It takes money to make money, as the old saying goes. That’s why small business owners put two percent or more of their sales revenue into marketing.
A lot of factors go into your small business marketing budget. If you’re in a competitive industry with a small budget, you might feel like your hands are tied.
There’s good news for small business owners like you. Digital marketing has opened the gates to a host of awesomely affordable options for small businesses!
Better yet, “affordable” doesn’t mean sacrificing effectiveness. Check out these 10 affordable and effective ideas from Rohring Results to give your small business a marketing boost right now.
1. Encourage Your Users to Generate Content
One of the smartest marketing ideas for small business owners is to get your users in on the action. Social media, websites, and more let your customers interact with you in brand new ways. In a lot of cases, they’re ready and willing to talk you up or help you out.
Sometimes, this can be as simple as asking people to post pictures of gifts they receive or meals they enjoy. You might ask them to post pictures of themselves using your product or traveling the world.
The options here are endless.
You can also ask your customers to make referrals or leave reviews for your business. Most of your customers will be excited to have the chance to give you feedback or tell their friends about your business.
This kind of content is fantastic for a few reasons. First, it’s free. Second, it makes your customers feel even more involved. They’ll fall even more in love with your business as a result.
2. Connect with Your Audience
Speaking of interactivity, you want to be sure you’re communicating with your audience. It’s one thing to ask them to post pictures or create content for you. It’s another to have a conversation with them.
Social media platforms give you the power to do this. A popular saying on Twitter is “it costs $0 to retweet.”
What does that mean? It means engaging with what other people are posting is an affordable option for small business marketers.
Engaging can help you in a few ways. First, sharing, commenting, and liking can make your customers feel good. Next, it also puts your brand out there in not just their feed but the feed of their followers too.
It can also foster conversations, which may reach an even wider audience. This allows you to build relationships with your customers, answer their questions, and help solve their problems.
Since this is done on a public forum, other would-be customers can see how you handle yourself. They become more aware of your brand, and they may even take that crucial step of checking out your site.
3. Run a Contest or Giveaway
Another affordable social media marketing idea is a contest or giveaway.
You might want to combine this idea with the user-generated content above. Are people submitting those pictures of their pet to have a chance at winning a great prize?
Your prizes don’t need to be brand new cars or all-expenses-paid trips to tropical islands to get people excited. Your customers will want to get in on the action, and you can even ask them to share content with their own followers.
A contest is a great way to get people involved, spread the word, and give back to your customers all at the same time.
4. Build Partnerships with Brands and Influencers
Have you thought much about networking lately? Business leaders are told to network with professionals of all kinds. You never know where your next client or your next job opportunity will come from, after all.
Networking can also be a huge benefit for your small business marketing strategy. How?
The people you network with could very well be your next clients. They can also help you spread the word about your business.
Think about connecting with an influential blogger as an example. They do a review of your product, which their audience then reads. Now thousands or maybe even millions of people know about your business and your product.
Business partnerships are another great example. Can you team up with another business that offers a complementary product? There’s a huge opportunity to cross-promote your product to their customer base, and vice-versa.
Best of all, this kind of marketing doesn’t usually cost much because it’s mutually beneficial.
5. Score Some Ad Credits
Digital marketing for small business often focuses on ads. Digital ads are usually much more affordable than traditional TV or radio ads. They may also be more cost-effective than print advertising.
That doesn’t mean they’re cheap. In fact, the cost of online advertising has been rising. If you’re on a shoestring budget, you might feel a bit squeezed.
Digital advertising is an important part of a good marketing strategy, so don’t count it out just yet. Instead, look for ways to save on your ads.
Many platforms offer ad credits to help you get started. Check out offers from Google and other advertising giants. This can help you reduce your overall costs, while still making sure you’re getting the word out.
6. Don’t Count Email Marketing Out
Email marketing sometimes gets the short end of the stick when it comes to digital marketing strategies. Marketers might see email as outmoded. You might even think email is too expensive or time-consuming.
It doesn’t have to be that way, especially not if you use the right tools. Automation can help you stay on top of email marketing. It also frees up your team’s time.
Email marketing still delivers some of the best results of all channels. If you need to hedge your bets against your budget, then email marketing could be a smart choice.
7. Create Some Videos or Go Live
Video marketing has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Better Internet technology and faster speeds have made video the medium of choice for everyone. In fact, the majority of Internet traffic these days is video.
Small business video marketing can be very affordable. There are many providers out there offering plans to help small businesses create amazing videos.
Still not sure you can afford to add slick videos to your strategy? You probably have a smartphone in your pocket, and that means you have the equipment you need to make a video. Think about starting a live Q&A session on Instagram or recording an interview.
It really can be that simple! What’s more is that people love this kind of unedited film work, because it feels more real to them. You can have your cake and eat it too with video marketing.
8. Develop Great Content with Affordable Social Media Marketing
The cornerstone of any digital marketing strategy has to be great content. That’s been true in the past, and it’s going to be true in the future. Content is what keeps people interested and coming back.
The challenge for small businesses can be creating that content. You need to have content prepared for several different platforms, like your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. You need to do that on a daily basis.
That’s a lot of work! You may not have the hands you need in-house to handle it on a regular basis. That might mean outsourcing, but plenty of companies want to charge a pretty penny.
Luckily, there are new providers offering up simplified social media marketing solutions that include more than just curated articles. You’ll get customized content tailored for your brand, including custom graphics. You’ll get daily content for multiple platforms too.
Now you’re wondering, how much does an affordable social media marketing packages cost? This kind of solution can cost less than $150 a month. Even better, these providers offer a money-back guarantee and no contract, so if it’s not working for you, you can easily switch strategies.
9. Make Time for Growth Activities
When you think of marketing activities, you likely think about ad campaigns and blog content. A good strategy also includes time for growth activities.
These marketing activities don’t immediately impact your sales or customer acquisition. What they do is provide opportunities for you to check in and tweak what you’re doing.
If you work with the right marketing provider, they can help you in this way too! Look for a provider who offers weekly growth checklists or marketing education. They should also be able to offer insights on how you can make current and future campaigns even more successful.
In turn, you’ll have a perfect blueprint for growth. It’s a stress-free strategy that saves you time and keeps your business growing forward.
10. Recycle Your Content
Marketing strategies for small businesses often focus on content creation or content curation. What happens to all that content once you’ve made it, though?
Many marketers just let it languish, but you should always think about ways you can repurpose or reuse content. Can a popular blog post become an infographic or a video?
Repurposing content this way helps you make the most of the great content you and your marketing provider create together. It’s effective and affordable.
Better Marketing Results Can Be This Affordable
Small business marketing doesn’t need to break the bank to be effective, and these 10 ideas prove just that. They’re not the only ideas out there, though. There are tons of creative, effective, and affordable ideas you and your marketing provider can explore together. Are you ready to supercharge your marketing and grow your small business? Then it’s time to get in touch with us! Rohring Results can help you deliver great content and even better results, no matter what your budget looks like.