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6 Cheap Ways To Market Your Small Business

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Are you a small business owner looking for cost-effective ways to promote your products or services? Look no further!

In this article, we'll share six effective and cheap ways to market your business. From social media marketing to email marketing and more, these strategies will help you reach your target audience without breaking the bank.

Keep reading to learn more about how to effectively market your small business on a budget.

Cheap Ways To Market Your Small Business

6 Cheap Ways To Market Your Small Business

As a business owner, you know that a strong marketing strategy is crucial for attracting new customers and driving sales. However, many people find marketing to be one of the most daunting processes when setting up a new business.  Startups may put all available funds and resources into the product itself, leaving little (or nothing) to outsource marketing. 

Fortunately, with a little time and dedication, there are several easy, inexpensive and sometimes free ways to market your small business yourself. Here are a few strategies you can implement to boost your marketing efforts, or consider hiring professional services such as UK market research agencies.

1. Create a website

This is a must.  Today, if a person is looking for a product or service you can guarantee a search engine will be their first port of call. A professional responsive website is a necessity for every small business.  Nowadays it’s easy to get a website up and running by yourself with plenty of online tutorials to help you.  Creating a website is a cheap and effective way to market a small business for several reasons:

  • First, a website allows you to reach a wider audience. With a website, your business is no longer limited to customers who live in your local area. Instead, you can reach customers all over the world who are interested in your products or services.
  • Second, a website allows you to showcase your products or services in a professional and organised way. With a website, you can provide detailed information about your products or services, as well as high-quality images and videos that showcase what you have to offer.
  • Third, a website allows you to track and analyse your marketing efforts. With tools like Google Analytics, you can see how many people are visiting your website, where they are coming from, and what actions they are taking on your site. This information can help you fine-tune your marketing efforts and make more informed decisions about where to focus your resources.

Your website is often the first point of contact for potential customers, so it's important to make sure it's in top form. Make sure your website is easy to navigate, visually appealing, and optimised for mobile devices. Consider including calls to action, such as "Sign up for our newsletter" or "Learn more about our products," to encourage visitors to take the next step.  Learn what SEO is and implement it on your website for maximum reach.

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Your options for creating a website:

When it comes to creating a website for your small business, you have two main options: do it yourself or hire a company to do it for you.

If you have some technical, design or computer skills and are comfortable with website design, you can save money by creating a website yourself. There are plenty of online tutorials and resources available to help you get started. One platform you can consider is the GoDaddy Website Builder, which offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface to make website creation easier. Additionally, there are a range of online tutorials available to help you get started, including many helpful godaddy website builder tutorials on YouTube.  You don't always need technical skills as there are many off-the-shelf products with templates that make things really easy.

Alternatively, if you don't have the time or expertise to build your own website, you can hire a company to do it for you. Many web design agencies offer affordable packages for small businesses. Look for a reputable company with experience in designing websites for businesses like yours. This way, you can ensure that your website is professional-looking, easy to navigate, and optimised for search engines.

As this article is focusing on cheap ways to market your business, building your own website or using online templates yourself will be the most affordable and cheapest option.

Regardless of which option you choose, it's important to have a website that accurately reflects your brand and provides a positive user experience. Make sure to keep your website up-to-date with fresh content, and optimise it for search engines to maximise its visibility online.

And, of course, you're going to need a computer or laptop to get started.  If you're in the market for a new one, then check out my article comparing new vs refurbished laptops to see if you can save money!

2. Make business cards

Business cards are undoubtedly one of the most useful marketing tools and an inexpensive way to market your business on-the-go.  They can be carried on your person and handed out at every given opportunity.  Always keep a bunch in your wallet and ensure your friends, family and colleagues have plenty to hand out too!    

Here are three reasons why business cards are a useful marketing tool:

  1. First, business cards are a tangible way to promote your business. They provide a physical representation of your brand that people can take with them and reference later.
  2. Second, business cards are a convenient and easy way to exchange contact information. Whether you're networking at an industry event or meeting with a potential client, business cards allow you to quickly and easily share your contact information with others.  Because they are small and portable, you can easily carry them with you and hand them out when the opportunity arises.
  3. Third, business cards are relatively cheap to produce. You can order high-quality business cards for a relatively low cost from online printing companies or local print shops.

There are numerous websites where you can quickly and easily design some, or why not use your favourite design program and print your own?

Check out our other articles to see how you can get recycled business cards or even transparent business cards to represent your business.

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3. Set up a blog

One of the best ways to engage with existing customers and attract new traffic to your website is by starting a blog.  Use a blog to talk about your products, services and even to show what’s happening behind the scenes.  Your customers will love getting to know the faces behind the business and will be thankful for any helpful content you share.  There are many useful guides online for how to start a blog and a wealth of free information from YouTube videos to podcasts and tutorials if you're not sure how to blog effectively to market your business.

If you already have a website, then starting a blog will not cost you any extra and it's a great way to boost your business online.  You already have the tools at your disposal, so all you need to invest is some time and knowledge.  Blogging is a cheap and good way to market a small business for several reasons.  Let's explore some of the ways blogging can help your small business:

  • Blogging can help improve your search engine rankings. When you publish high-quality, keyword-rich blog posts, you can attract more visitors to your website through search engines like Google. This can help increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to your site, resulting in more sales!
  • Blogging can help you establish yourself as an industry expert. By sharing valuable information and insights related to your industry, you can position yourself as a thought leader and build credibility with your target audience.
  • Blogging can help you generate leads and conversions. By including calls to action in your blog posts, you can encourage readers to take specific actions, such as signing up for your email list or making a purchase.
  • Blogging is relatively cheap compared to other marketing methods. While there may be some upfront costs associated with creating and maintaining a blog, these costs are typically much lower than traditional marketing methods like print advertising or television commercials.

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4. Get tweeting

Twitter can be a good way to market a business, depending on your target audience and marketing goals.  You can make use of free social media platform Twitter to gather a following, create a buzz about your business and promote your services.  You can tweet links to your blog posts to attract new readers who could be potential customers.  There are numerous hashtags and networking hours which can really boost your follower numbers and increase traffic to your website.

Here are a few more reasons why Twitter can be an effective marketing channel for businesses:

Wide reach: Twitter has a large and active user base, which means that your tweets have the potential to reach a wide audience.

Targeted advertising: Twitter allows you to target your ads to specific users based on their interests, location, and more. This can help you reach the right people with your marketing messages if you decide to use their paid ads feature.

Customer engagement: Twitter is a great platform for building relationships with customers. You can use it to respond to customer inquiries, share updates and news about your business, and more.

Real-time marketing: Twitter's real-time nature makes it a great platform for promoting time-sensitive offers and events.

To save time you can use automation for your small business when it comes to Twitter and other social media channels.  There are tweet schedulers such as Social Oomph where you can create a queue of tweets that go out at a time you set, so your channel stays active even when you are not available.

However, it's important to keep in mind that Twitter may not be the best marketing channel for every business. It's important to consider your target audience and whether they are likely to be active on Twitter before deciding to invest resources in marketing on the platform

5. Send email newsletters

Email newsletters are a cheap marketing tool for small businesses because they allow you to reach a large audience at a low cost and to sell your products or services online in another way. With an email newsletter, you can send updates, promotions, and other marketing messages to a large group of subscribers all at once.

One of the benefits of email newsletters is that they can be highly targeted. You can segment your email list based on factors like demographics, interests, and past purchases, and then send targeted emails to specific groups of subscribers. This can help you tailor your marketing messages to specific segments of your audience, increasing their relevance and effectiveness.  Email marketing is a powerful tool that allows you to reach a targeted group of customers with personalised messages. 

Email newsletters are also easy to track and measure. With tools like Google Analytics and email marketing software, you can see how many people are opening and clicking on your emails, which can help you optimise your email campaigns and measure their effectiveness.

You can use your website, blog and Twitter accounts to entice your customers to sign up for your newsletter or consider looking into Marketing Automation Software that can do all the work for you.  Send out exclusive newsletter only offers which land directly in their inboxes.  Whilst you are building your subscribers there are several free mailing services you can use online with embeddable sign up forms.  Then, once you outgrow the free subscribers capacity, there are many competitive pricing plans for your newsletters. 

6. Set up a free business listing

Another easy and cost-effective way to reach local customers is by setting up a free business listing on websites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Yellow Pages. These listings allow you to showcase your business to people who are searching for businesses like yours in your local area. No longer do people trawl through a huge Yellow Pages directory to find the service they require.... so you need to make sure your business is discoverable using online business directories.

By claiming your business listing and adding information like your address, phone number, and business hours, you can make it easier for customers to find and contact you. In addition, having a business listing on these websites can also help improve your search engine visibility, as these websites are often ranked highly by search engines like Google. Setting up a free business listing is a quick and simple way to reach local customers and improve your online presence.

Final word on inexpensive ways to market your small business

In conclusion, there are many cheap and effective ways to market your small business. From creating a website and using social media, to email marketing and business cards, there are a variety of strategies that can help you reach your target audience without breaking the bank. Setting up a free business listing on websites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Yellow Pages is also a simple and cost-effective way to reach local customers and improve your online presence. By experimenting with different marketing tactics and tracking the results, you can find the strategies that work best for your business and make the most of your marketing budget.

To roundup, here are the 6 ways you can market your business without spending a lot of money:

  1. Create a website
  2. Make business cards
  3. Set up a blog
  4. Get tweeting
  5. Send email newsletters
  6. Set up a free business listing

Marketing your small or startup business is crucial to build awareness of your brand and for its overall success.   Promotion doesn’t always need to cost the earth and can easily be achieved on even the tightest of budgets.  With a bit of effort and know-how, marketing your business can be an affordable and enjoyable venture with huge rewards.

Remember, it's important to be consistent and persistent in your marketing efforts, and to track and analyse your results to see what's working and what's not. With the right approach, you can drive growth and reach new heights of success each year.

Need some more inspiration for how to market your business?  Check out our whopper of a list in our article 44 ways to market your small business

BONUS: 4 more ways to market your small business 

There are so many ways to market your business, both paid and free.  Here are some more ways to market your business, both free and paid!

  1. Develop a customer-centric marketing plan

One of the most effective ways to drive growth in your business is to focus on the needs and preferences of your customers. By understanding who your target audience is and what they want, you can create marketing campaigns and initiatives that are tailored to their needs. Consider conducting market research, collecting customer feedback, and analysing data to inform your marketing efforts.

  1. Utilise other social media platforms

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer a wealth of opportunities for businesses to connect with potential customers. By building a strong presence on social media, you can increase your brand awareness and reach a wider audience. Consider creating a content calendar that includes posts, promotions, and interactive elements to engage with your followers.

  1. Collaborate with influencers

Influencer marketing involves partnering with individuals who have a large following on social media or other platforms to promote your products or services. By collaborating with influencers who align with your brand values, you can reach a new audience and increase your credibility. Make sure to do your research and select influencers who are authentic and have a genuine interest in your products or services.

  1. Try out paid advertising

While organic marketing efforts are important, sometimes it can be helpful to invest in paid advertising to reach a wider audience. However, if you're seeking an alternative to Google Ads, platforms like Brave Ads and Facebook Ads provide similar targeting capabilities and budget control options.  Just be sure to track your results and adjust your campaigns as needed to ensure you're getting a good return on investment. 

Before you go...

Learning how to effectively market your small business is just one part of its success.  Finances are also key, so check out our articles how to be tax ready when self employed and our bookkeeping tips to stay ahead of the game when it comes to your small business finances and tax.