It might be years after the global economic decline, but some businesses are still feeling the pinch. Maybe you’ve got a start-up that needs a cost-effective way to market a new product to a target demographic? There are a number of low budget marketing ideas that can help you get an immense return on your investment if you’re willing to put in a little sweat equity!
It all begins with your ability to be an expert at what you do. No matter what your niche happens to be, when people see you as the very best provider, then you’ll have more business. Find out what sets you apart, figure out what problem you can solve for people, and then be aggressive about the value you can provide others.
Affordable Low Budget Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
1. Blog Away Like Crazy
Blogging is an immediate way to provide people with value and it doesn’t have to cost a dime. Add a blog to your current website or start a free one on a portal like Blogger or WordPress. Then just plug away at valuable content that is at least 300 words in length to make sure your content is indexed by the search engines.
2. Get Yourself On Twitter
Don’t ignore what Twitter can provide for free because the conversations you join on this social media outlet can lead to a lot of business. Don’t settle for the shortcut of paying for followers because that won’t help you at all. Build naturally, engage with people, and your business will start to grow.
3. Be Listed on Local Search Results
Make sure Google has listed your business because otherwise you won’t be found in targeted local searches for your niche.
4. Get Online Reviews
Once you have your Google listing, encourage people to leave reviews for you that are positive because that will boost your search rankings. It only takes 10 reviews to initiate this ranking clause in most cases and you’ll want those reviews to be positive. You might also solicit for reviews on specific sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, depending on your business model.
5. Look for Online Networking Opportunities
If you can provide value for others online, then you’ve got a chance to reach new audiences. Ask about having a guest post on a blog or write content for article resource websites that allow you to link back to your own website.
6. Let Email Work For You
What are you doing with the email addresses that you’ve been collecting? Create a newsletter or take content that is original, not recycled from your blog, and send it to everyone on your email list. Put a place on your website for people to sign up for your newsletter.
7. Be Different
It’s tempting to do what others are doing when you see them getting results, but that doesn’t usually work. You’ve got to be different, which means you might need to be creative. The average person sees over 100 advertisements every day. If you don’t stand out, then you’ll just become background noise that is ignored.
8. Let Your Email Do the Work
Every email that you send someone is an opportunity to market yourself when you’ve got useful links and data in your email signature. Make sure there’s a link back to your website, include a link to your blog as well, and don’t forget to create a v-card for people to put into their e-files.
9. Encourage Loyalty
Loyal customers are repeat revenue resources, so encourage their loyalty through some form of a reward program. Discounts and coupons that people can work to earn may encourage additional calls for service or added products because let’s face it – everyone loves something for free.
10. Make Your Customer Service World Class
Bad customer service is an almost 100% guaranteed that you’ll get a negative online review and never see that customer again. Make sure you’re providing the very best customer service and you’ll effectively advertise your company
11. Wait Until the Last Second
Magazines and newspapers often have extra advertising space that hasn’t sold and that means you could get a great deal if you wait until close to press time. This is more difficult with a newspaper because they format the pages ahead of time. Give them a fair offer for blank space and you just might get it.
12. Run a Sweepstakes
Even the chance to win something great will get people to engage with your business, so run a contest or sweepstakes that has a prize that will tempt a lot of people. The best part about this is that you can co-brand the sweepstakes and have another business donate the prize! You both get customer contact information in return and that’s a win/win situation.
13. Get Some Testimonials
When people see someone telling them how good you are, they’re more inclined to believe it. Talk to your customers about going on video to talk about you. Encourage them with a discount for their next purchase if you wish. Authentic reviews will always be better than paid ones.
14. Ask People For Recommendations
It’s a simple method of expanding a business, but it is often ignored because it requires a social interaction. Just ask and you’ll be surprised at how good the results can end up being for you.
15. Use Your Vehicles
Putting your contact information on the back of your vehicle is a cost-effective way to spread information about your company no matter where you happen to be. These mobile billboards are very inexpensive, but don’t put the images on the side of the vehicle. People don’t tend to read information on the side of a vehicle.
16. Family and Friends Are a Good Resource
Your family and friends love to say good things about you and that goes for your business as well. Don’t abuse this resource, but an occasional request to have them promote your business can help you expand your customer base through this version of word-of-mouth marketing.