beginners guide to small business marketing

Marketing is the lifeblood of any business, and for small businesses, it’s often the key to survival and growth. In a competitive marketplace, companies need to employ effective marketing strategies to reach their target audience, build brand awareness, and drive sales. In this article, we’ll explore some marketing topics that every small business owner should be familiar with:

1. Identifying and Understanding Your Target Audience

This is the foundation of all successful marketing. Without a clear understanding of your potential customers and their pain points, you’re essentially just guessing at what they want, and how your products and services will meet their needs.

Marketing at its core is nothing more than showing potential customers how what you’re selling meets their needs.

But you can’t do this if you don’t know what they need.

So, start by creating detailed buyer personas. These are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on market research and real data. Identify their demographics, interests, pain points, and buying behaviors.

When you know and understand your audience intimately, you can tailor your marketing messages, content, and channels to resonate with them. This leads to higher engagement and conversion rates, since personalized marketing connects with customers on a deeper level. When your audience feels understood, they are more likely to trust your brand and make purchases.

For instance, a plumbing service provider may focus on homeowners aged 30-60 who often require home maintenance. They’ll target their marketing towards people in this demographic group, since these are the individuals who are the most likely to spend money on their services. Nothing goes to waste!

If you’re able to accurately identify the target audience, you can expect improved return on investment (ROI), increased customer loyalty, and higher conversion rates.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media is an indispensable tool for small business marketing. It offers a cost-effective way to reach a broad audience, engage with customers, and build a brand presence.

Social media marketing can be intimidating for small business owners, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. The best social media marketing starts with authenticity. Shoot a few one-minute homemade videos introducing yourself and explaining the “why,” “how,” and “what” of your business, and then put a dollar per day of ad spend behind these videos for a week. If some get good traction, boost them with more ad spend. If they don’t resonate, create new videos until you get the formula right.

You can even take advantage of larger events like National Small Business Week and post content around that to boost your company’s profile.

Your customers already spend a significant amount of their time on social media. Engaging with them here builds brand loyalty, trust, and community.

Imagine a small retail business just breaking into its niche. The owner can create shoppable posts on Instagram, run promotions on Twitter, and engage with customers on Facebook. A solid social media strategy can lead to increased brand visibility, improved customer engagement, and a potential boost in sales.

3. Email Marketing and Newsletters

Email marketing is a powerful tool for nurturing leads, retaining customers, and driving sales. If you don’t have an email list, you can build one by offering a “lead magnet.” This is typically a resource that solves a small problem for your customers related to the problem that your larger product or service sells. Or it could also be a discount or coupon. Either way, you are offering something in exchange for their email address, so that later, you can email them with personalized and relevant content, including promotions, updates, and newsletters that increases their chances of buying.

Done right, email marketing is cost-effective and boasts an impressive ROI.

For example, a restaurant could send out weekly newsletters with special menus, promotions, and chef’s recommendations, or even offer birthday/special occasions discounts to subscribers. Sit back and watch the increase in customer retention, higher conversion rates, and measurable ROI.

Paid advertising can quickly increase your brand’s visibility and drive targeted traffic to your website or physical location. Whether you’re using Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another platform, the key (as always) is to create content that aligns with customer needs.

Consider a company selling water bottles for hikers: Using Google ads, they can target keywords and search terms like “best hiking water bottle” and “water bottles for hikers.”

Paid advertising allows you to bid on keywords or target specific demographics to display your ads to the right audience. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad (Pay-Per-Click or PPC) or when your ad is shown (Cost-Per-Impression or CPM). Paid marketing offers rapid results and precise targeting, ensuring your ads are seen by potential customers when they are actively searching for products or services.

5. Customer Reviews

One of the most effective ways to market a small business is to focus on customer reviews. If you already have happy customers, don’t hesitate to ask them to leave you a review on Google, Facebook, or Yelp. You can also send an email to your email list and put easy links to these sites to increase your chances of getting reviews. When new customers are searching the Internet, customer reviews are often the number one thing they pay attention to, so being proactive can make a huge difference. And of course, when you get a negative review (which you will—every business does), make sure you have a plan in place and know if and how you will address it.


Marketing, whether it’s just managing customer reviews or investing in a large-scale paid ad campaign, can take your business to the next level. If you need funding to assist your growth, contact Biz2Credit.

Learn about the Biz2Credit financing process

Find more blogs

Apply Online in Minutes

Applying does not impact your personal credit score.