Blog > Digital Marketing > Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses in Texas

How to Make Your Business Stand Out in the Lone Star State

March 13, 2024
min read

Small businesses need to stand out.

It’s often difficult for businesses without enormous resources to reach potential customers with their messaging, though. Most small business owners simply don’t have the expertise or enormous budgets that larger companies do. This can be especially challenging when starting a business in Texas, where there are so many businesses to compete with.

If you’re a small business owner, however, know that there are ways to effectively reach potential customers. With a little creativity and some local knowledge, you can stand out from the crowd. Here are some of the best marketing strategies for small businesses in Texas.

1. Create a Professional and Optimized Website

Everyone starting a business needs a website, no matter how large or small the business is. A website is where customers will look for information, place orders, and generally check out your business.

For small business owners, it’s paramount that a website be professional and optimized.

Customers will draw conclusions about your business from its website. If the site looks outdated, is cumbersome to use, or isn’t useful, customers will likely presume your business is similar. Many won’t even investigate your business beyond its website if the site looks like it’s from 2 decades ago.

Creating a professional-looking website isn’t difficult today. There are several popular drag-and-drop website builders, and the associated services may take care of security, payment processing, or other backend operations too. Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify are a few of the most popular.

An optimized website should have the most pertinent information at the top of each page, be easily navigable through a logical menu, and have everything laid out clearly. It also should include images, keywords in subheaders and periodically throughout content, and generally be highly useful.

When optimizing your website, it’s important to include a small business’s location. Your location should be included in content and on the site, but not overly stuffed so that it’s unnatural. Doing this will help your site show up in local online searches.

For example, a local bakery should have its location and hours easily found on its website. These might be on the home page, or a “location and hours” page. There should be another page for typical offerings, and perhaps an online ordering option. Other pages can be useful too, but these should be the most prominent ones.

2. Develop a Local Social Media Following

Paired with your website, a strong local social media presence is essential for connecting with your community. Social media can be used to reach potential customers, develop traction, and promote your brand to a local audience. It takes time to develop a following, so get started on social media as soon as you begin starting a business.

Don’t just publish generic content on social media, as brands with bigger budgets will be reaching customers with generic information already. Instead, offer things that larger brands can’t. For example, you might publish:

  • Sales or discounts your business offers (periodically only).
  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses into the business.
  • Local events where your business will have a presence.
  • Other local businesses and causes you support.
  • Customer photos and posts (with consent).
  • Congratulations to local youth or other groups.

As much as possible, keep the information local. Include specific locations, such as particular towns or neighborhoods where you’ll be. Don’t spam these but mention them when appropriate.

Many small business owners think they need a presence on all social media platforms. Managing too many platforms can quickly become overwhelming, though. Rather than publishing on every platform, choose one or two that you can focus on. Spend your efforts only on these, so you can gain more traction. As your business grows and you’re able, you can expand to others.

3. Email Marketing to Current Customers

Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach out to your current customers directly. It allows you to keep your audience informed about new products, special promotions, and company news. This isn’t for reaching new customers, as much as staying engaged with current and former customers/clients.

In order to better connect with customers, personalize your emails. You can do this by segmenting your email list to target specific groups effectively, so customers feel the information they're being emailed is directly useful to them. Also, include recipient names as much as possible.

As you consider what to include in emails, always make sure customers get something out of the email. This could be a tidbit about your business, a discount code, or something else that’ll directly benefit them. Think of what they want, as much as you consider what your business has to share.

4. Loyalty Programs for Returning Customers

Loyalty programs incentivize customers to keep coming back, hopefully turning occasional buyers into loyal supporters of your brand.

The most common type of loyalty program is a discount based on purchases. Think of the classic coffee shop stamps, where customers get a free coffee after 10 stamps on their card.

A loyalty program needn’t be limited to only freebies or discounts, though. You might also offer early access to new products, or special members-only events. Be creative, and you’ll likely come up with more ideas -- and don’t be afraid to ask your customers what they’d appreciate.

5. Networking with Others in the Area

Networking is crucial for any business, but it's especially important for small businesses. Small business owners are well-positioned to network because they’re often in close contact with others in the area. It’s also a method of marketing that large companies struggle to replicate on the local level.

There is very much a professional aspect to networking. you can attend local business events, join chambers of commerce, and even go to networking-specific events. Coworking spaces and local entrepreneurship incubators often host such events.

Make sure you also network with others in the community, though. Getting to know a barista could lead to them mentioning your business to occasional customers. Meeting a religious or nonprofit leader may lead to being invited when they host a special event. A casual conversation at a coffee shop might eventually get you a speaking opportunity.

And most importantly, find ways to connect with other small business owners. Small business owners are often happy to recommend other businesses that are locally owned, sometimes even speaking well of competitors when customers mention them.

Simply stopping in a store or office, essentially cold calling, is usually fine to do. Just keep conversations limited to connecting with business owners and learning about what they do. Don’t begin asking about how they might help your business right away.

6. Reach Out to Local Marketing Agencies

To elevate your marketing efforts, consider partnering with a local marketing agency.

Major marketing agencies often have set plans that customers can choose from. These can be expensive (partly because bigger agencies have larger overhead expenses). They’re also frequently inflexible, and might not work for your business. Most importantly, a large agency won’t have the local knowledge your business needs to reach customers in the area.

A local marketing agency that’s in Texas, however, will understand the needs of small businesses in the area. A local agency will likely be better able to create a customized marketing plan, working with your business’s specific budget, goals, and current positioning in the market. The agency will also have an understanding of the local area, including everything from the neighborhoods to what events are popular. It’s this knowledge, paired with marketing expertise, that can help your business especially stand out.

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Get Your Small Business Noticed Locally

Promoting your small business in Texas requires a mix of creativity, expertise, and local knowledge.

Use these strategies — website, social media, email, loyalty program, networking, and a local marketing agency — to help stand out if you're starting a business. With determination, creativity, and the right strategies, your small business can effectively reach customers in the area.

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