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Welcome to the Ingrain Social Media Show with host Mandy Davis. In this episode we discuss how to market on the cheap with a small or tiny budget.
As a small business owner, the advice to market, market, market is everywhere. Though, If you’re like most small businesses, you’re likely an owner-operated business or operate with a small staff. This can pose many marketing challenges, including the cost of marketing.
In our experiences with helping small businesses get the word out and market effectively, we have come up against this challenge many times, and helped small business owners just like you overcome this challenging hurdle.
Here are a few marketing ideas we’ve come up with along the way that have been effective without a marketing staff and little or no marketing budget.
How to Market Your Business on a Tiny Budget
1. Press Releases (cost, free+)
As business owners, we are often reading about the power of public relations and news releases. But, try and find any specific information on how to proceed, and you’ll find yourself in an endless web of sales pitches. Get yourself out of the endless web and onto marketing success with a small amount of effort and research.
To write an effective press release, you will want to read up on the proper format for a press release, and make sure you have a specific selling point. There are many free press release distribution sites including www.prlog.org. Once you’ve submitted a press release through a site like this, it’s also a great idea to submit the press release to local media outlets for maximum exposure and a higher likeliness of getting featured in a local publication.
There are pros and cons to using paid press release distribution sites, but if you’re on a small budget and willing to do a bit of footwork, this is a great way to go.
2. Facebook Groups (cost, free)
We’re all told to use social media to market our businesses, and most businesses are. So, we’re going to talk specifically about using Facebook Groups to market your business for free.
Facebook has many local groups as well as groups specifically for marketing your business. To find the appropriate group for you, simply login to Facebook, and select “Find New Groups” from the left hand side of your page under the “Groups” heading. Be sure to read the rules of the groups you are joining as many of them have specific days you’re allowed to post a business ad.
Using Facebook Groups to market your business will not only help you get the word out, you’ll also see what other people are marketing and have networking opportunities.
3. Craigslist (cost, free)
Craigslist offers many opportunities for businesses to market their service or event in their local area. Find the correct category for your product or service and post a tasteful ad (no one wants to feel like they’re being spammed), and be sure to include a link to your website as well as relevant photos.
Adding relevant keywords to your Craigslist post will get you found for those terms when people use the search function on Craigslist.
If your business services multiple locations, be sure to post an ad on the appropriate Craigslist page for those locations as well.
4. Event Grab Bags (cost, free+)
Local events are happening all the time, and the event coordinators are usually looking for companies willing to add to grab bags. If you have a product or coupon you can add, you have the potential to get your ad into the hands of hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of potential buyers.
To find local events, call around to event companies in your area, or check your news stations events tabs. Usually there is an email listed for the event coordinator.
5. Combined Event Sponsorships (cost, varies)
Bands, sports teams, non-profits and volunteer groups are always looking for sponsorships. Most of the time these sponsorship spots can cost too much for an individual business.
Cut the cost of sponsoring an event by sharing the cost with other businesses that compliment your business. Ask the event manager if you’re allowed to share the sponsorship costs with other businesses and you all share a banner or sponsorship spot.
These five tips for low-cost marketing are a great place to start if you are on a limited marketing budget and don’t have a dedicated staff. As you consistently do these things, you will really start to see growth and increased business. Always remember with business marketing efforts, nothing comes overnight and you must be willing to do the footwork. If you keep this in perspective and continue to move forward, you’ll see great results!
Today’s FREE resource-
On today’s show, we announced a free resource for you to utilize to improve your social media marketing. We will have a free resource available each week. This week’s free resource is the Marketing Beyond Social Media Guide full of low-cost marketing and content ideas.
Mandy Davis is the owner of Ingrain Social Media a boutique, digital marketing agency in Bend, Oregon that specializes in digital marketing with an emphasis on social media marketing. Mandy helps clients from all walks of life and industries get their brands found online.