It’s no question that small business owners don’t have the budget for every shiny new thing that comes their way. So here are three ways that can help you save money while still being able to establish an online presence.

Build a solid structure.

Building a following is really no different that creating a tower out of Lego bricks. You need to find the right pieces, but at the same you need to make sure that your building the right structure to support them.

Find out through which channel your active users engage with you. At the same time, find out where your new users are coming from. This will enable you to narrow down which content sharing platform you need to invest time (not just money) in. Make sure that the platform you choose fits your business.

For example if you’re in retail, visually driven social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are suitable. If you have a service, a blog would enable you to expound and Facebook can be used to get feedback.

If you’re still building a following and don’t know where to start, ask the right questions to point you in the right direction. It’s not about what you need, but why. As a result, you’ll have a purpose-driven campaign that is aligned with your business goals.

Examine and simplify processes.

Before investing in a new advertising scheme or hiring new staff, look at your own processes first. Here are some of the questions you need to look into.

  • Do you need to invest in social media ads to get traction or are you really providing content relevant to your users?
  • Do you need to hire more or does your staff really deliver results? Do they have adequate resources to do their job?
  • Are you using the right metrics for the goals you want to achieve?
  • Are you present throughout your buyer’s journey (inquiry to sales)?
  • Do you enable guided discovery (targeted suggestions to help customers make a purchase)?
  • Do you have an effective call to action in your website and content?

Productivity and quality are not correlated with the number of your workers. It’s the efficiency of all the processes involved and they’re execution as one big strategy.

Plain hard work.

Marketing and sales efforts can reduce the dependence on paid advertising. A well-curated platform (social media, blog) that connects with users and solves their problems can help push sales. This will take a lot of hard work and patience. But consumers will appreciate your effort to make a genuine connection, as opposed to just fancy ads and obviously posed company photos. Keep in mind though that you should have realistic expectations when it comes to social media marketing.


Online marketing doesn’t have to be expensive to work. But you shouldn’t also scrimp for the sake of reducing costs. Cost-efficiency is about dedicating your efforts in the right place and consistently executing a well-thought-out process.