We know firsthand that owning and operating a small business is no easy task! In order to grow, you have to take the time to invest in marketing.
But where do you start? What kind of marketing is worth your while? Which marketing tactics are the best for your business?
We’re hoping to answer some of these questions and take a little work off your plate with these 10 small business marketing ideas.
These are tried and true ideas that we have successfully used either for ourselves or for our small business clients (or both!).
So take a look and see if there are any ideas on this list you hadn’t thought of or tried yet to grow your business.
1. Make a behind-the-scenes video
People value authenticity.
One study found that almost 90% of people say authenticity is a major factor when deciding which brands they support and favor.
That’s huge! So, you want to produce content that helps give customers the authenticity and transparency they’re looking for.
A behind-the-scenes video is a perfect way to do that. You can show them how your product is made or how your service is executed.
In the process, you can introduce team members, explain why you do things the way you do them, etc.
The thinner the veil between business and customer, the more trust consumers will have in your brand.
And trust is what leads to sales.
Plus, for small business marketing ideas like this, don’t think that you need a Hollywood budget to create this type of content.
2. Retarget your website visitors and social media engagement
In the marketing world, there’s what’s called a rule of 7.
The rule of 7 essentially says someone has to see a piece of content 7 times before they’ll be persuaded to take action.
What’s more, is that 95% of your website traffic won’t return if you don’t retarget them.
So, let’s think about those two statements together.
If you’re not retargeting your social media engagement, they’re not going to make the jump from your social media post or ads to your website.
And if you don’t retarget your website traffic, 95% of them won’t come back.
So you’ll have put in all this work to get them to your website…only to essentially let them go after that.
Don’t waste your own time and money like that! Make sure you’re making the most of your website traffic and implement retargeting.
3. Host a social media giveaway
Giveaways are an easy jumpstart to increase almost any social media metric: more likes, more followers, more comments, etc.
The most common giveaway to host is an Instagram giveaway.
You give away an item and make the requirements to win to:
- follow your page,
- like the post about the giveaway, and
- tag a friend in the comments.
The key to running a successful giveaway is to give away something that’s relevant and useful.
You want the item to be relevant to the product or service you offer and something your audience wants.
Giveaways are an easy jumpstart to gain more likes, followers, comments and engagement.
4. Send weekly email newsletters
Most of you are probably familiar with the next one on our list of small business marketing ideas.
Sending weekly newsletters keeps your brand in front of your audience on a regular basis while establishing brand consumer trust in the process.
It also gives you another opportunity to be authentic, which we know customers care about.
The importance of building an email list that you can send newsletters to is that you own the list.
If all the major social media platforms were to shut down today and you lost all of your followers, would you have a customer base?
Owning your own email list will give you indefinite access to your customers.
Sending the best email newsletter weekly is one of the best ways to maintain that list for small businesses.
5. Go live and answer FAQs
In the same spirit of being authentic and building trust, it doesn’t get more authentic than going live.
You give your followers access to you via video in real time: no editing and no do-overs.
People can comment while you’re live streaming, allowing you to answer in real-time.
This makes going live the perfect time to answer any FAQs you receive about your business.
It’s also one of the most-watched media types.
In a filtered, edited world, people are drawn to live videos where they can watch things happen and see people speak without being edited.
So you get the benefit of building trust with your viewers while also likely seeing a boost in organic growth and engagement.
6. Start posting Reels and TikToks
TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms today, and Instagram took note.
Thus, between TikToks and Instagram Reels, short-form videos and video marketing have swept the world.
One study predicted that this year, TikTok’s total watch time will surpass YouTube’s!
We’re talking about billions of hours spent watching short videos between all of the major platforms.
Think about all the people scrolling and watching those videos on their phones.
You can put your brand in front of all those eyeballs by posting Reels and TikToks for your business.
7. Create a lead magnet tool that’s helpful to your audience
A lead magnet is something you give to your audience for free in exchange for their name and contact information- usually their email and phone number.
The lead magnet itself can be any number of things depending on the nature of your business.
Here’s a quick list of some small business marketing ideas for a lead magnet:
- a free ebook,
- free consultation,
- budget calculator,
- free webinar,
- sample product.You’ll want to think about what your audience finds valuable and helpful, and then create that for them.
Relevant lead magnets are a great way to create a positive interaction between your brand and customers…
…while simultaneously getting their information to funnel into your email marketing efforts!
8. Create a private Facebook Group with exclusive content/hacks/secrets
Facebook Groups for small business allows you to create an even more narrowed-down version of your Facebook Business page.
People will like a page easier and quicker than they will join a group, which means any members your group receives are more intentional.
This is particularly the case with private groups because they have to request to join.
The key to drawing in a lot of requests to join is by offering content that is exclusive to the Group and unavailable anywhere else.
This can include secrets, tips, hacks, and more that you don’t share anywhere else.
Small business marketing ideas like this will help you foster a close-knit community of people who are invested in your brand.
Think of your business page as being the top of funnel.
If they join your private Facebook group, then they’re moving down your funnel closer to the conversion stage.
9. Partner with an influencer to reach a larger audience
As of this year, the influencer industry reached 16.4 billion and is expected to continue growing.
The reason influencer marketing has grown so big is because it works. Influencers are social media personalities with large followings.
Businesses pay influencers to promote their products or services to thousands or millions of followers. This in turn drives sales for the business.
It gives the business reach and new customers it may not have acquired otherwise.
Even though the influencer legally has to disclose that it’s a paid advertisement when they promote the business…
…followers still trust that the influencer wouldn’t have partnered with the brand at all if they didn’t really believe in the product or service.
Influencers share the ins and outs of their everyday lives on social media. As a result, their followers feel like they know them as real-life friends.
Their huge follower base trusts their purchasing decisions, and that’s what makes an influencer marketing strategy so lucrative.
Plus, if you’re tired of thinking of small business marketing ideas or have hit writer’s block in making content, influencers are professional content creators!
They can help you produce beautiful, valuable content.
So if you haven’t already, do some research to find an influencer with a follower base that matches your target audience.
Partner with them for extensive reach and new sales.
10. Ask your existing customers/clients for positive reviews
This isn’t always the case, but most of the time if someone is going out of their way to leave a review, it’s a bad one.
If a customer is happy with your product or service, they go on about their day satisfied.
It usually isn’t until someone is unhappy with your product or service that they feel like they need to tell others about it.
So if your reviews are mostly negative or nonexistent, you need to ask your existing customers or clients for positive reviews.
And of course, be sure to only ask the clients you know are happy with your work.
It may be good to send out a customer satisfaction survey prior to asking for reviews to get a feel for who would be good to ask and who wouldn’t.
It’s easiest to ask clients right after you’ve had a positive interaction with them, like right after they satisfactorily used your product or service.
Email them thanking them for being a customer.
Ask if they wouldn’t mind leaving a positive 5-star review, and give them a direct link to click to leave the review.
You want to make it as easy for them to leave a review as possible.
Not only will this help others who are in the research stage of their purchasing decision look at your business fondly…
…but it will also help your SEO rankings like we talked about earlier.
Ask customers for 5-star reviews right after you’ve had a positive interaction with them to encourage a higher review average.