Are you looking for low-cost small business marketing strategies that work? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Small businesses often lack the resources required to develop great marketing campaigns. Especially when you’re just starting as an entrepreneur, money can be tight. That’s why we’ve put together some low-budget, small-business marketing strategies that work.
But before diving in, know that marketing is not a one-size-fits-all, and results don’t typically occur overnight. Plus, marketing can become extremely difficult if you don’t know your audience.
So it would be best to answer the following questions, ideally through research.
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What do they like doing?
- Where do they hang out?
- What are their potential job roles?
- What are their likely behaviors?
- What are their interests?
As long as you know who you’re targeting, the following strategies can help you grow your business if implemented correctly.
1. Share Your Expertise For Free
A good way to boost sales is to offer your expertise for free. But, of course, this doesn’t mean you must provide your entire services or product line for free. That would be bad for business.
Eben Pagan, an entrepreneur coach, calls it “moving the free line.” The idea is to offer something for free that can help you reach your target audience faster but doesn’t cost the business a lot.
For example, you could create a free online course targeting an industry that uses your products or services. The individuals who take the online course will remember your brand and share their experiences with others.
In time, people in that industry may begin to associate your business with what you do, recognizing the organization as one of the authorities in the industry.
This strategy goes a long way in boosting your credibility as an expert.
2. Business Networking
Business networking refers to establishing and maintaining relationships with other professionals, entrepreneurs, or businesses within a particular industry or market.
You can expand your network through various channels, including in-person events, conferences, professional organizations, and online platforms.
Effective business networking consists of the following key elements.
- Building relationships: Networking is fundamentally about creating meaningful connections with others. Building relationships can lead to referrals, partnerships, and valuable insights to help your business grow.
- Exchanging information: Business networking offers the opportunity to share knowledge, experiences, and expertise with others. This exchange of information can lead to improved business practices, innovative ideas, and a greater understanding of market trends and consumer needs.
- Identifying opportunities: Networking can help identify potential collaborations, partnerships, or new business opportunities. You may discover untapped markets, new product ideas, or innovative ways to expand your business.
- Expanding your network: As you grow your network, you can gain access to influential decision-makers, potential clients, and other valuable contacts.
- Enhancing your reputation: Networking lets you showcase your expertise, skills, and knowledge to others. Therefore, you can establish yourself as a trusted professional and build a positive reputation.
- Accessing resources: Networking can provide access to resources, such as capital, human talent, and specialized services. In addition, you can leverage shared resources to benefit your business by partnering with others or tapping into their networks.
- Personal and professional development: Networking exposes you to new ideas, perspectives, and opportunities, leading to personal and professional growth. Engaging with diverse individuals can expand your skillset, enhance your problem-solving abilities, and deepen your understanding.
3. Social Media
Social media can still be a strong marketing channel for small businesses.
With the broad penetration of smartphones, more than half of the world is on social media. In Canada alone, 87.1% of people use social media. And in the United States, 72% use some type of social media platform.
And there are many social platforms that you can use to reach your target market—for example, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. However, the most important thing is to focus on the platforms that matter.
Think about your target audience and whether they are active on the platform you want to use. For example, Twitter and LinkedIn are full of entrepreneurs and other business professionals, making them ideal for companies in the B2B space.
In addition, your strategy for each platform should be slightly or entirely different. Avoid sharing the same things everywhere unless it makes sense based on what people are looking for on the given social media platform.
4. Leverage Your Website
The Internet is a hot spot for inexpensive marketing, but you need a website to take advantage of those opportunities.
A well-designed, user-friendly website is the foundation for your online presence and a hub for your digital marketing efforts. Without one, you’re limited in what you can do.
For example, businesses with only a Facebook page can’t experience the full benefit of search engine optimization. Similarly, you can’t submit your company to many online business directories without a website.
5. Give Back to The Community Strategically
Set aside some of your profit and use it for community work. For example, you can give to the community by sponsoring your favorite local sports team. Or offer your services for free to not-for-profit organizations.
Supporting the community is an excellent way to show corporate responsibility while increasing brand awareness. People are typically more willing to do business with brands that show they care about ethical, sustainability, and social issues.
These are low-budget small business marketing strategies that work. However, remember that nothing is guaranteed in marketing, and continually improving your strategy is important. So keep repeating what works and throwing out what isn’t.