10 cost-effective small business marketing ideas you can start using today

A bit strapped for cash this quarter? That’s cool, we get it. There are plenty of affordable tricks and tips you can use to stretch that marketing budget as far as it’ll go. Here are 10 small business marketing ideas you can start using immediately!

  1. Create an attention-grabbing business card

small business marketing ideasWho needs to spend money on business cards when you can just say, “Oh, Google me – I’m on LinkedIn!”, right? Well, the answer is you do. You need business cards! Networking is all about making a connection, and there’s something very impersonal about asking someone to seek out your virtual avatar online and connect with that instead. Not only that, your business card represents your brand and will make a killer first impression if designed right. Make the card-swapping moment memorable with eye contact, a strong handshake and winning smile.

  1. Ask for referrals

Referrals are a powerful selling tool, and they cost you nothing. Worried about finding someone who trusts your business enough to recommend you to a friend, family member or colleague? Just bite the bullet! Whenever a customer compliments you or thanks you for your service, ask whether they know anyone else who might benefit from your service. Enquire after referrals in every new client meeting you attend. You’d be surprised how willing people will be to help you if you’ve made a great first impression or done a good job for them. Just remember to thank each person for the gesture, and if possible, give your own positive referrals in return!

  1. Sign up for social media

If you haven’t already, create business accounts on all the main social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, as well as Pinterest and Instagram if your business is highly visual. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – you don’t have to post every single day, but you do need to post regularly enough to keep followers engaged. As well as your own original content, you can curate and share content from relevant sources too! If you have no idea where to start, we can help you map out a cost-effective social media strategy to suit your budget.

  1. Give away free samples

Everyone loves to try before they buy! If you’re launching a new product or service, offer a free product sample or download to create instant demand and start building trust. If a consumer likes your sample, they will be much more likely to commit to a full purchase, and they might even end up recommending you to family and friends. And if you ask for honest reviews, free samples are also a great way to gather consumer feedback before you launch your new product or service properly.

  1. Hold a competition online

If you’re looking to gain more exposure, fast, holding an online competition is the way to go. Depending on the prize you offer, a basic follow and share-to-win strategy on social media can grow your fan base from hundreds to thousands in a matter of days. A simple campaign should do the trick. Just make sure you create sound terms and conditions to go with it.

  1. Start a business blog

If you Google your business service, what page does your website appear on? If the answer is ‘page 34’ (eek) then you have a bit of work to do! Every time a potential customer Googles a keyword related to your business, you want to pop up on the first page. Blogs are a great way to gain exposure because they are text-heavy and packed full of search keywords. Content matters. If you create relevant, engaging content on a regular basis, it will have a positive effect on your SEO – and hopefully you’ll start to see more engagement and enquiries!

  1. Upload a video

Recording a video doesn’t have to cost you much at all, but the potential reach it will have is immeasurable. If you aren’t sure where to start, try creating an introduction to your brand. You could also try a case study or a how-to for one of your products. It’s worth getting a short script together and attempting a few practice runs first. Then just hop in front of your laptop or smartphone camera and hit record!

  1. Host an event

Hosting an event doesn’t have to cost you mega bucks – you can certainly do it on a budget. Plan a day of affordable but enjoyable entertainment for a clearly defined target market. Launch a countdown on your website. Create a dedicated landing page to promote the event, sharing it across social media and other content platforms, or keep it old-school and print out basic flyers to post around your local community. On the day itself, make sure you have an up-to-date brochure or flyer to promote your services to attendees.

  1. Think personal

There are benefits to running a small business. One of them is knowing your clients on a more personal level. To foster loyalty, why not add a few special touches to your service that let your clients know you care about them? Send out branded ‘thank you’ postcard for each purchase or completed service, celebrate client birthdays with special promotions, or launch a customer loyalty programme to benefit your most steadfast patrons.

  1. Create content, content and more content

small business marketing ideasOf course, as Singapore’s first and longest-standing content agency, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention awesome content. You can create it yourself if you have time, but if writing isn’t your strong point, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll help you come up with a low-budget strategy to maximise your exposure on the platforms you already use. We can also help you repurpose your existing content to create brand new, engaging content such as infographics, ebooks, webinars and more!

What did you think of our small business marketing ideas? If you’d like some help planning a budget marketing strategy, get in touch today!

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