Low-Cost Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

If you’re running a small business, you can’t rely on an established reputation or iconic branding to drive customers to your store. Without good marketing, it will be difficult to grow your business or reach new customers. Many small businesses spend a great deal of money on marketing strategies and teams, but there’s no need to do this. Below are a few highly effective marketing strategies that you can initiate for little or no cost at all.

1. Social Media Contests

At this point, everyone understands the value of social media marketing. As such, everybody is doing it, from individuals selling used goods to multibillion-dollar corporations like Coca-Cola and Nike. But a good way to stand out in the social media ad noise is to run a contest. Everyone loves the possibility of a prize, and the excitement of actively participating in the contest will make your business memorable, even for those who don’t win.

2. Community Events

On a similar note, a community event is a great way to promote your business in real life. Like the social media contest, hosting an event makes potential customers feel like they are participating in the businesses, and so will make your business a lot more memorable than the names and brands they see elsewhere. Events also make people feel like they are getting something back for their patronage, and that’s before they’ve even spent a dime! 21st-century people are inundated with ads and sales pitches, so an event will be a refreshing change that can go a surprisingly long way toward establishing a loyal customer base.

3. SEO

Search engine optimization is key to reaching as many new customers as you possibly can. When was the last time you went to the second page of a Google search? The better your SEO, the more traffic your site will get. SEO sounds a lot more complicated than it is, and almost everything you can do to improve your SEO you can do for completely free. There are even a number of different programs and plugins out there to help with SEO that are free to download and install on your website.

4. Social Media Advertising

In many ways its old news, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. There are companies that spend millions of dollars a year on social media advertising alone, but all you need is a simple PPC (pay per click) advertising program that will feature your businesses to thousands of viewers a day. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Google all offer PPCs, some for as low as $5. The simplest PPC package can dramatically increase your visibility, so don’t feel pressured to spend more than your budget. As your business grows, so too can your advertising campaign.

5. Referral Programs

A referral program means offering existing customers some kind of reward for recommending your business to others. The easiest way to track this is to embed a referral option in the form when someone creates a new account on your website. Just ask new customers to enter the email address of the person who referred them. Referral programs are a great marketing strategy because they motivate your customers to do the advertising work for you. They’ll inevitably give your site a good name – after all, why would you recommend someone to use a site or service you were unhappy with?

6. Free Gifts

These can be something as small as a bookmark, pin, or pen included with every purchase. Every time your customers use or wear their free merch, that’s brand advertising for you.

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