Supercharge Your Small Business Marketing Strategy

Supercharge your small business marketing strategy

3 Steps for Small Business to Establishing a Core Marketing Message

As we’re over a third of the way through the new year, now’s the perfect time to revisit and revamp your marketing plan. Do you have the right strategy in place to get those fantastic results you’re aiming for?

While the big brands have their concerted coordinated plans, many smaller businesses are still winging it, hopping from one social media trend to another in hopes of maximizing reach and brand awareness.

Sure, a spontaneous approach might work sometimes, and following various online advice can have its perks. But before diving into all that, you need to define your marketing goals and establish the core of your communication strategy.

This ensures that everything you post, whether online or offline, aligns with your central mission. How do you do that? Let’s dive into these three crucial steps.

small business marketing strategy

1. Define Your “Why”

Alright, this might sound a bit academic or even cliché, but bear with me. Understanding why your brand exists, the purpose it serves, and how it enhances your customers’ lives is crucial.

Once you nail this down, you can shape your content strategy around this core goal. This ensures that everything you post serves a purpose, rather than just sharing random memes or quotes hoping to snag a few customers.

A focused strategy means every update you share becomes a building block in your brand’s foundation, continually connecting with people aligned with your mission. And these are your ideal customers, the ones who will keep coming back.

Here’s a method to break down your brand purpose and build a strategy around it, inspired by Harvard researchers James Collins and Jerry Porras. They created an exercise called “The Five Whys.”

How It Works:

  • Start with a simple statement about your business, like “We make X products” or “We provide X services.”
  • Ask, “Why is that important?” Answer this yourself or involve your team for more perspectives.
  • For example, if you run a hairdressing business: Start with “We provide hairstyling services.” Why is that important? “Because people feel good about themselves when they look their best.”
  • Dig deeper by asking “Why is that important?” for each answer. Continue this process five times.
  • So taking our hairdressing example and the first answer: “Because people feel good about themselves when they look their best.” Why is that important? “Because self-confidence helps people feel free to be their best.” Why is that important? “Because when you’re at your best, you can achieve your goals.” Why is that important? “Because people want to get the most out of life.” Why is that important? “Because happiness and fulfillment are everybody’s ultimate aim.”
  • By the fifth “Why,” you uncover the true essence of your business.

For the hairdressing example, you might end up with: “We empower self-confidence and happiness in our clients.” This goes beyond just cutting hair; it’s about boosting self-confidence and happiness.

Based on this insight, you can then establish a mission statement: “We empower self-confidence and happiness in our clients.”
With this clear purpose, your marketing efforts can now focus on helping clients feel better about themselves, making your message much more compelling.

Building your brand strategy around this deep understanding creates a solid foundation. You’re not just selling a product or service; you’re delivering a profound, emotionally resonant benefit that your customers truly value. When you connect with customers on this level, they’re more likely to remain loyal and become advocates for your brand.

small business marketing strategy

2. Simplify Your Message into as Few Words as Possible

Now that you have your internal focus, let’s create a simple, powerful tagline for your communications. Remember, it’s about what your audience wants, not just what you think.

Take Nike, for instance. Internally, based on the five whys methodology they focus on “experiencing the emotion of competition, winning, and crushing competitors.”

But externally, their tagline is the iconic “Just do it.” See the alignment?

Using our hairdressing example, our purpose-driven focus brought us to: “We empower self-confidence and happiness in our clients”.

We can now refine this on the key elements to make it more resonant with clients to become: “Helping you find the best version of yourself.”
This message can now be the cornerstone of all your external communications, from social posts to video clips. Repeating this message builds your brand identity.

Simplicity is key here. The more you can distil your message into a few powerful words, the easier it will be for your audience to understand and remember. This simplicity should permeate all your branding efforts, from your website to your business cards to your social media profiles.

Your tagline should evoke emotion, inspire action, and resonate with the target audience.

When people see your message, they should instantly understand what your brand stands for and how it can benefit them.

Supercharge your small business marketing strategy

3. Update Your Social Profiles

With your external message ready, it’s time to update your social profiles. Make sure this message is communicated clearly to all your staff, whether they are in marketing or not.

Embedding this core messaging into every part of your business helps establish a strong branding connection with your clients, aligning with their needs and desires.

Updating your social profiles might seem like a minor task, but it’s crucial for ensuring consistency in your branding. Your profiles are often the first point of contact for potential customers, so they need to clearly reflect your core message.

Ensure your bio, profile picture, and cover photo all align with your branding. Use your tagline prominently and consistently across all platforms. Every post, tweet, and update should reinforce your message and contribute to building your brand identity.

It’s also essential to ensure that your messaging is not just about words. Visual elements, including logos, colours, and imagery, should all support and enhance your core message.

Consistency in visual branding helps reinforce your message and makes your brand more recognizable.

You can wing it and come up with creative ideas based on the latest trends, but that’s not how you build a lasting brand. As Collins and Porras highlight:

“Companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and a core purpose that remains fixed while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world.”

Understanding your true business “why” is essential for building a solid marketing foundation from which all your messages will flourish. Purpose, commitment, and consistency drive ongoing brand performance.

Purpose-driven marketing not only helps in customer retention but also in attracting new customers who resonate with your brand values. In today’s competitive market, having a strong, clear, and consistent message is more important than ever.

By taking these steps, you’re not just setting up a marketing strategy; you’re building a brand that stands for something meaningful and lasting. This approach creates loyal customers who believe in your mission and are excited to support your business.

FAQ: Supercharge your small business marketing strategy


What is the marketing strategy for small businesses?

A marketing strategy for small businesses involves identifying target audiences, setting clear goals, and creating a plan to reach those audiences effectively. It includes understanding customer needs, developing a unique selling proposition (USP), and leveraging various marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, and content marketing. The strategy should be flexible to adapt to market changes and focus on building strong customer relationships.

How can I market my business with little money?

Marketing your business with little money involves leveraging low-cost and free channels. Utilize social media platforms to engage with your audience, create valuable content, and build an email list for direct communication. Networking, collaborations, and local community involvement can also help increase visibility without significant expenses. Additionally, SEO optimization for your website can drive organic traffic.

How to boost sales for a small business?

To boost sales for a small business, focus on understanding your customers’ needs and providing exceptional value. Offer promotions or discounts to attract new customers and incentivize repeat business. Enhance your online presence through social media and content marketing, and utilize customer feedback to improve products or services. Building strong customer relationships and providing excellent service can also lead to increased referrals.

What is the most successful marketing tool for small business?

The most successful marketing tool for small businesses can vary, but social media platforms are often highly effective. They offer a cost-effective way to reach a broad audience, engage with customers, and build brand awareness. Email marketing is also a powerful tool, allowing for personalized communication and targeted campaigns. The success of a tool depends on how well it aligns with your business goals and target audience.

What are the 5 A’s of marketing strategy?

The 5 A’s of marketing strategy are Awareness, Appeal, Ask, Act, and Advocacy. Awareness involves making potential customers aware of your brand. Appeal is about making your product or service attractive. Ask refers to encouraging customers to seek more information. Act involves prompting the customer to make a purchase. Advocacy is about turning customers into brand advocates who recommend your business to others.

What are the 4 key business strategies?

The 4 key business strategies are Cost Leadership, Differentiation, Focus, and Innovation. Cost Leadership involves being the lowest-cost producer in the industry. Differentiation means offering unique products or services that stand out. Focus strategy targets a specific market niche. Innovation emphasizes creating new products, services, or processes to stay ahead of the competition.

What is zero cost marketing?

Zero cost marketing refers to promotional strategies that require minimal or no financial investment. This includes leveraging social media, creating valuable content, optimizing your website for SEO, and using word-of-mouth referrals. It also involves networking, public relations, and community engagement to enhance visibility and brand awareness without significant expenditure.

How do I advertise with no money?

To advertise with no money, utilize free marketing channels like social media platforms, where you can engage with your audience and share content. Start a blog to provide valuable information related to your industry. Participate in online communities and forums to increase visibility. Also, encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and refer others to your business.

Can you do marketing without spending money?

Yes, you can do marketing without spending money by leveraging free tools and platforms. Use social media to connect with your audience, create engaging content, and share it widely. Optimize your website for search engines to attract organic traffic. Networking, public speaking, and offering free workshops or webinars are also effective ways to market your business at no cost.

What is the most powerful tool in marketing?

The most powerful tool in marketing is arguably social media due to its broad reach and ability to engage directly with customers. It allows businesses to create communities, share content, and receive immediate feedback. The interactive nature of social media helps build strong relationships and fosters customer loyalty, making it a crucial tool for modern marketing strategies.

Which is the most successful marketing tactic?

The most successful marketing tactic is content marketing. By providing valuable, relevant, and consistent content, businesses can attract and retain a clearly defined audience. This approach not only helps in building trust and authority but also drives profitable customer actions. Content marketing, when done right, can significantly boost engagement and conversions.

What is the most powerful marketing?

The most powerful marketing is word-of-mouth marketing. Recommendations from trusted friends or family members hold significant influence over purchasing decisions. Encouraging satisfied customers to share their positive experiences and leveraging customer testimonials can create strong, organic growth. This type of marketing builds credibility and trust, which are essential for long-term success.

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