Before getting started with the most affordable marketing ideas that you can fetch to get revenue for your business, let us first understand what makes your business products or services unique.
As a business owner, you should have a product or service that has some unique quality or it should be something that speaks for itself. USP i.e. unique selling proposition of product has a tendency to market your business at absolutely no cost. This is where you save half of your marketing costs as your customers speak for your product when they find it unique.
Affordable marketing starts with having a strong unique selling proposition (USP) that you can highlight on owned media channels like your blog, email newsletter, social media pages, and GBP, and earned media like press releases, review sites, and event coverage.
Now let us look at the low-cost ideas to market your business, segregated into two categories:
- Marketing Strategies That are Absolutely
- Free Marketing Strategies That Require Little Effort & Cost
Let’s start with the marketing ideas that are absolutely free:
1. Create a Google Business Profile & Get Ownership Verified
One of the very first steps to announce your business arrival for free is to create a business profile on Google. Especially for local businesses, this is the most ideal way to show your company in business listings as it easily lets people know of your presence when they search for the product or services in your niche.
However, in order to show up on top of local search results and Google maps your business profile must be verified and optimized.
2. Create a Business Account on Social Media
The world population is 7.7 Billion and social media has around 3.5 Billion active users. That is huge! And to the surprise, the numbers are increasing day by day.
This rise in social media users gives you a great chance to market your business for free by creating your business account on multiple platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc., and engaging with the audiences. Posting actively on your profile helps you grow your brand identity and build strong trust among your followers.
- You can post engaging videos to educate your followers about the product you serve. Don’t be too promotional as it may lead to losing your potential customers.
- You can also promote your blog and drive users to your website.
- Share your user experience as a story on Facebook and Instagram.
- Make videos on Reels and TikTok with trending music to have more followers on board. Create remix videos with influencers whose followers are your target audience.
- Share attractive and infographic posts to engage your audiences and interact with them more often.
- Make use of hashtags to reach more potential users in your niche.
- Find Instagram influencers in your niche with some of the best influencer search tools and reach out for collaborations to expand your network and page visibility.
Now let’s look at marketing ideas that require some cost and/or effort.
3. Local SEO
The best part about local SEO is that it is absolutely free but requires constant effort to be on top of the local search results.
Google keeps changing its algorithm to serve the best and relevant information to users, so you have to be on your toes to update your content, keep relevant and location-wise keywords in your titles, headings, and body.
4. Set up an E-mail Marketing Campaign
E-mail marketing helps you manage a long-term relationship with your existing customers and is also a great way to engage with new customers.
Proper e-mail marketing campaigns can get you surprising results. Strong subject lines with great offers for readers can lure them to make an action and you can possibly get good conversions. Put an eye on your E-mail performance and run an A-B test to see which campaign gives you the best result. Remember to use UTM tracking links in your emails to accurately attribute the performance of your campaigns.
Some out of the box e-mail marketing strategies:
- Make your website visitors subscribe to your newsletter by offering them extra discounts and coupons.
- Send them promotional offers every week to make them your paying customers.
- Utilize tools like Mailchimp and SendinBlue email marketing software for free email marketing campaigns.
5. Create a Website & Start a Blog
One of the best methods to be visibly present online is to create a website and start a blog. It gives you the chance to drive more traffic to your website and helps you market your business through different tales and information that users are constantly looking for.
Blogs should not look like lengthy essays and should just cover handy and complete information. Infographic content on your blogs is a great way to engage your audiences.
More users these days are bored of reading texts and more inclined toward videos and catchy images to get the desired information. Thus a catchy infographic can bind your user’s interest and decrease your bounce rate. Make sure to post blog more often and with different topics each time, but be specific to your niche.
6. Run a Customer Referral Program
The most exciting part of marketing is a customer referral program where you give your existing customers a reward for referring out to someone they know, be it their friends, family, or neighbors. This incurs some cost but believe me, it is worth every penny.
Word of mouth is so powerful that it can give you customers for a lifetime as people tend to believe and hear who they know for so long. An interesting fact about word of mouth is that customers are more likely to purchase the item when their near one recommends it.
7. Participate in Local Fairs & Trade Shows
Local fairs are a great place to market your business upfront. It provides you great opportunity to show your wares to untapped customers. It may cost you a bit high but worth spending money on. Book a space and partner with someone to split the cost. You just need a small space to utilize your presence to the fullest and grab a few customers in your bag.
Remember this when you get the chance to exhibit in trade:
- Try to collect as many leads as possible.
- Don’t dig too deep as it may frustrate your customer.
- Try getting their contacts and follow up with them later to describe your business serving in detail.
8. Traditional Way of Advertising
Old-age traditional methods still matter in today’s digital era. Many big guns are still utilizing this form of marketing to target their audiences. The traditional method connects your business with your audiences by handing out information about your business through multiple means such as-
- Distributing flyers and business cards
- Ads in local newspapers
- Billboard promotion
- Creating brochures
- Printing promotional merchandise
- Listing on trade magazine
The method is a bit costly but you can optimize your budget by cutting unnecessary expenses. For example, you can save much on your design expenses by eliminating the need to hire a professional designer and making use of online graphic design tools like PhotoADKing to make flyers, business cards, and other marketing collateral in no time.
Also, share these collaterals digitally where possible. This saves your printing costs to some extent.
9. Run a Giveaway Contest
Running a giveaway contest is a smart move to grab customers’ attention and has proven to be an effective marketing strategy. You have to spend some amounts to get in those extra customers. Don’t worry, the amount spent is gonna be worth it as it gives you an opportunity to put a hand on untapped customers.
This low-cost marketing idea does not break your bank as the amount you have to spend is not much. Buy fancy merchandise, water bottles, backpacks, or some daily used items to give away for free to grab new users.
Handle contests on social media and put the prize on maximum likes & shares, tag your business, or the best remix reels to get your brand name out there.
10. Run an Ad Campaign to Get More Visitors
If you have a little more budget, try an ad campaign on Facebook to get more conversions. Pay-per-click is a handy option to get you the lead numbers you desire and it saves your cost to some extent. If you have a website selling products, opt for Google ads as it can give you customers who are ready to pay but again this increases your marketing cost.
11. Guerrilla Marketing
It has nothing to do with guerrilla but the method used is similar. Huge cutout that represents your business in a most unique way to attract users toward the message you are trying to deliver. The method is most effective and it allows you to save more on your marketing budget.
There is room for innovative thinking and you can design anything from scratch using your store scrap. It can be anything from street art, your brand logo cutout, or some innovative idea to spread the word in a most unique way.
There are various low-cost marketing ideas to promote your business, and it’s totally your call which one you want to capitalize on to bring in more revenue.
In the early days, small businesses can focus on capitalizing on marketing strategies that are absolutely free and then invest profits earned back into getting those low-cost marketing ideas in place.