50 Low Budget and High Impact Marketing Ideas for Small Business +1 Bonus
Marketing for small businesses can be done even on a shoe-string budget. Here are some of our tips in a list with links to help you find the sources and use these tools. You can choose the ones that best fit your needs.
1. Have a great looking and easy to read website – Many small business owners believe a professional website is outside their budget range, but it has never been easier to buy a template and DIY or have a cost effective agency implement it for you. We recommend using WordPress and selecting professional template for £30.
2. Content marketing – Publishing great content not only helps customers find you on search engines, but also shows your knowledge in the field. Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you can ask somebody in your team or a professional copywriter to publish a number of articles on your blog. In case of time constraints keep articles under 300 words and publish one every two weeks. Write and distribute press releases that are newsworthy!
4. Publish YouTube videos – This is a very impact method of presenting your products and services. You can shoot professional videos from your iPhone video tutorial showing you how to shoot expert-looking footage and use one these apps to edit it. You can also give your products to YouTube reviewers which will generate free videos and customer confidence. Besides video you can also spread your expertise via podcast using Audacity or on SlideShare.
5. Speak for your industry – Start by showing your expertise and delivering engaging presentations at networking groups or in workshops. By proactive and contact your local news media and provide quotes for relevant stories for your business. You can also be active in a number of forums, LinkedIn groups and comment on news stories. After you build your reputation you may gain the opportunity to speak at a conference.
6. Marketand competitor research – The best way to obtain customer feedback is to do a short survey or have informal discussions at networking meetings and exhibitions. You may also be inspirited by what your competition is doing. Sometimes innovation comes from bringing together some great ideas already on the market and responding to the problems or frustration of potential customers.
7. Pamper your current customers – Small things such as giving customers a small gift or taking them for a business lunch can create strong bonds. Don’t forget about the 80/20 rule and give that extra bit of attention to your most important customers. The next step is turning your customers into ambassadors.
10. Rent small spaces at relevant trade shows – Do a lot of pre marketing and have plenty of marketing materials and attracting visuals for your stand. The most important part is to follow-up on leads. You can also get up to 60% discount of exhibition space if show a lot of interest to the organiser and help them promote their show.
12. Direct marketing – With hundreds of emails going into the spam folder creating sending semi-personalised letters or giving away personalised gifts means makes busy customers share their experience and event create a viral marketing campaign.
14. Be a savvy social networker – Setup business account and post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. If your business is image focused post on Instagram. It may take only 15 minutes per day, but it will greatly help you in marketing your business.
15. Infographics – Publish news worthy statistics using infographics. You may need the help of a designer, but you can also DIY using top templates.
17. Guerrilla Marketing – Use creative ideas to reach your customers. Get inspired 100 guerrilla marketing ideas having a limited budget!
18. Host a workshop or an event – Make it worthwhile for your customers to listen to you by organising a workshop or an event. These workshops are more effective if they have a heavily discounted rate instead of being free.
19. Run competitions– Ask customers to leave your business card for the chance to win a prize. This works at events, but you can have a similar campaign online by registering to the newsletter. For inspiration check out this guide on running a social media contest.
20. Approach companies to advertise – Next time you walk down a street with high foot-traffic look for shops being underutilised. You can also look for advertising places where there aren’t any banners (roundabouts, on buildings, etc). You may end up paying less than £50/month for advertising instead paying £2000+ for renting. Some shops may also agree to sell your products for you (e.g. personalised cards).
21. Ask family, friends and employees to become advocates – Organise a barbeque where all your employees and their extended families can participate. Friends and family can help you get started by providing valuable advice and help financing your small business’s growth and building your brand.
22. Go to networking events – Joining a local networking group is a great way to get referrals. The aim is to establish long-term relationship instead of selling to members. Therefore, you may need to commit to 1-2 groups for a longer period of time. Check out these useful tips to make the most out of a networking event.
23. Email marketing – Email are great and inexpensive way to promote yourself. If you have a B2B2 products or services you can create a database of emails finding your customers online. Email campaigns can be easily set up using tools like MailChimp. Ecosultancy.com offers a collection of best email marketing practices.
24. Include testimonials in your advertisements – Ask your loyal customers for a testimonial. Show of the best testimonials on your products and on social media websites. Video testimonials and story are more impactful. You can also create case studies and success stories from past clients
25. Advertise on local media – If you run a business targeting local customers you may want to advertise on the local media. You can do a mix of featured articles which tell a story and advertising. With radio, you could simply drop by and pitch your product on the air.
26. Have a unique marketing element – Find something which can make you stand out from the crowd. Small business owners can use a certain colour across all places including their business name, some offer creative gifts (syringes as pens) and some have a fantastic business card.
27 Let your customers ask you anything – You can host a Twitter hour on a certain topic or create a niche sub-Reddit.
28. Share with clients – After you write a useful piece of content share it with past clients with a “Thought you may be interested in this” email.
29. Free eBook – Create a free download booklet or publication which your visitors need to provide an email to download. Make sure you send the download link on email as they may include a fake email.
30. Review your statistics – Identify where your traffic for your website comes form and use the social media insights. This is a good way to also see other websites referring to yours and thank them for the support.
31. Have a magnetic badge – Wear your own personalised magnetic badge at events. You can even go one step further by wearing personalised cufflinks or shirts.
32. Setyour email signature – Create a clear and consistent email signature for all your employees. Don’t use free email services if you want to be taken seriously.
33. Door Hangers – Door hangers are more effective than mailing because they hung directly on the customer’s door.
34. Google Maps & Local Directories – List and verify your business on Google+ as well as add it on local and national directories.
37. Celebrate your success – Make the most of press releases, testimonials and recommendations, and even parties to celebrate achievements. You also make a celebration event for reaching certain milestones.
38. Influencer targeting – Find who are the decision makers and influencing business owners in your field and build a meaningful relationship with them.
39. Podcasting – Publish podcasts and recorded radio interviews. You need to be consistent, use a high quality microphone and submit your podcasts to iTunes. You can also use a cheap voiceover artist. You can sample their work on voiceovers.co.uk.
40. Leaflet Distribution – Target customer locations and use local magazines to distribute your leaflets with their own issue.
41. Telesales/Telemarketing – Everyone hates cold calls, but you can use it for established contacts.
43. Incorporate newsjacking into your strategy – Newsjacking is about capitalising on trending news topics relevant to your industry and writing your opinion on it.
44. Use QR codes – One of the great uses is to have a reception room with a number of QR codes on the walls and exciting visuals. You can also use them on your promotional material.
45. Pre-prepare seasonal content – You can check on Google Trends for the best time to release seasonal content and prepare it in advance. In case you sales are seasonal make sure you have enough inventory.
46. Move your home office to a co-working space – Co-working space are inexpensive and represent a great way to network and be in touch with other SMEs as well as keeping you focused on work. Here is a list of the top 10 spaces.
47. Use Amazon marketplace and eBay – These are two great e-commerce platforms which can help you reach a wide audience of people.
48. Leave comments – Create strong relationship with other businesses by leaving comments on their blog or social media profiles. You can also respond by creating an article which adds value to the initial one.
49. Create amazing business cards – Hire a professional graphic designer once and have professional business cards for a long time. You can add bullet point at the back of your cards with relevant keywords or services.
50. Use digital marketing tools – This range from CRMs to marketing automation software. Check our blog post showing the best digital marketing tools.
51. Offer a guarantee – If you feel you can deliver constant quality service have a 100% guarantee or ‘your money back’ policy. Offer to refund people if they’re not fully satisfied with you. While it is possible to do all the above points yourself we can save you money and time by implementing timely and cost-effective solutions.
Contact us to find out more! For more tips check out the 50 high-impact and low budget marketing tips from Smarta.com.