Local Marketing

11 small business marketing tips for your digital strategy

Try some of these ideas to get more out of your digital marketing efforts

Joshua SaxonFebruary 26, 202410 min read
Quick summary
  • Implementing just a few of these small business marketing tips can make a huge difference to your digital strategy.
  • Many digital marketing tips for small businesses require minimal investment but can take your business to the next level.
  • Semrush Local is the affordable way to launch a powerful local SEO strategy and start getting more customers fast.

Looking for some tried and true small business marketing tips that will actually make a difference to your bottom line? If your marketing has hit a plateau, some good digital marketing tips for small businesses could be all you need to start growing again.

Successful digital marketing doesn't always require a complete overhaul of your current strategy. Adopt the small business marketing tips that make sense for you, stay consistent, and check in with analytics to see what’s working.

1. Build client personas

An understanding of your target market is essential to a successful digital strategy, but too many small business owners overlook this aspect . If you don’t identify your customers’ needs, it’s hard to create marketing materials that resonate.

Create client personas based on interviews with real customers and data from your social media and website analytics. Use free tools like Semrush Persona to bring your profiles to life and make it easier to imagine your audiences.


A screengrab from Semrush Persona

Refer to your client personas whenever you write marketing copy so it’s clear exactly who you’re targeting. Once you truly understand your customer’s problems, you can better position your products and services as the solution.

2. Reinforce your brand

Your brand is far more than just a logo, it's your business’s personality and calling card. A well-developed brand helps consumers understand what you’re about, communicates your values and inspires a following.

Develop a consistent brand image across all your digital marketing–from your website to social media and search marketing. Consistency reinforces your brand's presence and makes it easy to recognise across various online platforms.


Semrush’s Listing Management tool ensuring consistency across platforms

Semrush’s Listing Management tool ensuring consistency across platforms

Choose a consistent color scheme and typography that aligns with your brand's tone and values. When writing copy for your brand, articulate your business's mission and values clearly. Explain what sets your business apart from the competition and why customers should choose your products or services. 

A memorable brand builds trust and loyalty among customers, so they become online ambassadors and help spread the word.

Brand consistency: Leave it to Listing Management by Semrush to check your business is consistent across all platforms.


3. Run a search ad campaign

Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising are powerful platforms to increase your small business's search visibility. You can drive targeted traffic to your website or profile and only pay for the results you get.


Google Ads for a lawyer in Dallas

Google Ads for a lawyer in Dallas

Before you launch, define your campaign objectives. Whether it's generating leads or sales, a clear goal guides your ad creation and optimization efforts. Implement geo-targeting in your ad campaign to specifically target users in your local area. This ensures that your ads display to the most relevant audience, improving the chances of converting local leads.

Identify relevant local keywords that potential customers might use to find your products or services online. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Semrush to discover keywords with high search volume and relevance to your business.

Try remarketing campaigns to target users who have previously visited your website. This re-engages interested customers who already know about your business and are more likely to convert.

4. Leverage local SEO

Improving your local search visibility is one of the most effective digital marketing tips for small businesses.

If you haven’t claimed your Google Business Profile (GBP), start there, because it’s the most important online listing for your small business. Optimize your GBP with photos and posts, as well as uploading products and services with detailed descriptions and links.

A Google Business Profile for a hair salon

A Google Business Profile for a hair salon

Next, run a free audit of your business listings so you can quickly gauge the status of your online presence. Once you’ve got a list of opportunities for building out your business listings, start working through the top directories. A listing management tool will help you do a good job of this much faster than manually creating profiles one by one. It also monitors them for you, so you never have to worry about wrong phone numbers or duplicate profiles.

Use local keywords on your business website when creating content to help customers find you when searching locally. On top of your main website and landing pages, optimize your content marketing for local keywords too. This could include blog posts that discuss local points of interest and collaborations with other businesses in the area.

Ensure your website is user friendly and mobile responsive. Most customers do local searches on their mobile devices, so having an easy-to-navigate website is crucial. Include clear contact information, product/service details, and compelling calls-to-action.

Rankings boost: Take control of your local SEO with Semrush Local—expertly designed to get your business more visibility.


5. Build a community on social media

With the right digital marketing strategy, social media can be a powerful tool to grow your small business. Choose social media platforms that align with your target audience. A high-energy, youthful brand might do better with a TikTok strategy than LinkedIn, for example. But sometimes, unlikely businesses can have success on platforms you might assume aren’t a good fit.


A TikTok post for a senior living community

A TikTok post for a senior living community

Regularly post engaging content to stay top of mind and use geo-targeted advertising to reach a broader audience. Respond to comments and interact with your customers in the comments, especially when they share their experiences or reviews.

Community hub: Getting back to your Facebook reviews has never been easier with Semrush’s Review Management tool.

6. Offer promotions and discounts

Everyone loves a good deal, so an enticing promotion could help both attract new customers and retain existing ones. For example, you might leverage hyperlocal marketing to specifically target people within walking distance with an enticing offer. Create a sense of urgency with flash sales or limited-time offers to drive more sales in a short period.

A restaurant deal promoted on social media

A restaurant deal promoted on social media

Loyalty programs are also an effective marketing plan to encourage repeat business. While large retailers can run expensive reward points systems, a simple card with space to stamp each purchase is also effective.

Encourage existing customers to refer friends and family by offering referral discounts. This not only expands your customer base but also builds a sense of community around your brand.

7. Collaborate with other small businesses

Collaborations are a win-win situation for both businesses involved. Teaming up with complementary companies in your community broadens your reach and introduces your business to new audiences.

Local partnerships work well offline, but it’s also a great digital marketing tip for small businesses. Run joint giveaways online, share each other's content, or do Instagram takeovers. Working with other local businesses is also a great way to boost inbound links. Building local links helps with search rankings and sends direct traffic from relevant websites.

8. Solicit customer feedback online

Customer feedback is a valuable way to learn more about what’s going right with your business, as well as what you can improve. Surveys and social media polls are useful to gather insights and encourage engagement from your customer base. But business listing reviews also send signals to search engines for the added benefit of improved local rankings.

Start by soliciting customer reviews on Google Business Profile, before improving your star ratings on other platforms. If it becomes too difficult to manage, local SEO marketing tools can help streamline reviews and provide valuable insights.


Customer reviews on Google

Customer reviews on Google

Relaxed review management: Reply to customers and monitor reviews across multiple platforms with Semrush’s Review Management.

9. Try email marketing

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to stay connected with your audience and drive sales. Send out regular email marketing campaigns with updates, promotions, or valuable content to your existing customers.


A mockup of an email newsletter in Mailchimp

A mockup of an email newsletter in Mailchimp

Build and maintain an email list of interested customers by offering discounts or free samples to people who sign up. As more people subscribe, segment your lists so you can tailor your campaigns to individual preferences. This should enhance customer engagement and increase the likelihood of conversions.

10. Host an online event

Hosting an online event can be a dynamic and engaging way to connect small business owners with their audience. They work well to promote brand loyalty and foster community interaction. Consider your audience and objectives when selecting the type of event you want to run. Options include webinars, virtual workshops, product launches, Q&A sessions, or even online networking events.

Choose a reliable and user-friendly platform for your event like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or a dedicated webinar platform. Ensure it can accommodate your expected audience size and that it offers interactive features. Online events can leave lasting impressions and build consumer confidence to move on to the next stage in the marketing funnel.

11. Hire a local influencer

Influencer marketing can be a powerful strategy to enhance your brand's visibility and credibility within your community. Research and identify local influencers whose audience aligns with your target demographic—ideally, influencers whose values and content resonate with your brand.

A local influencer reviewing a milkshake

A local influencer reviewing a milkshake

Clearly outline your objectives for the influencer collaboration. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your store, or promote a specific product? Having well-defined goals will guide your influencer campaign to success. Discuss collaboration terms, including compensation, content creation, and posting schedule. Ensure both parties are clear on expectations and any small print in the agreement.

That said, you should allow influencers creative freedom within the agreed-upon guidelines. Influencers know their audience best, so giving them some creative space can lead to more authentic and engaging content.

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Enhance your small business’s visibility with Semrush Local

By implementing these small business marketing tips, you can elevate your visibility and connect with your target audience effectively. Now it's time to amplify your efforts with Semrush Local and take your small business (and your local rankings) to new heights.

Track your local rankings

Before you try any of the small business marketing tips on our list, take stock of your local SEO analytics. Semrush Local’s Map Rank Tracker (available to premium subscribers and as a standalone) provides in-depth insights into your local SEO performance, so you can tell if your strategy is paying off. The advanced tool helps you monitor up to 100 local keywords and identifies areas for improvement to enhance your online presence.
Semrush’s Map Rank Tracker tool

Distribute local listings fast

Publishing business listings manually can be a drain on resources for a lot of small businesses. To save time (and costly mistakes), manage your citation building effortlessly with Semrush’s Listing Management. It sends your business information to +150 directories and gets you listed quickly. Semrush Listing Management ensures accuracy across multiple online directories, allows you to update your business information seamlessly, and helps you optimize your local listings for better search engine visibility.
Correct local listings in Semrush’s Listing Management

Manage reviews the easy way

Once you start seeing results from these small business marketing tips, it’s likely that an influx of reviews will soon follow. Monitor and manage your new and improved online reputation effortlessly with Semrush’s Review Management. Keep track of online reviews and respond promptly to Google Business Profile reviews with the help of the tool’s handy AI writing assistant.
The review reply interface in Semrush’s Review Management

Keep an eye on competitors

To get to the top of the local rankings, your strategy needs to be superior to those of your competitors. Stay ahead of the competition with Review Management's competitor analytics tools. Understand how similar businesses are performing in local search and set goals to help you outrank them.
A competitor data chart by Semrush’s Review Management
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