10 Inexpensive Small Business Marketing Strategies for 2013

How many small businesses are out there with unlimited funds allocated to their marketing budgets? My guess is that 99.99% of them are not in that boat, so that means small business marketing strategies must often be creative and inexpensive. Here is a list of the top 10 inexpensive small business marketing strategies for 2013.

1. Google Adwords

Running advertisements on Google is still a very effective way to reach a large audience. By targeting long tail niche keywords you’ll probably pay a lot less per click than you would a big keyword. Try setting up some landing pages with product discounts or customer surveys and then use Google Adwords to drive traffic to those pages to get some customer conversions. It is effective and it’s inexpensive if done correctly.

2. Twitter

There are hundreds of millions of tweets going on everyday at Twitter. Twitter is a microblog, and turns into a great place to interact with customers. If you monitor that Twitter search results for keywords that’s run your business eventually somebody will be having a conversation about you. Why not interact with those parties. There are lots of other marketing strategies for Twitter which are all free to promote so get in the Twitter mix.

3. Guest blogging

You are probably already visiting blogs which talk about your business niche so why don’t you offer up some entrepreneur advice to that blog in the form of a guest post? They will benefit by you providing expert content to fill the pages, and you’ll benefit by allowing potential customers to gain trust with your brand.

4. Cultivate media relationships

There’s nothing better than having someone from the news media contact you when a story is going down. If you have the opportunity to provide expert testimonial or newsworthy information to the media your small business will greatly benefit. This takes networking skills to make this happen, so get out and hit the streets and start making friends with reporters.

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5. Video marketing

Marketing your brand and small business by creating short videos to share on social video websites is a fantastic method, and it’s free to upload these videos. Some of the types of videos which do well our customer testimonials, employee spotlights, and product demonstrations. Don’t make commercials when doing video marketing, production value is too expensive and people don’t really want to see it.

6. Joint venture for marketing purposes

Cherry pick other businesses that you can team up and advertise with. If other non-competing small businesses are going after the same market for unrelated products or services perhaps you might consider teaming up an offering a combined discount. Customers love to get more value by buying packages of discounted products.

7. Facebook campaigns

Facebook is pretty much a vital component of every small business’s marketing strategy. Simply having a Facebook page with hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of fans builds a lot of trust your brand. It’s also a great place to interact with people in real time. Take a look at what American Express did for their Facebook campaign. It’s been one of the most successful business marketing tactics on Facebook ever.

8. Reviews and ratings

Next to ranking well in search engines, having positive reviews about your business on websites like yelp is the second most important thing in online business optimization. Encourage satisfied customers to rate and review your business on these types of websites. Yelp is a big one, but there are others like trip adviser which grade travel related businesses.

9. Branding

Branding your business is a semi-complicated process. Part of it is making sure that everything is uniform across the board. For example things like the words you use in advertising, the colors you use on your website, and of course what logo you are promoting all make up “branding”. Make sure you are up to speed on the branding side of your business so all of these other marketing efforts don’t go to waste.

10. Local search results

Every major search engine has a local section of their search results. For Google it is called Google local. Make sure you set up business profiles on all of the local search engines so that customers in your immediate vicinity can find your business quickly. This is especially beneficial to businesses which rely on local customers to propagate business ventures.

Discuss This Article

Comments: 5

  • #5 is where it’s at. Video is the cheapest form of marketing with the greatest return.

  • Definitely the right approach to start with the most inexpensive tactics that can be aligned with your marketing plan goals. And there are a lot of low cost marketing tools out there that can help you really stretch your budget.

  • Here are a couple of other very effective but virtually cost free tactics.
    #1) Referrals. Simply never fails to amaze me how many businesses both big and small never ask for referrals. Referrals can come from customers, suppliers, leads & even family and friends. If you’re not asking for referrals you’re missing out on a potentially huge income stream with absolutely no cost.
    #2)Unconverted leads – this is another area that is often neglected. Every business should be putting in at least 50% of their effort into converting unconverted leads. they have already expressed an interest in your business, product or service, it’s just up to you to convert them to buying customers. Instead of chasing around trying to get new customers, put some real effort into your unconverted leads.

  • Charlie says:

    I really do agree with your blog. There is much that can be done for small businesses to little cost. We at Kelso work with those small businesses that are always seeking cheap ways to promote themselves over large competitors. Even something like a guest blogger can be overlooked as a simple task which can be agreed from a networking meeting. To hear more about Kelso, please click here – http://www.kelsopr.com/public-relations-for-businesses-1

  • Chrystian says:

    I think it is a well-written piece, but I disagree with a few.

    First: Adwords can be very expensive if it’s effective (“effective” defined as “a lot of visits to your websites”). Sure, no start-up costs, but if you’re fighting for popular terms, it can really get up there in cost.

    As for the Social Media stuff, sure, it is free, but the range of effectiveness is limited.

    You even cited an American Express Facebook campaign. American Express isn’t a Small Business. It has tons of funds to allocate to something like that. The average Small Business doesn’t.

    Just a really run-of-the-mill article that could have been thought out a little bit better.

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