Kwabena Okyire


Low Budget Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Many businesses invest tons of dollars in their marketing; some of them achieve their goals while others fail. You need to be smart while designing your company’s marketing budget, and if you’re a start-up or a small business, you’ll need to find effective and low-cost marketing methods that provide a good return on investment (ROI). Here are some Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses.

Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

In this article, we’ll discuss some powerful low-budget marketing ideas for start-ups or small businesses. 

  • Publish engaging content

You can find tons of blog posts and articles on the internet, and outranking such a huge amount of content is not an easy task, but publishing unique and helpful content can help you stand on top of all. 

Content marketing is one of the most effective, practical, and useful Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses that your brand can use to reach and engage more quality leads and customers. 

Here are some benefits of publishing great content:

  • It drives more and more traffic
  • Content marketing drives conversions
  • Useful content helps in engaging target buyers
  • You can write content to educate your customers
  • Content can help you build trust with your target audience.
  • Good content helps you build and foster stronger customer relationships.
  • Valuable content helps you build credibility and authority.
  • Content helps you improve search engine optimization (SEO) and online visibility. 

Don’t worry if you’re not a professional content writer or don’t have time for writing blogs, hiring someone, and asking him to write for your website. Before publishing any content on your site, do a competitive analysis that would help analyze your competitor’s potential. 

Create a Website 

Online presence is a must for any small business, and no one can do it better than a website. Whenever people would search for your business, your site should show up.

The importance of a website for marketing extends to every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. As the backbone of your online presence, every type of communication, piece of content, or advertisement that you put online will drive the consumer back to your website and it’s also a great Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Your company’s website will let your audience explore your business, products, and services, and you can even start services like e-commerce later on the site.

The importance of a website for content marketing is also significant; your content needs a place to live. Whether it’s blog posts or products, you need a place to display all the information so that your potential customers can find it.

Your website is a perfect place to host all of the content your business creates to inform and engage your target audience. Just like the blog post you’re reading right now, that’s providing you with more information.

Your website is also essential for email marketing. If you are using email marketing to reach and engage your audience, you need to redirect them to someplace where they can buy your products or services.

Your website is the perfect place to guide your email subscribers when you want them to learn more about a product or even make a purchase.

But the question is, there are millions of websites and in such high competition, how is it possible to build a successful online business?

You may have heard of the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it helps increase your website’s traffic through organic searches. Higher the traffic or pageviews on your site, the higher the chances of converting them to your customers. 

Social Media Marketing 

I hardly know someone who doesn’t use social media, which means everybody uses social media, and your business should use it.

Interacting with your target audience on social media is an important marketing strategy for small businesses. Using social media helps you build brand awareness, increase your customer database, and stay in touch with existing customers.

Marketing through social media is easy for small business owners as long as you actively post on your social media pages. To effectively use social media for your business, you should set a schedule to engage with your followers regularly.

Instagram Live, Igtv videos and Facebook posts are some very valuable tools that can be used for interacting with your potential customers.

Social media marketing is a very powerful marketing ideas for small businesses, but it should be appropriately implemented. Some businesses fail because they use it as an advertisement platform and they put all their money into social media Ads and the like.

But before investing in social media marketing, one must understand that social media marketing is not just about advertising your products through paid Ads, but it’s also about how well you manage your business accounts on social media. Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

I’m not saying that one shouldn’t invest in social media Ads, but it’s not easy for small businesses or start-ups to afford high prices of Ads on social media platforms like Instagram, Youtube, etc.

You can even market your products on social media for free by using your account as a platform to sell your products by posting pictures of new products, coupon codes, sale announcements, and much more.

There are chances that people following your products and services on social media are the potential customers of your business.

Tip: Don’t avoid Advertisements completely.

Ways Consultants Can Generate Leads Online



Business partnerships are an excellent way of marketing; they are like exchanging customers with local businesses.

In business partnerships, you make different business partners in your local area, and all you’ve to do is promote their business with your audience, and they’ll promote your business with theirs.

For example, you might give your customers a free coupon to the other business, and vice versa.

No one wants to team up with their enemies, and in this case, your competitors are your enemies. So, team up with a business that sells services/products complementary to your products or services. For example, a Burger shop might partner with a cold drink shop. 

  • Email List

Email marketing has many advantages associated with it. When used correctly, it can leverage sales, new customers, and help in their retention. While social networks first need to engage people so that they can become customers.

Some of the significant benefits of Email Marketing are:

  • It is very inexpensive
  • It’s personal and highly targeted
  • It’s an effective way to target people

Start collecting the emails of all the customers or the people visiting your store or website and make a list of it. Whenever you launch a new product, a blog, or a service, inform all of them with an email.

By sending emails, you’re building trust with your audience, and a time would come when they’ll turn into your potential customers. Get new visitors to sign up for your newsletter by offering a free ebook, short course, or bonus piece of content for subscribing.

You can start building your email list by using free tools like HelloBar, MailChimp, etc. 

Build a Customer Referral Program

Try offering your existing customers something—a free product, service, discounts, or some other low-cost rewards for referring new customers.

Having your customers tell their friends, family, and relatives about your Business can be incredibly valuable.

Many successful companies like Amazon, Uber, etc. have referral programs because they understand it’s the importance and expand their business day by day. 

Make Your Own Infographics.

Infographics are very powerful when it comes to digital marketing. They are easy to make, cheap, and very effective.

Infographics are a compressed form of information that is easy to read and understand. People never hesitate to share infographics because they’re a source of quick information.

You don’t need to be a designer for making infographics for your business or website; you can use free tools like “Canva,” it’s easy to use, and you’ll also get hundreds of free templates. 

Marketing infographics can be used for several purposes:

  • Educating your audience
  • Boosting social sharing and brand awareness
  • Summarizing content
  • Infographics increase link building 

Hiring freelance designers is also another option if you don’t want to compromise the quality. You can find professional designers on freelancing websites like Fiverr, Upwork, etc. 

Video Marketing

You don’t need to be a professional video maker for making videos. Many business owners avoid the idea of video marketing because they think it would take a lot of time and effort.

In today’s world, making videos is a matter of a few minutes; you just need a smartphone for recording videos.

Use your social media account, go live, interact with your connections, give them a sneak peek of your business, and that’s it. You can even record videos and upload them later if you’re not confident with the live video.

Youtube channel is also a great option if you can invest some time in recording videos; for example, “Space X” has a youtube channel, and they’re earning a good amount of money from it.

Youtube channel will act as a marketing medium as well as a source of income for your business, but it will take time and a lot of effort to build one. 


Podcasts are one of the newest media to be embraced by marketers. But it’s still in its early stages of success, and most businesses don’t understand Podcasts’ real potential.

Podcasts are very powerful and informative. With so much potential in one marketing medium, it’s a wonder that every marketer doesn’t have their own podcast

You can use podcasting to assume a more significant engagement to your current and potential customers, providing an email address associated with the podcast where people can respond directly to the content. 

Invest in SEO

Search engine optimization becomes very important for your online presence. It helps in improving your website’s rank on web searches and increasing the organic traffic to your site. Perfect Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses.

Success in SEO is dependent on understanding the most important SEO ranking factors which give you the best position and then working hard to perform better than the competitors.

You can easily find SEO professionals on freelancing websites like Fiverr, Upwork, etc. 


Remarketing marketing to your existing customers and converting new visitors to your customers is very hard compared to bringing the existing customer back.

You can remarket to customers by building your social media channels, growing your email list, and setting up remarketing tools online. Soon you can turn existing customers into superfans and then brand ambassadors. 

Apply for Business Awards 

Most industries have special awards that you can apply for when you meet certain criteria. When different organizations award your Business with these accolades, you’ll gain exposure and popularity in new places online, and your audience will definitely increase.

The organizing company might share your business on their website or social media, exposing your site to a new audience. 

Social Media Contest 

You can organize social media contests through your social media accounts and set some specific rules for participation. Social media allows you to reach a broad audience at a very low price.

If you’re expecting a boost in the sales through the social media contest, then it’s not your cup of tea. Researches have shown that social media contests help in increasing your audience number, but an increase in sales is not guaranteed.

You can even collect emails through such contests and reach out to them later, asking the participants to share your business on their own accounts is also a good idea. Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Social media contests require a prize pool, which does involve using some of your budgets. However, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant prize to get your audience’s attention.

Something simple such as a free sample product or a good promotional offer is a great way to get your audience to enter the contest and continue to engage with your brand. 

Be Present on Online Forums

An online forum is the easiest way you can get in touch with your customers. Some of the popular online forums are Quora, Reddit, etc.

Answering questions on these forums in a non-promotional, helpful manner will help build your potential customers’ visibility. Selling your business too heavy can turn potential new customers away from your business.

Even Neil Patel, one of the top 10 marketers in the world, uses forums like quora for marketing. 

Host an Event 

Hosting an event is like advertising your business, and it will attract a new audience to your business. You can educate them about your industry that can help in building trust and instant conversions.

It’s a great way to show off your Business’s services and products. People love free events and samples, so take this opportunity to hand out promotional materials and business cards while informing them of upcoming offers.

Print out flyers and post them on community boards at the library, coffee shops, or other local establishments where interested people might hang out.

Not just a new audience, you can invite all of your existing customers through emails. It’s an excellent idea for small business marketing because it offers great value to your current customers and new ones. 

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

 As soon as your email list is large enough, you can start taking customer satisfaction surveys. It’s a way to interact with your audience and not let them forget your existence.

Customer satisfaction surveys are generally organized for analyzing audience behavior and satisfaction after using your products/services. It costs more money to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one, that’s why these surveys are very important for any business.

These surveys also act as a marketing medium, as you can send information regarding new offers and products along with the survey through emails. 

1:1 Marketing 

One-to-one marketing or 1:1 marketing is a type of direct marketing in which a salesperson communicates directly with somebody. This person is somebody the company targets deliberately. It is one of the best marketing ideas for small businesses in this day and time

Companies who use one-to-one marketing believe that personalized marketing messages are more likely to foster higher customer loyalty.

For example, you are sending handwritten cards to your valued customers or personalized birthday emails. It’s a free marketing idea, but it would take your time to create those customized messages.


In such a competitive world, people make choices based on customer reviews and recommendations. You need a strong business profile with positive customer reviews if you want to convert your audience to potential customers.

A few reviews can mean the difference between a successful business and a failed one. All just you need to do is, encourage your customers to post positive reviews. That’s a good low Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses.

Train your employees to suggest customers leave reviews when they purchase so that your brand can get more exposure and recommendations. 

In-store Marketing

 Engaging potential customers is the hardest part, and after you’re done with it, you just need to give your customers a positive experience.

In-store marketing refers to the marketing strategies that target customers while they are in a physical store. In-store marketing focuses on engaging and converting customers once they have arrived, rather than marketing to customers to drive them into a business.

It controls the customer experience, dictates how visitors engage with their surroundings, and eventually drives in-store customers to make purchases.

Train your in-store employees to receive the customers properly as they enter the store and guide them through the new products or whatever they’re looking for.

In-store marketing is one of the cheapest ways of marketing, and it’s very effective; it directly impacts customer’s loyalty. If someone had a great experience shopping with your store, then chances are very high that he/she will definitely come back. 


LinkedIn is the most professional of the major social networking websites, used by over 450 million business professionals worldwide. Since it is primarily focused on B2B connections, Linkedin should be a big part of your Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

You can set up a LinkedIn profile for your company to allow people to follow your company’s updates. Linkedin can be used as a very powerful marketing tool, and the fun part is that it’s almost free of cost.

Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Icons

Put on Sidewalks signs.

If your store is located on the main street where a lot of pedestrians go, put a sign on the sidewalk outside your store.

If you get pedestrian traffic into your local store, then a sidewalk sign can act as a perfect welcome.

You might list a sale or announce a new product. As people walk by, they will hopefully stop in your store to learn more. 


  • Content marketing is the key, produce engaging content
  • Creating a website for your business is very important for online presence.
  • Linkedin can help you in engaging a new audience.
  • In-store marketing builds loyal customers.
  • Online reviews and recommendations are very important for any business.
  • If you’ve time, then you can invest it in 1:1 marketing.
  • Weekly and monthly surveys are important to keep in touch with your existing customers.
  • Hosting events and online contests will increase your database.
  • Social media platforms like Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter are some of the cheapest modes of marketing.

About the author

Kwabena Okyire

After 13 years in digital marketing, I left my job in 2019 to work online full-time. Today I run my own agency, help local companies with digital marketing, freelance on sites like Upwork and Fiverr, and share proven marketing and personal branding strategies from my entrepreneurship journey through this blog.