10 Awesome and Cost-Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

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This is No Time to Go Incognito

We’re dating ourselves here, but do you think Happy Days’ Mr. C had to enlist marketing to get people to come to his hardware store? He might have run sales and promotions and put some signage out about these but it’s doubtful he did anything more than that, as word of mouth was plenty enough in those days. Plus, you know the Fonz would have punched anyone who shopped anywhere else. Heyyyyyyy.

These days, if you own a small business and you’re not using marketing, you’re surely losing out to competitors who are. The main consideration is that small businesses don’t have the bottomless marketing funds that larger companies do, so it’s imperative to choose wisely. Let’s explore 10 cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses.

Email Marketing

Because everything is so high tech these days, you might assume email marketing has gone by the wayside. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Hopefully you’ve already enlisted the use of a landing page to advertise promotions. Once you’ve used this landing page to capture the data from these web visitors, it’s essential to follow up with these motivated buyers. You can use the emails to send out information on further promotions and sales, or you can use them to share content such as infographics, blog posts, white papers, and more.


It seemed that the use of keywords in SEO to get your company the top spot on Google would also become a thing of the past once everyone mastered this art. However, instead of going away, SEO has evolved and become even more vital. This is especially true for small businesses, as those looking for your services are highly likely to be using their phones. Having your content and site optimized for local SEO means customers will have a seamless experience in finding you and purchasing your products.

Content Marketing

There’s a reason people in this industry say, “Content is king.” It’s human nature for people to like getting something of value for nothing. By offering blog posts, videos, free ebooks, and the like, this is exactly what you’re providing. However, you can’t simply follow the best practices for how often to post things and phone it in, as the quality of the content is crucial to reputation management and your SEO standings. Plus, compelling content tends to get forwarded on, so you could gain even more customers.


People walk the line between being impressed and being a bit weirded out by Remarketing, as it’s when an ad pops up online for something you recently viewed. “Waaaaaait a second,” you’ve probably said. “I was just looking at that ‘Sit On It’ tee.” But chances are, it’s worked on you. In fact, Adobe recently found that Remarketing – or Retargeting as it’s sometimes called – results in web site visitors that are 70 percent more likely to convert. People particularly appreciate Remarketing Ads that say things like, “Hey, the product you were looking at is now 25 percent off,” as everyone loves a deal.

Social Media Marketing

You’re likely already doing this, as pretty much everyone is on social media these days … probably even Potsie, Mrs. C, and Chachi. Just because you’ve made a few efforts on social media doesn’t mean they’re working, however. And many small business owners admit to not knowing if they are having any effect. The key to extending your online reach is to do the research and find out where your customers spend their time, and then choose those platforms for your posts. It’s important to keep up with the best practices for each platform, so you’ll want to take the time to create a content calendar and use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule regular posts.

LinkedIn Ads

We were hesitant to put this on here, as it’s no secret that LinkedIn Ads are expensive. However, there are many benefits for small businesses that use LinkedIn for advertising. First and foremost – with over 500 million users, you’d be hard put to find a larger, higher value target audience. It’s also more professional than other networks, where silly memes and chaotic cat videos have been known to take precedence. Lastly, there are a lot of options for LinkedIn Ads, and they are very highly targeted. Who knows? You might end up sending a Sponsored Inmail to Ralph Malph.

Google Ads

Google is pretty much the end-all, be-all when it comes to search engine advertising. And because Google Ads are pay-per-click (PPC), it is easy for you to set a budget and stick with what works for your small business. The majority of users are using Google to search for products, so it makes sense that this is where you focus your PPC budget. Coming up with relevant keywords and bidding well for said keywords can be labor intensive, but it’s crucial to the success of these campaigns.

YouTube Ads

With approximately 1.3 billion (yes, that’s a “B”) users, this is another no-brainer when it comes to advertising. On top of the general benefits, which are massive reach, a plethora of targeting options, and relatively reasonable fees, YouTube Ads have a very specific perk to small businesses in particular. YouTube’s users tend to spend more time on the platform in comparison to other social media channels. In fact, the average mobile session is more than 40 minutes. This means there is a much greater chance for your small biz to attract attention to your ads during this lengthy time period.

Yelp Ads

A review site for local companies, Yelp Ads are another must for small businesses. Not only do more than 142 million people visit the website and mobile app per month, but Yelp has reported that Yelp ads generate an average of $23,000 in incremental revenue per year. And although you can claim a Yelp page for free, the ROI for the paid ads is about triple the average for the unpaid option.

Facebook Ads

Like it or not, Zuckerberg’s playground is only gaining momentum. And according to Facebook, there are 2 million small to medium-sized businesses advertising on the platform. The proof is in the pudding, as this many businesses wouldn’t be advertising on here if it weren’t working. Facebook Ads allow you to drill down to very specific targeting options, and it’s incredibly inexpensive compared to the returns you’ll see. The most important thing to do once a Facebook campaign launches is to pay attention to the metrics, as it’s easy to make adjustments based on which ones are doing the best.

If the marketing efforts you’ve implemented thus far have begun to jump the shark, we can help. Contact us to find out how we can help you with these small business marketing strategies and ensure that only Happy Days lie ahead.


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