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How to Build an Effective Small Business Marketing Strategy

Living in a digital world has shaped our behavior in profound ways. From how we stay in touch with distant family and friends to how we shop, ubiquitous internet access affects everything we do.  For business owners, this means revamping their small business marketing strategy to reach customers in a digital world. With mobile devices accounting for over half of all global web traffic and the constant bombardment of online ads, how can small businesses stand out in the crowd? Luckily, many effective strategies don’t require massive advertising budgets or huge in-house marketing staff.

Leverage Video

Even pre-pandemic, the demand for video content was increasing. Over half of all consumers would like to see more videos from brands they purchase from. Short, targeted videos that customers can consume in a minute or two are often better than long-form videos and can highlight anything from product features to customer stories. Video content doesn’t have to be flashy – with tools like Facebook Live, customers can take a virtual tour of your business or hear about upcoming deals. For videos on social media, think organic and informational rather than simply creating a commercial.

Relational Marketing

In an age where anyone with an internet connection has access to cheap, mass-produced goods, customers are actually looking for more than just a bargain from the brands they select. One 2019 study reported that 86% of consumers reported that authenticity was key when choosing which brands they prefer. Integrating personal touches like founder’s stories or examples of community involvement are easy ways to add authenticity into your small business marketing strategy. Engaging directly with your customers via your social media channels by quickly answering questions, encouraging them to post photos of themselves enjoying your products, or offering referral programs are inexpensive marketing strategies that can yield a big return. This also helps consumers feel that they are supporting real people with their dollars since social media feels more personal than a big advertising campaign.

Back to Basics

Don’t forget to lean on your bread-and-butter marketing channels. Google My Business, Yelp, YellowBot, and Find Us Here all provide online listings of your business that are completely free. Many small businesses have changed their hours or offerings during the pandemic, so it’s a good idea to make sure that information is updated on all of your web listings. It may seem simple, but accurate, easy-to-locate details can make the difference between a customer choosing your business or getting frustrated and moving on to a competitor.


Since the growing trend of e-commerce is not going away any time soon, much of the 2021 focus on small business marketing strategy will remain on leveraging your business’s online presence. Before you launch a new hashtag campaign, however, it’s a good idea to make sure your foundations are solid and that your business’s website, online listings, and social media channels are all updated and easy to navigate. By taking advantage of these low-cost marketing opportunities, you can position your business to meet customers where they are online.

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