Essential marketing tools for any business

November 01, 2023

How can you present your brand to the world? Through savvy marketing strategies.

A pillar of any business — whether it’s a Fortune 500 company, a startup that provides a niche B2B service or a lemonade stand run by a couple of kids — is marketing. The image you present to the world, the voice of your brand and how you reach customers and engage with potential clients are all elements in a broad marketing strategy.

Perhaps in a simple world, people could run a radio ad, and that would cover all your marketing bases. However, as many business owners know, marketing is a big word. It covers a lot of ground and involves employing a dizzying array of tools, techniques and mediums. There is no one way to market your business, and those who think this quickly learn that they need to diversify their efforts in order to connect with a larger audience of potential customers and clients.

To build an effective and robust marketing strategy, you need to know what mediums and tactics are best for achieving certain goals. For instance, a billboard might tell people that your company exists, but if you want to build trust with clients or present yourself as a thought leader in your industry, there are more effective mediums than a billboard.

Over the last few decades, the digital revolution has dramatically expanded the possibilities companies have to present themselves and to reach customers.

Today we’ll look at specific marketing goals that are essential to almost every business and discuss the specific marketing tools and mediums that will help you achieve these goals. 


Engage with the public

Marketing is about so much more than just convincing someone to buy your product or service. With the rise of social media, companies have realized the huge value of staying in front of the public and engaging with people, whether it's related to your business or not.

Top platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok, allow companies to reach a large audience and even target geographic areas. You can pay for targeted advertising, or you can grow organically, through shares, likes and and conversations around your stories. 

To organically grow your online presence, the key is to engage with people in a way that is informative, entertaining and valuable. Remember, this is not a sales pitch. People are constantly bombarded with ads, and if you present yourself as just another company trying to sell them something, you can lose your audience quickly. 


Position yourself as a thought leader

A successful brand is a brand people trust. One way to make your company stand out as a trustworthy voice, whether in fashion, construction, design or virtually any other industry, is to share insights through thought leadership.

One of the most effective ways you can do this is by providing visitors to your website or other social accounts with valuable information, stories or industry analysis. Just like we discussed above, try not to advertise here. For instance, if you run a health food store, the goal is to make your company a go-to source for information about nutrition, dietary trends, supplements, the latest research and so forth. This will lead people to trust you as an authority and the place to go when they need health food. In a way, it’s advertising without advertising.

The best tool for this is to have an active blog you regularly update, which is full of engaging and useful information that people will want to read and share, and in the process, puts your business in front of potential customers. 


Capture new leads

We’ve talked about engaging with the public and becoming a thought leader, but at this point you’re probably wondering, how do I convert my audience into clients? How do I generate leads from these online visitors?

Begin by making sure you’re getting your blog in front of people. Promote your blog on your social media channels and through emails. As more people visit your blog it will show up in organic search results too.

Once you’ve got visitors to your site there are many free ways you can turn them into leads. These include:

  • Offer free content such as a whitepaper or eBook that people can download after providing their email address, which you can use to follow up. 
  • Offer something at a discount or for free. This is the equivalent of an online coupon and may be just enough to turn a visitor into a customer. 
  • Other lead magnets include webinars, video series and interviews with experts or influencers. Basically, it’s all about having the right content. You have to give something of value to a customer before you can ask for their email. It’s that simple!


Get offline and step out into the community

Running a small business is about more than driving a profit; it’s about being part of a community. Indeed, community is one of the biggest reasons people want to patronize small businesses, and one of the things that motivates many entrepreneurs.

You might be able to grow a great online community that generates leads and revenue to make you financially successful, but nothing beats getting out there and physically being part of the wider community.

This is one of the most powerful — and most satisfying — marketing tools. You can do this through volunteer events, hosting events, partnering with other small businesses, participating in community events (such as parades, art shows, block parties) and much more.

In some of these situations you can have sign-up sheets, give away custom logo t-shirts or just be there to build and develop relationships within the community. 


For more resources and information on how to successfully manage your business, visit

Learn about U.S. Bank

Related content

How a bar trivia company went digital during COVID-19

How community gave life to lifestyle boutique Les Sol

Prioritizing payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic

Opening a business on a budget during COVID-19

How a group fitness studio made the most of online workouts

How a travel clothing retailer is staying true to its brand values

How Wenonah Canoe is making a boom in business last

Addressing financial uncertainty in international business

High-yield bond issuance: 5 traits lawyers should look for in a service provider

Easier onboarding: What to look for in an administrator

Service provider due diligence and selection best practices

3 tips to maintain flexibility in supply chain management

Insource or outsource? 10 considerations

Administrator accountability: 5 questions to evaluate outsourcing risks

Business risk management for owners of small companies

Complying with changes in fund regulations

Webinar: CSM corporation re-thinks AP

Evaluating interest rate risk creating risk management strategy

5 tips for managing your business cash flow

The future of financial leadership: More strategy, fewer spreadsheets

Building a business with a great product and a greater purpose

The growing importance of a strong corporate culture

Is your restaurant Google-friendly?

Employee benefit plan management: trustee vs. custodian

Preparing for your custodian conversion

High-cost housing and down payment options in relocation

Crypto + Relo: Mobility industry impacts

For today's relocating home buyers, time and money are everything

How to increase your savings

Improve online presence your business

Refining your search for an insurance custodian

In a digital world, Liberty Puzzles embraces true connection

3 simple brand awareness tips for your business

How to get started creating your business plan

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

Webinar: CRE technology trends

5 winning strategies for managing liquidity in volatile times

4 questions you should ask about your custodian

Putting home ownership within reach for a diverse workforce

How jumbo loans can help home buyers and your builder business

How to apply for a business credit card

Strengthen your brand with modern POS technology

Meet your business credit card support team

5 affordable small business marketing ideas when you have no budget

Omnichannel retail: 4 best practices for navigating the new normal

How to reward employees and teams who perform well

8 ways to increase employee engagement

Business tips and advice for Black entrepreneurs

10 tips on how to run a successful family business

Empowering team members

Why retail merchandise returns will be a differentiator in 2022

Use this one simple email marketing tip to increase your reach

How a small business owner is making the workplace work for women

How (and why) to get your business supplier diversity certification

Business credit card 101

Checklist: Increase lead generation with website optimization

The role of ethics in the hiring process

Essential marketing tools for any business

Choosing your M&A escrow partner

How to test new business ideas

Year-end financial checklist

3 ways to gain loyalty with your customers

The San Francisco bridal shop that’s been making memories for 30 years

How to build a content team

Travel for less: Smart (not cheap) ways to spend less on your next trip

Tips to overcome three common savings hurdles

Helpful tips for safe and smart charitable giving

Allowance basics for parents and kids

Costs to consider when starting a business

How Shampoo’ed is transforming hair and inspiring entrepreneurs

Webinar: AP automation for commercial real estate

How to spot a credit repair scam

6 ways to spring clean your finances and save money year-round

How to cut mindless spending: real tips from real people

Real world advice: How parents are teaching their kids about money

How to stop living paycheck to paycheck post-pay increase

Practical money tips we've learned from our dads

Give a prepaid rewards card for employee recognition

5 unique ways to take your credit card benefits further

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

Reto de 30 días para adultos: Tareas de bienestar financiero para completar en un mes

Email marketing: 10 mistakes to avoid

Celebrity Cake Studio’s two decades of growth and success

How Al’s Breakfast is bringing people together

What you should know about licensing agreements

Webinar: CRE Digital Transformation – Balancing Digitization with cybersecurity risk

Webinar: CRE Digital Transformation – Balancing Digitization with cybersecurity risk

5 steps for creating an employee recognition program

How to hire employees: Employee referral vs. external hiring

Break free from cash flow management constraints

4 steps that give your business an SEO boost

Evaluating interest rate risk creating risk management strategy


Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, Home Equity and Credit products are offered through U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered through U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.