Low- and No-Cost Marketing Resources for Small Businesses

First Financial Bank
Marketing is a challenge for small businesses. One in five small businesses don’t use any type of digital marketing, and one in ten small businesses don’t use marketing at all. Here are some ideas for how to find some marketing resources that are low-cost or free.

According to published small business marketing statistics, almost 75% of consumers use social media as a resource when making their buying decisions. A little more than 80% of consumers do research online before making their purchases, and 60% of these shoppers use search engines before visiting a specific website. The reliance on digital marketing isn’t limited to online shopping. Approximately 75% of shoppers who use local searches purchase at a brick-and-mortar store within 24 hours, and 41% of these buyers have read online reviews.

Given the increasing importance of digital marketing for connecting consumers and small businesses, it is vital to find marketing resources that fit your budget and expertise. Fortunately, there are many low-cost and free marketing tools that can help you implement effective digital marketing for your business.

Design Your Logo and Branding Materials

According to Harvard Business Review, logos are essential for small businesses. A well-designed logo captures the attention of shoppers, and it also sets you apart from your competitors. Your logo is also an integral part of brand identity that builds consumer loyalty. The design of your logo needs to reflect more than just the name of your business. It needs to represent your core values, products, and even the lifestyle of your customers. Not everyone has the creativity to conceptualize or design logos on their own, and there are low-cost and free marketing tools available for small businesses.

Some resources for low-cost or even free logo designs:

  • PlaceIt by Envato offers logo designs that you can tailor to your business. You can start with a free account and upgrade to an affordable unlimited plan as your marketing needs expand. PlaceIt by Envato also offers mockups for social media.
  • Canva makes marketing your small business fun. The free account offers plenty of marketing tools, and the Pro subscription is very affordable. Canva not only helps you with logo design, but also social media posts, presentations, and print products. You can use Canva on your desktop computer or mobile device.

Create Your Website

According to PC Magazine, 29% of small business owners still don’t have a website. Yet, 76% of customers do research online looking at a business’ website before visiting them in person. As more companies start to cater to the unique needs of small businesses, creating a website takes little to no coding. Learn more about creating your own site here.

Email Marketing

Even with all the other communication methods available, email marketing on average still has one of the highest conversion rates – and in many cases, at a much lower cost Email marketing can transform curious shoppers into buyers, and buyers into loyal customers. There are a variety of email marketing systems and many start with a free or almost free plan for sending emails. Plus some have other capabilities, such as acting as lightweight CRM (customer relationship management) systems to help you keep track of contacts. Here are a few:

  • Mailchimp: Get your email marketing started with a free plan from Mailchimp. You can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send a total of 10,000 marketing emails. The plan also includes templates for the emails and basic automation for timed drip campaigns.
  • Constant Contact: For less than $10 per month, Constant Contact lets you build an email subscriber list, including a sign-up form on your website and Facebook ads. The plan includes more than 300 templates, integration with social media, real-time reporting, and live phone and chat support.
  • Sendinblue: A newer offering but one that also offers an entry-level free program plus SMS (text) campaigns and CRM functionality.
Social Media Design and Management

As a small business owner with limited resources, you may be wondering if social media is a worthwhile investment. Whether you decide to do paid advertising or not, you should minimally have free pages/accounts for your business in the places where your customers and potential customers hang out.

According to a study published in the Journal of Market Research, social media posts that contain photos and videos are more likely to get attention and be shared by viewers. This translates into a larger marketing reach for your small business. The key, though, is that you need to use high-quality media. Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay offer free, high-quality photos for social media posts that can be used for commercial purposes. Pexels and Pixabay also offer videos.

With social media playing such an important role in your marketing strategy, it’s important to stay in touch with your followers. Hootsuite® and Sprout Social simplify social media marketing for small businesses. HootSuite® starts at less than $50 per month. The plan includes up to 10 social media profiles, scheduling of posts, content calendar, analytics, and live chat support. Sprout Social starts at less than $90 per month. The plan includes up to five social media profiles, scheduling of posts, management of reviews, and a content calendar.

Kickstart Your Small Business Marketing

New customers are online looking for a business just like yours. These low-cost and free marketing tools can help kickstart your small business marketing strategy to reach new shoppers and transform them into loyal customers.

Need more help with your online marketing? Check out this article for help with your website. Want to chat about a business loan to grow or expand your business? Let’s talk!


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