Let’s face it. Investing heavily on the advertisement for traffic, or investing anything on marketing at all is often tough for early stage businesses. But just because you don’t have money to spend doesn’t necessarily mean that you will do nothing about it. Simon Cuthbertson from City Print Design has some excellent business marketing ideas small businesses can execute without breaking the banks.
1. Create instructional videos
It can really be expensive if you’ll ask for professional help, but you can always try creating one yourself or hiring a film student off Craigslist.If the content is good, you can get away with limited showmanship. Although you might not receive a lot of attention with your first couple of videos, concentrate on a long-term strategy and keep building your channel and earning a subscriber base.
2. Advertise on StumbleUpon
The Paid Search Discovery of StumbleUpon is one of the most cost effective ways to try some paid advertising without spending a lot of money. The users on StumbleUpon are looking to enjoy and reward high-quality content and if your content is deserving, they will push it up.
The question is, what works best on StumbleUpon? Visual assets, photography, and humorous content are some of the categories you can consider.
3. DIY infographics
Infographics are powerful marketing tools that are easy to digest, pleasing to the eye, and people can’t help but share them. This is why a lot of business owners utilize infographics whenever they can. Hiring a good designer to produce an excellent infographic for your brand is likely to cost you a lot of money.
But if you are willing to put in some effort, you can probably create a few yourself. The best option is probably getting familiar with either of Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator and start working with ready vector/image kits available on sites like dribble.com or behance.net. Do a good job in collecting a lot of relevant, interesting data and use the stock elements to translate your data into images.
But that’s probably too much to do for most entrepreneurs. Here are some tools and infographic building services that have lots of ready templates you can just your data into. Some of those services have free lifetime options so feel free to try them out.
4. Use LinkedIn
Unlike Facebook that’s very popular, LinkedIn is a major social media site that’s often neglected. Don’t just add network connections and leave, rather put in some extra effort and join groups, participate in conversations and dialogues, make a few blog posts, comment on others’. Add your business on LinkedIn and start promoting it through posts, updates, and shares. LinkedIn can be used to make a lot of meaningful connections for your business if done right.
5. Recycle your content
If you have been repurposing your existing data studies in the past, then you should know that it’s also possible to rehash old contents and turn them into something new. For instance, you can transform a webinar into a video tutorial, or a collection of blog posts into an eBook. The key is, you shouldn’t be afraid of trying something new, because there’s always the possibility that some people never saw your old stuff, and turning them into a new content would be greatly beneficial.
6. Start a referral program
Starting a referral program could be an extremely low-cost strategy to gain additional business. If you are an offline business, use vouchers and coupons and distribute them to your regular customers, friends and family. If you are an online store and don’t have an affiliate system in place, you could use a system like idevaffiliate and get going for a one-time payment of $200 (for the basic version).
7. Organize online contests
The number of participants, as well as the new potential leads you’re going to receive once you organize a contest, is definitely worth the cost. Though, if you’re really on a tight budget, you ought to know that you don’t really have to opt for a super expensive price just to get participants. Believe it or not, something as simple as high-end water bottles or fancy backpacks can get the attention of your audience. Try Rafflecopter to create a contest in minutes.
8. Create and giveaway laptop stickers
A sticker campaign has always been considered as a guerrilla marketing tactic that can help you promote your business continuously. Laptop stickers are growing in popularity and you will often find people showcasing multiple stickers on their laptop lids. Design and print cool laptop stickers featuring your brand and hand them out to your staffs, loyal customer, friends, and family, and maybe even to strangers. Now enjoy free advertisement whenever they use their laptops in public.
9. Create awesome business cards
If you really want to advertise your business, then you ought to practice this; every handshake should come with a creative business card. You have to ensure that a lot of people would be able to discover your business. Just do a Google Image search for “cool business cards” and you will see a lot of super-creative business cards that are bound to grab attention. Create a super cool business card for yourself.
10. Host events
Organize an event, and make sure you promote your business to the captive audience in a subtle way. Giveaway flyers, brochures, and business cards, and collect the same from the visitors.