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38 Small Businesses Marketing Strategies To Increase Sales and Leads

Everyone knows that in order for your business to succeed, you need to take advantage of all of the tools in your arsenal. That means utilizing all new marketing strategies that can help to set you apart from the competition and establish you as a leader in your field.

It’s not enough to do the bare minimum these days. In order to shine, you need to employ some creative and occasionally controversial tactics. There are plenty of ways that you can get your business out in front of your desired audience. These are just thirty-eight possibilities.

What is Account-based Marketing?

Sometimes referred to as “vertical marketing”, account-based marketing looks at a certain market, or vertical, and targets all of the accounts within that particular sector. The major advantage of account-based marketing is that you’re tailoring your marketing packages against one single sector. That means that the benefits and features for that particular sector will be the same for all of your materials, and you can really hone in on what they’re looking for.

What is Conversational Marketing?

Today, just about everyone is looking for that new unique experience that will show them that they are truly valued by different places of business. Conversational marketing accomplishes just that. As the name suggests, it operates much like a conversation. You set up an automated bot to walk your potential customers through a series of questions, and lead them to buy through gentle coaxing.

What is Controversial Marketing?

Controversial marketing grabs hold of a hot-button social or political issue and does not let go. This type of marketing focuses especially on making the consumer feel something. It is designed to evoke emotion and even start a dialog about a particular issue. It can also be used to signify allyship or to show that a company is current and with the times. The downside of controversial marketing is alienating your audience. Whenever you start to operate outside of the box or take a stand on something, you will upset people. On the plus side, you’ll likely get a bunch of new followers also.

What is Customer Marketing?

Customer marketing is the ultimate way to really take care of your base. Many times we are totally focused on promoting a product or service to a new group of customers, and we neglect what’s right in front of us; our existing customer base. This type of marketing seeks to understand the base better, and market products and solutions that are tailored to what they need and want.

What is Email Marketing?

In its simplest form, email marketing is a system of communicating to desired customers or existing customers through email. In practice, it’s actually a whole lot more complicated. You need to write emails that will entice your customers to want to learn more, and formulaic emails will be tossed in the trash, or worse, flagged as spam. If you want to avoid being a pest, it’s best to start your email marketing campaign off with a specific goal in mind and work towards that goal as you refine your campaign.

View our Email Marketing Benchmarks

What is Event Marketing?

Event marketing is a different kind of animal because it requires you to actually have a physical promotion to entice people to buy your product. These promotions can take on any number of different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common; they are vehicles to get your products or services noticed and exposed to a brand new audience. Planning a successful event is no easy task, but if your company has an event planner that knows what they’re doing, this could be a powerful way for you to get your message out there.

View our Event Marketing Guide

What is Experiential Marketing?

Similar to event marketing, experiential marketing creates a certain experience for your audience to let them know what kind of product or service you’re selling. This sort of marketing tends to be a little bit unconventional, sometimes straying into territory where the marketer will try to pull off stunts or stage presentations in unlikely places. The goal here is to be totally memorable, unique and fun!

View our Experiential Marketing Guide

What is Field Marketing?

In order to really understand your audience, you need to go to speak with them on their terms. You go to the places where your customers or desired customer base tend to gather, and you do demos or giveaways for them. This way, you’re interacting with your customers on their home turf, and you get to see how they are in real life.

What is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing is designed to make a huge impact on the customer. It deals with using unconventional techniques to get the message across. Guerilla marketers will try to promote viral videos, use street art, or conduct brazen public stunts in order to get people talking. This type of marketing is especially effective if you’re doing a product launch, or if your product or service is avant-garde.

View our Guerrilla Marketing Guide

What is Acquisition Marketing?

Acquisition marketing is solely focused on getting new customers, rather than maintaining your customer base. It is useful in times of rapid growth and can be a very good way to explore other types of audiences that you didn’t expect. It’s best to do this when you’re rolling out a new product or service that would appeal to a greater slice of the population.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a specific type of content creation whose objective it is to attract new customers through fresh content and outreach efforts.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a way to attract people to your product by having it promoted on social sites like Instagram. Influencers generally have thousands of followers who read their feeds at least once a day. By utilizing influencers, you’re effectively tapping into a whole new segment of the market that is weary from traditional advertising.

View our Influencer Marketing Guide

What is Informative Marketing?

If you want to be seen as a leader in your field, try informative marketing. This type of marketing focuses solely on getting important information out to the consumer. You will look far more authoritative and appear more trustworthy if you take advantage of this particular brand of marketing. It’s a smart strategy for those in the tech and legal fields.

What is Multicultural Marketing?

Multicultural marketing focuses on shared characteristics of a specific group, like ethnicity, and uses them as tools for marketing. Sometimes companies do this when they want to break into new markets or establish themselves as leaders in a particular sector. Occasionally, this technique can backfire and be seen as pandering.

View our Diversity & Multicultural Marketing Guide 

What is Native Marketing?

Native marketing is basically the idea of running advertisements that masquerade as editorial content. Essentially, the marketing mimics the overall look and feel of the publication and appropriately appeals to the end consumer. It’s a technique best used by glossy magazines and trade publications.

What is Neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing marries science and marketing together by applying the principles of neuroscience to better understand certain markets. By looking at what makes a desired demographic tick, marketers are better able to tailor campaigns and products to their audience. Neuromarketing is a new type of marketing strategy that only recently came into fashion.

What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing can be any number of different things, some of which we’ve already covered in this article, such as email marketing. It essentially refers to anytime that you reach out to your audience and engage them to try to get them to be more interested in your product or service.

What is Partner Marketing?

If you do partner marketing properly, you’ll reach a whole different audience and gain a useful ally in the industry. Essentially, partner marketing is when two different companies pair up so that they can increase their audience. This only works when you’re dealing with complimentary companies rather than actual rivals.

What is Personalized Marketing?

If you’ve ever received an email from a company with your name on it, tailored specifically to your personal preferences, you’ve been hit with personalized marketing. This strategy tends to look at each consumer as an individual entity, as opposed to part of a larger demographic. It’s very much in line to give consumers the white glove treatment.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a little bit like partner marketing, and a little bit like PPC. Essentially two organizations team up and one decides to pay the other for click-throughs on their website. For example, a popular travel blog might team up with an airline so that whenever customers visited the airline from the blog, the blogger got a percentage. In this particular example, the airline would benefit because of the increased audience.

What is Persuasive Marketing?

You really have to have your benefits in order to do persuasive marketing well! That’s because this type of marketing hinges on your ability to differentiate your product in a crowded marketplace. Generally, persuasive marketing focuses on the one or two things that will make your product or service unique, and therefore more desirable to consumers.

What is Product Marketing?

Product marketing is specifically done when you want to present a product to people in general. Product launches are generally part of this type of marketing, and event marketing can be used also. Depending on the product or service, you could also use guerilla marketing techniques effectively here.

What is Proximity Marketing?

Proximity marketing deals with targeting a certain geographical place and marketing within it. This is excellent for service-oriented businesses, like fast food or even spa services. Many times people won’t want to travel far to get a pizza or have their nails done, so proximity marketing is the smart solution for companies like that.

View our Proximity Marketing Guide

What is Relationship Marketing?

Relationship marketing is often used as more of a “soft-sell” technique because it focuses heavily on customer loyalty and retention as opposed to making the sale. Relationship marketing is good for companies that value longer-term contracts.

What is Search Engine Marketing (PPC)?

PPC, or “pay per click” is a type of search engine marketing when you pay to rent space at the top of Google’s directory. Companies that do this will benefit from being on the top of search engine results but must pay each time someone clicks on their ad. The cost differs depending on the popularity of the keyword.

What is SEO Marketing?

SEO marketing is a good way to get your business to the top of the search engine results, but it often takes far longer than PPC, and you need to put in a lot of work developing excellent content and working on your website backlinks. Also referred to as “organic SEO”, once you get to the top of the page you won’t need to pay to be there.

Depending on your goals there are two types of SEO marketing; Local SEO, which is for smaller businesses targeting a local geographic area; and enterprise SEO, for larger brands.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is an effective way to reach your target audience through certain channels. Each popular platform has a specific type of audience and style. By marketing your product on social media, you’re covering all of your bases.

What is Stealth Marketing?

Stealth marketing is when you see a product or service advertised in a movie. It’s also known as “product placement” and can be very effective under the right circumstances.

What is User-generated Marketing?

Have you ever seen a contest on Facebook that encouraged people to submit photos of themselves with a certain product? That’s user-generated marketing. It’s not easy to entice your customers to create marketing material for you, but do it right and you’ll certainly reap the benefits!

What is Video Marketing?

Video marketing simply uses a different platform to convey a message about your product or service. It’s a good way to spice things up, especially on your social media feeds.

View our Video Marketing Guide

What is Voice Marketing?

Voice marketing uses bots to communicate with potential customers and deal with situations before they become dire. It is a popular method of marketing.

What is Brand Marketing?

Brand marketing is how you communicate the message of your core values or brand. It’s often integral to establishing customer loyalty and setting yourself apart.

What is Word of Mouth Marketing?

Word of mouth marketing has often been prized as the Holy Grail of marketing, and there’s a good reason why. We are more inclined to trust our neighbors and friends than traditional advertisements.

View our WOM Marketing Guide

What is Buzz Marketing?

Buzz marketing piggybacks on word of mouth marketing by highlighting the specific unique features of a product to generate excitement or buzz.

What is Campus Marketing?

As the name suggests, campus marketing is when you go to a public space, like campus, and learn about your demographics while doing giveaways and promos.

View our Campus Marketing Guide

What is Cause Marketing?

Cause marketing is when a company or organization promotes the cause that they’re affiliated with and promotes it in advertising. Often, this causes a halo effect for the company.

View our Guide To Cause Marketing

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is when you create valuable, engaging and exciting content to promote your brand and increase your Google rank.

View our Content Marketing Guide

What is Contextual Marketing?

Contextual marketing looks at trends and markets to desirable demographics based on their browsing history. The only downside is that this can come across as intrusive and sometimes creepy by consumers.