Online Marketing Strategies for a Small Business Owner

In the last few years, online marketing has taken over traditional methods of marketing. Businesses of all sizes are realizing the power of digital marketing, and the benefits it brings.

In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 93% of small businesses are using digital marketing techniques to promote their products or services. This is compared to 66% of medium-sized businesses and 47% of large businesses.

What makes digital marketing so appealing is its ability to target the right audience. You can put your message in front of the people most likely to be interested in it. And you don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to one platform – you can use various channels to gain maximum reach across multiple platforms.

Why Should You Use Online Marketing?

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re interested in starting a business or you’re already running one and want to know how to grow it. But just because you’re interested in online marketing, it doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to just one strategy. To help you choose the right approach, let’s take a quick look at the advantages of each type of marketing.

Traditional Offline Marketing

Traditional offline marketing, which includes things like radio ads, billboards, and magazine spreads, can be very effective when used properly. But a lot of small businesses ignore these methods because they feel that they aren’t as effective as online marketing. While this might be true for some businesses, it certainly isn’t for all of them. With the right budget and strategy, traditional offline marketing can be just as effective as online marketing. For example, direct mail is widely considered to be one of the most effective forms of offline marketing. A study from the United States Postal Service found that direct mail is more effective than online or social media marketing in terms of brand recall and motivation to purchase. (You can read a more detailed version of this study here.)

But the most important point to make is that you shouldn’t choose one strategy over the other. Try out different marketing techniques and find the ones that work best for your business. If you have a limited budget, you might have to choose between direct mail and radio ads, for example. Or you could try out an email marketing campaign followed by some radio ads. We recommend that you try different forms of marketing until you find what works best for you and your business.


One of the main reasons why so many businesses turn to online marketing is because of its cost-effectiveness. The investments in digital marketing are relatively low and can be scaled up or down as needed. You don’t necessarily need to have a huge marketing budget to do effective digital marketing – you can get started for a small fee per month with tools like Google AdWords. And you can use free tools like Hootsuite or Twitter to gain free viral marketing on social media.

What’s more, because digital marketing allows for near-instantaneous results, you can track the effectiveness of your campaigns almost immediately. This means you can cut down on wasted marketing dollars – either by stopping the campaign if it’s not working or shifting resources to other areas of growth if it is.

Targeted Audience

Another massive advantage of digital marketing is its targeted audience. With a few keystrokes, you can have your message in front of the people most likely to be interested in it. This is why digital marketing is so appealing – you can target the right audience and reach out to them directly with your message. (This is also why most businesses use digital marketing instead of other forms of marketing – because it allows for more precise targeting.)

For example, if you sell clothes and you want to target people who like a vintage feel, you can use digital marketing to specifically seek out those individuals. Or if you offer childcare services and you want to target parents, you can use digital marketing to seek them out directly.

The point is that with digital marketing, you can have your cake and eat it too. You can target the right audience with your message and make a profit from it. If you want to use traditional offline marketing to gain more traction, however, you might have to settle for more of a general audience and hope that they remember your product or service.

More Engagement

Thanks to the rise of social media, marketers now have the ability to engage with customers on a more personal level. With a few clicks of a button, businesses can have a real-time conversation with potential customers on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. (In fact, 92% of businesses use social media to engage with customers – this includes things like blogging, podcasting, and vlogging.)

This personal engagement is exactly what makes social media so powerful – it gives businesses the opportunity to learn more about their customers and to find out what they want and need. Essentially, marketing through social media means you’re not just advertising your product or service – you’re also engaging with your audience and showing them that you understand their concerns and are here to help them.

However, not all businesses are able to benefit from social media. For example, if you’re a one-woman show trying to run a blog with no budget, it might not be the best choice for you. But if you have a moderate to large Twitter following and you want to use social media to promote your books, you can do so with relative ease.

More Conversion

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 62% of small businesses are more likely to make a purchase from a company they followed on social media than from one they learned about through traditional marketing. (The same goes for 33% of medium businesses and 18% of large businesses.)

This shows that using social media to market your business can be more effective in terms of generating leads than traditional marketing. Why? Because social media allows for more interaction and engagement with potential customers, which in turn, can lead to more conversions.

The bottom line is this: while certain types of marketing might not be effective for all businesses, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to marketing. Instead, you need to figure out which types of marketing work best for your business and then use that to inform your strategy.

You can choose to use various platforms like Google AdWords to gain instant reach across various channels or you can use a mix of methods to reach your audience. Whatever your strategy, make sure that you keep your audience in mind at all times – you want to have a conversation with them, not just sell them something.