Guide to Small Business Marketing [2023]

Many consumers are opting to support local businesses instead of “big-box” retailers. This “shop local” movement, has gained popularity in recent years for various of factors, including a desire to support the local economy, a preference for personalized service, and a belief in the environmental and cultural benefits of supporting local businesses.

Consider marketing to these social conscious audience who prefer to shop at small businesses, can cut your marketing cost significantly, and help build a loyal customer base.

Here are a few strategies that local business owners can consider as part of their marketing plans:

Emphasize your value

Customers will not automatically flock to you. With the increasing number of small business (33.2 million in 2022 according to OBERLO), it’s very competitive to stand out. You will need to constantly prove to your customers - why your business is worth patronizing?

Differentiate yourself by highlighting your unique value. And emphasize the value in every possible way.

Messaging, branding, services you provide, resources you are using, other brands that you support… are some common ways to highlight your value. It will help attract customers who are looking for a more personalized shopping experience, and set yourself apart to grab more attentions.

Partner with like-minded brands

Partner with other like-minded brands that share similar values will help you access to new resources and expertise, and reach a wider audience.

When 2 brands find the target audience overlap, magic happens.

Marketing is 10x more effective when partnering with like-minded brands. Collaboration usually creates more attractive and compelling stories that engage and excite your audience, and encourage them to come back for more.

Target the right audience

While anyone can be your buyer, target the right audience will get you much better return. Define clear demographic, and learn where your target audience congregates both online and offline. Use that information to determine where to send the right message at the right time.

It’s also important to test different marketing tactics and optimize your efforts based on the results. It will ultimately increase your chance of success.

Involve in the local community

Involving in local community offers opportunities to establish relationships, and build a loyal customer base.

Local business owners can emphasize their connection to the local community and the benefits that they bring to the area, such as supporting local groups, hosting community events, and providing jobs. Doing so can help garner more publicity for your brand, and appeal to consumers who are looking to support their community and make a positive impact through their purchasing decisions.

Use multi-channel engagement

Provide your customers multiple ways to know your business and its offerings. Obtain a strong online appearance such as social media, website, google maps etc. Make purchase online, pick up in store easier and smoother. Collaborate and show up in other like-minded business’ social media and website. The more presence you have, the easier it will be for customers to find you organically.

Implement Omni Channel in store will make shopping experience more pleasant, help drive traffic to your website, and collect valuable data insights.

Design unique in store experience with strong branding, unique offerings and great customer services. Give your customer reasons to talk about you, and share with their friends.

Excite your customers with ever-evolving products and limited time offerings

As small business owners, it’s hard to be always innovative and constantly have new ideas. Many local businesses expanded into retail post-pandemic, and start to partner with emerging brands. This partnership give brands a chance to reach customers in real life, and build local awareness; and also help retailers offer ever-evolving products to attract customers, without adding labor and inventory cost.

Make sure to provide limited time promotions and seasonal products to create a sense of urgency. Study shows that it will increase you sell by at least 18%.

Always have something that your customers can be curious and excited about. Give them a good excuse to come back and spend more.

Cohere is a retail discovery startup, that empowers local businesses to test out retail offerings without risking their own capital; and access to better deals which was only provided to bigger enterprises.

Our local business partners can receive free trials from relevant and like-minded brands, and let customers sample them organically in store. Businesses can now provide an ever-evolving assortment of products and exciting promotions, and get the data to make better buying decisions with Cohere.

By joining us, local businesses are also committed to helping emerging brands validate products, building local demands, testing the market and gathering feedbacks before moving forward to larger orders or distribution deals with ‘‘big boxes’’.

Join our community here with thousands of local businesses.

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