Marketing Know-how

A Roadmap to Small Business Marketing

small business marketing blog

Looking to get the word out about your small business? Then a marketing blog is a great place to start. However, marketing is a vast field with a wide range of topics and tactics. So, to help you navigate it and figure out where to get started or what to do next, I’ve put together this roadmap to small business marketing for you!

Whether you are entirely new to marketing or already well on your way, this roadmap lists all the steps involved in defining and implementing the best marketing for your small business – and the relevant posts on this blog to help you with that. You can go through the different steps one at a time or use it to check how and where you can improve your existing marketing.

This roadmap to small business marketing is divided into four main parts covering the essentials from strategy to delivery. If you’re curious to find out more about the implementation and lessons I’ve learned over the years, I’ve also added a category where I talk about my own experience. Have a look:

  1. Brand and Marketing Strategy
  2. Planning and Reporting
  3. Customer Experience
  4. Workflow and Processes
  5. Lessons learned

Step 1: Brand and Marketing Strategy

small-business-marketing-blog
Photo by Shutterwolf via Canva Pro

This part covers so many crucial areas to consider when it comes to your small business marketing. Your branding and your strategy have to be solid before you jump into action. And like your business, they will change over time, so make sure to keep an eye on these two and keep them up-to-date.

Honestly, these are the nuts and bolts of your small business marketing. It includes finding the best way to make you stand out from the competition and defining the type of client who will most benefit from your skillset and approach – and where you can best reach them.

This is where I start when working with a new client as well – finding out about the market they find themselves in, what their values and goals are and the benefits their customers experience by buying from them. It’s the solid foundation you need to build your small business marketing on.

Here are posts that help you with your brand and marketing strategy:

  1. How to find your Marketing Spark as a Small Business Owner
  2. Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses – Why you need one and how to define it!
  3. Small Business Brand: What Is It, Why Do I Need One & How Do I Get One?
  4. How to Choose the Right Marketing Channels for Your Small Business
  5. Why Your Staff Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Step 2: Planning and Reporting

Photo by sasirin pamai’s Images via Canva Pro

Once you’ve created a consistent brand that your ideal customer will love, and know how to best communicate the benefits of buying from or working with you, it’s time to get organised.

And that means getting on top of three things – your planning, budget and reporting. This is where you make sure that you market your business consistently without breaking the bank or overloading yourself and your team with too much work.

From getting prepared for quiet periods to finding out what works and what doesn’t, here are a few key posts to explore top get your marketing planning and reporting right:

  1. Your Small Business Marketing Plan: What is it, Why Do You Need it & How Do You Get One?
  2. The Small Business Guide to Marketing Planning and Budgeting
  3. How to Find Out If Your Marketing Is Working – Marketing Analytics for Small Businesses
  4. It’s Oh So Quiet… How to Boost Your Small Business in Quiet Times
  5. How to Market Your Small Business When You’re Busy

Step 3: Customer Experience

customer-experience
Photo by Monster Ztudio via Canva Pro

This is an area of small business marketing that can be a real game changer. Because focusing on your past and existing customers is just as important (if not more!) than reaching new people. And creating a high-quality experience before, during and after people bought from you is the best way to increase repeat business and referrals.

In this part, you look at your ideal customers more closely to find out about their customer journey and what problem you help them solve. This is a great way to ensure you target your clients at every stage of their journey, nurturing them until they are ready to buy from you, and making their experience as your customer so good they want to come back – and bring their friends.

Here’s how you can improve your customer experience:

  1. 7 Steps to Improve Your Customer Experience
  2. Customer Focus: Marketing Your Small Business Doesn’t Have to Be Annoying
  3. How to Improve Your Customer Journey to Win Repeat Business
  4. How to Create a Powerful Customer Flow that Gets People Clicking Through
  5. How to Reach Customers Sooner in their Journey to Grow Your Small Business
  6. Inclusive Marketing: How to Make Your Marketing More Accessible

Step 4: Workflow and Processes

small business marketing blog
Photo by Monster Ztudio via Canva Pro

So. You’ve got a unique brand and a solid strategy, your planning and reporting is all set up and you know how to treat your customers to a stellar experience. Now it’s time to make it all happen.

And to get from the planning stage to implementation, you need to have the right skills, workflows, processes and tools in place. This includes software or platforms to gather content ideas with your team, create and schedule social media posts and email newsletters as well as defining who is responsible for what and making sure that everybody gets briefed in time and knows what the deadline is.

It could even be that it’s time to look at hiring someone to help or arrange in-house training for your team. Whatever it may be, the time will come when you have to make decisions to help get everything flowing.

And these are some of the posts on my marketing blog that will help you with that:

  1. How to Save Time and Automate Your Workflows
  2. My Favourite Small Business and Marketing Tools
  3. Time-Saving Tips for Your Small Business Marketing
  4. The Best Online Learning Platforms for Small Business Owners
  5. Which Social Media Scheduling Tools Should I Use? A Breakdown of the Best

Step 5: Lessons learned

In my 20+ years working in marketing, I’ve built up a lot of experience. That’s why I decided to create a small business marketing blog in the first place! In addition to sharing my expertise in specific areas of marketing, it’s been great to have a platform to share some of my own thoughts and experiences. So I’ve decided to add my “lessons learned” to this roadmap to small business marketing.

From balancing working and life as a small business owner to the most successful ways I market my own business on- and offline, here are a few posts where I share the lessons I’ve learned along the way:

  1. 10 Things I’ve Learnt By Running My Own Small Business
  2. How I Found My Ideal Client and What I Learned Along the Way
  3. How I Balance Work and Life as a Small Business Owner
  4. 10 Things I’ve Learnt in 10 Years of Small Business Blogging
  5. 7 Successful Ways I Market My Small Business On- and Offline
  6. Create a Strong Brand – How I did it, and how you can do it too
  7. 7 Lessons I’ve Learned in Business Networking

KEEP READING

If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
How to Stop Feeling Stuck with your Marketing
7 Common Marketing Myths You Need to Stop Believing
What Exactly IS Marketing? OR: Marketing Strategy v Marketing Tactics
5 Small Business Marketing Truths You Need to Know About

Denise Strohsahl brand and marketing consultant for small businesses

Hello, I’m Denise from sandstonecastles, a brand & marketing consultancy based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I help small business owners like yourself to find the right marketing that’s in line with your brand and values.