17 Innovative Marketing Ideas for Small Business

When small businesses think of marketing, they think of it as an enormous expense that their small home or online business cannot afford.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth as there are exciting possibilities for your business to grow when you deploy the right marketing ideas, and guess what? It does not have to be expensive.

Marketing Ideas Do not Have to Be Expensive!

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In this article, I will show that you don’t need loads of money to craft innovative marketing ideas for your small business.

With these strategies, you will execute innovative ideas that will also deliver results for your small business, and most of the marketing ideas and digital marketing strategies won’t cost you any money.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most thoughtful marketing tools because it allows you to talk to your clients; email marketing is key for establishing relationships with prospective customers, leads, current customers, and even customers you did business with in the past because it gives you the opportunity to engage with them, in their inbox.

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Email marketing is also considerably cheaper than other marketing ideas, and small businesses can take advantage of cheap or free platforms such as Mailchimp, or MailerLite.

Email Marketing, coupled with the proper messaging, email can become your most impactful marketing channels.

Video Marketing

Videos are easy to understand format that provides our eyes a rest from the plethora of textual information online. This would be why the world watches 1 billion hours of YouTube social video per day.

Videos are also easy to produce, share, and yet, they are informative and entertaining. As a small business, videos can give a huge return on investment (ROI) through many channels.

According to a Cisco report. Over 80% of all traffic will comprise video by 2021. (Cisco)

Create Content

Creating content that speaks to consumers is an innovative marketing idea for a small business with less money to spend on Ads and seeking a genuine connection with its audience. while paid advertising is designed to get something from the audience( converting the prospect into a customer).

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Content marketing is all about building value and giving something to the audience to build trust. Content marketing may be a long-term strategy that uses content to create a stronger relationship together with your audience, improve engagement and brand recall, or stickiness.

What small business owners got to realize is that 70% of consumers would rather study a corporation through a piece of writing over any advertisement.

Join a Professional Body

This often-overlooked marketing idea is important, perhaps because of the other pressing responsibilities a small business already has to juggle.

Professional organizations provide networking opportunities, offer exclusive access to valuable resources and information, support systems such as coaching and mentoring that members can leverage on for business growth. Small businesses can get to choose the one that is beneficial to me.

Leverage Social Media

Since your customers are on social media, so should you. Social media is an effective marketing tool every small business should use to grow their business. Using social media to grow your business helps you build brand awareness, increase your customer base, and connect with current customers.

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Small businesses are always looking to find ways to get the attention of their target audience, and social media marketing, when done right, is an exceptional way to get your business noticed by the audience online.

You can use social media innovatively by incorporating creative use of hashtags, photo contents, using Facebook, and Instagram stories to send more traffic to newsfeed posts.

Differentiate your Brand

The best way to brand yourself and represent what you stand for is through a variety of social media channels.

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If I see that you simply are on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and have a category on Skillshare or Udemy, and perhaps even a channel on YouTube, or a Podcast on iTunes, then I automatically know that you simply are serious about what you are doing, and are hooked into your business.

Create a Blog

A company blog crammed with useful posts for your industry and customer base is great for connecting with current customers and generating new ones.

For instance, my blog has helpful articles on business strategies and resources to learn more about business. Blogging is also a great way to share your knowledge of the category you play.

Use Customer Testimonials

Feature customer testimonials in your email campaigns when selling products to increase the likelihood that they click and purchase.

Don’t just wait for them to get to the product page and see them there.

Join in on Controversial Issues

Use your brand voice for good. This is a cheap marketing idea that is both powerful and effective. The world of small business has dramatically changed from what it was twenty years ago.

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Businesses can choose to be impactful regardless of their size or whether they are run from the home. Adding value to customers is much more important than selling.

Offering information for free has become an industry standard that is wholesome.

Google My Business

A Google My Business account helps boost your local SEO shows you to the people who search your company’s name. Without this, you could show up on page 3 or even worse, page 6.

It’s a free service, thereby making it an at-no-cost marketing tool for small businesses as well, a must-have. Google My Business accounts also help improve your local SEO.

This marketing tool makes you discoverable. The search is online, so even if you are a brick and mortar store, be digital as a small business.

Customer Appreciation/Loyalty Programs

Appreciating customers is a way of acknowledging their contribution to your growth and a way of personalizing their interactions with your brand.

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Ways a small business can appreciate its customers include handwritten thank-you note, remembering birthdays and anniversaries, a reward for referrals, offering refreshments when they visit your store or office, interacting with customers online, following online.

Create a Mascot

To create a mascot, decide if your mascot will be human, animal, or object-based. Also, creating the personality of the mascot and what it will do for your brand.

A brand mascot can help you create awareness about your brand, but if it does not execute the idea, it could do more harm than good.

When choosing a character, determine your objectives. Are you a personal brand or a company? What type of services do you offer? What industry are you playing in?

Find out more information about the distinct characters that you plan to use.


Linkedin is where you find many decision-makers relevant to your business.

It is a multifunctional marketing tool that allows you to showcase both yourself and your business from networking to fostering connections and establishing alliances to generating quality leads, blogging, and boosting your brand awareness and visibility for your brand.

Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is a professional platform designed to help you establish and nurture business relationships.

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According to Sprout Social, businesses marketing on LinkedIn generate 277% more leads on average than those engaged in Facebook marketing alone.

Create a Business Card That Stands Out

Even though everyone is going digital now, the good old business card is still relevant and is an important part of your marketing.

Business cards provide business people with a professional way to share their contact details quickly and easily, regardless of age. It is thoughtful in that it doesn’t assume everyone is going to find you online.

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To offer someone a business card is much easier and more professional than scribbling down your name and contact details or reciting your details aloud while they hurry to enter them in their phones correctly.

Beautifully designed business cards reflect your professionalism, helps create awareness for you and your business and show your preparedness how inclusive your business is because not everyone is on social media.

Also, have a top-notch online business card, and an up-to date email signature that tells others what you do.

Content Marketing

An effective content marketing strategy is perhaps the most sure-fire way to survive the stiff digital marketing competition every small business will face.

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Knowing where to focus marketing efforts will help you succeed as a small business, And content marketing is the way to go. One piece of content can get to all corners of the earth.

A blog post, for instance, distributed across social media, featured in your weekly email newsletter, or repurposed as an attention-grabbing infographic can deliver what months and months of paid advertising may not achieve.


Small online businesses may not have huge marketing budgets. In that case, it is best to focus your SEO efforts to deliver results for you.

You can spend a lot of money perfecting your SEO strategy and still not succeed, but there are ways to make small investments in this marketing strategy for your small business.

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A few things—like producing content that’s relevant, timely, and thorough to your visitors, making sure your headers are self-explanatory and readable, or simply optimizing your local listings—can help your small business get found on the web without you having to break the bank.

Coupon Deal Sites

Coupon deals are a way to promote your business by offering discounts, free shipping, or huge price reductions to customers to encourage them to buy or order the product you are selling. It’s also a way to reward loyalty.

To do this, create a planned program of continuous follow-up to your customer list.

Use new product catalogs, new product brochures, special sale flyers, invoice stuffers, preferred customer sales and discounts, customer loyalty appreciation events, more coupons


You can use all of the innovative ideas above to improve your marketing position and let your customers better get to know you. Most importantly, these techniques do not cost you, yet they will attract many good customers.

With these techniques, you may not see the results right away, but consistency is important. It will likely take several months before seeing the results, but they will certainly come.

The return on these advertising efforts is not linear but exponential – at first, you will not see any customers, but then to your surprise – compounding will start occurring, bringing more and more customers to your business.


Take Action!

Start Improving Your Business Today!

Need our help in vetting your business ideas and their implementation strategies?

About the Author

Eugen Spivak - Award-Winning Business Strategist and Business Coach - 150x150 px

Eugen Spivak is a multi-award-winning author, business strategist, and a business coach. Eugen is the founder of the Canadian Institute of International Business, an organization dedicated to bringing practical and hands-on business education for modern business leaders.

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