There is an old saying in life, “Not everything good is expensive and not everything cheap is bad.” That is not only true for products, but also for marketing ideas. To put it short and sweet, you don’t need an overflowing bankroll to get a little recognition for your company, in fact, some of the smallest, inexpensive ideas out there can make a huge impact on your company’s visibility and profit.
While you may not gain instant overnight success, combining many small efforts to create a larger, long-term, and positive outcome. If your small business needs to squeeze a two dollars out of a nickel, these 5 low-budget marketing ideas are not only cheap, but they are also good and ridiculously effective…
If you are on the great SEO hamster wheel, climb off of it. While it is true that you do need keywords to help drive traffic to your site, you also need great content to convince Google’s web crawlers that you deserve to move up in the ranks.
Web crawlers are freaky-smart and they can pinpoint great writing and useful content without any human help. Even if you have zero budget, you can create great content by researching trends and really thinking about who your audience is and what might enrich their life. You do not always need to push your product in a cart covered in whistles, bells, and flashing lights to get the attention of potential customers. You just have to be really great at not being annoying and offering something worthwhile.
Think of it this way – it is less about the number of times that you can stuff a word into your article and more about getting in a few words that still make sense in an article that already is good. So, basically, it’s climbing off the hamster wheel and getting into one of those clear hamster balls, instead. You can take that thing anywhere! Safely.
People love to get recognition and stuff. If you can give people recognition and stuff then you will inevitably win over a bevy of new customers - if you are patient. While advertising is important, never forget that people are more likely to buy something when their peers already like it.
For example, stores like Zulily offer free credit to both the new member and the referring member when that new member decides to make a purchase. These free credits can go towards future orders and, considering that most people have around 200+ contacts in their address book, word of mouth has a lot of potential.
You don’t need to go for broke. You may not be able to afford to give a $10 credit. That’s OK. There are plenty of other avenues to take. Whatever you can afford, whatever works for you, this is exactly what you’ll give and… even in small amounts, it will matter.
Many industries have business award contests and the badges that come with this recognition can help to make you more credible. Don’t see an award for the best natural products in town? Host your own. This not only gives you a spotlight but it also helps you to network. You never know – your tin bucket bathtub company might just find a great business partnership with your goat milk soap. Any company that won’t compete with your product is open-game for partnering up for even more customers.
All those crazy ideas that you have – you know, the ones that you are afraid to go for? Those are the ideas that you need to be utilizing. Do you still play with Sidewalk Chalk at home? Me too. And if you do, use that chalk to write your Twitter handle somewhere interesting. People will want to know what the heck that Twitter handle is and they will visit you. If you are lucky, they will follow you. If not, you had fun because we already established that you like Sidewalk Chalk.
If you aren’t a big Sidewalk Chalk guy, don’t be a hater. There is plenty of room for creativity. You probably have an even better idea. No matter what it is, try it. You just might find that it skyrockets your small budget to big business. (Even if it does, keep being Sidewalk-Chalk-Guy because – hey… you gotta be yourself.)
It feels good to be a part of something meaningful and there isn’t anything wrong with being a part of something while getting a little exposure in the meantime. Because many people may attend a charity event, think up small items that you can contribute that won’t break your bank. Give away balloons or rubber ducks. You could also consider baked goods or lollipops.
Oh… and while you are at it? Be personable. Be kind. Not only will it spread the word about who you are as a business, but it will also help up your karma meter and we could all use a little bit of that!
Having a small marketing budget can be a little bit challenging, but small budgets are no reason to panic and go into Chicken Little mode. We live in a time when social media is free and creativity is too. When you combine the two, you will be able to make the most out of your budget and your business. Win/win.