Best Online Marketing Practices for Small Business

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    Online marketing is difficult. Despite there being a lot of standard practices and tools for marketing on the internet, it is still challenging to reach the target audience. There is a lot of competition and only those with effective practices become successful with their marketing campaigns.

    The whole idea of marketing is to create brand awareness and turn prospects into sales. Small business owners find marketing to be a challenge due to low resources (money and time) and less visibility. However, there are efficient online marketing strategies that can help you improve your marketing efforts. 

    This article will help you know about the best and most effective online marketing practices for small businesses.

    Key Takeaways

    • Online marketing has become as important as traditional or conventional methods today. 
    • A good way to build a successful marketing strategy is to have a marketing plan and creating one involves speaking to your customers, carrying out competitor analysis, and knowing your unique selling point.
    • By choosing the best online marketing practices, your small business will experience growth and an increase in profits.

    10+ Online Marketing Practices for Your Small Business

    The whole idea of marketing is to create brand awareness and turn prospects into sales. Small business owners find marketing to be a challenge due to low resources (money and time) and less visibility. However, there are efficient online marketing strategies that can help you scale your marketing efforts. Some of them are:

    • Speak to your customers
    • Create buyer personas for customers
    • Conduct competitor research and differentiate yourself 
    • Know your unique selling point
    • Use free marketing tools
    • Take search engine optimization seriously
    • Create a website
    • Blog
    • Have a social media strategy
    • Consider content marketing
    • Try out email marketing
    • Invest in ads
    • Offer a webinar
    • Experiment with the latest marketing trends
    • Focus on one social channel
    • Collaborate with local influencers
    • Going for referral marketing

    Speak to Your Customers

    One way to build a successful marketing strategy is to speak to your customers. You cannot make a good business decision based on guesswork. Smallbusinesstroubles recommends that you speak to your existing and target customers. If you have a good understanding of what your customers want, you are likely to build a successful relationship with them.

    Conducting interviews and carrying out surveys are fine ways to gain insights into what your customers want.

    Create buyer personas for customers

    Do not make the mistake of marketing your business to everybody. Your small business falls under a niche industry, so leverage your marketing efforts in that industry. What appeals to customers in the niche industry? Do they have pain points, problems, or priorities that stand out? 

    Create a buyer persona that describes your prospects, their pain points, the value you will create to solve those pain points, and how you brand your small business to prospects. 

    This shows a guide to creating a buyer persona.

    Conduct Competitor Research and Differentiate Yourself

    Competitor research is very important because, as a small business, you will want to have an edge over your competition. You want to offer extra value to your niche market. How can you know what to offer to your prospects that your competition can’t? Google is a great place to find information about this. Also, there are several competitor analysis tools you can use to check what your competitors are doing. 

    Know your unique selling point

    Customers are more likely to try a new product if they notice a difference in it. If there are no specific differences between you and your competitors, customers might not be compelled to buy from you. Your unique selling point is what differentiates you from competitors in the niche. What do you do better than others? Figure this out and use it to create a marketing message that your potential customers can relate to.

    Use free marketing tools

    Some people shy away from marketing because it can be expensive. But there is no need to spend much on marketing, thanks to the many free online marketing tools for small businesses. You need to leverage these tools to get things done. If you need to make graphics for social media, use Canva. Want to conduct keyword research for SEO? Use Google keyword planner. Want to schedule posts? Use Hootsuite. The list of free marketing tools you can use is endless.

    Take search engine optimization seriously

    One way to bring visibility to your brand is SEO. If you want to get well positioned online and on search engines, you need to have an effective search engine optimization strategy. According to HubSpot, there are three core components of an SEO strategy

    They are: 

    • Your website’s technical setup
    • Content
    • Backlinks.
    • Your website’s technical setup

    This involves ensuring that Google can crawl and discover your website. Some things you can do are adding a sitemap tag and adding meta descriptions with the right, discoverable SEO keywords.

    • Content

    Your content must be concise and have intent. It should relate to your target audience. Quantity and quality play roles in creating blogs. You need to research the right keywords and use it in the right way in your article.

    • Backlinks

    Backlinks are when other reputable sources quote your website link in their blog. The number of backlinks your website has from reliable sources can help you gain the trust of search engines like Google. After publishing your blog, you could contact reputable bloggers to write about similar content and ask them to link your website to their blog. This way, you get more high-quality backlinks and get discoverable on Google.

    Create a website

    Another marketing practice that you should consider as a small business owner is building your website. This website will serve as a hub for your business. It will contain important information about your business. Even if you are not tech-savvy, you can build a website. You can use a CMS solution to make things easy. Some of these free website builders like Wix, WordPress, and HubSpot offer custom templates you can edit to suit your small business niche. 

    Most of the platforms offer mobile-optimized templates which can help your site rank on search engines.

    Writing Blog 

    Writing blogs is a good way to get organic traffic to your website and convert prospects to paying customers. Starting a blog is a free marketing practice. Even if you post once every week, you improve your site’s visibility and educate prospects on why they should buy from your business. If you decide to write your blogs yourself, check out this guide on article writing

    Once you start writing, you can include a CTA (call to action) on your posts for your website visitors to take important actions like subscribing to your newsletter or getting other offers like free products, free coupons, or joining a referral program. Blogging attracts the right audience to you, then makes it easy to collect leads and get customers.

    Have a social media strategy

    Where do you think your customers spend their time every day? Social media is the correct answer. With billions of prospects using different social platforms every day, having a social media strategy is the best way to go. Social media marketing allows you to reach potential customers, create brand awareness and promote your business. 

    You can choose to outsource the creation of a social media strategy to a social media specialist or you can take some free online social media management courses.

    Consider content marketing

    Content marketing is an important practice you need to include in your marketing strategy. Content marketing involves creating and sharing posts, videos, news, and articles that reach your target audience. It is more than information but involves quality presentation at the right time. Relevant content builds your brand identity, authority, and personality. 

    According to research by HubSpot, most customers love to watch videos from brands. This is one reason most social platforms like Instagram and Facebook include visual layouts in their interface. If you want to keep up with the latest content marketing trends, you need to follow some tips in this article.

    Try out email marketing

    Email marketing is when you target prospects through email. This marketing helps you to boost visitors’ conversions and revenue by providing them with important information that achieves their needs. If you just started creating content and wish to share them with prospects, having an email marketing strategy is important. However, you need to be careful not to spam your prospects with sales emails. 

    Invest in ads

    One thing about organic marketing practices is that it takes a long time to show effectiveness. If you want to get results quickly, invest in paid ads. You can go for Google Ads if your prospects search for your product or services online. You can also consider social media ads as they are cheaper and reach more people in the short term.

    Offer a webinar

    A webinar provides you with an opportunity to discuss your product or service with your prospects. This online seminar is usually between 25 minutes to 2 hours. You offer tips and answer questions regarding your business during the program. This marketing practice can improve your credibility in your niche industry* and also provide you with leads and sales opportunities.

    *Not all niche industries require this strategy. If you want to offer an online course to prospects, this is one of the most effective strategies to consider.

    Experiment with the latest marketing trends

    Do not be ashamed to experiment with the latest marketing trends. When there is a new trending sound on TikTok or Instagram Reels, never be afraid to experiment. If all goes well, you could end up trending too and skyrocket your business sales. 

    When you decide to experiment with the latest trends, ensure that you have a plan and goal in mind. Also, have realistic expectations. Do not expect to become famous after experimenting. This will take time, so be patient.

    Focus on One Social Media Channel

    Social media is constantly changing and you need to be up-to-date with the different platforms to reach more people for your business. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of social media platforms out there, then you can focus on only one social channel and maximize your efforts there.

    There are several ways to determine which social media channel is best to focus on. Here are some helpful tips and social channels you should consider:

    • If your product or services are for businesses i.e. you are a B2B business, then LinkedIn or Twitter should be your preferred choice.
    • If you are a business-to-customer business, then you can consider Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. Since Facebook and Instagram are both Meta products, you can manage their accounts all on one platform.

    Collaborate with Local Influencers

    Going for influencer marketing is not only reserved for big firms. Nor is it meant for only the fashion industry. Partnering with influencers and recommending your products and services to customers can really help your small business. For instance, if you own a restaurant, you can reach out to food bloggers to try out your meals and post reviews on their blogs or if you own a gym, you could ask local fitness influencers to register for free for more publicity.

    From offering discounts to collaborating with influencers, influencer marketing campaigns have different forms. The key is to have a goal in mind. So, what are your business and marketing goals and what will you achieve with an influencer marketing campaign? Being clear with your goals can help you reach the right influencers and carry out an effective campaign. 

    Going for Referral Marketing

    One effective marketing strategy you should leverage for your small business is referral marketing. There are different types of referral marketing programs and it is wise to leverage your satisfied customers. When you have happy customers, ask them to refer your products or services to others.

    For instance, in the food industry, when you find out that your customers love eating at your restaurant, you can ask them to recommend their friends. You can do this by incentivizing your customers for bringing you customers. Your incentive package can include offering free food and allowing loyal customers to try out new menus, etc.


    As a small business owner, it is important that you market your business online. One of the best places to market yourself is on social media. Knowing how to use social platforms is very necessary for your business’s growth and success. You need to use the right social media marketing strategies if you want to achieve anything. Hopefully, you find the key points mentioned above helpful as you strive to market your business.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why Should You Choose the Best Small Business Marketing Strategies?

    You have a unique business so ensure that your marketing strategies are unique too. Just because you are focusing on online marketing strategies does not mean that traditional marketing methods are obsolete. Methods like flyers and business cards are still effective for small businesses. 

    From SEO to referral marketing, choosing the best small business marketing strategies will help you drive growth to your small business and gain more profits.