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While 2017 is looking like a year for healthy online marketing budgets, not every business has the ability to up their spending – especially smaller businesses that have smaller budgets to work with. Marketing your business is necessary. It increases brand awareness and generates leads for your business. Businesses can focus their spending on various marketing strategies. Print, display ads, social media, and content are just a few of the popular categories.

Smaller budgets

A small marketing budget doesn’t mean you need to limit your marketing efforts. It does require creative and crafty ways to market your business. Your overall marketing strategy needs to be focused and produce results.

Ways to boost marketing budget

  1. Directory listings. There are hundreds of directories available to list your business. Most of them like Yelp, Google, and Manta cost nothing. Directory listings improve your SEO and increase your online audience reach.
  2. Be a contributor. There are multiple ways to increase brand awareness. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a great resource where reporters post topics they need to write about. You can respond as a candidate to be interviewed. You can also comment on blog posts, submit guest articles to industry-relevant blogs, or be active in online communities where your customers are.
  3. Write content. Creating content for your website and blog only takes time. Schedule a weekly time to craft unique and valuable content for your customers and visitors.
  4. Recycle your work. It’s okay to repurpose your work. Turn blogs into ebooks, infographics or videos. The new spin on old content is likely to capture the attention of new leads.
  5. Capture e-mails. Capture visitor e-mails by offering free giveaways on your blog or website. Use these e-mail leads to send them marketing and valuable content.
  6. Networking events. Many networking events only require your time. They make it easy to talk to other businesses about your business, services, and products.
  7. Ask for testimonials. Ask your existing customers to give testimonials and publish them on your website and social media accounts.
  8. Encourage referrals. Create a referral program for your customers. Reward them for sending others to your business.
  9. Do the unexpected. Plenty of businesses send Christmas cards to their customers. Consider sending seasonal or anniversary cards instead to stand out from other businesses.
  10. Use social media. With more than two billion active users, social media is a powerful low-cost marketing tool for businesses. Be active on your social media pages by posting links to your website, blog, and include engaging videos that drive visitors. Join groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that are relevant to your target market. Respond to questions, participate in posts and share valuable resources other members will benefit from.

Marketing is important, but you don’t have to increase your marketing budget to reach a larger audience. Utilize innovative and low-cost solutions to increase brand and company awareness with these 10 ideas.