Running a business on a low budget can be challenging. There is lots you need to do such as branding, promotions and paying for advertising. But you can still create good noise about your business, even when your marketing budget is low.

In this article, you will learn 5 cost effective strategies to bootstrap your marketing as a small business.

Leverage Free Advertising Opportunities

Advertising on social media or using brand ambassadors may seem cheap, but what about advertising your business on your car? Your vehicle can become a money spinning machine for you by turning it into a mobile billboard. How? You can paste copies of your business flyers and attractive signage on your car, which can be seen by thousands of people as you drive around.

You can even get friends and family to do the same for wider coverage. This comes at little or no expense to you at all.

Make Use of Referral Programmes

In a Nielsen survey on referrals, 9 in every 10 Internet consumers worldwide (90%) trust recommendations from people they know while 7 in every 10 (70%) trust consumer opinions posted online.

Small businesses on a low budget can leverage the effectiveness of referrals to make noise about their business. The strategy is to incentivize existing clientele or even your employees with a bit of added motivation or freebies. Something like, “Get 10% off on retail insurance for you and your friend after a successful transaction.” This will get them excited as everyone is a winner, and they’ll be more inclined to tell their friends about your business.

Go for Competitions

Sometimes you need to take a bold-faced step to get word out about what you do. A cheap marketing strategy is to enter into competitions. Find one that is related to your business’ services and apply. A win will definitely come with some mention in the news, across social media platforms and a trophy. Even if you don’t win, you still would have gained some good level of exposure for your business.

Use Testimonials on Your Website

A positive customer review is a solid social proof that your business is worth its salt. Research has found that 89% of B2B marketers consider testimonials as the most effective content marketing strategy.

A small business on a stretched budget can exploit the power of testimonials to add confidence in the minds of new customers. However, testimonials have to be honest and from real people, else you’d be doing your business more harm than good.

Plan Workshops

You’re already an expert in what you do, so you should consider organising a workshop or webinar for customers and prospects. Planning and hosting a workshop doesn’t require a hefty budget. What matters most is the series of activities you have laid out. They should be educational and valuable to everyone who’s been invited, though inviting the public on to your own premises does require the right sort of protection in the event of an accident.

Customers and prospects can make valuable contributions for feedback, and they go home with positive things to say about you.

Finally, ensure you measure the success of each strategy every step of the way, so you know which one increased your business revenue the most. This is also a great way to plan for future marketing strategies.