Are you looking for marketing strategies that you can use to grow your small business on a tiny budget?
In this article, I’m going to share with you 9 modern marketing strategies that you can use to start attracting new customers and clients to your business even if you don’t have a large marketing budget.
But why is marketing important for your small business?
First of all, marketing lets the world know about your products or services. Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur or launching an online store, marketing efforts can help create awareness among potential clients and can contribute to the success of your business if done effectively.
You can use marketing as a way of communicating with your community to give them an in-depth understanding of how your business works, while also promoting brand loyalty among your existing customers.
And lastly, good marketing helps increase sales which is the most important factor for your business to thrive.
But let’s be real— Marketing can be expensive. From spending thousands of dollars for billboards to producing radio and tv advertisements, these are often too expensive for small businesses.
However, the good news is that a number of modern inexpensive small business marketing methods can help you achieve your goal (and some are even free). Just because marketing is so crucial, doesn’t mean it has to be a capital-intensive venture.
Try these low-cost marketing options and see how they can grow both your business and your overall marketing strategy:
1. Social Media
I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of your presence on social media. Aside from the fact that it’s inexpensive, developing your presence on social media can be a powerful strategy.
If people can’t find your business via social media, they will look for your competitors who are present on preferred social channels.
But the problem today is there are lots of small businesses out there that quick tap into any social media platform without considering the type of market or business they’re in. We don’t want to do that.
You must plan strategically.
For example, if your business is “Business to Consumer”, Facebook could be the right channel for you, I’d recommend using a tool like AdEspresso to run your campaigns and speed up your journey to positive ROI. Or if you run a business that has a strong visual component, it might be worth trying out Instagram Ads instead.
On the other hand, if your business is “Business to business”, you can go after LinkedIn. Linkedin is more geared towards the B2B professionals— types of customers you want to target. The key is identifying where your customers are and how they like to be approached.
Reach out to individuals and make sure to stay connected without spending too much on paid ads. Go organic!
Do you have a new project completed? New business story to share? Write about it—on a blog.
One of the most effective and inexpensive ways to go about content marketing is by starting a blog. It is a great way to build up a community of people genuinely interested in what your business offers.
A blog serves as a platform to share your success with your audience as well as your struggle. Besides, you should aim at providing relevant information about the class of business you are for your customers.
There are quite a number of free blog services you could subscribe to for a start.
“The blog is a great tool to position us as thought leaders in digital marketing. When combining high-quality content with a strong social media presence, we extend our reach to media and clients.” says explains Hassan Bawab, founder and CEO at Magic Logix, an interactive digital marketing agency.
3. Cross-Promotion or Partnership
Teamwork is always more effective than singular effort, and combining resources with another business can help you do things you could never accomplish on your own. You could partner up with a business related to your industry and help to promote each other’s products or services.
For example, if you are running a coffee shop you might want to consider teaming up with a pastry shop (not exactly a competition [complement]). You could offer a coupon for pastries for anyone who buys coffee from you and the pastry shop will do the same.
Building a partnership can market your business to the customer base of another business. This works especially well for local businesses, as it fosters a sense of unity and support within the community.
4. Webinars and online forums
Don’t stay in the dark!
You can increase your visibility by creating webinar training. This is where you give free online training addressing some urgent problem, need, want, or desire that your customers are currently facing. During a webinar, you’ll share your expertise and knowledge on how to get that problem resolved.
This is an opportunity for you to become a thought-leader in your industry. Also, it is one of the best ways to build trust with your audience that can effectively attract new sales leads. Just make sure you are sharing valuable and relevant content for your viewers— it should focus on being educational, not salesy.
Aside from that, you can join discussion forums where people are actively talking about products and services like yours, topics in your industry, and businesses relevant to build your reputation and network.
5. Create videos
Did you know that Youtube is the second largest search engine on the web? That means when people are looking for how to solve something, they would go to Google first, and to Youtube second (or YouTube via Google). So you and your business should definitely be there!
Your video marketing can help you connect with your audience in a more engaging way. It can be the bridge that links what you say to who you really are, allowing customers to peer behind the curtain and get to know your brand.
You can create simple instructional videos, step-by-step guides, or even short videos sharing experiences that are relevant to your audience. Video content allows you to become known as the go-to expert and you get to attract new clients to your business.
Creating video content doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task either. You can start with short clips shot from your phone and post them on social media as well as YouTube.
6. Email Marketing
Email Marketing remains one of the most lucrative and cost-efficient channels for connecting with your target audience. When done strategically, it can drive traffic to your website, generate qualified leads, and gain you more loyal customers without spending too much money.
You can focus on smaller, more targeted groups to spread the word instead of large-scale media marketing campaigns. You could consistently send online brochures, announce your latest promotions, or share your recent marketing content.
On the other hand, sending SMS can also be a powerful strategy to target a specific set of people just like email. This will give you the opportunity to send a personalized message to individuals. Imagine how these people will feel about having a direct message from the business owner.
Is there an upcoming business trade fair in your community? Join it. A local charity event that may need your participation? Join that, too. These are golden opportunities to build your network.
Networking is one of the most effective marketing strategies that everyone has access to, and there are plenty of ways to do it whether offline or online (Linkedin is there for a reason!). You could essentially do this anywhere, at any time, with anyone without hurting your bottom line.
It is an approach that prioritizes people rather than positions and businesses. By putting people first, you can determine who matters most that you need to get to know and what you can do for them. Then you can market your business to a broader audience in a less obvious, more effective manner. Start utilizing any and every opportunity that brings you in contact with new people.
8. Guest Blogging
This is another low-cost marketing method to promote your business to get a wider reach. Guest blogging is publishing your post on any other person’s blog.
But why would you do that?
Aside from the fact that it is an inexpensive marketing strategy, it also provides a number of advantages that your small business could benefit from.
First, guest blogging on other blogs bigger than yours is a great way to build your online influence which has a lot to do with your authority and expertise. Second, no one can deny the fact that it brings to you a lot of traffic especially by providing a backlink to your site. And lastly, it increases your exposure while at the same time helping you build your brand.
9. Ask for online reviews
You could ask for customer participation to write their reviews about your products or services.
What your customers have to say about you is the clearest indication of the kind of experiences future customers will have with you. By asking customers who have had positive experiences to write a quick review on social media, you can entice more potential customers.
One more thing, having a satisfied customer to take the time to write a review, it’s likely that they’ll recommend your business to their friends and family for future needs. All of this comes at little to no cost and lets your customers do the marketing for you.
Marketing is a core part of any business. It can make the difference between a booming business as well as a struggling business.
You may have the best product or stellar customer service, but if people don’t know that your business exists, you are not going to have any sales. Your marketing efforts are important to keep your business afloat.
In this digital world, it is no news that modern marketing is becoming more effective by the day. And as you dig deeper into marketing for your small business you will explore more and more inexpensive strategies. You just have to be resourceful, consistent, and hardworking.
If you’re a small business or startup looking for help with content marketing, our team is always available to point you in the right direction! Leave a comment below or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.