How to Market a Business on a Shoestring Budget

Today, startup businesses have more low-cost marketing options than ever before, so even if a business has poured all of its extra cash into the business, it can create an effective marketing campaign for its work. Here are a few tips that can help a business market its products, even when the owner is flat broke:


Use Local Listing Services


All one needs to use the major online listing services is a connection to the Internet and a little time. To search for what they need, most people use Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. These are easy to sign up for, and can get a business on the locals’ radar in little time.


  • Google Places: Fill out a simple online form to register the business. Verify the business through a phone call or regular mail, and the business will show up on Google Maps, enabling it to rise to a higher position in local search results.


  • Yahoo! Local: Though not as popular as Google, don’t neglect this source for potential customers. Register the business with a simple form and only a few minutes of time.


  • Microsoft Bing: Similar to the others, some customers who prefer Microsoft services can find a business more easily through this search engine. Again, a simple form is all that’s needed.


Post Videos on YouTube


Record videos of the business’s products or services that demonstrate up-close, personal benefits that real-life customers enjoy. Demonstration videos are also quite popular, especially if the product is something that customers need to follow instructions to install, make, or use. Guitar students, for instance, benefit from tutorial videos, as do customers who purchase car parts and need to know how to install them. Before-and-after videos are great for makeup, construction projects, or home décor companies. For even more bang for the buck, brand the business with having video participants wear clothing with the company name and logo emblazoned on them. Create an opening and closing section in the video in which the credits display the company’s name, its logo, and its website, so customers can get in touch.


Get Social


In today’s world, it’s a must for businesses to have a Facebook page. Many people rely on the social media giant for everything from wedding announcements to birthday party invitations, not to mention recommendations. If a business isn’t on Facebook, it misses out on tons of free publicity, not to mention a chance to interact with customers and potential customers. The way a business handles comments—positive and negative–shows a lot about the way it does business. A responsive business will attract more customers than one that ignores comments. Recognizing a customer’s concerns validates them, and builds more trust in the business. More trust, in turn, establishes that business as an authority in its field. When a business becomes the go-to authority in its area for its niche, it gains a foothold that’s hard for competitors to break.


With all of these free strategies to promote one’s business, one doesn’t have to be a millionaire to do a bang-up job of marketing the business. All it takes is an Internet connection, a little savvy, a few hours of time, and a commitment to regular updates to make a business into the area’s marketing king.