Let’s be honest, no-one wants to spend the earth on their marketing.
As a small business owner, you’re juggling an infinite number of priorities with a finite pool of resources. While marketing is a great investment, it makes sense to explore low cost ways to market your business, particularly when you’re starting out and testing your value in the market.
Otherwise, you could be throwing your money away on ineffective strategies that will never deliver a real return on your investment.
Luckily, there are many free and low-cost ways to effectively market your small business. While some of these ideas may require a bit of creativity and effort, they have the potential to put your business ahead of your competitors and help guide your future marketing success.
So, just how do you market your business for less? Here are a few ideas to get you started, focusing on low cost marketing ideas for social media, websites, online and offline channels.
Low Cost Social Media Marketing
Social media is already one of the more affordable and effective ways to market to your target audience. Even though most of the main players (such as Facebook and Instagram) reward those who “pay to play”, it’s still possible to make inroads without paying a fortune.
Build Your Brand On LinkedIn
A well crafted LinkedIn post can greatly increase your connections and your authority. Create a post with lots of value for your clients, add relevant hashtags and post to your LinkedIn profile. Good hashtag use will help your post be seen by more connections and increase your reach.
Host A Facebook Live
It might seem daunting to put yourself in front of a live camera but Facebook Lives are well rewarded with increased organic reach. Going live is a powerful way to share knowledge, answer questions, seek customer engagement and provide a sneak peek into your business.
Share Powerful Visuals
Social media is driven by visual content. Even if you’re not a graphic designer, it’s easy to create content to be shared. Canva offers free, pre-made templates for every social media channel so you can whip up a shareable marketing masterpiece to instantly raise your business profile.
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Low Cost Website Marketing
Creating and sharing quality content is still the best way to improve your organic reach and connect with your target market without paying through the nose. From lead magnets to repurposed content, there are lots of ways you can market for free through your website.
Create A Free Lead Magnet
Share your expertise with your target market with a free offering. It could be an ebook, checklist, video or anything that delivers real value to your clients. You can share your free offering on social media, use as an opt-in for your email list or feature on a dedicated website landing page.
Build An Email List
Email is recognised as one of the most effective marketing tools for small business owners. Providers, such as Mailchimp, offer free accounts to help you get started, allowing you to automate and segment your email list to deliver targeted messages to your customers.
Recycle & Repurpose Content
If you don’t have the time to create fresh content, why not recycle and repurpose what you already have? Identify your most popular posts and turn them into a video tutorial or break the content down into a set of visual quotes to be shared on your website and social channels.
Low Cost Online Marketing
Leveraging online platforms, such as Google’s suite of apps and free business directories, is a smart way to boost SEO and get more bang for your marketing buck. In most cases, you won’t need to pay anything to get more visibility online, which makes this approach so appealing!
Google My Business
Register with Google My Business to receive a free online business profile and a free mobile-optimised website. This is an easy way to establish a digital presence in an instant, helping you to connect with your customers via other Google apps, such as Maps and Search.
Positive reviews demonstrate social proof, establish your online reputation and can boost SEO. Unfortunately, not every customer will take the time to leave a review, which is why requesting a Google review as part of your sales process can be an effective way to boost your marketing.
Reconnect With Existing Customers
In your attempts to connect with new prospects, don’t forget your existing customer base as they are more likely to purchase from you and become powerful brand advocates. Email or message them personally to reconnect and let them know you value their loyalty.
Low Cost Offline Marketing
Often the most effective marketing comes offline when you talk to prospective customers and make personal connections with them. While some business networking opportunities can be costly, there are also affordable ways to effectively market offline.
Search for local business groups to join via Meetup or Eventbrite. While there are some that require significant time and money investment, there are many informal groups that cost a lot less and can be just as effective in helping you market your services to a new audience.
Run A Free Workshop
Investigate the possibility of delivering a free information session or workshop in your local community. You may be able to run it inhouse or hire a cheap venue such as your local library. This is a great way to raise your business profile and build your credibility in your local area.
Connect With Local Media
Earned media is a powerful way to reach your target audience and can deliver big results. You can sign up to a site like SourceBottle or identify local editors and producers to pitch to. News outlets are always on the lookout for fresh talent and sources so you really have nothing to lose!
Looking for more low-cost marketing ideas for your small business? Download your FREE copy of our Brand Statement Worksheet to get crystal clear on your market and your customers so you can start boosting your sales and cash flow!
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