According to the U.S. Small Business Association, if you’re running a business with revenue under $5 million, you should be applying 7-8% of those revenues to marketing. The bottom line is that although you’re faced with diverse challenges and expenses as a business owner, you can’t let marketing be relegated to the back burner. You’ve gotta spend money to make money.
While some marketing arenas may seem beyond what your budget allows, there are plenty of digital opportunities that can fit any budget. As in, even if you don’t have any money, you can still do them.
Here’s a look at seven marketing strategies that are perfect for a shoestring budget. Some require the simplest of steps, while others take a more concerted effort. All of them present an opportunity to get some major marketing traction.
Become an industry expert courtesy of HARO
Ever heard of Help a Reporter Out (HARO)? Simply create a free account and identify your areas of expertise, and you may be contacted by reporters who want to interview you to get insights and quotes for their articles.
Create an infographic
Use a handy resource like infogram.com to make an industry-relevant infographic that people will actually read (and maybe even share). A solid infographic can bring a surprising amount of traffic back to your site.
Get in front of a crowd
There are organizations in your area and abroad that need knowledgeable presenters. You may not love public speaking, but it’s a powerful way to introduce your business to a new audience and establish yourself as an expert.
Be a guest poster
This is a similar strategy to public speaking, but requires even less effort. Find an industry website that’s looking for content, write a guest post, and be sure to include a link to your website in the byline.
Leave grade-A comments
Don’t have time to write a full post for another site? You can still attract attention to yourself and your business by leaving insightful comments on industry blogs and websites.
Leverage free ads
Google and Facebook regularly offer free ad credits as a way to attract new customers. If you don’t already use these ad platforms, try them out for free. It’s a great way to see if the ads will be a worthwhile investment in the future.
Sponsor a contest
If there’s anything universal that people love, it’s free stuff. Create a contest related to your business and you’ll be surprised by the response. To take it to the next level, cosponsor the contest with a non-competing business in order to reach a whole new audience.