It's now easier than ever to take a business idea and make it a reality, but small businesses tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to building a marketing budget. While this might seem like a pretty significant challenge, thinking outside the box can get your marketing plan into better shape.
1. Make your own graphics
Good graphics are key to eye-catching marketing deliverables, whether it’s a flyer, email, website or billboard. You don't need to be an expert graphic designer to make eye-catching ads and infographics. Regardless of who you're trying to reach, you should remember that a well-designed graphic is far more likely to make someone take a second look at your business than anything else.
If you have any experience with Adobe Illustrator, you can easily create stunning infographics and posters. Even if you don't, you can check out free programs like Canva that come with pre-made templates for any online venue you can think of.
You should take the time to read a little about the basics of utilizing color, shapes and fonts for optimal marketing before you get started. There are ample color palette generators that can give you RGB/Hex numbers, and guides for using shapes in graphic design. Beautiful designs are eye catching and can help you achieve greater professionalism and reach.
2. Hire a student/intern
Managing your social media presence is a vital part of any company's marketing strategy. It's helpful to have an established presence on major sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as any secondary sites that are relevant to your target demographics.
If you don't have a lot of free time or you're not tech-savvy, you could benefit from hiring a high school or college student as a part-time social media manager. In addition to providing a great opportunity to a responsible student with an interest in social media marketing, a student will work for minimum wage or a flat fee. You’ll benefit from having someone dedicated to developing post content, responding to comments, and keeping your online presence up-to-date. Some people, especially your close friends or family, may be willing to do this for free! They’ll love the work experience, and you’ll love having greater customer engagement.
3. Start a blog and market your content
You should already have a polished, professional website for your business. In addition, a blog is a great place to send traffic from your social media posts or promotional emails, and you can also use it to share more information about your company, which can help boost your credibility. Even if you're not great at writing, you can delegate writing posts to another member of your team or hire a freelance writer for a nominal fee
It's best to create evergreen (content that is not seasonal in nature) content whenever possible, but you should also intersperse your blog with trendy posts like top 10 lists, industry-relevant news roundups and holiday-centered articles as well. A blog should be a resource for your customers. Be sure to allow followers to comment on your posts if you have a resource on hand to monitor post activity, and make it as easy as possible for someone to share a post to social media.
4. Create short videos about your products
Videos are eye-catching and can show another level of professionalism and engagement to your customers, which can give you a marketing edge. Opt for short, interesting videos, which are much more likely to be viewed. Videos can give you greater exposure and allow you to potentially reach a huge audience, and you can keep them simple by just using your smartphone and your computer's built-in video software.
If you need inspiration, check industry news for relevant questions and trends, and make videos of your how your product can address these trends.
Moral of the story? Successful marketing doesn't have to be expensive.
Even if you have a shoestring budget for getting your business out there, you can still make it work. These four DIY marketing tips are all quick and simple ways to take your advertising to the next level without cutting too far into your profits.