How to market a small business


Last updated on June 22, 2017 in Growth, Small Business Thursday

If you are looking to market your small (or medium or even large) business, it’s all about your audience. That’s where you start and that’s how you market to them.

The three steps I walk through in the above video are:

  • Define your audience
  • Acquire your audience
  • Expand your audience

Define your audience

Before you start doing any marketing, you need to build an initial portrait of who that customer is. This obviously varies widely depending on what kind of business you run.

You could be targeting:

  • People who make $100,000 a year and up in Lower Highlands, Denver;
  • B2B SaaS companies with an outbound sales force and over $10M a year in revenue
  • Anyone else who buys what your business offers

You must define your audience before you start marketing to them, because the marketing channels that you use and that are effective for you will change depending on who your audience is and what kind of business you operate.

Acquire your audience

Next, you go to work acquiring them. The purpose of this post is not to give you a roadmap for doing any of the channels, but rather to show you that after you define the audience as a necessary first step then you can start trying to reach them.

Any or all of these could be valid acquisition channels for you. Their profitability will vary:

  1. SEO/link building
  2. Content marketing
  3. Technical SEO
  4. PR
  5. Google/Bing ads
  6. Facebook Ads
  7. LinkedIn ads
  8. Display advertising

The marketing channels primarily depend on where your audience is, what your product is, and what you want them to do once they come to your site.

One example is for a local business. If you are a Denver personal injury attorney, then you need to invest in both Adwords and SEO because of the first two scrolls on that search results, which are ads and a map:

Expand your audience

Once you understand who your audience is and how to acquire them, then you can expand your potential audience by going into new verticals (eg auto personal injury into construction personal injury) or opening up new offices. Or, you can double down and elongate your marketing funnel which will open up a whole new set of marketing options.

Point is, now you know how to acquire customers so now you can go and do more of it!