For a business that’s just starting, allocating a big budget for marketing isn’t always feasible. But given how crucial marketing is for putting new businesses on the map, a considerable marketing push is quite necessary. If you’re looking for low-cost marketing strategies to boost your business, we’ve got you covered. Here are some out of the box marketing ideas for startups that are designed to be cost effective.
1. Become a Social Media Champion
One of the most inexpensive ways to market your business is by employing the wide reach of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. You can create a page for your business on any (or all) of these platforms and regularly engage with your customers. More importantly, you can create a completely organic marketing campaign on these social media platforms and reach a wide audience without paying for ads or promotions.
2. Content Creation is Key
One of the most popular ways to market your business without spending a lot is by publishing great content. This could be anything from product specific blogs and listicles to know-how guides and infographics. Once you create this functional content, you need to figure out ways to distribute it and get people to read it. Having a well thought out content strategy not only helps with SEO but creates a brand identity for your business.
3. Launch a Referral Program
Existing customers who are happy with your product/service are a great source of bringing in new customers. To enable this, you need a value-added referral program that incentivizes referrals and encourages your existing customers to refer new customers. Remember, there’s nothing as inexpensive or effective as good word of mouth!
4. Contests & Giveaways
Another low-cost marketing strategy to bring in new customers or engage your existing ones is organizing online contests and giveaways. It’s human nature to want to win things and an online contest can bring your business a lot of attention. You’ll have to spend some amount of money on the prize but if your efforts go viral, the investment will be more than worth the returns.
5. Join a Local Networking Group
For any small business, building reliable local networks and connections is extremely important. In fact, by joining a local network group, you can not only connect with other businesses but get known in your local community. The latter is one of the easiest ways to build a customer base when you’re first starting.
6. Go the Brochure Route
While decidedly old school, brochures are still effective, particularly for small businesses targeting a local community. Brochures are a great marketing tool since they give potential customers a physical connection to your business after your pitch. A well-designed brochure that highlights everything that sets your business apart makes for great in-hand marketing material and doesn’t cost a bomb!
7. Create Engaging Videos
Depending on what kind of business you’re running, videos can be a great cost-effective marketing tool. Visual marketing content is the easiest to consume and amounts to great leads and videos are a big part of the visual content bucket. To limit the costs, you can start with basic videos you make yourself and upgrade to more professional videos once your marketing budget allows for it.
8. Smart Email Marketing
Email marketing is an easy and cost-effective way to connect with your existing customers and those who’ve signed up for your emails. But spamming customers with emails can have the opposite effect and lead to diminishing sales. Use email marketing campaigns sparingly and only when you’ve something important to share.
9. Build Viable Partnerships
It’s recommended for small businesses to partner with other businesses that aren’t their direct competition to offer customers added value. For instance, if you run a coffee shop, you can tie up with the local multiplex and sell your coffee there. This helps introduce your product/service to a new set of people without spending anything!
10. Get Yourself a Business Award
Many industries host business awards across many different categories. Participate in all relevant and if you win, you’ll get an online badge you can place on your website. Any award badge on your website is a big credibility booster and can help increase sales.
These are just a few of the many low-cost marketing techniques available for you to choose from. Pick whatever works for you and start marketing your business today!