How to Promote Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

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If you have a small business operating on a shoestring budget, spending for marketing must be done prudently. But does effective marketing really require lots of money? Not necessarily! Gone are the days when all marketing methods are costly and hard to measure. Marketing tactics have evolved over the years and today there are countless cost-effective marketing options for small businesses like yours.

So, it’s time to stretch those dollars! Check out these marketing ideas and strategies that won’t blow your small marketing budget!

Use Social Media

This may sound as a no-brainer but social media, with all its benefits, tops your list of options. Create an account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and others to allow potential customers discover your business. Don’t worry, signing up is free so you can have an account for as many sites as you wish. Just make sure that you monitor all your pages. Keep your followers up-to-date by posting regularly. Show them that they can reach out to you and you are ready to respond to them.

Toilet paper company, Charmin makes sure that it promotes its unglamorous product and attracts more customers through its killer social media strategy. The company’s witty Twitter campaigns are a hit!

Post Great Content

It’s great if you have social media accounts, but it’s best if you have your own blog or website. And since it’s going to be the foundation of your other marketing efforts, posting amazing content in it is important. Instead of hiring a writer, let somebody from your team do the content writing, so you don’t have to shell out some cash. Crank out and publish engaging articles that meet the needs and interests of your readers.

One example of a successful startup with a killer blog is Foodspotting. The team makes sure that they update their readers about the company and engages them with content about food!

Build an Email List

Having an email list is vital for any business. But since you’re just starting out and working on a small budget, opt for a free email management service such as MailChimp to start your email campaigns and build your list. Come up with enticing offers to get new website visitors to sign up for your newsletter and keep existing subscribers interested in your business.

Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard can be considered an expert at email list building. And he is willing to share his tips to help others become successful online too.

Try Networking

One of the greatest assets any entrepreneur can have is a strong network. It may be an old tactic, but networking still works these days. Attend local networking events, get to know some people, and introduce your business to them. You can also try joining networking groups and find out which one’s the right fit for your personality and business.

Create Shareable Infographics

Infographics are not just visually-stimulating and easy to digest. They are also powerful marketing tools as they are a great way to drive up traffic and get back-links to your site. It’s shareable, too! You don’t have to hire a graphic designer to make an awesome infographic for you. You can create your own with the help of different user-friendly software, sites, and services. You’ll find out that making infographics is fun and relatively cheap.

Take inspiration from major companies that are using infographics successfully like Coca-Cola. You may be small and unknown now but infographics can do wonders for your business, too!

Start Your Referral Engine

Use the power of the word-of-mouth to promote your business. Ask your existing customers to tell their friends about your business. Offer them a free product or service or some other reward for referring new customers. If you’ve built a good relationship with your customers, then asking them for referrals should come easy.

A good example for this would be Dropbox. After launching its referral program that offered free storage space for customers, the company’s membership increased by around 60% in 2010.

Hand Out Awesome Business Cards

We’re now in the age of electronic media, but we can’t totally say “goodbye” to nice printed cards that you can use to promote your business. Thanks to free templates, sites, and design tools, you can create your own snazzy business cards. Make yours as unique and eye-catching as possible. Give them out to every person you meet at live business and networking events that you go to.

Are you ready to create awesome business cards to promote your business? Check out Moo business card design templates.

Give Freebies

Let people experience your product or service by giving free trial or sample. This strategy will attract interest to your business and allow customers to see the value of your product. If for example, you own a new software company, you can build loyal users and attract paying customers by offering free trials. According to a GetResponse study, adding a free trial button on your website can boost your signup rates by up to 158%.

Post on Popular Sites or Blogs

Your business may not be that popular yet and your blog or website probably only have a few visitors. But one great way to promote it is by guest posting on popular niche sites or leaving thoughtful comments on the blogs that you follow. You can include a link back to your site on your post or comment. This way, the blog or site owners and their followers/visitors will notice you then you will be able to promote your business to a wider audience.

Produce Promotional Videos

Videos are not just entertaining; they are also a great form of marketing. If you think that producing a promotional video for your business can be difficult and costly, then you are mistaken. The truth is there’s no need for you to hire a professional to shoot the videos. Simply take out your smart phone, do your promo spiel or skit, upload your video to a movie or video editing software, and then share the finished product on your blog and social networks.

Nowadays, entrepreneurs can easily promote their small businesses on a shoestring budget, thanks to cost-effective marketing methods. Aside from traditional tactics like networking and handing out business cards, you can take advantage of social media networks and blogging to promote your business. Building an email list, using a referral system, creating shareable visuals, and giving freebies are still effective. Follow one or more of these tips and tactics and let the world know about your business!

Let our virtual assistants help you promote your small business. Find out how through our five-hour free trial!

Check out these blogs from our small business series:

Pepper Virtual Assistants is a business solutions firm that specializes in virtual administrative and personal assistance, online marketing, customer support, and copywriting. We are known for reliability through our managed services, responsive client handling backed by extensive training, and rockstar virtual assistants hired for their skills and expertise.




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