Everyone knows about the importance of marketing your business in today’s economy. Small businesses will often spend a significant chunk of their revenue on marketing in an effort to woo customers. But what if you can’t afford to spend that much on marketing, or you just don’t want to? Fortunately, there are a variety of different ways to keep spending at a bare minimum and still run an awesome marketing campaign.    

Below, check out a list of marketing strategies for small business owners that you can include today for free or at low cost to you.

1). Content Marketing

If you’re on a tight budget, content marketing is without a doubt one of the best ways to market your small business. By delivering relevant, high-quality content to your audience through a variety of mediums, you’ll be able to educate your audience and earn its trust. People prefer to learn about products and companies through articles and videos, rather than being sold through direct advertising. Trust us—your audience will thank you in the form of sales and continued engagement.

2). Start an Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing is a proven method for engaging with your customers and capturing their attention. An email marketing campaign allows you to put information in front of your customers with a simple click. Email marketing is a quick way to communicate conveniently with thousands of customers. Check out MailChimp, an email marketing provider offering a completely free subscription plan that allows you to send as many as 12,000 emails per month.

3). Build Your Online Presence

The Internet has led to a much more educated consumer. Most consumers will research a company and product before making any kind of purchase. Establishing an online presence doesn’t necessarily require spending thousands of dollars.

Try creating or redesigning your website with low-cost options from companies like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and WordPress. You can also promote your business for free by being active on other companies’ websites, commenting on articles, forums and threads, and interacting with consumers and businesses to help spread the word about your brand.

4). Start a Blog

A blog is a great way to share valuable content with your audience, whether it’s about your industry, your offerings, or just an interesting topic you think readers will want to hear about. 70 percent of people prefer to learn about a company through articles, not advertisements; 90 percent of consumers think custom content is useful.[1] A blog is an opportunity to connect with your customers, so take advantage of this online space and create a blog that’s jam-packed with useful, creative content your customers will love to engage with.

5). Utilize Social Media Marketing Tools

Social media gives you instant access to billions of people worldwide—and the best part is that it’s free. While it’s easy to spend thousands of dollars on sponsored ads, you don’t have to empty your wallet to market effectively on social media platforms.

Many popular social media management tools offer a free version. Check out Buffer, Hootsuite, and SocialOomph, and see how these services can help you save time and optimize your social media accounts.

Final Thoughts

Effective marketing strategies for small business brands rely almost entirely on metrics and data. If you notice that your audience is responding to a specific social media post, run with it. Utilize A-B testing in all of your early marketing efforts to determine which strategies are yielding results and which ones are falling short. Come up with a plan and start small, adjusting and reallocating funds to the highest-performing strategies as you go. If something is working, don’t be afraid to spend a little more in that area; if it’s not, don’t bother continuing to throw money at it.

[1] https://www.demandmetric.com/content/content-marketing-infographic