8 Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Small Business

It’s 2023, and if you ask me, I’m already plump full of creative ideas and excited to make my consulting business as awesome as it should be.

The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving. Its immense value is indisputable, yet often, it is one of those sacrifices offered to the belt-tightening altar. Well, this course of action belongs to the graveyard of obsolete business practices.

Traditional marketing costs used to be pretty steep, but the game has changed under the influence of the digital revolution. Nowadays, marketing for online businesses is not all about budget but also about time, effort, and creativity.

So, here is how to stay on top of your game in 2023.

Marketing Shift

Technology and social media have changed the way people absorb information and exchange knowledge, and to remain noticed by the targeted audience, small businesses also need to constantly upgrade their marketing plans and strategies. If you run a small business or just founded a new start-up, you presumably face the financial constraints needed to brand and market your services in print media, TV, or even radio.

Digital marketing channels are the new Holy Grail for start-ups seeking to jump-start promotional campaigns.

  • First off, email marketing is still strong, generating an average return of $36 for every dollar spent. So, prompt the customers to give their information once they visit your website.
  • Note that you can utilize email automation tools in order to streamline the whole process and save a bunch of time.
  • Still, you need to be helpful and informative and add a personal touch without compromising professionalism.
  • Quantity may not be as important as quality in the over-saturated digital realm.

Just because Google search impressions are 3x more effective in converting searchers into interested prospects, SEO is no longer an option but a necessity.

While a small proportion of small businesses actually have a documented SEO strategy, it is worthwhile to help your website get free organic traffic, build trust, and generate a continuous chunk of leads for years to come.

Constant Flow of Content

This brings us to the next promotional medium on the list, content marketing. Its mainstay is your blog, website, or social media profile.

Now, the average attention span of an adult is six to eight seconds, which is not much. In order to grab attention, you need to come up with compelling content.

  • Visual elements are best suited to fit into this window of opportunity. This is not to say you should neglect written content, but merely that images should accompany nearly every piece of information you write.
  • Apart from that, pay special attention to the design of your webpage, headlines, calls-to-action, product description, videos, and landing pages.
  • Define your potential customers—who they are, what they do, where they hang out, and what they like. Note down everything you know about them.
  • Take note of the problems that people have and see if your services will be able to solve them (this is like a “customer interview”, just doesn’t sound that fancy). Carefully monitor how they expect the problem to be solved so that you can possibly improve your content from that data.

Get Socialized

Social media is the place of viral phenomena and roaring, buzz-generating trends. More importantly, a ton of potential prospects located all around the world spend a great deal of time on these bustling networks.

Pinterest and Snapchat are good places to land a visual ad, while the former is also the king in the area of product images. Facebook, of course, is still unmatched, and if you are unclear about the basics, feel free to check out this Facebook advertising guide. Building an active and engaged audience here is associated with immense benefits for your marketing and bottom line.

Social media could be the best place where you can convince a large audience how important your product or service could be for them. You can share clip art, surveys, statistics, or infographics that favor your business. This type of marketing technique could impact the audience positively and make them believe your products or services are exclusively for them.

Power of Networking

Let us get back to the “real world”, where you should engage in active collaboration and networking. Set up a network of mutually-beneficial, synergistic relationships with other home businesses and organizations. Noncompetitive individuals that share your values are your natural allies for the purposes of cross-promotion.  That way, you can better capitalize on your fliers, coupons, website links, bundled promotion, and other marketing tools.

Additionally, identify reputable industry influencers and contact them. All these activities pay off as your customer base expands together with the reach of your marketing messages.

Nurture Local Communities

Leverage the connections you have in the community and strive to establish new ones. Pay attention to what is going on and how you can take part. Indeed, there are many ways to get in front of local customers and win their favor.

  • Leave bookmarks at a local library, an industry event, and cover live events or write recap stories. Attend small business conferences that usually take place throughout the year.
  • Show commitment to problems in the local landscape, and you will be able to feel the nurturing embrace of the surrounding ecosystem.

Spread the Message Loud & Clear

Market wherever you are but cherry-pick your tools according to the audience and context. Sparking the attention of the audience is easier said than done.

You can hand over coupons or give products, trials, and samples away. This lets consumers get a taste of what you offer without spending a dime, just remember that for you, it is much more expensive to obtain a new customer than to retain an old one.

So, try to obtain repeat customers and do not hesitate to ask them for referrals: Word-of-mouth is invaluable in regards to spreading the word around and engaging new people.

Use Customer Testimonials

Always share testimonials and feedback you received from your existing customer on your social profiles. You can also include your customer’s contact info like website and email address if possible. The agenda is to let a vast audience know what your customer thinks of you and your services. The people can also know the product or services you are offering are really genuine. Social platforms are the best way to do this.

Comparison with Competitors

You can share how your business is better compared to your competitors. You can always post tactics showing how easy doing business with you is and what are the exclusive benefits of it. Your objective should be to let a maximum number of the audience get notice of your brand.

  • Are you wondering how to do it? One quick way: Design and create a stunning landing page showing how your product wins over its alternatives. Marketers call it a competitive comparison landing page.
  • Just like the testimonial segment, you can insert top quotes from your clients sharing their positive thoughts about your services and superiority.

Play it Smart

The leveled playing field of today has rendered the marketing game cost-effective and less labor and time-intensive. The new way of marketing is all-encompassing yet not intrusive. You have to cut through the noise, get out there, meet potential customers and partners, and shake their hands.

Bear in mind that creativity is probably your biggest asset. Even without a fat budget, you can use the right tools to take your marketing strategies and campaigns to the next level. Smart marketing pays huge dividends and opens up a plethora of new opportunities for growth, brand ambassadorship, and customer acquisition.

Marketing is no longer an option only for corporate giants and SMEs. Internet accessibility and social media technology have made it easier to go with creative marketing, even for small business owners and startups.


Shyam Bhardwaj
Shyam Bhardwaj
Shyam is the founder of a boutique marketing agency and has over 7 years of industry experience in search engine marketing. With background experience in IT engineering, he also customizes eCommerce stores and optimizes sales funnel for better ROI generation. His writing work has been featured earlier on Curatti, e27, Tweak Your Biz, and Small Business Bonfire.

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