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A guide to marketing in Houston

by Jess Fields, President, Precision Outreach – Updated July 2, 2023

Take note: this guide is updated to reflect new information that we receive.

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Ah, Houston! What a town. Our hometown. Houston is a special place, and if you live and work here, you know that. This comprehensive guide for our friends, clients, and the curious in Houston (and those who do business in Houston) will hopefully illuminate some of the unique market conditions about this increasingly important, increasingly huge city on the Texas Gulf Coast. 

First, Houston is really big…

 Let’s be clear about how BIG Houston is, too: while a little over 2 Million live in the City of Houston, over 7 MILLION people live in the greater Houston area! Houston is so big that, during rush hour, driving from one side to the other can take as long as 2 hours!

Houston is also one of the most diverse cities, not just in America, but in the entire world. Houston is about 44 percent Hispanic, 24 percent White, 22 percent Black, and 7 percent Asian. Houston has one of the largest Vietnamese communities in the United States, the largest community of Nigerian immigrants in the US, and one of the largest Filipino communities in the US. Houston also has one of the largest populations of Indian-Americans, over 150,000, so much so that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Houston in 2019 along with President Trump (and attracted a crowd of 50,000).

Houston also has one of the biggest airports in the world by land area and passengers, Bush Intercontinental, which is also according to Business Traveler the 16th most “connected” airport in the world with 213 unique destinations, including what is likely the most among Latin American countries. 

Geographically, Houston is huge – yes, 2 hours across at rush hour or more – but also 10,000 square miles in real terms. The fact is, many people stay in their neighborhoods for most essential services, and that’s going to affect what we say later in the guide.


social media marketing agency houston
After Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters ravaged much of Houston – including destroying the homes of multiple members of my family – we saw how Houstonians came together as a community to help one another. These sorts of common experiences have created a sort of community bond that gives Houston a much smaller-town feel than its size would imply on paper.

…but it’s also small

On the other hand, Houston is small. Not in the sense of geography or people, of course – but in terms of community. Houston has what even much smaller metropolitan areas lack, which is a relatively well-defined sense of community. This absolutely affects how you market to businesses (B2B) and to consumers in the Houston area, so let’s explore a bit.

Houston only has one major sports team in baseball, football, and basketball – unlike, say, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, who have divided loyalties. New York has the Mets and the Yankees, Chicago the Cubs and the White Sox, Los Angeles the Clippers and the Lakers. So when the Astros win the World Series, which most of us growing up thought was a nearly impossible dream (especially TWICE), well, the entire town celebrates. Sports may not seem like a huge deal to everyone, but big American cities define themselves in large part based on their sports teams, and Houston has just one of everything (except hockey…. grumble).

Houston also has the unique experience of having been through numerous major natural disasters, particularly hurricanes, seemingly at least once per decade. Hurricane Harvey wreaked devastation throughout the area in 2017, and almost everyone in Houston was directly affected – most of us had family members who lost their entire homes, or we ourselves did.

There are also many businesses and business interests that tie Houston together as a community. On the consumer side, you’ve got Gallery Furniture, the largest furniture store in the United States. Its flamboyant founder, Mattress Mack, is not just a fixture on the airwaves – he’s now well known for betting millions on the Astros to be able to cover refunding everyone who bought a mattress before the Astros won the World Series.

Then there’s energy. Among the dozens of Fortune 500 companies headquartered here are countless energy companies: ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Valero, National Oilwell Varco, Occidental Petroleum, NRG, Kinder Morgan. Houston may not have a “Wall Street” analogue, but make no mistake: this is the Wall Street of oil and gas.

Houston also has respected religious communities, including large churches such as Second Baptist and Lakewood, one of the largest Catholic communities in the U.S. including a Cardinal, and a huge community of Jews including many Orthodox Jews. 50,000 Sikhs live in the Houston area. There is a large cadre of Orthodox Christians from areas such as Greece and the Middle East.

All told, Houston has many cultural, societal, and economic institutions that tie it together – as well as a rich history to back it all up (though that would be far too much for the scope of this guide). If you’re marketing in Houston, you need to understand this – especially if you’re new to the area. Even if you’re not, you should recognize that it all ties into understanding some of the “why” of how you can effectively get your message out in this vibrant, large, growing community.

Houston, TX

Population: 2.3 Million

Metro: 7.1 Million

Yearly growth rate: 1.6%

digital marketing agency in houston
Gotta love downtown Houston, where our main office is located.

Where are your customers in Houston? 

Before you go about building a marketing plan for this area, much less a digital marketing plan, it’s important to identify your target audience. We just talked about how enormous Houston is – and mentioned that many people stay in their neighborhoods for essential services.

The first question you have to answer, then, is “where do your customers live?” If you’re B2B, where are those small businesses? Are you targeting big energy businesses downtown, maybe logistics concerns along the Port of Houston, down into the industrial areas south of I-610 near Hobby Airport? Or are you looking for gas stations, laundromats, and any business that takes credit cards? 

Then there are areas filled with restaurants and other consumer-oriented businesses, but not much else. The Galleria area (or Uptown Houston as it’s also known) of the west 610 loop, roughly the area between San Felipe and Richmond, is filled with stores, hotels, and upscale services, but less in the way of major businesses than other parts of the city.

If you’re consumer-oriented, where are they located? Of course, a physical restaurant, retail, or similar geographically-bounded business knows more or less – but that’s not even always true in Houston. We’ve already mentioned Gallery Furniture – they advertise citywide (as Houston has its own major media market with all of the major media platforms present, including in other languages such as Telemundo) and have been able to grow massively based on primarily the one location off of Tidwell and Interstate 45, later adding a couple of others.

Even restaurants can draw from a broad area – Houston has a branch of the internationally-famous sushi fusion chain Nobu in the Galleria area, and there are local favorites such as Ninfa’s on Navigation, Laurenzo’s, Brennan’s, and countless others which draw people from around the city.

Houston service businesses have to work harder 

But not everyone is a restaurant where consumers come to you (and almost no B2B providers operate that way). Instead, many clients we work with provide services to a broad area – such as home services. Others, like car dealerships, have to think carefully about the value of broadening their reach beyond their area of direct influence (in other words, where people see you as they drive by all the time).

There are no easy answers, but we might start with the following premise: if your target customer, your ideal customer, is someone who has certain buying qualities and/or needs more than geographic traits, you may be best served by throwing a broader geographic net, but with very specific targeting. Huh? Hope we didn’t lose you. Here’s an example.

Say for instance that you’re a car dealership (and we won’t name any in Houston that follow this, but you might be able to guess if you live here). You can be the car dealership located in X area, and there you are, people drive by and maybe they need a car and they come to you – voila! Possible sale.

If you’re that guy, though, you’re probably leaking business to other dealerships that have qualities consumers perceive – maybe a dealership known for excellent service, specializing in a hard-to-find model, or known for its outstanding financing department. Who knows – the point is, those guys could be cleaning your clock, and you don’t even know it!

We encounter this exact situation with many clients. They think “well, we own our area here in X neighborhood, so we don’t really need to reach people over in Y and Z neighborhoods.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. Especially in Houston. This is a city built around automobiles, not public transit like New York or Washington, D.C. For big ticket purchases, customers will drive 5 minutes, even 50 minutes further if they think they’ll get the better deal/service/experience.

The same is true of services. If you’re based in The Woodlands and think that because you’re up there, you can’t provide services to Missouri City, you’re likely limiting yourself. It may well be that it’s not in your economic best interest to do so – but think hard. Unless the cost of gas and time simply rules it out, you might be missing valuable customers there who would pay more for your excellent services, if only you were willing to say you served that area, too.

This is where a Houston marketing agency may be able to help

Perhaps you can do it all yourself, and there’s no shortage of material out there to teach you. But do you have the time? Most clients we work with have tried doing all this stuff themselves, and some of them are great at it – they know their business better than anyone else. Yet, there are only so many hours in the day, week, and month – and if you’re hoofing it in Houston on your own, it’s going to be tough to reach your target needles in that 7-million-person haystack.

That’s why it may make sense to hire a Houston marketing agency (cough, like us!). It could be the best way, both in terms of cost and your time, to expand your business’s footprint, especially if you’re willing to think outside the box. Houstonians are not driving down the street to find most of the services they use – they’re searching on Google, responding to advertising, and seeing the online recommendations of friends and influencers they trust. 

Precision Outreach and other Houston marketing agencies that do this right (and we are biased, but there are some other good folks out there too) create a comprehensive strategy to ensure your business’ actual needs are met. Some businesses need more, and some need less – maybe you just need some Search Engine Optimization, or SEO work, to rank your business near the top of important Houston-area search terms. 

Or maybe, you need an entire rebranding and rethinking of your marketing strategy. It’s tough to know without a personalized assessment and consultation, but you have to make the decision to reach out for that help in the first place. Keep in mind – no marketing firm, no matter how brilliant, can force your business to be successful. You have to be able to delegate certain things out to ensure they’re done correctly.

Local SEO in Houston

Houston is full of people who will do your SEO. After all, Search Engine Optimization is one of the most frequently outsourced marketing products, and the potential for making a ton of money doing it the sloppy, cheap way is huge.

The way you know that so many of these companies are outsourcing is fairly simple: their content is dry, uninteresting, and needlessly technical. Or perhaps they didn’t outsource it, but some AI Chatbot like ChatGPT wrote it – and there’s a danger to leaning in too heavily on AI content (Google may penalize you!).

Precision Outreach is proud to only work with local staff to do local SEO here in Houston – and we believe that makes a big difference in the final product. Our writing has been published in such places as the Dallas Morning News, the Austin American Statesman, the New York Daily News, the Houston Chronicle, and the San Antonio Express-News, to name but a few. Our content is top-notch because our copywriting is top-notch.

It just happens that this also makes for the best SEO.

What should SEO services cost? A price comparison of several Houston SEO companies.

Let’s talk about what Houston SEO services cost. While much of it depends on what exact services are provided, keep in mind that the ultimate question is “will there be an improvement in my company’s Google ranking?” While we are neither the cheapest in town nor the most expensive, we are very competitively priced – and we believe our focus on results sets us apart.

Unlike many marketing firms, you also know with Precision Outreach that your marketing spend is never being outsourced to foreign countries. That may seem insignificant, but our local American talent understands best how to market to your audience, because they live and work in the communities you’re talking to. That’s important, and – we believe – priceless.

Precision Outreach

Precision Outreach charges for SEO services by the focus area – a cluster of related search terms. We charge $500 per month per focus area. For general small business marketing services (consulting, strategy, and some content creation), we start at $1,500 per month. A normal SEO client of ours will spend between $2,000 and $4,000 monthly.


Comrade, a large digital marketing company based in Austin that does a lot of work in the Houston area, says on their website: “most of our clients spend around $2,500 to $10,000 a month on marketing services.”


According to their website, Astoundz, a well-established Houston SEO company, “offers packages ranging from around $3,000 per month up to $25,000, based on your unique requirements.”

Houston social media marketing

As a Houston digital marketing agency and a Houston social media marketing agency, too, we possess extensive knowledge about the city’s vibrant online environment, and how it can be leveraged to great effect for your business. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter can all be valuable, but you don’t have to focus on everything. 

A great social media agency creates a social media strategy for a specific business. These specialized tactics can then allow businesses to target specific demographics within Houston, tap into local conversations, and develop content which resonates. All of this in greater brand recognition, improved customer retention rates, and greater sales figures.

The best Houston marketing agencies, such as, for example, Precision Outreach (we’re biased, but hey, it’s our website) also specialize in content marketing as a key service, understanding local markets to craft high-quality, relevant material that resonates with target audiences – be it blog posts, videos, infographics, or email newsletters. It starts with understanding your business, your goals, and what you want to accomplish.

The best Houston content marketing agencies don’t simply create content for the sake of it. We know from both experience and from what Google tells us that content can be an incredibly effective SEO tool by optimizing it with keywords that increase website rankings on search engines, making it easier for potential customers in Houston to locate you online. Authentic content is best of all – when we work towards ranking your site with content that people will care about, you’re building positive relationships from the first click onward.

Online marketing results are trackable, too. Every click, like, share, and comment can be monitored and evaluated to provide insights into your campaign’s efficacy. This allows ongoing optimization to make sure the campaign always drives optimal outcomes.

A good marketing agency will provide an all-encompassing solution for a small business looking to boost its digital presence, attract more customers, and meet business goals. Combining social media and content marketing techniques with our vast knowledge of the unique Houston market, we believe fully that we can assist your company in realizing its full potential. But even if you don’t use us, you should use someone – for heaven’s sake, don’t try to do all this yourself late at night!

However, if you’re looking to hire a social media marketer, content marketing agency, or digital marketing agency in Houston, we do hope you’ll consider us. The benefits of having us on your team are enormous, but the risks of not engaging at all (or doing the same old, same old) are also huge. Whether your business is an emerging or established one, by tapping our expertise in digital marketing, you will better navigate the market’s complexities while driving business forward.

Reach out to us by using the form below, or send us an email. We’d love to talk with you about your business needs.

Jess Fields is the President of Precision Outreach, a marketing agency based in Houston. A native Houstonian, Jess has worked all over America, but especially loves helping businesses right here in Houston be as successful as they can be. He can be reached at [email protected].



Use this contact form to send us a message. We’ll get back to you ASAP. Or, you may schedule 30 minutes of our time with the scheduling app to the right.

You can schedule 15 or 30 minutes at no cost to talk with us about your needs below. We’re available 6 days per week at a time convenient for you. This is, by far, the most convenient (and helpful) way for us to see if we can help you out. By prior agreement or for existing clients, you may also book 1-hour meetings and phone consultations.


Use this contact form to send us a message. We’ll get back to you ASAP. Or, you may schedule 30 minutes of our time with the scheduling app to the right.


You can schedule 15 or 30 minutes at no cost to talk with us about your needs below. We’re available 6 days per week at a time convenient for you. This is, by far, the most convenient (and helpful) way for us to see if we can help you out. By prior agreement or for existing clients, you may also book 1-hour meetings and phone consultations.

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