Last Updated on September 5, 2022

Low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses

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Low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses have always been a boon for startups. It is highly feasible to promote your small business by using some inexpensive but effective marketing ideas for small businesses.
Small businesses need customers to survive. However, as a small business, one of your first significant challenges is getting the budget to put your business out there to attract the right people. Since you do not have a budget like major enterprises, how do you promote your business?

Small businesses have several options to promote their companies if they take advantage of the best publicity ideas.


In this context, it should be noted that we mean effective but free marketing ideas for small businesses that can give your company some level of traction, at least before you can secure significant funding for the business.

The following cheap marketing methods cost next to nothing to implement.

However, they do require some level of effort to implement.

But if implemented to the needed level of engagement, mark our words, you will not only get active customers; your customer base will keep on growing to a point where your business will become attractive enough to secure a bank loan or get an angel investor to channel the needed capital into getting it off the ground.

18 Low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses in 2020

As much as 2020 has been a bad year economically, it is the right time to lay the foundation for your small business.

The world may be on its knees now.

Still, when it finally picks up, only proactive businesses will be able to cash in on the economic rejuvenation and expand their operations exponentially.

Here are the following 18 low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses to get your company off the ground.

1). Try using Google My Business to promote your venture

If you need some free marketing ideas to promote your business, Google My Business is a useful tool to include in your marketing plan.

You can set up a profile and take advantage of the free marketing platform to advertise your company on the platform.

The free listing service for the company enables your business to pop up on Google Maps each time people google your company.

Girls hands are holding the tablet to search something on google
Photo by William Iven from Pixabay 

Furthermore, your company gets listed in the knowledge panel and local section by the Google search tool with the free business promotional service.

Whereas this service is sufficient to give your business some traction, to attract customers within your location, you will have to complete your business’s Google profile while ensuring that you optimize all the sections.

2). Engage in Content Marketing

If you knew about the efficiency of cheap marketing methods and tools, you would see that content marketing is a crucial promotional strategy for small businesses.

The value of this promotional method is too significant to ignore.

If you properly plan your online marketing strategy, you could hire the best expert to help you develop the right content for your content marketing plan.

This will certainly help you boost your business’s local SEO and enhance the chances of your business been found online.

Content marketing is a good form of advertising for new companies.

With the best content marketing strategy, you would craft an attractive About Us Page, Services, and Products page.

You could also prepare and publish engaging blog posts.

3). Video Marketing

There is no better efficient and potent promotional tool for small businesses than video marketing.

There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.

In the world of business and entrepreneurship, a video is worth a million words.

With the continuous evolution of technology, you can shoot high-quality videos for your business and get them uploaded online.

You have smartphones with high-quality cameras to shoot with.

Create a plan as to how to go about the video.

After shooting your video, you can get free software online to edit your videos to your required standard.

There are various innovative and sophisticated video editing tools that you can use to enhance your video’s appearance to bring it up to a professional level.

When you are done with editing, you can upload this online to YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.


You can create your videos by certainly adding a well-crafted script.

If you are creative enough with your videos, they may go viral and become a hit among online users.

You should always include a branding image on your videos.

Ensure that you conclude the video with a practical call to action: you should let the viewer or online user know how best to connect with you to initiate a business relationship.

Add a little touch of humor that people can relate to, then get the video posted on different video hosting websites and social media channels.

And who knows, if your video gets sufficient traction online, it just might appear on CNN as the video of the week!

It is one such way of advertising your fledgling company.

4). Visual Marketing

Back to the world of a thousand words.

Visual marketing optimized with the most creative video marketing gives your business a monstrous exposure that you may not be able to cope with your business’s interest.

Visual marketing is just several steps more sophisticated and persuasive than blog posts and every other text-based marketing.

People want to see your business in pictures.

There is no other way to convince prospects than to provide visuals.

You have such tools as infographics to help craft a smart and creative business strategy.

Furthermore, you have Instagram and Pinterest that can help you initiate a rewarding and profitable engagement with potential clients online.

In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), there is no better time to harness the internet’s leverage and make your business a profitable one.

Irrespective of your business’s nature, visual marketing is one of the best marketing ideas for small businesses.

5). Social Media

Though we have mentioned some social media platforms previously, it is essential to elaborate on this point.

Everybody is on social media; therefore, you have no reason not to be on there.

It would be best if you created social media profiles for your business.

If you are a famous person like Rihanna before she rolled out her Fenty Beauty cosmetic line, you can leverage your popularity to give your business some form of advertising.

The Facebook app in the smartphone for your small business as one of the low-cost marketing ideas
Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

A persistent but respectful social media presence of your company will undoubtedly yield profitable and rewarding engagements.

You can explore all the free marketing tools of social media to promote your business.

For instance, you could take advantage of status videos to help your business get some attention, even if this means for 15 minutes.

Some businesses have harnessed their 15 minutes of fame to long-term profitability.

It is all in the marketing plan.

When on social media platforms, there are numerous tools that you can harness to get your business out there.

It is recommended that you use a mix of business promotional tools for maximum effect.

Social media presence should be a pivotal part of your marketing plan if boundaries do not limit your business.

7). Establish industry partnerships

While an online promotion for your business is highly recommended, this should be blended with establishing physical connections.

You need to get out there in your industry and establish a business connection with like-minded but more successful people like you.

If you go out there and leverage extra resources like experienced people, technologies, a wider audience, and so on, you would certainly increase your business efforts.

And if you are lucky and gifted enough, you might find a resourceful partner that will help you take your business to enviable heights.

When you engage in and establish industry partnerships, you can access a customer base, technology, and marketing knowledge.

Industry partnerships are efficient free, low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses that can ultimately help improve the business’s fortunes.

8). Organize an event or a seminar

One of the best service business marketing ideas is to host a seminar, a tutorial, or an event.

You could attract locals within your neighborhood to attend a seminar or an event that you are hosting.

You could hold an instructional but entertaining presentation, tutorial, or a seminar which details the way your product/service works.

Most businesses have reaped from the benefits of the free and engaging seminar or event organization.

There is nothing like inviting some people to entertain them while also being taught about something.

9). Website

All small businesses need a functional website to serve as the first point of interaction between the business and potential customers.

Furthermore, if your website is optimized enough, people will quickly locate your company from searches online.

Your web development strategy should involve creating a website and optimizing the SEO website to increase your website ranking on search pages.

This should be optimized by engaging in an efficient and effective SEO marketing plan.

Your website should pop up among the top results if people within your locality search for your services or type of products.

If you want to create an effective website, you will need to make sure that you have a clear and concise section that contains your company information.

You should leave useful details like your contact, location, and working hours for people to contact you if need be.

Among the important contents of your website, you should have sufficient information about your services or products.

You should also have content like a blog and customer testimonials on the website’s, low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses.

10). Create valuable business partnerships

When starting up your new business, you should not see everyone in your business line as your competition.

You can initiate and sustain fruitful and profitable business partnerships with your “so-called competitors.”

This means partnership.

You can each focus on your strong points and form a rewarding synergy to bring in more revenue.

Can create valuable business partnerships by linking up with other local enterprises and businesses.

You could easily promote each other’s goods and services.

For instance, you could let customers have coupons for other businesses.

One profitable synergistic relationship in business is when complementary companies in an industry come together to offer a useful product.

If you were to partner with somebody, you should get a complimentary business to partner with.

You should indeed not form a partnership with your competitors or rivals.

11). Vehicle Branding

If you have a company or a personal vehicle lying around, you could consider branding the car with your company’s information and logo.

At this point, you may might mot get full paint of your company details.

Window decals or a logo and name (plus your social media handles) on the car’s rear and sides is enough.

Vehicle branding is one of the best cheap promotional ideas to expose your company.

When you get your car branded, you can then decide to target highly populated areas to make people see your business brand’s details.

12). Sidewalk Signs

Sidewalk signs are the right way of promoting or advertising your company in a place where there are many pedestrians.

You could put up these sidewalk signs outside the locality where you have your company.

You can also use this sidewalk to announce a new inventory or list a business sale.

If people walk past your signs, they might become curious and hopefully visit your company.

This is the best way to get local customers around your locality.

Apart from online and social media engagements, physical promotional strategies like sidewalk signs help your company maintain the needed level of visibility offline as well.

13). Local Media

Using the local media to optimize your business’s presence is still an effective way of promoting your company.

Your regional and local media can be used to give your company some level of exposure.

This can be done by advertising your business on the local media channels like TV stations, newspapers, radios, etc.

There are newspaper with a cup of coffee, smartphone and a pen. Newspaper is local media, that you can use to boost your business
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

You can also create and send press releases.

One more method of using the local media to promote your company is to network with the local reporters in your vicinity.

You could get some free publicity if you have some newsworthy material to offer reporters.

It is important to note that reporters will never cover a sale or help you advertise your business.

You only need a newsworthy event to engage with news reporters.

14). Engage in philanthropic activities

If you want to put your company out there, you need to understand how you can spread the word about your company without sounding too obtrusive.

You can volunteer to partake in local charity events.

This will undoubtedly increase your standing with the community.

However, it is essential that your philanthropic efforts are sincere and not to look insensitive and unreal.

Furthermore, there are several other ways to engage in philanthropic gestures’; you have industry events that you can become involved in. additionally.

Also, you could also become a regular guest columnist at a media powerhouse.

15). Offer free services and discounts

Everybody loves free things.

Using discounts to promote your company is an excellent example of a service business marketing idea.

When you give put free stuff, you not only put your business out there, but you also let people know that you sincerely care about their welfare rather than looking for an easy way to promote your company.

Furthermore, if you offer premium and high-quality products, you could get more customers.

Free services help to expose your company by way of products that the customer finds irresistible.

16). Create business cards and distribute them

When you create your company cards, you want to ensure that you end up distributing your cards to the right people: potential partners and clients.

You can create a colorful and attractive card and include certain important information about your company.

Furthermore, when you attend a unique industry event or any social gathering, you can decide to exchange cards.

If you have a well-designed company card, it does not belong to the fancy pockets of your coat.

Instead, try distributing the cards to people of interest to promote your company.

This adds to the number of business addresses for further promotional activities.

17). Direct Mail business marketing

Direct email marketing should be a part of the promotional plan for your company.

Since online channels are getting to the point of saturation, lesser companies engage in direct mail promotion.

This also means a lot of opportunities for businesses that use direct mail marketing.

A hand with some of the virtual mails to show the importance of directing mails as one of the best marketing ideas
Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

To become successful in this regard, you will have to use a combination of creativity and the ability to engage your audience.

You should find a way to craft a compelling and persuasive direct mail marketing strategy and follow through.

You should pay attention to both your headlines and your content.

While the reader goes through your email contents, you should be creative enough to use your pitch to seize the reader’s attention in the entirety of the email.

18). Give speeches at events

If you are eloquent enough to give a compelling speech like Barrack Obama, then you can help promote your company yourself.

It is among the best low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses.

If you are a talented speaker, you can be seen as an authority on subjects relating to your business.

There is no other promotional tool that is more effective than you speaking about your company yourself.

No one knows your company as much as you do; therefore, it is only right that you talk about it yourself.


If you succeeded in creating a company from nothing, it is only right that you would want to grow it.

In the beginning, especially when you lack the promotional budget of mainstream businesses, you have to be creative to promote your company.

These 18 low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses will undoubtedly take your company to the next level.

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