5 cost-effective small business marketing ideas

No matter the size of your business, marketing can be a real challenge, especially on a budget. For small businesses, that challenge can be made even more difficult. That being said, there are lots of small business marketing ideas out there to help make this challenge a little easier.

small business marketing ideas

Thanks to the internet, and the very wide range of small business marketing ideas that we all have access to nowadays, small business marketing has actually been made a lot more simple than it used to be. In fact, with very little experience and know-how, just about anyone can get their small business off the ground, as long as you provide a good product or service.

But talk is cheap, am I right? We can go on all day about how easy it can be to start a small business, but examples are what really gets everyone excited. So, without further ado, let’s go over 5 cost-effective small business ideas to help you get started.

Brochures

Brochures have been around for ages, and they’re one of the best small business marketing ideas. Think really quickly about how many brochures you’ve accumulated over the years in your car, bag, or briefcase. It’s probably a lot, right? That’s because they’re a cheap way to promote your business, and lots of people use them.

The thing that a lot of people miss when they create their brochures is making it stand out. That being said, you don’t want to stray too far from what your brand stands for. It’s a balancing act for sure, but it’s so worth it if you get it right. Not to mention, it’s a pretty cheap marketing strategy.


Small business marketing ideas brochure

It’s worth mentioning that you can design and download your own brochures for small business marketing online now. Flipsnack makes it easy to find the perfect design for your brochures, whether it’s a premade template or something you created from scratch. In fact, here are a few of my favorite templates from Flipsnack:

Blue tri-fold Brochure template

small business marketing ideas template

Sushi restaurant trifold brochure template

small business marketing ideas brochure template

Travel tri-fold brochure template

small business marketing ideas travel brochure template

If you like these brochure templates, just click on the images and follow the link.

Social media

Everyone, I repeat, everyone is on social media. There are literally millions of people gathered on a single site at once. It’s the perfect marketing opportunity for anyone, but especially a small business. The best part about it? It’s pretty much free.

To start your business off on social media, try picking just a few mediums to post regularly. Try to maintain the same sort of content across all the platforms that you choose, and stay consistent. As time goes on, you’ll better understand your fanbase, and what they’re looking for. Once you’ve done that, you can expand to other platforms and apply the same formula.

Social media is arguably one of the most cost-effective small business marketing ideas out there. As more and more accounts are created on each platform, you have more chances to make your brand known, and to reach your target audience by increasing SEO search results.

small business marketing ideas social media

Brand website

Just like social media increases your SEO search results, a website dedicated to your brand’s products and/or services will, too. Just about every business on the planet has a presence online, and it’s absolutely vital that you do as well.

A lot of people think of building a website as a great expense. Granted, the sky’s the limit when it comes to your own digital platform, but there are also more cost-effective routes out there. Your website doesn’t have to be elaborate or even that detailed at first, but it should provide basic information about your brand.

Remember, the title of this article is “cost-effective” small business marketing ideas. As long as you’re investing into the right marketing materials, and getting a good ROI, then it’s definitely cost-effective. So, to start your small business’s website off, try to include the following, basic information:

  • Company’s name and logo
  • Information about what you do (You know, your niche)
  • Contact information
  • Information about your product/services
  • All of your social media
small business marketing ideas website

There are quite a number of helpful things you could add to your site, so the list above could be added to infinitely if needed. Keep in mind that you want your website to convey your brand’s image when designing it. Although you might want to come out of it as cheaply as possible, it might be worth investing a couple of extra bucks to make it represent your brand a little better.

Blog

If you’re going to launch a website, you might want to consider attaching a blog to it. Blogs are great ways to drive traffic to your website using keywords. Of course, there’s a little bit more to it than that, but you get the idea. Blogs are powerful tools if used correctly, and should definitely be considered one of the best cost-effective small business marketing ideas.

As complicated as it can be, it doesn’t take much to start a blog. It does help to be a great storyteller, but that’s something you can learn in time. Blogs, in a way, help answer questions that internet users may have. Once they’ve landed on your page about a given topic, you can come up with ways to tie the topic you’re discussing to your brand. For some companies, this can be a little more difficult depending on the product or service they offer. But again, you get the idea. You drive traffic to your blog, and mention your product as a solution to their problems.

small business marketing ideas blog

All that being said, you never want to throw your brand in the reader’s face. You want to be very adamant about answering their questions. In fact, that should be the main focus in the blog posts you create. The key is to discreetly mention your products or services as an option. That way, the reader feels that they got what they came for, and they get to choose the route to take.

Business cards

That’s right, those tiny little paper cards that seem to collect and gather dust in your wallet – business cards. Believe it or not, business cards have been on top of the list for small business marketing ideas for years, and it’s for good reason:

  • They’re cheap
  • They can be mass produced
  • They’re small, and easy to hand out
  • They have the potential to be in front of a large audience without the use of keywords

There are many positives to using business cards, but we tend to mostly hear negatives about them. After all, how many times have you been handed a business card, only to turn the corner and throw it away? As many people as there are that throw away these cards, it can potentially only take one person to take it and use your business to make it all worth it.

We’re not talking about thousands of dollars for a few business cards. We’re talking about a few hundred bucks for a few thousand cards. And for one of the best small business marketing ideas out there, it’s quite a bargain. All it really takes is a nice design, and useful information, and there are a few helpful tips to accomplish that:

  • Use a clean and legible design
  • Use a sturdy and quality paper
  • Don’t overwhelm customers with too much information

Creative business card ideas

You can get creative, and use some flashy colors and designs, or you can go the other route, and stay minimalist. As far as putting the right amount of information on the card, just remember that the card is intended to grab their attention, answer a few, very basic questions, and make them want to contact you. Depending on the brand, a business card can look very different from any other. Here are some of my favorite business cards that I’ve found:

small business marketing ideas business cards

As you can see, you can get as creative as you want with your business cards. Make sure that it matches your image, and leave the rest of the work up to the card.

You’ve got this

Starting a new small business is extremely overwhelming. In addition to marketing, you have tons of other areas to worry about, keep track of, and improve on. But it’s all worth it. All it really takes is a good product and determination, and you’ll be on top in no time. Of course, this list of cost-effective small business ideas will probably help, too. Use it to your advantage. You’ve got this.

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    About Zach McDaniel

    Car geek, self proclaimed zoologist, and snake charmer on the weekends.

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