10 Low Budget High Impact Small Business Marketing Ideas


small business marketing
Small Business Marketing

Before we start talking about small business marketing ideas, let us understand the importance of marketing. Marketing is used to communicate the message of a brand or person to its potential customers.


When done right, i.e., when we can reach out to the right customer at the right time with our right message, it leads to the person showing interest in the brand and ultimately trying out our product and service.


The goal of any business marketing strategy should be reaching out to the right person at the right time with the right message. And marketing strategy of small business is no different.


The only difference between a small business and a marketing strategy for a bigger company is the extensive amount of marketing material they can create and the budget the bigger brands have.


Following any bigger brand's marketing strategy is impossible for any small business. But every bigger brand was a small business at some point. And in this article, we will discuss low cost marketing ideas for your small business.


How to do marketing research for a small business


Remember, we just talked about the goal of marketing to reach out to the right person at the right time with the right message. For this, we must know who the right person is, we know what they want, and we should also know where to find them.


Here are the action items you should do for performing marketing research for a small business

  1. Survey your customer

  2. Study your competitor's website

  3. Go through competitor's social media posts

  4. Subscribe to your competitor's newsletter.

Surveying your customer:


When it comes to creating a marketing strategy, this is very important that we know what the pain points of our customers are, what are the ideal solutions they are looking for, and where you can find them.


You can reach out to your contacts who seem interested in your product or know they have the pain point you are solving. Ask them about the pain point, its ideal solution, if they have tried any solution before, where they love to hang out or how they enjoy spending their time.


It will help if you create a customer persona for your target audience. A persona will highlight who they are, their demographic, what they like, and their desires. Conducting a survey to collect this information will help you here as well. Using a persona will give you guide rails to create better marketing materials and campaigns which resonate with your target audience.


Study your competitors:


Your competitors can tell you a lot about the market. Take five competitors of yours and visit their websites individually. Look out for the product and service they are offering. The language, tone, and copy they are using on their website.


A keyword is a part of a search term that a person uses while searching on google. If possible, find some keywords your competitors are using on their websites. You can study their blog posts as well to find the keywords.


Go through competitor's social media posts:


For marketing strategies for a small business studying your competitor's social media posts will help you understand what types of posts are working well.


Visit different social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Pinterest of your competitors and find out how many times they have posted in the last months, which posts have received more engagement, and what people are commenting on.


Gathering this information will help you create your content marketing strategy, which we will discuss later in this article.


Subscribe to your competitor's newsletter:


While studying your competitor's website, subscribe to it if you come across any newsletter. These newsletters will help you identify the topics you should discuss with your customer and keep you updated about any offer your competitors have.


Bonus: You can also take inspiration from these newsletters while creating a marketing strategy for your small business.


Once you know who your audience is, what they want, and where to find them, it's time to do some low-budget marketing activities for your small business. You can follow the exact sequence while creating your marketing program:


1. Google business profile:


92% of searches happen on Google. Google business profile (previously known as Google My business) helps attract customers through google search and google maps.


When you search about Business Consultancy in Brampton on google search or google maps, you can find Big Guy Business Consultancy since we have registered ourselves with a google business profile.


Google Business Profile - Big Guy Business Consulting
Google Business Profile - Big Guy Business Consulting

84% of traffic that a local business receives without any paid effort is from discovery searches due to a business listing on google my business.


So it becomes essential that you register your business in Google My Business. You can visit this page to register your business on Google.


The best part of registering your business is that it's free of charge.


2. Press Release:


Once you are done with the Google business profile listing for your business, it's time to move to the next action item in small business marketing strategies.


It's time to create some buzz about your business. We can achieve it by doing some press releases. In the press release, you will announce your business's latest development to the media to get press coverage for your business.


Have you noticed many websites mention the publications they are featured on and how this builds trust instantly in your mind as a customer? You can share your business launch, new updates, your mission, or any of your achievements with the media. Sharing this type of news through major publications will increase the trust in your business.


To get your story published, you need to reach out to different journalists working in your industry with some interesting topics, and they will be happy to publish your story.

You can use tools like hunter.io to find a journalist's email address and send them your story. The tool provides 25 email addresses for free each month.


For better results, while surveying your customer, you can ask for the publications they follow so that you can reach out to those publications only.


Again you can get the press release done without spending any bucks on it.


3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):


When it comes to any business, doing SEO is very important. SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that your business is shown on ideally the first page of a search when people search about things and topics related to your business.


For SEO, it is crucial that you have a website for your business. Don't worry about the website cost. You can even get started with a free website from Wix or Google my site.


Once you have the website, start researching terms your customers are searching for using Google Keyword planner. You can also access the Keyword planner from the Google ads platform, and the most exciting part is that you can perform the research for free.


If you are a furniture store, just enter furniture store under the discover keyword section of Google keyword planner. Then Google will provide all other terms related to the furniture store people are searching for.


Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner

The next step is choosing the keyword that best suits your business, product, or service and creating content around this. It can be your product or service details or some article like this and post it on your website.


For keywords like "buy sofa online," you can create a page on your website which consists of all beds you have. And for keywords like "best mattress guide," you can write an article that shares a process of selecting the best mattress.


Once you are done adding content to your website, reach out to publications and blogs writing on your topic and ask to provide a backlink to your website page.


You can do all this with a small amount of 0-100$.


4. Social media marketing:


Social media marketing not only helps generate traffic for your business but also increases your brand awareness and trust.


In social media marketing, you share relevant information about your business with your audience through different social media channels. The key to a successful social presence is to provide value to your customers.


You can share your ideas, products, services, updates, stories, achievements, and plenty more in the form of text, images, audio, or video with your audiences.


For the furniture business, you can share an inspirational interior design idea of a bedroom with your audience on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can share a short-duration video of behind-the-scenes creating a bed on Instagram reels and YouTube shorts. And you can write a post on Twitter regarding the "best mattress guide."


For any B2B business, you should definitely include LinkedIn in your social media marketing strategy.


Remember the competitor research you did before. Now you have a good idea of which types of posts are working better, and you also can take inspiration from other social media posts to create your posts.


You can create images and videos easily with the help of Canva. Most of the features of Canva are free, which means you can get started for free.


5. Email marketing:


Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing methods for a small business. According to some reports, for every 1$ spent, a business recovers 36$. It implies that every marketing strategy for small business should include email marketing.


In email marketing, it is necessary that you start building lists of potential customers whom you will reach out to with your product, service, offer, stories, or achievements. You need to provide some incentive upfront like a "discount coupon", “exclusive savings” or similar so that people sign up for your email list.


The email newsletter of competitors you signed up for will also help you get some inspiration for the topic you can share with your email subscribers.


You can use services like Mailchimp to automate your emails so that you don't have to send all the emails manually.


In Mailchimp, you can send 10,000 emails each month for free. This is more than enough for a small business.


The 0 $ upfront makes email marketing a great tool to add to small business marketing.


6. Google ads:


On point 3, we discussed the unpaid ways of getting traffic from Google. Now let's see how you can pay Google to get traffic.


Whenever a person searches on Google, the person sees paid ads for websites at the beginning of the results and then the unpaid ones.


Google Ads
Google Ads

Most businesses can run paid search ads using Google ads. A Furniture store based in Ontario can run paid ads on the keyword "Furniture stores near me" by writing down some headlines and descriptions for the keyword, selecting Ontario or its local market as the target location, and getting started.


Remember when we talked about reaching out to the right audience at the right time. People are looking out for the product or service we offer, and at that exact moment, we can reach out to our target audience with the right message. Google ad helps us do the same.


The significant advantage of Google ads is that Google will only charge you once you receive a click.


For the furniture industry, you can get a click for 2.39$, hence, for every 100 clicks, you will pay 239$. For the same industry, the conversion rate is 2.59%, meaning that for every 100 visits, you are converting two to three people into customers on average.


Google CPC Benchmark
Google CPC Benchmark

So for approximately 556$, the furniture business can get five customers, bringing the cost per customer to 111.2$. This number is not bad for your business if you are a furniture store.


You can check your industry-specific conversion rate here to calculate your industry benchmark.


Google Conversion Rate Benchmark
Google Conversion Rate Benchmark

7. Facebook and Instagram ads:


The rise of social media has also led to people spending more time on these social media platforms.


Remember when we talked about reaching out to people where they are. Facebook and Instagram ads provide us with the same opportunity. The same goes for TikTok, Snapchat, and similar networks.


You already have created a target persona while doing your research. Now it's time to use the demographics like age, gender, location, job profile, interests, and behaviors while creating and setting up your ads.


A furniture store based out of Toronto can set the location as Toronto, and enter the age range, gender, and additional parameters of potential customers who are most likely to buy furniture. This target will tell Facebook and Instagram to show the ad to people interested in furniture and fit into a buyer description.


Add some descriptions, images, or videos and start running the ad.


Now, let us look into the math of running Facebook and Instagram ads.


Suppose you are from a home and garden industry, you can get a click for 2.78 $, so for every 100 clicks, you will end up paying 278 $. For the same industry, the conversion rate is 7.02%, meaning that for every 100 visits, you will get seven people converting into customers.


Facebook CPC Benchmark
Facebook CPC Benchmark

So for approx 278$, a business in the consumer service Industry will get seven customers, which brings the cost per customer to 39.71 dollars. This number is not bad for your business if you are a furniture store.


Remember, in Facebook ads, you need to pay per 1000 impressions.


Note: For B2B business the same thing can be done with Linkedin ads.


Check your industry-specific conversion rate below.


Facebook Conversion Rate Benchmark
Facebook Conversion Rate Benchmark

8. Influencer marketing:


The rise of social media has also resulted in the rise of influencers.

Influencer marketing can help to effectively reach out to your target audience and quickly build trust. While researching for influencers, it is necessary to look out for influencers that would also be actual customers or users of your products and services.


There are two ways through which you can do influencer marketing; one is by paying the big influencers in your industry. It will help reach your brand to a large audience but has a drawback since your target audience can quickly identify it as a paid promotion.


Secondly, you can reach out to micro-influencers, offering them free products. An estimated 20-25% out of the total micro-influencers you reached out to will reply, leading to 6-10% of the initial total amount of contacted micro-influencers that post about your product.


While doing your next round of influencer marketing, you can reach out to the same micro-influencers and offer them some commission per sale. It will make them more interested in promoting your product the next time.


This tactic perfectly fits into the small business marketing playbook. You only have to bear the cost of the product plus the cost of shipping for the first time, and next time you might agree on sharing some commission after the sale.


9. Social media giveaways and contests:


The potential of giveaways and contest is huge when done right. In a giveaway, you ask your audience to perform certain activities to participate in a contest. The contest winner gets a prize or discount code from your business.


The contest is organized so that the participants will share it on social media. A restaurant business can launch a photo contest of the best cuisines, which the participants can post on their social media accounts with specific hashtags.


Suppose you are including social media giveaways in your marketing strategies for your small business. In that case, check out these 25 social media giveaway ideas.


You only need to pay for the winner's prize or bear the discount apart from that there are no other costs associated with it.


Suggestion: Always try to keep the giveaway genuine, don't overdo it. You can run a contest once in 6 months or during any holiday season. After each contest, always posts the winner's image with the prize. It will build trust in your contest.


10. Referral marketing:


In referral marketing, your existing customer becomes an advocate for your business. Good word of mouth has the highest impact on business growth.


Just think about it as in the case of a family member or friend reaching out to you with some business details, you will check out the business.


For running a referral program, send a mail to your existing customer list and ask them if they are interested in becoming your advocate. Or you can directly ask them to promote your product or service, and in return, you can offer some discount or cash when you receive a sale.


Back in the day, Paypal had a double-sided referral program, and they gave new customers $10 for joining and then $10 for every friend they make join Paypal. Their friends also used to get 10$ for joining. And this cycle used to continue. This strategy helped PayPal get 100M customers in just six years.


You can play it smart here by offering a discount every time a person gets a business for you. In this way, you can keep the cost very low.


Bonus: Good old flyers with a twist:


For a small business, marketing flyers will also be very helpful since the business area is not that large. The only drawback with flyers is that we cannot measure their effectiveness.


But we can be smart here and add a QR code of our website to the flyer. This way, you can easily track some of the traffic from the flyer promotions. You can also direct the traffic to some special promotional offers you are running.


You can easily create a flyer using Canva and add a QR code to it.


Writers note*

Super secret strategy:


Before discussing this super-secret strategy for small business marketing, promise me to share the result you will generate using the above ideas. I am very excited to know about your results. You can share them by sending an email to subhadeep@bigguybusinessconsulting.com or reaching out to me on LinkedIn.


Now let us discuss the super-secret small business marketing strategy which only a few businesses are taking advantage of. The strategy is community building.


Build an online community consisting of people around your product or service. Share your product or service with your community members for no profit, no loss. Also, share each update about your business with your community members.


Your community members will not only help you improve your product. But since they are personally invested in the product or service, they become advocates for your business.


It is a great starting point if you are looking for a small business marketing strategy.


We encourage you to contact us at Big Guy Business Consulting if you have any questions, want to learn something in more detail, or want to share your experience.

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