Digital Marketing on a Budget: Small Businesses

A universal goal for any businesses, small or large, is to sell the business’s product and services. This is usually best accomplished by positioning the business in front of your target audience and offering something that solves a problem, something that your customer can’t refuse, or find elsewhere.

The smartest thing a small business owner can do is set out a clearly defined digital marketing plan that will set them apart from the competition. A marketing plan that clearly outlines how you will reach your ideal customers by effectively implementing your strategy.

Small businesses and start-ups generally don’t have the luxury of outsourcing their marketing needs to professionals. Digital marketing a small company may seem daunting but there are several easy ways to get the word out.

Make sure to diversify your marketing strategy.

While traditional marketing methods are costly and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools. With so many digital tools available, where do you start?

Ask for referrals

Referrals are one of the top ways to grow your business. You can exponentially increase the number of referrals you get, dramatically increasing your client base, by doing one simple thing- learning how to ask for referrals!
Many businesses forget about marketing offline. Referral marketing is one of the many strategies for promoting your business in the real world. This will help you connect with your clients on a personal level, which is sometimes missing these days.

Remember, most people like to help other people out if they can.

SMS Marketing

sms marketing - digital marketing on a budget

With an open rate of 98% in the first three minutes, SMS marketing guarantees that your message will be delivered directly to the hands of your target audience in a matter of minutes and at a fraction of the cost of other advertising campaigns.

Use integrated marketing

There’s no single failsafe approach to marketing, so vary your tactics. Your customers may tune out after a while if you only use one marketing method. So think outside the box, think of different ways to communicate with potential customers. Engage with your audience.


A blog is a great, low-cost way of engaging with existing customers, as well as attracting potential customers. Make sure you update it regularly with relevant content, to keep your subscribers interested. Grow your blog followers by leaving comments on other people’s blogs and promoting it through social media channels.

The key ingredient to a better content experience is relevance.

– Jason Miller

Consider a CSR strategy

In practical terms, this involves using focus groups and other marketing research techniques to understand the deeper psychological needs that corporate responsibility can answer for customers, such as self-esteem and pride that a consumer can draw from affiliating with a socially responsible company. This can be put into action by using simple strategies such as participating in charity events, sharing customer stories, giving customers an insight into company culture and values, or addressing relevant social issues through campaigns you create. Instagram is a great platform for this.

Guinness created a great advertisement a couple of years ago using a CSR strategy, have a look here.

Create local awareness

Gaining coverage in local papers, trade magazines and websites can greatly increase name recognition and educate people about your business – driving new customer acquisition. While many growing businesses in competitive landscapes may want to hire a public relations firm, small businesses can start off with some simple “do-it-yourself” PR.

Leveraging social media

It’s inexpensive, easy to use and offers a massive network of potential customers. The most difficult part is increasing your followers without wasting your time. Make sure you focus on value over volume, it’s well and good having 100,000 followers but, if those followers aren’t relevant to your industry then it’s a waste of your time and resourses. Identify the social channels that reach your customers best.

social media - digital marketing on a budget

The goal being to provide your audience with relevant, useful, interesting and shareable content. Begin small, learn who your audience are and what content they are engaging with, and act accordingly.

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These inexpensive marketing tools will help you build customer engagement, build relationships and ultimately create genuine business leads. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into your campaigns, keeping them beneficial and relevant to your target audience.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. If you have any question please get in touch, we’re always happy to help.