5 Marketing Hacks Small Businesses Tell Me Have Changed Their Lives


I work with a ton of small businesses, and I love it. I love seeing different business models, helping entrepreneurs with limited resources and experience, and getting unique perspectives that you just can’t find in bigger, often more “cookie-cutter” business establishments. One-on-one, we can share information and insights, and build a strategy that’s helpful for their business.

I’ve been in the online marketing industry for about 10 years, so I can almost always help them learn something new. But sometimes, they help me learn something new as well. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the strategies you’ve found to be effective on your own, or in your own beliefs, and miss some of the less noticeable tactics that might have a significant impact on your strategy, either in terms of total results or in terms of efficiency.

These are just some of the marketing “hacks” small business owners have disclosed to me. Give them a try for yourself, and they might just turn your marketing strategy on its head:

1. Syndicate old content.

Once you create a piece of content, push it out to social media, and follow up with your initial rounds of commenters, most brands consider that source “tapped,” and never revisit it again. In some cases, this is necessary—especially if the article is news-based or otherwise temporary in nature. But if the article is evergreen, it will hold a permanent value. Why let this value sit idly on your blog when you could continue tapping it periodically for long-term dividends? Keep a list of your old evergreen content pieces, and re-syndicate them occasionally. This will generate new interest from new followers, and may be valuable to older followers who didn’t see it the first time around.

2. Segment your email list.

Most companies recognize the power of email marketing—it’s been claimed to be the highest-ROI online marketing strategy (though ROI’s a finicky measure to calculate, and my suspicion is that content marketing wins out long-term). But they try to tap into it with a single, massive email list of all their clients, visitors, readers, partners, and affiliates. Some small business owners I’ve talked to have segmented their email lists, sometimes splitting the list in multiple dimensions and have reported seeing better results. For example, they might keep different lists based on past engagements with the brand, or based on certain user dispositions. The bottom line is that this allows them to target their readers with more precision in the content of their email blasts, which reduces unsubscribe rates while improving open and click-through rates.

“The original article can be found at http://www.forbes.com/