5 Cheap Ways to Advertise Your Business
When the economy is down, many businesses have to scale back. One of the first things to go from the budget is marketing and advertising. This is a big mistake, however—when business is down, generally more marketing is required to bring in customers! If you’re looking to scale back on your advertising, consider finding mediums and methods that are more-affordable but still get you great exposure, as opposed to cutting back on advertising altogether.


Banners
1. Banners

Big, bold, and bargain-priced, vinyl banners offer tremendous “bang for your buck.” They’re so affordable, in fact, that you can order one for every holiday, sale, or promotion you have. When you’re done with the banner, just roll it up and store it for later use. In addition, you can use banners practically anywhere—hanging over your storefront, in your window, mounted inside your store on a banner stand, or even off-site at your promotional and sponsored events.

Estimated Marketing Investment: $100-$500, depending on size and quantity.


Car Magnets
2. Car Magnets

Whether you have a business fleet vehicle or just your personal one, car magnets are mobile marketing at its finest. Potential customers see your business message as you drive all over town. Since magnets aren’t adhesive, you can simply remove and store them when you don’t want to advertise.

Estimated Marketing Investment: $50-$100 (per pair), depending on size.




Business Cards
3. Business Cards

3. Business Cards—Business cards are an affordable way to spread your message around town. A card should be given out with every handshake. Even if a potential customer doesn’t need your business right then, they have your information in-case a need comes up. Include a special offer on your card so the recipient will be more-likely to use it.

Estimated Marketing Investment: $30-$100, depending on quantity.



4. Social Media

4. Social Media—Social-networking is a growing advertising medium as more and more businesses are taking to sites like Facebook and Twitter to reach customers. Establishing a profile is free, although sponsored advertisements are available as well. Don’t just post discounts on your social media profiles, however—although customers appreciate the deal, they’re looking to interact with real people.

Estimated Marketing Investment: $0 to set up and maintain profiles, sponsored ads vary by pre-set budget.


5. Word-of-Mouth

There’s something to be said for treating your customers right. When you make them mad, they’re sure to tell others, but when you make them happy, sometimes they need a little encouragement. Start a referral program and offer the referring customer a discount, coupon, or freebie for bringing you more business.

Estimated Marketing Investment: $0 for set-up unless you want to promote the program with signage. Implementation of the program depends on the amount of discount or freebie that you choose to offer—make sure it’s less than the value of a new customer.


As you can see, saving money on your marketing isn’t an impossible task. Sometimes you just need some new ideas!
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