Small businesses have an advantage over larger companies that few take full advantage of. Smaller businesses have the ability to personalize their services and even build relationships with their clients and customers that giant chains and conglomerates just cannot touch. In the digital age, in particular, smaller businesses have a number of tools at their disposal that can help them easily compete with the giants. Here are three ways to compete with big companies with even the smallest marketing budget.

Understand the right way to use social media

Social media may be the best thing to happen to small businesses but many are not using it effectively. While it is true that you can send out targeted advertising for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising, that may not be the best use of social media for small businesses. Targeted advertising is still “blind” in the sense that it doesn’t actually connect you to your target audience. Instead of using social media as just a cheap form of advertising, use it as a platform to build connection to your audience. Keep in mind that building connection means engaging with your audience, which means you need to actually respond to their questions, comments, complaints or concerns but doing so can also gain you a fiercely loyal following.


Many of your online marketing tasks can be automated, which means you can devote a small amount of time each month setting up all of your emails and social media posts and the system will do the rest. Apps like IFTTT can even help you automate a wide range of tasks based on certain “trigger” actions. For instance, IFTTT can automatically send you an email alert any time a specific hashtag is used on Twitter or any time someone posts on your Facebook page, which gives you an opportunity to respond quickly.

Use online marketplaces to connect with freelance professionals

Entrepreneurs and SMB owners always have to find the balance between what they can save money by doing themselves and what it costs less to hire someone else to do. If you just need someone to design a flyer or write a blog post for your, online marketplaces like Fiverr can help you connect with creative professionals. You can even hire a freelance professional to set up all your automated marketing for you on a site like Upwork.

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash