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10 Ways to Market Your Small Business on the Cheap

No one ever said being a small business owner was easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it. You’re not only dealing with the day-to-day operations, you’re also dealing with the “B” word — “budget.”

When times get tough, the marketing budget suffers. But it doesn’t necessarily need to. Here are 10 ways you can market your small business on the cheap.

Boost a Facebook Post

Spoiler alert: Although Facebook promised to always be free for its users, the same principle doesn’t apply to marketers. If you want to be seen, you have to pay to play.

Boosting your Facebook post allows you to be seen by the demographic you’re targeting — age, location, male or female, interests, etc. You choose what to spend per day and they do the rest. Prices start at $1 per day.

Try an Email Marketing Campaign

The numbers don’t lie. For each dollar you spend on an email marketing campaign, you can (conservatively) expect $44 in return. That’s not exactly chump change as far as marketing goes!

Invest in Professionally Written Content

Let’s face it — not everyone can be a Hemingway, Shakespeare or Wordsworth. If you can’t blog to save your life, it’s completely fine to pay someone else to do it for you.

Content prices can vary wildly depending on the length, subject and research time required, but reputable marketing agencies will always try to help you stay within your budget.

Produce a Video

Video may have killed the radio star, but it’s been helping small businesses ever since. A video or two can do wonders for your website or social media pages — but having your teenage nephew shoot it with an outdated iPhone isn’t doing your brand any favors. You don’t necessarily need to hire Spielberg to direct it, but it does need to look decent.

Commission a “Gated” Resource

Looking to get more people on your contact list? Try a gated resource. (In marketing terms, this means something you give away for free — but only after someone does something you want, such as sign up for the mailing list or provide their contact information.)

While commissioning someone to write a white paper or an eBook can cost you some dough, you’ll more than recoup the cost.

Use Google AdWords

You have to spend money to make money — but you don’t have to go for broke. Google AdWords is free to set up and use: You only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. While not everyone who clicks will buy from your small business, it’s a lot better than throwing money into the wind and hoping it lands in your back pocket.

Become a (Small) Sponsor

Whether you live in a tiny town or a giant city, sponsorship opportunities are everywhere — and it likely costs less than you think.

No, you don’t need to outfit the entire Little League team with new equipment or spend thousands building a set for the high school drama department. Kicking in a bit of cash will generally get you listed in the program or mentioned over the PA.

Give Direct Mail a Shot

Contrary to popular belief, direct mail isn’t dead. It’s all in how you use it. True, the flyers and impersonal mailers don’t often get fantastic results — but if you can manage to narrow your focus, solicit responses and measure your success, it’s still a great tool!

Open Your Doors

Why spend the money putting yourself out there when you can effectively get potential prospects to come to you? An open house may be just what your small business needs.

It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive, but it does need to serve a purpose — namely, informing the community about your business and (hopefully) capturing their information along the way.

Buy Some Business Cards

Business cards are both inexpensive and indispensable, and if you don’t already have a stack at hand, you should. You never know when you’ll cross paths with a potential customer in an elevator, on a train or at a dinner party. Remember the Boy Scouts motto: Be prepared!

Marketing your small business doesn’t need to be a never-ending money drain. There are plenty of ways to do it (relatively) inexpensively — and sometimes even free!

Looking for more marketing tips? Mischa Communications has you covered. Tell us about your small business and let us devise the best strategy for your unique situation!