7 affordable small business marketing ideas

A savvy entrepreneur understands that marketing is an important investment for small business growth. However, the idea that a marketing budget has to be sizeable is not true.

There are many inexpensive small business marketing ideas that can help you improve your reach without paying through the nose. Not only are these marketing ideas affordable, but some of them are free.

1. Social media superstar

No marketing idea for any business would be complete without mentioning social media. A platform like Facebook, with over two billion active users, is a powerful marketing tool that should not be overlooked.

You can use social media platforms to create an online presence for your business, provide your clients with insights and information, offer giveaways, and interact with your audience. Be strategic when using social media and be careful to avoid spamming your audience with irrelevant information.

2. Use free publicity

You can assume the role of your business’ public relations manager and send out press releases to your clients and prospects about your business’ current offers. Look out for media outlets in your industry that might be interested in supporting local businesses and approach them with your newsletters and press releases.

You can also get the word out about your brand by becoming a contributor elsewhere. You can make a name for the brand by submitting your expert articles for publication in trade magazines, marketing blogs, and special interest papers.

One great reasousre is HARO (Help a Reporter Out). It is an email, sent three times each day, with a list of stories for which reporters are trying to identify sources. And it is free to sign-up.

3. Offer something to your clients

This can be a particularly handy marketing idea for small businesses in the process of building a customer base. You can use social media and other customer contact platforms to offer something in exchange for clients.

Some free stuff you might consider offering includes free samples, industry knowledge, discounts, and free shipping for purchased products. However, when offering something free to potential clients, be sure to have clear terms and conditions in place.

4. Communicate with your clients

Too often, entrepreneurs get caught up in bringing new customers on board and leave existing clients behind. Always remember the people who helped you get off the ground by giving them continued attention and service.

Depending on how your clients prefer to stay in touch (and whether they do at all), ensure that you communicate with them on a regular basis. You can do this through newsletters, marketing emails or through social media.

Using a CRM to track customer interaction is highly recommended. PC Magazine recently released this 2019 list of CRMs.

5. Team up with another business

Chances are there is another business in your industry or area that's struggling to come up with its own marketing incentives. Try reaching out to them to see how you can collaborate and help each other. By teaming up with another business, whether in the same industry as yours or not, you can have access to each other’s client base and come up with marketing initiatives that can help you both grow your customer pools.

6. Build a free email list

Any serious business should have an email list that's constantly being updated with new clients. Your email list should be an integral component of your marketing effort, so it's crucial that you stay on top of it. And building an email list should not cost you an arm and a leg. You can take advantage of large email management services for a small fee.

7. Network with others

Any town, size notwithstanding, will likely have a platform for business networking. If there are none in your area, consider going out of town for a networking trip and meet with like-minded entrepreneurs. This will be a great opportunity to exchange ideas that can help you market and grow your small business.

The challenge of growing your customer base and increasing your sales can bore a huge hole in your business’ budget. However, these affordable small business ideas can help you realize your marketing goals and grow your business at a cost you can afford.

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