One of the most important things that small businesses need is a marketing strategy that is affordable and produces a high return on investment. There are many marketing channels and strategies that can be used but only a few of them are not capital intensive. The best way for small businesses to grow is to use the right strategies to produce a strong revenue stream and use initial successes to scale into other channels and strategies. Here are three proven marketing strategies that small businesses can use to make this happen.

  1. Local Search Engine Optimization

Google and the other major search engines have put a major focus on local search over the last few years. This is good news for small businesses. This allows them to target local customers that they can actually serve and compete in the search engines. In addition, conversion rates are very high. 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their mobile phones visited a store the same day and 18% of local searches resulted in a sale within a day.

The local search results are unique from the global search results. For example, “pool builders in Jackson MS” would return different results from “pool builders”. This means that small businesses will not have to compete against medium sized businesses and large corporations. This makes local SEO a cost effective strategy for attaining visibility, local/regional branding and acquiring customers.

  1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is another proven marketing strategy that can help small businesses grow. The idea behind content marketing is to create and distribute high-quality content like blogs, ebooks, interactives and videos in order to acquire leads, followers and eventually customers. Rather than the traditional approach of starting with the sale, the goal is to engage your target audience, provide them with value through your content and bring them into your marketing funnel.

While it may seem like a counterproductive approach, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing while generating three times the leads. That’s because the leads and followers you bring into your marketing funnel via content marketing can be leveraged for future campaigns. They’re going to share your content, like your posts, talk about your brand and even become your ambassadors. In addition, content marketing is a great way to support your local SEO campaign, build a memorable online brand and help you establish a strong social media presence. Keep in mind that videos in a content plan should utilize video captioning so that you don’t leave potential customers out of the mix.

  1. Social Media Advertising

Social media is a viable strategy but it can take a long time for small businesses to build followers. The better way to approach social media is to advertise on the social media platforms. All of the large social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Pinterest and LinkedIn all have an advertising program. These advertising programs allow you to create and present ads to a defined audience either through a pay per click (PPC) model where you bid a price to pay for ad clicks or cost per thousand (CPM) payment model where you pay a cost per 1000 views.

There are multiple reasons why social media advertising is cost effective. First, these platforms offer many advanced targeting options to help you hone in on your audience. Second, you can control how much you spend on your ads by either choosing the payment model or controlling how much you spend per day. Lastly, you get access to important metrics that help you improve your ads, eliminate losers and scale winning ones.

Those are the three proven marketing strategies that you can use today to grow your small business. These marketing strategies are proven because they are cost effective, they produce strong returns and they are reliable sources of revenue. Having success with any of these strategies can take your business to the next level very quickly. For the best results, focus on one marketing strategy and figure out how to make it work. Then you can decide whether to scale the strategy or venture out to other channels and strategies.


by: Lee Flynn