Most small businesses are always looking for cheap marketing ideas since they have tight budgets. However, they still need to find ways to make a big impact with their marketing. It can often be a challenge trying to compete with other brands that have bigger marketing budgets.
Here are some cheap marketing ideas to the rescue!
- Publish engaging blog content
One of the best cheap marketing ideas for your business is creating a blog and publishing relevant and engaging content. Blogging is cost-effective because you can essentially publish and promote your content for free. It costs nothing more than your time and one or more people on your team who can write, edit, and publish the content.
The more quality content you publish; the more opportunities you have to appear on the search engine results page. Blog content is a great way to improve your SEO while providing value for your leads and customers. By writing about valuable topics, just the way we do, that are important to your audience, you can work to build trust and credibility with your leads and customers.
When it comes to blog posts, you’ll need to start by thinking of topics that your audience will find useful.
- Numbered lists
- Collection of tips
- Industry best practices
These are all great places to start when developing blog topics.
If you just don’t have the time or expertise to handle your own blog writing, you might consider working with an agency that offers blog writing services.
Though this will require a small investment, it is typically affordable and helps ensure that the content you are publishing is high-quality and optimized for the search engines.
2. Re-purpose and recycle your content
If you don’t have the budget or resources to create a variety of new content on a regular basis, re-purposing your content is an effective way to get more mileage out of the content that you already have.
Rather than having a team member spend time making new content, you can recycle or re-purpose existing content.
There are a few ways that you can re-purpose your content to create new assets that provide even more value for your leads and customers. Give new life to your blogs and white papers by updating the data with new statistics or research. Then, you can re-publish and share the content again as an updated document. Create eBook guides to specific topics by putting together several blogs on similar topics. Develop info-graphics from the data you’ve gathered in blogs and whitepapers. Putting these facts and figures in a visual format can help you engage new fans and followers. Take a piece of content and transform it into a new medium.
In addition to creating new assets from existing assets, you can also recycle your content. When you develop new digital marketing campaigns, consider what existing content you can use to help make the campaign a success
3. Team up with other local businesses
If your small business is a location-based company with a brick-and-mortar store, then one of the best cheap marketing ideas available to you is to team up with other local businesses.
Whether you partner with a similar business to do a collaborative campaign or just work to promote one another, this kind of partnership can be invaluable to small businesses with small marketing budgets.
When considering which local businesses to partner with, think about businesses that will complement your business. Example, a coffee shop might team up with a bakery or a local gym might partner with a supplement store. It is a great way to reach a relevant audience that may have not considered your brand in the past.
You might also consider teaming up with a local non-profit organization to gain more exposure in the community. Whether you volunteer your time or donate products and services, your business will be able to contribute positively to the community. All while getting to know others in the area and getting the word out about your business.
When you partner with another business in your community, you gain access to their audience and they gain access to yours. When they promote your products or a joint event, this is basically free advertising for your company. By associating with a brand that they already know and love, you are able to build trust with this audience that may be interested in the products or services you sell.
4. Develop award-winning email marketing campaigns
Email marketing is an effective tactic for reaching and engaging new leads, no matter where they live or spend their time online.
This digital marketing tactic can also help you keep in touch with and build stronger relationships with your current customers as well. The best part about email marketing is that it’s extremely cost effective while also being far-reaching. The time it takes to develop the message and design the email content is also minimal compared to other tactics.
This tactic allows you to use your time and budget wisely to maximize the results of your marketing. All you need to have to get started with email marketing campaigns is someone to create the email content and a platform you can use to send it.
You can get started building your email list by inviting your current customers to sign up for your email newsletter or important updates about your business. It’s important to be strategic about how many emails you send, when you send them, and what the content is. You don’t want to bombard your email list with communications. But you also don’t want them to forget about your brand.
Develop campaigns around promotions that you are having or other important topics that will provide some value for your subscribers. Within the emails, you can include links to blog posts, eBooks, and other content that your leads and customers will find helpful.
5. Ask for referrals
Asking your current satisfied customers for referrals or a review is one of the best cheap marketing ideas because it can be used by companies from any industry. After all, who knows your products and services better than your own customers!
If you want to take advantage of their enthusiasm for your brand, give them some incentive to refer other individuals to your company or leave you a positive review.
Not only are referrals an inexpensive way to bring in new leads, but there’s a good chance that the leads you get will be of a higher quality. They will most likely already have an interest in your products or services. Not to mention, your current customers have already done some of the work for you by telling their friends, family, and co-workers about the value your business provides.
Here are just a few affordable ways that you can encourage customer participation and increase referrals:
- Offer customers a discount after they have brought in a certain number of referrals.
- Reward customers with free products or services after a certain number of referrals have become customers.
- Create a giveaway or drawing for the customers that refer the most number of new people to your business.
Your job isn’t over once customers start referring potential buyers. You then have to make sure you contact and engage with these consumers to learn more about what they are looking for.
6. Leverage your social media connections
If you’re looking for cheap marketing ideas that don’t cost a cent, then engaging with your fans and followers on social media is a good place to start.
Take time building relationships with those you are connected with. The stronger the relationships you build online, the more likely that these connections may turn into something worthwhile later on.
Join the conversation online by getting active in the comments section and joining relevant groups. Offer others advice, answer questions, and show support for leads and customers when they express relevant challenges. Get to know those who show an interest in your products or services and send them helpful content that can provide value during their buying decision.
LinkedIn is the best social network for this as it allows you to connect and engage with other professionals who may know someone who needs what your brand has to offer.
7. Run a social media contest
As far as cheap marketing ideas is concerned, running a social media contest may be the strategy that provides you the best return on investment. Social media allows you to reach a wide audience for a low price. Organic social media content is free while paid social media campaigns like Facebook advertising can be quite affordable, even for those with a limited digital marketing budget.
Whether or not a social media contest is right for your business will depend on your goals for the particular campaign. If you want to increase sales, this may not be the best approach. However, social media contests have shown to be effective to increase your audience numbers while nurturing loyalty within your lead and customer base.
Social media contests offer a small prize to the winner, who is chosen from a number of contest entries.
As you develop your social media contests, you’ll want to make clear what the contest entry rules are up front. Make it simple for the user to enter the contest, but also find ways to have this entry benefit your business.
For instance, if you require an email address, you can use this to reach out to the individual later. Or if you ask them to share or tag a post on their own account, then you are able to gain new exposure among their audience.
Social media contests require some type of prize, which does involve using some of your budget. However, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant prize to get your audience’s attention. Something simple such as a free product or worthwhile promotional offer is a great way to get your audience to enter the contest and continue to engage with your brand.
8. Look for opportunities to guest blog
We’ve already discussed blogging on your own site as one of our cheap marketing ideas. But you can also blog on other sites to help bring in more traffic to your brand. And the best part is that it’s free! The only thing that you will spend is time researching guest blogging opportunities and writing a quality article for the guest blog.
Guest blogging involves someone from your company writing an article or blog post and then having it published on a relevant and reputable site. It helps you reach new audiences because you are publishing your own content with links back to your site in a new place that reaches people who may not have been exposed to your brand before.
To get started, you’ll need to find sites that allow guest blog posts. Start with industry publications or news sites that often publish relevant content that might be relevant to your audience.
Once you have found which sites you would like to guest blog on, you’ll need to develop a pitch. Make sure that the topic or article you propose is both relevant to your company’s experience but also in line with the guest publication’s content and audience.
9. Apply online for business awards
Most industries have special awards that you can apply for online when you meet certain criteria. When different organizations award your business with these accolades, you are able to gain exposure in new places online.
The awarding organization will often share your information on their own site and social media, helping expose your business to a new audience. Industry publications and organizations aren’t the only places that you can look to apply for awards. You may also find certain organizations within your community award businesses and business owners that are successful or contribute to the community in some way.
Once you have won some of these awards, you’ll want to make sure you get the most out of them.
Not only does winning industry and community awards help improve your reach online, but it can also impact your credibility and online reputation. The more information about your business is online, the better your reputation will be.
Awards can boost your company’s credibility, helping you build trust with your target audience and increase conversions over time.
10. Connect with the community
The last one of the cheap marketing ideas on the list is arguably one of the most important, especially for small businesses with brick-and-mortar locations. If you want to expand your reach in the local community, you’ve got to be active and present within the community.
This involves not only getting to know those in your community but building meaningful relationships and lasting partnerships that will continue to serve your business over time.
One of the easiest ways to get out into the community and meet those who live and work near your business is by attending in-person networking events. These events are typically professional in nature, which means it’s perfectly acceptable and expected for you to talk about your business and what products or services you provide. Bring along some business cards so that you can exchange contact information with those you connect with.
Cheap Marketing Ideas Can Make a Huge Impact
If this list of cheap marketing ideas teaches you anything, it’s that you don’t have to have a big budget to get real results with your marketing. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity and thinking outside of the box to get more out of your limited marketing budget.