7 Ways to Marketing on a Shoestring Budget
If you want to scale your business, one of the major things to do is to offer quality service. When your target audience sees that your brand has more service to offer, they tend to become steady customers. The next thing you want to do is to get your “marketing game” right and that requires spending a lot of money.
Due to the competition in your industry, you may not stand a chance to get organic patronage. Making active promotions of your brand and what it has to offer is the best way to go about it. But how can you go about it when you have a limited budget?
According to Statista, the average amount of money spent on advertising by SMEs in the U.S. is $534. From the survey, the respondents affirmed the commitment to increase the marketing budget as the months go by.
However, your business may not have up to $500 to spend on ads for now. If so, how do you go about marketing on such a shoestring budget?
Here are some ideas to help you gain more brand exposure, promote your brand’s services and land more sales even with a limited budget.
1. Publish ONLY Quality Content
There has been a trend on using storytelling and content marketing to grow the brand exposure of every Small and Medium Enterprise (SME). In case you are wondering how this can benefit your business, here is a post we made about it.
When we talk about publishing ONLY quality content, we mean the following:
- The content should be informative.
- It should be about your business or the industry in general. For example, the content can focus on the new trend in your industry.
- It should involve storytelling so your audience don’t easily get bored.
2. Become a YouTuber
Gen Z has caught the trend of making YouTube videos. Today, YouTube has gone beyond being a platform where people go to watch videos. It has become a platform for business owners looking to tap into newer audiences.
Here’s how it works:
- By uploading your videos on YouTube, you get free traffic. That is what you need and since you cannot afford to pay for all that traffic for now, it makes sense to use a free traffic source – YouTube.
- Using YouTube helps you to prove your brand expertise, as the audience will get to understand what your brand is all about.
- You will start getting enquiries from your videos and from there, you can close more sales – all for FREE!
3. Ask for Referrals
Have you sold any product before? Gotten people to patronize your business even if all they bought was worth $10?
Start by asking them to give reviews of their buying experience and how effective they found your service or product.
Then be direct to ask for referrals. Ask them to share the same experiences they had with their family members and friends who may be in the need of similar services.
To get the best results from your referral-asking, consider doing it with the following factors in mind:
- Start by asking your best customers or clients for those referrals. These are the customers who are loyal to the brand so their referrals would mean a lot for the brand.
- Develop a sequence to help them make the referrals. The sequence could be in the form of an affiliate link, a template or customized text for them to share with the prospects or a short video about your services.
- Consider giving a referral bonus or commission to encourage your previous customers to make new referrals to the brand.
4. Grow Your Email List
Yes, we said that you shouldn’t invest so much on ads, since you have a limited budget. But that doesn’t mean that you would expect to get all the traffic you need for free.
One good way to deploy your limited budget is by growing your email list. It involves generating the email addresses, the telephone numbers, names and possibly – the residential addresses of your prospective customers.
To maximize the budget, consider running only lead generation ads on Facebook. You can also do the same on Google, but for an SME like yours, using Facebook is a lot cheaper.
One of the major advantages of having an email list is that you can nurture them with valuable content and freebies until they feel comfortable to trust your brand.
With time, they will become steady customers and you will keep selling new products to them, as long as you have their details for sending new offers.
5. Use the “Power of Free”
People love it sometimes when they don’t get to pay to access something. For a new business or even an existing business looking to expand the frontiers, it makes sense to leverage that mindset.
There are different ways to give out value for free and in turn, get new customers. These tips should get you started:
- Organize Free Classes: If you are a service-based business, it would make a lot of sense to offer free classes. You can hold it on Facebook Live, YouTube Live or even on Instagram. If you have more people to talk to and you want to make it interactive, it may be a good idea to use Zoom. The goal is to talk about important information relating to your business.
- Share Free Resources: Rather than spending all the time making live sessions, why not compile the content into a resource and distribute? You can create an eBook, a mini (video) course or even an infographic to share.
6. Take to Public Speaking
Since you have a good understanding of the market or industry where your business plays, it would be great to publicize it personally.
Go online and look for openings for speakers at events relating to your business line. You can look on Facebook, Twitter and on Google.
The goal is to speak in the front of an audience that is already interested in that industry and would be willing to buy what you sell, provided, of course, that you delivered your speech well.
- How to be a Good Public Speaker – In 5 Steps
- Best Skills to Learn to Make Money Online
- The Biggest Enemies of Success and How to Conquer Them
7. Sponsor Events and Get Brand Exposure
Got an event coming up in your locality? Looking to market on a budget? Instead of spending $500 on ads, you can spend a half of that amount to sponsor such events.
The sponsorship could be in the form of:
- Sponsoring some of the event materials, such as writing pads, pens and souvenirs.
- Paying a part of the important bills, such as video coverage.
What this does for your brand is that the event organizers are likely to:
- Mention your brand when acknowledging the sponsors.
- Placing your brand identity (logo and name) on the official banners of the event.
This will create some sort of buzz around your business and the guest may want to know more about your brand.
There are a thousand and one ways to promote your brand with $500 or less. If those tips don’t look like what you want to engage with, consider partnering with affiliates to promote your services for a fee. You can also create an online contest for the participants to promote your brand using flyers and other forms of informative content.
In all, promoting your brand is a full-time job and with the ideas we shared in this article, your little budget will go a long way.