No-Cost and Low-Cost Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Don’t have an unlimited marketing budget?

We’ve never worked with a client that did! Right now, your marketing budget may be stretched thin – or even nonexistent. But that doesn’t mean you should stop marketing.

It means you need to get creative.

Research from prior recessions proves that marketing during a downturn pays off in the long-term:

  • Companies that advertise aggressively during past recessions had sales 256% higher than those that did not continue to advertise. (Source: Wharton School)
  • Aggressive advertisers obtained 4.5x the market share gain of competitors who cut back on marketing during a recession! (Source: Center for Research and Development)

If your small business wants to stand out from the herd, sell more and emerge from this recession stronger than ever, try these budget-friendly marketing ideas:

No-Cost / Low-Cost Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Perfect your value proposition.

Your customers are busy and distracted. You only have a few moments to capture their attention and explain the value you can deliver. Now is the perfect time to refine your value proposition so that it explains:

  • Why customers buy from you
  • The problems you solve
  • How you make people’s lives better

Use this free Value Proposition Template to dial in your statement of value – and dramatically improve your marketing’s effectiveness.

Get involved with your community.

Marketing isn’t just about expensive, large scale campaigns. Often, the most effective (and cost-effective) efforts start with your local community:

  • Once athletics return to normal, sponsor a little league team or a charity walk.
  • Put on a free virtual seminar for community members or customers.
  • Do something extra for your community to support them during the economic downturn.

Then, toot your own horn a bit (or get someone else to do it for you). Publish a blog post about how you’re supporting your community and share it on your social platforms, or submit the information to your local newspaper or an industry publication and see if they’ll write a story about you.

Want to see what this idea looks like in practice? Check out this Community Spotlight post, in which we highlighted the great work Metrodata Services, Inc. is doing to support essential employers during the pandemic response and recovery.

10 More Budget-Friendly Marketing Activities

  1. Ask for referrals.
  2. Grow your social media base.
  3. Expand your networks on LinkedIn.
  4. Solicit recommendations and testimonials.
  5. Apply for business awards.
  6. Host a webinar to showcase your expertise.
  7. Update and expand your social media profiles.
  8. Respond to every inquiry – whether it comes in through email, voicemail, social media or mail.
  9. Learn what the worst marketing mistakes are – and avoid them.
  10. Start a blog.

How can BARQAR help?

If there’s anything we can do to assist you, please give us a call. We’re here to provide the advice, resources and cost-effective solutions you need to get through these challenging times – and prepare to explode out of the box once the upturn hits.

Other recession marketing posts:

Responsible Marketing During a Global Pandemic: Hitting the Right Tone

Should You Keep Blogging in a Down Economy?

A Guide to Marketing During the COVID-19 Crisis

How Smart SEO Can Help Your Business Weather the Pandemic

Smart Marketing Tips During Social Distancing

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