• 7 Small Business Marketing Strategies that Work (with Proof)

Many small businesses have marketing strategies in place that have worked for years but are finding that the success of these strategies is declining or that it’s not enough for them to rise past competitors. If you’re on the hunt for marketing strategies proven to work for small businesses, you can be sure that they will involve getting online. In this post we go over 7 marketing strategies that are effective for growing any business, backed by evidence we’ve gathered from our own customers’ success. We’ll also provide tips and additional resources for getting started with each strategy.


To get a more robust view of using these strategies, check out our 6 Sample Marketing Plans (free download).

7 Small Business Marketing Strategies that Work

7 Proven Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

We know that these strategies work not just because we use them, but also because our customers use them. We’ve seen countless businesses succeed through these strategies, but in order for you to get a grasp on that success, we’re going to present to you some data.  The below statistics that accompany each marketing strategy come from users of our Guided Marketing Platform. The metric we chose to indicate marketing success and compare channels is traffic to website per day. This is because a business website should be at the heart of any marketing system, as all campaigns ultimately lead potential customers here where they can convert into leads and eventually become customers.

Strategy #1: Go Digital

Getting your business online doesn’t mean you need to get into e-commerce or be tech savvy. There are many ways to give your physical business an online presence, and each online channel you use increases your chances of getting found by the right people.

Getting into a groove with online marketing may feel a bit overwhelming, but it’s well worth the time it takes to learn about and get set up on each channel. Digital marketing channels allow you to automate your processes and gain insights on what works—maximizing your efficiency in the long run.

One last element of digital marketing that makes it such an effective strategy is that your channels are active 24/7, bringing in leads to your business even while you sleep.

Please note that your digital marketing strategy should not replace your offline marketing efforts, such as print ads, direct mail, and events. Rather, it should supplement and work alongside those channels as a part of a greater marketing system.

Strategy #2: Blog

When blogging first came around, it was more of a live journal for individuals. Now, businesses use it today to express their brand voice, demonstrate their knowledge and expertise, and get found on search engines.

How well does blogging as a marketing strategy work? Well, for our customers, those who blog get 73% more website visitors per day than our customers who do not blog.

marketing strategies that work blog returns

For more resources on using blogging as an effective marketing strategy for your business, head here:

Strategy #3: Social Media

Social media is free to set up, easy to use, and allows you to be creative with different content and media types. Social media marketing allows you to build your reputation, foster relationships with potential and current customers, expand your reach, and increase your visibility online.

For our customers, those who post to social media get 56% more website visitors per day than those who do not.

marketing strategies that work social media

To start using social media to market your business, check out these helpful links:

Strategy #4: Email

Email has been around for a long time, and yet it remains one of the most effective marketing strategies businesses use today. With email you can promote your content, sales, and deals, as well as nurture leads to advance through your funnel. Among our customers, those who use email get 33% more website visitors per day than those who do not use email.

marketing strategies that work email

Are you looking to get started with email marketing for your business? Start with the following:

Strategy #5: Coaching

Getting a consultant or coach to help you with your marketing is a strategy that is well worth the investment. They can make suggestions to help you get started with the right marketing strategies for your business specifically. They can help you make sense of the data that comes from those strategies, so as to optimize your campaigns for success and increase the impact of each channel. Perhaps most importantly, they equip you to be able to market effectively on your own.

Here at ThriveHive, we offer coaching services to spare business owners the time wasted on trial and error. Our coaches have years of marketing experience and have helped countless businesses just like yours, so they are equipped to provide custom guidance.

Among our Guided Marketing Platform users, those who use coaching get 67% more website visitors per day than our GMP users who do not.

marketing strategies that work coaching

To get started with coaching through ThriveHive, check out our Coaching page.

Strategy #6: Combine

Blogging, email, social media, and coaching are all effective ways to grow your business, but if you really want to amplify your success, you need to combine these strategies. For example:

Blog + Email

  • Promote blog posts in your email newsletters
  • Have a call to action button on your blog for readers to subscribe and become a member of your email list
  • Combine blog posts into longer eBooks and guides that you send to a segmented email list to nurture leads, or that website visitors have to provide their email address in order to obtain
  • Insert an email contact form in your top performing blog posts

Blog + Social

  • Promote your blog posts on social media
  • Ask your social media followers what they want to know about and create blog posts around those questions.
  • Use insights from social media platforms to learn about what most interests your audience and cater your blog content accordingly.
  • Place sharing buttons on your blog posts for users to quickly share your content or excerpts from your content to their networks.

Need proof that combining marketing strategies works? Among our Guided Marketing Platform users:

  • Those who blog and send emails get 132% more website visitors per day,
  • Those who blog and post to social media get 171% more website visitors per day, and
  • Those who blog and receive coaching get 191% more website visitors per day than those who do not

191% more website visitors! yow!

marketing strategies that work combine strategies

 Social + Email

  • Use the content you post to social media as email material.
  • Feature fan posts in your email newsletters
  • Promote coupons and offers on social media, that followers can obtain in exchange for providing their email address.

Proof that combining social media with other marketing strategies works? Among our Guided Marketing Platform users,

•  Those who post to social and send emails get 111% more website visitors per day,
•  Those who post to social and use coaching get 165% more website visitors per day, and
•  Those who post to social and blog get 171% more website visitors per day than those who do not.


small business marketing strategies that work combining social

Strategy 7: Text Message (SMS) Marketing

What do people check as often (if not more often than) their email? Text, of course! Texting is simple and fast. You can almost think of SMS (short message service) marketing as a cross between email and Twitter marketing. So long as your recipients opt in to receive text messages from your business, this can be an effective way to stay top of mind with simple offers and special promotions.

Stats that support this?

  • SMS messages can be sent to any mobile phone device, coming to approximately 4.6 billion potential recipients globally
  • The open rate of text messages is 98 percent. Crazy!

For more information and examples on SMS marketing, check out this G2 Crowd blog post on SMS Marketing, which provided the stats above.

Online marketing is essential today for any business looking to grow. Blogging, email, and social media are the top strategies to start with. Once you get the hang of each individual channel, start looking at how you can cross-promote channels and repurpose your content. To get the most out of your marketing strategies, or for help getting started, consider consulting or coaching.


For help with forming a marketing plan for your business, download our free eBook below:

Kristen McCormick
Kristen McCormick
Kristen is the Content Marketing Manager for ThriveHive, where she geeks out daily over SEO, organic traffic, and A/B testing. When she's not equipping business owners and marketers to get their name out there through effective content, she's out pedaling the streets of Boston on her beloved bike.

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