12 Free or Low Cost Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
The good news is you don’t need a massive budget to be successful at marketing. With all the free and low cost marketing tools available, there’s never been a better time to promote a small business on a low budget – or even no budget!
1. Use social media
Love it or hate it, social media lets you reach thousands of people and build a following. Here are our top tips:
- Focus on two or three platforms that are best for your audience
- Post engaging content that encourages users to vote, comment or answer a question, and include images or video in your posts using free online tools to create them (e.g. Canva or Movie Maker Online)
- Experiment and keep track to analyse what works
2. Don’t forget business cards
Business cards cost next to nothing and the more you order, the more you save. Make sure they’re available at your shop or stall, hand them out at every opportunity and leave them wherever you can. Avery WePrint business cards have standard, square and folded options, so you can also use them for sales tags or ecommerce fulfilment. Take a look at our business cards here.
3. Build a mailing list
You can use competitions and forms to build mailing lists for email or direct mail to stay in touch with people who are interested in your business. By law, people must know what they’re signing up for and you must keep their information safe. See the Information Commissioner’s Office website.
4. Send out newsletters and mailings
Keep your contacts updated through newsletters and mailings Some online providers let you create, send and analyse email campaigns for free, provided your number of contacts doesn’t exceed their payment threshold e.g. Mail Chimp.
5. Keep your website up to date
If you don’t know how to use your website’s content management system, it’s well worth learning. Then you can easily add photos, news items, or new information whenever you need to.
6. Add a personal touch
Being small means you can make every customer feel valued. A handwritten note or card really shows your appreciation. It’s cheap and easy to create your own branded thank you cards and vouchers with Avery WePrint cards.
7. Start blogging
Publishing regular articles on subjects related to your business can give you:
- Greater recognition and a bigger following
- Something new to promote
- Improved website performance in search results
8. Reward customer loyalty
Keep customers coming back for more by rewarding them with a freebie or a special discount. You could even use Avery WePrint business cards or cards to create loyalty cards.
9. Send out press releases
Make sure the local press know what’s happening with your business. Whether you’re opening a new store or distribution channel; have been nominated for an award; or are hosting a workshop, put it in a press release. For tips on writing a press release, check out this article.
10. Go networking
Become part of your local business community through a chamber of commerce or business group. Membership fees are usually reduced for small businesses, or you can attend events as a non-member.
11. Run a competition
Competitions can raise awareness, increase your social media following, build a mailing list, get people into your shop or increase website traffic. Do check out the quick guide to Running prize competitions and free draws by the Gambling Commission.
12. Show off your business
If you have a vehicle, use it to promote your brand, products or services on the go. Make the most of your shop, office, building or stall to promote your business. With Avery WePrint, you can make sticky posters to go anywhere.