Low-Budget Marketing Tactics for Small Businesses

Small businesses typically don’t have large marketing budgets, which can make it difficult to acquire new customers. Fear not! The good news is, there are enough ways for small players to market themselves to their audience without spending too much money (or any).

Whether you’re a small startup or a well-established business, being able to promote your business is key to growth.

In this post, I’ve compiled the best low-budget and free marketing tactics for small businesses so that you don’t have to spend time researching.

Alright, let’s go over these powerful low-budget marketing strategies that produced great results for small and cash-strapped businesses.

Low-Budget (and Free) Marketing Tactics to Get You Started

These low-budget marketing tactics are intuitive and you won’t need to spend a lot of time setting them up.

Create a Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile is probably one of the best free marketing tactics for local businesses.

A Google Business Profile is essentially a free listing that pops up on Google Maps, which is the local section of Google Search.

Your company’s Google profile acts as an engaging snapshot of your business and showcases your services and features. Your listing allows your prospects to find and engage with you easily all without ever having to leave the search results page.

However, for your Google Business Profile to appear on top of Google Maps or local results, it needs to be optimised.

To do so, you need to have your profile verified. Basically, you need to claim ownership of the profile — you can do this with your Google Business Account.

The great thing is that it doesn’t cost a thing!

Image Source: WordStream

And yet, out of 167 billion monthly Google searches, an average Business Profile only attracts around 1,260 views a month. This shows that small businesses are not taking advantage of Google’s powerful features.

Optimising Your Google Business Profile

Let’s take a closer look at the steps you need to take to optimise your Business Profile and drive traffic to your business for free.

Claim Your Business

To do so, you need to set up a Google My Business account and then to connect it with your Business Profile. So, go to Google.com/business and sign in with the company’s Google/Gmail account. Then, you’ll be able to fill out all the sections and complete your profile.

Fill Out Every Section of Google My Business Account:

A complete Google Business Profile is important for a couple of reasons. On the one hand, it will definitely help you rank higher in Google’s local search results. But it also gives visitors more actions to take when they land on your profile. While you should fill out all the sections, start off with the following parts:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Hours

The above section should be filled immediately. Once you’ve included this basic information, take some time and think how you want to fill out the following parts:

  • Categories & Attributes
  • Products and Services
  • From the Business
  • Questions and Answers

These parts of the Profile are constantly being updated:

  • Posts
  • Reviews
  • Q&A, which is mostly user-generated

Keep Contact Info Updated

The first thing to do is to make sure your business name matches the one you use in the real world. This also applies to your company’s physical address.

From the Business Description

The short description just below your company’s name in your Business Profile is not written by you. Rather, this summary is written by Google to guarantee consistency across the platform.

However, you do have control over the ‘from the business’ part in your Google My Business dashboard.

You can find this section under the reviews section. Use this section to present your company’s mission statement and include relevant keywords. Make sure to include your unique selling points – what sets you apart from the competitors. You have 750 characters to convince your audience to engage with you, make sure to include the most important information in the first 250 characters.

Finally, don’t include any content already present in other parts of your profile.

Upload New Content Weekly

Set up a schedule to publish new posts and images on a weekly basis. Anyone is allowed to upload photos to your Business Profile. So, it’s quite possible that some of the images will not be high-quality. That’s why it’s important that your photos are crystal clear and portray your business in the best possible light.

Also, people are more likely to pay your business a visit if they see that you are posting great photos frequently. This doesn’t mean that you should go nuts and post like crazy, but make sure to post one new image each week.

Your company’s logo should be the thumbnail photo. And whatever you do, DO NOT post any stock images or photos with special effects.

Posting regularly shows Google that your profile is up-to-date, which will help you in the rankings.

Finally, you have to respond to peoples’ questions promptly while adding new photos of your product/service. Be sure to set up messaging as well.

With these easy marketing tactics, you can transform your Business Profile into an effective customer acquisition tool!

Engage Your Audience On Social Media

Engaging with your audience on social media while growing a community is a low-budget (or free) marketing tactics that small businesses have been using successfully for years.

Use the various social media platforms to express your company’s personality and build trust with prospects.

Create profiles for your company on all the major social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest. Creating social media accounts doesn’t take long at all.

Small businesses use social media marketing to:

  • Drive traffic to their website. For example, use social media to promote your blogs
  • Have conversations with followers to express brand voice and generate more engagement and buzz around your company
  • Ask for feedback from your audience and create surveys to get more insight
  • Create interesting snippets from blogs, white papers, case studies that are packed with relevant information. Snippets are easy to read, which makes them a great way to spread your content

As you can see, social media marketing offers different ways to engage with your audience. However, make sure your business is active on social media and posts regularly – you want to be constantly engaging your audience.

For more free social media marketing tactics, check out this blog post.

Use Hashtags

Another low-budget marketing tip for small businesses is to use hashtags. Twitter and Instagram are the two social media platforms that popularised hashtags. They are an effective way to broaden your content’s reach and should be a part of all of your social media posts – on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Hashtags are an integral part of social media marketing strategy. Your prospects and customers can use hashtags to find your content. Hashtags are also a great way of grouping together similar conversations. It doesn’t cost anything to add a couple of hashtags to your posts and increase their reach.

Keep in mind that the number of hashtags that you should use per post varies according to social media platforms.

So, you should use 1-2 hashtags for posts on Facebook and Twitter, 2-3 hashtags for LinkedIn, and you can go nuts on Instagram – you can easily add up to 30 hashtags!

You should use general or trending hashtags to cement your brand identity. However, don’t limit yourself only to these types of hashtags. Specific hashtags are useful when you’re offering resources or guidance. If you’re a local business then you should use location-based hashtags.

Finding the most appropriate hashtags to use is not just a guessing game. Each social media platform has a search bar that you can use to skim through potential hashtags for your post. While this is a great way to discover new hashtags, this feature doesn’t always tell you how popular the hashtag is.

Both experienced social media marketers and newcomers to the game need to track their hashtag use. Identifying popular hashtags will drive traffic to your content and get them engaged. This is essential to your social media marketing strategy.

RiteTag and Brand24 are great tools for measuring interest in certain hashtags on Twitter and Instagram.

LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

Even though LinkedIn is a social media platform, I feel that often under-utilised by social media marketers. What sets LinkedIn apart from other social media platforms is that people users are professionals looking to build business connections. However, don’t just add connections and then never talk to them –  engage them, share your content and promotions, and contribute to discussions on forums. Don’t shy away from sharing other people’s content as well.

By helping other professionals to grow and educating your audience, you can build trust in your field. Also, encourage your team members to be active on LinkedIn as well!

If you’d like to learn more about how to grow your business with LinkedIn, here are some very useful resources:

Create data-rich infographics

People are visual creatures, which is why infographics are extremely effective marketing tools.

They look good and are easy to process, which is why people love to share them. so they can be a great source of referral traffic.

You don’t have to hire a designer to make an appealing infographic. I like to use free tools like Canva, and Adobe’s Free Vector that have all the elements needed to make a compelling and shareable infographic.

If you need inspiration, then head over to Visual.ly and take a look at both beginner and advanced examples you can study.

Image Source: WordStream

Not many small businesses are able to conduct their own research and produce their own stats. If this applies to you as well, then you can find existing data and present it in a new way. 

For government data, check out the Australian Bureau of Statistics. For global statistics, check out Statista.

There’s a ton of free data that you can breathe new life into and add to your infographic.

Apply For Business Awards

An underused low-budget marketing tip for small businesses is earning a business award. Most business award winners add an online badge on their website. This is a proven way to build trust with your audience and generate sales.

Take a look at some of Australia’s most popular business awards.

Publish Great Content

Content marketing is a highly effective low-budget marketing tactic if done properly.

Original and well-written content demonstrates both your expertise and willingness to benefit your audience. Also, Google awards high-quality content by ranking it high on its search results page.

Even if writing is not your strong suit, you should integrate this effective low-budget marketing tactic into your overall strategy.

Compelling writing isn’t about using complicated words and contorted phrases to sound smart. Instead, it’s all about helping your audience find answers to questions related to your products.

The best performing content tends to be:

  • Lists
  • Best practices
  • Data insights
  • Thought leadership
  • Product/service reviews

Remember, original content is a surefire way to build trust with your audience and generate sales.

To learn more, check out this article on how to use content marketing to grow your business.

Start a Blog Section on Your Website

Blogs can drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and strengthen your overall SEO. Blogging is a free way to promote your small business online by offering useful content to your audience.

Chances are that your prospects are not looking for long and complex articles, so keep things concise and include targeted keywords organically:

Image Source: WordStream

For more help with blogging and SEO, check out these useful resources:

The blogs have all the necessary information to grow your small business with content marketing.

Run informative webinars

Webinars are a low-budget marketing tactic that can strengthen your reputation as an industry leader. You can do so by providing valuable information to prospects and customers alike.

Many small businesses don’t know that hosting a webinar is an effective low-budget marketing tactic that can build authority with prospects.

Organise a webinar with easy-to-use webinar tools such as Webex and GoToMeeting.

Make sure to promote your webinar on social media or through an email ahead of time. Typically, a week before the event is a good time to remind attendees about the webinar.

If you want to learn more about how webinars can be used as a marketing tool, take a look at this thorough article:

A Beginner’s Guide to Webinars (Best Practices Included).

Over To You

Any of these low-budget marketing tactics will improve your brand’s messaging. If you want to give your marketing a powerful boost, then get in touch with us and our experienced team will help you reach, engage, and convert your audience.