A lot of small business owners tend to overlook marketing because they do not have the funds for it. But marketing is a very crucial aspect of business that should not be overlooked. Luckily, there are low-budget and even free marketing ideas that small businesses can take advantage of to generate tremendous results. This article discusses marketing ideas for small business that you can add to your marketing efforts without breaking the bank.
Why Is Marketing Important for Your Small Business – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
Marketing is very important for every type and size of business.
However, it may be even more crucial for small businesses that do not have the reach that bigger companies have.
If you want to grow your small business beyond what it currently is, then you need to up your marketing efforts.
A great marketing strategy can help you achieve the following:
Most small businesses typically aren’t known beyond the area they operate.
But this should not be so if you want your small business to grow bigger.
You can increase your brand awareness in your location and even beyond it with a proper marketing strategy.
Marketing can help you connect better with potential customers.
Selling your business to a wide range of people is a sure way of ensuring you get more sales.
And when you generate more sales, your revenue typically increases as well.
Build a Great Relationship with Your Customers – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
You can develop a great relationship with your customers with certain marketing strategies.
When you have a good relationship with your customers, you’d be able to earn their trust and loyalty.
If you have your customers’ loyalty, you would always have return customers.
And when you have their trust, you can rest assured that they would always be ready to recommend your business to those around them.
Stay Above Your Competitors
You most likely aren’t the only one running your type of business in your location.
And if you fail to attract customers in that location, then your competitors will do it.
This is why you need to do everything possible to make sure that you are always above your competitors.
Effective marketing can help you achieve this.
Ensure Your Business Stays Relevant
Smart and effective marketing can help your business stay relevant in today’s ever-changing world.
Marketing will help you stay in tune with trends and come up with new and exciting services and products.
This way, your business won’t be left behind.
Helps You Target Your Specific Audience – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
Smart and effective marketing can help you reach people who are interested in the services or products that you offer.
When your business is advertised to people who need the services you offer you would be able to make more sales.
Read this article to learn more about what a target audience is all about.
20 Low-Budget and Free Marketing Ideas for Small Business
Marketing can help your small business grow far beyond your expectation.
However, to get all of the many benefits of marketing, you have to make sure that it is done effectively.
But with numerous options available, it may be difficult to decide on which ones to adopt for your business.
And as someone running a small business, you may also have the additional burden of how to fund your marketing strategy.
Thankfully, there are several marketing tactics that you can adopt for your small business without breaking the bank.
Even though these ideas are cost-effective, they are still very effective.
So, you can have an effective marketing strategy for your small business with a slim or even non-existent budget.
Simply read through the following low-budget (and even free) marketing ideas and then decide on which ones would better suit your business.
1. Use Your Business’ Milestones or Date to Advertise the Business
Check through your business data and then see what story you can tell with the data.
A great example of business data that can be used to advertise the business is the number of clients that the business has catered to in the area.
For instance, let’s say your business has had about a thousand clients in the locality in which it is located.
Depending on the type of business you run, this can be quite an impressive figure.
You can use this data to advertise the business by putting it on a sign outside your store or even publishing it on your business website.
Alternatively, you can look for a study about your industry and then relate it with your business’ usefulness.
Write an article about this and then publish it online.
2. Try One-to-one Marketing – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
You can boost the relationship between you and your customers through one-on-one marketing.
This customer relationship marketing tactic otherwise called 1:1 marketing can help ensure your customers’ loyalty to your business.
The 1:1 marketing strategy revolves around making your interaction with your customers personalized.
So, you can start by sending your valued customers handwritten postcards or special birthday emails.
This tactic may not give you a wide reach but it’s a quality marketing tactic that your customers would appreciate.
It’ll leave them with the knowledge that your business cares about them.
Also, this strategy is completely free to execute; your time is all it would cost you.
3. Volunteer for or/and Promote a Charity Event – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
A great way to promote your business visibility is to volunteer for or/and promote a charity event.
You would be doing something great and at the same time getting people to know about your brand if you help out with a charity event.
When your business is associated with charity, people will think positively about the business and always have a great attitude towards it.
So, not only will you get brand visibility by employing this strategy but you would also improve your brand image.
It’ll cost you your time and you may even need to donate some products but that’s about all this strategy will cost you.
4. Consider Guerilla Marketing
Do not let the name scare you, this marketing tactic is quite harmless yet efficient and cost-effective.
All it’ll cost is some ingenuity and creativity.
Guerilla marketing is a type of marketing where public spaces are used to advertise a business.
You can try using graffiti and stickers in public places to attract customers to your store.
Just make sure you get the right permits before you do this.
5. Referral Program
As a small business owner, word-of-mouth advertising should be one of your major marketing strategies.
Your business can benefit a great deal when your customers tell their family and friends about it.
But how do you get your customers to tell people about your business?
Well, first you can earn their trust by building a solid relationship with them.
You can also come up with a referral program where customers get a reward when they refer people to your business.
Don’t get all scared, you don’t need to break the bank to run this program.
The referral rewards can be sample products, discounts, complimentary service, or any other cost-effective reward you can come up with.
Aside from getting more customers, a referral program can also help you show your existing customers that they are appreciated.
This would further boost the relationship, trust, and loyalty the customer has to your business.
6. Customer Satisfaction Surveys – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
You may think that customer satisfaction surveys simply let you know more about your customers and what they think about your business but it goes beyond that.
It can also be a good way to remind your customers of your business.
This strategy is a win-win for everyone involved.
Your customers get to realize how important their opinions are to you and would tell you ways you can serve them better.
And once you make the changes they spoke of, they would feel seen and their loyalty to your business will increase.
You on the other hand get to find out ways to improve your business and also remind your customers of how important they are to you.
7. Make a Blog – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
Another way you can connect with your customers and even generate new ones is blogging.
All you need to do is create a business blog where useful posts about your industry will be published.
You need to make sure your blog only contains posts that your customers will find informative and fun.
8. Make YouTube Videos – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
An impressive YouTube presence is a cost-effective yet efficient way to grow your small business.
All you have to do is make short yet impactive videos on YouTube explaining things that your business is involved in.
You can catch the attention of potential customers with your YouTube when they search for tutorial videos.
And since you can use your smartphone to make videos, this marketing idea should not cost you anything other than your time.
However, make sure you make high-quality videos and content.
To get the best results, you can learn about YouTube SEO and then implement the strategies to make sure your videos are seen.
9. Take Your Stand on Controversial Topics in Your Industry
A lot of small businesses in a bid to avoid bad press tend to stay away from controversial topics.
However, taking a stance on controversial topics that your customer base is interested in is a wonderful method to get them to pay attention to you.
Take your stand, act on your stance, and then talk about it.
For instance, if your customer base is made up of environmental enthusiasts, then make sure your business becomes eco-friendly.
Then, write an article about the steps you took to do this and publish the article online.
Know that you might lose some of your customers if you take this approach, however, it will help you get new customers and also strengthen your relationship with those that stay.
10. Hold a Contest Online
The prizes do not have to be expensive.
They can be free products, complimentary services, discounts, or anything that you know would be enough to attract people to try to engage in the contest.
You can use the contest to get data about potential customers, like their emails.
It’s also a fun way to get more people to know about your business and also attract potential customers.
11. Partner with Another Business in The Industry
This list of ideas won’t be complete if developing a partnership isn’t on it.
You simply need to look for another business in the same industry as you that can complement your business and then partner with them for a project.
For example, you can host a joint giveaway online.
Of course, this other business shouldn’t be your direct competitor.
The partnership can be for a short time (like for the duration of the project) or a long time based on what you and the other business owner agree on.
You will get access to the other business’ customer base and they would get access to yours.
This type of access is something you otherwise would have spent a lot of money to get, but the partnership will grant it to you almost for free.
12. Email Marketing – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
You can use email marketing to engage new visitors and also maintain the relationship you have with your current customers.
Start by sending email newsletters.
Get people to sign up for it by advertising it on your business website.
13. Build Your Presence on Yelp – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
You can get new customers from Yelp if you maintain a great presence on it.
First, you need to claim or register your business on Yelp for business.
After which, you’d need to add other information about your business like your location.
Finally, when the customers’ reviews start coming in, respond to them.
14. Make a Customer Appreciation Program – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
Return customers are the best and every small business owner needs to ensure they do everything to make their customers keep coming back.
One way to keep your customers coming back is to start a customer appreciation program.
This program will encourage your customers to keep patronizing you and also make them tell others about your business.
Again, you do not have to make the rewards expensive; simple things like a discount or a complimentary service can go a long way.
15. Invest in Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization strategies can be quite costly, but you can try out some basic SEO strategies for your small business that won’t leave a hole in your pocket.
You can start by making sure you create only high-quality contents that your readers will find valuable.
Also, ensure the headers in your article are readable and explanatory.
These are simple things that you can do to make sure your business gets seen on the internet.
16. Give Out Free Samples
People love getting freebies, so why don’t you use this to your advantage.
You can give out free samples or discounts as a way to bring new customers to your store.
Most of the time, people do not like to switch over from one product or service to another, especially when the product or service they are already using is great.
But you can change their mind by allowing them to try out your product or service without committing fully to it.
17. Have a Strong Social Media Presence – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
This is an obvious marketing strategy that a lot of small businesses tend to overlook.
Some businesses simply open an account on social media platforms and then call it a day.
Well, it goes way beyond just having social media accounts.
You need to put in the work to ensure you establish and maintain your presence on social media.
This would help you reach out to thousands of people at a go.
And it is completely free if you decide to handle the accounts by yourself.
Also, the type of business you run should help you decide on the social media platform through which you can advertise your business better.
For instance, if you have a coffee shop, then you would attract more customers if you focus your social media efforts on Instagram.
This is because, on Instagram, you can post pictures of the perfect lattes you make in your store.
18. Work with Influencers – Marketing Ideas for Small Business
Yes, you can market your business on social media platforms.
But do you have the following to get to a wide range of potential customers?
If you don’t, then you can work with influencers that have the following to do this.
However, make sure that you choose an influencer that your potential customers would listen to.
For instance, if you are in the fashion industry, then you need a fashion influencer and not a lifestyle influencer.
Choosing the right influencer will ensure your message gets to the target audience.
You may need to pay the influencer for them to advertise your business on their page.
While this may cost you some money, it is a strategy that often generates substantial results, especially when it is done properly.
19. Join Online Forums and Build Your Presence on Them
You can find potential customers on online forums like Reddit and Quora.
All you have to do is join these forums and then build your presence on them by answering people’s questions in a helpful and non-promotional way.
Ensure you do not focus solely on selling your products or services on these forums.
Doing this would simply chase off your potential customers.
20. Host Webinars
Become a resource in your niche/industry and attract new customers to your business by hosting webinars.
You can simply go live on Instagram or Facebook and speak about your industry, after which you can answer some of the questions people ask.
Conclusion on Marketing Ideas for Small Business
There are several cost-effective marketing ideas that small business owners can employ to increase their business growth.
At most, these ideas would cost you time and some resources.
Therefore, you do not have any excuse not to try them out for your small business.