13+ Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

13+ Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

February 2, 2022
(Reading time: 5 - 9 minutes)

When it comes to running a small service-based business, it can be challenging to stand out from all the other competitors in the market. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration  (SBA), in 2019 they reported that there were 30.7 million small businesses accounting for 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses.

Now the SBA defines a small business as a firm with fewer than 500 employees. However, if we further refine that definition to fewer than 20 employees, then it makes up 89% of all businesses in the U.S. (Source: Oberlo.com)

If your business falls within the latter statistic, you know that spending your hard-earned money on ads and marketing when times get tight is usually one of the first things you want to cut. However, I am here to tell you that is the last thing you want to do.

While traditional advertising methods can be very costly and nearly impossible to measure, small businesses have never had easier access to low-cost, measurable marketing tools. The best way to market your business may be much more accessible than you think if you look to the techniques outlined here.

Say my name, say my name

1. Say my name, say my name

In the iconic song by Destiny's Child, “Say My Name,” we all just want to have our name spoken. In contrast to the song's context, every business wants to be the first name that comes to mind when someone needs the goods or services you provide.

Therefore, you need to make sure your name or business is recognized and said often to maintain a consistent brand that starts with your logo.

While there are numerous cheap logo websites or you may be able to get your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate to design something for you on the cheap. No question having one professionally designed specifically for your small business is essential. The reason being it makes you appear more professional and trustworthy. It will also create the name recognition you need.

Have a modern and professional website

2. Have a modern and professional website

In 2022, having a website of some sort for your business is a given. I also hate to break it to you, but your Facebook page is not your website or a “website.” 

Your website should serve as the hub for all your small business marketing initiatives, both online and off. It is the ideal place where you can control the message. Aside from the expense of designing and developing your site, as well as any hosting and maintenance fees, it is practically free. Unlike traditional advertising, which forces you to condense your message into a few hundred words or a brief sound bite, you can tell your entire story online.

A well-designed website instills trust in your company. According to web credibility research from Stanford, “75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.” Furthermore, a website that looks good must also be user-friendly. Meaning it must load quickly and be intuitive. Your clients need to be able to find the information they need to pick up the phone or visit your brick-and-mortar location. 

What can you do to ensure your website works for you?

3. Blogging is the cheap way to drive traffic to your small business

One of the best and most affordable things you can do to drive traffic to your local small business is to utilize a blog that simply answers people’s questions about what they need and what you do. You should ensure that your blog content is optimized for various searches. The information you create should be of immediate benefit to your prospective clientele. Those that find value will return to your website. Those who find value will continue to revisit your website. 

According to a report by HubSpot, 73% of people admit to skimming blog posts, while 27% consume them thoroughly.

The bottom line is that it allows you to educate prospects and clients about your goods or services, inform them of specials, and remind them of general maintenance services.

3 types of landing pages: marketing, SEO, and geographic

4. 3 types of landing pages: Marketing, SEO, and Geographic

There are three types of landing pages which are simply pages on your websites that focus on marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and geographic locations. Like any other page on your website, landing pages are there to provide value and information to a searcher or user.  According to HubSpot, the more landing pages you have, the more leads you are likely to get. 

5. Craft an elevator pitch

You should be marketing all of the time, no matter where you are. As a result, you will need a compelling “elevator pitch” or a short statement that says not what you do but how you help people.

According to studies, the typical adult's attention span is six to eight seconds. That's all you've got to get someone's attention.

If you are successful in engaging them, you will only have a little more than a minute to truly sell them on your product or service. Make the time to develop a killer elevator pitch. The ROI will pay huge dividends in terms of new creating business prospects.

6. Leverage your community

When it comes to marketing, you don't have to think big. Consider your local area. What is going on in your neighborhood and community?

Sponsor a Little League team or participate in a 5k charity walk/run. Print bookmarks and drop them off at your local library. Learn about your ideal customer and consider how and where they spend their time.

Then look for ways to get your marketing message in front of your ideal clientele.

7. Stop, Collaborate and Network

I’m a huge fan of collaborations and networking. I don’t think there is any better way to build a business than to get out there, shake some hands, bump fists or elbows, and get to know people.

Consider putting together a group of complementary, non-competitive businesses in your area and agree to help cross-promote each other.

Get reviews for your small business

8. Get reviews for your small business

Online reviews, almost all of us look at them no matter what we are looking for or shopping for. According to Bright Local, "90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business." And from an older survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 86% are influenced by negative online reviews.

Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business

9. Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business

Depending on your source, Google holds anywhere from 92% market share worldwide to 93% of the search market between all their properties. Regardless of how much they own, your GMB is the front door to your website. The Google Business Profile (GBP) serves to support and lock everything you have and do on the web in place. According to SMA Marketing, “49% of businesses receive more than 1,000 average Search views of their GMB listing per month, and 33% receive 1,000+ views on Maps.”

How do you get more reviews?

Here are six ways to help you get more reviews:

  1. Have exemplary customer service
  2. Utilize an online review management system
  3. Have your staff or technicians tell your clients they would like a review
  4. Provide instructions on how to leave a Google review
  5. Send gentle email reminders that you’d appreciate a review
  6. Leave a business card with a QR code link to your Google Business Profile

10. Build relationships

It is a lot less expensive to keep a client than getting a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your clientele is crucial. One of the ways you can do that is by keeping in touch with people through email marketing.

Ask clients for their email addresses when they visit your store, website, or call for service. Then, make your communications useful, helpful, and professional — something your clients will eagerly await.

Social Media

11. Social Media

I know I mentioned above that your social media page is not your website. It should go without saying that if you are going to market your business effectively, you need to have a presence on social platforms. I will often tell prospects and clients that you need to claim your spot, even if you don’t plan to use it. 

12. Using SEO to get R-E-S-P-E-C-T from Goolge

If you want to get some respect from Google, you need to utilize good SEO techniques. I mean that every website page has the same chance to rank on page 1 of Google as all your competitors’ pages.

On average, it will take some time to see your website pages on the first few pages of Google even longer (possibly never) if you don’t have a good SEO strategy in place. Getting to number 1 on Google in less than one year takes extensive SEO knowledge and a lot of hard work. It will not just happen!

13. Don’t take a nap on your NAP

Keep your local citations up to date. In other words, don’t catch 40 winks with your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP). These local citations or the listings that include your business’ name, address, phone number, and website URL are similar to backlinks. You will want your business consistently listed across all relevant online directories if applicable to your business. These include:

  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Angie’s List
  • Nextdoor
  • YP.com
  • Your local chamber of commerce

Bonus Hire an Agency to Help

If you think this list is daunting, don’t fret. It can be a lot to try to handle on your own. I would strongly suggest looking to an outside agency to help. Just don’t look to your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate for help unless you know they specialize in assisting shops such as yours. Remember that marketing is an investment. The goal is to get more back than you put in. If your marketing company is doing that for you, it’s going to be worth it.

At Cube Creative, we can help you with all or some of the items on this list. Reach out to us for a free consultation!

Chad Treadway

Written by:  |  February 2, 2022

Chad is our business development manager. He will help you survey your business needs, ensuring you are educated on your options before suggesting any solution. Chad also has several certifications through HubSpot to better assist you with your internet and inbound marketing.

See Chad Treadway's' bio: cubecreative.design/about/chad-treadway