Effective marketing is crucial to the success of your new business. We all wish that we had the funds to buy a billboard or shoot a commercial, but the truth is most entrepreneurs have a very limited budget to work with when they first launch a business.
So, how can you make the most of your marketing budget?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr… There are so many social media sites to create your company’s presence! With $0 and a little creativity you can reach your target market and bring in loads of new customers via social media. I sing social media’s marketing and advertising praises in another blog post: Scroll, Click & Repeat.
Google My Business and Bing Places
Google and Bing offer the opportunity for you to create a free business listing. This listing appears on Google Search, Bing Search, and Google Maps and will include your business name, hours, contact information, photos of your business, and directions to your business location. It will take a while for your business to gain an authentically high-ranking SEO result, so Google My Business and Bing Places are essential in bridging the gap and showing your target market that you’re open for business!
Word of Mouth
Tell everyone and anyone about your new business and encourage friends and family to do the same! This is simple and obvious, but it really works!!
Apply online for business awards. The majority of industries have online contests for “Best of” awards that you can win. It’s free to enter and if you win they’ll provide you with an award badge that you can put on your website. Awards like this can enhance your business’ credibility and boost sales.
Become a Blogger
Keep an active blog on your own website, but also post meaningful and relevant comments on other blogs. Network with bloggers and arrange opportunities to write guest blog posts on similar blogs to increase your SEO via backlinks and web traffic.
Local Charities, Fundraisers, and Contests
Donate your time, service, or a unique product to a local charity, fundraiser or contest. This will spread the word about your business and you’ll feel great for contributing to your community. Do well by doing good.
Once you have a bit of money set aside for your marketing budget you can really increase your business’ exposure while still being frugal!
Print business cards
For under $100 you can print up to 500 business cards (depending on where you decide to purchase from). Print your cards, and hand them out to everyone everywhere!
Join the local Chamber of Commerce
For a small membership fee you will be able to network, make valuable connections, and learn a great deal from the other entrepreneurs in your community.
Sign up for Google Adwords
For a monthly fee of your choice you can increase your business’ visibility on Google Search. This will help draw in new customers. Keep an eye out for promotional codes and coupons; Adwords is generous with their membership offerings!
Create a Facebook Ad
Facebook allows you to choose your budget and advertise directly to your target market. For even as low as $15-30 you can make a large impact with a Facebook Ad.
Advertise in local journals and newspapers
Most publications will allow you to advertise in print or online – or both! Be sure to inquire about upcoming advertising discounts to help you decide when it will be best to place your ad.
Create a Contest
People love winning free stuff (don’t you?). Hold an online contest via Rafflecopter, Gleam, or Promosimple on your blog. Your cost will be that of the prize and shipping, but the number of participants and new leads will be worth the price.
Buy Some Swag
Imprint your company logo on hats and t-shirts to give to loyal customers, family, and friends. You’ll pay a small fee for printing, but you’ll gain free brand promoters!
These are just a few suggestions to help you effectively market on a budget, but truly there is no limit as long as you’re creative and passionate about your new company!