We love the underwater adverts or the huge billboards with 3D elements, but let’s be real, not every business has thousands of dollars to promote their brand.
Especially with small businesses that already have a tight budget to work with, marketing can seem like quite a challenge. But hey don't get upset, there’s plenty of ways you can market yourself that can create a huge impact without spending any (or much) money.
Invest in a professional website
With 97% of people learning about local businesses from online means than anywhere else, a website might be their starting point and explains why you need a top-notch one! A Stanford study found that 75% of people judge the success of business based on how their website looks. It’s where you can show what your business is all about with an ability to convert organic traffic into leads, basically your most important salesperson!
What defines a good website?
One that instantly shows up on the top of the results when people do a quick web search, you can improve your website’s chances of showing up through SEO. Check out these SEO that no one wants to reveal.
But gone are the days where a good website was enough. A good website can just leave you with a one time visit, but an interactive, well designed and an easy to navigate experience is what makes them stay. Moreover, consider integrating website chatbots for a more interactive approach to your site visitors. Skip on the lengthy essays describing your various plans because 38% of the users will stop engaging in a website if the layout isn’t aesthetic.
In fact 94% of first impressions on your website are design-related, so if you don’t wish to spend extra on a website developer, there’s loads of marketing softwares with numerous elements to make your website fancy and chic!
Don’t forget to sprinkle in tubs of social proof on the homepage- any testimonials, reviews, ratings, awards all can capture the attention in seconds!
2. Increase social media presence
With 3.80 billion social media users as of 2020, each spending an average of 3 hours daily, in today’s world if you’re not on social media, you’re missing out! Especially for a small business this is your way to engage and build a community at minimal cost if not any cost.
Create business accounts on all major platforms where your audience can be and curate posts that reflect your brand’s personality, promote your blogs, chat directly with your followers, run polls and ask for feedback- the list is endless! Consistency is key!
Tag your loyal customers or other companies that can broaden your organic reach to a new potential audience. Play your hands around the local SEO and add location-based keywords to your content and watch your visibility and search engine rankings skyrocket!
3. Develop an email marketing plan
Did you know 72% of U.S. adults prefer companies to communicate with them via email, and 91% would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. The number of email users is growing too, expected to reach over from 4.26 billion in 2022 to 4.6 billion in 2025. In fact it’s a great way to get new customers to your business and maintain relationships with existing ones!
It’s easy, free and cheap- as inexpensive as $9 per month for email subscription at Mailchimp that allows for a variety of email designs and templates to choose from. Perfect to capture attention of the upcoming dominant clan- aka the millennials where 73% of them prefer communications by email.
Don’t forget to be creative with the subject lines and entail engaging content to create leads or they’ll unsubscribe with no thought. Too much work as a small business entrepreneur? Automate these tasks and let your email virtual assistant do the work- they also track your performance and run A/B tests to see what works best with you! Check email assistant services here.
4. Form Industry Connections
Try teaming up with businesses, no we don’t mean befriending your competitors but any complimentary businesses that will allow for a win-win situation for you and them, can work wonders to bring exposure to a whole new audience related to your niche.
For example: you could give your customers a coupon to the other business and vice versa, keep your business cards at their physical location or by collaborating online with a webinar or throwing an exclusive event.
Local support and community involvement has many benefits- increases brand recognition, boosts reputation and helps learn more about your audience and their needs. So don't shy away from introducing your business to the community, some meaningful ways to build trust with your client base is by organizing a block party with local businesses, sponsoring a charity event, registering for talks where you can share your expertise or even applying for local awards!
5. Capture attention with video
Ahh, the cost? Well yes at times a videographer and editor can be quite an expense for small businesses. What if we tell you there’s ways to do without spending a dime?
Go live!!- Facebook, YouTube and Instagram live both can allow for easy sharing through your very own personal smartphone, no cost of a fancy DSLR. Live stream events like the behind the scenes of a new curation, instructional videos or even live interactions with the viewers where you could build personal relationships by appreciating their time, presence and support can go a long way.
You could also position yourself as an expert and offer live webinars, short videos sharing advice, product demos or interviews of staff and industry experts. For a budget option, there are many free webinar platforms available. Time of lengthy articles has gone, more than 50% consumers want to see videos from brands, so get going!
6. Don't forget to take advantage of traditional marketing
While it's very easy and efficient to run ad or social media campaigns either by yourself or by hiring an agency to do that remotely very quickly, let's not forget about the traditional marketing and areas where our potential audience is still going very often. Live events, shopping malls, town squares and so on.
You can find hundreds of people in these places and traditional marketing solutions like event describing booklets, personalized stickers, and creative posters can do a very good job here for quite low cost.
Keep in mind that while global marketing trends are shifting to the online world, you can still take a piece of the pie in offline space, where you'll be surprised with competition decline.
Marketing on a budget takes effort and more so constant testing to figure out what works best for your business. Start with the above 5 listed budget-friendly marketing ideas and invest the saved cost onto your business and it’s growth!