How to Conduct Low-Budget Small Business Marketing (6 Ways)

If you’re a small business owner, you already know the challenges that come with running your own company. When you’re managing everything yourself, marketing is just one more thing to add to your to-do list. It can be time-consuming and expensive, yet it’s vital to a successful business. 

Fortunately, there are many simple and cost-friendly ways to advertise your company online. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s possible to spread the word about your business without breaking the bank.

In this article, we will lay out six ways to market your small business that won’t compromise your budget. Let’s jump right in!

1. Build a Professional Website

If you haven’t created a professional website already, this is the first thing you’ll want to consider doing. It can be the base for the rest of your marketing efforts and can be done for free or at a very low cost.

While there are many platforms available, we’d recommend taking a look at WordPress. This software allows you to create and publish your own site quickly, and is very beginner friendly:

The WordPress home page.

WordPress itself is free, and the start-up costs for your site can be very minimal. All you need to get started is a domain name and a hosting plan. Domains vary widely, but can often be had for $10-15 per year.

As for hosting, a shared or VPS setup can be all you need to run a small business site, and you can find reputable providers offering plans for $5-10 per month.

When it comes to the site itself, there’s no need to create anything extravagant. A clean layout with a direct message should make it clear what you’re selling, and a few basic search engine optimization (SEO) practices should start bringing visitors your way (more on this shortly).

2. Create an Email Marketing List

Email marketing might sound old school, but it’s still a tried-and-true method of reaching your target audience without spending a big chunk of your budget. As a matter of fact, 99% of consumers check their email every day, making this a number-one way to reach potential and current customers. 

There are many tools you can use to create an email marketing list. For example, Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial and plans that start at $9.99 per month, while AWeber offers a free tier:

The AWeber home page.

Email marketing helps you create a personalized experience for your audience while strengthening your branding efforts. Plus, it’s very easy to get started.

3. Dive into Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is vital to any small business. It’s one of the best ways to engage with potential customers. And while you can buy targeted advertisements for social media, it’s completely free to create a page and grow your following organically. 

There are many different platforms, and each is suited to specific niches and audiences. For example, TikTok wouldn’t be appropriate for an insurance company, because most of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Facebook is by far the most globally-used social media platform, with 2.91 billion users worldwide, while Linkedin users have a high average level of education. 

We’d recommend starting with the channel that most aligns with your target audience. Then you can focus on developing an effective strategy to make the most of that platform.

4. Try Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when a brand or company pays partners or representatives a commission every time they help to make a sale. This is a great way to generate conversions and can be very cost-effective.

One reason this strategy is so well suited to small businesses on a budget is the low start-up cost. Building an affiliate program will take some time and effort, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Plus, you’ll only pay when your affiliates help new customers convert, and you can have total control over the commissions and terms. 

To get the ball rolling, you can check out our own Easy Affiliate plugin:

The Easy Affiliate plugin.

This tool has no hidden costs, is simple to set up, and is an easy and inexpensive way to get started. To learn more about how to be successful in affiliate marketing, check out our tips for beginners.  

5. Start Guest Blogging

Why should you write blog posts for another site when you’re already busy with your own content? There are numerous reasons to create guest posts, the first being that it’s often free.

What’s more, guest blogging is an excellent way to reach new audiences. It’s a win-win for everyone involved – you get free promotion for your business, and the host site gets free content. Guest blogging also helps you create relationships with other small businesses in your niche.

To get started with guest blogging, you’ll want to do some research and find publications that your target audience already spends time with. Then you can find out if they accept guest posts, and approach them with a concrete idea for a unique, value-adding piece of content.

6. Brush Up on SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for any site trying to attract visitors. However, it’s especially crucial for a small business that depends on website traffic to grow its customer base.

Fortunately, SEO is something you can do for little to no cost, and the benefits are significant. There are many SEO strategies, but a great place to start is by ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly and picking up an SEO plugin to do some of the heavy lifting:

The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin.

You can also optimize your content for specific keywords, shorten your links using Pretty Links, and improve site speed. These techniques are free or low-cost, and they’ll help ensure that your website is highly visible to relevant searchers.

Conclusion

It can be difficult to find a balance between marketing your small business while sticking to a budget. However, it is possible to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns without draining your bank account. Over time, you will figure out what techniques work best for you and your small business. 

In the meantime, we recommend getting started by: 

  1. Building a professional website using WordPress.
  2. Creating an email marketing list.
  3. Diving into social media marketing, focusing on platforms with users in your business’ target audience.
  4. Trying affiliate marketing using Easy Affiliate.
  5. Writing guest posts to expand your audience.
  6. Brushing up on SEO to improve your site’s search engine rankings.

Do you have any other cost-effective techniques for marketing your small business? Let us know in the comments section below!

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