digital marketing strategies for small business

Got thousands to spend on a google ad campaign, hours to analyse A/B split testing on your website, (do you even have a clue what that is) or the budget to take on board a full-time social media manager?  No? Well, you’re not alone.

All those complex, costly marketing campaigns may be out of reach for the average smaller business, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit your marketing efforts, ditch your strategy, or indeed only focus on one thing.

What you do need to do is find the best marketing techniques that work for your business and concentrate on getting them right.

So how do you know which are the best digital marketing strategies for your business?

I’m going to share what I consider are the most effective, and importantly, the most accessible marketing strategies for small business.  What is right for your business, your industry, your location? I can only give that advice if I find out more about you. (Maybe have my free 30 minute consultation 😉).

If you want to work out what is best for you, don’t just pick the ones that you think you can easily do. Have an overall marketing strategy in place which in essence identifies who your ideal customer is and establishes the best way you can attract them online. Pick the techniques that will get you in front of your audience and you think fit well with your overall business culture. Just because everyone and his dog is doing a podcast right now, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

Here are the best digital marketing strategies for small business. Choose the ones that will work best for you.

1. Website optimisation

Optimising your website (and other online content) for the search engines, known as SEO or search engine optimisation, is still one of the best investments you can make.  Being well positioned in search engines is a way of getting organic traffic and building trust in your brand.

How do you do it

I can’t give you an SEO lesson here, it would become an essay, but suffice to say there are a wealth of free online resources to help you learn the art of SEO. At the heart of it, is understanding your ideal customer, and identifying what keywords they might use to search for your products or services.  The less generic and more niche, the better chance you have of ranking i.e. “kitchen company” is very hard to rank for whereas “bespoke kitchen manufacturer Hampshire” is most definitely achievable, as one of my clients will attest to.

When you know what keywords to target, update your website to include them (onsite SEO) as well as employ off-site SEO techniques such as backlinking.

2. Blogging or content marketing

Content marketing is part of your SEO strategy.  Producing relevant, useful, and engaging content helps your brand build identity, personality, and authority.  In essence content marketing involves planning and sharing posts, articles, news, videos, and any sort of subject that talks directly to your audience.

Blogging is the most common and easily accessible form of content marketing.

How do you do it

Rather than create random blogs without a strategy, put a content plan together. The core blogs should be addressing problems your target customers are actually searching for.  For example, if you are a physio or osteopath, write about how to manage a chronic back condition.  Look outwards, rather than inwards. Yes, you can have filler blogs about what you’ve been up to in your business, it’s important to build your personality and brand, but create more content with your customers in mind.

The main thing you should strive for is being honest and offering reliable information that helps.  Even if the consumer isn’t buying anything now, they will remember you when the time comes in the future.

3. Social media marketing

Rather than banging out one-way promotions and updates, social media marketing should be about bringing a personality to your brand. Find a platform to interact with people and discuss subjects that are relevant to your business.

How do you do it

Social media takes time and effort. If you spread yourself too thin, then it’s not going to work out.  If you’ve got limited time and resources, it’s better to focus on just one (or maybe two) social networks, at least initially.

Find the network where your target audience hangs out – not sure – see my guide here. Cater to that platform by creating posts in the same vibe, i.e. punchy updates for Twitter versus interesting or funny stories on Facebook.

4. Email marketing

Email is still one of the most prominent and used communication channels on the planet.  And Email Marketing is great for businesses.  It deepens trust and builds relationships both with prospective and existing customers.  It’s perfect for small business, being cheap to undertake and unlike social media, you don’t need to have someone dedicated to it every day.

How do you do it

Build up your email list by convincing website visitors to sign up to your newsletter. Offer something of value.  There are lots of tips and tricks for doing this: Lead magnets, whitepapers, free consultations.

5. Local optimisation

If you service customers in a specific geographic location, particularly if you have a premises or shop where customers can visit you, local optimisation is one of the best techniques you can employ.

How do you do it

The first thing is to set up your company on Google my Business and share your contact information, your website, and company updates. The main focus should be on user-created content: reviews, opinions, and photos. When a client posts those on Maps, they are included in your profile and shared with everyone searching for something in the area.

I’ve got plenty of tips on my website about local optimisation including how to set up your GMB page.

6. Podcasting

Podcasts are very much of the moment. And as I said, they aren’t for everyone but if it floats your boat, it’s great for brand and audience building.

How do you do it

There are two ways to market your business with podcasts:

  1. Create your own podcast – the technology is pretty accessible even with the smallest of budgets, but it takes time to build traction to create a popular podcast.
  2. Get interviewed on someone else’s podcast. As long as you have some industry experience (online or offline) and are willing to share some serious value, you’ve got what it takes to guest on other more established podcasts.

7. Videos

Video shows no signs of abating. It accounts for around 80% of internet traffic. Youtube is the world’s 3rd largest search engine.

How do you do it

Do you go DIY or professionally produced? Video doesn’t have to be polished to work.  From vlogs to demos to live streaming, tik-tok to insta – there are countless ways of producing and sharing videos if you don’t have the budget to go professional. If putting yourself in front of the camera isn’t your thing, you could create videos from still images rather than live action.  Free tools such as Canva make it easy to do.

Bonus tip – Paid advertising

If you really are focused on immediate wins and have a little budget to play with then paid advertising should be considered as part of your mix. That includes search engine pay per click campaigns and display advertising, as well as promoted posts across the social media platforms.

How do you do it

I’m going to be honest and tell you its really not my forte – I concentrate on organic and mostly in-bound marketing techniques. What I do know is that it a very easy way to burn your budget if you don’t know what you are doing. My best advice is to pay the extra to get a specialist or agency. They understand all the technicalities and should be able to get you lower costs per click. They should pay for themselves by getting you a better return on investment.


In fact, when it comes to any form of marketing, if you choose the right partner for marketing support, they should pay for themselves. Whilst many of these strategies are low entry cost, the cost to your business is time to get it right. If you have the right strategy in place, you can save a great deal of time and cost.

Find out which digital marketing strategies are the right choice for your business, book a free consultation with me today.

Share this post