Are you a small business owner or have started a business with low investment? Possibly you don’t have money to advertise big like 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.
Low-Cost Marketing Ideas For Startups
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. Build relationships with professionals and other businesses. You would happily refer your customers to and who can send referrals your way, as well.
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. Be everywhere
Having a blog, YouTube channel, and podcast on iTunes in addition to social media makes you more well known and credible. Expand beyond your website to get more traffic and leads.
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.