Cheap Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses
The number of entrepreneurs in the United States has ballooned in the last few years. The pandemic led to a major shift in the workforce, causing hundreds of thousands of workers to consider starting their small businesses.
The Hardships of Entrepreneurship
Running a new business can be a daunting task. Depending on the industry, there could be significant barriers to entry and it can take a very long time for your company to become profitable. Plus, competing with other brands that have been around for years and have more resources means you will have to carve out a niche that caters to a specific audience.
Importance of Marketing for Small Businesses
Marketing is how you communicate to audiences about your brand or product. The purposes are to increase awareness and convince people to make a purchase. There are hundreds of ways that you can choose to market your business, but it takes the right combination of strategy, ideal marketing channels, and quality content to result in growth for the business.
If you own a small business, you probably have a small budget to work with. Having an extremely successful marketing campaign often takes investment, so how will you be able to grow your customer base with a limited budget? The key is to find cheap advertising methods that can still be effective.
Cheap Advertising for Your Small Business
Small business owners around the country are forced to get creative with their marketing strategies. You will have to ask yourself several questions to help guide your plan. Who is your target audience? Where can you engage with new customers effectively? Are there completely free advertising opportunities that you can take advantage of? If you have minimal resources to spend, how can you invest in cost-effective marketing channels and bring in more paying customers?
With these questions in mind, you will have a focal point when choosing the right marketing strategies to boost sales for your business. Here are some free or cheap methods that you can implement.
Use Social Media Sites
The growth of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram has given both large and small businesses critical tools for their advertising efforts. A social media strategy can be effective because it comes at no cost to you unless you invest in social media ads.
But there are plenty of free ways to build your social media presence, including active community engagement, joining groups that your audience is involved in, and social media posts. You can keep in touch with existing customers and contact new ones, even on a tiny advertising budget.
Whether you focus on organic growth, video ads, or content marketing, your social media advertising can be incredibly effective.
Have you ever seen someone wearing a t-shirt with a local brand logo on it? Then you have witnessed promotional product marketing. This form of advertising uses useful items like clothing, office supplies, gadgets, or wellness gifts to spread brand awareness by displaying a company logo or name on the products. For the cost of the initial purchase, the right promotional products can lead to ongoing advertising for your business every time the owner uses the product.
Building a Website
If you don't already have a website in this day and age (opens in a new window), then you are missing out on a huge pool of potential customers. A website is a great way to promote your business online, especially if your pages keep visitors engaged and contain quality content.
You can purchase online ads like PPC ads that drive users to a unique landing page when they click. A content marketing plan that covers topics related to your business can also drive traffic to your website when people need helpful information about a topic. Content like a free guide, free template, instructional videos, or other video content can accomplish this goal.
But you have to get people to your website first, and there are multiple ways to do this. You can invest in organic search engine optimization that moves your pages up the rankings in Google or Bing. One way to do so is to build up a Google Business Profile that will improve your business listings based on geographic location.
Another form of cheap advertising is email marketing. There's a reason why your inbox is crammed with advertising emails; because they still work. Compelling subject lines that communicate direct benefits can create leads for your small business, making it a very effective form of digital marketing. Plus, you don't need a big budget to run an email marketing campaign, since most platforms have some low-cost plans available.
Share a Press Release
A press release can be a great way for local businesses to establish a reputation in the community. When you have big news or a compelling story, this content piece can be floated out to promote your business through local media outlets that will share your story with the public. This type of advertising just requires good writing, a compelling story, and effective outreach to local contacts.
The tried-and-true method of direct mail marketing still has a role to play in today's business world. Many small business owners use direct mail to share discount codes, coupons, and updates about products with the local community. All that direct mail campaigns will cost you is the price of printing, stamps from the post office, and some creativity for the design and copy.
If you need a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness and advertise your product to potential customers, then direct mail is a great solution.
Local publications are another cheap advertising resource that small businesses can leverage. Whether they are news websites or a local blogger, you can pay for native ads to show up on their pages that follow the form of the rest of their content, blending seamlessly with the rest of the page.
You certainly do not need a big budget to place ads in these publications, so they can be a very cost-effective form of advertising for your business.
Host an Event
Events are a great way to get a large group of people exposed to your brand all at once, and there are endless ideas for what type of event to host. You could support another local business by partnering together for a holiday celebration. You could hold an educational webinar for students or aspiring professionals in your industry. Market your business by taking part in a local festival. Events can be low-cost but still reach a large number of people with your message.
Research Cheap and Free Advertising Strategies
There are tons of other ideas for how to market your business for a low cost. Advertising is only limited by your imagination, so see what other companies are doing to reach audiences in unique ways. Small businesses can't just rely on online directories to grow their customer bases, so be intentional with your advertising and have a focused strategy for your efforts.