Since the vast majority of traditional media channels are seriously inaccessible for small businesses, a small business owner can feel powerless when learning about the huge advertising budgets that most big companies are working with. But don’t look so grim, as there are multiple effective ways to promote a small business on a shoestring budget.

When you grow a small business from scratch, every dollar counts initially. This is why we always encourage small businesses to go for cost-effective marketing strategies as much as possible. Fortunately, with the rise of the Internet, you can get super creative about how to promote your business without hurting your wallet.

If you’re looking for a few pointers, here’s a shortlist will fail-safe ways to market your business on a low budget.

1. Hand out free stuff

Obviously, I wasn’t urging you to hand out your products/services for free. I’m talking about sending your products out to influencers capable of reviewing and writing about your products in a positive matter.

Written articles and review videos are one of the most effective ways to attract new customers. You should target micro-influencers that are locally based since they’ll usually be happy to talk about anything they receive for free. If you’re having trouble finding local influencers, read our in-depth article about identifying local influencers for your business.

2. Create an email campaign

There’s a high chance that you already read tons of articles about how email marketing is dead. But trust me, it isn’t. In fact, email marketing still has one of the highest ROIs of all the popular marketing channels.

Of course, your results will mostly depend on the size of your company, your products, and the niece’s competitivity. Email marketing is extremely effective, but you need to start collecting customer’s contact information if you want to attract more sales. You can speed up this process by including an email newsletter on your website and by encouraging customers to leave their email address after they complete a purchase.

3. Build a Mobile App

Mobile apps for businesses have gotten so much more accessible in the last couple of years. Every asset counts and a solid mobile app might attract those kinds of customers that aren’t accessible through the traditional channels.

Besides encouraging new sales, a mobile app will provide you with great insight on your customers. Even more, you can send them a push notification whenever you launch a new product or a customer survey. A mobile app opens the door for a lot of customized features tailored to your business.

If you’re worried about finding the right developer for the job, don’t. There are a lot of automated services that will build the app for you and will not break the bank. See whether BiznessApps or EachScape fit your requirements. If not, look for other alternatives, there are plenty.

4. Dominate Local SEO

Organic search traffic is free, so a good Local SEO campaign should theoretically result in a steady flow of local customers. If you’ve got your hands full battling the local competition, dominating the search results is a sure way to come out as the winner.

If you only use your website as a static reference, it’s time to boost your SEO game and work on your local search engine optimization. If you don’t know where to start, follow here are a few good pieces of advice that will help you with the local SEO.

5. Networking will never die

But none of the strategies featured above will work if you’re not an active member of the local community. We always encourage small business owners to make time for every community meeting and talk to as many people as possible. Think of every gathering as an opportunity to craft new business relations and build on your reputation as a business owner.

Customers love to see the face behind the brand, so make sure you shake as many hands as possible and put on your friendly face. These local events can be a huge help in expanding your email list and meeting new influencers capable of steering customers your way.

From your own personal experience, what are the marketing strategies that are most effective for small businesses? Let us know in the comment section below.