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5 unique, affordable marketing ideas for small businesses

5 unique, affordable marketing ideas for small businesses

Traditional marketing like radio, TV and newspapers can be great for boosting business, but sometimes, the best marketing campaigns stem from unusual, outside-the-box ideas. Getting creative with marketing can often help stretch the marketing budget a bit further too. Here are five non-traditional marketing ideas to try for your small business.

Mix with another business.

When small businesses work together, both of them win. Consider working with a non-competing business in your area that caters to the same audience on a special or gift package. For example, as suggested by Vertical Response, a spa and restaurant could work together to create a Mother’s Day package. The restaurant’s regular customers would hear about the spa, and the spa’s regular customers would hear about the restaurant. Advertise the package, and both businesses could see new customers from the partnership as well.

Send out birthday wishes and other greetings.

Don’t always think of marketing as direct selling. Establishing a relationship with customers is part of that, even though the message may not be hard hitting. When customers sign up for a loyalty program or subscribe to your emails, gather a few basic pieces of information. Then, send out a note on their birthday or a thank you after they make a purchase. You can try including a coupon, but make a majority of the message about them. The same idea goes for in-store relationships, and learning the names of your regulars.

Share advice on a blog.

Do your customers know the best ways to use your product? Share advice on how to use your product, or more general tips that reach out to your target audience on a blog or social media. You’ll help build authority in your field, while helpful information is also more likely to get shares on social media and clicks in the search results over a traditional marketing message. A dairy company can share recipes, for example, a print shop tips on design and photography. You likely won’t see results right away, but you’ll build an audience over time without spending much besides your time.

Send out a press release.

Is your small business hiring new leadership, hosting an event, or adding a new product? Take advantage of these big changes by sending out a press release to local news outlets. The bigger the news is and the more unique, the more likely that press release is to gain traction. News coverage isn’t pushy marketing, but gets your name out there in a positive manner.

If at first you don’t succeed, then, try again.

Don’t quit a marketing campaign after the first run — customers are more likely to buy from brands that they’ve heard about more than once. That means you may not get results the first time, but your odds increase with a second run. If you can, try a marketing campaign idea at least twice between determining if it helped grow your business or not.

Marketing is essential for small business, but the options extend well beyond the traditional, go-to, big-budget ads. Try a few unique marketing ideas to reach new customers on a budget.