Are you a small business owner or have started a business with low investment? Possibly you don’t have money to advertise big as your bigger competitors can. Small business start-up entrepreneurs need to be more creative in their advertising and marketing approach in reaching targeted customers.
If you are looking for ideas that can match your low budget, consider the following low-cost marketing ideas for startups.
Here is a List 30 Marketing Ideas to Use to Promote Your Business with Low Budget
1. Create a Website
First thing first. Do you have a website? If no, just get it. Having a website is a must if you serious about making money from your business. Creating a website is no big deal nowadays. You can do it on your own and it cost you practically nothing. Read our step by step guide on how to start a small business website or blog.
2. Start Blogging
A blog is an ideal platform for sharing your products and services to your readers. This is where you have the opportunity to create a direct connection with your existing or potential customers. Additionally, you can also offer discounts, freebies, contests from your blog.
3. Make Cold Calls
This is an age-old method of developing customers. However, it remains relevant even today because it gives you an opportunity to directly inform people who do not know your products or services. To make it more effective, it is advised you prepare yourself for selecting target customers and the draft of the pitch.
4. Create your own business award competition.
If there isn’t a competition in your industry or there’s no way you can compete in one, hosting your own unique competition creates buzz as other businesses scramble to win your award.
5. Host free events
Reporters are always looking for a good story. You can host a free event. Give them what they want. You will get some free publicity by hosting a free event. You’ll get more response if there’s food or freebies involved.
6. Network at your local Chamber of Commerce
This is a classic marketing idea for small businesses because it can yield big dividends. Association with the Chamber will make your events more credible. This is a must for small business owners. You can find new partners or clients, or discover opportunities to teach or speak.
7. Join associations and use the provided resources
You can do this without paying any charge. Join local networking events, online forums, and job boards. Networking is the most wonderful marketing ideas for startups. The more people you know, the more customers you will have.
8. Build a referral network
Referrals and word of mouth are the most powerful advertising. Building a powerful referral network in business is one of the most effective strategies that any size of business can have.
You need to join business meetings, seminars, events and more valuable activities where you could meet diverse business professionals and experts.
Try to establish a strong and powerful connection with like-minded business people. Be reliable. Say what you do and do what you say.
9. Send handwritten holiday, birthday, or thank you cards
It gives a caring message to your past and current clients, valued partners, vendors in your referral network, connections who have helped you–everyone you can think of. This is a low-cost and unique marketing idea for small business, but many entrepreneurs have reported its effectiveness.
10. Create a Facebook Page And Advertise
One of the most important marketing tools is to have an active Facebook page. With the power of Facebook, you will be able to reach a much larger audience. 1.20 billion people to be exact. You will also be able to gather more leads such as email ids and contact numbers.
This also the most cost-effective idea we have for you. Building an engaging Facebook page costs 0.
Advertising on Facebook is a continuation of expanding your Facebook audience. Advertising on Facebook for local communities is cheap. You can reach targeted audiences with the help of Facebook Insights.
If you’re a local business, direct your ads to within a 10-15 mile radius. Facebook advertising also helps in growing the brand name, value and loyalty.
11. Create a customer loyalty program
A loyalty program may give a customer free merchandise, rewards, coupons, or even advance released products. It is important to encourage future purchases and referrals.
12. Use bumper stickers and window decals
In addition to putting on the company vehicles and owners’ cars, give them for free to employees, partners, stakeholders and investors, charities you donate to, and other contacts to display.
13. Imprint company logo on hats and T-shirts
Your loyal customers will be happy to wear them and will become free brand promoters.
14. List your business in local business directories
Google My Business from Google and Bing Places for Google from Bing is absolutely free for local businesses. Yahoo Localworks from Yahoo is a paid service allowing to list your business in 50 directories (Yahoo Local, Yelp, WhitePages, Bing, Mapquest, etc.). Once you’re listed, start taking advantage of local search results. Ask your customers to leave reviews on your page.
15. Send Emails to your list
You can send regular emails to a group or your clients to keep them updated. These can be anything from new arrivals to deals.
16. Set up Google Adwords
Google AdWords is the online advertising platform owned and operated by Google.
Compared to traditional marketing channels like TV and magazine advertising, online marketing is highly measurable.
AdWords is the most measurable of online platforms. You get to show your ad to people who are already interested in your product/service. This type of targeted advertisements yields great results.
17. Sidewalk Signs
These are again low-cost marketing strategies. Advertising on sidewalks and walls have been going on for a long time. These still are effective in reaching out to your local audience.
These are super easy to make and material cost is negligible. You would still need catchy graphics or punchlines to grab the attention of the commuter.
18. Create Active Twitter Handle
With over 313 million monthly active users and a young demographic to boot, Twitter is a great platform for most marketers.
After creating a twitter account you can send out Tweets whenever your company has a product being released or an upcoming event.
19. Organise Discount and Sale
When small businesses are looking to move their sales figures, the most common approaches they take is to offer a discount.
One advantage is that discounts make your customers feel good. Research shows that when people receive a coupon or savings offer, they become happier and more relaxed.
It could be beneficial in the long run if these positive feelings can be associated with your brand.
20. Start an Affiliate Program
Affiliate marketing is often termed as one of the best online marketing programs that are available to small business.
There is no risk when it comes to affiliate marketing; you only pay after the results are delivered.
There are many affiliate program available on the Internet.
21. Use Whatsapp As a Marketing Tool
Presently, Whatsapp is being used by most people worldwide. It is obvious, you should not miss out on the opportunity to market your brand on such a platform.
You can use phone numbers of clients and customers to create Whatsapp groups. One can also create an account in the name of your brand.
New deals, products, services or gift cards can be sent through WhatsApp groups. You can also just those individually to specific contacts.
Whatsapp also enables you to create an interpersonal relationship with your clients. This, in turn, creates more trust and loyalty towards your brand.
22. Create a Youtube Channel
Youtube is a platform that reaches 1.2 billion people. Create your channel and upload videos about your brand. You should add graphics and animation production value.
This will help you grow your reputation as a brand. It also educates the customers about your business in more detail.
The first thing to note is that YouTube accounts are directly linked to Google accounts.
So you can either use an existing Google account to create your YouTube account, or you can set up a YouTube account from scratch and a Google account will be created for you in the process.
23. Sponsor local team or band
Sponsoring a local event or team helps market your brand locally. This is unconventional as most business use Adwords or Facebook to market their brand locally.
This marketing idea takes time to yield a result. Although sticking with the local sponsorship marketing guarantees a steady flow of local4 customers in the longer run.
24. Regular Customer Reward Program
Offering points, discounts and special buying opportunities to regular customers show them that you value their custom. This keeps them coming through your door more often.
25. Take Help from Online Influencers
Influencers can help a long way to market your business properly. Influencers are people who have sources at the very top level. They also generally have a very active social network with huge numbers of followers. You can do a collaboration with them. They help in building your brand reputation. They also help expose your business to a much wider audience.
26. Use Holidays as a Promotional Tool
Holiday discounts or offers can be a great way to attract new customers. This is especially effective if the business is situated near a busy street.
Make sure you have a holiday campaign strategy for both your online advertising and email marketing. These marketing channels are essential to increasing sales over the holidays.
27. Collaborate with other brands
Collaborating with other brands is different from an Affiliate program. Doing a collaboration might not involve a monetary transaction.
This strategy is improving or grow your reputation as a brand. You might not have to sell anything it the word of mouth that is the target.
For example-You tubers collaborate with other you tubers to create more awareness. This also helps you in reaching out to a larger audience with the same points of interest.
28. Host a giveaway
Hosting a giveaway is almost likely to bolster your sales to some time to come. This is also a very good way to promote your business especially when you are starting a-fresh. You can host annual giveaways or do it on occasions.
For example – Hosting a giveaway on the opening day of a new restaurant is a very clever marketing strategy.
29. Set up booths during fests
You can try to set up booths and stalls in functions, programs or concerts. These are areas with high footfall and your brand will get a lot of exposure.
If you can sell your product or services there then even better. People will also tend to associate your brand with happier memories.
30. Customer satisfaction survey
Surveys are great in improving your brand image and brand awareness. The audience has a sense of deeper respect for your brand.
This is because conducting survey shows that you are giving your customers top priority.
This also allows you to diagnose potential problems, at an aggregate level. More importantly, it allows you to improve over time.
You can offer cumulative discounts or create a loyalty card scheme.
This increases brand loyalty and keeps a steady flow of customers for your business.
You should also engage with your target audience and interacting with them as often as you can.
This helps in creating awareness around your brand. You can automate the entire process through bulk email tools that are available for free on the internet.