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Affordable Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Every business needs a variety of marketing ideas at their fingertips. Yet the potentially high costs associated with marketing campaigns has meant many business owners are unwilling to even consider attempting anything.

However, business marketing doesn’t need to be an expensive exercise. Just note though that your time is valuable, and many of these low or not cost marketing ideas will consume considerable amounts of it. Because of this, in some cases it may be more cost effective for you to outsource your marketing campaigns for others to manage for you.

There are three main types of marketing a business could use, with each type containing several options:

  • Print – brochures, flyers, newspapers, magazines
  • Digital – content, email, social media, SEO, video
  • Voice – radio, face to face networking, phone

As business advisors, we support our clients with their business planning and strategy development. This can include helping them identify suitable marketing ideas. So, to help them and you, we’ve consolidated our favourite low budget marketing ideas here for you today.

Budget Friendly Print Marketing Ideas

Traditionally print marketing has been the option businesses go to first when thinking about advertising their business. But print marketing can be a costly exercise. Generally, it requires you to use a graphic designer to create an advertisement which fits the dimensions requested by the print medium itself. Then because of the costs associated with the printing and distribution, you pay a high premium.

Around twenty years ago, newspapers were the predominant advertising medium. From selling products through the classified section, to advertising a store wide sale on page three, newspapers were the go-to solution. Over the years though, readership of printed materials has dropped, and people are much more selective in what they will read. Many businesses now find that their ROI on print advertising is very low, and as such are looking for other marketing options.

However, there are still some low-cost print marketing options you could try:

  • Targeted flyers – you could design and then print flyers or brochures. Rather than a blanket flyer letter box drop, be selective in where you will distribute them.
  • Business cards – a must if you do a lot of face to face networking or people visit your place of business. There are some supermarkets which still permit business cards to be displayed at their premises too.
  • Articles of interest – many local newspapers actively seek contributions to their newspapers. Writing an article on something your business has participated in or achieved is a good way to get your name out there.

If print marketing isn’t for your business, you still have other choices.

Affordable Digital Marketing Ideas

Digital marketing has quickly become the most popular marketing option for today’s businesses. This is due to the predominance of customers wanting to do their shopping, product and services research online. Because of this, there are many ways a business can approach their online marketing:

  • Content marketing is most often done directly within a business’ website. The aim of content marketing is to create content which resonates with your target audience. This content is found via search engines and as such, brings new visitors to your website. Examples of content marketing include:
    • Blogs or articles – write articles which contain information your audience wants to learn more about. This is a way to demonstrate your expertise within your industry while helping your customers with their problems.
    • Case studies – here you would showcase the work you have done, plus the benefits this work has provided for specific clients. Rather than long and dreary documents, think about writing stories which show how you managed and then solved a problem for your customers. Include testimonials from your customer or client here too.
  • Email marketing is when you send out helpful information, usually in the form of a newsletter, on a regular basis to your email list. This is a list of people who have agreed to join your mailing list, usually because they are existing customers or have signed up because they are interested in learning more about your business. There are many bulk email solutions you could use, and most offer a free membership if your list is below a certain quantity.
  • Social media marketing is something most business owners are already familiar with. It is used as a way to engage and grow loyalty among your target audience, as well as a way to direct traffic to your website. It’s important that you select the most appropriate channels to marketing upon. Our article Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business will walk you through this. Creating a content strategy for your social media marketing will ensure you post the most appropriate content and at the best times. For instance, videos, memes, polls, links to products or articles.
  • SEO or search engine optimisation and content marketing kind of go hand in hand. In a nutshell, SEO is about creating links from other sites to yours and creating content for your website which your audience wants to read. This content creation is optimised for SEO by including the words and phrases people are entering when they use a search engine. The aim of having SEO optimised content is to increase the amount of targeted traffic to your website.
  • Videos are popular amongst customers and clients because they provide information in an engaging and different way. Many business owners avoid videos at all costs though because they are unsure how to make them or don’t wish to star in them. But a video doesn’t need to involve you standing up in front of the camera. You could share videos from your computer screenshots, create a video collage of photos or even a cartoon which shares information with your audience.

From digital marketing, we move onto voice marketing options, which like print, are on the decline.

Low Cost Voice Marketing Options

When we refer to voice marketing, we’re talking about well, talking. Radio is the first thing that comes to mind for most people. It is also the costliest. Radio advertisements are expensive to make due to the equipment, knowledge and people skills needed to produce them. But there’s also other options which include:

  • Face to face networking – particularly for B2B businesses, visiting physical networking groups gives you the opportunity to share ideas and promote your business.
  • Trade shows or similar opportunities – being present at places where your target audience goes gives you the chance to interact and advertise your products or services.
  • Phone – cold calling isn’t something that people on the receiving end enjoy. So instead why not put your phone number out there and encourage people to call you.
  • Visiting – along with cold calling via phone, visiting businesses uninvited isn’t something that people welcome. You could try calling or emailing asking for a time to visit as a more polite way of seeing if you would be welcome.

We hope that from these marketing ideas you are able to identify several which would work for your business. For additional business support, make an appointment for a free 30 minute chat with one of our MBP business advisors today.

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