11 Creative Marketing Ideas That Cost Less Than You'd Expect

creative marketing ideas low cost advertising

As a small business owner, you likely don’t have a large marketing budget. 

But don’t worry. You don’t need to break the bank to reach customers and build your brand. 

Here are 11 inexpensive and creative marketing ideas that will achieve the results you’re looking for. 

1. Start a Blog for Your Website 

Add a blog to your website and create content that draws in new clients. 

The key to engaging content is to use your blog to educate or entertain. Don’t go for the hard sell. 

Instead, think of topics in your area of expertise that people might want to learn about. 

When people search for these topics on the internet, hopefully, your blog will turn up. Utilize SEO when writing and publishing your blog to improve your search rankings. 

2. Make the Most of Social Media 

More than 4 billion people around the world are on social media. It makes sense to use these outlets to promote your brand. 

Determine which platform your customers are using – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, or any of the many other apps – because that’s what you want to be. Odds are you’ll set up pages on more than one of these outlets. 

Then, like your blog content, your posts should be used to inform or entertain. Focus on engagement – respond when people ask you questions or comment – and post regularly. 

If this sounds overwhelming, consider hiring a social media marketing agency. Many offer plans for all budgets or can even work with you on a per-project basis. 

3. Develop a Referral Program 

Encourage your previous customers to share their experiences with your company by creating a referral program. 

Offer them incentives, such as discounts or free products, to spread the word about how much they love your brand and inspire their family, friends, and followers to learn more about what your business has to offer. 

Referral programs are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to promote your company. 

4. Use Internet Forums

 People love content and they love to ask questions. So, it’s no surprise that internet forums like Reddit and Quora are so popular. 

Individuals comment on a range of topics and issues on these and other forums. 

It’s free to create an account on these sites and respond to people. Share your expertise. Answer questions. 

Don’t oversell what your products and services, just provide information. Keep the conversation natural as you engage with potential new customers. 

5. Send an Email to Previous Customers 

Target previous customers with a carefully written email blast. Reengage them by offering an incentive, such as a free product or service, to get them back to your company’s website or back through your doors, if you own a brick-and-mortar store. 

Often, it’s easier – and cheaper – to market to previous clients than it is to connect with new ones. 

6. Write Content for Someone Else 

It always comes back to content, whether you’re writing it for your own blog, social media, or online forums. 

What about writing content for someone else’s blog, though? Guest posts are an often-underutilized way to drive traffic to your website. 

When you write a piece for another blog, they’ll link back to your website when they post it. 

Also, consider crafting expert articles for your local newspapers or industry publications. 

7. Run an Online Contest 

Running an online contest is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website and attract new interest in your company. 

You can organize and measure your contest results using several parameters – Facebook likes and shares, retweets, email addresses captured, number of comments. 

This user-generated interest costs nothing to build your brand. 

8. Host an Event 

Host a special event to drum up new business. 

This event can be connected to an important date, such as your company’s anniversary, or the launch of a new product or service. Or you can organize an event just because you want to connect with your community, such as a happy hour, street festival, or networking gathering. 

Events are a great way to connect with loyal customers as well as potential new clients. 

Use these events to meet new people, make some sales, collect some contact information, and have fun. 

Always make sure you follow up after events to continue and grow the relationship. 

9. Send Out Press Releases 

Even in this digital age, sending press releases to newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets is an easy way to promote your business. This should include a mix of local and industry publications. 

These media outlets are always looking for new content. They could write a longer in-depth article about your company, add your event to their calendar, or publish your press release as a news brief. 

10. Form Creative Partnerships 

Collaborate with other businesses, organizations, and individuals to form creative promotional partnerships. 

These partnerships might include online contests, giveaways, and special events. 

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and have fun with these. All parties involved will benefit from promoting to each other’s customers and followings. 

11. Improve Your Website 

The first time many customers will encounter your brand is when they land on your website after an internet search. So, it’s important to leave them with a good first impression. 

That moment when they first land on your website is critical. Based on your web design alone, 94% of visitors will make a snap judgment about your brand. 

Evaluate your website to see what improvements can be made. Publish interesting content, but don’t overload your visitors with information. Choose fonts that are easy to read. 

Make sure your business website is mobile-friendly. And keep your business website loading quickly. No one will care about your creative marketing ideas if your site is too slow.

Want to Learn More Creative Marketing Ideas? 

Looking for new ways to effectively promote your brand? Check out our blog for more creative marketing ideas. 

Bootstrap Business covers a range of topics – marketing, consulting, investing, web development, real estate, and more – that are useful to start-up companies and established businesses alike. Visit the Digital Marketing section to learn more about creative marketing ideas to try online and on a shoestring budget.

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