22 Low Budget Marketing Ideas For Small Business


Don’t have many bucks to spend on your biz? No worries – plenty of marketing tactics you can use won’t blow your small marketing budget. Let’s see how far you can stretch those dollars! Here are 20+ marketing ideas for small businesses working on a small budget.

1. Publish Great Content. I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful, not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc. I shared many creative content marketing ideas here, and we recently rewrote the content marketing rules for small businesses.

2. Create Instructional Videos.
Video content is precious, and while it can cost big bucks to produce professional YouTube videos, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a shot yourself or hiring a film student off Craigslist. Wistia offers a great video tutorial showing you how to shoot expert-looking footage on your old iPhone! YouTube is cheap marketing. If the video sounds too challenging, try making slide decks and sharing them on SlideShare.

3. Get Ad Promo Credits. While massive ad campaigns may be out of your budget, discounts and coupons often float around for paid Facebook or Google Ads. Some web hosting services offer advertising discount codes as part of their membership offerings. Check and see if yours does.

4. Reddit. Reddit, a bare-bones social network self-titled as the “front page of the internet,” can be a powerful tool when used strategically. Reddit is composed of a very tech-savvy audience that bristles at any obvious marketing tactics.
Marketing with a tight budget. 
To win at Reddit, share only excellent content and post only to extreme niches. In Reddit, subcategories (subreddits) deal with some of the narrowest, most specific interests. There’s a subreddit for lockpicking (/r/lockpicking ), a subreddit for unicycles (/r/unicycling), and there’s even a subreddit for admiring beautiful handwriting (r/PenmanshipPorn). (And, of course, there’s one for SEO.) Find your niche and dominate.


5. Be a Savvy Social Networker. Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Pinterest. Add Instagram in there, too, if your business is image-oriented. Also, check out this list of easy Facebook marketing ideas for any business.

Need even more ideas? Contact us, and let’s talk about your specific business. Online advertising will help you.

6. Stumble Upon Advertising. If you want to try paid advertising but are not looking to break the bank, Stumble Upon’s Paid Search Discovery could be for you. Paid Discovery delivers users straight to your site, ready to engage. What works best on Stumble Upon? Photography, visual assets, and humorous content.
Stumble upon advertising. Stumble Upon is cheap compared to other paid ad structures. You start with a base price of 10 cents per click, then add +2 cents for age targeting, gender targeting, and device targeting. You can see the whole price list for detailed info. Whichever way you spin it, Stumble Upon’s paid offering is leagues cheaper than most other social media ads; Facebook ads, for example, can cost as much as 80 cents per click.

To benefit from Stumble Upon, use targeting options to ensure you’re hitting the right audiences and niches.

7. DIY Infographics. Infographics are insanely powerful marketing tools. They’re visual eye candy, easy to digest, and people love to share them, so they’re a great way to drive up referral traffic and links. Hiring a designer to make you an A+ infographic can hit your wallet hard, but you can make your own on the cheap if you don’t mind a bit of a challenge. I
nfographics marketing tactic. If you have some understanding of Adobe Illustrator, try out these free vector kits that provide all the elements needed to make a stunning infographic. Still, trying to figure out where to start? Check out Visual.ly for inspiration. They have beginner and advanced examples for you to browse through.

8. Give New Life to Old Data. If your marketing budget is tight, you might only sometimes be able to afford content writers to whip up content for your blog. If you’re in a dry spell, breathe new life into something that already exists on the web instead of making something new. There are a ton of data studies and stats available on the internet. While some of these studies may get initial traction, many often go unnoticed.

Find a study that relates to your industry and polish it up. Highlight the most important or interesting parts of the study, add images, crank out some charts, and make your own thoughts and predictions based on the data.

You don’t need to be a master writer for this strategy – the data will do most of the heavy lifting for you. One man’s throwaway data is another man’s content success story! Just cite your sources and give credit where it’s due.

For government data, check out data.gov or The Census Bureau. Global statistics can be found through UNICEF and the World Health Organization. Ultimately, you’ll have to find source data related to your industry and audience interests.

9. Lounge About on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a primary social media site that needs to be more utilized. Don’t just add network connections and sign out – join groups, enter into dialogue with references, and share your blog posts. LinkedIn has a ton happening and can be a great place to promote your content, share ideas, and build your brand. Larry recently shared some tips for getting more LinkedIn connections, and here are some ways to improve your LinkedIn profile if you’re a recent college graduate. Marketing tactics for small budgets

10. Recycle Your Content. Just as you can repurpose existing data studies, you can rehash your old content into new creations! Turn a webinar into a video tutorial. Transform a collection of blog posts into an ebook. Never be afraid to mash up your old content – chances are there will be many people who never even saw your old stuff, so it’ll be a fresh, 100% new content piece for a large audience segment.

11. Develop a Customer Referral Program. Offer existing customers a free product, a free month of service, or some other reward for referring new customers. Word-of-mouth is powerful, so friends telling friends about your business is incredibly valuable.

12. Online Contests. You’ll need to cough up some dough for a prize, but the number of participants and new potential leads you get will be well worth the price. Really tight on budget? You don’t technically need a super expensive prize to get participants. Even a couple high-end water bottles or fancy backpacks might be enough of a draw for some users.

How can I host a contest? Go with Rafflecopter – they make it easy to set up a tournament and embed the contest entry form on your website.

Picture by: Carlos Muza

13. Industry Partnerships. Team up with a business related to your industry (but not a direct competitor) for a joint project. This can be done locally offline through a special event or online with a webinar or promotional giveaway.

Partnering with another business means twice as much notice. If you’re partnering with an industry-relevant company, you’re getting introduced to a whole new audience related to your niche. People pay big money for that kind of access!

14. Apply Online for Business Awards.
Most industries have business awards you can win, providing an online badge you can place on your website. Badges like these can boost credibility and, as a result, increase sales.

If there aren’t any awards for your industry, host your own! You’ll get attention from other industry businesses who want to apply for your award, which means even more connections and possible future collaborations!

Local marketing can often be less expensive than massive online campaigns. Your reach is smaller, but if your business is regional, there’s no better (or cheaper) way to build it. Here are 69 MORE ways to boost your business.

15. Awesome Business Cards. Get yourself some snazzy business cards, then give them to every person you lay eyes on. Every handshake should come with a business card. The more people learn about your business, the better – even if it’s just a quick glance at a business card.

16. Guerilla Marketing. Guerilla marketing emphasizes creativity over budget, and strategies are often cheap and easy to implement, mainly when localized. Broadcast your Twitter handle with sidewalk chalk, use an abandoned storefront as a canvas for street art, or plaster custom stickers on urban décor that make those who stroll by look twice. There’s a ton of room for invention here, and you don’t need a big budget to be successful. We recently did a massive post about guerilla marketing detailing many strategies and examples you should check out if you want to learn more!

17. Host an Event or Class.
Plan an event or class to host, then print flyers and post them on community bulletin boards (libraries, coffee shops, local colleges, and adult ed centers). While most community bulletin boards won’t let you post business advertisements, they’re often more than happy to post a flyer promoting an educational event or class.

18. Business Card Drawing. Put a fishbowl at your place of business with a sign asking visitors to drop their business cards in to win something from you (for example, a restaurant might offer a free pizza party).

At the end of the month, you’ve collected many business cards, and while you can only have one winner, there’s no reason those other business cards have to go to waste. Use the email addresses provided to let users know that while they haven’t won this time, they are more than welcome to join your mailing list, which will notify them of future giveaways and special offers.

19. Email Marketing. Email marketing is a great way to engage new visitors with your business and maintain relationships with your existing customers.

Get new website visitors to sign up for your newsletter by offering a bonus content piece for subscribing (e.g., get your free ebook detailing how to make a homemade pizza when you sign up for our First Slice newsletter). Slowly nurture your subscribers via email until they can become paying customers. Start your email campaigns with a free email marketing service like MailChimp.

20. Car Magnets for the Company Car. Slap a magnetic sign on your car to build brand awareness as you drive around town (just be sure to obey traffic laws). Bumper stickers and window decals work as well!

21. Give Away Balloons at Local Events. Get a few hundred custom balloons printed with your business name, rent a helium tank, and watch the smiles roll in.
Marketing strategies for small businesses. Ballons = Happiness. 
Kids love balloons. Adults love them, too, but are embarrassed to admit it. Stop the shame – balloons and bubbles will always be fantastic; it’s OK to say so. Many happy people will be marching around with your brand floating above their heads, all for less than $200.

22. Join in on Local Contests. Consider donating a product or service to your town’s local contest, event, or nonprofit organization.

Low-Budget Small Business Marketing Ideas [Summary]

Here are all 22 ideas to market your small business:

1. Publish great content
2. Create helpful instructional videos
3. Get ad promo credits
4. Use Reddit for marketing
5. Be a savvy social networker
6. Try StumbleUpon advertising
7. Make DIY infographics
8. Refresh old data
9. Lounge about on LinkedIn
10. Recycle your content
11. Develop a customer referral program
12. Hold online contests
13. Develop industry partnerships
14. Apply online for business awards
15. Create eye-catching business cards
16. Leverage guerilla marketing
17. Host an event or class
18. Host a business card drawing
19. Engage in email marketing
20. Use car magnets for company vehicles
21. Give away balloons at local events
22. Join in on local contests

Any low-budget marketing tactics we missed? What works for your small business?

22 Low Budget Marketing Ideas For Small Business 22 Low Budget Marketing Ideas For Small Business Reviewed by Hernani Del Giudice on October 22, 2023 Rating: 5


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