7 Unique Marketing Ideas for Businesses on a Tight Budget

Big businesses spend millions on marketing every year.

Indeed, US businesses are expected to spend $146 billion on digital marketing alone by 2023!

These enormous sums of money instantly reveal the value of effective marketing. There’s no way companies would commit to such huge budgets if the return wasn’t worth it.

That’s all well and good when you’ve got the capital behind you.

But what about newer and smaller businesses on a tighter budget? The need for unique marketing ideas that work is just as high. Unfortunately, financial resources may be lacking.

Thankfully, quality, cutting edge marketing is still possible. With a bit of creativity, it’s more than possible to see a mighty marketing return. Sound good?

Read on for 7 novel marketing ideas for the boot-strapping businesses.

1. Leverage Video Marketing

Video reigns supreme in terms of online content.

Billions of hours of it are watched each and every day on the internet.

As you’d expect, that fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by marketers.

What’s more, you don’t need much money to get involved. Got a smartphone that can record video and connect to the internet? Then you’re good to go.

In fact, these types of videos are often favored online anyway.

They seem more authentic versus polished, production-heavy clips. If you can capture a compelling story that evokes emotion, then you can see immense success.

Share it on social media and people will watch it. All it takes is one viral video to explode your traffic, leads, and conversions.

2. Create Infographics

Infographics are also hugely popular pieces of content.

They’re visually appealing and inherently succinct. They take lots of information and summarize it into key points. Views and shares come thick and fast.

Now, many businesses outsource their infographics to professional designers. It’s a great way of getting quality content. But it comes at a hefty fee.

There’s no real reason you can’t create infographics yourself, though.

Get your hands on a free piece of design software. Summarize relevant and useful info into an aesthetically appealing infographic. Finally, start sharing it!

Top tip: Include a link with it that people can use to host it on their own sites. This brings backlinks to your site and facilitates sharing too.

3. Network

Real-life, face to face networking almost holds an ‘old-school’ association these days.

For that reason, we’ll argue it’s unique!

In reality, though, networking has been the backbone of marketing since the dawn of time.

It’s particularly beneficial for B2B setups. Its arguably one of the best ways to gain business exposure. Through conferences, post-work drinks, specific networking events, and so on, you meet and make connections with people in the field.

Failing to network is a big mistake (almost as significant as these marketing mistakes!). After all, businesses are built on relationships.

There’s no replacement for cultivating trust and rapport in the industry; networking helps that happen.

4. Get Personal

Money and time are two resources of primary importance.

When money is in short supply, investments of time become necessary.

Personal touches are one example of a time-consuming but cost-effective marketing endeavor. The smallest efforts can have a dramatic impact on business.

One example would be hand-written notes of gratitude attached to a product purchase.

Beyond the pen, ink and card/paper, it doesn’t cost a thing. However, customers inevitably appreciate it. They feel value! Even better, they may even tell other people about it on social media.

Get creative. Write notes, attach freebies, and send amusing personalized emails. This ‘1 to 1 marketing’ can work wonders for your brand and customer retention.

5. Revamp Old Content

Content marketing is another driving factor behind business success.

Even better, it can be done at zero expense.

However, it’s hardly unique. Every man and his dog use content to drive leads and conversions.

Yet remarkably few businesses truly leverage the content they already have. It makes logical sense to milk a piece of content for all it’s worth in terms of return! After all, it took considerable time and effort to complete.

Revamping and repurposing your old content is one way to do it. Imagine having an epic blog post from last year. With a quick update, you can bring it back to former glory.

Don’t stop there, though. Take that blog post and turn it into a video, infographic, or slide-show. Suddenly, you open up multiple new streams of potential traffic.

Remember, you’ve done the hard work in curating the information. Now it’s about using it to full effect.

6. Hold a Contest

Contests work wonders for businesses.

They’re a relatively easy and inexpensive way of pursuing a marketing goal.

The basic process is as follows:

  • Think up a goal (subscribers, traffic, social follows, shares…)
  • Pull together a prize.
  • Advertise the prize with a call to action.
  • Get people to share the contest.
  • Enjoy an enormous surge in traffic, follows and leads.
  • Send the prize.

And that’s it! The prize itself doesn’t have to be excessive (however, better prizes inevitably see greater engagement). It could just be a free subscription to your service or a piece of merchandise.

Market the contest online and social media and you’re sure to see a return.

7. Sponsor (Or Help out At) a Charitable Event

Businesses must do what they can to enhance their brand image.

Helping a good cause can do exactly that.

Look around the local community for charitable events or initiatives to get involved with. Ask if your business could support at an event they’re holding, or sponsor it some way.

That sponsorship will, of course, cost some money.

However, it doesn’t have to be much to make a difference for the charity. Your business immediately gets a boost of goodwill from potential customers too. What’s more, you get to feel good about yourself in the process!

Time to Try These Unique Marketing Ideas

There you have it: 7 unique marketing ideas that’d work great for bootstrapping businesses.

Companies in the US spend billions of dollars on their marketing efforts every year. Unfortunately, not all businesses have the luxury of such significant budgets.

When money is tight, marketing often feels off-limits. As we’ve seen, though, that doesn’t have to be the case. With a bit of creativity, inexpensive (yet effective) marketing is more than possible.

Hopefully, this post has provided some inspiration for making it happen.

Want more help growing your business on the cheap? Head to the ‘Tools’ section of the website now.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.