Whether you’re an established business or just starting out, a significant part of your outlay goes to marketing. That’s not always easy for a small business to handle. Especially in the early stages, when ROI is slow, you might be looking for ways to save money.

We would normally advise against cutting corners here. Marketing investments are crucial to the success of any operation, and shouldn’t be neglected. However, we know that money sometimes gets too tight for you to invest as you’d like. With that in mind, here are nine suggestions for marketing a small business on a modest budget.

Build a Presence on Social Media

One of the most popular marketing channels out there, social media is free to use. Create profiles for your small business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and elsewhere. Keep posting regularly, and you’ll be in a better position to engage with customers. Before making a purchase, 54% of users research businesses on social media! So do your best to create informative and shareable content, reply to all comments, and answer any questions. It can be highly time-consuming to maintain a strong posting schedule, but it pays off in the long run.

Leverage Local…

Whether you’re an established business or just starting out, a significant part of your outlay goes to marketing. That’s not always easy for a small business to handle. Especially in the early stages, when ROI is slow, you might be looking for ways to save money.

We would normally advise against cutting corners here. Marketing investments are crucial to the success of any operation, and shouldn’t be neglected. However, we know that money sometimes gets too tight for you to invest as you’d like. With that in mind, here are nine suggestions for marketing a small business on a modest budget.

Build a Presence on Social Media

One of the most popular marketing channels out there, social media is free to use. Create profiles for your small business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and elsewhere. Keep posting regularly, and you’ll be in a better position to engage with customers. Before making a purchase, 54% of users research businesses on social media! So do your best to create informative and shareable content, reply to all comments, and answer any questions. It can be highly time-consuming to maintain a strong posting schedule, but it pays off in the long run.

Leverage Local Business Listings

Many small business owners neglect the opportunity to get their business listed for free. That’s just unforgivable! The importance of local online directories cannot be overstated. Whether it’s Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, or Yelp for Business Owners, they all work in a similar fashion. You enter the required information on your business, and the service adds you to their listing. So when their users search for a product or service in your area, they see you among the local businesses listed. It’s simple, effective, and mostly free! Using these listings optimally might require professional assistance, though.

Sort Out Your Onsite SEO

Speaking of free services… well, setting up a website isn’t exactly free, but it’s getting there. However, you must also optimize its content to improve your odds of converting visitors to customers. There’s a lot that goes into crafting a strategy for quality SEO, but you can handle the basics on your own. For example, make sure that page titles include words and phrases that your customers might be searching for. Also, have your business’s contact information readily available on every page. You wouldn’t believe how often these little changes end up having a huge impact. Once you get a taste of it, consider hiring SEO professionals anyway. This would allow you to delve deeper into keyword analysis, link-building, and more.

Test the Waters on Search Ads

If you’re unfamiliar with pay-per-click ads, you can get a handle on the basics through Google’s free tutorials. If you can’t afford professional advertisers to run your campaign, you can test the waters yourself. Don’t get too invested, though, because the results will vary. What’s important is that you develop a better grasp of what search marketing entails. Later, when you do hire PPC marketers, it should be easier to outline a strategy that involves a scaling ROI.

User-Generated Content

Depending on the nature of your business, sometimes you might not need to pay for quality marketing content. For instance, if you’re online and community-oriented, you could encourage users to produce compelling copy or visuals. Organizing contests is also a common method of getting some user-generated content. Just don’t make it seem exploitative – be sure to reward the users for the work they volunteer!

Video Content for Small Business Marketing

And while we’re on the topic of content, consider using more video. Surrounded by screens, your customers expect to be enticed with short, punchy clips. You don’t have to invest in high-quality production, either. Simple animation might do, just keep it informative and engaging. Embed video, email video, share video on social media, and watch that conversion rate soar! But as is the case with most of these suggestions, content marketing works best as part of a broader campaign.

Marketing Online, Networking Offline

Let’s spare a few words for offline marketing, too. It’s often expensive in comparison to online advertising, true, but there are still exceptions. For one, it’s usually free to schmooze among associates in the same industry. You might pick up useful tips while networking with peers, but there’s more to it than that. These gatherings are a chance to build a web of contacts and use it to get the word out. Don’t try to sell directly to your colleagues, though.

Cross-Promotion and Small Business Partnership Marketing

Once you’ve got a contact network, the next step is partnering up! We’re not suggesting a merger or anything. It’s just that, some businesses naturally complement each other’s marketing. Let’s say you’re selling pet food, for example. The other company offers pet-sitting services. You put two and two together, and presto! On their website, they promote your brand of pet food to their clients. And in return, you advertise their services to your clients. Cross-promotion is simple, easy, and above all cost-effective!

Share Your Know-How, Boost Your Reputation

In the long run, nothing adds to the popularity of your business more than increasing your value proposition. And how do you do that? There are lots of ways, actually. But for the purposes of this article, let’s stick to just this one: leverage your experience.

You’ve been in the business for a while, and know it pretty well. Why not offer the benefit of your experience to those who are just starting out? You don’t even charge them for it, you just start a free webinar and advertise it in professional circles. And who can resist free stuff?

So people come, people learn, and before you know it, you’ve got the word out. Don’t worry about creating new competition – there’s plenty of that out there already. What’s important is positioning yourself as an authority on topics related to your business.

Small Business Marketing Beyond a Shoestring Budget

Hopefully, these suggestions might help you start marketing a small business without spending a fortune. But if you find it difficult to pull off DIY advertising on the cheap, just call in the experts. A digital marketing agency will analyze your existing approach and suggest improvements that fit your budget.

It’s not always about how much you can afford to invest. With the right strategy, you can start slow, increasing sales at a modest pace. As you grow and ROI improves, you gradually increase your investments in the right marketing channels. It’s all a delicate dance, you see. Don’t be afraid to make the first step.

Each marketing campaign is a story of its own, best left to master storytellers. At Dotcom Design, we tailor our approach to suit any budget and all client requirements. We understand hesitance, too. Once you’re ready, give us a call – even if you just want to see what’s out there. We value relationships more than transactions.

What We Do

Our team helps business owners to flourish, and to achieve their goals, through world class branding, web design, & digital marketing. We equip our entrepreneurs with the strategic plan, and tools, necessary to have the business they have always dreamed of having.

Testimonials

Tony Gray

D&R Pest Control

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If you are thinking of using Dotcom Design I would tell you to not think too hard.

Tony Gray

D&R Pest Control

John, Pat & Katie

IBI Scientific

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Our sales have been going up, our orders have been going up, online sessions have been going up!

Katie Swoboda

IBI Scientific

Jeff Dill

Jeff Dill Real Estate

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I think what makes Dotcom Design different is their people. Their people are really, really great.

Jeff Dill

Jeff Dill Real Estate

Dr. Amin

Chiro Today

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I shouldn't tell anyone about Dotcom Design so I keep them all to myself!

Dr. Amin

Chiro Today

Allison Krivachek

Hydrangea Bloom

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We went from having a website that no one even saw because it wasn’t functional to it being of the main drivers of our business success. Dotcom Design hit it out of the park!

Allison Krivachek

Hydrangea Bloom

Lindsey Mills

Mills Custom Homes

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Since we launched our brand has gotten more attention than ever before. We are constantly getting compliments on our logo, website, and digital marketing. It’s been 3 months since we launched and we are already extremely close to hitting our goals for the entire year.

Lindsey Mills

Mills Custom Homes

Nate & Janene King

Nate & Janene King

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Dotcom Design significantly increased our web traffic resulting in new leads on a daily basis which in turn has increased revenue. They built us a website that is on track with our brand.

Nate & Janene King

Nate & Janene King

Brian Ophoff

Stonegate Custom Homes

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Dotcom Design increased web business 10x and I have a 90% closure rate because the leads generated are serious buyers, which drastically decreases my risk.

Brian Ophoff

Stonegate Custom Homes

Logan Jenkins

Jenkins Chiropractic

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In one word; results. I have worked with numerous agencies over the last 8 years, some very well-known ones, and none of them have been able to make as much progress as Dotcom Design. It’s obvious they care about the businesses they work with.

Logan Jenkins

Jenkins Chiropractic

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