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Small Business Marketing Methods

businesswoman thinking and plan business strategy

5  Small Business Marketing Methods

by Rick Skidmore

How do you market to your customers? What is your strategy?  Look through these different methods to find if you are using one of these or a combination.

  1. Grassroots Marketing
  2. Public Relations
  3. Affiliate Marketing
  4. Online Marketing
  5. Traditional Advertising


Grassroots Marketing

This is the most inexpensive marketing.  These reach to your local community. Much is performed in person and building your business on good communication.

  • Distribute business cards, brochures, and flyers
  • Ask for referrals and testimonials
  • Participate in local events
  • Write articles to papers and niche publications
  • Word-of-mouth
  • Giving free samples


Public Relations

TV’s article in newspapers, and radio are all a source of getting free PR.  Some PR can be paid if you have to deal with service fees to submit an article to large PR sources that will then distribute it out to their channels.  Writing catchy PR article for the news, radio, TV, or web articles can be difficult. Check out the pros and cons of writing these articles yourself:


  • You will have a greater knowledge and passion about the industry and about what you do.  Another plus about writing it yourself is that you get to control the message more accurately.


  • Your writing may come across as an amateur or too sales pitchy. Also you don’t have the existing contacts to distribute your article to the proper media professionals.


Affiliate Marketing

This is a great way to expand your network.  With affiliate marketing you team up with others businesses or organizations that share similar interests and target audiences to share your message.  You split the cost of the marketing or split the revenue to reach more people within your target audience.


Online Marketing

This is a newer form of marketing even though it’s been around for a while.  There are constant changes with online marketing and new avenue pop up all the time.  A few ways to utilize online marketing are:

  • Online display advertising – this would consist of buying advertising space on a popular website.  Having your banner pop up on Pandora Radio or on a famous blog.
  • Search Engine Marketing – this has two different areas that it covers, search engine optimization and search engine advertising.  Both involve Google, Bing, and Yahoo or others for different countries.
  • Email Marketing – This has brought a lot of spamming into your inbox but if done right you can see great results.  It is important to understand the rules of what qualifies for spam and also understand your customers so you don’t overwhelm your customers.
  • Blogs – Utilize blogs to gain more content on your website that will allow the search engines to crawl more information on your site to help increase your chance in being seen.  Also look at my last post on setting up Google Authorship for WordPress users.

Many other services such as inbound and outbound can be view at


Traditional Advertising

This area covers many of the original ways of advertising that people think of.  These are your billboards, magazines and newspaper ads, ads on TV and radio, even direct mail.  These are more expensive and the results are much harder to track than Online Marketing. Yet these still bring in customer by:

  • Attracting customer and new leads
  • Getting new customers to spend more on products or services
  • Build you name brand and credibility for your reputation
  • Inform and remind customers of your benefits

When considering your small business marketing method makes sure that 1 – you are using the right method that works for your business plan and target market. 2 – understand the ROI for each and every source you are utilizing. 3 – make sure that you are using them frequently enough that it will draw attention, running one ad out of the year won’t due. 4 – Finally make sure that your advertising messages stay within the same style and brand image that you are trying to portray for your business. Keeping them unified will help eliminate confusion and build your brands reputation.


For further marketing strategy I would recommend taking a look at what John Broadbent has to say on how Netmark looks at online marketing strategy.