Are you fed up with marketing plans for which you eventually realize that you have spent a fortune? Don’t worry. You are not the only one. ‘Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.’ Almost a half-century has passed since Pink Floyd wrote and sang those lines. We are living in much more difficult times, and you marketers have every single right to look for affordable solutions. So, let’s discover some low-budget marketing ideas together and grab that cash with both hands. We will especially focus on social media, email marketing, blog marketing, and video marketing, along with some additional tips.
Become Socially Mediatic
Since you are reading this article, we assume that you are already engaged in the marketing world. What are the tools you have been using so far? Are you active on social media platforms? In case you aren’t yet, note that those can be true blessings for free marketing. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and many others, you can rule the marketing world. Don’t wait to create an account. Seize the opportunity to promote your brand in a colorful way. Here are a few common tips:
- Post photos and videos about your products and professional activity.
- Share your blog posts to attract more traffic to your website.
- Be interactive. Chat with your followers, answer their questions, create online live events.
- Use hashtags (both the trending ones and your own). Indeed, you should master the social media language to reach out to more people.
- Tag influencers and other brands. This isn’t only a matter of courtesy. It’s a method that allows you to become a part of a larger network.
- Organize contests and giveaways. Some well-thought generosity can be the beginning of lasting business partnerships.
- Customize your area of influence via Facebook ads. This is a quite cheap CPC (cost-per-click) strategy that can do wonders for your business.
Get a Pro Look with Google My Business
Google is definitely a gold mine. Yes, even for small business marketing. Among the numerous useful tools of the gigantic company, you have Google My Business. Rest assured that this is a smart way to increase your professional visibility. You can’t go wrong with one of the most trusted brands in the world.
Setting up your account (for free) is pretty easy:
- Start With The Sign-Up Process
To create your profile, go to www.google.com/business. If you already have a Google account, you can use that one. If you don’t, just create one. It’s all the better if you use your business email domain.
- Enter Your Business Information
This is a little like writing the ID of your business. First, enter its name. If it’s not listed in the drop-down menu, select ‘Add your business to Google.’ Then choose the relevant category for your business. Complete the process by adding your location, physical address, website address, and phone number.
- Finish and Manage
This is the name of the next section. Google will ask your permission for a set of actions. Check ‘Yes’ for those you agree with. Then you can click ‘Finish.’
Once you are done with those basic steps, you will have to verify your business on Google. The platform will guide you throughout those next steps. You can type ‘Google My Business Help’ on your search engine and get more information.
Back to our topic, we were saying that Google My Business is a real visibility booster. Your business will appear in maps and local packs. You will also get a direct idea about your performance thanks to the reviews left by visitors. Those can also give birth to new interactions and, consequently, to new marketing ideas.
Keep It Modern-Retro with Email Marketing
What? Who said that email marketing couldn’t be one of the creative ways to market your business? We strongly disagree. Email marketing is still not old enough to be considered out of service. On the contrary, there are plenty of things that you can do with it. Requirements? A valid email address, preferably a professional one (you can buy a domain name for a few bucks). Building an accurate email list is the next step. Our previous recommendation about social media can be useful here. Those platforms are one of the sources where you can collect email addresses. You may also use your website for the same purpose by inviting visitors to sign up for an account. Call-to-actions (CTAs) are another great option to keep track of the participants.
So what comes next? Well, there are several paths that you can follow. It will depend on the bigger picture for which you are gathering your marketing ideas. In any case, keep in mind the following:
- Don’t let your subject lines be boring. Instead, try to make them interesting enough to awaken your recipients’ curiosity.
- Design evolutionary emails, meaning that one email should lead to another. Your recipients should be motivated to receive another email from you and so on.
- Keep it warm. Be kind, share some personal anecdotes, make your readers feel understood one way or another. Briefly said, nurture your recipients instead of trying to sell them something immediately.
- Use your emails as cheap advertising channels. In other words, send promotional emails. Those may include limited offers, welcome offers, newsletters, announcements for new arrivals, launches, promotions, contests, etc.
Blog Off Your Chest
Blogging is still one of the best marketing ideas accessible to everyone. Even big brands use that good old method without any stinginess. A blog is indeed one of those rare spaces where you don’t really have to deal with any restriction. You can write abundantly about your products, share your vision of things, offer reviews and tips, host campaigns… Despite this apparent freedom, there are still a few tips to follow in order to maximize the advantages:
- Spend some time on your content to come up with high-quality posts. Make sure that they reflect the spirit of your business (aka relevance).
- Try to post on a regular basis and stay up to date, aware of the latest trends.
- Incorporate backlinks into your posts. This means that linking strategies must become a part of your job. Start looking for people and brands to exchange links with.
- Enhance your posts with visuals (photos, cartoons, graphics, etc.).
- Turn your blog into a local SEO instrument. Aside from niche-related keywords, use location-based keywords as well. By doing so, you will target specific areas and increase your visibility.
- Tell stories. Blog readers usually appreciate that. You can share interesting behind-the-scenes facts about your sector and thus make your posts more captivating.
- Encourage interactions through CTAs (call-to-actions). It’s a psychological fact: readers are all the more pleased when they have to do something. You can offer downloadable guides, redirect to another page, integrate a shopping button, etc.
Let Your Inner Child Speak Through Infographics
Let’s face it: almost everyone loves the childish style of infographics. Sometimes they even make one feel like reading comics, right? Other than that, they just look nice and come with small bits of easily memorizable information. So how to market your business by adding a touch of playfulness to it? No, you don’t necessarily need to hire a professional designer and ruin yourself. Remember, we are interested in low-cost marketing ideas here. This means that you have to put your hands into the dough and go for some DIY (do it yourself). It may seem laborious at first glance. However, we believe that those are the thrilling details of online marketing for small businesses.
Good news: there are many websites and applications that can help you create your infographics. Snappa, Canva, Piktochart, Infogram are just a few examples that are free or at least affordable. Make sure to use royalty-free images for your own peace of mind. Also, and quite logically, it’s better to choose images that are relevant to your niche and/or topic. Bonus? You can place your infographics almost anywhere: your social media page, website, blog, emails, etc.
Video Revived the Marketing Star
Let’s hope that The Buggles won’t get offended by the deformed reference. Nowadays, videos are in every single corner of our lives. We are using them to convey any kind of information. Beyond YouTube channels, even blogs and emails are now full of video content. What about you? Have you already tested your directing and acting skills to enhance your marketing business? If not, it’s time to give it a try. You can start with something as simple as an unboxing video. Let’s suppose that you are filming yourself while discovering your brand new smartphone. It can become an occasion to start chatting with the audience. For example, you can explain how that new phone will be useful for your business. Then you can mention some of your products, activities, etc. Some of the other video marketing ideas are:
- Product demos
The best part is that you can film anywhere, anytime. A portable camera like the one on your phone would do the job.
Use Your Relational Circles
Of course, the word ‘use’ is figurative here. We are referring to your family, friends, co-workers, and other people who are likely to give you a hand. The more, the merrier. They can become your brand ambassadors and even provide you with new advertising ideas. In the beginning, you would probably have to coach them about your brand, products, image, etc. Once they are somewhat familiarized with your marketing plans, it’s time to join forces. They can promote your business via their social media channels, talk about you to potential professional partners, or even interview you. Their support can go beyond the virtual world. Depending on the nature of the relationship, this can be done for free. In some cases, you may have to pay your ambassadors an extra fee or a percentage. Either way, show them some generosity, at least with special offers or discounts.
Certify Your Expertise with Awards
This one may require some extra effort and confidence, but the end result can be worthwhile. When you feel ready, apply for contests and awards related to your business. While doing some research about a specific company or entrepreneur, many people pay attention to trophies and prizes. Indeed, those can increase one’s credibility and perceived professionalism. So try to win at least one or two and proudly display them on your online pages. No available awards for your business? Why not hosting a contest on your own? It can become an opportunity to make new contacts for potential partnerships.
FAQs about Marketing Ideas
Yes, you certainly can. Especially if you are a small business owner, solo marketing is totally feasible. However and as mentioned previously, getting some help can increase your productivity.
Referral marketing is a particularly useful tactic for small businesses. Basically, that’s what happens when your existing customers recommend your brand to their own network. As a part of word-of-mouth marketing, referral marketing can have different versions. People can just talk about your business or do more complex things like running an entire campaign on your behalf.
No matter how small or big one’s business is, negative feedback is unavoidable. It’s impossible to control or monitor what people say in a place as gigantic as the Internet. Besides, critics can often help us improve ourselves. So don’t be discouraged. One of the best things to do is to directly take part in such conversations. You can receive the complaints firsthand and try to solve them through constructive interactions.
There’s no guarantee here either. There are some obvious red lines, though: spam filters don’t really appreciate offensive terms and excessive caps locks. Also, try to design your email as if you were addressing it to a friend instead of making it look like a banner ad.
This article is only mentioning the most common ones, but there are many other options. Among those: guerilla marketing, instructional marketing (webinars, workshops, etc.), reselling your marketing content, etc.
Final Thoughts About Marketing Ideas
As you could see throughout this article, being a small business is not necessarily a synonym of being limited. On the contrary, innovative marketing ideas can be easier to implement when you are beginning the journey. We have tried to provide or at least remind some of the most cost-effective strategies. Now you are ready to do a lot without spending much.