Top 10 Popular Small Business Marketing Strategies

28 August, 2018

17 mins read

Small business digital marketing strategies Localsearch

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Not sure where to start deciding on which strategy is right for your business? Check out our earlier article on the best questions to ask yourself when creating an effective marketing plan.

Researching each of the available strategies before you spend time and resources on them is crucial. However, your time is in high demand, so we’ve broken down the pros and cons of some of the most widely used marketing strategies in Australia.

Website Creation

With more than 40% of the world’s population using the internet (source: Internet Live Stats), and that figure climbing every day, having an online presence for your business is absolutely essential. Website creation is a good first step if you are new to digital marketing, as many of your other online platforms can direct your customers back here for more information. You can choose to create a free website, but a high-quality site built by professional writers and designers, like those at Localsearch, will provide a better user experience, and therefore produce more sales leads.

Green positive button Allows customers to find you online

Green positive button Can be personalised to your brand message

Green positive button Provides eCommerce functionality

Green positive button Can be integrated with your social media

Green positive button Increases credibility & market reach

Green positive button Accessible at all hours


Red minus button Large cost at outset & ongoing hosting costs

Red minus button Difficult to achieve results without professional help

Red minus button Requires regular updating to keep up with SEO

Red minus button Managing security threats & customer data

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Statistics show the main way a potential customer is going to find your business is through a search engine. More than 3.5 billion searches are completed every day on Google—that’s 40,000 per second! While you’re not going to have a customer base that big, you need to ensure you have a listing on the search engine results page (SERP) for key phrases that relate to your business. SEO professionals use various techniques to tweak any of your online content (a website, social media page etc.) to convince search engines that you have the most relevant solution.

Green positive button Low cost compared to paid search engine advertising

Green positive button Increased traffic

Green positive button Targets customers ready to purchase/take action

Green positive button Coordinates well with content marketing

Green positive button Can help a business compete with bigger companies

Green positive button Can be tailored to promote a specific service


Red minus button Takes time to produce results

Red minus button Algorithms affecting SEO change frequently

Red minus button 30% of clicks go to first-ranked result only

Red minus button No guaranteed return on investment (ROI)

Red minus button Search results favour businesses located close to the searcher

Email Marketing

While your first thought of email marketing is probably of the digital brochures and offers sent to by major brand names, it can also be used effectively by small business. If you’ve already built a list of emails from previous clients, you only need a platform to help send emails to your whole contact list at once. Remember to keep the content useful and relevant to your clients.

Green positive button Promote new deals & offers

Green positive button Maintain communication with clients

Green positive button Cost-effective for contacting smaller client bases

Green positive button Easily accessible

Green positive button Can arrange contacts into groups for focused content


Red minus button Time consuming to create & send

Red minus button Emails can be marked as spam

Red minus button Easy for receivers to ignore

Red minus button Need to pay to send large quantities of emails

Events & Networking

Even in the age of digital marketing, it pays to get out and hit the pavement every now and again. Whether it’s at an industry expo or a charity golf day, you or your staff can generate a lot of leads using the personal touch. Often these leads are with fellow local businesses as well as customers. Of course, with everyone owning a camera phone, your efforts will make it to social media and other online mediums soon enough.

Green positive button Increase brand visibility in local community

Green positive button Can lead to business-to-business & referral deals

Green positive button Some events are free or low-cost

Green positive button Promote your business’ social responsibility

Green positive button Good photo opportunities for sharing online

Green positive button Get direct feedback from clients


Red minus button Requires time & staff resources

Red minus button Usually in direct competition with other businesses

Red minus button Relies on staff to convey company message

Red minus button Need public speaking & networking skills

Social Media

Alongside search engines, social media platforms play a huge part in how customers find a business that has the solution they require. Accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever other platform is relevant to your business, act as an auxiliary to your website; offering a small amount of contact and service information as well as a timeline of news and events. You can build your audience organically, through recommendations and interesting content, or by paying the platform to promote your posts and advertising—making sure they are seen by more potential customers.

Green positive button Variety of platforms to suit different business types

Green positive button No cost to create a page/profile

Green positive button Reaches clients instantly

Green positive button Channel for customer queries & reviews

Green positive button Paid advertisements are relatively inexpensive


Red minus button Slow to build an audience without paid assistance

Red minus button Followers can ‘unsubscribe’ from seeing your content

Red minus button Without paying, your posts may not be seen at all

Red minus button Significant investment of time to establish & maintain

Red minus button Cannot control negative feedback

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

More often referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, search engine marketing (SEM) refers chiefly to paid listings at the top and bottom of a search engine results page (SERP). Most people think of Google Ads, but there are multiple companies with similar marketing platforms you can utilise. The process involves placing a bid on certain keywords, and if you are the highest bidder the system will show the advert to anyone who searches a relevant phrase. Keep in mind search engines will still try to show content which is considered high quality and close to the searcher, and this is taken into account when deciding on how and where to show your advert.

Green positive button Only pay the bid amount when your advert is clicked

Green positive button Automatically targeted to relevant audience

Green positive button Easy to track results

Green positive button Generates website traffic immediately

Green positive button Synergises well with other marketing campaigns


Red minus button Requires other online assets to be effective

Red minus button Can be outbid by larger competitors

Red minus button Has no effect on organic ranking for your website

Red minus button Only targets clients in your local area

Online Directories

There are a number of companies out there, like Localsearch, who aim to assist customers in finding the right business for their needs. It’s simple and free to get listed on a directory site, and there is the option to pay to improve your placement and appearance on their sites. One of the most important listings you should create is for Google My Business (GMB). GMB shows business locations on a map of the area the person searched for, as well as contact information. This features very prominently on Google’s SERP, above the unpaid results. However, there is a verification process which must be completed before your business will be displayed.

Green positive button Increases your online visibility

Green positive button Free to create a listing

Green positive button Targets local clients

Green positive button Directs customers to all your other online assets

Green positive button Collects & displays customer reviews

Green positive button Greatly benefits SEO


Red minus button Competitors are displayed in the same space

Red minus button GMB requires a physical business address

Red minus button Area specific

Red minus button Information can be inconsistent between platforms

Content Marketing

If you’re looking to develop an engaged online audience, then producing free, quality content should be your main focus. According to data collected by SmartInsights, 18% of professional marketers said content marketing had the greatest commercial impact for their clients, second only to automation. This can vary from blog posts and media articles to webinars or an entire eBook. The idea is to provide useful information while simultaneously promoting your services in a way that doesn’t look like advertising. How much time and budget you dedicate to content is up to you, but used in conjunction with other marketing strategies, it can set your business apart from the competition.

Green positive button Reduces bounce rate & improves user experience

Green positive button Boosts SEO value of websites & social media

Green positive button Attracts viewers beyond regular customer base

Green positive button Most are free to create & self-publish

Green positive button Encourages engagement of repeat clients

Green positive button Can be adjusted to current social & search trends


Red minus button High time demand

Red minus button Views not guaranteed to become sales

Red minus button Need writing or audio-visual skills

Red minus button Has to be distributed through another platform

Local Media

While global news and media continues to increasingly dominate our waking lives, through search engines and social media, local news and community publications still have their place. Most major retailers still distribute catalogues and take out advertising in local newspapers and radio stations to some extent. This strategy is most effective for businesses servicing a specific area, or that need to inform customers about important information—such as a change of address. Many local organisations also have an online presence which you can leverage in order to engage a community audience.

Green positive button Customers trust information from local sources more

Green positive button Targets a specific area or niche audience

Green positive button Less competition in the same space

Green positive button Print & radio media costs are incredibly low

Green positive button Effective when used in conjunction with digital campaigns

Green positive button Often seen/heard multiple times


Red minus button Some methods have printing & distribution costs

Red minus button Only reaches a small number of customers

Red minus button Can be ignored or thrown away

Red minus button Difficult to track effectiveness

Influencer Marketing

In the past you might have paid a local celebrity for an endorsement. In 2018, influencer collaborations are on the rise. Instead of slowly building online followers, a business may leverage the audience that an influencer has already built in order to promote a particular product or service. As the viewers, listeners or readers are following a personality, they are more likely to view the content as a recommendation and not an advertisement and therefore trust it more. How you engage the influencer to create content is important in ensuring the message seems authentic.

Green positive button Inspires brand loyalty & trust

Green positive button Organically generates traffic

Green positive button Fosters public conversation about your business

Green positive button Can create a mutually beneficial deal with influencer

Green positive button Exposure to new audiences outside your local area

Green positive button Ideal for eCommerce businesses 


Red minus button May not be a suitable influencer for your industry

Red minus button Lack of control over the message

Red minus button Hard to track results

Red minus button Not relevant to service-only businesses


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