22 Low-Budget Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Marketing Ideas

Are you having limited capital that you can’t afford to blow on your marketing? Behold, there is a range of marketing tactics that you can employ and fit in your small marketing budget. Here are 20-plus marketing ideas that can work well for a small business with a tight budget.

Limited budget marketing

1. Begin by publishing great content – I ought not to have pointed out this but the need for publishing kick-ass content is often neglected by many people. If you can publish the content yourself the better because free things are cheaper and better. If you can’t do it yourself then you should consider hiring someone into your team to publish great content for you. Use such a tactic as top 10 lists, tips collections and best practices on anything in the industry.

2. Shoot instructional videos – Great video content has great value but can cost an enormous amount of bucks. While there is totally nothing wrong with making them yourself, you can hire a film student on Craiglist and let him/her do the job. Otherwise, Wistia can be the best tool for you with its instructions on how to shoot near perfect professional-like videos on your iPhone. If videos are way too expensive for you then you can decide to create slide decks and upload them on SlideShare.

3. Obtain Ad promo credits – To beat the cost spending massively on paid ads, take advantage of the coupons and discounts offered on Facebook and Google paid ads. Also, find out if your web hosting service provider offers advertising discount codes. This is a common practice with a number of hosting service providers.

4. Make use of Reddit – Reddit is a social network that dubs itself ‘the front page of the web”. It is a powerful marketing tool when it is strategically used. Reddit pools together a tech-savvy audience that bristles over any apparent marketing tactic.

Marketing here on a tight budget

To make it on Reddit, simply produce awesome content and upload it to Reddit’s extreme niches. Reddit divides itself into subcategories known as subreddits which narrows down your specific interests. Examples of subreddits include /r/lockpicking (for lockpicking), /r/unicycling (for unicycles), and /r/PenmanshipPorn (for beautiful handwriting). There is even a subreddit for SEO. Look up for your niche and dominate it.

5. Go the social networking way Establish your presence on the top social networks – Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – by creating your business account there. If your business has many images to showcase then the best place to establish your presence will be on Instagram.

6. Stumble upon advertising Stumble upon is a great platform for paid Ads. You can take full advantage of the platform’s Paid Search Discovery. Paid Discovery is effective in delivering users directly to your site, totally ready to engage. Ads with humorous content, photography and visual assets perform well on Stumble Upon.

Advertising on Stumble Upon

Stumble upon is really cheap compared to other platforms. The offer begins at 10 cents per click then proceeds to add +2 cents meant for gender, age, and device targeting. You will be provided with a list of the prices on offer. Regardless, Stumble Upon remains the cheapest advertising platform out there. For instance, Facebook charges 80 cents more per click compared to Stumble Upon

If you want to benefit most from Stumble Upon, ensure that you make maximum use of the platforms targeting features to narrow down on a specific audience.

7. DIY Infographics infographics remains to be a powerful tool in advertisements. They are the candy for an eye: easy to share, captivating and people love sharing them. For this reason, they are a great tool to generate and direct referral traffic. You can create your own infographics instead of hiring an expensive designer to create cutting-edge infographics for you.

Tactics in infographics marketing

Adobe Illustrator is an effective tool for creating great infographics. It provides with all the required design elements. To get inspiration, check into visual.ly which has both beginner and advanced prototypes.

8. Rejuvenate the old data if you are working on a tight budget, it is a little harder to hire writers who will keep replenishing your blog with fresh content. You can instead opt to breathe new life to already existing content by adding something new. Make use of tons of stats and data available on the web. Although some of the studies may get substantial initial traction, some may go unnoticed.

Get a study that resonates with your industry and adds some polishing. Highlight the parts you consider interesting or important, add charts, images and attach your thoughts and predictions to the data.

You must not be a great writer in this scenario – the data itself will work for you. The data thrown away by someone else can be a treasure for your story. All you need to remember is to cite the source and give the credit if necessary.

If you are looking for government data, The Census Bureau or data.gov are good sources. Global stats can be obtained from WHO and UNICEF. Always ensure that the data you obtain resonates with your industry and the audience.

9. Lounging on LinkedIn LinkedIn is probably the most under-utilized social network out there. Don’t just create a social network and let it stay idle – join conversations, groups and widely share your blog’s posts. A lot is happening on LinkedIn and it can be a great place to share your ideas, content and market your brand.

10. Recycling your content the exact way you can put your old data studies to a new purpose, you can as well refresh your old content into brand new creations. For instance, you can turn webinar into a valuable video tutorial or transform old blog posts into an inspiring eBook. Just don’t be scared to combine your old content – there is the likelihood that a significant number of people didn’t see the old content so it will appear totally fresh to them.

11. Developing customer referral program Give your existing customers some freebies such as free month subscriptions, free product or any other reward for the effort of referring new clients. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful. When your existing customers telling their friends and families about your brand, it is a great marketing strategy.

12. Participate in online contests Winning a prize here will require you to fork out some money but considering the number of participants as well the potential at stake, the price paid is worth it. But you don’t need an overpriced price to get huge numbers of participants especially if you are on a fixed budget. Using fancy backpacks or high-end water bottles and the likes are enough to attract hordes of participants. However, you need to great contest host for the event to be fabulous. Consult Rafflecopter for tips on how to be a phenomenal contest host.

13. Organizing industry partnerships you can gang up with other businesses that are not direct competitors in your industry and embark on a common project. This can be done either online (promotional giveaways or webinars) and offline (through a special event)

Partnership with another business brings the second audience hence you’ll be noticed twice. Some people tend to pay a lot of money to get such exposure.

14. Apply for online business awards a range of industries give out business awards that you have the potential of winning. The badge presented can be proudly displayed on your website, boosting credibility in the process.

Marketing on a tight budget

Host your own awards if there is none for the industry. The attention you will get from other interested industry players is immense. This means more connection and more future collaborations.

Local marketing ideas good for limited budgets

Large-scale online campaigns are cheaper than local marketing. There is no cheaper and better way to flourish your business if you’re the business is regional even if your reach is small. Here are 69 other ways to flourish your business.

15. Obtaining awesome business cards Procure a pack of captivating business cards and hand them to everyone you meet. You can even attach a business card to every handshake you make. It is better when more people get to know your business even if it is by a simple glance at the business card.

16. Try out guerrilla marketing Guerilla marketing thrives on two principles: creativity and strategy implementation. Here creativity edges out the budget. Guerilla marketing strategies are easy to implement for a localized business. Such maneuvers as using a sidewalk chalk to promote your twitter handle, staging your street art on an abandoned storefront and plastering custom stickers on urban décor are all Guerilla marketing tactics.

17. Hosting a class or event organize an event, print its flyers then post them on all nearby community bulletin boards in libraries, coffee shops, colleges etc. A lot of community bulletin boards will protest business Ads on their boards but will gladly welcome anything educational.

18. Business card drawing Place a fishbowl somewhere on your premises with a label telling visitors to drop their business cards inside to win something.

Marketing idea for the small business

After you’ve selected the winner at the end of the month, you can’t just throw away the rest of the business cards. You can extract the emails provided on the cards and add them to your mailing list. You will alert the individuals in future through the mailing list in case of another offer.

19. Email marketing it is an effective promotion tool to engage new visitors as well as maintaining a relationship with existing clients.

Budget marketing tactic

Offer a bonus content to new website visitors once they’ve signed up for your newsletter. You can slowly nurture them via email until they’re able to pay for the subscription. Begin the campaign by a free marketing service such as MailChimp

20. Car magnets for your car company This involves adding the magnetic sign on the company car to create more awareness about your brand as you drive. Window decals and bumper stickers have been found to work as well.

 21. Giving away balloons during local events you can create custom balloons with your brand’s name on them and give them out at local celebrations and other events.

Marketing strategy for small business

Both adults and kids love balloons but won’t admit. Balloons are attractive to look at. A balloon with your business’s name splattered on it floating over peoples is both awesome and creates maximum awareness.

 22. Join local contests it is a great marketing idea to donate your service or product as a prize in a local event or contest

Here is the summary of the 22 helpful small business marketing ideas 

. Publishing great content

. Creating helpful instructional videos

. Getting Ad promo credits

. Marketing with Reddit

. Social Networking ideas

. Stumble Upon advertising

. Doing DIY infographics

. Making use of old data

. Content reuse

. Lounging on LinkedIn

. Client referral plan

. Holding online contests

. Partnering with other industry players

. Seeking online business awards

. Doing guerrilla marketing

. Designing captivating business cards

. Hosting a class or event

. Email marketing

. Adding car magnets on company vehicles

. Giving out balloons during local events

. Participating in local contests

. Marketing ideas for small businesses

The chief goal of a business is to sell a business’ services and products. We have to position the products strategically in business premises for them to be seen and bought by the audience.

One of the wisest things any small business owner can do is to come up with a comprehensive marketing plan suitable for small businesses.

Here are 101 marketing ideas for small businesses

  Marketing planning

  1. Creating or updating a marketing plan for the business
  2. Starting and revisiting your market research
  3. Conducting a focus group
  4. Writing distinct selling proposition
  5. Refining the target niche and audience
  6. Increasing service and product offerings

Marketing material

  1. Updating business cards
  2. Updating the brochure
  3. Making your business card distinct
  4. Designing a digital brochure
  5. Redesigning the website
  6. Incorporate creativity in promotional products and give them out during s networking event

  In-person networking

  1. Designing and writing an elevator pitch
  2. Registering for a conference
  3. Creating links with local business owners
  4. Organize a local workshop
  5. Enlist with local commerce chambers
  6. Rent a both in trade shows

Direct mail

  1. Establish direct multi-piece mail campaign
  2. Involve multiple approaches while split-testing your mailings
  3. Incorporate a clear call to action in every mail sent
  4. Incorporate cards, props, inserts and attention-capturing envelopes
  5. Regain the business with old customers by sending them free samples among other incentives


  1. Do it on the radio
  2. Try out yellow pages
  3. Do it on billboards
  4. Make use of stickers and car magnets to promote your vehicles
  5. Put ads in your local newspapers
  6. Place ads on local TV
  7. Place ads on facebook
  8. Place ads on LinkedIn
  9. Advertise on relevant websites by buying space on them
  10. Use sidewalk signs

Social media promotion

  1. Begin with social media for small businesses
  2. Establish a Facebook page
  3. Obtain a vanity username or URL for the Facebook page
  4. Establish a Twitter account
  5. Tweet often and reply to responses
  6. Establish a Foursquare account for the small business
  7. Go to Google Places and list your business there
  8. Establish a business blog
  9. Regularly post on your blog
  10. Begin social bookmarking on your online content
  11. Make a Groupon

Internet marketing

  1. Enlist with Google Adwords
  2. Enlist with Microsoft adCenter
  3. Make comments on blog posts
  4. Make videos for the blog
  5. Regularly upload videos on the blog
  6. Get listed in good directories
  7. Establish Google analytics on your website
  8. Make measurements and review the Google analytics statistics
  9. Register domain names for the new campaign, product or service
  10. Research about local search marketing
  11. Keep track of overall online reputation
  12. Sign-up for HARO (Help a Reporter Out) email list

Email marketing

  1. Incorporate an email opt-in on your web page
  2. Give out free downloads as gifts to individuals willing to drop in their emails
  3. Regularly send emails to your mailing list
  4. Begin a free monthly newsletter through the email
  5. Make use of A/B testing in measuring your email campaign’s effectiveness
  6. Make your email signature perfect
  7. Incorporate video, social sharing functionality, and audio to your emails

Introducing coupons, contests and other incentives

  1. Begin a contest
  2. Design a coupon
  3. Establish a “frequent buyer” rewarding program
  4. Begin client appreciation scheme
  5. Establish client of the month rewarding program
  6. Give out free samples
  7. Begin an affiliate program

Building the relationship

  1. Carry out client satisfaction survey
  2. Request referrals
  3. Establish referrals
  4. Volunteer or help out in promoting a local charity
  5. Consider sponsoring a local sporting event
  6. Consider cross-promoting your services and products with other local commercial establishments
  7. Enlist with a professional organization
  8. Make plans for your upcoming holiday promotion
  9. Make plans on holiday gifts for loyal local clients
  10. Send out birthday cards to your customers
  11. Create collaborations with colleagues
  12. Approach local fundraisers and donate branded merchandise
  13. Begin a mentorship program

Content marketing

  1. Organize a webinar or a free teleconference
  2. Begin creating podcasts
  3. Write press releases
  4. Distribute your press release to various channels
  5. Rewrite the sales copies with a spin of storytelling
  6. Begin with a book

Marketing help

  1. Recruit a marketing consultant
  2. Recruit public relations officer
  3. Recruit a professional copywriter
  4. Recruit search engine marketing company
  5. Recruit an intern to do daily marketing activities
  6. Recruit a salesperson or a sales coach

Distinct marketing ideas

  1. Obtain a branded tattoo
  2. Establish a business mascot
  3. Take a controversial standpoint on hot topics
  4. Make payments for wearable advertisements
  5. Make a full body painting on your brand’s vehicles complete with brand’s colors and symbols
  6. 101. Enlist with online business training to sharpen your skills
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