9 Low-cost Promotions and Marketing Tools That Work for Any Small Business

Small businesses are always on the lookout for ways to stretch their limited marketing budgets even further. If you’re looking for ways to make a huge impact on your market without making a huge dent in your bank account, here are a few low-cost promotional tools that can make a surprisingly big impact:

1.) Lanyards

These days, students and office workers are often required to wear IDs on lanyards. By giving away durable polyester lanyards with your brand, you have the opportunity to advertise to a captive audience indefinitely. The key is to make the lanyard nicer and more useful than the usual “lowest-bidder” lanyards schools and offices usually go for. Include features such as key rings, mobile device holders, access card reels and other things people find useful so that people more likely to wear your lanyards and show off your brand.

2.) T-shirts

The humble promotional t-shirt can be a potent advertising tool – but only if the design doesn’t look too cluttered or generic. Take a cue from classic t-shirt designs and have a professional graphic designer create your company swag. This will maximize the chances that people will want to wear your shirt and keep sharing your brand for years to come.

3.) Email automation

There are free email automation tools available that make it simple to run effective campaigns for not a lot of money. Most of these tools can be integrated with your website to gather email addresses from potential customers. You can leverage your existing database of email contacts as well, further expanding your reach. These tools may take some time to set up and there is a learning curve involved. However, it’s usually worthwhile due to the consistent brand exposure and you can generate.

4.) Tote bags

With more and more cities banning or restricting the use of single-use bags and with more retail businesses charging for them, more people are finding reusable tote bags to be a welcome thing to have. Tote bags are quite cheap to customize and can potentially share your brand thousands of times over their life cycle. Plus, everyone wants one, which is always a good thing.

5.) Stickers

As with t-shirts, stickers can resonate emotionally with people and are a classic promotional tool for a good reason. Professionally designed and printed stickers don’t cost much but have the potential to create countless brand impressions when they’re on a prominent place, such as on a laptop or a car bumper.

6.) SEO

The internet’s ability to equalize the playing field between small and large companies is only possible with the savvy use of SEO. While it can take some money to effectively implement an SEO strategy, many SEO techniques cost nothing except a couple of minutes to implement. Do your research on basic on-page and off-page SEO and see which strategies you can implement today.

7.) Content marketing

Sharing your expertise on a blog as well as sharing product and workplace pictures on social media can go a long way into increasing your online presence and making it easy for people to find you. Savvy content marketing needs nothing more than your smartphone camera and a few minutes per week. Be sure to combine it with an SEO and social media strategy to give each of your posts more impact.

8.) High-quality business cards

People have been saying business cards are dead for a while. Yet, they’re more popular than ever and even Fortune 500 CEOs still use them. Business cards have an intimacy and immediacy that electronic equivalents have never been able to match, and it’s far simpler and classier to give out a business card than it is to have the other person get their phone out. The key is to ensure that your cards not only look great but feel great as well. While business cards are relatively low-cost, be sure to invest in high-quality printing and professional design services to maximize the chances your card will make an impact.

9.) Host a class or event

If your business truly has something unique to offer, then holding a class or seminar where you can share some of that knowledge can be a great way to establish authority in that field. While events can get expensive, there is no reason you can hold informal meetups at your workplace or a coworking space, or even at a restaurant with a conference room. While you may not immediately see positive results, holding a few events a year can go a very long way into helping your branding.

These are just nine of the many ways you can promote any small business on a budget. For choosing a truly effective promotional campaign, be sure to think about the long-term benefits rather than short-term gains. You will be rewarded with a wider presence in the market as well as better relationships with current and future customers.

What other low-cost promotions and marketing tools can you suggest?