How to Market on a Tight Budget

Almost all small businesses aim for large scale marketing within small budgets. TV and Radio is monopolized by the big corporates, to the extent that marketing through expensive sources become a useless pursuit. Research shows that audience has to typically see a promo about a product at least seven times before they opt to purchase anything – chalk it up to conversion ratio. Costlier marketing strategies therefore prove ineffective if you cannot advertise more than once.

Fortunately, the smaller options are not that bad. In fact, many cheaper marketing options, thanks to the internet, are so lucrative that you don’t need to cough up the big bucks for effective marketing. Here are the best ways to market within a tight budget.

Social Media

Social media marketing is mostly free! The kind of reach some online businesses have obtained by using Facebook and Twitter in the right way surpasses what many companies have gotten with TV ads. This is because people would rather change the TV channel during commercials, but on social networking sites, if the product appears in their feed, they see it at least once.

Some companies have launched their advertisements on YouTube alone and have received viral responses. Cisco Launched entirely through social media and spent 1/6th the amount of a normal product launch garnering a huge response.

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Ford launched the new Fiesta in 2010 using social media and received over 4.8 million views of agents’ YouTube videos, over 600,000 views of their Flickr photos and over 3.2 million impressions on Twitter.

These examples prove how a well thought out social media strategy can give you the biggest bang for your buck and can be cost free.

Good Old Fashioned Networking

Obviously this activity first requires identifying who your target audience is. If you have a fashion wear store, you would want to specifically target people between 18-30 years of age, especially women. You could set up offers and give out coupons to this audience at movie theaters, shopping malls etc. If you have a more elite service, you can send out personal letters addressed to a select group. This way you are more likely to get a dedicated customer base. Send e-mails to people you know and ask them to forward your information on.

At the crux of social media is being social. Posts on FB that contain photos get a higher Edgerank and are more likely to show up in your friends’ feeds. Posts that contain photos of you doing something that your “following” can relate to is almost always going to garner more engagement, comments, and shares than a simple post. People want to know who we are and what we are like outside of our professional personas hence, reality TV proliferation.

Get social. While attending the annual galas, fundraisers and working in your community, tell the people that you meet about what you are doing and what action you would like them to take to support you.  Now, leverage that interaction by snapping photos and posting about interesting people, and conversations. You have just made it nearly impossible to pass your post without them getting engaged.


Collaborate with other small businesses and give complementary offers to your customers. For instance, if someone buys from you, they can avail a discount with the other store. One example is a clothing boutique and shoe store. When a customer of the boutique makes a purchase, they could receive a coupon for a 10% discount from the shoe store.

Existing Customers

Testimonials. Ask your loyal customers to provide testimonials and reviews for your product which can be featured on your site, in your brochures and on social media platforms. Hold contests for those that  they can spread a good word about you and help you promote your activity with their friends on social media sites.


Write blogs, answer questions and put up messages on online forums about your product, services and anything associated with your business. Guest blog for influencers or up and coming influencers to get exposure. Publish “Tips lists. They are the hottest thing in the market which will lead interested customers to your product. A cosmetics company can give out ’10 tips to maintain a healthy skin’.

The main thing you can do when marketing on a tight budget is put yourself out there. Make a goal to call 5 write 5 influencers a week to guest blog on their sites. Schedule 2 events to attend per week. Put your blog on a consistent schedule- search engines love fresh new content. Start researching businesses to form alliances with. Make a point to explore 3 businesses a day to see where you may overlap. Most importantly, shower your social platforms with attention.

Get Social,



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    Are you targeting the correct market? It will help you spread your name in a global scenario.
    When I first started my internet business in 1998 the internet was a different from marketing on the internet today.

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