Small Business Digital Marketing on a Budget: How to Achieve More with Less? (8 examples)

Samsung spends $11.2 billion on promoting its products globally…

Amazon spends $8.2 billion on marketing…

Does the marketing budget always need to reach millions or even billions of dollars? Well, how to create marketing budget first depends on how much gross revenue you generate. For small businesses that earn less than $5 million annually, it’s recommended to invest 7-8% of their gross revenue.

For example, if your company makes $150,000  in annual gross revenue, you should be ready to spend $11,00-12,000 on marketing.

You will agree that 7-8% is really a small number. Many brands spend up to 50% and more of their annual gross revenue on promotional activities. But it’s understandable that every company is unique and for various reasons, you can’t afford such big investments.

That’s why we are here today to show you that marketing isn’t always about ads and expensive partnerships with influencers. We will introduce 8 ways of getting in front of people and help you organize small business marketing on a budget.

small business marketing on a budget

#1 Follow news and respond quickly

Newsjacking is always free. It’s when you talk about your product or service while referencing widely-discussed news. All that is required from you is keeping your eyes open on the latest big developments and advertise your offer in the context of that story.

General content is so much today that people will instantly notice your witty or funny post and your campaign will reach thousands of impressions.

We all remember the famous incident between Uruguay and Italian football players during the FIFA World CUP in 2014. And here’s Snickers’s response that is one of the best examples of newsjacking.

snickers newjacking

#2 Challenge common truth with your blog posts

Many digital marketers will recommend you running a blog as it’s both budget-friendly and brings results in the long-run. They are right. You will pay around $100-120 for a high-quality 2,000-word blog post and it will drive traffic to your website for years.

People will also recommend you to use keyword research tools, find out which keywords have high search volume and order a piece of content around that topic. Well, since most marketers follow that principle, there’s too much content on general topics and too little content on specific ones.

If you want your blog posts really get read and consumed with appreciation, don’t focus only on keyword search volume. Create blog posts that interpret well-known topics from a completely different perspective, share experience-based rather than googled tips, and cover trends that users are genuinely interested in.

#3 Look for opportunities to share stories, opinions, and build links

You can look for posts that are composed of expert opinions and personal stories and contribute with your quote. For example, say your team has great tips to share on employee onboarding.

As you can see, the post below is an opportunity to reach out to Thinkwise and ask to be featured. Pay attention to how many times the post has been shared – 1.4K!

thinkwise article

And this is what the quotes look like. They mention the contributor’s name, job title, company, social media account, and link to his/her website.

thinkwise article contributors

#4 Ensure your customers advertise you

Well, it’s not when your customers run ads or create copies for you. It’s when they tell about your product/service to their friends, co-workers, family members.

To make the referral process easier, you should combine high-level customer service with encouraging referral program. For example, reward your customer for promoting your brand with points, discounts, etc.

Word-of-mouth marketing is free. You may only end up providing discounts or free stuff that might cost your business small spends.

#5 Interview founders/marketers and ask to share your content

We guess you have come up with articles, infographics or even eBooks that feature expert quotes.

You reach out to company founders, marketers, HR specialists (whichever specialist can answer your question) and ask them to contribute to your content.

You include their quotes, images, mention their job titles, companies. And the only thing you ask them is to share your piece of content with their followers, connections, and friends.

You can be more than sure that the contributors will share your content on social media and even mention your name/company.

#6 Write for high-traffic blogs and publications

small business digital marketing on a budget

This is a great way to build links, get referral traffic, share your knowledge, reach big and relevant audiences. But some difficulties also exist.

First, really valuable blogs now are getting an excessive number of guest post requests and may review your article in a few weeks (or months).

Second, because of the excessive number of requests blogs usually ask for a publication fee. It can start anywhere from a few dollars and reach $100-200 or more.

Pay once and get engagement for an unlimited time. It’s worth investing your money here.

#7 Pay only for the most essential marketing tools

Most marketing-related activities you want to perform online require the usage of a specific tool. And most of those tools have both their free and paid versions in the market.

You want to schedule your social media posts for free, use HootSuite’s free plan. It allows to schedule 30 messages monthly on 3 social profiles.

You want to send emails, MailChimp allows you to send them to 2,000 contacts every month. You can find even free CRM these days!

But if you are planning to use a high-quality video recording/editing or SMS marketing software, you will hardly find a good solution that is free. Anyway, before throwing your money at this or that paid tool, make sure there’s really no free alternative.

#8 Post more visual content

visual content for small business marketing

Writing 2-3 lines for a social media post caption takes only a few minutes. Creating a really high-quality infographic or a 1-minute video for the same social media post may take up to a few hours. You shouldn’t pursue easy gains and produce only what’s convenient for you.

Visual content both on your social media posts and websites will work only in your favor if you take care of quality and value. Remember that texts are easy to skip, while images, videos, and animations know how to draw the viewer’s attention.

Organizing small business marketing on a budget

Here were 8 examples of what marketing small business on a budget will look like.

Aren’t you sure which marketing channels to prioritize for your small business? Contact Andava’s team, describe your project and we will provide digital marketing services that fit into your budget. Request a Free Audit of your digital marketing channels including SEO, PPC and more here.