Hiring an actual marketing manager to execute effective strategies is often out of the budget for small businesses—and that’s fine.

At the early stages of the business, manpower is the immediate hiring priority. Marketing is then mostly left to the word-of-mouth of current customers. But business owners can make the most out of their resources with low-budget marketing tactics that can prove to be highly profitable. Given a week or a month, you’ll see your return on investment (ROI) reflect on your sales.

And if spending several hundred dollars on marketing intimidates you, don’t worry. Like most things in business, it’s a risk worth taking. Only this comes with proof and research.

Read on to see the best and most affordable marketing strategies for small businesses in 2021:


1. Paid Ads

It’s easy, and actually affordable, to launch social media ads. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have a wide business reach. On Twitter alone, there are 17.55 million active users in the U.K. on a daily basis. It’s also the most affordable one in terms of paid social media ads.

But even that is nothing compared to the billions of people active on Facebook every day. As long as you have a little market research and some basic graphic design skills at the ready, your profits are already set.


2. Join Facebook Groups

Joining local groups on Facebook is completely free and takes little time to do. Thanks to local groups, you’ll have access to an audience that almost completely matches your target market. Not to mention, they’re already there for the purpose of supporting local businesses.

Posting about product launches and store updates weekly on these groups can help refresh your brand on people’s minds. Just make sure to use eye-catching photos and interesting copies to give your business a competitive edge. After all, these groups are flooding with activity. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to engage well with those who comment on your posts.


3. Get Listed in Local Directories

If you have a website or an active social media page, you can use these to get your business listed on local directories. It may seem quite old-fashioned but it’s a very powerful SEO strategy. Put simply, this puts your business ‘out there.’

Its main function is when people search for keywords that could be related to your business, your business name could be one of those that pop up. Some directories like Facebook and Google are free, while other private-owned sites may require a small fee.


4. Promote Free Consultations or Money-back Guarantees

If your business offers services rather than products, then this would be a great strategy for you. Being a company that isn’t afraid to give promos and freebies sends a solid message to your audience. One that says “this is a company that prioritizes giving value to customers.

In this way, it’ll be easier to delight customers and engage with them. Although it’ll cost you precious time and profit, gaining credibility and a loyal following is much more worth it in the long run.


5. Post Discounts and Exclusive Deals on Coupon Sites

Discount sites like VoucherCodes also cater to wide audiences that are on the lookout for the best deals. If mass exposure is your goal, then this option is a great alternative to paid ads on social media. But be warned: make sure to calculate how much you’re willing to give out and to how many.

There’s always the risk that too many people will come flocking to your business and present their coupons. If you don’t do the math correctly, you might end up losing more than you can gain.


6. Content Marketing

Content marketing covers everything from web SEO, blogging, and social media posting. Of all the marketing strategies on the list, this one is the most time-consuming. But the results yield long-term impacts.

Publishing blog posts even once a week cements your business’s credibility and knowledge in the field. They can also serve as useful guides for your customers. Meanwhile, posting stories and posts on Instagram can be a way to document your business’s milestones as well as customer reviews. It’s an inbound marketing strategy that does wonders for your branding and is entirely free.


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