Marketing a small business on a small budget used to be just about impossible. Unless you had the money to purchase a newspaper advertisement or run a local TV commercial, it was very difficult for small businesses to stand out in the crowd.
But in 2018, it’s easier than ever for you to market your business on a budget–if you’re willing to think creatively and find ways to do it. You can actually market your business effectively for no money at all when you take the right approach.
Want to know how to get started? Continue reading to check out 9 ways to market your business without a huge budget.
1. Use a Guerilla Marketing Technique
Even the biggest businesses in the country will occasionally “go guerilla” and use guerilla marketing techniques to spread the word about a product or service. Rather than simply putting up a billboard or airing a commercial, they’ll hire people to hit the streets and go to great lengths to get attention for their company.
You can do this, too! Whether you choose to organize a flash mob or hire undercover agents to have people test out your latest product and film them doing it, you can use guerilla tactics to your benefit.
You don’t want to overdo it or rely solely on guerilla marketing, but it can be effective when you mix it in every now and then.
2. Start Getting More Social on Social Media
Have you found a way to market your business on social media yet? If not, it’s time for you to start leveraging Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram immediately.
You don’t have to be active on every social media site. But you can pick one or two and market your business online through them.
If you run a pizza shop, post photos of delicious pizzas fresh out of the oven at around noon every day. If you run a barber shop, show off some of the craziest cuts you’ve done in recent weeks on a daily basis.
This will get your customers to engage with you online and also encourage people to share your posts and get others interested in your business.
3. Create Great Content for Your Company’s Website
A lot of companies create content for their websites. But if you really want to make the most of your site, you need to create great content.
Let’s say you run a fabric store. It doesn’t seem like there would be many ways to market your business effectively through your website, but you could easily do it by writing blog posts with titles like:
- “Save $1,000 on Clothes Every Year by Sewing Them Yourself”
- “How You Can Learn to Sew a Quilt in Less Than 3 Days!”
- “Why Sewing Is Quickly Becoming the Hottest New Trend Among Teens”
When you take the time to create content that your customers will actually want to read, it will pay off in a big way in the end.
4. Hold Giveaways Your Customers Will Care About
Are you trying to attract customers to your new car dealership that just opened?
Tell them that you’re going to be giving away a vehicle to the 50th person who buys a car off your lot.
Are you trying to get people to come in and eat a hoagie at your sandwich shop?
Tell them that you’re going to be giving away free hoagies for life to the first customer who can finish your belly-busting 3-foot sub.
To market your business effectively, you should consider holding a giveaway that people will want to participate in right away. It will drive more business to your store and, even if people don’t win, they’ll grow familiar with your business.
5. Network With Other Small Businesses and Have Them Market for You
Small business owners need to stick together. And many of them do by helping one another market.
If you’re opening up a photography studio, you might want to consider linking up with a real estate agent and offering 10 percent off your services to all first-time homebuyers. Or if you’re opening an ice cream parlor, you might want to consider linking up with a restaurant nearby and offering their customers a free ice cream cone with the purchase of any meal.
Other small businesses will usually be more than happy to help you out, especially if it’ll also help them at the same time.
6. Pull Off the Perfect Publicity Stunt
In order to run a successful small business, you’ll need to find a way to generate media coverage for your store. One of the easiest ways to do it is by pulling off a publicity stunt.
Think up a stunt that your business could pull off and then give the local media a heads-up about it. If the stunt is good enough, they’ll be more than happy to scramble to cover your event and to give your business some free publicity if it means interesting their readers.
7. Sponsor a Popular Event in Your City
Is there a 5K that is held in your city every year or a parade that takes place on a special holiday?
Sponsoring it will cost a little bit of money, but it won’t be an astronomical amount. And it’ll be a great way to get your business name and logo out there all over the place.
As an added bonus, you’ll also give off the impression that you’re investing in your community when you sponsor an event, and people will usually appreciate that. They’ll be more willing to invest in you when you make a commitment to your city.
8. Hang Eye-Catching Banners Outside of Your Business
Do people stop and stare at your business when they drive by it? If not, you’ve got a problem.
You need to grab people’s attention in some way when they drive by, and these banners might just be the best way to do it.
You can also try painting your business a crazy color or coming up with some other way to make it stand out from all the other businesses.
9. Hold a Feel-Good Event
Want to do something good for your community and market your business? Hold a blood drive, a charity auction, or some other kind of feel-good event inside of your store.
It will make people more likely to visit your business to see what’s it all about, and it will also encourage them to take part in whatever event you’re holding.
It’s a win/win situation for everyone.
Market Your Business and Enjoy More Success
In addition to using all of the branding tools that are available to you as a small business owner, you should also try to market your business in whatever ways possible. You don’t need a big budget to pull off a marketing campaign that will win over customers and put your business in the spotlight.
Check out our blog for more tips on running a successful small business.