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Twelve ways to market on a shoestring budget

With the advent of the internet and social media, marketing a brand has become far more cost efficient. Here are some ideas on how you can market your brand on a shoestring budget.

Use word of mouth to spread the news about your business
This is the cheapest method to market your product. Tell everyone you meet about your business and what you do. Furthermore, let your family know about your business so that they can spread the word to their friends. Generally, people trust information from their friends more than they trust advertising, so getting people to say positive things about your brand is a great place to start.

Make business cards
Business cards are one of the cheapest marketing tools available to you. These cards can be left with prospects to remind them of your product and how to contact you. Always ensure you have some with you.

Create a webpage
Nowadays there are many options available to create a webpage, many of which are cheap and cost effective. Having a web presence helps people to find your product more easily, and also assists with developing perceptions about your business credibility.

Get listed in your local directory search engine listing
Google and Bing offer free ways to list your company on their search engines. On Google, you can go to Google my Business to list your company for free.

Be a social media guru
Social media is a buzzword in all digital marketing strategies. Select two social media channels which are used the most by your target market and be active on these sites so your brand is seen in places relevant to your audience.

Go to business networking events
Networking events are essential for small business owners and entrepreneurs. They give you opportunities to discuss business matters with like-minded individuals. At these events you can make new contacts and get helpful advice from fellow entrepreneurs who may be facing the same challenges as you.

Create interesting and relevant content
The content that is used on your social media platforms and website is critical. This is where your audience sees what you have to offer. Remember to insert appropriate visual aids when creating content, as images attract the eye more easily, and can covey a lot more meaning than words. Ensure that not all content is focused on selling but give content that gives information about how to use a product or some free advice.

Be a guest speaker
Look for an event your target market is likely to attend and offer to be a guest speaker at the event. Here you can share your knowledge with potential clients as well as highlight why your product is superior to your competitors.

Car magnets for your company car
Your car is a moving billboard which can help you advertise your business as you go from one appointment to the next.

Offer a reward for referrals
When a customer refers a new client to your business, offer them a reward such as a free consultation or product.

Offer a free no-obligation consultation or give out samples
This will give your client a taste of what your service or product is like and may be the little bit of encouragement that they need to chose your product.

Run a contest
Many people like to win a competition and this offers you a way to make many new connections.

Marketing your business doesn’t have to blow the bank balance as long as you are strategic and calculated. You can implement many of these ideas without spending much of your marketing budget.

Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).