The Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

It’s not easy to be a small business owner, but it’s also an extremely rewarding endeavor. 

It’s even harder to be a small business owner in 2023. Inflation has impacted the business plans of small business owners, and limited the budgets of potential customers. The US Chamber of Commerce recently reported that 52% of small business owners rank inflation costs as a top concern.

On a more positive note, the report found:

  • 72% of small business owners are optimistic about their business’s survival over the next 2 years
  • 89% of small business owners believe their family-like atmosphere helps retain employees and 82% believe the direct connection between owners and employees gives small businesses an advantage when it comes to hiring and keeping good employees

marketing for small business

Why Small Businesses Need the Best Marketing Strategies

All together, that data suggests that small business owners could make the best use of their time, budget, and employees by studying digital marketing strategies, and perhaps hiring a third party vendor to handle their digital marketing efforts.

Because you can’t stay in business, or grow your business, without marketing your goods and services online. And if you don’t know what you’re doing (and honestly, unless you’ve been schooled in marketing how would you know?) you will keep your employees happiest, and save more money, by hiring a third party vendor like us at SEO Design Chicago. But this isn’t a sales pitch.

The Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Some of the best marketing strategies for small businesses include developing a strong online identity, posting new content to your website on a regular business, engaging in email marketing, investing in search engine optimization and online ads, and partnering with local influencers.

Tip 1: Develop a Strong Online Identity

Even if you work in a face-to-face industry, like car repair, having a strong online presence is non-negotiable. You can start off by creating a user-friendly website that reflects your unique identity and provides essential information, like prices, about your products or services. You want to enable your site to make everything easy for the user. That means giving people the chance to buy products, reserve time slots if you provide services and provide them with important FAQs. 

The next step is to make sure you have a presence on social media platforms relevant to your target audience. You may not want to post regularly on every platform, but make sure you claim the name of your business on all platforms. Ideally, you want to regularly post engaging content and interacting with your followers can help build brand awareness and maintain relationships with existing clients. You can even enable social media to allow followers to buy your products easily through the platform.

Don’t give into the temptation of thinking that building a website or maintaining social media are things any young person can do. There’s an art to doing these things well. And if you expect too much from employees or interns, you’ll burn them out.

There’s a difference between doing it and doing it well. Young employees may be able to post content to your social media, but they may not be posting the right content that engages people. That’s actually a task experts, like us, can do faster and will net you better results. 

marketing ideas for small business

Tip #2: Post New Content to Your Website Regularly

It’s important to support your brand with content marketing. Google rewards businesses that post regular content to their websites. That’s why you want to be continuously adding new content to your site, not just social media. Start a blog on your website and publish valuable, relevant content that addresses your audience’s problems and how your goods or services provide solutions. Positioning yourself as an expert improves your website’s search engine rankings. And when it comes to results on Google, you want to do everything you can to be featured on page one of Google search engine results pages (SERP.)

In addition to blog posts, consider creating other types of content like videos, infographics, and podcasts. Not everyone wants to read online, and it’s easier than ever to create photo slideshows, videos, interactive graphic designs and podcasts. But if you want this multimedia content to be great, not just fair, a third party vendor like us at SEO Design Chicago is key. We produce better content, and faster, than you can on your own. 

Tip #3: Email Marketing

Email isn’t as old school as social media makes it seem. Email is the fundamental way people communicate for business reasons. So you may as well get into people’s inboxes when they’re at work through email marketing. Build an email list by offering something of value in exchange for subscribers’ contact information, such as a discount with a promo code or exclusive benefits. Once you have a list, send out regular newsletters using MailChimp or another email newsletter builder and promotional emails to keep your audience engaged and stay front of mind.

Make sure your email campaigns are segmented based on customer preferences, geographic location and behaviors. This allows you to send targeted and relevant content to different groups, increasing the likelihood of people actually doing something after they read your email.

small business marketing

Tip #4: Keep Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Top of Mind

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Improving your website’s SEO can eventually lead to increased organic traffic and, ultimately, more interactions with them, whether that means they send inquiries about your services or buy products. 

We offer a free SEO analysis to any interested companies. This will tell you how you’re ranking in Google for certain keywords or key phrases, which are words and combinations of words your customers actually enter into Google. 

Once we agree to be partners, we start by conducting keyword research to identify the words and phrases your target audience uses when searching for products or services like yours.

There’s a tech side to SEO many small business owners don’t have time for. These things include meta titles, descriptions, and web page structure that highlights headings and relevant keywords. Don’t know what we’re talking about? That’s why we’ve been in  business for over ten years. We, along with a team of experienced content producers,  create high-quality, original content that includes your chosen keywords. We consistently monitor and adjust your keyword strategy is essential to maintain and improve your rankings over time.

Tip #5: Pay (Not Too Much) for Online Advertising

While some marketing strategies, like SEO, are free, investing in online advertising can yield significant results for small businesses. Platforms like Google Ads and social media advertising (e.g. Facebook, TikTok and Instagram ads) allow you to reach a specific group of people who are interested in your goods and services. 

You have to be willing to test different ad formats and targeting options to see what works best for your business. How do you know what’s best? By monitoring data analytics. If you don’t like the word “data,” that’s when you need a third party vendor like us at SEO Design Chicago. We monitor the performance of your ads and adjust your budget and content accordingly to maximize your return on investment (ROI.)

marketing strategies for small business

Tip #6: Make Sure You’re Recognized By Local Customers

If your small business serves a local customer base,  especially a business that people need to physically interact with, optimizing for local search is crucial. You must make sure you’re recognized and listed in Google My Business, which is operated through the Google Business Console. If you don’t know how to handle this, we can do it for you. The next step is reviews.

Encouraging customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Nextdoor. Positive reviews can boost your credibility and attract more local customers. At the same time, you want to make sure the reviews are genuine. If they come off as “fake,” that will actually deter local customers. People are very adept at recognizing fake reviews. So we make sure that you solicit reviews at intervals. If they all are posted on one day, that screams “fake.” 

Tip #7: Partnerships with Influencers and Other Local Businesses 

Collaborating with other local businesses, and we bet you already have these connections,  can be an excellent way to expand your reach and customer base. Look for businesses that complement rather than compete with your products or services.  For example, if you own a garden nursery, why not let a local bakery sell products at your store during Spring, when you have a lot of customers? Even better, send free seeds to social media influencers. We can handle the logistics for you, and identify the right partners to increase brand visibility.

small business marketing strategies

Small Business Marketing at SEO Design Chicago

If this all gets to be too much, and it often does with small businesses, a third party vendor like SEO Design Chicago can save you time and money in the long run. In fact, it doesn’t even take that long to see results for most companies. You can read some of our success stories to see how we’ve helped small and medium-sized businesses grow. 


  • What are good ways to market small businesses?
  • What can marketing vendors do that I can’t do alone?
  • Can small businesses benefit from email marketing?
  • Do small businesses need marketing?
  • How do I develop a strong online identity for my small business?

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