9 Small Business Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

It’s no secret that your small business marketing strategy is what makes or breaks your brand.

With over 80% of customers admitting that they do online research before making a purchase, it’s crucial to get your business’s info out there. But in today’s crowded marketplace, how do you find the strategies that actually work?

Though there are countless marketing fads that come and go, we’ve put together a list of tried-and-tested strategies that can help your brand stand out. Read on to learn more.

1. Hone Your Target Audience

It’s always important to know who you’re talking to, but honing your target audience is even more crucial for small businesses than for larger brands. Figuring out who you should focus your limited time and resources attracting can ensure you’re getting leads you can actually convert.

If you haven’t already done so, take the time to figure out who you’re targeting. Consider your niche, get your hands on demographic data, and work on creating buyer personas that help you understand who to attract.

2. Craft Compelling Content

In a digital landscape that’s awash in brands like yours, the best way to cut through the noise is to create compelling content. In fact, it’s easy to argue that failing to follow this step might sabotage all of your other efforts!

Relevant, helpful, high-quality content is attention-grabbing, which is exactly what you need. Whether you’re drafting thoughtful opinion pieces on your blog, creating helpful infographic tutorials, or launching fun but relevant videos on TikTok, make sure you’re showcasing what your brand offers.

This is where the step above comes in: knowing who you’re talking to makes it easier to create content they’ll love and want to share. For small Houston businesses, don’t forget that creating a local content strategy that positions your brand as a leader within the area is a great way to stand out.

3. Optimize Your Google Business Profile (GBP)

You’d be shocked at how many small businesses fail to take advantage of Google.

Instead of leaving Google to guess what your brand has to offer—even if it would be an educated guess, given Google’s ability to pull info from other networks and directories—why not tell it yourself?

Optimizing your GBP profile allows you to share info about your brand with local searchers using Google. It even makes it more likely that your company info will appear at the top of a local search! You can also use your GBP to showcase photos, events, discounts, and more.

4. Stand Out With SEO

If you’re trying to ramp up your Houston marketing efforts without this step, you may as well not even bother! SEO is what helps small businesses get found online, and though it can be tricky to compete with larger, established brands, there are plenty of strategies that can give you an edge.

When paired with content marketing, SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to get more site visitors and leads, especially with the explosion of mobile search in recent years. Even better, Google wants to provide relevant and helpful results, so its algorithm often favors local brands.

5. Advertise Online

While this strategy will cost more upfront than long-term SEO tactics, the immediate results make it well worth your time.

There’s a caveat here, as you might expect: if you’re hoping to beat the local competition and raise your ROI, it’s crucial to know your audience. Creating tailored ads that appear on the platforms where your audience spends its time is key. The most popular online ad tools include Google Ads and Facebook Ads, both of which allow you to target specific niches.

6. Start an Email Campaign

Sure, the humble email has been around for decades now. But did you know it’s still offering one of the highest ROIs of all types of marketing for small businesses, hovering at around $36 for every $1 spent?

Better still, especially for busy entrepreneurs, is the fact that email campaigns are easy to automate. Though you’ll have to invest time and money up front in creating valuable content, today’s online tools make it easy to send future emails to leads and customers at the perfect time.

7. Network With Local Brands

This is a tried-and-tested marketing strategy for good reason: it really works! Connecting with other Houston businesses is a great opportunity to share tips and insights, collaborate, and promote each other’s goods and services.

There are countless small business expos in Houston throughout the year, as well as regular events via sites like Meetup. However, don’t hesitate to reach out to other brands directly or to connect with them online!

8. Partner With an Influencer

We’re not necessarily talking about influencers with followers in the hundreds of millions. When it comes to small brands, finding micro-influencers within your specific niche can be a great way to promote yourself in a way that feels organic to their followers.

This partnership may involve reaching out to an influencer marketing agency, or you might find it easier to reach out to an influencer directly. Even a single promotional post can offer a massive increase in visibility and sales, as long as the influencer’s followers include your target audience.

9. Offer Freebies and Discounts

Everyone loves getting something for free—even if it means leaving you with their contact details.

Freebies and discounts can be a great way to build up your list of email subscribers and leads, and you can do it right from your website.

Note, of course, that you’ll have to offer up something valuable in return, which is where that “compelling content” often comes in. No matter your brand, there are plenty of great lead magnet marketing strategies for small businesses to try. E-books, guides, PDF templates, quizzes, demos, webinars, and even special discounts can be powerful ways to attract your audience.

Let Us Boost Your Small Business Marketing Efforts

Growing your digital presence can feel like an uphill battle—but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you don’t have time to research and implement the key solutions above, our team is here to help!

We’ve helped multiple brands boost their online presence fast, and we’re happy to discuss what we can do for you. Get in touch with us to learn more.

(Signage & Graphics) Jennifer Lafleur
Grapevine Marketing was founded by Katy-native Jennifer LaFleur, who worked in the corporate world for nine years. This helped her gain marketing experience and encouraged her to start something of her own. Once her second daughter was born, she quit the corporate and established Grapevine Marketing as a full-service digital marketing agency with a vision—“Simply Connecting People.” The name Grapevine Marketing came was chosen as she wanted to include “Texas” in the name, along with a non-cliche buzzword that would align with marketing. While she and her husband were brainstorming for names, a song named “I heard it through the Grapevine” crossed her mind. She also realized that Grapevine is also a popular place in Texas, about 3 hours away from Katy, and this is how Grapevine Marketing was born. Jennifer has a soft-spot for small businesses that could greatly benefit from her skills and expertise. Combined with her penchant to help them out, she is easily one of the best digital marketers in Texas!