Here is a comprehensive list of essential marketing skills for small business owners that can accelerate the growth of your business.

Marketing is the most overwhelming process for any business. It is getting more complicated and easier at the same time. All modern marketing strategies are getting more technical and analytical. So, unless you can afford to have an in house marketer, you must have to learn these modern marketing skills to back these all up.

In early days, marketing can be all about running a paper ad, putting up some posters, and smiling at your customers. However, now you got 1001 things to do for marketing your business. For example, working on social media channels, creating content, running a good PR strategy, the speed, the ads, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, there is no escape from any of these marketing skills. If you cut something loose, your competitors will get your sales.

So, how to handle all these things without a full career experience in marketing? Don’t worry; we have compiled the essential marketing skills that anyone can learn quickly. With these marketing skills, you will be able to learn and adapt to any new trends in marketing.

The top 30 marketing skills for small business owners

Major marketing strategies

  1. Content marketing
  2. Inbound marketing
  3. Social media marketing
  4. Influencer marketing
  5. Email marketing
  6. Mobile marketing
  7. Targeting
  8. Retargeting

Basic personal skills

  1. Copywriting
  2. Graphic designing
  3. Photography
  4. Brand design

Skills in marketing tools

  1. Facebook ads
  2. Google AdWords
  3. SEO
  4. A/B testing
  5. Excel
  6. Google analytics
  7. Google trends
  8. Buffer
  9. Buzzsumo
  10. Canva
  11. Hootsuite
  12. Kissmetrics
  13. Moz
  14. Sprout social
  15. EcommerceBuff
  16. Evernote
  17. HTML/CSS basics
  18. Sitemaps

The major marketing strategies for small business owners

Content marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing videos, blog posts, podcasts, and social media posts to attract customers to your business. So, you can use your content marketing skills to attract and move the potential customers slowly down your marketing funnel.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is about three things, 1. Attracting the right customers for your business, 2. Keep them engaged in your sales funnel, and 3. Delighting your customers during and after their purchasing journey. So, by learning the inbound marketing skills, you can build an all-around marketing strategy to accelerate the growth of your business.

Social media marketing

Having a strong social media marketing strategy is one of the best growth hacks for any small business. From getting the first sale to keeping your customers engaged in your business, social media can offer a variety of opportunities for your business. Therefore, developing social media marketing skills is an essential task for small business owners.

Influencer marketing

Social media influencers play a significant role in modern digital marketing space. Social recommendations from popular people can easily influence people to buy from a new brand. So, you can easily leverage the power of Influencer marketing to sell your first product.

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the easiest DIY marketing strategies for any business. There are plenty of free and cheap email marketing tools and services that you can use to start your email marketing strategy right away. That is why learning email marketing skills are easy and effective.

Mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is underrated yet a highly effective marketing strategy for small businesses. Similar to email marketing, there are many low-cost mobile marketing tools and services that you can use to build you’re your mobile marketing strategy.


Selecting the target market and the audience for your products is one of the basics marketing skills that you must learn. There is no point of learning about ad strategies or any other marketing strategy, without knowing how to select the right target market for your business.


With the use of tools like Facebook Pixel, you can retarget the potential customers, who have already interacted with your business and left your marketing funnel in the early stages. By developing the retargeting skills, you can hit people multiple times with an ad and have a better chance of making a sale.

Basic personal skills in marketing


By developing your business copywriting skills, you can create compelling ad copies and webpage copies without having to pay a copywriter. If you are selling many different products, even in the short run, these marketing skills can save you a lot of money.

Graphic designing

Similar to copywriting, having basic graphic designing skills always come in handy when running a small business. With these skills, you can easily create your own ads, create social media posts, and build content for your business.

Photography and video

Even if you didn’t notice, having to outsource the creative tasks can eat up a massive portion of your profits. There are plenty of free courses on Udemy (LinkedIn learning) that you can use to learn photography and video skills. Once you know the photography and video basics, you can use them to enhance your content marketing skills.

Brand identity design

If you are running a small business, there is a chance that you haven’t considered the brand identity design of your business. Having a strong brand identity can set you apart from the crappy competitors and let you sell more. The good news is that developing a strong brand identity is not as hard as you may think. If you have the other soft marketing skills that we have discussed earlier, it can be a weekend project for you.

Essential skills in marketing tools

Facebook ads

Facebook ads are undoubtedly the easiest way to reach your target audience. Facebook offers an easy-to-learn user interface and a dashboard to manage your ads from one place. If you have mastered your targeting skills for marketing, running a successful FB ad campaign is just a piece of cake.

Google AdWords

Using Google ads to promote your business might sound a bit complicated. However, Google AdWords offers an effortless way of running paid ads for your business. They also offer a lot of data and analytical tools to measure and adjust your ad performance. If you haven’t used Google AdWords for your business, give it a try.


Getting your site on to the first page of Google search is the most effective way of reaching your audience. SEO (Search engine optimization) is the way to rank your business site on Google organically. Learning SEO is the first step of developing your search engine marketing skills.

A/B testing

A/B testing is how you can measure the effectiveness of the different versions of your marketing efforts. By knowing how to test and improve your marketing efforts, you can stop wasting your time and money on useless projects. Learn this marketing skill, and you will be able to see what works better for your business.


The good old Microsoft Excel (or Google sheets) is a powerful analytical tool for any marketer. From simple budgeting tools to complex charts and predictions, you can leverage the features on Excel to get an overview of your marketing data.

Google Analytics

If you own a website, knowing how to read and understand the reports of Google Analytics is an essential marketing skill for any business owner. Google Analytics offers in-detail data on the behaviour of your customers on your website. For example, if people are frequently abandoning your eCommerce shopping carts, you can use the data on Google Analytics to see why you can’t make any sales.

Google trends

Google trends let you find out the recent search trends for a selected audience. You can use this data to create trending content for your content marketing strategy. Also, you can use trend data to create timely social media posts for your social media strategy.


It is a real challenge to manage multiple social media channels for your business. In such situations, you can use Buffer to plan and schedule your multi-channel social media posts and to get analytics about the performance. Using such marketing automation tools makes it easy for you to develop your digital marketing skills.


Sometimes, finding popular content ideas for your content marketing strategy and social media is a cumbersome task. If so, you can use Buzzsumo to see what is going viral on social media right now. So, you can align your content to what is popular among your audience to get more engagement. That’s how learning about such tools can help you to develop your marketing skills.


Even if you run a single Facebook page for your business, creating around three posts per day can be a hard task (unless you got nothing else to do). That where you can use Canva, a free online tool to create amazing social media posts in no time. There are plenty of well-optimized templates to use right away.


Hootsuite allows you to manage your social media content from one place. You can use Hootsuite to schedule posts, curate content, and for the analytics. When you run multiple social media channels, having a facility to manage them all from one place is a real stress reliever.


Kissmetrics is an excellent data analysis tool that can help you with your inbound marketing strategy. You can use it to measure the customer behaviours to improve your sales, create engagement and to improve customer retention.


Moz is an all-in-one SEO tool. It helps you to audit your website for SEO, check the ranking, do backlink analysis, and search keywords for your content strategies. There are other SEO tools similar to Moz. You can search and find a tool that you are comfortable to use.

Sprout social

Sprout social is another way to manage your social media marketing strategies. It helps you to understand and reach your audience, engage your community and measure performance with an all-in-one social media management platform.


EcommerceBuff is a practical knowledge centre for small business owners to learn how to grow their businesses. In EcommerceBuff, you can find a wide variety of detailed articles and guides to learn tips, tricks, and hacks to develop your marketings skills.


Evernote is a great tool that allows you to take notes, save online content, and organize your files. It comes in handy for the marketers and content creators to keep all their notes in one place.

HTML/CSS basics

Knowing HTML and CSS basics can come in handy doing minor changes to your website here and there. Otherwise, you will have to hire a developer, each time you want to change a font size little bit smaller. Being a marketer is basically being an all-arounder. So, while you are working on developing your marketing skills, you will need to gain knowledge about a lot of other stuff too.

Developing essential marketing skills

Here we have compiled a list of 30 essential marketing skills that every small business owner should have in their marketing toolbox. Now, marketing has become more technical. There are plenty of great marketing tools and strategies released every single day. So, to be able to use these marketing tools and strategies, first, you must have to develop the above essential marketing skills.

This lits of marketing skills is not exhaustive. Every day something new can b included here. So, make sure to keep in touch with the new trends in business and marketing.

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