If it isn’t enticing enough, it’s not an advertisement. You just can’t throw in some random ads and expect them to pull in new customers. Marketing strategy needs to be creative enough to make a mark. And marketing doesn’t only mean maximizing sales. It’s a way to create awareness around your brand. Here in this article, we have listed some popular low-budget marketing ideas for small businesses to boost sales.
Even if someone is not a potential customer now, if you advertise well, the person will remember your brand. That impact you put in is brand value. It doesn’t work with the numbers. Advertising is all about creating your brand in the public. So, that’s the ground rule, make advertisements good enough to make people remember your brand for the longest period possible.
You can’t spend a lot on advertising unless you are a big company with a heavy marketing budget. So, it’s better to be creative enough to make people remember you.
Here are some innovative low-budget marketing ideas one can apply to increase sales:
22 Low-Budget Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
1. Explore Social Media
A free medium to promote your business online is social media. It is perhaps among the most low-budget marketing ideas presently. But you have to maximize user engagement on your platforms. The best way to engage users is to run time-to-time offers and post something relevant to what is happening around them. Creative posts or memes will help you to gain more shares and online brand awareness.
Some of the social media platforms you must explore are the following:
2. Email Marketing
Though e-mail marketing is an old way of marketing products, still it is one of the most dependable ways of reaching new customers. Try to build an email list and send regular newsletters or promotional offers to stay connected with your audience.
3. Provide Coupons
The most effective way to attract new customers is to offer discounts, and who can do it better than coupons? The money you were about to spend on advertising, use that for the coupons. People love discounts, and you can attract a lot of customers at the same time. You should offer coupons and discounts on a timely basis to retain existing customers and gain newer ones.
4. Using Pop-Culture
Advertisements with a slight reference to what’s happening around or pop culture is not a bad idea. Maybe linking something to the latest Eminem rap or Drake meme work in your favor. This will help you to catch up with your audience. It’s better to avoid anything political. Pop-culture references work well with the internet crowd, but make sure your audience can understand your pun.
5. Offer Free Stuff
It is seen, offering free samples, trials, or limited-time promotions creates interest among new customers. If your product is good, those trial consumers can be easily converted into actual customers.
It can be free water bottles with your logo and name, a key ring or bottle openers, pens, t-shirts, and more. You go with your budget and let people advertise your brand. Do not give away useless stuff. Think about what your customers will need and may use it regularly.
6. Create a Website
Nowadays, having a website for small businesses is almost mandatory. Your business gets not only a web presence but also helps customers to find you on search engine results when searching for similar products and services. And the cost of creating a website is minimal and ridiculously easy.
7. Have a Blog
In the last few years, blogging has become one of the most effective ways of marketing products and services. Try to post articles regularly so that potential customers learn more about the benefits of using your product offerings. Check out our article on how to start a blog at almost no cost.
8. Create Instagram Hashtags
Internet and social media have evolved together and hashtags now rule all over. It’s never a bad idea to create buzz on the internet. Well, it’s free advertising. Come up with some contest or giveaway on Instagram and ask people to post with your hashtag. The more the number of posts higher the awareness.
9. Content Marketing
You can create valuable and relevant content, such as guest blog posts, videos, or infographics. It will help you to establish your expertise and attract potential customers at almost no cost.
10. Make Attractive Business Cards
People usually don’t keep or look at business cards, but you can use this to your advantage. How about an advertisement for your business via some creative cards? Be innovative with your ideas depending on your business. You can also add a QR code on it or add a coupon code they can use to get a discount the next time they visit.
11. Create Online Videos
Videos work very well when it comes to promotion. You can ask some YouTubers or online influencers to promote your brand, or just use it in the video. This way you can reach out to a wider audience without investing in some commercials. People will engage and share the videos indirectly helping your brand to reach out to more people.
12. Offer Sponsorships
A very easy way to advertise in the local community is to sponsor an event. Either you can organize the whole event or be a part sponsor. This will help your brand to reach out to the local people. Have a kiosk or table at the venue and keep your products or samples on display. If you are a service-oriented business, have catalogs and brochures handy.
13. Search Results & SEO
You very well know how important is the internet for you to bring business. Instead of investing in heavy-lifting marketing campaigns, try to fix your local SEO. The easiest way to do that is to create a Google Business Profile Account for free. It is the most effective free way of promoting business online for small businesses at present.
Make sure you are right on top when someone searches for you on the internet. List your business in as many online directories as possible so that more customers can find you. Local listings play a crucial role in bringing more customers across multiple platforms. Also, make sure that you have all of your information and pictures up to date.
14. Offer Referral Programs
Another easy and free way of marketing your small business is to Encourage satisfied customers to refer their friends and family. You can offer incentives or rewards to those customers.
15. Customer Reviews
In today’s online business landscape, customer reviews play a big role in purchasing decisions of new customers. You can request your customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or social media platforms. It is without saying, positive reviews build trust and help in attracting new customers.
16. Networking Events
Try to attend industry conferences, trade shows, or networking events to meet potential clients or partners.
17. Contests and Giveaways
You can run social media contests or giveaways to increase engagement and create excitement around your brand.
18. Run Customer Loyalty Programs
To be successful in any business, customer retention plays a big role. You can run a loyalty program to reward repeat customers and encourage them to keep coming back.
19. Create Branded Merchandise
Distributing branded merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, or stickers is a low-budget marketing strategy that works more often. You can them for free or sell them as promotional items.
20. Public Relations
Another zero-cost way of gaining free publicity for your business is to write press releases or pitch story ideas to local media outlets.
21. Host Webinars or Workshops
Presently, webinars and podcasts are getting popularity among buyers. You can host a webinar or conduct in-person workshops and share your knowledge and expertise.
22. Have a Co-Marketing Plan
Also known as cross-promotion, this age-old method of marketing helps you to gain customers via co-marketing. You need to team up with several businesses that are complementary to yours and you can cross-promote each other. You can advertise to an audience that may be a potential crowd for your service and you will endorse theirs in return.
Remember that marketing won’t alone do your job. Provide quality service and products. There is nothing better in the world than word-of-mouth advertising. Do remember, clever marketing strategies might help you in the short term, but good service means business for a lifetime!
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.