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How to market your small business on a budget

Small business owners can sometimes be too frugal with their marketing budget and sometimes they may go the complete opposite direction and overspend. It can be tricky to brainstorm ideas when there is so much work and mental load that already goes into being an entrepreneur and overseeing the daily running of a business. The best advice is to talk with your accountant and cpa to see what kind of budget you have to work with. There are definitely ways that can help both types find better balance and success with their marketing strategies. Here are some ideas on how to improve your marketing that doesn’t break the bank.

1. Create a strong online presence.

In this age, I think it’s safe to assume that you have a website and at least one social media platform active. Make your presence strong with consistent branding across the board. Consistently update, share content, and connect with the public. People spend hours online every day and if they’re looking for your business, they’ll be searching online for it. Make sure your information is correct on search engines, have a set schedule for social media, and make sure your contact information is easy to find on everything.

2. Support your local nonprofit organizations.

This is kind of my answer for everything, but can you really blame me for wanting to get people to help each other out and create a better community for us all? It has its benefits though. I’m not just trying to trick you into doing good. It is a great way to network and get people familiar with your company. Not only those that run the organizations, but you’ll be meeting other volunteers/donors in the process. Plus, it is likely to be a tax write off. Spending a little time each quarter volunteering or giving a little donation can benefit your business, your community, and your spirit.

3. Make quality content.

If you are making less content but it is higher quality, you’re likely to see more organic sharing of your content and a higher response from the public. That’s where the focus should be. Don’t get too caught up in reach. If you don’t have high quality content, reach doesn’t matter. People will not be motivated to take action beyond their initial view if it is not engaging their interests. When you focus your attention on the quality of the content, it is likely to gain more interaction from the online audience. People will naturally share good content.

4. Ask your happy customers to help.

There are people that love your product or service already. They are great assets to your business and reputation. Don’t be too shy to ask them to give you a Google review or a shoutout on social media. User generated content is the best endorsement for your business. Keep in mind if you give anything free/discounted/any sort of incentive, the poster must disclose that in the review or post. Companies that do offer incentives are responsible for informing their contractors and influencers of the guidelines, according to the FTC. It may just be easier to not offer an incentive or gift.

5. Be a great employer.

While the clients that are singing your praises will help, it won’t do anything if your own people are telling scary stories about you or your business. Your employees are your biggest brand ambassadors. Their feelings about your business really do matter and word of mouth is very powerful. Make sure that you’re treating them well and that they have good things to say about how you operate your business. If you’re cutting corners that compromise the integrity of your business or character, they’ll likely share that information with others.

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