How to Market Your Small Business

Building brand awareness. Increasing consumer engagement. Creating demand for your product. These are all aspects of marketing — getting your name out there so shoppers looking for handmade masks/artisan sourdough/dog-sitting/insert-your-product-or-service-here, come to you first.

If you’re self-employed or starting a small business, marketing is crucial, especially today, as many countries face the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A solid marketing plan can push your small business towards success, so don’t overlook this integral part of entrepreneurship. Here are ten marketing tools to help you on your way.


Supporting a local club, team or event can help build relationships with target consumers. Look for synergy between your brand and the beneficiary. Making energy bars? Support a local trail running club or race? Opening a local pub? Host and sponsor a trivia team. 


Increase brand awareness by directing more traffic to your site.’s Search Engine Optimization services can help!


Although in-person large gatherings such as fairs, festivals, parades, and consumer shows are no longer a reliable part of a comprehensive marketing plan, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t happening virtually. From events like the bi-annual craft show One of a Kind, to the Toronto Home Show that continues to connect vendors and customers despite the absence of the in-person show, virtual gatherings can be just as effective. 

Whether your target shoppers are local families with school-age kids, food-and-wine aficionados, vintage car junkies, locavore vegetarians, urban environmentalists and/or LGBTQ+ travel enthusiasts — odds are, there’s an event geared specifically at this audience. Check out conferences, festivals and fairs that you’re familiar with, and see how you can get involved in these virtual events.


If you’ve got happy clients, ask them to recommend you to their friends and family, or to share their experience on the digital version of word-of-mouth: a local review site like Yelp, or Google and Facebook reviews.


Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube can be used in different ways to promote your brand. You could:

• Grow your audience through catchy posts and content, contests and coupon codes;

• Promote your brand through a third party, such as an influencer (i.e., pay a makeup influencer to post about your vegan skincare collection);

• Purchase ads on social media platforms.


Digital ads allow you to cast a net as widely or as narrowly as you prefer. Whether you want to catch the eyes of a general audience or a very niche readership, you can tailor your ad strategy accordingly.


E-newsletters are an easy way to inform past and potential customers about what’s new with your business and ideally offer deals or promotions that will motivate them to stop by in person or online.


If you’re looking to reach a general audience in a specific area, these oldie-but-goodie strategies still work. FYI: direct mail marketing services can help you reach your desired audience.


A smartly-designed website lets viewers know what your business is all about and how to buy what you sell, or hire you for your services (with or without e-commerce capabilities). A regularly updated blog can engage clients, especially in conjunction with SEO optimization. TIP: digital marketing team can help you get your blogging and website needs.

By Staples Canada

September 30, 2020

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