9 Effective Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Limited Budget

If you’re on a shoestring budget and are looking to promote your small business, there are plenty of ways to market your small business on a small budget. Check out these inexpensive marketing ideas for small businesses and see how far you can stretch those dollars.

A small business or startup always has to face difficult challenges and the major one is a cash crunch. There are so many costs like leasing, salaries for members, purchasing raw materials, operational costs and so on that marketing and advertising usually get the ax.

Also, it is very difficult to measure or quantify the success of a marketing campaign, which makes it a risky proposition. But the good news is that you can go in for effective marketing even on  a tight budget.

10 Super Effective Ways to Promote Small Business

  1. Kickass Content / Content Marketing for Small Business

A proven marketing strategy. You just have to create amazing content and the traffic starts rolling into your website.

  • How to market your business? Be patient and consistent in creating content.
  • Do it yourself if you can. It’s cheaper.
  • Consider different types of content like blog posts; slideshows; ebooks; videos and compare the costs.
  • Try freelancers and agencies to create content.
  • Focus on quality instead of quantity.

Tip: Even one amazing post a week is enough, just make it valuable. For instance, Brian Dean of Backlinko has only 40 articles on his site after several years, averaging just a single post a month!

  1. Online Marketing for Small Business

How to promote your business? According to InternetLiveStats, more than 5.4 billion people are presently using the Internet. It makes sense to use a cheap online marketing strategy to promote your business.

  • Start your blog. It’s one of the most popular marketing ideas for small businesses.
  • Use Facebook groups. Create a group specially for customers who have purchased your product. Send emails asking your customers to join the group. Offer help and support to them. Promote events and share photographs.
  • Join Online forums and sites like Reddit and Quora. Reddit ranks 3rd among the most popular sites. You could opt for paid ads, as it is easy to get your target audience.

Tip: Someone just uploaded one of Ikea’s deals on a subreddit and it went viral!

  • Start a store on eBay. Yes, eBay is not just an auction style store. You can also opt for Fixed price as well as have a Store Inventory, customise your storefront, set categories and feature the different items you have for sale.
  • Use Amazon fulfillment. It simplifies logistics nightmares and you can reach more customers and boost sales. When you register yourself as a seller on Amazon, your products come to the limelight in the online store.
  1. Video Marketing

Times have changed. YouTube is now the 2nd most popular website on the Internet, next only to Google. You can start your small business advertising cheaply using videos, as there are many low cost options available.

  • Allocate funds for online video creations instead of TV ads.
  • Introduce your products and your business.
  • Share the mission/vision of your business in this business marketing strategy.
  • Use Powerpoint presentations and convert them into videos for business advertising.

Tip: Use online companies to produce videos.

  • Educate as well as entertain your audience through your tutorials, enhancing brand awareness. Use brand films, product videos, FAQ videos, instructional or educational videos or just a 360 degrees experience video to show potential customers your location.

Tip: 46% people in a study said that they prefer to get information from online videos in social media before making a purchase.

  1. Website

Use your website to increase conversions, the cheap but effective way.

  1. PPC Advertising

You might find it difficult to feature your small business in the first pages of Google search. Increase your exposure and market your business using PPC ads or pay per click ads. You have to pay whenever a user clicks on these ads and reach their websites.

  • Use a platform like Google AdWords, as it is one of the best ways to advertise your business.
  • Other platforms include Bing, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for your PPC advertising campaign.
  • Use optimal, specific keywords relevant to your product

Tip: Use SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner.

  • Make sure to have a CTA on your landing page, and ensure that it loads fast.

Note: 40% users leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

  1. Vehicle Branding

This is a cost effective means of advertising and one of the cheap ways to promote your business.  Brand your company car, bike, van, etc. that you use for marketing and draw the attention of your target market.

  • Vehicle branding can attract local customers to your business and is among the popular marketing strategies for small business.
  • Promote your small business locally. Use vehicle decals or stickers or car magnets or vehicle wraps to promote your business.
  • It helps to build trust and offers a professional image of your business.
  • Follow the road rules while driving. No speeding and no violating traffic rules.
  • Use professional graphics teams to create the perfect branding that can turn heads.
  1. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place for small businesses to promote themselves. It is free to set up your profile and is also a very effective platform, being one of the best types of promotion.

Note: 79% of small businesses consider LinkedIn as an effective platform for generating a lead.

  • Create your profile focusing on your business.
  • Consider a company/business page.
  • Build connections to get more customers, partners as well as influencers.
  • Recommendations and testimonials on LinkedIn offer more credibility for your business.
  • Update your status regularly, to connect with target customers.
  • Join relevant groups and discussions.
  • Paid ads in LinkedIn can also help promote your business.
  • With a membership for Business, you can get added marketing benefits.
  1. Press / News Releases

The size of your business just doesn’t matter as far as a press release is concerned. It is the story that matters.

  • Think about stories that would interest your target audience, or how your business is contributing to the community.
  • Write a compelling press release or just hire someone to do it for you.

Tip: You can do it yourself. It’s just around a 400 word outline of the who, the where, the what and the why. Reporters will retell it in an interesting way.

  • You can give a press release even before the product is released in the market.
  • It increases visibility and traffic for your product and promotes brand awareness.
  • Media coverage also gives your company credibility.
  • Go in for offline as well as online press releases.
  • Add a CTA and a catchy headline to get more response.
  • Connect your story with your business anniversary or a special event.
  1. Customer Referral Programs

You are in effect asking your existing customers to promote your business. Your existing customers refer your product to others and you give them a reward for the service.

  • You can offer a cash bonus to the referrer, when the referred individual becomes your customer.
  • Offer a discount to your customers for giving you new clients. For instance, if you are running a restaurant, you can offer a discount of 30% on a dinner for each customer that they refer.
  • You can offer the refer one get one reward. In this case, if your customer brings in a new one, he gets the product purchased by that person for free.
  • Make the award redemption procedure simple and easy to understand, without too many restrictions and conditions.

Wrap Up

Admittedly, it is challenging to reach customers and convert them into your clients. It could well bore a hole in your pocket with so many marketing strategies involving a huge amount of investment.

Most owners of small businesses are cost conscious and want to trim their costs related to marketing and advertising. Social media has made it possible to do this in the most inexpensive way possible, if you just try thinking out of the box with these innovative promotional ideas.  You can try out the above cheap ways of promoting your business,  most of which require only a one time investment.

Yours might be a small business but you can still use these resources, as they are not just for the big boys alone. You can now market your small business even on the smallest of budgets or even no budget at all.

Cover photo by Pexels

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