30 Low-Cost Small Business Advertising Ideas For Marketing In 2018
Starting a business is a great way to be emancipated from the shackles of paid jobs. You can work at your own time and pace. The problem with owning a business is the promotional aspect.
Advertisements are great ways of making your business heard. With the evolution of the internet, digital advertisements are holding sway and the traditional advert channels such as flyers and word of the mouth are gradually fizzling.
For every business, advertisements help to reach many customers. Unfortunately, the cost of running such adverts is enormous.
Whether you’re using the print or electronic media, you’ll have to part with huge sums of money to promote your business.
Digital advertising on platforms such as Google and Facebook might attract lower fees but whatever way you look at it, you have to set up a greater budget for advertising on these platforms.
If your business is still a startup or you’re looking for inexpensive small business advertising ideas to make your business known, we have got you covered.
In this article, you’re presented with a list of Low-Cost Advertising ideas for Your Small Business.
30 LOW-COST ADVERTISING IDEAS
1) Equip Your Business with a Quality Website
The importance of creating a website for your small business can’t be overstated. Without being skeptical, a quality website gives your small business the chance to compete with other businesses online.
Besides the interesting fact that a quality website integrates your business’ presence in relevant “search results”, it’s a great channel for you to discuss the purpose of your business with a large audience.
2) Engage in Business Partnerships
By linking up with other businesses, you could easily reduce advertising costs for your small business. Meanwhile, cross-promotion is a proven way through which this may be achieved.
What more? You get to establish mutual relationships with other business partners and this means you’re damn certain to reap other business benefits from each other.
3) Set up a Blog
If you’re running your small business on a low budget and wouldn’t afford to equip it with a responsive website, I guess you could still fill the void by setting up a blog.
Though blogging comes with hurdles which you should already have known, it remains a great medium for you to advertise your services/products without spending in excess.
And what’s more? You could set up a blog without paying a single dime.
4) Guest Advertisement on Radio
Radio is an element of mass media and owing to this; you could easily use it in marketing your small business to a huge audience. And guess what?
Radio ads are far cheaper to run compared to TV ads which could be a bit costly for your small business.
5) Be Bold to Promote Yourself
While running a small business, you (as the owner) need to instill courage in yourself just for your business to reach out to a massive audience of potential customers.
You may have achieved something significant such as a skill, distinction or talent and to advertise/promote your small business through this, you need to write about that thing you have achieved.
More to that, self-promotion gives you the avenue to discuss your business strengths and objectives with prospective customers.
6) Amplify Your Sales Presentation
A sales presentation can influence dozens of customers to purchase your business products but this often depends on the quality of such a sales presentation.
By beefing up your sales presentation with engaging details, you surely have the chance to boost the advertising standards of your small business. And what is the added advantage herein?
You can dole out a captivating sales presentation without spending much money.
7) Establish a Presence on Social Media
If you are on the lookout for a low-cost advertising medium for your small business, social media is always at your fingertips and you can indeed tap its benefits to a great extent.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are trendy social media channels you can easily use in advertising your business and reaching the target audience.
8) Set up a YouTube Channel
By now, you should be damn sure that your small business really needs to be amplified with quality video contents as this will rouse action in prospective customers.
YouTube is pretty easy and cheap to use but it is best enjoyed when you have a YouTube channel.
And you know what? You could, of course, garner thousands of customers for your product ads considering the huge traffic that floods YouTube at all times.
9) Set up an Email Newsletter
An e-mail newsletter is a great channel for you to strengthen the bond between your business and its customers.
Not only does an email newsletter enable you to communicate with customers regularly, it also attracts potential customers to your business.
10) Enrich Your Business with Engaging Content
Articles, blog posts, and other contents are viable tools which can capture people’s attention but this purpose is best achieved if you can create awesome contents.
Also, ensure such contents pertain to your business and if you, however, feel there’s need to hire a prolific writer, don’t hesitate to do that.
11) Incentivize your Customers
Nothing gladdens the heart like getting appreciated for your efforts. If you want to advertise your business in the digital space, I bet your thoughts will be on how to use the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Google for running your adverts.
Remember you’re looking for low-cost advertising ideas. A good way to do that is empowering your social media friends and connections.
These persons will promote your business by sharing your Facebook pages with friends and in groups that they belong to.
The gist doesn’t end there. You should give them incentives for their efforts. You can send vouchers and coupons that allow them make free purchase online or simply giving them discounts when they buy from you.
This gives them a sense of belonging and they’ll be energized to attract more customers to your brand.
You don’t have to just verbally thank them; a little loyalty reward such as the ones listed will bring a good outcome.
Remember, getting referrals to your business from customers is more profitable as people will believe they your customers are satisfied with your services for them to make your business a reference point.
12) Learn from Professionals
I bet there are other businesses out there offering the same service as you are. The mistake most business owners make is engaging in an unhealthy rivalry with their competitors. Who knows, they might be your savior in hard times.
Always get close to your competitors and find out how they run their promotional campaigns. If you cannot bring yourself to do that, use their customers and achieve your aim.
Discover how they got to know about the business and what they think of their promotions. This will guide you when you want to promote your business.
13) Seek for Brand Advocates
For your business to go far, you have to empower people. If you want to run low-cost adverts for your business, you should consider getting brand ambassadors.
I know this might cost you much; even higher than the cost of running boosted posts on social media.
What we should be looking at are the long-term deals these ambassadors will bring to your business. You don’t necessarily have to make them the offer of brand ambassadorship; they’ll certainly demand fees.
The best way to approach this is by incentivizing them while chipping in some tips of what you expect them to do for you.
You might dole out tickets to a cinema to some of your customers and promise them more if they attract people to your business. Then sit back and watch how they’ll convince their friends to patronize your business.
Brand advocacy is one of the many ways you can advertise your business at the lowest cost.
Even if your customers (ambassadors) seek for a pay to do this, there’s certainty that you’ll get positive results.
They’ll go the extra mile to promote your business having in mind that the business is just like theirs as they already have a stake and the downfall of your business might mean they’re losing the stipends you give to them.
So they’ll work hard to earn their money.
14) Engage in Humanitarian Services
If you’re still looking for ways to promote your business at low-cost or for free, you might have been undermining a great tool – humanity.
That motherless baby home down your street might just be the tool that’ll click promotions for your business.
There’s no better to exemplify the Biblical injunction of being our brother’s keeper than this. Charitable acts do not go unrewarded and you can be sure that the good turn you gave to charity will bring you more in return.
Send goodies to those orphanage homes within your neighborhood, dole out gifts to those roadside beggars, establish a partnership with the notable charity and non-governmental organizations.
You never can tell, the little act of kindness you showed them might help advertise your business.
The idea here is that you should give to society and the society, in turn, will return your good gestures.
Here’s a clue: you can customize the gift bags with your business logo, addresses and contacts for easy comprehension of what your business is about.
So when next one of such beneficiaries has someone that needs a product you offer, you can be certain that you have a brand ambassador that’ll refer people to your business.
15) Advertise through Mobility
Transportation is one of many paying industries in the world today. You can tap into this multi-billion dollar industry for low-cost advertisements.
Those cabs and public transport systems you see are great channels to drive home what your business has to offer.
What you need to do here is to partner with drivers that ply major highways and streets. Seek the services of a print company and with the authorization of the driver, have the car wrapped with wallpapers of your business.
You can feature your products and services on this and also include details of getting across to you such as your contact and address. It’ll be catchy seeing a car with wallpaper zooming past the street.
Attention will be drifted towards the car to ascertain what the wallpaper is all about and that’s it; you’re getting more people identifying with your business without going to the print and online media.
This is a good way to cut costs while advertising your business and the good tiding here is that most of your customers are on the streets.
So bring your services to their notice through this means. However, the only cost you might incur is tipping the driver for his car and the print company for their services.
16) Plan a Get-Together
You might have purchased a product online but before this, there’s skepticism bothering on questions such as what if my product doesn’t get or if the product is defective.
Such questions only come up when you’re uncertain of a business or company and get complicated when you cannot identify the team behind it.
As a business owner on the cyber space, you might have had interactions with your customers through video chats and online polls. About 80% of online shoppers cannot say for sure who owns the store they purchase from.
You can break that norm and use the opportunity to take your business to the next level in terms of advertisement.
It wouldn’t cost you much to hold a mini get-together for your online customers. Get them to know you in person likewise you.
There’s a sense of belonging this gives to customers as they’ll have the feeling of being stakeholders in your business.
Showing your face will clear any doubts in their minds with regards to your business. This is a great way of advertising your business without spending much.
17) Create a Google Plus Profile
Google is a force to reckon with in the cyber space. Aside from being a sophisticated search engine, it also offers services such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You can create and customize your Google+ profile by signing in with your Gmail account.
Include your business web page on your profile and there’s guarantee of your business popping up when related keywords are keyed into the Google search bar.
You don’t pay a fee to set up your Google+ profile and the process of optimizing your profile is automated.
18) Join Professional Network
Sign up on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn and make your business heard. The good side to this is that prospective customers are also on the site looking for businesses that’ll offer products for their pain points.
Signing up to professional networks also gets you in contact with similar businesses like yours and from there, you can strike partnership that’ll yield positive outcomes.
You can write articles, make videos and share insights on what your business is all about on the platform.
With a high concentration of sellers and buyers on such platforms, you’re sure of getting more prospects for your business.
19) Write about your Business
Another low-cost way to advertise your business is penning down your thoughts. You can write reviews of your products and services citing the various ways they can meet the pain point of customers.
You can post your articles on your blog and website (if you have any). If you’re not good at using convincing words, you can engage the service of a freelance writer to help you write on your business.
20) Sponsor Events
Look around you. There are many events taking place in your vicinity on weekdays and weekends. You can advertise your business at low costs by sponsoring any of these events.
It might be a house-warming party or award presentation.
It’ll sound to the audience to hear that your business sponsored the award to one of the recipients. You can also sponsor the food and drinks to be taken on the day.
People will surely want to know the person with such humane heart – you. While this advertises your business, it also adds your personality as a humanitarian and people love doing business with sincere and kind-hearted persons.
21) Email Marketing
It would do you a whole lot of good if you can lay hands on your customer’s email. Aside from interacting with them on your business page, you can discuss with them through emails. Write catch newsletters and deliver to their email.
Customers always want to be at the frontline of the latest information and would appreciate it if you can notify them when new products are available.
Your scope shouldn’t be limited to your customers; you can extend your reach to others.
If you don’t have other emails aside your customers’, you can discuss with service providers on the modalities of getting email addresses of prospects within your locale.
22) Strike a Conversation
There’s no better way to be on top of your game than knowing what’s happening in your customers’ lives. You can chat with them on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Find out how they’re faring and if you’re intimate with them, find out what’s bothering them.
Perhaps they’re in a bitter financial state. If you have some few cash to spare, send some and help them solve their problem.
The next time needs something to buy; such beneficiaries will remember your good gestures and direct more prospects to you.
This is a great way to advertise your business at low-cost and lending a helping hand at the same time.
23) Host Contests
Take some time out and engage your customers in a quiz. You can center questions on what a particular product in your business offers.
Customers who might have purchased such products will find it easier to guess the answer. Those who’re yet to do so will decide on making a purchase.
You can also diversify your contest by posing questions on general knowledge. Pick winners at the end of the contest and reward them with gifts.
This is a great way to have low-cost adverts. The good thing here is that you’ll pique the interest of prospects to purchase from you and it’ll also avail the opportunity of gathering customers’ opinion of your products in particular and business as a whole.
24) Write Positive Comments
You shouldn’t restrict yourself to your blog and website. Go out to other blogs and websites and be part of its audience. Drop positive comments and never antagonize anyone.
People are prone to identify with positive-minded individuals so keep being positive when on such channels.
What you stand to gain is publicity. People will like to know what your brand is about and blog moderators and administrators will take notice of you.
So the next time users are seeking for a service you offer, referrals will be coming your way from both the blog administrators and users who admire your positivity.
25) List your Business in Search Engines
Getting your business online in platforms such as Facebook is a good venture but you can take a step further. Set up listing for your business in local directories and in search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
What you gain are better and profitable promotions. Both the Google and Yahoo search engines offer listing services for businesses.
Yahoo gives you better listing when you opt for its paid listing service under the Yahoo Localworks service.
Though you have to part with some funds, what you get in return such as global exposure is not to be compared to what you spent.
The service lists you in many directories such as Bing, Yelp, and Yahoo Local. Using listing service is one out of the many ways you can advertise your business without spending much.
26) Create a Business Card
You can have your business advertised without spending much when you get to reach your customers through your business card.
Though this is mostly used with physical customers, it has great efficacy in yielding profits.
You can engage the service of a graphic designer to design enticing background for your business card. This will grasp the customers’ attention to the details therein.
If you have the funds, you can add business letters with your logo as a letterhead.
Your business card should contain links to your web pages and your contact and addresses should also be listed. Having a business card and letterhead will passage a message to your customers.
Customers will deem your business as serious-minded and will likely to interact with it when need be.
27) Offer free Information Products
As often said, information is power. You have to come up with ways of justifying this assertion and making your customers yearn to hold transactions with you.
One of the ways you can entice prospects and customers is giving away free digital products such as Electronic Books (ebooks).
Create one yourself or engage the services of a writer to do so. To avoid it being boring, center the information on other areas that won’t be close to what your business has to offer.
If you give-out ebooks that center on your business, you’re merely blowing your horns and customers won’t feel inclined to make a purchase.
Doling out ebooks that are not related to your business will make customers identify your business. If you have a website, place the ebook there and allow people to download it.
When people come for the download, they’ll take out time to peep into what your business is about and might make decisions on transacting with you.
28) Setup Digital Promotions
You can also run adverts on platforms such as Google and Facebook. Before you scream at the high cost of running adverts on these platforms, I’ll like you to know that it’s quite cheap if you know your way about.
The Facebook Ads Manager if properly configured will allow you to use Pay-Per-Click (PPC). The same applies to Google’s AdWords service.
The Pay-Per-Click feature only charges you when your advert is clicked on.
Facebook is a great advertising channel and using the PPC feature, you can advertise your business and drive sales in real-time while spending less.
29) Engage in Guest Blogging
Blogs out there are in need of writers to keep their blogs fresh and active on the cyberspace. Strike a partnership with blogs that are related to your business.
If your business offers technological products, you have to partner with blogs that write on tech articles.
The idea here is that you should squeeze out time from your schedule and write guest posts for such blogs. Don’t make your business or its services obvious when writing.
Your aim should be providing readers with information on the topic.
Towards the end of the article, you can unveil your business by dropping clues using your end lines.
You should write as a guest blogger for websites and blogs that are popular and has readers that are inclined to your business niche.
30) Dole out Samples
If you really want to advertise your business without spending much, you have to make some sacrifice and this has to come in contact with your business.
Dole out samples of your products to prospects without charging them for the product.
The first impression you create is that of trust as prospects will believe you have trust in them by giving them free products.
On the other hand, you’re breeding these prospects to become customers in the near future.
Beneficiaries of your samples who found it durable will like to purchase other products from you.
So when next you’re looking for ways to advertise your business, you should give prospects some of your products for them to taste its durability and to induce their interest.
Running a business comes with its challenges. There are times your business might dwindle and there are moments of prosperity. It all depends on the acceptability of your business and its prospects.
Getting your business into the consciousness of prospects depends on how good you advertised it. Sometimes, funds are not readily available to advertise and run promotional campaigns for your business.
That informed the list above and our small business advertising ideas will help you to promote your business to a larger audience at the lowest cost.
So if you’re looking for a way to advertise your business at low-cost, the list above will help you make an informed decision.