Digital marketing for small businesses and startups

Learn where it's best for you to focus to help you rapidly grow your business

Whether you call them SMBs as in the US or SMEs as in Europe, all startups and small businesses have one thing in common. They're  short on time, resources and budget.

Fortunately, online marketing gives some fantastic low-cost or free options for marketing on a budget to gain traction for your growing business. Well-known low-cost options include rapidly creating a website or landing pages using an open source platform like WordPress or harnessing social media or search engine optimization and content marketing.


Download our free digital tools guide to learn the tools and tactics that will work best to grow your business

Why Smart Insights?

Because global brands like 3M, GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC, HP, Microsoft and Vodafone—AND thousands of digital marketers and business owners—trust
Smart Insights to optimise their Startups and small business. Many have grown their business—by over 50%—using the strategies revealed on this page.


Free resources including Search, Social and Email marketing templates that you can start using today

Start improving your Startups and small business now with our FREE 10 Digital Marketing Mistakes

  • Learn the tactics and tools that will work best for you
  • Covers ALL digital marketing activities using our RACE framework
  • Focus on the most popular, free tools
  • Includes SEO, Social media and conversion improvement and many more

PLUS: as a FREE Basic Member, you'll also get these bonus resources;

  • 18 other actionable templates and guides, written by experts in digital marketing.
  • Benchmark your current capability in Startups and small business-and 9 other essential areas of digital marketing-using our unique interactive Capability Assessment tool.
  • Improve your skills by doing the first lesson in each of our 10 e-learning courses for free.
  • Get personalised answers to your most urgent questions fast - by joining our online community of over 130,000 marketers
Get your FREE Basic Membership NOW
including instant access to the 10 Digital Marketing Mistakes (and all bonus resources)

Expert Membership—for those who are
serious about FAST growth

Learn where startups and small businesses should focus to maximise their growth

Want to create a bigger impact with your digital marketing as quickly as possible? Start here with Expert membership

Have you noticed how most advice and case studies of marketing in books and blogs, focuses on the Big Brands with their Big Budgets. Yes, every business can learn from the heritage of these brands, but it’s a very different world from that for small businesses where budget is limited and every cent and penny of investment matter.

We’ve designed the templates and guides in this toolkit to help the owners of small businesses and those running the marketing in these businesses to rapidly learn the success factors for growing your business online. It’s designed for you if you are:

  • An owner, manager or director of the business
  • Responsible for marketing or digital marketing in an SME/SMB
  • Another director in and SME/SMB for whom marketing is not your main role, e.g. Financial Director, Operations director who needs to learn more about the success factors for digital marketing

We recommend you get started with our Complete digital marketing guide for startups, small and mid-sized businesses. This in-depth guide covers all the digital marketing activities you need to manage to grow a small business or startup online. It starts by showing you what needs to go into a digital marketing plan and then how to build an effective marketing website and drive traffic to it. Since it’s from Smart Insights, it also shows you how to use Google Analytics to measure how well the site is working for you and then optimize it to convert more visitors to leads and sales.

Armed with our Startups and small business Toolkit, the world’s top marketers use our unique approach to develop winning Startups and small business strategies.

Startups and small business Toolkit

Includes templates, ready-to-use strategy documents, step-by-step guides and resources that will help you create optimized strategies that deliver HUGE results.

  • Guides
  • Complete digital marketing for startups, small and mid-sized businesses

    About this guide

    We designed this comprehensive guide as a ‘one-stop’ reference for busy owners and marketers in small and mid-size businesses or startups.

    It will also help managers in larger businesses who don’t have the time to drill-down into the detailed recommendations in a 7-step guide, but just want to know the basic success factors.

    How is the guide structured?

    The guide covers all the key marketing issues you need to get right structured around the Smart Insights RACE planning framework.

    The sections in this guide are:

    • ONE. Plan: What are the essentials of your digital strategy?
    • TWO. Reach: Boost site traffic with these success factors for SEO and AdWords
    • THREE. Act: How to use content marketing to boost leads.
    • FOUR. Convert: How to design your site to increase sales.
    • FIVE. Engage: Success factors for gaining repeat business online.
  • Growth Hacking Guide

    About this guide 

    The growth hacking approach (also referred to as ‘agile marketing’ and ‘growth marketing’) is used to boost awareness, lead generation and conversion. Although the term ‘hacking’ has technology connotations, more traditional companies such as The Metro, Regus, Penguin Books are also using the principles of growth hacking. This indicates that the concept is not just relevant to technology start-ups and this movement has wider implications. Think of it as ‘digital disruption impacting marketing’ since technology is the enabler for marketers to understand and respond to user behaviour more rapidly.

    What does this guide contain? 

    • An overview of what growth hacking is (including new frameworks such as the 5 pillars of growth hacking based on research by the author that have never been published before)
    • A practical, step-by-step guide on how to growth hack
    • Growth hacking case studies including agile development using Scrum and Real-Time Marketing
    • Practical tools and technologies to help you effectively growth hack your way to increased sales


  • B2B Startup Digital Marketing Plan example and case study

    What does this guide include

    This workbook gives you a case study example of an online startup SaaS business. SaaS products are often new concepts to prospects, so it can be very challenging to convince prospects of the value you provide. To help meet this challenge consultant Jill Quick has created this specific SaaS digital marketing workbook, with case study and an Excel dashboard template.

    This resource is a ZIP file including:

    • Case study
    • Workbook:
    • Dashboard template

    What does the workbook cover?

    The workbook and example will guide you through each and every step involved in creating a digital marketing strategy to market SaaS products.

    • A SOSTAC® plan summary
    • Digital marketing specific SWOT Analysis Template
    • Setting vision and values
    • Using customer segmentation
    • KPI dashboard instructions + SaaS KPI Dashboard
    • Digital strategy planning Matrix based on RACE framework
    • Business model creation tool
    • Content marketing audit tool
    • Online competitor benchmarking tool

  • Word templates to amend
  • Online startup business model template

    About this template

    We think this Business model format is essential for all startups to summarise their business and revenue models to present to their team, partners and investors. We use it ourselves at Smart Insights and regularly update it.

    How is it structured?

    It’s a single blank A4 business model template in Word landscape format. It also includes an example business model for the same company featuring in our other examples. You fill in each of these areas which should be compared to competitors also:

    • Value proposition
    • Customer segments
    • Customer relationships
    • Key activities and resources
    • Channels
    • Cost structure
    • Revenue streams
  • Online Business Plan Summary Template

    About this template

    We’re great believers in one-page summaries to communicate plans to your team or investors. This one-page, landscape format summary you can amend in Word gives a visual summary of 3 to 5-year growth plans

    How is it structured?

    This template enables you to create a summary covering:

    • 1. Statement of vision, business definition and aims.
    • 2. Change in focus.
    • 3. Financial targets.
    • 4. Business and marketing strategies  to achieve targets.

The Startups and small business toolkit is included with Smart Insights Business Expert Membership-the secret
weapon behind the world's most savvy marketers.

So why wait? Try it today and take your results to the next level.

Learn more about Business Expert membership and
download the Startups and small business Toolkit

Instant access. Try it RISK-FREE

As a Business Expert member, you also get access to
these related Toolkits (and others too)

Marketers just like you have grown their business by over 50% using these exclusive resources: