5 free low-cost marketing ideas for your small business

5 free low-cost marketing ideas for your small business

Many small businesses don’t have money they can set aside for marketing. They can’t hire specialist agencies, perform in-depth market research, or calculate the ROI from various marketing campaigns. Instead, they have to get creative and find free or low-cost marketing opportunities targeting their local community or online audience.

Listed below are five marketing ideas that answer these needs for small businesses to try.

1. Create a referral program

Word-of-mouth recommendations between friends and family are worth more than any marketing material. The opinion of someone you know and respect will always beat a company’s advertising. Therefore, if you can get existing customers to start referring your business to others, you’re on the right path.

There are a few ways you can do this, regardless of your business model. If you’re a local brick-and-mortar store, you can do it face-to-face at the point of sale with gentle reminders. If you’re an online brand, you can add suggestions to your checkout pages, order confirmation emails, or anywhere where you receive payments online.

If you have the budget to offer a discount, you can improve referral rates by giving customers a financial incentive to invite their friends and family to also spend money at your store.

2. Post on social media

We’re not talking about buying Facebook ads to promote your company. We’re talking about regularly posting on social media to build an online presence and show customers the real people behind your business.

Many consumers nowadays are more conscious about how they spend their money. They want to support ethical, local, smaller operations rather than send money to the big companies. As a small business, you can use this to your advantage. You’re not a faceless corporation — you’re a small operation made up of real people, often with real connections to the local community. You can create social media content to reflect this, whether that be posts, videos, or writing.

The key is to be authentic, showing your genuine personality and not trying to fake something that customers will see through. While not everyone is a natural at social media, there’s no denying it is a powerful marketing tool. When done correctly, social media posts can help build a passionate group of local individuals who aren’t just customers; but also advocates for your business.

3. Engage with customers online

On a similar note, interacting with customers online is a great way to directly market your business. Whether it’s on social media, your website, or even your Google business page, boosting online engagement is a great way to start a conversation about your business and get yourself seen by more people.

By interacting with customers online, you can answer questions, respond to any issues honestly, advise on the best way to use your products and services, run polls and request feedback, and promote your business in whatever way makes sense.

4. Write blogs to attract website visitors

You may not think you’re much of a writer. But a lot of small business owners are very passionate about their product and are able to talk at great lengths about it to anyone who’ll listen. That same passion can be directed towards writing blogs for your website and attracting organic traffic. Plus, you’ll get to educate your audience about the ins and outs of your product or services.

Inbound marketing has come a long way over recent years, and you can go down a deep dive into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Google ranking factors to try and get new visitors to your site. Or you can just write about what you love, repurposing blogs for social media posts or converting them into a newsletter that you send out to your mailing list.

5. Look for business awards

Finding independent endorsements for your business is a great marketing tool. With that in mind, a cheap way to get your company a seal of approval is to find relevant business awards or competitions to apply for or compete in.

Whether they’re local, regional, or national, competitions give you a chance to strengthen your credibility and a way to market yourself, often by displaying the logo or badge of the award on your website. Even if you don’t win, competing in industry awards can be a great networking opportunity.

Using marketing to communicate your USP

However you choose to market your business, remember to always lean into your unique selling proposition (USP). When you started your business, you probably had an idea of what would separate you from the competition. It could be a special feature of your product, a convenience or benefit you offer, your approach to working, or just how you deal with customers.

Whatever it is, you need to convey that in your marketing material. Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas for low-cost approaches to explaining your USP to new customers.

CATEGORIES : Advertising Business


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