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Marketing tools

What to consider before you build your business marketing strategy.

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Selecting a business marketing strategy can be daunting. With countless marketing tools and features at your disposal, how do you know which strategy offers the most bang for your buck?

Explore business marketing services, cost and what to consider before marketing your business.

How should I market my business?

When it comes to business marketing, the sky’s the limit. Explore the numerous marketing paths and strategies that hinge on several important factors.

How you get your product or service in front of a potential customer depends on the type of business you run and how you want to connect with your audience. And what works best for one company may not be ideal for your business.

Here are some marketing options to help you get an edge on the competition:

Email marketing

Promoting your goods or services by email offers the opportunity to spread the word about your business — with the added perk of being relatively cheap and convenient. Launching an email marketing campaign connects you with customers, keeps them updated with newsletters and advertises offers and perks.

Social media marketing

As one of the most popular ways to market your business, social media involves creating pages or accounts on popular platforms to connect with your audience. Create posts, share stories, upload photos and respond to comments from followers to spread brand reach and awareness.

Paid ads

Display ads online typically include banner ads and pay-per-click marketing, whereas print ads encompass newspaper ads, magazines and other print media.

Out-of-home ads

Billboards, posters, bus stations or shopping malls are out-of-home media ads. Despite the rise in popularity of digital marketing, many big brands still opt for out-of-home marketing to increase brand visibility.

Other tools

Other business marketing tools include:

  • Direct mail. Ads send by mail, including postcards, letters, self-mailers, catalogs and circulars.
  • Loyalty programs. Reward return customers with a perk or reward, typically by offering a product discount.
  • Content marketing. A large chunk of the digital marketing space includes valuable content — like blog posts—  aimed at encouraging customer engagement.
  • Event marketing. This marketing strategy utilizes both in-person and online events to boost sales, promote products and build brand awareness.
  • Surveys. Conduct surveys in-person, by email or on the telephone and uncover practical business analytics to help you improve your product or service.

Free tip: Take control of your local listings.

What does your company’s digital footprint say about your business? Taking ownership of your local listings can help you manage your online reputation — impacting brand awareness.

Adding your business to these directories increases visibility and engagement. Not only does this validate you in the eyes of a potential customer, but it also lends credibility to the business.

Respond to customer reviews, add photos of your storefront, link to your company’s website and more when you sign up for these popular local directories:

  • Apple Maps
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Bing
  • Facebook
  • Foursquare

Promote your business and make it easier for customers to find you

  • Create a business page for free
  • Buy Local Deal placements starting at $3
  • Choose exactly which neighborhoods you want to advertise in

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How do I decide what marketing tools I need?

There are a number of factors to consider before you embark on a marketing campaign:

  • Type of business. The marketing tools a restaurant uses are vastly different than those of an online retailer. Consider what your business sells and the best way to present your product or service.
  • Target audience. Your audience dictates the channels of your business marketing efforts.
  • Budget. The length and complexity of your marketing campaign depends on how much you can afford to spend on services and tools.
  • Location. Local mom-and-pop shops may not want to advertise outside their township, but if you’re an online retailer looking to expand your reach, consider expanding the breadth of your campaign.
  • Goal. Are you trying to generate leads? Increase engagement? Spread brand awareness? The short- and long-term goals of your business can help you narrow down your marketing targets.

How much does marketing cost?

Marketing costs vary between services, tools and platforms:

  • In-house. Marketing your business in-house means relying on your team to execute your marketing strategy. You’ll need to cover the cost of your employees’ time and the tools and services you use. Beginner-tiers with services like Moz and HubSpot’s Marketing Hub Enterprise start at $3,200 monthly.
  • Agency. Marketing agencies can take the guesswork out of executing an effective marketing strategy. Agencies offer expertise bundled into a convenient service but can be costly. Prices vary by service and business size but be prepared to shell out between $1,000 to $12,000 monthly for a marketing agency.
  • DIY and free options. Do-it-yourself marketing tools include in-person networking at industry events and managing your social media presence. These strategies may demand more of your time, but your return-on-investment correlates with your investment.

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