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30 Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses Learned from 30 Years in Digital Marketing

Navigator Multimedia just turned 30 years old!

To celebrate this company milestone, we’re giving away the secret sauce we use to help small and local businesses thrive in the digital economy. If you’re a small business owner or anyone wanting to improve your local marketing or digital marketing campaigns…

Here are 30 effective marketing strategies, marketing tactics, and new initiatives for small businesses in 2023-24.

30 Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Business Marketing

1) Develop Your Brand Identity and Unique Selling Point (USP)

Developing your brand identity and USP are the first steps towards any effective digital marketing strategy.

Your brand identity refers to your company’s personality, values, and mission which are represented by visible elements like your logo, colors, typography, website, and signage.

Your brand identity should clearly reflect your business’s unique selling point (USP) – a concise statement that explains what you offer your target audience – and what you do better than your competition.

All of your marketing materials and customer touchpoints should consistently reflect your brand identity and USP – including your advertising campaigns, emails, social media, and phone calls.Clearly communicating your brand ID and selling point helps you build recognition with your target audience and attract customers who share your values.

Mobile-Friendly Website

2) Create a Mobile-Friendly Website That’s Easy to Navigate

Creating a website that’s mobile-friendly and easy to navigate is crucial for any small business in 2023. With more and more people accessing the internet on mobile devices, your website must be optimized for mobile screens with responsive design elements.

Responsive designs automatically adjust your website’s layout and content based on the size of the computer, mobile, or tablet display.

You can make your website easy to navigate by using clear menus, concise text, and calls to action that help visitors quickly find what they’re looking for. Completing actions like filling out a contact form or making a purchase should happen with minimal effort.

A well-designed website helps build trust with potential customers, enhance your brand’s image, and increase conversions.

3) Optimize Your Website for Search Engines With Modern SEO (Search Engine Optimization) & Content Marketing

SEO is the process of writing content and optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) – earning you more website visitors (leads) and more interested customers.

In 2023, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for every online business that wants to win new customers.

Modern SEO is focused on creating high-quality content that informs, helps, and engages web users.

SEO also includes social promotion, making your website mobile-friendly, optimizing your page speed, and using structured data to help search engines crawl your content.

Getting high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites is another foundational component that requires high quality content, outreach, and buying sponsored articles in journals or local news sites.

Keep in mind that SEO is a long-term strategy that requires ongoing optimization and monitoring.

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4) Start a Blog and Publish High-Quality Content on a Regular Basis

High-quality blog content lets you showcase your expertise, provide value to your target market, and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

Fresh blog content also helps you attract new visitors, keep your audience engaged, and bolster your SEO strategy. In 2023, blogging has become a foundational component of any effective SEO strategy because it shows Google’s web crawlers that you have expertise, authority, and trust.

Before starting a new blog, perform detailed keyword research to understand exactly which keywords and phrases your target audience uses to find relevant information. Then, create valuable content that addresses those topics with original insights and ideas that aren’t readily available elsewhere.

5) Optimize Your Google My Business to Increase Visibility in Local Search Results

30 Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Google My Business pages are free online listings provided by Google that display essential information about your business and your website in search results — helping to enhance your  visibility and local SEO results.

By providing accurate and up-to-date information about your business, you’ll increase the chances of your business appearing in the “Local Pack” of search results (the group of businesses that appear at the top of the search results page).

To optimize your Google My Business listing, complete all of the required information — including your business address, phone number, website, and hours of operation.

Encourage your customers to leave reviews, respond to any reviews you receive, and post regular updates and photos to keep your listing active and engaging.

6) Build an Email List and Send Targeted Messages to Your Subscribers

Building an email list is an effective way to reach out to leads, promote your business, and communicate new offers with your existing customers.

To incentivize people to sign up for your email list, provide them with valuable content on your website, with a promise to offer discounts, freebies, or exclusive content via email.

Once you have a list of subscribers, you can segment them based on factors like location, interests, and behavior. Next, create engaging and visually-appealing email to send targeted and personalized messages to specific groups of subscribers.

Be sure to also regularly clean your list to remove inactive subscribers and maintain high deliverability rates.

7) Offer Discounts or Special Promotions to First-Time Customers

Discounts, free trials, and special promotions are powerful tools to boost your sales and attract new customers.

By giving people a real incentive to try out your products or services, you’ll increase the likelihood of them making a purchase in the future.

Consider giving out a discount code or coupon that customers can redeem on their first purchase, or create a special intro offer for first-time customers. Then, promote your offers on your website and marketing channels.


Keep in mind that discounts and promotions should not be your only marketing strategy, because they can lead to a cycle of customers always expecting discounted prices.

Promote strategically and sparingly!

8) Invest in High-Quality Product Photography to Showcase Your Offerings

High-quality photography is a crucial aspect of digital marketing in 2023.

With online shopping and photo-sharing becoming increasingly popular, it’s essential to provide high-resolution images that showcase what you have to offer.

High-quality photos can help your products stand out from the competition, get buyers excited, and ultimately drive sales. Depending on your industry, lifestyle photographs are another great way to boost engagement — while conveying your brand image and USP.

Hiring a professional photographer may seem costly, but since good photos get peoples’ attention, the investment can pay off in the long run.

product photography

Remember to optimize your images for the web so they load fast and look good on a variety of devices.

9) Create Video Marketing Content to Showcase Your Products or Services

Based on an upcoming Google update, Video marketing is emerging as one of the most powerful SEO and marketing tools in 2023-24.

The old adage “seeing is believing” holds true; video content helps showcase your products or services in an engaging, informative, and easily digestible way.

Creating video content doesn’t always have to be expensive; but, it does require planning and creativity.

Start by brainstorming ideas for videos that would resonate with your target audience, then research appropriate keywords to target with your video content.

Consider creating product demos, customer testimonials, behind-the-scenes looks at your business, or educational content related to your industry. Once you have your ideas in order, create a script and storyboard, and invest in a quality camera and microphone.

Finally, don’t forget to optimize your video for SEO by including relevant keywords in the title, description, and tags.

10) Use Social Media to Engage With Your Audience and Share Valuable Content

Used wisely, social media marketing can be a powerful tool to engage with your audience and share your most valuable content.

Share tips and advice related to your industry, highlight new products or services, and post customer success stories to build social proof.

By regularly posting on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you can build a loyal following of customers and prospects who love your brand. Be sure to engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages in a timely manner.

Want to see some of the best examples of social media marketing? Check out these customer success stories: Twitter stories, Facebook case studies, Instagram ad success.

11) Run Paid Advertising Campaigns on Google Ads & Social Media Platforms Like Facebook and Instagram

Running paid advertising campaigns on Google AdWords and social platforms like Instagram can help you reach new customers and drive impressive traffic to your website.

One of the advantages of PPC advertising is being able to target your ads to specific keywords, demographics, user interests, and behaviors. Targeting makes ad campaigns more likely to hit their mark, and — when done well — highly cost-effective.

To grab your audience’s attention, craft compelling ad copy by using eye-catching visuals and following copywriting best practices. Then, create stunning landing pages that highlight your product’s unique benefits, and close with a convincing call to action. Finally, use data and analytics (Google Analytics, Google Search Console) to track the success of your digital marketing campaigns and continuously optimize your strategy.

Need a remote marketing department to handle your digital strategy?

12) Host Webinars to Educate Your Audience and Generate Leads

Live webinars are a great tool to showcase your expertise, build brand reputation, and generate leads.

By offering valuable information related to your industry or niche, you can attract potential customers who are interested in paying for your products or services.

During the webinar, provide valuable insights and actionable advice that your audience can implement in their own lives or businesses.

At the end of the webinar, offer a call to action that encourages attendees to sign up for your email list or take advantage of a special offer.

Consider recording the webinar and making it available for those who were unable to attend live. Finally, be sure to get the word out through email, social media channels, and your website blog.

13) Create a Podcast to Share Industry Insights and Connect With Your Audience

Podcasts have exploded in popularity in the 2020’s — and for good reason: they’re a highly effective way to build relationships with a wide audience of listeners.

Podcasting lets you share your industry expertise, provide valuable insights, and showcase your personality with your listeners who could be at home, at work, or on the go.


Running a podcast can position your company as a thought leader in your field, build up trust, and provide you with a new channel to connect with other professionals in your industry.

If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, be sure to align your topics with your brand and target audience, then promote your content.

Want to see a great example of podcasting in 2023? Check out the Huberman Lab hosted by Andrew Huberman, a tenured Neuroscience professor at Stanford University with science-based tips on how to improve your life.

14) Use Influencer Marketing to Reach New Audiences

Influencer marketing is a new internet marketing strategy where you partner with individuals with a large following on social media and get them to promote your products or services.

By leveraging the trust and sway that influencers have built with their audience, you can quickly reach new customers and build awareness.

When you’re choosing influencers to work with, make sure to select people with a similar target audience — and values that are in alignment with yours.

You can typically compensate influencers through free products, payments, or a combination of both.

To ensure that you’re getting a good return on investment, track the success of your influencer campaigns using metrics like engagement, reach, and conversions.

15) Attend Industry Events and Conferences to Network With Other Professionals in Your Field

Attending industry events and conferences is a great way to connect with other peers in your field and stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

Industry events also provide you with an opportunity to learn from burgeoning experts and gain new insights that can help you improve your own business strategy.

To maximize the benefits of attending industry events, plan ahead by setting goals around who you want to meet, what insights you’re looking to gain, and which new technologies or services you want to learn more about.

You never know who might become a valuable connection in the future, so put your best foot forward while you network so you can exchange contact information with other attendees, speakers, and exhibitors.

16) Offer Exceptional Customer Service and Make It Easy for Customers to Get in Touch With You

Exceptional customer service is essential for any business — and that includes small businesses who rely on their local reputation.

Happy customers are likely to return, refer new customers, and help you build a positive reputation via online reviews, case studies, and social media.

Here are some tips on providing 5-star customer experiences:

  • Be easily accessible and responsive to your customers’ needs
  • Have your contact information prominently displayed on your website and social media pages
  • Provide multiple channels for customers to reach you, such as email, phone, and live chat
  • Respond to inquiries promptly and professionally, and always strive to exceed your clients’ expectations
  • Personalize interactions by addressing customers by name and getting to know their preferences
  • Resolve issues quickly and effectively by listening, empathising, and delivering solutions
  • Thank customers for their loyalty by showing appreciation, gratitude, then go above and beyond with surprise gifts and special promotions

17) Use Customer Reviews and Testimonials to Build Trust With Potential Customers

Customer reviews and testimonials are powerful marketing tools and trust builders. Nowadays, most people look at online reviews for social proof and reassurance – long before they decide to contact a new business.

Encourage happy customers to leave reviews on your website, your Google My Business page (via the Google Maps app), social media, and popular review sites like Tripadvisor.

Be sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews in a timely and professional manner, showing that you care and that you’re committed to improving your business.

If you have great relationships with your clients, consider asking them to be featured in a customer success story on your website or social pages.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Case studies, testimonials, and before-and-after photos are all great ways to showcase your value, build trust with leads, and close more deals.

18) Create a Loyalty Program to Reward Repeat Customers

Loyalty programs are a powerful tool to encourage repeat business and retain your customers.

Clients feel valued and invested in your business when they receive incentives and rewards for frequent purchases. 

You can offer clients a points program they can redeem for discounts, free products, or benefits like exclusive events or early access to sales.

Make sure your loyalty program is easy to use and understand with clear guidelines and rewards that are both appealing and valuable.

Lastly, promote your loyalty programs through email, direct mail, and your digital marketing channels.

19) Implement a Referral Program to Encourage Existing Customers to Refer Their Friends, Family, Colleagues, and Other Local Businesses

Referral programs give your existing customers a strong incentive to refer new business your way.

By offering rewards, discounts, or commissions in exchange for referrals, you can encourage your best customers to spread the word about your business and win new clients.

With the right approach, a referral program can be a highly effective way to grow your customer base and build long-term relationships with your customers.

To implement a successful referral program, you’ll need to create a clear and compelling offer, communicate it effectively, and make it easy to take part.

Remember to thank your customers for their referrals and follow up with them to make sure they’re satisfied with their experience.

20) Develop Partnerships With Other Businesses That Complement Yours

Partnering with other businesses is a great way to expand your local reach, become known in your community, and win over customers.

Look for businesses that can complement your own offerings, then ask them to work out a mutually-beneficial partnership.

For example, if you own a gym, you could partner with a local health food store or food prep business and offer promotional discounts to each other’s customers.

Joint marketing campaigns and special events are another great way to co-promote; you’ll both tap into a new customer base and — if done well — drive more revenue.

Like any relationship, be sure to choose your business partners carefully and ensure their goals and values align with yours.

Let’s discuss your digital marketing goals

21) Use Nostalgia to Create a Deep Emotional Connection

Nostalgia is a captivating force that can be a total game-changer for small business marketing in the 21st century.

Nostalgia evokes memories, triggers positive emotions, and gives your audience a sense of familiarity that draws them towards your brand.

Picture neon hues reminiscent of ’80s arcade games, record players spinning timeless vinyl tunes, or the Polaroid snapshots with that classic, grainy charm.

You can tap into the power of nostalgia by using retro design elements, vintage aesthetics, and throwback references that resonate with your customers.

22) Run Contests, Raffles, or Free Giveaways to Engage Your Audience and Grow Your Online Following

Contests and giveaways are fun and engaging ways to attract new followers, increase brand awareness, and create excitement around your brand.

Consider running a contest or giveaway on your social media platforms and make it easy for users to enter by asking them to like, share, or comment on your post. You can offer the winner free service hours, a promotional product, or a discount on their next order.

Be sure to clearly state the rules of the giveaway and select your winners fairly and transparently.

23) Use Retargeting Ads to Reach People Who Have Already Visited Your Website

Retargeting ads are a powerful way to remind people about your business and get them to return to your website.

Retargeting works by placing a pixel on your website to track your website visitors, then show them targeted ads on other websites and social platforms.

Retargeting keeps your brand top-of-mind and encourages prospective customers to come back and make a purchase.

An advantage of retargeting ads is being able to customize your messaging based on the actions visitors take on your website. For example, you can show ads to people who have already added items to their shopping cart but didn’t complete their purchase, or to people who visited a specific product page but didn’t get any further along the customer journey.

24) Engage Your Audience with Interactive Quizzes and Surveys

Interactive quizzes and surveys are a fun way to gather customer insights, connect with your audience, and offer personalized recommendations.

By asking intriguing questions in a quiz or survey, you’ll take your customers on a journey of self-discovery by revealing their preferences and unique personality traits.

Whether it’s “Discover Your Unique Fashion Persona” for a boutique or “Find Your Dream Destination” for a travel agency — quizzes can create long-lasting impressions.

Surveys give you a chance to dive deeper into your customers’ needs, preferences, and pain points. Ask thought-provoking questions, then collect their feedback to shape your offerings, and provide an engaging customer experience.

25) Use Chatbots to Provide 24/7 Customer Support and Increase Engagement

Chatbots are computer programs that simulate conversations with humans over the internet. 

Implementing chatbots can help increase customer satisfaction and improve your efficiency by reducing response times, providing accurate information, and increasing online engagement.

Chatbots can instantly answer frequently asked questions, provide personalized recommendations, and even help customers complete transactions on your website.

Some business leaders claim to have increased their sales by 67% by implementing chatbots. 

Chatbots also help you collect additional user data, which gives you insights into customer behavior that you can use to optimize your sales and online marketing strategies.

Consider integrating Chatbots into your websites, social media accounts, and digital messaging apps like WhatsApp.

26) Post User-Generated Content to Showcase Your Happiest Customers and Build Social Proof

User-generated content (UGC) refers to authentic content that’s created by your customers and usually comes in the form of blogs, video reviews, testimonials, and social media posts.

UGC is a cost-effective way to showcase your happiest customers and offer social proof of positive experiences to your prospects.

Encourage your followers to share happy brand experiences with your product or service on social media networks, then repost their content on your own website and social profiles. Make sure to get permission from your users before reposting their content and give them a shoutout for their hard work.

User-Generated Content - Kootenay-Rockies

If you don’t have any UGC to lean on, try running a content contest to encourage people to share their experiences and create some fresh marketing buzz.

27) Run Surveys or Polls to Gather Feedback From Your Audience and Improve Your Offerings

Surveys or polls are great ways to get authentic feedback from your customers.

By asking customers what they like and dislike about your business, you can make informed decisions about how to better meet their needs and how to improve your marketing efforts.

To encourage audience participation, use email marketing to offer an incentive like a discount or reward in exchange for a completed survey.

28) Use Analytics Tools to Track the Success of Your Marketing Efforts and Make Data-Driven Decisions

Analytics tools help you track the success of your marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions.

30 Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

You can use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor website traffic, track user behavior, and identify new areas for improvement.

With a good data analyst on your side, you’ll gain insights into what’s working and what’s not via user demographics, referral sources, and conversion rates. Then, you can adjust your marketing strategy for peak performance.

You can use tools like A/B testing software to try out different approaches and see which ones resonate the most with your target audience.

Constantly monitoring and optimizing your marketing efforts ensures that your message is reaching the right people, getting real results, and delivering a strong return on investment.

29) Embrace Continuous Improvement and Get Better All the Time

Continuous Improvement is a business and management philosophy that aims to enhance business processes and the well-being of employees through ongoing improvement efforts.

Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple Computers, was a big proponent of continuous improvement.

In my opinion the largest contribution of quality thinking is to approach ways of doing things — these processes — scientifically, where there is a theory behind why we do them, there is a description of what we do, and — most importantly — there is an opportunity to always question what we do.

And this is a radically different approach to business processes than the traditional one, ‘because it’s always done this way;’ and that single shift is everything, in my opinion…”

Continuous Improvement is a systematic approach that encourages you to constantly analyze and refine your operations.

By making continuous improvement a pillar of your business, you can empower every employee — regardless of their role — to contribute new ideas that foster innovations, optimize efficiency, and empower your workforce to strive for excellence.

30) Partner With Local Charities or Community Organizations to Build Goodwill and Give Back

Partnering with local charities and community organizations is a great way to build goodwill and give back to your community; and it’s also a very effective marketing strategy.

Consider partnering with a charity or community organization that aligns with your brand values and mission, then donate a portion of your profits, organize a volunteer day, or sponsor a community event.

Finally, promote your partnership on your website and social pages with photos and updates to showcase your involvement.

When you align your brand with a cause that your community truly cares about, you can create a local buzz, show the community you’re more than just a business, encourage others to make a positive impact, and — most importantly — help out your community.

We’re Navigator Multimedia | Marketing Strategy Experts in Kelowna, BC, Canada

Need an effective digital strategy to take your business to the next level? Want a new website that’s optimized for mobile, SEO, and rapid customer conversions?

We’re Navigator Multimedia – experts in large, medium, and small business marketing strategies to help you thrive — and make the most out of your marketing budget.

Give us a call to discuss your situation and we’ll help you develop a cutting-edge marketing plan that compliments your brand, represents your values, and achieves your business objectives.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our FREE website performance and SEO Audit

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