Marketing tools for small businesses are essential to spread awareness and promote products.
The primary objective is to pick the tools that enable you to reach out to maximum people using affordable techniques. Even a small business reserves a large portion of their budget for marketing but what’s important is knowing how to spend it the right way.
Choosing the right marketing tools will help you in the short and long-run. Marketing tools for small businesses will help you develop, design, promote, and create awareness about your products. This will eventually boost your sales and profits.
We have selected 67 marketing tools for small businesses that you must be aware of when starting your business. These tools are categorized into 5 areas – traditional marketing, creative marketing, digital marketing, SEO marketing, and community building.
We have compiled a list of tools, techniques, applications, and websites that you can use to promote and develop your position in the market. We have also included the applications you will need to manage your marketing.
Traditional Marketing Tools
Living in the digital age, it is truly a surprise that traditional marketing methods are still relevant and are often more effective than digital marketing.
1. Broadcast Marketing
Television and radio are the oldest and most common tools for marketing. The advertisements have a strong and long-lasting impact on the audience. For small businesses, you can rely on local TV channels and radio stations for cheaper Ads.
Newspapers are a good way of mass-marketing. They have a longer time span than broadcast. Research also reveals that information through print ads tends to impact the audience more and they are 40% more likely to buy the product.
To give your small business an initial boost, it’s always a good idea to place an Ad in a local newspaper.
Magazines are another tool in print media marketing. It is used as a niche-marketing strategy to reach the target audience. This is the best way to reach your audience if you have a niche product.
Billboards are one of the marketing tools for small businesses that leverage the power of pictures. Many small businesses use this tool to spread awareness about their businesses. You can see billboards everywhere – from highways to train stations.
Signage can be a tool for both traditional and modern-day marketing. From being simple signboards on shops, pillars, posts, or cars, they have now evolved to be more about graphics, LED screens, and digital photos. These can be seen on taxis, in buildings, at malls, and many other places.
6. Direct Mail/Email Marketing
The advanced version of direct mails is email marketing. It has enhanced into the digital platform but both have had the same impact.
Email marketing is definitely easier and faster than direct mails. These marketing tools have the potential to reach your target audience through personalized messages.
It is more influential for your small business as you address the customers directly with nominal or no charges.
Yes, telemarketing is still a thing. It is a source of effective communication, which is a strong marketing tool for small businesses. It is easier for small businesses to reach their target members with calls.
Telemarketing is also cheaper and can have a great impact on sales.
8. Flyers and Brochures
For small businesses, a few hand-outs can go a long way. This is a cheap method but it has a greater impact as it allows a real-time connection with your audience.
9. Door to Door Marketing
In the case of small businesses, door to door marketing can be vital. You can distribute pamphlets or spread awareness through a face-to-face communication method. This elicits emotional responses and the audience is more likely to absorb the message as compared to images or written words.
10. In-Store Marketing
Small businesses need in-store marketing techniques in order to enrich customers’ experiences while shopping. This can be through attractive shop layouts and designs, bright colors, or interactive services that bring the customers to the shop. In-store marketing also includes store promotion such as instant discount coupons, lucky draws, or live demos.
A part of in-store marketing is through salespersons. Nothing works better than direct face-to-face communication. It has been an effective marketing tool for small businesses for decades.
Having the right salespersons with effective communication skills can boost sales on the spot. Salespersons can be found in malls, stores, cafes, or even on streets outside shops.
12. Product Catalogs
Small businesses that have product catalogs can engage customers more effectively.
Product catalogs have pictures and descriptions of products. Customers find it easier to go through them and pick what they like and then they either order it or buy it then and there.
13. Celebrity Endorsements
It is definitely the most impactful yet most expensive marketing tool. Small businesses can use local celebrities or public figures to endorse their products and promote their businesses.
14. Referrals / Word of Mouth
Word of mouth plays a vital role in marketing, especially for small businesses. This refers to customers spreading awareness about the product and promoting it through word of mouth.
Referral marketing is usually done by those who have used the product. It also helps create customer loyalty. You cannot plan it but you can request your satisfied customers to refer others in the circle.
15. Customer Reviews / Testimonials
This marketing tool is also based on customers who have used the products and are satisfied with them. You can record their reviews and testimonials through various methods (which will also be discussed in other sections).
Positive reviews can prove to be an advantage as customers believe what their fellow stakeholders have to say.
16. Make a Website
No matter how small your set up is, make a website. In the pre-digital age, websites were considered an advantage for small businesses but today it is a necessity.
A website will work as an effective marketing tool even if it’s not active. Moreover, it gives a sign of the business’ legitimacy in the public eye.
There are certain tools that allow you to design your website quite easily. Wix, for instance, offers a very convenient and simple way of developing a website using templates. You can modify the available template as per your requirements and go live without any hassle.
17. Incentives to Customers
Everyone loves discounts! Use incentives for your customers to promote your small business. It can be a discount, a chance to enter the lucky draw or a buy-one-get-one-free scheme. You can find creative ways to use this marketing tool depending on the product you are dealing with.
18. Association with Other Businesses
Small businesses often need a backbone to rely on. In its initial stages, you can associate with other businesses that are not in the same industry or the same level. This will allow your business to be recognized and you can start building a client base.
19. Competitive Pricing
Recognize your competitors and come up with a pricing strategy that will overtake theirs. As a small business, you need to attract customers by being better than the others. There are many small businesses out there such as grocery stores or gift shops and pricing is the major marketing tool for any product. So make sure you use it to stand out from the crowd.
20. Easy Payment Options
Being easy and flexible in your business will always work like a charm with customers. Give your customers easy payment options such as cash, transfers, checks, and free home delivery options. This will serve as an advantage for you.
21. Credit Sales
This is also an easy payment option. Selling on credit makes your product easily accessible. This goes for small businesses operating in a certain locality. Selling on credit also helps build customer loyalty and long-term customers. An example could be your local grocery store that gives groceries on credit in the neighborhood.
Creative Marketing Tools For Small Businesses
Creative marketing is about using your creativity and unique sense of design and structure to outstand your products in the competitive market. Creativity gives businesses an edge over others. This could include different elements of marketing such as what the product would say, how it looks, how it is different, etc. It includes everything that makes the product more interesting and raises its demand.
Branding is a marketing tool used to distinguish your product from others. It can be a legal phenomenon as businesses can use unique designs and copyright them. It always serves as an advantage for small businesses as good branding creates a greater impact.
23. Product Placement
Whether it is about billboards, signage, in-store marketing or any other marketing technique, product placement plays a major role. What are the chances of customers noticing your product? It is all about how you place your products amongst the others.
24. Niche Products
Dealing in a niche market can prove to be a great marketing tool for small businesses. Selling unique products and having a target audience is more likely to boost your sales. You can use niche products as a marketing tool by highlighting those products in your campaigns while keeping others low-key. Small businesses often earn big profits with niche products.
25. Attractive Packaging
Another major marketing tool for small businesses that you can never ignore or underestimate is packaging. Admit it – you have bought a product at least once in your life only because you were attracted to its packaging. If you want to make a mark for your products, use distinctive packaging. You can go for cheaper options as well as expensive ones.
26. Good Graphics and Design
Creativity is all about using tools to the best of their abilities. With more graphical content available in the market today, you can be creative with how you want your product to be seen. Good graphics and designs are pleasing to the eye. They can include good TV ads, signboards, or online ads.
27. Use Music
Good music and sounds can leave a mark on customers. It is another marketing technique that small businesses use. The music can represent your brand and products in some way. This could be some local music for locally-made products or louder music for products that have bright color packaging. This can be psychologically appealing to customers.
28. Fashion and Trends
Following fashion and trends can be vital for your marketing strategy. Even if your business is small, associate the marketing tools with what’s in fashion and what’s trendy. This will give the message to your customers that you are up-to-date and your products are relevant.
Pexels is a free website for photos. You can stock photos for your business free of cost. A good collection of pictures on your social media and for your pamphlets will be an advantage. The best part is that it won’t cost you anything.
30. Adobe Creative Cloud
This is a marketing tool that allows you to create creative content for your product. Small businesses can use this website to find professional images that they can use with their content.
Adobe creative cloud helps you make your content engaging free of cost. This could be a good start if you are a beginner.
Stencil is another creative marketing tool that helps you work with professional images. You can customize your posts and add fonts, designs, and use different layouts.
Canva is another marketing tool for small business that you can use for content marketing. You can play with images and use visual effects in your posts. Canva is a helpful tool for beginners as it is affordable and easy to access.
Digital Marketing Tools For Small Businesses
The digital marketing age has opened many new possibilities for small business owners. Many of the digital marketing tools available such as social media networking are free of cost. Entrepreneurs can also solely depend on these digital marketing techniques to build a customer base for their business. You need to invest your time and effort to be able to convey your message and maintain your position in the highly competitive market of today.
33. Mobile Advertising
These are Ads that you can see on your smartphones and iPads. Mobile advertising has become the new thing as users can view them as they use their phones. It is the easiest way to reach people as everyone uses smartphones today. You can place your Ad on the application that has the most downloads.
34. Google Analytics / Trends
Google analytics and trends are website customization and analytics tools that can help you understand the reach of your audience. You can use a variety of tools to analyze your business data – and all for free. It makes you able to work around Google by telling you how you can build a strong internet presence for your business. From Ads to dashboards, you can bring your business on top of the internet world if you use this marketing tool effectively.
For your small business, Facebook can be a great marketing tool as it is free and reaches a mass audience. Facebook is a social network that gets a lot of traffic.
A strong presence on Facebook can go a long way for your business. Some of the methods to use Facebook are through direct response marketing and social posting.
It’s all about the power of words. Twitter is the new mode of communication that is free, interactive and has a great impact. Even though it has a limited number of characters in which you have to convey your message, many businesses use Twitter to interact directly with their customers.
Twitter allows you to build a community where you can promote your business and know what your potential customers are looking for. You can use taglines and catchy phrases to attract your audience.
Instagram is a picture sharing application. The reason why it can be a great marketing tool is that there are millions of users using it today and the chances of your message to reach a maximum number of people is much more than other mediums. These social networking applications are essential for marketing because of their popularity.
Skype allows you to communicate and collaborate with people and businesses anywhere anytime. It’s a cost-effective way to promote your business across the globe. It is a newer version of telemarketing and direct mail through which you can spread awareness about your product across geographical boundaries.
YouTube is another modern marketing tool that small business owners can use. The tool allows you to engage with your competitors, customers, and stakeholders through videos.
You can use YouTube by making a channel for your business and uploading videos about your product. You can also place Ads on YouTube before the most-watched videos. Ads on YouTube are an expensive marketing tool but worth it.
Yahoo has also been termed as one of the most important marketing tools today. Search engines can prove to be an essential marketing tool for small businesses. It is all about being able to bring your business and products on the top of the search results so that the audience clicks it first.
This marketing tool is the most efficient one to use for business to business integration. LinkedIn is a professional networking site where professionals from all over the world come together and build a community for their business.
You can create a free LinkedIn page for your business and take advantage of making business contacts – for free. This can be very useful as a marketing tool for small businesses as they need connections and bigger business names to associate with themselves.
When you are done signing up on all social networking sites, use Hootsuite to manage them. Hootsuite is the tool that will help you build a larger and more engaging audience.
It will help you reach out to your social audience, create a social mark, use target messages and marketing to impact customers, and boost social advertising to boost your business sales.
DrumUp is another powerful social media marketing and content marketing tool. It will assist you in discovering trending content and bring your data up to the mark where it will be noticeable. The app also features news tracking through which it remains updated with interesting events.
MailChimp is an all-in-one marketing tool for small businesses that helps you reach your goals faster. It works in all domains of social media, content, and digital marketing and tells you which forums, pages, groups, and tactics you have to use to work your way around your audience. It also helps you with branding, campaigns, and integrations.
HubSpot software works with internet marketing for small businesses. It allows you to bring more customers to your website and helps you run inbound marketing campaigns. By investing a little time in understanding the software, you can use it to the best of its abilities to build your business.
Cyfe is a marketing dashboard through which you can control your online presence all at once. It is a marketing tool that allows you to track your business in real-time. For small businesses, it is a handy tool with simple techniques and methods.
47. Yellow Pages Online
Yellow Pages have acted as a business directory for a long time. It is the new version of the directory that is for business listings.
You can use this marketing tool for small businesses to mark a place in your local area. You can get your listing at an inexpensive rate.
Intercom is a marketing tool for small businesses that aim to help you create personal connections with customers. It is a messaging platform through which you can promote your products and keep in touch with your customers at the same time.
Buffer is another social media management tool for small businesses. It helps you manage your social media posts by scheduling them for specified times and dates and analyze the optimization results. It helps you build your brand on social media.
Litmus is a digital marketing tool for small businesses that works on email development. Business marketers use this tool to preview and track all email campaigns that they use to reach out to their customers. The use of the application is easy on mobile and web, and it ensures the complete optimization of emails.
51. Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg is a tool that helps you boost your sales by allowing you to catch up with the demands of customers. It makes you analyze and learn about customers’ interests and what they are searching for. This, in turn, allows you to boost your sales by working in that direction.
Zapier is an unconventional digital marketing tool that helps to bring together all the applications that you are using to promote your business. It helps you link and connect the applications and work on them together. This helps in integrating the applications and automating tasks.
AHREFS is a commonly used online marketing tool that runs on big data. It helps organize and analyze data by preparing audits, URL rankings, backlink analyses, and many others. It works with quantitative data to optimize your SEO analysis.
Basecamp software is an online project management tool through which you can plan your marketing campaigns and branding. It helps you work on your web designing and collaborate effectively with clients.
SEO Marketing Tools For Small Businesses
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization through which businesses increase the quantity and quality of traffic that comes to their website. It ensures that Google recognizes your position and your content and ranks it higher. The higher the rank, the more chances there are to get organic traffic. SEO marketing tools are essential for small businesses if they want to boost their online sales. With a better rank and position, your products can be recognized and viewed more. The SEO marketing tools for small business work by enhancing their content strategies and using popular keywords.
WordPress is a blogging website that you can use to build your website on and help boost your SEO marketing. It has hundreds of marketing plug-ins that allow you to work with social networking websites and earn a higher rank on the internet search.
56. Personal Blog
Creating a personal blog will help you boost your internet presence. You can use essential keywords to optimize your content on the internet as well as spread the word through your social media accounts. It can help you reach out to your customers in a more personal way.
57. SEO-Friendly Product Details
When writing your product details on your website, remember to use the right keywords. This will bring up your product listings on the Google search page.
58. SEO-Friendly Product Titles
Product titles are equally essential as they identify the products. Use the keywords that are most-searched-for and add them to your website.
BuzzSumo is a tool for research and monitoring the internet world. You can use this to be aware of what your competitors are posting. Notifications on content that is posted on the topics related to your keywords by a competitor will be sent to you. You can also monitor and search for trends in social media content.
60. KW Finder
Keyword Finder is a tool used by SEO marketers to find the keywords most used for their topics. It will help you find out common keywords based on their clicks, their audience, their views, and many other factors. This way you will know which direction you have to take with your SEO content.
ClearVoice is a content marketing platform that allows small businesses to manage their clients and keep in touch with their customers. It helps in the creation and management of all your content.
Contently is another tool for marketers to be able to plan and manage their content on the internet. It allows you to engage with the audience.
Marketing is not possible without thinking about the community as a whole. If you want your small business to flourish, you need to gain the trust of the community and promote your products and services by reaching out to them. There are many ways in which you can do this.
63. Charity Events
Charity events are used as a marketing tool to reach out to the community and give back to it. You can organize or take part in these events to establish your social responsibility values. Working for the community plays a big role in getting identified and acknowledged.
64. Networking / Public Relations
Building your personal and professional network will play a major role in promoting your business. Small businesses use their personal networks to promote their products and establish a position. Without a good public relations technique, you cannot retain your people.
65. Conferences for Marketing
Conferences can be about anything. You can take part in them or organize them, inviting people from your personal and professional network. Conferences give a chance to professionals to come together and talk or discuss a certain area.
66. Sponsoring Events
Sponsoring events helps you mark a position in the community. You can affiliate your business with companies or events. Sponsorship helps you spread awareness about your products in the market and build a good reputation.
67. Google Drive
Lastly, Google Drive is your basic everyday tool for connecting with the world and taking part in community-building activities. It works with your photos, content, videos, and various other areas through which you can establish your position and get known.
Now that you know the best marketing tools for small businesses, make sure you employ the appropriate ones for your business to take it to the next level!