Many small businesses are passion projects, and it can be hard to keep them afloat sometimes. The internet definitely provides entrepreneurs with more space to market themselves, but you may still find yourself pitted against bigger companies with more resources, or in a place that already feels saturated. While it can be time-consuming, learning how to market yourself and your business is something that will absolutely pay off in the long run. Previously, I put together a list of ‘10 Ways to Promote Your Small Business for Free‘, there are lots of affordable marketing strategies available. Many small businesses might shy away from advertising because they think it costs too much, but there are actually tons of inexpensive ways you can put your brand out there.
5 Affordable Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business:
- Guerilla Marketing: One of the most effective yet still affordable ways of marketing, guerilla marketing was a term first coined in 1984 by Jay Conrad Levinson. Guerilla marketing makes use of “guerilla techniques”, or out-of-the-box, unconventional methods that focus on surprising customers and increasing engagement. According to Business Beetle, guerilla marketing is perfect for small businesses because it leads to high impacts and ROI despite low initial investment. You can employ fresh techniques like reverse graffiti, giving out stickers, “friendly fueds” with other local companies, and using unique business cards. Guerilla marketing is all about making the most of what resources you have, and the more creative you are the higher chance that it pays off.
- Direct Mail: Direct mail may seem like a relic from times past, but it’s actually a great option for smaller businesses. Why? Marketing solutions company Triadex Services found that direct mail marketing had one of the lowest costs-per-lead and ROIs of any marketing strategy. Direct mail list vendors tend to have more reliable databases that they’ve been building up for years, which means that you’re more likely to find the target market that’s right for you. Also, there’s a ton of personalization available in direct mail, and you can experiment with content, format, and even the type of envelope until you find the one that’s suitable for your business. Always ensure your data is sourced correctly for your direct mail campaign, sure, it’s a bit of an investment, but you’ll find that the returns are well worth it.
- Charity Work: Charity work may not always be the first thing on your list when you think of ways to advertise your business, but it’s a surprisingly effective option. Why is that? Well, Inc. has found that 70% of millennials will spend more with brands that support charitable causes, and with over £2 trillion in spending power, that’s definitely a market you won’t want to leave untapped. Charitable spending will also help benefit your community, and customers are more likely to remember local businesses that have given back. Whether you’re working to clean up a local park, or sponsoring a food bank, doing charity work is one way to get your business name out there and inspire a sense of community and connection with your market.
- Pay-per-click, or PPC: On a very basic level this is a form of advertising that enables you to pay a fee to have your website on the search engine result page (SERP) when someone types in specific keywords or phrases to the search engine. PPC digital marketing/advertising works on a pay-per-click basis, so you only pay when an ad is actually clicked. The targeted nature of PPC, combined with its fast delivery, makes it an incredibly useful and versatile marketing channel, however, you might find it works better for you when managed by qualified PPC agencies. PPC helps to develop brand awareness, sell products and increase your profit margins.
- Social Media: While a lot of my content is about organic social media reach there are plenty of paid options out there. Paid social media allows you to build connections with customers who might not have discovered you otherwise. Paid ads on social media help put people in “buying mode,” and allow you the opportunity to present yourself as a solution. For small businesses that might not have as wide a reach, this is a definite plus.
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