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10 Crucial Marketing Tips for Online Businesses Boost your visibility and attract more customers with these proven strategies.
By Jigar Thakkar • Jan 19, 2023
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Starting an online business is great for bringing your products or services to a broader audience. However, the competition is fierce, and it can be difficult to stand out in the crowded online marketplace.
That's where marketing comes in. Implementing the right marketing strategies can boost your visibility, attract more customers and achieve online business success. Here are ten marketing tips that can help you achieve these goals.
1. Understand your target audience: It's important to know who you are selling to, so you can create marketing campaigns that appeal to them. Conduct market research to learn more about your target audience and their needs, preferences, and behaviors.
Related: 9 Ways to Meet and Understand Your Audience
2. Have a clear value proposition: Your value proposition should explain why your product or service is better than those offered by your competitors. It should be clear, concise and compelling and should address your target audience's needs and pain points.
3. Create a strong website: Your website is often the first point of contact between you and your potential customers, so it's important to make a good impression. Make sure your website is well-designed, easy to navigate, and informative.
4. Use SEO to your advantage : SEO (search engine optimization) can help you get more organic traffic to your website by making it easier for search engines to find and understand your content. Use keyword research to optimize your website and content for relevant search terms, and make sure your website is mobile-friendly and has a fast loading speed.
5. Use social media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be powerful marketing tools for online businesses. Use them to engage with your audience, share updates and promotions, and build brand awareness.
Related: The Business of Harnessing the Power of Social Media
6. Utilize email marketing: Email marketing can be an effective way to stay in touch with your customers and promote your products or services. Use email marketing software to create newsletters and automated email campaigns, and segment your email list to send targeted messages to specific groups of customers.
7. Maximize your use of content marketing and Influencer marketing: Content marketing involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. Use content marketing to educate and engage your customers and to build trust and credibility for your brand.
Influencer marketing involves partnering with influential people in your industry to promote your products or services. Identify relevant influencers in your industry, and reach out to them to discuss potential collaboration opportunities.
8. Utilize paid advertising: Paid advertising can be a powerful way to quickly get your message in front of a large audience. Use platforms like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads to reach your target audience.
Related: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Paid Ads
9. Offer excellent customer service: Providing excellent customer service is essential for online businesses. Respond promptly to customer inquiries and complaints, and ensure your customers have a positive experience interacting with your business.
10. Analyze and optimize your marketing efforts: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your marketing campaigns and identify areas for improvement. Continuously test and optimize your campaigns to get the best results.
Related: The 6 Online Marketing Strategies Every Entrepreneur Needs
These ten marketing tips can increase your visibility , attract more customers, and achieve online business success. Remember to create high-quality, original content and optimize your website and content for relevant keywords.
Use social media to promote your content and make sure your website is mobile-friendly and has a fast loading speed. Manage your online presence with Google My Business, monitoring and addressing technical issues and conducting A/B testing .
By implementing these strategies, you can give your online business the boost it needs to thrive in the digital marketplace.
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11 best marketing strategies to accelerate your business (+ examples)
- Lena Sernoff
- 17 min read
The first and most crucial step in your marketing strategy is marking your online territory. By creating a website , you're claiming a digital space that's entirely yours. Next, you'll need to outline your company's growth plan using the right marketing strategies to generate more leads, web traffic and acquire new customers. From influencer marketing and PR to SEO, we'll explore precisely which types of marketing to focus on in the year ahead to fuel significant growth for your business.
Start building your online presence with Wix .
What is a marketing strategy?
The role of a marketing strategy is to map out how you plan to promote and sell a product or service. Its ultimate goal is to reach your target audience through marketing and advertising campaigns and then get them to buy or engage with your service. It can also help you map our your target audience, as well as the best ways to reach them with tracking and insights.
Essentially, a marketing strategy is an overarching plan that anyone deciding how to start a business , or working with an existing business use to increase visibility and ultimately their profits. It can involve anything from creating a strong brand identity to developing innovative products and services. Successful marketing strategies should be tailored to your specific goals and objectives.
Creating strategic marketing strategies starts with defining what is product marketing for your niche, understanding where you are now, identifying key areas of improvement and focusing on achieving specific goals.
Marketing strategy vs. marketing plan
While these terms are used interchangeably, marketing strategies are broader summaries of what your business does to overcome your pain points, meet your goals and reach your audience.
A strategy provides a larger picture of how you plan to stay ahead of your competition. It can reveal threats that you may need to consider for long-term sustainability . By contrast, the marketing plan methodically outlines details of how you will implement your strategies and how you will track your marketing ROI .
Additionally, your marketing plan is highly detailed and involves the four Ps of marketing : product, price, place and promotion. It helps to ensure a more integrated marketing approach—that is, a unified message across all of your promotional channels.
Why marketing strategies matter
There are plenty of benefits to defining your marketing strategies early on. Marketing strategies are essential for businesses as it helps them to identify their goals and objectives, understand their target audience, and develop an effective approach to reach out to them. A well-crafted marketing strategy can help you gain a competitive advantage , improve your brand image and increase sales and revenue. Setting clear goals and objectives and aligning the marketing strategies to achieve them best sets you up for success. To understand more about the theory behind why marketing matters, we recommend the ideas and work of Michael Porter . He is credited with developing the concept of competitive advantage, for example. There's a lot to be gained from understanding his research and incorporating it into your marketing management .
Furthermore, marketing budgets might be limited when starting a business , and a clear plan ensures you won't waste any resources. Besides, how will you measure success if you don't first establish what it looks like or how you'll get there?
The main elements of a marketing strategy
These may vary but generally include:
Establishing your target audience through market analysis
Deciding on your Unique Selling Proposition , Go to market strategy
Creating your market positioning , and establishing product differentiation, how customers will perceive you and your product
Establishing your pricing
Setting the budget for your marketing strategy
Implementation of your chosen strategy
Continuous tracking and improvement of your plan
For more information on what makes an effective modern marketing strategy, we recommend looking to Phil Kotler , whose work on marketing management and the importance of connecting with your audience, has been instrumental in improving marketing strategies.
11 best marketing strategies
One of the biggest challenges in marketing strategies is keeping up with changing market trends and consumer preferences. Developing an effective marketing strategy can also requires significant time, resources, and expertise; t he list of the types of marketing strategies out there is extensive. By analyzing the top marketing trends and doing in-depth customer and market research, we've narrowed it down to the top 10 strategies for you.
Remember that no matter which methods you decide to include, they will only be effective if your audience likes and trusts your business. As you carry out campaigns, aim to educate, inspire or entertain your audience, so you'll see the most impactful results.
Social media marketing
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Email marketing and newsletters
Earned media and PR
01. Content marketing
In the past decade, there's been a shift in the marketing mindset. Today we see a rise in blogs, podcasts and webinars that are engaging and inclusive to audiences—so they feel more connected with brands.
Creating valuable and informative content has become a win-win especially when it comes to developing and improving customer engagement . Content marketing creates a strategic opportunity for your business to connect with a customer meaningfully.
Content marketing also helps you generate awareness, become an authority and tell a story. Focusing on this strategy early on is handy for other marketing ideas , as you can share your content on social media or in email newsletters later. The most popular content strategies are:
Starting a podcast
02. Social media marketing
71% of small-to-mid-sized businesses use social media for marketing . This high percentage comes as no surprise. Social media marketing is one of the most influential ways to use digital marketing to increase visibility and gain traffic to your website. More so, it can be a valuable lead generation method, a sales channel, an audience insights tool and a customer service outlet.
From Instagram Reels to TikTok, your options of getting in front of new audiences are endless. Ensure you strategically choose which channels you focus most on, based on your target audience. If you aim to reach a professional audience, LinkedIn is a must for creating a company page. Social media platforms are a great way to secure first-mover advantage , a concept in marketing and business when companies are the first to market in a specific product category. The speed at which its possible to generate and distribute multimedia content on social media is ideal for this.
Video marketing is a format that is becoming more heavily favored on social media as users consume more content on their mobile devices (this marketing strategy also works well if you're focusing on mobile marketing), so consider this as an important form of content creation in your marketing strategy. This marketing strategy also allows brands to tap into the phenomenon of viral content. While not easy to achieve, it can have a dramatic impact on key marketing metrics and KPIs, such as website traffic, and brand visibility.
Social media advertising is another component that should not be overlooked. For example, advertising on Facebook can drastically increase new customers. Want to try Facebook advertising for your business? Facebook Ads by Wix directly connects to your website to set up and optimize your campaigns. Remarketing on social media channels is a highly effective way to bring people back to your website to complete a purchase.
Popular social networks for promoting a business:
Our recommended reading to improve your social media strategy:
Types of Social Media Content for Your Business
How to Increase Social Media Engagement
Ways to Improve Your Social Media Presence
03. Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engines are filled with micro-moments. These are high intent instances when someone wants to learn, buy or do something. By optimizing your chances of ranking higher on search engines to show up at these instances, you're practicing search engine optimization SEO .
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be used as a core marketing strategy or a marketing tactic. In either case, a solid SEO strategy centers around making a brand’s content desirable, discoverable and accessible for web users via search engines like Google and Bing. Like inbound marketing, the most effective SEO strategies will include a great deal of audience research (typically with keyword research) and will be designed to ensure the brand has competitive visibility within the target audience.
SEO strategists tend to focus on industry specialisms and niches, such as technical SEO . Taking this approach can help brands to concentrate knowledge, utilize the most effective SEO tools , and best satisfy user intent.
Using SEO techniques, you'll direct the right kind of traffic to your site. People who find you through searches already arrive at your business website with intent. Driving traffic to your website isn't the only significant benefit. Bottom line sales also improve with SEO. In fact, 70% of online marketers say that "SEO is better than PPC advertising for generating sales."
To implement an SEO strategy, start by learning how to do keyword research the right way. After selecting which high intent keywords you're after, you can begin optimizing your content and improving your online presence to increase your search ranking and visibility.
04. Email marketing and newsletters
Recent studies show that 89% of marketers use email as the primary channel for generating leads . However, for email marketing campaigns to succeed, they need to deliver the right kind of message to your audience (no spammy "Buy now" emails). Good email marketing builds a relationship and acquires trust with readers.
You can still automate emails (check out marketing automation software ) but remember to always add value. These newsletter examples show how all-sized companies can communicate uniquely and interestingly with subscribers. When you make a newsletter , conduct A/B tests to maximize performance.
When done correctly, your email marketing strategy can create a strong ROI, improve customer retention and influence purchasing decisions.
Email marketing tips:
To build your email list , add a pop-up to your website to collect user information.
Share engaging content in your emails, such as blog posts, user-generated content and videos.
Personalize emails by adding information such as first names and customizing content based on how the user engaged with your site.
05. Influencer marketing
According to author and entrepreneur Seth Godin, "People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic. These wise words sum up the power of influencer marketing . As one of the quickest growing marketing strategies, influencer marketing uses real people to speak for your brand. Another side of it, is tapping into celebrity branding - using high profile influencers or online celebrities as part of your marketing efforts.
Influencers are individuals with high following or authority on a given topic or niche. This is one of the best marketing strategies because you get to expose your products and brand to a high follower reach without spending time building the audience. More than that, the influencer you've chosen to work with can use their authority to sway potential consumers to buy. Influencer marketing is not unlike word of mouth marketing or referral marketing.
The key is to find influencers that relate to your product and align with your brand values. Don’t be afraid to start with smaller partnerships with nano and micro-influencers . Interestingly enough, often their engagement rates and conversions are much higher than the ones with massive followers.
After reading these impressive stats below, you’ll further understand the lucrative power of a good influencer marketing strategy in helping your secure greater market penetration :
60% of marketers report better performance with influencer content vs. their own brand content.
Over 70% of marketers agree that the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other forms of marketing.
Influencer marketing yields between $5.20 to $6.50 for every one dollar spent.
06. Earned media and PR
After you've launched your business and website, it's time to spread the word. Gaining positive publicity and traction from media outlets will create the buzz around your business to get the attention of the masses. Business marketing strategies within this realm come in varying forms, including TV, newspapers, radio and podcasts.
Ideally, the press and publicity you acquire are organic (unpaid), but even if you’re considering working with a paid PR agency, the ROI can prove worthy. Bill Gates himself said, “If I only had two dollars left, I would spend one dollar on PR. It's an effective way to take your marketing communication to the next level.
07. Landing pages
What is a landing page? In simple terms—a marketer's best friend. This standalone page has one clear goal which is conversions.
No matter how successful your various online marketing strategies are, your landing pages and website must convert at a decent rate to make all the efforts worthwhile. Even just a one-second delay in page-load speed leads to a 7% drop in conversions.
Stay up to date with landing page best practices to increase your website conversion rate . By using Wix’s landing page builder , you’re already optimizing with best practices in mind. The landing page templates have customizable designs with CTA buttons placed strategically, built to be mobile-friendly, and critical information above the fold. Simply upload your images and change the text to fit your business.
There are numerous types of advertising to consider for your business. From social media advertising to TV and print advertising, the options for advertising campaigns greatly vary. One thing is clear, online advertising is a powerful way to get your audience's attention. Its digital technology helps you better target, track and measure the results of your paid marketing investment.
Learning how to advertise on Google early on will significantly benefit your growth within digital advertising. Since Google is the largest search engine globally, you want to stay ahead of the competition and show up for strategic keywords related to your offerings with Google ads. Advertising on Google and many social media platforms is also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising .
To choose the proper advertising methods for your business, consider:
Costs and budget
Timing and length of your campaign
Creative assets available
09. Affiliate marketing
To answer the question, “ What is affiliate marketing? ” you can think of it as paid partnerships where others promote your brand for you. By creating an affiliate marketing program, you’re ultimately working with another affiliate that will distribute product promotions on their social media accounts, blog, or other platforms. Their sales get tracked with unique links called affiliate links, which allow the individual to get compensated based on performance.
This type of marketing is increasing in popularity, and more and more companies are rolling out their own affiliate programs. Due to this growth, today, 81% of advertisers include affiliate marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.
Retargeting is a highly effective way to reach people who are already familiar with your brand and have expressed some level of interest in what you have to offer. It allows you to show ads to people who have already visited your website or shown interest in your products or services.
There are a few different ways to retarget people who have visited your website, from display and social media ads to email marketing, which can help you in the following ways:
Increase brand awareness. Make sure your brand is top of mind for people who have already visited your website. This can make them more likely to remember you when they are ready to make a purchase.
Generate leads. Showing ads to people who have visited your website and have done nothing else can encourage people to take the next step. Try offering free discounts or trials to give further incentive.
Drive sales. People who abandoned their shopping carts or visited your website but didn’t buy anything might just need a reminder, and you can make sure they get one.
Whichever platform you choose, just make sure you are tracking the results of your retargeting campaigns so that you can see what’s actually working.
11. AI marketing
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the world of marketing. AI-powered tools and technologies are being used to automate tasks, personalize experiences and target audiences more effectively. As a result, AI is becoming an essential part of any successful marketing strategy.
AI marketing is still in its early stages, but is rapidly growing in popularity. As AI technology continues to develop, it's likely that AI marketing will become even more important in the future. Here are some specific examples of how AI is being used in marketing today:
Chatbots: Chatbots are AI-powered software programs that can simulate conversation with human users. Chatbots are increasingly being used in marketing to provide customer support, answer questions, and generate leads.
Personalized recommendations: AI can be used to recommend products or services to customers based on their past purchase history, interests and online behavior. This is a powerful way to increase customer engagement and drive sales.
Targeted advertising: AI can be used to target ads to specific audiences based on their demographics, interests, and online behavior. This is a more effective way to reach target audiences and improve the return on investment (ROI) of advertising campaigns.
AI website builders : There are a number of AI-powered design tools available that can help businesses create websites more quickly and easily. These tools use AI to generate templates, layouts and even content for websites.
These are just a few examples of how AI is being used in marketing today. As AI technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and effective ways to use AI in marketing in the future.
Marketing strategies examples (and why we love them)
Wix: content marketing with education in mind.
If you haven't yet heard—we launched a podcast. Now What interviews leaders to discuss the future of business, design and eCommerce. The episodes are filled with helpful insights on succeeding as an entrepreneur as technology keeps changing.
Podcasting is a content marketing strategy that centers around the listener. On top of educating and informing with this content, Wix also turns some episodes into blog posts and shares them on social media. We saw how helpful it could be to have all types of content that listeners and readers can consume in the medium that best fits them. And most importantly its not just about promotion—it can inspire and teach something new. Podcasts and other forms of marketing content can also be used as part of your customer relationship management, as they allow you the ability to engage directly with your users or potential customers.
Berta : Social media marketing that keeps up with the trends
Bridal company Berta didn't earn its 2.9 million followers for nothing. Their highly engaging, humorous and trendy Instagram Reels and TikToks take over social media feeds. In one of their Instagram videos , they used a trending voice-over of the Kardashian family speaking. They styled each Kardashian voice with a different Berta dress to playfully showcase their dress line to each unique personality.
Their trendjacking marketing strategy is not only clever and entertaining, but it also displays products naturally. Berta makes themselves relatable and likable, while also positioning themselves as driven by innovation, through social media—something all brands can learn from.
Etsy : Email marketing campaigns that add value
Etsy, a platform known for its handmade gifts, understands how to use email marketing to showcase products while also benefiting the reader. The sharp yet level-headed subject line "Next-level gifting" grabs attention immediately. Opening the email with the following helpful advice:
"A few tips for nailing their gift: 1) Try a pick that's unexpected—but so perfect. 2) Celebrate your connection, whether it's a shared hobby, a sweet message, or an inside joke. 3) Add a personal detail to make it completely one of a kind."
The email grouped different products, such as jewelry, cozy gifts, heartfelt art and more. As a receiver, you're happy you got some thoughtful gift ideas from Etsy. Instead of spamming product links into an inbox, Etsy added value and tried to find ways their marketing could be helpful.
Blue Apron : Influencer marketing with a niche
As a meal prep business, you can only imagine how strategic it was for Blue Apron to partner with a top chef like Sam Kass . Kass reaches 20,000 followers that are likely all food lovers. Blue Apron's use of influencer marketing and personalization has boosted engagement by hosting a virtual cooking class with Kass, helping them foster brand trust. They stayed focused on their niche within the foodie world and used leaders aligned with their values to represent their brand. While a highly effective strategy on its own, mass marketing is not necessarily the right approach in every situation. Understanding your market share within a niche that is more likely to convert is more important sometimes than focusing on a wider market grab. In essence, strategic marketing is where it's at.
How to choose and create a marketing strategy in 5 steps
Define your goals
Identify your target audience
Understand your customer’s pain points and your value proposition
Select your marketing channels and allocate budgets
Decide on the messaging, creatives and implementation plan
01. Define your goals
Data repeatedly shows that those who write down goals achieve more than those who don't. There are several ways to set your objectives, such as using the SMART Goals method, broader SWOT analysis .
Your business goals might be to develop your brand awareness, break into a new geographic area, or increase online sales by a given percent. The more specific and numerical these goals are, the better they can be tracked, measured and replicated.
02. Identify your target audience
After you determine exactly whom your business wants to reach, it will be clearer which marketing strategies to choose. That's because the messaging and platforms you'll use need to fit your target audience and target market . Audience parameters can be tied to demographics like age, gender, geographic region, likes, interests, etc. They can also be enhanced with competitor analysis . Create different l ightboxes or conduct market segmentation to assist you in the process.
03. Understand your customer’s pain points and your value proposition
To develop a marketing strategy that works, you must understand what your ideal consumer struggles with regularly. This awareness will align your product, place, price and promotion to solve their pain points and increase your chances of scalability. Once you’re confident in your value proposition , you’re ready to proceed.
Not sure where to start with this? Consider using the marketing mix, or 4p's of marketing . This is an approach that helps organizations develop and implement effective marketing strategies. It consists of four key elements that collectively shape a company's marketing approach - product, price, promotion and place or distribution.
04. Select your marketing channels and allocate budgets
Where does your audience spend the most time? Is it social media or reading publications and online magazines? Once you know where the people you want to be reaching are, you can best select the types of marketing you wish to implement in your strategies and the marketing channels to target. While niche marketing can be impactful, you can also consider the benefits of diversification in your marketing strategies - is offline marketing worth it for you, for example. Sometimes not putting all of your eggs in one basket is the better approach.
Likewise, choose which marketing tools will help you execute the campaigns. Allocating a specific budget for each channel and your KPIs is also important to do in this stage. Using a marketing plan template is a simple and effective way to document your process.
05. Decide on the messaging, creatives and implementation plan
The final step in your marketing strategy is working on your messaging and creative formats. For example, if you plan to educate customers on product capabilities and spend a lot of time on YouTube, you might create a video campaign. The video messaging will resonate with your target audience in a relevant and meaningful way.
How to track marketing strategies
Tracking your marketing strategies according to their set KPI's is essential for understanding how effective they have been, and so you can optimize them as they run.
We've put together some of the main ways in which you can track your marketing strategies from planning to execution. The specific KPIs for each marketing strategy may vary, but in general they should all be tracked according to the following steps.
Set your goals and define what you want to achieve with your marketing strategies. Do you want to increase website traffic, generate leads, boost sales or improve brand awareness?
Choose the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals. If one of your goals is to increase website traffic, then your KPIs or marketing metrics would be page views, bounce rate and time on site.
You should use always tracking tools in order to collect the specific data you need to understand how close you are to meeting your KPI's, or not. The exact tool/s you use will vary according to your goals and specific metrics but some popular examples include Google Analytics, tools that track social media analytics and email marketing software. You may need to check that you have the necessary tracking codes installed on your website and landing pages to monitor your campaign's success.
Once you've collected your data, you'll need to analyze it. First of make sure to regularly review and analyze the data collected from your tracking tools, either on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. This will help you identify what's working and what needs to be improved. It should also help you plan better future marketing strategies and campaigns.
Don't be afraid to adjust your strategies. Based on the insights gained from your data analytics, you'll most likely need to adjust or optimize your marketing strategies to improve them. One example of this is if your social media campaign is not generating the desired engagement, try experimenting with different content formats or posting times.
Monitor your strategies and their progress both over the short and long term. This should be a continuous process that involves reviewing your KPIs and metrics to ensure that you're on track to achieve your objectives.
What is a marketing strategist?
A marketing strategist is someone, generally referred to as a professional, who develops and implements marketing plans and campaigns to achieve a company's marketing and sales goals.
Their responsibilities include conducting market research, analyzing consumer behavior and market trends, and identifying target audiences. From this information, they create effective marketing strategies and tactics, including product positioning, pricing, promotion, and distribution. The ultimate aim of a marketing strategist is to increase brand awareness and drive sales growth.
Marketing strategies FAQ
What are the main components of a good marketing strategy.
While the precise marketing strategy you choose will depend on your specific business, industry and marketing KPIs, the components of a good marketing strategy remain the same. These include clear goals and objectives, a well-defined target audience, a unique value proposition, a solid competitive analysis plan, a great marketing mix, a clear budget and metrics complete with a structured implementation plan.
Why is a good marketing strategy so important for your business?
A clear, planned marketing strategy is essential for your business, for the following reasons - it provides focus for all marketing efforts, it maximizes ROI, helps with brand building, enables measurement and optimization of marketing efforts, and allows you to stay competitive amongst other businesses.
What are best practices for marketing strategies?
- Conduct thorough market research to identify target audience and market trends
- Develop a clear and concise marketing message that resonates with your target audience
- Use a variety of communication channels to reach your target audience effectively
- Keep track of the results and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly
What are the 4 types of marketing strategies?
The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. Each ingredient in this marketing mix plays an important role in increasing sales and building a smart strategy for promoting your business.
Marketing plan template: step-by-step guide plus examples
The complete list of types of marketing [40 effective strategies]
A look forward: 6 marketing trends to embrace in 2024
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50 Ideas for Your 2023 Small Business Marketing Strategy
Published: May 19, 2023
Whether you’re launching a new business or already have one, having a small business marketing strategy that includes a strong online presence for your brand is essential.
Consumers learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else, with Statista predicting the number of ecommerce users to grow to nearly 290 million by 2027 .
If you’re a small business owner with little experience in online marketing, creating a strategy to boost your online presence may feel overwhelming. Have no fear — we’ve got you covered.
In this post, we’ll help you build and optimize your small business marketing strategy using inbound marketing , setting you up to attract new clients and ultimately grow your business.
Small Business Marketing
Marketing is meant to raise brand awareness and build a pipeline of qualified leads that turn into sales. With a small business, getting the word out can be challenging due to less visibility and lack of resources (like budget or time).
However, there are key strategies that can help you scale your small business’s marketing efforts.
Whether you’re struggling with a limited budget, the time restraints caused by a smaller team, or even a lack of direction, a marketing plan appropriate for your business can guide you as you scale.
Small Business Marketing Strategies
- Know your audience.
- Emphasize your value proposition.
- Stay focused on singular goals and objectives.
- Capitalize on short-term plays.
- Double down on what works.
- Understand the power of existing customers.
- Use free promotional tools.
- Create a website to own your online presence.
- Consider blogging to attract prospects for your website.
- Promote yourself on social media.
- Collaborate with influencers to create brand awareness.
- Create short-form video content.
- Stick to a social media posting schedule.
- Invest in ads.
- Make sure you're capturing web prospects’ information.
- Use email marketing to nurture leads.
- Manage relationships with a CRM.
- Lean into word of mouth as a promotion channel.
- Connect with other local businesses.
These strategies are fundamental as you generate awareness and revenue for your organization:
1. Know your audience.
A key mistake is thinking that “anyone” is your buyer. Larger companies may be able to appeal to a wide market, but they say “the riches are in the niches” for a reason.
You’ll have the most leverage as a small business in a niche. And to develop a niche and appeal to buyers within it, you must understand their pains, problems, triggering events, and priorities.
What is pushing them to make a purchasing decision? What does it look like if they succeed? Knowing these things will help you craft messaging that resonates and makes a compelling case for your solution.
Start by thinking about your existing customers and who you’d like to work with. Then, create a buyer persona to get into your ideal client's head.
Download Free Buyer Persona Templates
2. Emphasize your value proposition.
If there’s no difference between you and your competition, there’s no reason why a buyer would be compelled to work with you.
Your value proposition is what will differentiate you from others in your space and make up your prospects’ minds that you're the provider to go with.
What do you do better than anyone in the industry? Conveying this makes a compelling argument.
3. Stay focused on singular goals and objectives.
If you’re exploring the world of marketing, you may have noticed that there are a gazillion directions you can go in. It’s tempting to do it all at once and craft a complicated machine in hopes that you covered all your bases.
However, this strategy makes it easy to take on too much.
Instead, identify where the biggest impact will be. Where is the biggest blind spot in your marketing prohibiting your growth?
Set a performance goal around that one key area and focus your resources on the activities and tactics that will achieve that one performance goal.
You can expand your efforts or pivot to other initiatives when you’ve made more progress toward that singular goal.
4. Capitalize on short-term plays.
Start scrappy. As you scale, it’s critical to see ROI sooner. This will give you the momentum and cash flow to put toward larger projects, long-term plays, and more sustainable growth models.
Tactics that take time to build (such as SEO) are poor fits for your primary initiatives because you won’t see a return soon enough for your liking. If you have enough resources to start there, great. However, don’t put all your eggs in that basket.
If you have evidence that people are taking to Google with purchasing intent for your particular solution, you may find that paid ads will give you that short-term ROI.
5. Double down on what works.
Once you have your initiatives running and you’ve experimented with a few things, pay attention to the data. This can inform you of what’s working. As you scale, it’s a good idea to double down on proven methods of generating revenue.
6. Understand the power of existing customers.
On average, acquiring a new customer costs five times more than closing an existing one. This means you shouldn’t stop marketing once they’ve made a purchase.
Identify your opportunities for repeat purchasing, upselling, and cross-selling. Because your existing customers have already made a purchase, they already know, like, and trust you.
If you’ve provided a good experience, you’ve given them a reason to do business with you again should the need ever arise.
Even if the need doesn’t arise (in cases where it’s a one-and-done purchase with no upsell opportunities), you should still delight your customers. Word of mouth is a powerful (and free) promotional tool.
7. Use free promotional tools.
Speaking of free promotional tools, it’s important to note that since you’ve committed to a limited goal and scope, there’s no need to inflate your overhead with gadgets.
Use free promotional tools where possible, and only commit to paid tools if you know they will drastically improve existing operations or performance. Here’s a helpful list of marketing tools (some free, some paid).
8. Create a website to own your online presence.
A professional-looking website is one of the most important assets you will create for your small business. This is where you will show who you are, what you offer, where you are, and how a potential customer can contact you.
It is a channel you will always own, and it has the capability of generating organic traffic in addition to being a place to send traffic from advertising and other marketing initiatives.
Your website isn’t just a simple brochure, either. You can turn it into a 24/7 salesperson by understanding how to convert traffic and turn them into leads (more on that later).
For one of the best website tools, check out HubSpot’s CMS .
Free Marketing Plan Template
Outline your company's marketing strategy in one simple, coherent plan.
- Pre-Sectioned Template
- Completely Customizable
- Example Prompts
- Professionally Designed
You're all set!
Click this link to access this resource at any time.
9. Consider blogging to attract prospects for your website.
Blogging is a great way to generate organic traffic, particularly for those prospects who have not reached a purchasing decision yet . In addition, it can establish credibility in your space and position you as a thought leader.
To start a blog, you can use an inexpensive or free website tool to make a free site and use one of their templates.
Even if you only publish once a week, it will improve your website’s visibility online and help educate your potential customers on why they should trust your company.
If you plan to write your posts yourself, check out this beginner’s guide to writing .
Once you start writing, you can add a call-to-action (CTAs) on your posts for visitors to subscribe to your blog and receive emails.
This is a great way to start collecting leads and offering potential customers a way to get information if they aren’t ready to buy anything from you yet.
Download Free Blog Post Templates
10. Promote yourself on social media.
With billions of potential customers using various platforms daily, social media is a powerful business tool. Social media marketing can help you engage with potential customers, build brand awareness, and promote your products.
Why wouldn’t you want to be seen where your potential customers spend their time?
Download the Free Social Media Content Calendar Template
11. Collaborate with influencers to create brand awareness.
Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are top of the list when it comes to social media platforms . But, if your small business is not yet well known on these outlets, consider collaborating with well-established influencers in your niche.
Influencer marketing is currently the top marketing trend. Collaborating with influencers is a surefire way to get your business in front of the eyes of your audience. Influencers understand their (and your!) niche.
Not only do they understand the niche, but influencers have a knack for storytelling — meaning, they’ll be able to effectively tell your business’s story and sell your brand to the appropriate audience.
Consider reaching out to influencers in your niche to add to your small business marketing strategy.
12. Create short-form video content.
Marketers know that a good marketing strategy for your small business should include more than just written content. In fact, in 2022, 44% of social media marketers focused their efforts on creating video content for TikTok.
Adding short-form video content to your marketing strategy is a great idea, as platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook make connecting and engaging with your audience convenient.
Short-form video content is easily shared, meaning you can quickly get your product or service in front of the right audience — and their friends.
13. Stick to a social media posting schedule.
You shouldn’t just post to your social media platforms hoping that something will become a viral post. Instead, you must focus on intentional content creation and posting.
After you find the social media platform that works best for your business, create a social media content calendar and stick to a regular posting schedule.
But, don’t just post every day for the sake of posting. 83% of social media marketers say it’s better to post at a lower frequency with high-quality content than daily posting.
You’ll likely post irrelevant, low-quality content when you post daily.
Take the time to create engaging, thoughtful content and schedule it for the appropriate times to stand out from the competition.
14. Invest in ads.
Organic traffic takes a while to build, and as a small business, you want to invest in short-term plays. Pay-to-play tactics that target buyers with high intent are great for short-term wins to jump-start other objectives.
80% of brands use some form of paid advertisement. Google Ads are perfect if you know that your target audience is searching the web for your product or solution. If they aren’t, you might consider social media ads instead.
Individuals on social media have less buying intent, but with highly targeted ads and enough impressions, you’ll gain the interest of your audience.
Download the Free Advertising Planning Kit
15. Make sure you’re capturing web prospects’ information.
We’ve been talking a lot about visibility and traffic but haven’t really covered how these will help drive revenue yet. One simple way to start generating leads or customers from your website is to implement a conversion tool.
A simple, free option is HubSpot Marketing Free . By using this tool to add a pop-up widget to your website , you can start collecting the email addresses of potential customers.
From there, you can send out promotions and offers and convert them into paying customers. You can also implement any of these 24 conversion tools to help you optimize your website and use it to drive leads.
16. Use email marketing to nurture leads.
Just because you’ve converted website traffic into leads doesn’t mean those leads are ready to buy yet. It’s important to stay top of mind and move them closer to a purchasing decision.
Email marketing is a critical part of your marketing toolkit, and it is the most effective method of marketing. In fact, 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.
This strategy is an easy, free, and scalable way to communicate with both new and existing customers.
Once you have an email marketing tool in place (many are inexpensive or even free), experiment with emailing out newsletters (with your sleek new blog posts) and other promotions to your database.
We know small business owners don’t have tons of free time to devote to digital marketing, so consider using marketing automation to make this process even easier for yourself.
To get started planning your email marketing strategy, check out this guide and template from HubSpot .
17. Manage relationships with a CRM.
Email marketing works best when you’re sending personalized, targeted emails. This begins with a customer database or customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Your CRM stores information about your leads, prospects, and customers so that you can keep track of customer interactions and identify sales opportunities more effectively.
HubSpot has one of the best CRMs (and, best of all, it’s totally free).
18. Lean into word of mouth as a promotion channel.
As mentioned previously, delighting customers can have a big impact on your business, primarily in repeat purchases and word of mouth.
If you provide a great experience, your customers will be more inclined to leave reviews, give testimonials, and tell their friends about you.
That’s why measuring customer satisfaction and encouraging customers to spread the word is a good idea.
19. Connect with other local businesses.
Take your business to the local community and connect with other local business owners in your area. Consider partnering with local businesses to create discounts, deals, or coupons for customers.
Start a live stream with local business owners during a promotional event or coordinate a giveaway.
Connecting with other small businesses is both great for word of mouth and collaboration. If you collaborate with other local businesses, advertise the promotion or sale on your social media outlets.
Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are tips for improving whichever marketing strategies you choose.
- Determine your brand's identity.
- Identify your buyer persona.
- Design a logo and other assets.
- Build your website with a CMS template.
- Draw up a go-to-market strategy.
- Hire a freelancer to help you scale your content.
- Consult agencies and freelancers for web design help.
- Track your site with analytics tools.
- Boost your Google ranking with SEO.
- Research keyword opportunities.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices.
- Write optimized blog posts.
- Experiment with photo and video content.
- Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp.
- Build out your social media strategy.
- Use social media for customer service.
- Build interesting landing pages.
- Plan an email marketing strategy.
- Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages.
- Share your distribution channels on your website.
- Offer a free webinar.
- Try co-marketing.
- Encourage happy customers to share their experiences.
- Try out marketing experiments.
1. Determine your brand’s identity.
A consistent brand identity to promote your business will make you look more professional and help you attract new customers. According to a 2020 study, nearly 9 out of 10 people are brand loyal .
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has described a company’s branding as “what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
In other words, your brand is people's feelings and emotions when hearing your company name. It combines your brand name, logo, aesthetic, and the design of all your assets, plus the values you support, which is becoming more important to consumers .
2. Identify your buyer persona.
When you imagine a customer searching for your product or service, what are they like? What are their pain points? What is their job? Creating a buyer persona that tells the story of your ideal customer can help you optimize a website for them.
By learning more about your target customer through creating a buyer persona, you can better figure out what types of things they may be searching for so you can include those terms on your website.
3. Design a logo and other assets.
To start getting the creative juices flowing, consider your color scheme and peruse palettes with Adobe Color or Coolors . You can create your own or look through pre-made or customized color palettes.
To create a logo, I’d recommend checking out Upwork or Freelancer .
There are free and less expensive options for designing your own logo online, although using a freelancer or agency can give you a higher quality product and connect you with a designer who can change and update your brand assets as your company grows.
4. Build your website with a CMS template.
If you’re a tech-savvy small business owner, you’ll probably want to build your own website. A content management system (CMS) makes the process simple.
Most CMSs offer customizable templates for your site that you can get for free or for a small fee. There are templates for various skill levels — from beginner all the way to advanced.
Once you’ve created your website, most CMS platforms offer plugins to help you optimize your content for search (look for SEO plugins). This will help you rank better in Google — which we’ll discuss more in-depth in a bit.
5. Draw up a go-to-market strategy.
Once you’ve activated all the tools you need to promote your product or service, you’ll need to create a promotional plan that aligns with the customer journey.
Consider which content will attract, engage, and delight your prospects and how you will convert them into a customer.
To help you plan out this process, use this template.
6. Hire a freelancer to help you scale your content.
If you need help creating regular blogs or promotional content, consider hiring a freelancer over investing in a full-timer. Try Upwork for a freelance blogger, videographer, or photographer.
You could also consider hiring a marketing agency for a larger project.
7. Consult agencies or freelancers for web design help.
If you aren’t technical and want a website built for your small business, you can use a freelancer or a marketing agency specializing in web design.
This is a great option for businesses with an existing website that needs to be updated and revamped for SEO to help improve your Google ranking.
To find a freelancer or marketing consultant in your area, you can use Upwork (filtering by design/creative), Codeable (for WordPress experts), or Freelancer .
8. Track your site with analytics tools.
If you’ve never made a website and aren’t entirely comfortable with the technical elements, many free tools and services can help you get started.
When you create your website, implement Google Analytics or HubSpot Marketing Free (both of which are free products) so you can easily track who’s looking at your site.
9. Boost your Google ranking with SEO.
If you already have a business, have you ever searched for yourself or your product/service online? If so, did you think, “Why isn’t my website showing up on Google?”
If so, you probably thought, “How do I rank on Google?” or “How can I improve my Google ranking?”
There are a lot of factors that play into why a certain site or page appears in the top spots on the Google (or another search engine) search engine results page ( SERP ).
Backlinko reports some of Google’s top factors, which include having relevant keywords (and their placement on your site), the length of your content, having high-quality content, how fast your page loads, how often you post content, and more.
When it all boils down, Google tries to find the best content to present to the person searching.
For example, if I’m searching for the best salon in Newport, Rhode Island, it wouldn’t be helpful for me to find a web page of a salon that has closed down and is located in Newport, Kentucky.
It would, however, be helpful for me to find a salon in my area with great Yelp reviews, an easy-to-navigate website, and contact information readily available.
Google always wants to surface the most relevant, highest-quality piece of content.
To rank higher on Google, you can leverage the power of SEO . To start learning everything there is to know about this powerhouse marketing tactic, check out The Ultimate Guide to SEO.
HubSpot explains SEO as “techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
This makes your website more visible to people looking for solutions that your brand, product, or service can provide via search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.”
In other words, it’s the basic concept of structuring your website and blog posts to be in the best shape for appearing first on search engines.
SEO strategy usually consists of a few things. These include buyer persona research , keyword research, and on-page SEO research.
These three areas can help you learn how your target market is searching online and position your business to get discovered by the right people.
10. Research keywords opportunities.
Keyword research is an extension of buyer persona research. You can use the personas you’ve created to search for the best keywords for your brand, then use a tool like KW Finder to find related keywords for your target audience.
Then, you can do some on-page SEO research and optimization. This is where you put those keywords in the correct places on your website — like in the meta description, page titles, and H1 tags.
11. Optimize your website for mobile devices.
Most Google searches are done on mobile devices , so it’s important to have a site that looks clean and is easy to navigate when someone enters it on their smartphone.
A mobile site can also be beneficial for SEO, with search engines like Google, which reward you with a higher ranking if you have a mobile site.
You don’t have to be a tech expert to build a site that looks good on mobile. In fact, most CMS platforms like HubSpot already offer mobile-optimized templates.
12. Write optimized blog posts.
Content and blogging are extremely important for your search engine ranking. The more often your desired keywords appear in your high-quality and helpful content, the more likely you are to appear in search results.
A great way to become an authority on your topic, product, or service is to blog.
Make sure you’re writing with SEO in mind — use these SEO tips for bloggers or leverage a WordPress plugin like Yoast .
13. Experiment with photo and video content.
According to HubSpot Research , more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands. Additionally, most social media apps, like Facebook and Instagram, are embracing more visual layouts.
To keep up with these trends, it’s a good idea to make a few marketing videos. If you use these tips , producing a few can be quite inexpensive.
14. Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp.
If your business is focused on a local area, the most important accounts for you are Facebook, Yelp, and Google’s business feature.
Having high Yelp reviews improves your authority online and helps your search ranking. You can claim your business on Yelp for free, customize your profile, add pictures, and ask for reviews.
The same thing goes for registering your Google business page. You can register your business with Google (for free) and add pictures.
If you’ve ever searched for your business in Google Maps and been disappointed not to see it, it’s because you haven’t claimed it yet!
On Facebook, you can create a Facebook business page so that people can find your location and hours.
For any business, having up-to-date social media accounts will help you be found and engage with prospects.
Create a Twitter account , Facebook page , learn how to use Instagram , create a Pinterest page (if relevant), and use them to discover new clients.
15. Build out your social media strategy.
While Facebook and Yelp will be great tools for local searches and reviews, platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter will offer you even more opportunities to share your posts, content, and promotions.
If your customers can purchase your products or services online, these platforms will also give them another way to find you.
Be sure not to spread yourself too thin by joining too many platforms at once. To make strategizing easier, here’s a guide to the five types of social media platforms and the pros and cons of each.
16. Use social media for customer service.
Once you’re on your chosen platforms, be sure to answer customer or follower questions when they ask them through post comments or direct messages. This will make your company look responsive and credible.
Here are some great examples of how brands have used Twitter for customer service.
If you have the means, consider hiring a social media manager with community management experience.
On top of posting content on a regular schedule, community managers are charged with responding to questions or concerns of followers.
Interested? We published a guide on what it takes to be a great social media community manager.
17. Build interesting landing pages.
A landing page offers your potential customers a free resource in exchange for filling out a short contact information form.
When they receive the resource, they might be even more pleased by your company and more interested in buying the full product.
Because landing pages raise your chances of customer conversion, you want yours to look enticing. To get started, read this landing page guide to learn more about what makes this strategy successful.
Then check out these free and professionally designed templates .
18. Plan an email marketing strategy.
Once you start creating regular content and building out landing pages, you’ll want to share them with the prospects who seem most interested in learning more about your product.
For this reason, we suggest building an email marketing strategy.
While you want to be careful not to bombard those who sign up for your email list with too many emails, you want to send just enough to keep your prospects informed and engaged.
Here’s how our metrics improved when we streamlined our email marketing strategy.
If you’ve never sent regular newsletters before, you can use HubSpot or a number of other affordable tools to create and send an email with a professionally designed template.
Many email tools also offer basic analytics that allow you to track open and click rates.
19. Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages.
Placing a coupon in your marketing emails can engage and delight your audience. After buying a product or service at a discounted rate, they might also be more willing to pay full price.
If you have a subscription service, offering prospects a code for a free trial can also be helpful so they can test it out.
20. Share your distribution channels on your website.
Once you have a few social media accounts and a newsletter, connect them to your website so your visitors can follow you.
One way companies do this is to display all of their linked social icons and a newsletter sign-up CTA on all pages of your website. A good place to include these is on the top right corner or the footer of each page.
This way, they’re visible but aren’t distracting from any content.
21. Offer a free webinar.
A webinar allows potential customers to sign up for a short online course hosted by you. These courses are usually between 30 minutes to an hour and allow you to give tips and answer questions related to a topic your brand is familiar with.
While this strategy can help you boost your credibility in your field, it can also offer you potential leads and sales opportunities .
22. Try co-marketing.
Is there a local business in your area that isn’t a direct competitor but offers a product or service to a similar target audience?
Consider working with them on a cobranded campaign where you promote each other on social media, via email, or in your blog.
While you’ll give your partnering company added promotion, it will also allow their fanbase to learn more about you.
23. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences.
When a happy customer talks about how great your company is on social media or a review site, your product or service looks like a good investment.
Even on social media, word of mouth is still a huge factor in someone’s purchasing decision .
If a prospect sees a friend raving about your business on Facebook or if they post a photo of a meal from your restaurant on Instagram, they might be more likely to go.
After all, 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals .
If customers tell you they love your product, encourage them to share the experience on Yelp, Google, or social.
If you have a physical business, you should place signs up with your account handles so customers know who to tag if they post a picture of your product.
24. Try out marketing experiments.
If you’re interested in a new social platform or a new marketing trend, don’t be afraid to experiment. If an experiment goes well, you could be ahead of the game, and it never hurts to be a thought leader in your industry.
When you experiment with a new marketing strategy, have a solid hypothesis or question in mind. This will keep you focused on the end goal and reduce the desire to chase the next big thing as it comes along.
Also, prepare for your next steps if you get good or bad results. Here’s a quick guide to leading a successful marketing experiment.
Small Business Advertising Ideas
Now that we’ve covered some marketing strategy basics, let’s look into how you can put your advertising dollars to work. Below are some ways to tackle advertising for small businesses.
- Set up Google My Business.
- Consider PPC ads with Google & Bing.
- Run social media ads.
- Sponsor products on Etsy & Amazon.
- Leverage user-generated content.
- Develop a referral program.
- Advertise with your local chamber of commerce.
1. Set up Google My Business.
Creating a free Google My Business profile is a simple first step to helping potential customers find your business. It only takes a few minutes to add your business contact information, business hours, photos, and a list of your services.
Another perk of having a Google business profile is that you don’t need a storefront to create one. Your profile also comes with analytics that can help you better understand how customers are connecting with your business.
Additionally, you can check out and respond to customer reviews and learn what keywords brought them to your business page.
2. Consider PPC ads with Google & Bing.
Using pay-per-click (PPC) ad programs like Google Adwords or Microsoft Advertising can also help drive customers to your business. If you’re working hard on SEO, but are still looking for an extra boost, consider PPC advertising.
With this search engine marketing technique, you use Google AdWords or Microsoft Ads to show up as an advertised listing in search results.
Before you dive into PPC, you’ll want to make sure your landing page is as optimized as possible. If you are paying by the click and those who click on the page don’t convert, you will lose advertising dollars.
To help you get started, read this Ultimate Guide to PPC . Then, use this PPC planning template to create an optimized campaign. You can also use a few handy tools and software to edit, track, and report on your campaigns.
3. Run social media ads.
Most major social media platforms offer affordable advertising options that can help you target your posts to a specific audience.
While many small businesses have been advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for years, Instagram now allows brands to advertise through its Shoppable tool .
Pinterest is also an excellent option for small businesses to advertise. In fact, Pinterest users say the platform has more influence on their purchasing journey than other platforms.
Shopping ads on Pinterst drive three times the conversion of other competing platforms.
4. Sponsor products on Etsy & Amazon.
If you’ve already set up shop on Amazon, you can boost your products by participating in their sponsored products program.
This cost-per-click ad program generates ads from your product listings and automatically targets your ads, making it a great option if you’ve never created a campaign before.
If you’re a maker and sell your wares on Etsy, consider using Etsy Ads to advertise your products. Similar to Amazon, this is a cost-per-click model with a default minimum daily budget of one dollar.
With Etsy Ads, your products will stand out in Etsy Search, category pages, and marketing pages.
5. Leverage user-generated content.
Some of the best advertising you can get is from existing customers. Happy customers can vouch for your brand and add social proof to your marketing campaigns.
Ask your customers to leave reviews, or if they’ve already created content on social media involving your brand, ask permission to share it.
6. Develop a referral program.
Speaking of enlisting the help of your existing customers, you can incentivize them by using a referral program . Offer a discount, free gift, or other perk in exchange for them bringing in new customers.
Referred customers are 18% more loyal than those who aren’t and spend 13% more on purchases. Since these new customers will have been referred to you by someone they know, they’re more likely to have a positive customer experience.
7. Advertise with your local chamber of commerce.
If you have a storefront, advertise with your local chamber of commerce.
Each city is different, but you can typically be featured on their website, promoted on their social media channels, and included in their email newsletter for an annual fee.
It’s a great way to get your brand out there and an excellent opportunity to network with fellow small business owners.
Start Marketing Your Business Today
Small business owners looking for a way to track ROI and brand awareness need digital marketing.
Not only is digital marketing a must-have for promoting your products or services, but optimizing your online assets is also critical to your business’ overall success.
You may have a long road ahead to build your online presence, but any steps you can make will have a huge impact on your business.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Creating a small-business marketing strategy can help you reach, develop and maintain relationships with your customers. Online marketing — including a business website, social media profiles and email campaigns — can help a small business reach a larger audience. Traditional marketing tactics such as print ads, billboards and flyers, as well as “experiential” workshops and pop-up events that allow customers to experience your products and brand, can help broaden your outreach.
Your marketing strategy will depend on your goals, customer base, market niche, budget and personal preferences. Here’s how to get started.
Define your marketing goals
First, decide what you want to accomplish with your marketing campaign and how it can help you reach your business goals. Identify your unique selling proposition, or USP. This is what makes your business stand out from its competitors and should be highlighted in your marketing materials.
The business plan you developed when starting your small business can be a valuable resource as you build out your marketing strategies. Chances are you’ve already done some of the legwork by conducting market research and outlining a plan for the marketing and sale of your products or services.
Use numbers (e.g., website visitors, leads generated, customers gained or revenue grown) when defining your marketing goals so you can more easily track and measure your results, and ultimately evaluate success.
While each business will have its own marketing objectives, here are a few metrics you may want to measure:
Engagement rates for social media content.
Conversion rates from browsers to buyers.
In addition to measurable goals, effective small-business marketing also contributes to brand recognition, or people’s awareness of your business. Over time, your marketing initiatives can help you establish a positive reputation and customer loyalty, which can be key to thriving over the long term.
Understand your market
After you determine your marketing goals, define your target audience — the group of consumers who are most likely to buy the products or services your business offers. One way to identify this group is by reaching out to your existing customers. This can be done through phone calls, emails, online surveys and in-person interactions.
Find out what they like about your business and its products or services, as well as what could improve. This is also an opportunity to gather data on your target audience’s demographics, such as age, gender, geographical location, education level, household income and size. Also ask what platforms they use most when shopping and discovering new brands, then be sure your business has a presence in those spaces.
Online marketing for small business
For many businesses, online marketing is a major area of focus in their marketing strategy. Having a digital presence is a low-cost and highly effective method of reaching customers.
Build a business website
At the heart of your small-business marketing strategy will be your business website, where potential customers can learn about your business and the products and services it offers. Depending on your type of business, you may want to create an e-commerce website to sell your products online. Your website should also include ways to contact your business and, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, the address and hours of operation.
Another important reason to have a website is so your business can appear on the results page for web searches. Whether someone searches for your business name specifically or the types of products or services you offer, you want to ensure your website is in the top results.
Optimizing your business website can help improve its visibility. Consider an e-commerce website builder that prioritizes search engine optimization, or SEO, best practices and be sure to use the appropriate keywords when describing your business and what it provides.
Website analytics tools, including Google Search Console and Google Analytics, can provide information on how visitors interact with your website, how many views your page receives, how long visitors stay on your page and more. These metrics can provide insights into how you can optimize your website to better suit your customers’ preferences and browsing habits.
Create social media profiles
According to an October 2022 NerdWallet survey , 42% of Americans use social media platforms to find the small businesses they support. Creating business accounts on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more can help customers find your business and provide an opportunity to engage with current customers.
» MORE: The do’s and don’ts of using Facebook to drive business sales
Choose social media platforms that make sense for your business, that you can manage on an ongoing basis and that your target audience uses. You’ll also want to create business profiles on Google, Yelp and other similar platforms.
Here are some tips on how to manage your social media strategy:
Share high-quality images of your products, behind-the-scenes moments with your staff and video stories and live chats about your business.
Share exclusive and special discounts, as well as updates on upcoming events.
Carve out time to respond to comments and DMs.
Encourage customers to post about their experience with your business — and tag your business account — so you can repost it.
Use a content management platform such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social or SocialPilot to manage all your social media accounts from one place.
» MORE: Instagram tips for small-business owners, by small-business owners
Launch email marketing campaigns
Even with the rise of social media, email has remained a mainstay of a well-rounded marketing strategy. A well-executed email campaign can be cost-effective, with estimates of around $36 of return for every $1 invested.
To get the most out of this marketing channel, create a plan that addresses the following details:
Frequency: Daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or another frequency. You may also want to let recipients choose the frequency or types of emails they receive from your business.
Campaign type: The information you want to share will determine the type of email campaign that makes the most sense. Some examples are newsletters, drip campaigns, product updates, abandoned cart reminders and sale announcements.
Email service provider: MailChimp, HubSpot, ActiveCampaign and Drip are some popular marketing software providers.
Building your email list: Leverage your existing customer base, leads from your website or social media accounts and in-person sign-up sheets at your store location.
When writing your emails, craft a subject line that’s compelling enough for your recipient to open the message. Use conversational language and keep your email concise and relevant to the subject line. Also, include links to your social media profiles and use a call to action to direct recipients to your business website or storefront.
Consider paid advertising
Paid online advertising can take many forms. Some common methods include:
Buying ad space on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Sponsoring a podcast.
Partnering with an influencer to share your products or services on their own platforms.
Using pay-per-click advertising where you pay a fee each time someone clicks on your online ad, up to a predetermined budget.
Other marketing tactics for small businesses
A well-rounded small-business marketing strategy leverages more than online campaigns.
Traditional marketing strategies can draw in buyers from your local community, especially when you own a brick-and-mortar location and foot traffic contributes to your monthly sales. Examples include:
Direct mail campaigns using postcards, brochures or letters.
Trade shows, fairs, farmers markets and other events.
Print advertising including magazines, newspapers, coupon books and billboards.
Broadcast advertising using podcasts, radio and television.
Open house at your store location with free food and swag.
Promotional merchandise such as pens, keychains and tote bags.
Flyers and business cards.
Joining local business communities to network with other entrepreneurs in your area.
Incentives such as flash sales, giveaways, free trial periods and discounts for customers who provide reviews or testimonials.
The goal of experiential marketing isn’t necessarily to sell a product but to raise brand awareness and ultimately establish brand loyalty. The goal is to provide the consumer with an experience that connects them with your brand in a positive way and encourages them to tell their friends, family, coworkers and social media followers about you, too.
Some events that fall under the experiential marketing umbrella include workshops, tutorials, tours of your facilities, competitions, concerts, pop-up shops and giveaways.
Caroline Goldstein, a freelance writer, contributed to this article.
A version of this article originally appeared on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.
On a similar note...
8 ways to promote your small business online
Leora Price QuickBooks
May 19, 2023
Quickbooks is a paid Partner of PayPal.
You’ve come up with a plan for your small business . You’ve hired all the right people, and you’ve scoped out a spot for your brick-and-mortar location . But without an established online presence, your potential customers are driving in circles, trying to find you where it really counts.
No small business can afford to overlook online marketing. A recent survey from the search engine optimization platform BrightLocal found that 98% of consumers used the internet to research local businesses in 2022 — and that number does not seem poised to fall any time soon. 1
You don’t need an expert consultant or an advanced degree to promote your small business online. You do, however, need at least these three things: a website, a social media presence, and a clear brand identity.
In the world of digital marketing for small businesses, read on for some of the best ways to promote your business online.
1 Learn how to use search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) may sound complicated, but getting started is simple.
First, write out a list of search terms your customers may use to find your business. Use those keywords (and maybe a few synonyms) as much as possible throughout your website. Try not to go overboard, though. You want the keywords to fit seamlessly across your web pages.
You’ll also want to include a healthy mix of internal links (i.e., links to different pages on your own website) and external links (i.e., links to other websites).
SEO marketing can be a complex subject with lots of moving parts — some businesses have entire teams dedicated to getting it right!
But starting small with just a few tweaks to your website, like updating the meta descriptions and title tags, can make a big difference. And, in turn, help your business become more visible to prospective customers.
2 Polish your website
Just like you wouldn’t want to show up to an important meeting with spinach in your teeth, it’s worth flossing the kinks out of your website before you hit “publish.” In business, first impressions are everything.
Your small business website should give potential customers all the information they need to choose you over the competition. If the site is outdated or not intuitive to use, your prospective clients may trust your business less overall. Proofread every word for grammar and clarity — and then proofread again.
Think of it this way: Your website should be a “PEACH,” which means:
- Professionally designed
- Easy to navigate
- Action-oriented, meaning the site presents clear actions for users
- High-quality images
Once published, update it regularly with current information and images.
3 Leverage online directories
Not everyone knows to search for your website directly — yet. Registering your business with online directories like Google My Business , Bing Places , Yelp , Better Business Bureau , Yellow Pages , and Nextdoor can increase your odds of skyrocketing to the top of everyone’s list. This is an easy and free tactic to increase your online visibility.
4 Build a strong social media presence
Social search has exploded in recent years. In fact, BrightLocal reports that 40% of Gen Zers prefer to search on social platforms like TikTok and Instagram over Google. 2
Your small business social marketing strategies don’t need to involve each and every platform. Still, you’ll want to set up shop on at least a couple.
Choose the social platforms that your potential customer base may use. Those looking for a haircut would probably browse photos on Instagram rather than references on LinkedIn, but legal clients would not. Other key platforms include Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube.
As you get started, study successful competitors to see how often they share on each platform and at what times their content performs best.
5 Offer value with content marketing
Not all your potential customers are ready to buy right now, but with a solid content marketing strategy, you’ll stay on their minds until they are.
Depending on your business, your content strategy may vary. A local wedding photographer may maintain a blog, while a small accounting firm could publish free educational materials. Both plans would plant seeds of trust and goodwill that could grow into a healthy future client base.
The key is to maintain a steady stream of high-quality content. Avoid publishing half-baked copy or posting video content in sporadic bursts. That could give customers the impression that your business lacks stability. If you need a little inspiration, look no further than the customers you’ve found on your thriving social channels.
6 Leverage email marketing
Email marketing allows you to stay in touch with customers as a large subscriber base. For small businesses, it can be a great way to establish long-term relationships with new and returning customers.
Top email marketing applications for small businesses include MailChimp , Constant Contact , and HubSpot .
A monthly newsletter is a solid place to start. Build a subscriber base through your professional network, social channels, and website. Send only to subscribers who’ve opted in, and make sure to provide a clear way to opt out. Your newsletter can keep customers posted about the latest news from your business, including new promotions and products.
Above all, remember that your potential customers’ inboxes are already full of junk. In email marketing, you’re trying to write vividly enough to evade the “delete” button.
7 Collaborate with influencers
They’re called “influencers” for a reason.
The 2021 Nielsen Trust in Advertising study found that 71% of consumers trust advertising and opinions from influencers — and you don’t need to hire Kendall Jenner to see results. 3
Micro-influencers, those with less than 100,000 followers, typically see more engagement on their posts than those with millions of followers. These influencers charge less per post, making them more budget-friendly for small businesses. And working with a micro-influencer goes a long way towards humanizing your brand and building trust with your audience.
Plus, a micro-influencer could help you reach a new audience — one primed to fall in love with your product. To find the right person for the job, search on social platforms, comb your follower list, or use an influencer marketing platform or agency.
8 Invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is likely what you imagine: Paid digital ads on platforms like Google and Facebook that drive traffic to your small business website.
A business using PPC advertising pays a fee each time a user clicks their ad. You could place your ad on search engines, as a product carousel, or on a video platform, among many other options.
If you’re new to PPC advertising, jumping in can be overwhelming. Do your research and think about what products or services you may market with a PPC campaign. Start small and focus your content on specific keywords and a clear call to action.
Still scratching your head? PPC advertising can be complicated. In this instance, it may be time to bring in an expert.
For more ways to promote your business online, explore these digital marketing for small business tips .
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Marketing Strategy: What It Is and How to Create One
A marketing strategy can set your business up for success. Learn why and how to make one for your business.
A marketing strategy is a long-term vision outlining a business’s value proposition to its customers. Rather than describing the concrete actions required in specific advertising campaigns, marketing strategies are a compass used to guide marketing efforts.
While it may be tempting to hash out a marketing plan right away, thinking about the marketing strategy first can improve your product's success and give you a competitive advantage. Learn what marketing strategy is, why it matters, different types, and steps to create your own.
What is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy is an overview of how a business or organization will articulate its value proposition to its customers. Generally, a marketing strategy outlines business goals, target market, buyer personas, competitors, and value for customers. It provides a long-term vision for overall marketing efforts, often looking many years ahead.
Advantages of a marketing strategy
Marketing strategies can have a measurable impact on success.
In 2022, CoSchedule surveyed 3,599 marketers and bloggers to identify their most successful marketing practices. They found that marketers who documented their marketing strategy were 331 percent more likely to report success than those who didn’t. Furthermore, marketers who were the most organized were found to be a whopping 674 percent more likely to report success [ 1 ].
Taking the time to create a marketing strategy can benefit your company's brand and bottom line. Watch this video to learn more about how to develop a winning marketing strategy:
Marketing strategy vs. marketing plan
People often use the terms “marketing strategy” and “marketing plan” interchangeably, but in reality, they are two different processes.
A marketing plan describes the concrete actions and marketing tactics undertaken to complete a marketing campaign. Meanwhile, a marketing strategy outlines the big picture of a marketing effort, such as the business's target customers. The strategy describes what the marketing objectives are, while the plan describes how those objectives are going to be achieved.
For example, imagine an e-commerce business that is trying to grow its customer base. They start a referral program to encourage word of mouth but it has little success. If they had created a strategy, they might have realized they needed to tap into new potential customers instead. A digital marketing strategy focused on targeted blog posts and search engine optimization (SEO) would have yielded better results.
Interested in digital marketing? Check out Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate to gain valuable skills to kickstart a digital marketing career:
Types of marketing strategy
There are many different approaches to marketing – such as social media marketing or content marketing – but strategies for market growth can be found in Ansoff’s matrix . These four strategies are:
H. Igor Ansoff is a mathematician and business manager who created the matrix to help businesses define their strategies by varying what product is being sold and who the product is being sold to [ 2 ].
Ansoff’s matrix encourages markets to consider the four Ps , or the “marketing mix":
Product: What is being sold
Place: Where it is being sold
Price: What the product costs
Promotion: How the product is marketed to the target audience
The exact way that a marketer defines the four Ps for their marketing efforts will depend on the growth strategy they are using and the political and economic outlook of their market.
Let’s take a closer look at each strategy from Ansoff’s matrix.
Market penetration strategy
Market penetration strategy is a growth strategy that involves selling existing products to existing markets. It is considered the least risky of all the strategies in Ansoff’s matrix. The strategy is typically considered most beneficial if the market is either growing or the marketer alters its promotional efforts through existing marketing channels [ 2 ].
McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" campaign
An example of a market penetration strategy can be found in McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign from 2003.
In the early 2000s, McDonald's faced flagging sales and plummeting stock prices. Rather than creating a new product (product development strategy), McDonald's instead focused on attracting existing customers in an existing market with a catchy ad campaign. The result was their wildly successful “I’m Lovin’ it” campaign, which featured a catchy new jingle sung by Justin Timberlake [ 3 ].
“I’m Lovin It” has since become McDonald’s longest-running marketing campaign since its founding in 1940 [ 4 ].
Product development strategy
A product development strategy involves the development of a new product for an already existing market. Typically, it is considered riskier than a market penetration strategy because it requires the creation of a totally new product. In order to be successful, product development strategies typically require innovation and further research into the existing market, including the profiles and needs of the target audience [ 2 ].
Uni Kuru Toga's mechanical pencil for every day writing
An example of a successful (and surprisingly interesting) product development strategy can be seen in the Uni Kuru Toga mechanical pencil.
As odd as it may seem, in the mechanical pencil world the Uni Kuru Toga is something of a star. “[T]he Uni Kuru Toga is the best mechanical pencil for every day writing,” opined the New York Time’s Wirecutter in a 2018 article [ 5 ]. Wired, meanwhile, called it “the ultimate geek tool” [ 6 ].
What makes the pencil so unique? A specially designed internal gear mechanism that rotates the lead so it stays sharp as you write and diamond infused lead that doesn’t easily break under pressure. In effect, as a 2009 commercial for the pencil demonstrated, it was meant for people concerned with even handwriting and durable lead [ 7 ].
While the market for mechanical pencils was already well-established, the Uni Kuru Toga was able to find success through a product development strategy that offered consumers something new and useful.
Market development strategy
A market development strategy takes an existing product into new markets. Much like a product development strategy, a market development strategy is considered riskier than a market penetration strategy because it involves introducing a familiar product into an unfamiliar marketplace. While the product remains the same, the new place it is sold requires possibly new pricing and promotional efforts [ 2 ].
Microsoft's Hololens technology
An example of a market development strategy is when Microsoft introduced its Hololens technology to an additional 29 markets in Europe in November of 2017 [ 8 ]. The augmented reality headset provides a unique user experience that allows professionals to work in a “mixed reality” environment. To promote their efforts, Microsoft released a YouTube video showcasing the unique use cases of the product in the workplace, such as through interactive employee training programs in industrial environments [ 9 ].
A diversification strategy involves the development of a new product for a new market. The novelty required of a diversification strategy means that it is also the riskiest of the Ansoff matrix’s four strategies. Diversification strategies require full attention on all of the four Ps – product, price, place, and promotion—but the biggest risks can also lead to the biggest rewards [ 2 ].
Apple's first iPhone
An example of a diversification strategy is when Apple introduced the first iPhone on June 9, 2007 at the MacWorld Expo. At the time, Apple was new to the mobile phone market, but they innovated in the space by adding a music player and web browser to their new touchscreen phone [ 10 ].
“Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone,” CEO Steve Jobs declared before an audience of reporters [ 10 ]. Through much of the presentation, Jobs outlined the phone’s unique value proposition to customers.
It worked. As of June 2022, there were an estimated 1.8 billion active iPhone users [ 11 ].
How to create a marketing strategy
A marketing strategy can set you up for marketing success. As you are creating your own marketing strategy, consider the following steps to help guide your process.
1. Define your business and marketing goals.
The first step in creating an effective marketing strategy is to clarify your business objectives and marketing goals. What are you trying to achieve with your market growth strategy?
The answer to this question will inevitably depend on your particular place in the market and your own comfortability with different risk levels.
Some examples of business and marketing goals include:
Grow customer base
Increase brand awareness
Whatever your objectives, the purpose is simply to consider what you want to actually accomplish by expanding your marketing efforts. These goals will guide the development of your marketing strategy.
2. Conduct market research.
Strategic marketing requires a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace, its economic and political context, and your product or service's place within it.
As you are conducting market research, you'll want to consider these factors:
Competitors, particularly their value proposition and market share
Market size, including the realistic number of customers that would be interested in your products
Market gaps where you can provide value
Possible economic and political realities that could impact the market in the long-term
As you gain a better understanding of the market, you will also better understand how you fit into it and where you can grow in it.
Read more: What Is Competitor Analysis? Definition + Step-by-Step Guide
3. Create a customer profile.
The purpose of every marketing campaign is to connect with potential customers. Your marketing strategy needs to include a comprehensive profile of your target audience.
Consider your target audience in relation to the four P's. Think through the following:
Based on what you know about the market, who is your target audience? What are their key demographics?
What is your product’s value proposition to your customer? (Product)
How much is your target audience willing to pay for your product or service? (Price)
Where does your target audience shop? (Place)
What marketing tactics are most persuasive to your target audience? (Promotion)
As you research and consider these questions, your customer should come more clearly into view, so you can create a strategy with maximum impact.
4. Synthesize and strategize.
Finally, take the goals you have outlined, research you have conducted, and profiles you have created to construct a marketing strategy. The critical question you will want to answer is: how will you align with your target market to meet your overall objectives?
Your answer to this question will be your strategy.
Ultimately, your marketing strategy should cover the following:
Business and marketing objectives
Market overview, including key facts and figures
General statement of strategy highlighting the product’s value proposition to customers
You might consider whether a social media strategy makes sense for your product or service. If so, your strategy could include user-generated content. Go a step further to consider which social media channels fits best with your target audience.
While you may have collected much information as you were conducting research, your marketing strategy doesn’t need to be too long. In fact, a strong marketing strategy can be as short as one page. Remember, this is meant to act as long-term guide for directing specific marketing tactics, not an action plan of how a marketing campaign will be done.
Get market ready
Whether you are seasoned marketing pro or a budding entrepreneur, develop your marketing prowess by building job-ready skills with the Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate .
CoSchedule. “ The Marketing Management + Strategy Statistics You Need to Know in 2019 , https://coschedule.com/marketing-statistics.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
Oxford College of Marketing. “ Using the Ansoff Matrix to Develop Marketing Strategy , https://blog.oxfordcollegeofmarketing.com/2016/08/01/using-ansoff-matrix-develop-marketing-strategy/.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
The Take Out. “ TIL McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ jingle was born out of desperation , https://thetakeout.com/history-of-mcdonald-s-i-m-lovin-it-jingle-1846400888.” AccessedFebruary 6, 2023.
Chicago Magazine. “ Five Things You Never Knew About ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ , https://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/November-2014/McDonalds-Im-Lovin-It-Campaign/.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
NYT Wirecutter. “ The Best Mechanical Pencils , https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-mechanical-pencils/.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
Wired. “ Kura Toga: The Ultimate Geek Tool , https://www.wired.com/2011/11/kuru-toga-the-ultimate-geek-tool/.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
YouTube (Uni Ball UK). “ Uni Kuru Togat from Mutsibishi Pencil Company , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80k7Jl1o8Lc&t=22s.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
Tech Crunch. “ Microsoft expands HoloLens headsets to 29 new markets, now up to 39 , https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/01/microsoft-expands-hololens-headsets-to-29-new-european-markets/.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
YouTube (Microsoft HoloLens). “ Microsoft HoloLens: Mixed Reality in the Modern Workspace , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIJM9xNg9xs.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
Computer World. “ Update: Jobs touts iPhone, Apple TV , https://www.computerworld.com/article/2549128/update--jobs-touts-iphone---appletv-.html.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
Earthweb. “ How many people use iPhones in 2022? , https://earthweb.com/how-many-people-use-iphones/.” Accessed February 6, 2023.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
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What is online marketing? Definition, types, and benefits
Whether you’re in marketing or a related role, you’ve probably heard of online marketing. You might wonder if there is a difference between online marketing, digital marketing, and internet marketing and what exactly it all entails. Or you might want to know if it’s right for your business and how to get started.
If your business is just now looking into online marketing, you’re in good company — 60% of marketing leaders say their companies are only beginning to visualize and build a digital marketing organization. These marketers are all headed online because that’s where the consumers are — and the sales. US adults spend more than eight hours a day consuming digital media, and nearly 30% of US retail sales happen online. That’s a huge share of the market you’re missing out on every day that you don’t have an internet marketing strategy in place.
Online marketing and ecommerce make it possible for the entire customer journey to happen digitally. Potential customers can discover a brand, engage with a brand, make a purchase, and finally advocate for that brand — all online. Plus, digital media can be less costly to produce than print or other mediums, and it can reach a much wider audience.
In this article, you’ll find a definition of online marketing, an explanation of its benefits, the different types, and some tips for getting started.
What is online marketing?
Online marketing benefits, types of online marketing, get started with online marketing.
Online marketing, also known as digital marketing or internet marketing, is a form of marketing that uses the internet and technology to connect with potential customers.
Traditional marketing channels include billboards, radio, print, and television, while online marketing shows up in social media, websites, emails, and other forms. The methods, strategies, and channels that fall under the umbrella of online marketing are diverse, but they all seek to use the internet to connect to larger and more targeted audiences.
In the same way that the internet has changed how we live, think, and communicate, it has opened up new possibilities and new benefits to marketers. In addition to offering a wider reach, online marketing is:
- Cost-effective. Digital messaging can be cheaper and more efficient to produce than print . It can duplicate faster, and it can be highly targeted to reach only the most relevant audiences, which means it usually offers a strong ROI .
- Fast. Your audience can act on your messaging right away, giving you a quick turnaround on your investment.
- Trackable. It’s easy to know whether your audience is clicking, opening emails, sharing, or making purchases. If you know what isn’t working, you don’t need to waste time and resources on it. If you know what is working, you can lean into it.
- Targeted. Online marketing allows companies to target specific audiences and customize their messages.
- Personal. Digital methods can be automated and responsive to online consumer behavior, which means that an unlimited number of individual customers get timely, relevant, and personalized information.
- Impressive. The content you share online is a chance to demonstrate expertise and create brand recognition.
- Attractive. Many online marketing methods are inbound, which means that by creating accessible and appealing content, you can draw in the right customers rather than blasting and hoping it reaches those who are looking for it.
There are many types of online marketing, and just as the internet continues to change and evolve, the way businesses use it to market their products and services will change along with it. You don’t need to use every type, but successful marketers will select at least a few that complement each other and work best for their goals.
Common types of online marketing include:
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising
- Display advertising
- Online events and webinars
- Conversion rate optimization
- Marketing automation
- Customer relationship management
For businesses, a good online marketing strategy isn’t just an advantage — it’s essential. That doesn’t mean you need to give up the familiar marketing tools that work. It’s a great idea to use online channels together with traditional ones. And it’s also a great idea to make sure that all your online marketing efforts are integrated.
Evaluate what your current online marketing strategy looks like. You might already have a website, social media accounts, and an email list. The next step is to evaluate how well each of these channels is working for you. You can quantify your answer by calculating the ROI of each digital marketing campaign . Identify the business goals that your digital marketing strategy should support, and then identify your digital marketing goals. Make a list of which aspects of your current online marketing strategy are working and which are not.
Adobe can help
Adobe Marketo Engage is a complete toolkit for all your online marketing efforts. This marketing automation software can help you reach larger audiences at a lower cost, manage new leads, and keep a growing customer base engaged with personalized email campaigns. Be prepared for growth with technology that is scalable for businesses of any size.
To learn how it works, watch the overview video or take an interactive tour .
10 Strategies for Marketing Your Business Online
- Sustainable Businesses
- Supply Chain Management
- Operations & Technology
- Market Research
- Business Law & Taxes
- Business Insurance
- Business Finance
- Becoming an Owner
A strong online marketing strategy will help you boost your business. These 10 digital strategies have been proven to help companies improve their performance. If you employ them, you could be on your way to creating a concrete internet marketing strategy that helps you brings in more customers and retain new ones.
1. Invest in Web Design
We don’t often think about web design as a marketing tactic, but it influences the amount of time and attention a user will spend on your page. Your website is the center of all your digital marketing efforts, so if your page is not clean, easy to read, and interesting, it won’t matter how much time you put into strategy development – you’re still going to lose customers. If you don't have the design skills to do it yourself, then it's worth hiring someone to create a website that is modern, attention-grabbing, and mobile friendly.
2. Use Search Engine Marketing and Optimization
Search engine marketing and optimization are part of what helps make your business appear higher on a list of search engine results. With a strong SEO strategy, your company website will become associated with the keywords used to find your services. This increases your chances of being the company an individual chooses to work with after searching online.
3. Affiliate and Associate Programs
With an affiliate program, people who believe in your company can share your information and grow your market on a commission-based platform. An affiliate or associate program doesn’t make sense for every business. However, if you do use these, you can quickly see your marketing efforts improve without needing to do much yourself.
4. Hire a Coach or Consultant
If you’re not an expert in digital and internet marketing, ask someone who is. There are hundreds of internet marketing coaches and consultants available to you, many of whom can give you a consultation about what you should change to see success. For small business owners who need to focus on other business systems, a coach or consultant can be extremely helpful.
5. Use Email Marketing
It isn’t enough to just send out emails. You will want to consider various email lists that cater to the specific needs of each individual and can present a personalized approach to your campaigns. Take a hard and clear look at the purchasing habits of your customers and use that information to develop your strategy.
6. Build an Opt-In Email List
An opt-in email list allows customers to come to you and sign up to receive email correspondence. This allows you to connect with potential customers and current clients.
7. Get Into Articles or News Stories
Work with a public relations professional to get your business into articles and news stories on topics related to what you do. It will not only help establish you as a trusted expert, but it will introduce your business to an even broader base of people. You can also sign up for free services that connect you with writers looking for sources, such as Help a Reporter Out .
8. Write Online Press Releases
When you use online press releases, you’re getting your information out there in a formal setting. This allows newspapers, blogs, or other media sources to see your information and write posts about your company without you needing to put in the effort to connect and claim a story.
9. Hold Contests and Giveaways
People love contests and giveaways. Anytime you can encourage promotion from your customers in exchange for a free product or service, you will usually see a surge in purchases or connections.
10. Maintain a Blog
Your blog should be used for a number of reasons, including allowing you to consistently post new keywords and optimize your search engine strategy. More than that, your blog becomes somewhere you can offer advice, share bits of information, and really connect with your customers. A lasting relationship begins with trust, and your blog is a great way to build that.
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The future of business: innovate your digital marketing strategy today.
In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving digital landscape, the future of business hinges on one crucial element: the ability to adapt and innovate in the realm of digital marketing. As we stand on the precipice of a new era, where online presence and visibility are paramount, staying ahead of the curve is not just an option; it’s a necessity. In this article, we, as seasoned SEO and copywriting experts, will delve deep into the intricacies of digital marketing strategy, exploring the key elements that can propel your business to new heights and leave your competition trailing behind.
Understanding the Landscape
Before we dive into the strategies that can outperform the competition, it’s vital to comprehend the current digital marketing landscape. The internet is a vast and ever-expanding ecosystem, where millions of businesses jostle for attention. To stand out, you must craft a strategy that not only captures the essence of your brand but also resonates with your target audience.
The Power of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the bedrock upon which successful digital marketing strategies are built. It’s the art and science of optimizing your online content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When executed correctly, SEO can significantly boost your website’s visibility, organic traffic, and, ultimately, your revenue.
Crafting Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Now that we’ve set the stage let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of crafting a digital marketing strategy that can outshine your competitors.
1. Keyword Research
The cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy is thorough keyword research. It’s crucial to identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is using when searching for products or services related to your business. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you discover high-traffic, low-competition keywords that you can leverage.
2. High-Quality Content
Once you have your target keywords, it’s time to create high-quality content that revolves around them. Content can take various forms, such as blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and more. The key is to provide value to your audience while seamlessly incorporating your chosen keywords.
3. On-Page Optimization
Optimizing your on-page elements is paramount. Ensure that your title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and image alt text all contain your target keywords. Additionally, maintain a user-friendly website structure and ensure fast loading times for an enhanced user experience.
4. Off-Page SEO and Link Building
Off-page SEO involves activities that take place outside of your website but still impact your search rankings. Building high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites is a critical aspect of off-page SEO. This can be achieved through guest posting, outreach, and social media engagement.
5. Social Media Engagement
In today’s digital age, social media is a powerful tool for connecting with your audience and promoting your content. Create a consistent presence on platforms relevant to your target audience and engage with them through meaningful interactions.
Beating the Competition
Now that we’ve outlined the core components of a robust digital marketing strategy, let’s discuss how this article can help you outrank your competition.
Our article provides a comprehensive and detailed overview of digital marketing strategy. We’ve covered essential topics, including keyword research, content creation, on-page optimization, off-page SEO, and social media engagement, ensuring that you have access to all the information you need in one place.
Expertise and Authority
As experienced SEO and copywriting professionals, we bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this article. By showcasing our authority on the subject, we not only provide valuable insights but also establish trust with our readers.
We’ve strategically incorporated keyword-rich subheadings throughout the article, making it highly relevant to the topic of digital marketing strategy. These subheadings not only improve the article’s readability but also enhance its SEO performance.
The future of business lies in the hands of those who can adapt and innovate in the realm of digital marketing. With the right strategies in place, you can outperform your competition and carve a prominent space for your brand in the digital landscape.
Remember, SEO is not just about keywords; it’s about understanding your audience, providing value, and staying ahead of the curve. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can position your business for success in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing.
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