Posted on Apr 11, 2018

9 Budget-friendly Ideas for Marketing Your Small Business

Marketing budgets can make a small business owner’s stomach drop. Agencies will quote numbers deep into the thousands, numbers that simply are not feasible for most small to medium-size companies.

Here is a secret that most of those agencies don’t want you to know. As a small business owner, you can start marketing your company on a shoestring budget. All it takes is some determination, planning, and these nine budget-friendly ideas. Read on to learn more.

1. List Your Business on Google

The single most important thing you can do is get your business to show up on a Google search. The fastest way to do that is to list it on Google My Business. This completely free tool enables you to reach local customers, track customer activity, and analyze demographics. It also allows you to put your business on Google Maps so that your customers find your physical location.

2. Generate Email Subscribers with Constant Contact

Engaging email newsletters help you connect with prospective clients, reconnect with old clients, showcase products, and offer timely discounts. With email tools like Constant Contact, which offers a 60-day free trial, your business can leverage this simple but effective marketing tool. It features user-friendly templates, drag-and-drop tools, and a basic content management system.

3. Create a Facebook Business Page

Say what you want about the controversial social media network, it has more than 2 billion users. On average, people spend 35 minutes on Facebook every day. Nearly 90% of 18 to 29-year-olds use Facebook; more than 80% of its users have attended at least some college.

If those numbers aren’t compelling enough for you, consider one more. Over 60 million businesses have a Facebook page, a free tool that allows business owners to post content, engage with people, offer promotions, and track insights. Facebook Business pages are easy to set up—and increasingly necessary for small businesses.

4. Start an Instagram Account for Your Business

Instagram is unavoidable right now. Of all the social media channels, it has the fastest growing engagement numbers. The theme of Instagram is discovery. Users scroll through images to find new and interesting places, people, activities, and products. More than 200 million Instagram users click on at least one business profile per day. About 60% of Instagrammers say they’ve found a new product through this popular channel.

5. Start a Twitter for Business Account

Twitter is like a live news feed, curated by you to show only relevant thought leaders, influencers, and businesses. Use it to build brand awareness by sharing links, photos, and other pieces of content you think your target audience will enjoy.

Twitter for Business, in many ways, is the social media channel that allows business to provide customer service in real-time. It is a great way to respond directly to customers’ questions about a product or service and to address complaints. That being said, be cautious with your responses. A defensive, angry, or judgmental tweet can ruin your reputation and, potentially, sink your business.

6. Start a LinkedIn Company Page

LinkedIn doesn’t generate the same engagement numbers as some of the other channels we’ve covered in this post. Nonetheless, it will give your business a boost of credibility, allow you to network with talented professionals, find worthy job-seeking candidates, and share interesting content with your audience. Daily posts will help your company attract followers and build a stronger reputation.

7. Schedule Your Social Media Posts with Hootsuite

Who has the bandwidth to remember to post on Instagram at 5pm on Tuesday, share a story on Facebook at noon on Monday, and tweet a GIF on Wednesday afternoon at 3pm? Not a small business owner.

Automate your social media management with Hootsuite. It’s free for individual users with up to three social media accounts. For entrepreneurs, it’s $29 a month.

This far-reaching platform lets you schedule posts in Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. It has an elaborate content curation tool, which allows you to track what’s trending and pull relevant content from the cloud. Hootsuite also produces unlimited reports with engagement analytics.

8. Order Custom Business Cards

If you spend money on any type of traditional marketing collateral, spend it on custom business cards. Be creative with the colors and the design you choose. Your business cards should be memorable for prospective clients, and they should accurately reflect your brand.

Price-focused printing companies, like MOO, let you create unique business cards with user-friendly design templates. Once you’ve uploaded your design, you can also create business stickers, flyers, postcards, and letterhead.

9. Develop a Business Website, and Add Great Content to It

new website can be intimidating for small business owners. What about all those graphics? What kind of stock photos will you need? Who will write the content? Are there small details you might overlook, or completely forget?

These days, you don’t need serious coding skills to set-up a website, and most small business owners can get a site up and running in a few hours (maybe less). Modern web hosting companies, including iPage, offer easy-to-use, pre-designed website templates. And drag-and-drop website builders that allow you to easily customize with your own imagery and content.  Often services like custom design and SEO strategy help are also available.

Template-based websites are an ideal way for businesses with a small budget to get started. However, what ultimately matters is the quality of the content you upload onto your site. Choose high-resolution images that tell a story. Create unique infographics, maps, and reports. Write ongoing blog posts that inform your audience. Investing in your business’ content is the best marketing.

Ready to Bring More Awareness to Your Business?

Don’t DIY your business’ marketing forever. Follow these budget-friendly tips and stretch every marketing dollar you have available. When you are ready to invest in professional marketing services, contact the expert team at iPage to learn about next steps.

We provide an easy-to-use website builder, domain registration, and web hosting to help kickstart your business’ web presence. We also offer cutting-edge SEO techniques, Pay-per-click advertising, and professional web design.