25 Low-Budget Best Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses in 2024

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Written by Alexander Ang

Last updated June 7 , 2024

best marketing ideas for small business

Every business needs marketing.

But we get it; we all have a tight budget to spend on!

So, is marketing an expense or an investment?

In this post, we'll explore all the possible ideas to help you kick-start your marketing campaign without straining your budget.

These strategies are not only effective but also cost-effective, ensuring you get the most out of your marketing efforts.

These ideas and strategies are simple yet proven to be effective.

Let's take a look at our top best marketing ideas below:

25 Simple and Easy To Execute Best Marketing Ideas For Small Business

1. Build Your Personal Brand Online

Linkedin Profile Example

A personal brand allows you to connect with your audience on a more personal level, fostering trust and authenticity.

People are more likely to engage with a real person, a real face in front of the screen, and buy from someone they perceive as more trustworthy than just a logo or a brand.

With social media platforms, you can reach out to diverse audiences by consistently connecting with friends and sharing valuable content online that makes people remember your expertise.

2. Convert Social Media Profile into a Business Account

Instead of creating a whole new business account, turn your existing Facebook and Instagram page into a business profile.

Social media business page accounts provide access to detailed analytics and insights, such as page views, post reach, engagement, audience demographics and many more.

This data helps you understand your audience and optimize your content strategy.

Also, you'll have access to helpful business tools such as:

Social media scheduling tools
Commerce and shopping features
Ability to run ads
Call to action tools
Business links and buttons

3. Craft engaging bio descriptions

Your bio is always the first thing people see when visiting your profile. 

So, make a great first impression by writing a 2-3 bulleted bio description that clearly communicates who you are, what you do, and why they should follow you.

First impressions matter; your bio is always the first thing people see when visiting your profile.

An engaging bio also represents your brand identity with authority within your niche.

So, put in some effort by writing a 2-3 bulleted bio description that clearly communicates who you are, what you do, and why they should follow you.

This will highlight your unique value proposition that differentiates you from the others.

4. Start Showcasing Your Expertise Online

The best way to sell is to educate.

Start by educating your audience about your industry with the "How tos ", "Mistakes to avoid", "Statistical posts", and "Industry updates" with your audience.

Start posting consistently, using a variety of formats such as short videos, single posts, stories, and carousels to help build better engagement with your audience.

Google Business Profile

If you want your business to appear in local search results and on Google Maps for free, then this local SEO strategy is one of the most effective methods.

With Google Business Profile, you can improve your search engine optimization (SEO), making it easier for people to find your business online without a website.

Start by verifying your business profiles in search results. 

Then, make sure you populate all your business information, including your address, upload interior and exterior photos, and add reviews. Finally, add business hours, products, and services.

6. Sign up For a Google Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center

If you're in the e-commerce industry looking to expand product reach, this is for you!

Google Merchant Center allows you to upload your product information, description, image and price range, making it available for display in Google Shopping results.

Not only does it provide additional exposure without advertising, but it also attracts organic traffic to your online store.

7. Create and Offer a Lead Magnet

Lead Magnet Example

Lead magnets are relatively low-cost if compared to direct response marketing campaigns.

They are designed to attract your target audience and break the ice by offering something of value in exchange for their contact information, such as email addresses.

It helps you grow your email list, boost overall cold market conversion, and increase engagement through your high-quality content.

Examples of lead magnet format can be:

eBook and Guide
Template and checklist
Webinar or free lessons
Free trials
Newsletter

8. Be More Social Online

Interacting with your audience on social media helps build relationships and trust.

Little things like responding to comments, answering questions and participating in conversations show that your brand is approachable and customer-focused.

Remember, social media is designed for recency, connection and engagement.

Therefore, likes, shares, comments, and other interactions help increase your content's visibility and reach, fostering a more engaged community around your brand.

9. build a Community Channel

Engaged communities, such as a Facebook group, Instagram Broadcast channel, Discord, WhatsApp group, or Telegram group, create a sense of belonging and loyalty among members.

Members who feel connected to your brand and other members are more likely to remain loyal and continue doing business with you.

The results?

That will improve your purchase frequency and increase your overall order value without having to sell more.

Another reason is that starting and maintaining a community group is relatively easy. It just needs consistency; focus on engagement and relationships instead of promoting it frequently, and it's free.

10. Create a Welcome Email

Welcome email sets the tone for your relationship with new subscribers, helps build trust, and encourages further engagement.

You will need an email marketing tool to do this, or you could work with an email marketing specialist to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign.

Here are the key reasons why writing a engaging welcome email can be so crucial:

Welcome emails typically have much higher open and click-through rates than the second and third emails you will send.
A higher engagement range in welcome emails can improve your email deliverability, making future emails land in subscribers' inboxes rather than their spam folders.
A welcome email also encourages new subscribers to engage with your brand immediately.

This could be visiting your website, following you on social media, or exploring specific products or services.

11. Use a Landing Page

Think of a landing page like a marketing brochure.

Its main goal is attracting and converting visitors to leads or paying customers.

It eliminates distractions by focusing on a single goal, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading an eBook, or purchasing.

You should target at least a 30% conversion rate for a landing page. And a great landing page usually has 70% conversion or more.

12. Join a Business Community

Business Community Example

Find a community that can refer business to you.

When I started my entrepreneurship journey, I joined Business Networking International (BNI), a business referral network that focuses on passing referrals to you.

An active community offers opportunities for networking with people from various industries, collaborating, and gaining brand exposure, which can lead to business growth and development.

When done right, community members often refer and recommend each other's businesses, leading to new clients and collaborations through word-of-mouth and recommendation.

Always remember to contribute to the community if you want them to do the same for you.

13. Focus on Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

Nothing beats word-of-mouth marketing.

Not just because it's practical, it's often low-cost or even free.

Word-of-mouth marketing relies on the natural spread of information about a product, service, or brand through conversations between people.

It harnesses the power of personal endorsements and recommendations and strongly influences users' purchasing decisions.

People are likelier to try a product or service if it is recommended by someone they trust.

Start by ensuring all your customers have positive experiences before, during and after using your products.

You will naturally amplify positive word-of-mouth among their network and see high-quality leads start flowing to your business!

14. Build and Optimize Your Website

Website represents your brand identity.

It is your central hub for your online presence, where anyone can visit your website to learn about your products or services, engage with your content, and make purchasing decisions.

Website is like a front store that never rests.

It is available 24/7, with access to information about your company and products, whether they're just checking you out, have some interest, or are considering your services.

You can also start SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaigns later on when you have more capacity and resources to grow your business marketing.

15. Start Small with Social Media Ads

Spend $10 or $20 a day to test out the response of your ads on Social Media.

With an online channel, you can always test fast, test small and move on quickly. 

If your ads are performing, they should give you results within 24 hours (Based on my 10 years of digital marketing experience).

Monitor them closely for 2-3 days and adjust accordingly.

Once you're comfortable with the results or when they are stable, you can start adding more budget to them.

16. Optimize Your Existing Marketing Channel

Simple changes can have a significant impact on your marketing performance.

If you have a few marketing channels already working for you, consider optimizing them or doubling them down. 

This is called conversion rate optimization.

Anything can be optimized, and it is an ongoing process. 

Optimizing your marketing message, product visuals, brand identity, social media content, and all the marketing strategies will allow you to see significant improvement with minor adjustments.

17. Find your Power Team

Start forming a mutual business relationship within your industry.

Think about which business shares the same customers as you.

For example, you can work with a videography or photography studio if you're a creative agency.

Or in my example, I conduct digital marketing training workshops by working with training providers where they focus on creating seminars, workshops and events, while I only focus on delivering my knowledge and transferring my skills.

Our organizer took care of my workshop. 

Their business model involves working with companies to organize employee training. 

This method can be used in all types of industries, such as housing renovation to work with interior design companies, insurance companies working with gyms to promote wellness, car SPA works with car workshops, and so on.

18. Find Uniqueness in Your Business

Business Unique Selling Proposition Framework

How do you set yourself apart from the competitors?

If your products are the same, people will only consider the price difference, and that's how the price war starts.

Write down as many answers as you can based on these 4 questions:

How does your product provide a better experience to the market?
How are your products helping them to save more time, hassle, money or improve their status and experience?
Why would people pay more to you if they could get cheaper options?
What value do you provide that not many competitors can be fulfilled?

19. Identify Customers Buying Behaviour Journey

Customer Buying Behavioural Journey

Map out your customer's buying journey with these 5 stages:

Awareness stage: How did they first hear about you?
Interest stage: What makes them interested in your product?
Consideration stage: What is important to them? What makes them buy?
Conversion stage: How can I make the transactional process easier, faster and with less friction?
Retention stage: How can I retain them, keep them coming back, and get them to refer more business to me?

Identify those gaps, see which stage you need to improve, and optimize it one step at a time.

20. Collect and Get 100 Reviews and Testimonials

Positive reviews significantly influence potential customers' perceptions and purchasing decisions, don't you agree?

It acts as a social proof with authenticity. 

Reviews from real customers are perceived as more authentic and trustworthy than promotional content from the business itself.

High volume of reviews and testimonials also helps boost brand reputation, making it more appealing to customers. 

This brand's reputation differentiates you from the competitors.

So, start by collecting and inviting your customers and friends to leave you reviews and testimonials.

Summary

Let's wrap up, here're a summary of all the best low-budget marketing ideas to help small businesses grow:

Build Your Personal Brand Online
Convert Social Media Profile into a Business Account
Craft Engaging Bio Descriptions
Start Showcasing Your Expertise Online
Sign Up For Google Business Profile
Sign Up For A Google Merchant Center
Create And Offer A Lead Magnet
Be More Social Online
Build A Community Channel
Create A Welcome Email
Use A Landing Page
Join A Business Community
Focus On Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
Build And Optimize Your Website
Start Small With Social Media Ads
Optimize Your Existing Marketing Channel
Find Your Power Team
Find Uniqueness In Your Business
Identify Customers Buying Behaviour Journey
Collect And Get 100 Reviews And Testimonials

Above are all the tried and tested marketing strategies throughout my entrepreneurship journey when I started out all by myself to growing a multiple 6-figure agency and training businesses.

I can assure you that you'll start seeing a positive impact on the performance of your marketing and conversion results even when you apply 3 to 5 of the methods mentioned above.

What other low-budget marketing ideas do you think should be on the list? What is it that works for you from your experience?

Author Alex Ang Profile Picture

Meet the author Alexander Ang

Alex is the CEO of media funnel.co, a digital advertising company specializing in Google marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. He has also trained, coached, and consulted CEOs, executives, and business owners on how to improve their online marketing results and performance since 2020, after the pandemic.

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