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Article · Mar 3, 2016

How can I promote my business without spending a lot?

How can I promote my business without spending a lot?

Color illustration of piggy bank receiving cash.

Marketing is essential for every business, even those with slim budgets. Without some form of marketing, your business will likely struggle to make sales. But what if your finances are especially tight? Are you out of options when it comes to marketing and promotion? Absolutely not. In fact, there are several effective marketing tactics you can use that cost very little. Here are six to consider:

Social media marketing
Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others provide an inexpensive way to promote your business, with the most significant investment being time. Once you have selected the right social platforms for your business, you can begin to build a community of potential customers.

Email marketing
Building an email list takes time and consistent effort, but it is a very cost effective way to stay in touch with customers while promoting your products and services and boosting brand recognition. You can encourage prospects to sign up for your list by offering an incentive such as a free download or coupon. Then stay in touch by sending monthly newsletters that provide exclusive tips, special offers and more.

Word of mouth marketing
Word of mouth marketing is the one of the simplest -- and cheapest -- ways to drum up new business. Happy customers sing your praises to their networks, providing referrals that hopefully lead to new business. To kick-start word of mouth marketing, encourage customers to pass on your business cards and share their experiences with friends, family and peers.

Both online and offline networking can be an effective way to promote your business with little financial cost. Join online business communities, expand your network on LinkedIn and attend local business networking events to get your business in front of an audience with the potential to pass your name on to others.

Content marketing
Good, quality content can attract customers without a large financial investment. You can create a blog, offer case studies and white papers, write an eBook, create shareable infographics or even create a series of videos that appeal to your target audience. When combined with email marketing and social media, content marketing can be a very powerful low-budget marketing tactic.

Local collaboration
Are there other businesses in your local area that offer products and services that complement your own? Consider forming a partnership for cross-promotion. You can co-host local events that increase foot traffic in your store, combine special offers that benefit both businesses and even combine advertising activities to maximize reach while reducing the cost.

As you can see, with a little creativity you can promote your business on a small budget. For more inspiration, browse this list of 101 marketing ideas. Start by using a combination of tactics to see where you can get the biggest return on the time and money invested and tweak your strategy as you go.

Want to learn more? Read more tips from Alyssa Gregory.


Alyssa Gregory

Alyssa Gregory is a digital strategist, content marketer and small business consultant with more than 15 years of experience helping businesses reach and engage with their target audience. In 2011, she founded the Small Business Bonfire, an online community for small business owners that also includes a blog and weekly small business newsletter with actionable tips and advice.

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