Marketing on a budget: 5 ways to promote your business that won’t break the bank

Small businesses need capital to grow, but sometimes budgets are thin and access to cash is hard to come by. This is particularly true for early-stage companies that haven’t got a track record or revenues that demonstrate an ability to service debt and expand the business. This might make stoking the fires of growth challenging, but it doesn’t make it impossible.

If your business is facing an opportunity to grow, but finding the money within your cash flow just isn’t enough to get the ball rolling, here are three things you can start doing now. A successful retail strategy is essential to attract new clients and keep the ones you have, but how can this be achieved without a limitless budget? These actionable tips are perfect for businesses that want to really stamp their brand in the hyper-competitive retail market.

Get ahead of the game

Running a competition or special promotion can be a good way in which to attract new customers, and can prove a cheap and effective way to develop engagement with prospects and passive customers who are yet to hear about your brand. Whether you decide to offer giveaways of a new product, discounts, or a competition, this type of marketing is not only cost-effective, but can also achieve positive media coverage for your store.

Create eye-catching branding

A distinctive logo, robust slogans or taglines and a strong marketing message are essential for every growing business as a way of differentiating your brand in a sea of retailers throughout the industry. All promotional materials should be aligned with your corporate image, ensure you have a strong brand identity and innovate eye-catching ideas that resonate with the audiences you feel your brand will appeal to most. You can also opt for targeted promotional material in different formats to appeal these various demographics, such as a different colour for millennials, or adding a multi-coloured flag that represents the LGBTQ community.

Engage via social media

Utilising social media can be an extremely effective tool to market your business, if not the most important way to spread your message. Not only are the costs very low, but you can use the various different platforms to target different types of customers. In addition, social media allows you to introduce your brand to a wide range of prospects without geographical restrictions. So get online if you haven’t already and get social. Chances are you’re missing the bus on various opportunities to grow your brand identity and market to your technologically-minded customer who make up the majority of customers these days.

Offer Incentives

Rewarding your existing customers for their loyalty is a great way to ensure that they continue to support your brand. Equally as important, they should be advocates of your brand as referrals increasingly become the go-to strategy for generating new business for very little cost. Loyalty schemes are a simple method of achieving this, and offering rewards for new customer referrals is a good incentive for your existing customers to spread the word. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool that costs nothing and can secure you new business opportunities, so think of new ways to make your customers ambassadors of your brand.

Freshen Up Your Website

Every business should have a website. If you haven’t got one, you are missing out on vital sales opportunities and you should seriously consider beginning your eCommerce journey. Online sales account for about £533 million of sales every year, which makes the move to digital a no-brainer to boost sales. Implementation & management of your website doesn’t have to cost too much either when you use a hosted platform such as Lightspeed eCom, although keeping your website regularly updated is essential. An out-of-date holding page or a blog that hasn’t been updated in over a year will look unprofessional and reduce engagement with your brand. Your website is your virtual shop front, so keep it alive by regularly adding fresh content and images as you would do your physical store. It also provides a direct link to your other social media platforms, giving you a business that effectively provides your customers with the ability to engage with your brand whichever way they prefer, whenever they like.

Most businesses, both young and old, sometimes feel the need for some extra capital to fuel growth. These five simple ways to promote your brand are achievable even on a small budget, but they are all extremely effective in attracting new business for your company.