12 Quick and Cheap Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

  • If you want your business to be successful, you must invest in some form of marketing to increase awareness of your brand and attract more customers.
  • Marketing doesn't have to break the bank, and if you like many other business owners are working on a low budget, there are some great low-budget marketing ideas you can start using today.
  • Read on to find out 12 inexpensive marketing ideas that have been tried and tested for small businesses.

Today’s market is tough.  Competition has never been more intense and it’s getting harder to earn revenues and gain customers in today’s economy. 

It’s easy to cut corners while trying to minimize costs when marketing on a budget. 

Often times, these mistakes can lead to disaster.  So what can your business do if you have a tight budget?

What are some low-budget marketing ideas for small businesses?

Here are 12 inexpensive marketing ideas that work for small businesses of many shapes and sizes.

1. Pay attention to your signage

In a time where a lot of attention is being placed towards digital marketing, that humble sign in front of your store is still one of the most effective marketing tools. 

Simple, attention-grabbing signs that highlight your products still work very well in gaining new business.  Keep the clutter down on your signs so that it is still readable from a distance. 

You’ll spend on your store’s signs anyway so it’s best to do it right. 

2. Reward your customers

A loyalty program will help keep your customers coming back for more.  Using loyalty cards or QR codes to reward customers after making several purchases with discounts or freebies is a good way to start. 

The same perks can be given to them when they refer your place to their friends through social networks.

3. Create a good relationship with your customers

Good customer service is a must in order to keep your customers happy.  Happy customers will come back for more and will be more likely to recommend your business to their friends and contacts.

4. Improve your website

A good clean design with all of the right information about your products and services and a clear call to action is important.  Make it easier for potential customers to find you by optimizing your site for search engines. 

Use clear, concise language and try to answer questions your customers are likely to type in search engines when looking for a business similar to yours.

Once your site is up, track its progress using free tools such as Google Analytics.  Find out how your customers are using your site, which pages they visit and how they found your site. 

Make improvements and tweaks so that your site’s traffic better aligns with your goals.

5. Maintain a social network presence and cultivate a community

Having a social network presence on Facebook and Twitter is no longer an option.  Social networks are great tools for sharing your latest promos and products and a good way to spread the word about your business. 

It also serves as a great avenue to interact with your customers and improve your relationship with them.

6. Create a Google+ page

The internet revolves around search.  With millions of web pages in the web, getting found is the hardest hurdle to overcome and the first major step in gaining a customer.  A Google+ page is a great way to get listed in one of today’s largest search engines, Google. 

It’ll allow you to get into Google’s local search index and allow people visiting the vicinity of your business to find you.

7. Start blogging and comment on other blogs

Consider writing a blog for your customers to read.  In addition to articles about your products, you can also cover common interest topics to your industry. 

For example, if you have a restaurant, you can post recipes and cooking tips.  Keep your blog updated frequently to keep traffic flowing.

Commenting on other blogs is also a great way to bring traffic back to yours.  You can create a name for yourself and your business by interacting with the greater blogosphere (the community of blogs and bloggers) and establish yourself as a leader in that topic.

8. Start guest blogging for other sites

Submitting articles to other sites does several things: it can draw traffic back to your site, it establishes yourself as a thought-leader in the industry and it makes your name searchable in Google as an author and allows you to show up in more search results.

9. Publish case studies

Case studies help build credibility for your business.  Connect with your best customers and ask if you can write a case study about them and how they use your products.  Their testimonials would go miles in attracting new customers to come in.

10. Try to be a speaker

If you can do it, landing a role as a speaker on conferences will build up your network and further establish you as a leader in the industry.  Find conferences about your industry in your area and see if you can apply as a speaker. 

11. If you can’t speak, attend conferences anyway

If public speaking isn’t one of your biggest talents, it’ll still pay-off to attend conferences to build a network around you.

12. Get the press to talk about you

Reporters are always looking out for interesting topics to write or talk about.  Reach out to them and offer them a compelling reason to cover you in a story.  If you are successful, this would be a great way to get word out about your company.

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive.  With a little creativity and elbow-grease, you’ll find that your marketing budget can actually be stretched a long way into getting more customers into your door. 

Allan Bennetto

Founder at

Full time Founder, part time Bootstrappr. Love the surf, snow, startups, technology, music, arts, design, mobile and food. And lots of it. www.twitter.com/allanbennetto www.linkedin.com/in/allanbennetto www.google.com/+allanbennetto