Low Cost Small Business Marketing Plan: Cost Effective Marketing Ideas
The essence of this post is to share with you affordable small business advertising ideas that will help you increase customers and boost sales in many folds. Effective low cost small business marketing may look challenging but the reward definitely outweighs the efforts.
You don’t have to bother yourself with every cheap advertising strategy you come across out there.
This is why I have compiled a list of the best low cost marketing techniques that have been tested over the years in generating free publicity. Pin the list to your board and mark them one after the other as you implement the business promotion strategies on after the other.
Top 20 Best Low-Cost Marketing Techniques and No Cost Advertising Strategies To Boost Small Business Sales
1. Let your brand stand out. Your business identity such as business names and logo must be simple, short and memorable. It should make a statement and align with whatever your business is about as well as appeal to the intended market.
2. Take your campaigns to the right locations. After knowing the demographics of your prospective market, you should design cost-effective advertising programmes that suit where these people go frequently. Most teens are likely to be online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, young couple in supermarkets, gym and libraries, older people in church halls, doctors and dentists’ waiting room.
3. Impact knowledge on others. Many people want to benefit from your wealth of experience and information surrounding your industry. Offering to speak on local radio stations, in schools, at social events, to business groups and associations on topics related to your investment is about is a way to gain publicity for your small business. You can also write for community newspapers and hold rallies where you sensitize the prospective market.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth marketing. This no cost small business marketing technique may look cheap but it is nevertheless effective. A happy and satisfied customer is the best ambassador for your business. Work on the quality and delivery of your products and services to keep your clients satisfied as this is the cheapest way to enjoy referrals. This is definitely one of the top 10 low cost marketing plan and strategies for restaurants.
5. Ensure you research into your competition. With the help of a professional mystery shopper, friend or family member, check out the businesses of your competitors and obtain their advert materials. Visit their websites too. Then compare their offers with yours and sit down to design what to do to make your business different.
6. Discounting is a popular low cost marketing strategy example that increases sales. Develop promo codes and discount vouchers that can be redeemed on your websites or sales point. Every promo must come with a timing for expiry to increase the effect of urgency. Add discount vouchers in your marketing campaigns and ensure both old and new customers have access to them.
7. Have you thought of Give-Aways? Give-Aways are small samples that are given out for free when a customers purchase gets to a certain value. an example is ‘Buy 4 get 1 Free’ promos. This low cost marketing strategies for startups has a way of boosting sales and increase overall profit in business.
8. Linked Purchase is a way of offering buyers the opportunity to get another product Y at a ‘cheaper than normal’ rate if they buy a product X. You will find out that lots of customers who prefer to buy the two products instead of one in a move to save some money.
9. How do you reward customers’ loyalty? Easy! Get an official card for each customer to be stamped everytime the client completes a transaction with you. A full stamped card then entitles such customer to a discount offer or a free product at the next purchase. You should do well to keep the program under check to avoid people exploiting the system to the detriment of your business.
10. Set up competitions to give out exciting prizes chosen from your products taking care it won’t cost you much. Advertise such competition in local newspapers, radio and television stations. Example of such competitions are essay writing, painting, public debates and marathon races. People who are interested in entering such competitions should be made to visit your business premises so that you can have the opportunity to promote your products and services to them one on one. Media attention is a necessity for maximum impact.
11. Are you looking for low cost marketing strategies for hotels and guest houses? Once in a while, arrange open programmes in the evening at your business premises where existing and intending customers are invited to discussions over drinks in relaxed atmosphere. They are also given the opportunity to see or try out your latest product or service which are presented on display at discounted rates if purchased that evening.
12. Do your provide hospitality services such as a bar, guest house, hotel, restaurant or coffee shop? Registering your business on online booking sites will provide maximum exposure that ensures that people from other locations get to know about the services you render. You can even offer discounts and special deals through such vendors. If your services are top-notch, be sure that the reviews left by satisfied customers would go a long way in boosting your reputation in such online booking sites. Online booking is one of the most powerful low-cost marketing strategies for bars and restaurants.
13. You can’t do without a survey. It doesn’t have to bite a huge chunk from your marketing budget. Share out small white cards to every client that completes his or her transaction with you, telling them to share their experience. A prize or discount can be introduced as incentives. Review their feedback and make necessary adjustments as at when due. I have used this to market a law firm in the past.
14. To build a collection of leads for low price marketing strategy in the nearest future, try to gather business cards. Make arrangement with the admins of public gathering places such as restaurants where you place a large glass bowl for customers to drop business card and contact details. A promo or a monthly draw are inexpensive ways to encourage more people to drop their contact information.
15. Did you just renovated or re-designed your business premises? Use that opportunity to hold a ‘new face’ get together, inviting the press, local dignitaries and community people. Ensure you capture their information in your database and introduce your new product or service at the event.
16. There are lots of PC software for desktop publishing that you can use to print quality brochure and leaflets. When designing and printing flyers, hand bills and posters, make sure the final promotional products are: free of error, of good design and quality and is compelling enough.
17. Do you have a website for your small business? A website riddled with grammatical and functional errors puts a question on your professionalism. Update your website as at when due and carry out the necessary maintenance. Since not all web designers and developers are good with grammar, you may need to hire a professional proofreader. You may even ask a friend or a family member who has such capacity to help you out.
18. Make sure customer telephone service is superb. Answer all calls within business hours within 3 rings, giving replies that are friendly and helpful. Make sure it is someone who can answer most customers’ questions that is saddled with responding to their calls. Be helpful and polite even during after hours or when you are busy. When you promise to call them again, please keep to the promise. Accessibility is one of the bedrocks of most effective low cost airline marketing strategies.
19. To achieve community relevance, do well to join other business owners at your Chamber of Commerce, register with community business clubs etc. Contribute meaningfully to local charity activities so that you can gain relevance in your business community.
20. Active participation in local programmes and activities is necessary to develop low cost high impact marketing strategies for communities. Be at community social events to promote your business. You can do this by offering to speak at such event, donating to charity causes, wear your business identity, share sample of your products and give discount vouchers to local people.
These are the best zero cost marketing strategies for any small business owner looking at promoting what they offer even while on a tight budget. I know how much you want others to benefit from these ideas, why don’t you share?