Don’t have much money to spend on marketing? No problem! It’s still possible to create a high-impact marketing strategy without spending a fortune. Whether you want to gain exposure through local events or start optimising your website content for SEO, there are plenty of budget-friendly tactics you can try.

If you have a small marketing budget, the following strategies from ThriveHive can help you get the most bang for your buck:

1. Social Media Contests

Social media contests make a low-cost way of building brand awareness and even generating leads in your target market.  Your contest prize should appeal to your target audience members enough such that they will perform the call to action to enter the contest (such as tagging your business in a post, referring a friend, liking your page, etc.).

2. Community Events

Organizing local events are often a low-cost method for gaining exposure in your community and building your reputation. However, they must be carefully planned to ensure you don’t go over your budget. You could also use social media (another low-cost marketing method) to promote your event to get a wider reach.

3. SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) does not require direct spend, and its benefits are inexhaustible. Your content is more credible and visible when it appears up on the first page of search engine result pages (SERP). To get started with optimizing your content for search, check out the following resources:

•  Understanding SEO

•  SEO Pocket Guide

•  Guide to Local SEO

4. Social Media Advertising

Money spent on internet advertising overtook what was spent on newspaper ads as far back as 2013. Before the end of 2017, eMarketer predicts that internet advertising spend will surpass TV ad spend. Does this mean you need to spend a fortune on social media ads to keep up with your competitors? No. With a small PPC (pay per click) budget for social media advertising, you can kick-start your marketing strategy and reach thousands of people daily. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Google all offer PPC advertising for as low as $5.

5. Referral Programs

A referral program offers existing customers a reward, of value to them, for referring other customers to your business. With a small monetary investment, a referral program can fetch you more relevant customers and help you gain you a more loyal customer base.7.     FreebiesEveryone loves a freebie, and there are many you can produce that cost you next to nothing but deliver measurable results. A free eBook for anyone that subscribes to your email list, small samples of your product, or a discount coupon for any new follower or subscriber

6. Freebies/Swag

Everyone loves a freebie. There are many ways to produce freebies at next to nothing that will produce results. For example: a free eBook on a topic of your expertise, small samples of your product, or discount coupons people can obtain in exchange for their email address are all low-cost ways to capture leads for your business.

7. Forums

Don’t stay in the dark. Join discussion forums where people are actively talking about products and services like yours, topics in your industry, and businesses relevant to your brand. This can help you spread the word about your expertise, gain credibility in your industry, and build your reputation and network.

8. Online Directories

Is your business listed in online local business directories? This is one of the most efficient and inexpensive forms of marketing your brand. Many of these directories are free to register, and enable users searching for your products and services to quickly find you.

9. Email Marketing

With over 205 billion emails sent daily, email remains a lucrative and low-cost channel for connecting with your target audience. A good email marketing strategy can drive traffic to your website,  generate qualified leads, gain you more loyal customers, and more.

10. Networking

The contacts and sales opportunities that come from business networking are invaluable. Other business owners can help you identify your marketing blind spots, refer customers to you, educate you, and more. Just make sure you are doing the same for them, and that you nurture these relationships over time.

Marketing is crucial to your business success, but it doesn’t have to be a costly venture. Start testing out these cost-effective strategies today.

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