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Small Business Hub: A Research Guide for Entrepreneurs


Regardless of the product or service offered, almost all businesses must engage in some form of promotional activities for their product. Traditionally, this has taken place through media and physical advertising, but with exponential growth in the popularity of digital technologies, the opportunities for different promotional streams are now almost endless. A few of the more popular free promotional strategies include:

  • Creating a website
  • Creating a social media presence (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
  • Fostering word of mouth promotional campaigns
  • Have your business appear in more prominently in Google search results by setting up a Google MyBusiness page
  • Ask customers to review your product or service online

Some of the more popular paid strategies include:

  • TV advertising
  • Radio advertising
  • Print media advertising
  • Social media advertising
  • Search results advertising (Google) – sometimes called PPC (Pay Per Click)
  • Creating an email campaign
  • Implementing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that your website appears higher in search results
  • Influencer marketing (Paying individuals to promote your product on their social media profile)

Which strategy will work best for any business depends on budget, who the target customers are, and the nature of the business offering.


Starting points:

  1. Read about and consider which promotional strategies will best reach your target customer.
  2. Consider setting up a website, directory listing and social media presence. If you do choose to do so, ensure they are regularly maintained and updated.
  3. Research what other, similar businesses are doing in this space. Is it working for them?

Suggested strategies:

  • The terms ‘advertising’ ‘marketing’ and ‘sales promotion’ are sometimes used interchangeably – consider carefully when researching.
  • Where possible, consider finding resources and information specific to your industry. Not all products or services can or should be marketed the same way.
  • Look for recently updated resources, especially regarding online promotions. The world of digital marketing is dynamic and fast changing, and anything more than a few years old is likely to have lost relevance.

Select Resources

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

These are freely available online sources provided by government agencies, trade publications, and organizations.

The following guides were created by the Library of Congress to give an in-depth list of resources on a specific topic.