral Incentive
- Grow Your Own Facebook Group
- Invest In Paid Ads, But Do It Right
- Guest Posting
- Have Some Fun On Twitter
- Instagram—With A Personal Touch
- YouTube Tutorials
- Get Customers To Share The Joy
- Run TikTok Campaigns
- Host A Twitter Space
- Update Old Content
- Coupon Sites
Lead Magnet Nurture Sequence
Our first marketing strategy is a lead magnet nurture sequence.
You can use a lead magnet to offer something of value in exchange for contact information—like an ebook, guide, or video series. Once someone subscribes, you can send them an automated email sequence that introduces them to your business and offers more valuable content.
This is a great way to connect with potential customers and convert them down the line.
For example, if you run an ecommerce business for gym equipment, you could offer a PDF with tips.
Some examples include:
- A training plan for your particular target audience
- A list of healthy protein-rich meals that can boost their fitness goals
- A list of exercises that can help them get better results from working out
The benefit of this is that you're:
- Educating your subscribers
- Helping them connect to your brand
- Getting their contact information so you can market your products
Host a Webinar
Webinars are an effective marketing strategy too as they allow you to connect with potential customers in a more personal way. You can offer valuable content, answer questions and get feedback from attendees.
You can offer both free and paid webinars depending on your strategy.
With a free webinar, you would probably want to sell a higher-ticket item inside or you could simply use it to grow your audience, which works too.
On the other hand, a paid offer could be an additional revenue stream for your business. Or, you could also use it as a low-ticket front-end offer and again sell higher-ticket upsells in the background. In either case, it's recommended to use the best webinar software to maximize your results.
Collaborate with an Influencer
Influencer marketing is also one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness because it allows you to get in front of your target customer by leveraging the influencer’s audience.
Influencers, especially micro-infuencers who have less than 100K followers, can be very powerful advocates of a brand. Their audience consider them trustworthy and are very likely to listen to what they say regarding a certain product or brand.
For example, FootAsylum, a clothing and shoe retailer targeting millennials in the UK, runs a YouTube channel to collaborate with famous Influencers such as Harry Pinero, Chunkz, or Nella Rose.
This is an approach you as a small business can take too. You just need to find micro-influencers whose audiences are your target customers. If you own a local business, this might be a local influencer.
Keep in mind: The purpose of these videos isn't about instantly getting a direct purchasing action from the viewers. Instead, their purpose is to make viewers remember FootAsylum more and feel positive about it.
Extra tip: Try to come up with content collaboration ideas you can do with an Influencer that get the target audience talking about the content or your offer. That's a lot more effective than saying sign up here for a 15% discount.
SMS marketing is another highly effective marketing strategy for small businesses as it allows you to reach a high percentage of your audience with minimal effort.
You can use SMS marketing to send out:
- Alerts about offers or sales
- Information about new products or services
- Reminders about appointments or events such as giveaways
SMS marketing is so effective that a lot of big brands continue to use it. One example is Domino’s Pizza:
Small businesses should not hesitate to try SMS marketing, considering the fact that its avg open rate is 99%.
Host a Giveaway
Giveaways are an effective tool to help you grow your audience and get people interested in your products or services.
They work because they're a way to:
- Introduce people to your brand/products/services
- Generate leads
- Create excitement and buzz around your brand
- Reward your customers
For even more reach, you could even combine it with Influencer Marketing. Or you could host a Giveaway, collect contact information and offer a special deal in the winner's announcement.
Here's an example: "Congratulations to John F. for winning the $200 Gift Voucher. But, if you weren't the lucky winner, we still wanted to thank you so much for taking part. That's why we thought we'd give you 25% off your next order. Valid for seven days."
This works well because they already expressed interest by taking part.
Now you use urgency to trigger the action.
Invest In Sales Funnels
Most small businesses don't put enough thought into their sales funnel, which is a big mistake.
A sales funnel is simply the journey your customer goes through when buying a product—from first contact until a completed purchase.
A sales funnel allows you to:
- Nurture leads until they're ready to buy
- Provide value to your audience
- Establish yourself as an authority in your field
- Generate leads
Nowadays, we have a lot of software that can help create this process. Some examples include ClickFunnels and Kartra.
With these software platforms, you can also create checkouts that have one-click upsells or order bumps that boost your conversions.
For example, let's say you're selling a fitness ebook as a front-end product for $37. On the post-purchase page, you could give your users another one-time offer for your group coaching package for $79 per month, which is usually $99 per month.
The cool thing about this is that you already have your user's credit card information, so if they hit the "buy now" button, they purchase instantly—without having to type in their billing info again.
Now you have the potential to turn that $37 sale into a $79 per month subscriber—increasing your Customer Lifetime Value (LTV).
Smart blogging is another excellent small business marketing strategy to increase your online presence. Targeting low competition keywords is a great way to increase your organic traffic.
You can use tools like Ubersuggest, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to help you find keywords that have a low competition score and create SEO-optimized blog posts on them.
These tools will also help you see your competitors' keywords to target in your campaign.
From there, you can create better content than your competitors to increase your chances of "stealing" those keywords from them.
Conversion Rate Optimization
More traffic isn’t the only way to make more revenue. Increasing your conversion rate is just as important.
Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of increasing the percentage of your visitors that buy from you, i.e., optimizing for conversions.
Some of the variables you can improve or tweak are:
- Call To Action Elements
- Page Design & Layout
- User Experience
- Headlines & Copy
To test these variables, we recommend A/B Testing.
This is the process of testing two different versions of a page to see which one converts better.
Offer a Referral Incentive
One of the best ways to increase your customer base is through referrals.
You can do this by offering a referral incentive that helps you turn one customer into many.
One brand that used to have a popular referral program is Airbnb.
They used to offer their customers $25 for every new customer they refer, and the referred customer also gets a free night's stay.
That’s a good deal for the customer too, which is one reason why Airbnb grew so rapidly.
What you need to remember with referral incentives: You need to have a good customer retention process and know your customer LTV. This allows you to create a better referral program.
Grow Your Own Facebook Group
Growing your own Facebook group is another excellent way to increase your customer base.
The great thing about Facebook groups is that they're a targeted audience.
You can also use Facebook groups to drive traffic back to your website.
Plus, the discussions that people have in your branded Facebook group allow you to gain useful insights which you can use to improve your product or brand.
Invest in Paid Ads, But Do It Right.
Many businesses invest in paid ads and fail. But more often than not, they fail because they don't have their sales systems and funnels in place.
For example, sending a user directly to the sales page is rarely effective, although it is in some cases.
Most of the time, you first want to collect their contact information and then promote a paid product later.
Plus, you shouldn't only be targeting new customers - but also ones that have already been on your website. For this, you'd be using retargeting ads where the CPC often is lower, while the conversions are higher because they know your brand.
So make sure to use all the available tools before jumping into paid ads.
Guest posting is one of the easiest and quickest ways to get in front of a big audience.
Building an audience of 20,000 people takes time. However, you can also get yourself in front of 20,000 people by writing a relevant, high-quality article on a website that has an audience of that size.
And that's incredibly quick, so reach out to some people in your network and make that guest post.
Have some fun on Twitter
Who doesn't like to have some fun? Twitter is an engaging social media platform that's fast and helps you connect with your audience.
The most famous example of this is Wendy’s, who are known for taking a dig at McDonald's and other competitors…
But what's important here is that they do it in a fun way, and their entire Twitter page's goal is to make their audience laugh—all positive feelings and talk connected with their brand.
Instagram—with a personal touch
Instagram is an excellent social media platform with a lot of potential. But you need to have a personal touch in your content if you don’t want to get lost in the noise.
One great example of this is Gary Vaynerchuk, known for his energetic and passionate speeches. A lot of people follow him for his personality.
Here are some tips you can use to create Instagram content with a personal touch:
- Include photos of yourself, your team, influencers, or customers in your content
- Incorporate user generated content in your posts
- Be authentic: Use original photos instead of generic stock photos
YouTube tutorials, guiding users on how to best use the various features of your product, don’t just benefit your existing customers. It is also an effective way to market your product.
These videos may appear on the search results for related search terms so it definitely helps increase brand awareness.
This is an approach that GetResponse and many other software companies use.
Get Customers To Share The Joy
You can also create campaigns that make customers share their reviews of your products or services.
One great example of this is Coca-Cola's campaign a few years ago, called "Share a Coke."
The idea was that customers could find their names on Coke bottles and cans and then share photos of themselves with the coke.
This was a huge success, with over a billion social media impressions.
You can do something similar by offering discounts or free products in exchange for sharing a review.
You can promote this in your email marketing campaigns or on post-purchase pages.
Expert tip: As a small business, you don’t want to be wasting your budget on marketing that isn’t generating actions. Bigger businesses may have huge ad spends and content budgets where they recoup the conversions later down the line.
However, with a smaller budget, you need to ensure that the money you’re spending is generating conversions or actions that lead to conversions.
Run TikTok Campaigns
TikTok is probably the newest and hottest way of promoting your business. While the user base is mainly younger, a lot of adults use it too.
Compared to other social media platforms, it has excellent organic growth rates and it's a great way to connect with your audience.
You can use humorous or creative videos to promote your brand on TikTok—such as finding songs or famous audio clips that you can somehow connect to your brand.
Or you can join in on the trends to get high impressions organically.
Host a Twitter Space
Twitter spaces are a new feature the platform has. They’re essentially voice sessions with a host or influencer.
They're excellent for quickly getting in front of a large audience and promoting your product or brand.
You can use them to launch a live product or run a contest.
Plus, you could even host paid Twitter spaces as an additional revenue stream.
Hold the compose button on your home screen to get started and you will see an option for spaces.
From there, you are ready to go. You can also promote it via email to get more people inside.
Update Old Content
The world moves fast so the content around it should too. Therefore, updating old content is crucial to keeping your website relevant.
But it's not just about keeping the content fresh. You can also use it to increase traffic and improve SEO.
Google likes fresh content because it's what the user is looking for in most cases. So if you have old content that has dropped in search results rankings, take a look to see if you can update it.
Bonus tip: Updating old content is especially effective when you're already ranking close to page 1. If, afterward, you move up to page 1, you should see a nice spike in traffic.
Getting your business on coupon sites is a great way to get more leads and customers. It's also an effective way to increase brand awareness.
The great thing about most of these sites is that they have high traffic so that they will feed you customers.
Plus, once you start getting on the bigger coupon sites, the smaller ones will add you too.
Some of the most popular coupon sites include:
You can also get on industry-specific comparison sites like Trivago or TripAdvisor. Or if you own a restaurant partner up with delivery services like Uber Eats.
Small Business Marketing Strategies: Final Thoughts
That's it. Those are our top 20 Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses in 2023. We hope you find one or two that you can use to help your business grow.
As a small business strategy, choosing one or a few ideas is more effective than trying too many. So ensure you aren’t doing too many—because it’s better to do the ones you chose correctly.