Marketing on a Budget: Low Cost Ways to Promote Your Small Business

Lorna Hordos / August 7, 2019

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Marketing on a budget requires your time, creativity, and diligence, but you’ll see that it’s worthwhile work once your efforts begin to pay off. The sooner you start gaining positive attention, the sooner you’ll realize the rewards.

Check out the following suggestions for raising brand awareness on the cheap, whether you’re a new or longtime entrepreneur.

Go to Google

Typically, it’s free to list your business with popular search engines like Google. By creating a profile on Google My Business, for instance, you’re more likely to be spotted by folks searching for a product or service you offer. In short, your Google listing includes your contact information, directions to your business location, a sharing feature, and a link to your WordPress.com website.

Sell with SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) remains a key tool for boosting business, whether you’re a modest contender who’s marketing on a budget or a retail giant with a boatload of cash. Think of SEO as a way to help people to stumble upon your site as your business’s popularity increases.

It doesn’t cost a dime to begin improving your online ranking. Make sure to do the following:

  • Fill your site with posts, pages, and reduced-size images that both people and search bots appreciate.

  • Add image descriptions — bots recognize words better than imagery.

  • Write everything, from blog posts to your About Me story, in a natural voice, opting for common terms over jargon.

  • Post on your blog consistently to show that it’s active.

  • Include informational podcasts or videos to prioritize your website’s search results, as SEO expert Eric Enge explains on Lemonlight.

  • Go easy on the keywords; keyword stuffing is taboo — from both the human and nonhuman-search-bot standpoints.

Every WordPress.com website is search engine–friendly by default, but for folks to explore your site, ensure that your Privacy setting is saved to Public.

Privacy settings

WordPress.com Business plans include SEO tools, such as a customizable meta description, which can increase your website’s search ranking.

SEO description

Although you can create a beautiful, free site with WordPress.com, a paid Business plan includes several perks, such as payment buttons and advertising revenue, and only costs about as much as a monthly round of golf. A paid subscription also lets you upload plugins to add specific functionality your business might need.

Request reviews

As Darren Shaw, president of Whitespark, says, snap up every chance to thank satisfied supporters for their business, and ask them for reviews in person, over the phone, via email, or with a plugin, such as Site Reviews.

Review banner

As the 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal shows, 57 percent of consumers base their support on brand rating, so aim for four stars or more.

Be socially respectable

Social media platforms are for socializing, not for shoving products into the limelight. Respect that unofficial rule to build friendships and avoid rejection.

If you own a garden center or landscaping business, for example, you might share seasonal information, such as when to start seedlings indoors or how to create shady niches for summer furniture.

Interacting respectfully and sincerely — and not being pushy and promotional — raises your chance of gaining a following. So, before you submit a comment, reread it and edit accordingly.

Many social platforms cater to entrepreneurs by offering business-building tools, often for a relatively modest fee or even for free. See what your favorites have to offer.

Be diligent

When you’re marketing on a slim budget, you can still build solid relationships on social platforms, aim for great reviews, and focus on SEO. Diligence is key, so keep finding ways to achieve growth, such as learning how to use case studies to your advantage.

As your bottom line blossoms, maybe you’ll choose to invest in a marketing company to propel your business even further — ultimately, it’s all up to you.

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