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14 Marketing Strategies That Worked for Small Business Owners

5 Mins read

Discover the marketing strategies that have propelled small businesses to success, as shared by 14 CEOs, founders, and marketing professionals. From relying on video marketing to cultivate engagement to implementing hyper-localization to save money, these experts reveal the tactics that have made a significant impact on their businesses

Video Marketing Cultivates Engagement

I believe video marketing is an appealing approach for small businesses to show their skills and attract new customers. 

One of my friend’s former employers had a dog grooming salon, and they published online instructions teaching pet owners how to give their dogs professional grooming at home. They posted these videos on their social media platforms and website, which aided in the development of their online presence and the acquisition of new clients. 

People who tried the grooming procedures at home were more inclined to come back to the shop for additional services.

Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Joy Organics

Long-Tail Keywords Boost Sales

One marketing strategy that has worked incredibly well for our small business is the use of long-tail keywords for our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that are typically used by users when they are closer to making a purchase or looking for more information. They are less competitive, making it easier for our business to rank higher on search engine results.

We began by conducting extensive keyword research to identify relevant long-tail keywords related to our products and services. We then optimized our website content and blog articles using these keywords, making sure they were included in the title, headings, and throughout the content.

The results were impressive—our website traffic increased significantly as we began ranking higher on search engine results for these specific long-tail keywords. This led to higher user engagement, more inquiries, and ultimately, more conversions and sales.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Paraphrase Tool

Survey-Based Content Attracts Interest

I found that survey-based and data-rich studies are a marketing strategy that has worked wonders for us. 

By conducting surveys, we could create creative and interesting articles that contained intriguing data and highly shareable results. We’ve conducted such studies on various topics, including workcations, digital nomads, dark tourism, sustainable travel, and so forth.

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing and Outreach Manager, ePassportPhoto

Digital Advertising Drives Sales

One marketing strategy that has worked well for our small business is digital advertising. We ran a series of ads on multiple social media platforms and saw an increase in traffic to our website and sales. We are now focusing more of our budget on digital advertising and are seeing great results.

Ranee Zhang, VP of Growth, Airgram

Strategic Blogging Attracts Attention

Strategic blogging is one of the best ways to supercharge your online marketing efforts. Learn some of the basics of search engine optimization—like how to do keyword research and format articles. Find out what your target audience is searching for, and then tailor your content to them.

Stephanie Venn-Watson, Co-founder, fatty15

Relationship Building Fosters Loyalty

One of our most successful marketing strategies is focusing on building relationships with our customers. We have done this by taking time to get to know them and their businesses, as well as by attending networking events so we can meet new potential clients. 

We also use targeted email campaigns and regular follow-ups with existing customers to stay top-of-mind. These efforts have helped us not only to establish relationships with those who may become customers but also to strengthen our relationships with existing clients and create more brand loyalty. 

We’ve found that when people feel heard, valued, and respected by our business, they are more likely to do business with us in the future.

Ryan Hetrick, CEO, Epiphany Wellness

Loyalty Program Spurs Growth

Implementing a customer retention program with an exclusive loyalty program has been a successful marketing strategy for our small business. By offering rewards and incentives for repeat business, we have been able to encourage customer loyalty and increase customer retention. 

For example, we offer discounts on future purchases to customers who refer friends and family to our business, and we also provide exclusive discounts to our most loyal customers. This strategy has not only helped us retain our existing customers but has also helped us attract new customers through word-of-mouth referrals. 

By prioritizing customer satisfaction and offering incentives for loyalty, we have been able to build a strong and loyal customer base that continues to drive our business growth.

Ben Lau, Founder, Featured 

Collaborative Marketing Brings Success

One marketing strategy that has worked exceptionally well for our small business is collaborative marketing. 

By forming strategic partnerships with other local businesses, we could expand our reach, offer unique value propositions to our customers, and tap into new audiences. This collaboration not only increased our sales but also helped in building a strong network within the community, fostering a sense of unity and support among local businesses.

Will Gill, Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill

Cold Email Outreach is Impactful

Cold email outreach has been a game-changer for my small business. By implementing this strategy with content marketing, I grew our website to a 56 domain rating in Ahrefs and attracted over 50,000 monthly visitors, mainly through organic search.

The key to my cold email outreach strategy was personalization and uniqueness. For each outreach email, I populated a search on my platform showing “alternative name” ideas for their site! Doing this made the outreach emails intriguing and personalized, which helped me significantly increase response rates.

The best part is that cold email outreach led to a snowball effect. The high rankings caused other high-DR sites to naturally link to my content, further expanding my authority with little added effort on my part.

Axel DeAngelis, Founder, NameBounce

Educational Content Enhances Marketing

In a more pull-oriented strategy, we spend a lot of time and effort releasing educational content about the hybrid workforce management industry and hybrid working as a whole. 

It helps establish us as thought leaders and always gives us something to which we can point and say “here is some new information we are giving away for free, now imagine what you would get if you paid us.” It works quite well and has helped us maintain a sterling reputation in our industry that’s been growing so quickly since the pandemic.

Dragos Badea, CEO, Yarooms

Community Involvement Finds Benefits

As a seasoned marketer and business professional, I believe that community involvement is a powerful way for small businesses to create relationships with customers and attract new ones. 

My colleague worked with a local bookstore that organized author events to boost sales and enhance their brand. They partnered with local authors and literary organizations to offer exclusive readings and signings. This method not only drew in new customers but also helped to build a powerful community around the bookstore.

Edward Mellett, Co-founder, TestHQ

User-Generated Content Builds Trust

User-generated content is a significant piece of our content marketing strategy. Reposting customer images and videos with our products helps build trust with our consumers and create reciprocal relationships, where they aren’t just supporting us, but we’re also supporting them.

We view our customers as a shared community—thus, our marketing efforts reflect this.

Cesar Cruz, Co-founder, Sebastian Cruz Couture

Social Media Speeds Up Communication

Social media accounts for businesses are advantageous, but more than having one is needed; you must be actively involved. 

According to a recent poll, roughly 80% of users anticipate hearing back from a company within 24 hours and 40% within the first hour of interacting. Before doing business with a firm, many consumers check to see if they have an online presence. Customers already use social media channels to look up new products, give reviews, and tell their friends about their favorite things, so you should follow them there.

Axel Hernborg, Founder and CEO, Tripplo.com

Hyper-Localization Saves Money

Hyper-localization can provide great benefits for start-ups and small businesses who are looking to stretch their marketing dollars even further. Utilizing data from your e-commerce platforms can provide you with direction and strategy for marketing.

For example, you can adjust your discount codes or sales for a specific area to drive sales in lower-performing regions as opposed to offering them to all customers. Likewise, you can create more personalized emails or text campaigns for specific customers. This will provide you with a competitive edge and save money.

Asker Ahmed, Director and Founder, iProcess

Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Terkel, a Q&A platform that connects brands with expert insights.

Marketing stock image by Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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