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6 Marketing Ideas for Businesses with a Small Budget

6 Marketing Ideas for Businesses with a Small Budget

You don’t need a big marketing budget to attract new customers. Below we explain six low-cost strategies to get more out of your marketing spend.

1. Use Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is when you promote your business to potential customers when they least expect it. Using the element of surprise will leave a lasting impression on your customers, causing them to keep coming back to your business.
This strategy can be cheap and easy to put in place, especially when localized. For example, you could create chalk murals advertising your business along popular public walking areas such as trails or boardwalksYou could also have someone dress up as your business’ mascot or wear a sandwich board advertising your company at a community event.

2. Run Newsjacking Campaigns

Newsjacking is when a company leverages a big news story to draw attention to their advertising. For example, during a blackout at the 2013 Superbowl, Oreo tweeted this:


Power out? No problem

This simple tweet was shared by thousands and got Oreo lots of media attention. It was effective because they participated in the conversation in a meaningful and humorous way.
How can you do this? First you’ll need to keep up with news trends. Luckily, there are plenty of tools like Google Alerts, that can help you stay up-to-date. Once you find an exciting news story, come up with a creative ad. Next, share your ad online as soon as possible to make sure it makes a timely impact.

3. Hand Out Promotional Products

Give customers free branded promotional products that are useful and practical. It’ll remind people of your brand as they use these products in their daily lives. You can get your brand on products such as pens, magnets, calendars. For example, at Lendified we keep branded pens for people to take when they visit our office. You could also use StickerYou to create custom decals and stickers for customers. 


pen Lendified

4. Use Social Media Advertising

Most small business owners should try Facebook advertising.  With over 1 billion people on the platform, you’re likely able to reach new customers. It’s a simple and affordable way to advertise and you can even find success with a dollar-a-day campaign. If you’re new to the platform or want to refine your skills, Facebook offers free online lessons.
Depending on your business, you can explore advertising on other social media platforms. For example, if you’re a retail clothing store then Pinterest advertising might work. Similarly, if you’re selling to businesses then LinkedIn advertising is a good option.

5. Run a Giveaway

Use a contest to get customers excited and spreading the word about your business. For example, you can enter customers in a giveaway every time they refer someone to your business. The prize doesn’t need to be expensive either. In fact, small branded products such as a high-end water bottle or a cool backpack are popular ideas

6. Go Green

Announcing your environmental initiatives will show your community what your company values are. People like to use businesses that have the same values as them. It’ll make them feel like they are expanding their own efforts to help the planet by using a green business. 
Examples include:
  • Apply to a Green Government Program – Some of these programs include the EcoAction Community Funding Program and Green Infrastructure Program
  • Partner with an Environmental Group –  There are many Canadian Environmental Groups that you can volunteer with or donate to.
  • Reduce your Carbon-Footprint – Consider using recycled materials for your products, going paperless, working with green suppliers, or using recycled materials for packaging.

Bottom Line

These marketing ideas will help you gain new customers without breaking your budget. Before running a campaign, it’s important to set goals for yourself so you can track its performance. Here are a few tips for setting marketing goals for your small business. 

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About the Author



Lendified is Canada's premier online lender for small businesses. The company was founded by former bank executives dedicated to provide businesses with fast, easy, and affordable financing. The Lendified team regularly produces blogs and guides to help small business owners succeed.

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