Being creative on a limited marketing budget

By Henry Brown

Your marketing budget, or lack of it, can feel like a hindrance for your small business. How can you compete with the big brands when your budget is so small? The secret to creative marketing doesn’t always have to be down to how much money you have to spend; you just need to make the most of what you’ve got. Help give your business a boost with these ideas for being creative on a small budget.

Break things down to one element

You might think that your marketing efforts need to be diverse and made up of several different campaigns, but this will make it difficult to achieve results without the personnel to manage it. A good approach is to focus on one thing at a time by working out what your priority is. That way you can focus your efforts into creating a better campaign and achieve that objective.

[amazon_link asins=’007179316X’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e080051e-d6b9-11e8-a66a-5f902dc156a1′]Hone your brainstorming skills

A lot of excellent marketing campaigns come as the result of the brainstorm. It doesn’t matter how many of you are in the room, but bouncing ideas around and building on themes and topics can soon lead to some great ideas. This technique for 30-minute content marketing brainstorming makes for a good read, and is something you can bring to your business to make all your brainstorming sessions more effective.

Hire freelancers or agencies

When you’re a small business, you might not always have the skills to manage every business area. For example, you might have a penchant for product design, but your accounting skills could be particularly poor. Do you or anyone in your team have a marketing background? If not, your money might be better spent on hiring a freelancer or an agency to do the work for you. They will be able to stick to your budget and come up with solutions that meet your needs. You can find affordable digital marketing services to help you with tasks such as SEO to make the most of your online campaigns and make sure your business gets the right level of visibility. You might not be able to bring in someone full-time to your team, but you can achieve a lot more than you realize by hiring some outside help. In general, freelancers working on their own will be less expensive than hiring an agency. Just make sure you check credentials and get references.

There are many benefits to outsourcing work for your small business, so why not give it a try?

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Graphic design is becoming an increasingly important requirement for businesses, and everything from your social media graphics to your business stationery will need some sort of graphic design. Graphic design is a skilled career, and it can cost a lot of money for your business to hire design services or bring a full-time designer on board. If your budget is limited, why not learn to do the basics yourself? While there are accessible websites like Canva to help you create your digital content, you could learn how to use more advanced systems like Adobe Photoshop to boost your work. A training course could be a welcome part of you or a team member’s development, and would bring a very useful set of skills to the business.

Make the most of social media marketing

Forget about traditional advertising for a minute; these days, more and more businesses are finding success through social media marketing. Social media can move your business forward and introduce you to a wider audience than you could through methods such as TV advertising or billboards. Yes, you can still target local areas, but you can also go much wider than that to help your business grow even further.

The good thing about social media marketing is that a lot of it is available to you for free. There are a lot of ways you can grow your social media following, and most of them won’t cost you a penny. Even if you do decide to go down the paid advertising route, you’ll be surprised at how far a small ad spend can stretch on social media, allowing you to see results for less.

[amazon_link asins=’0814437311′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’007949f5-d6ba-11e8-a413-9751c3a58474′]Try new ideas

Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back from being creative. Are you using all of the available platforms to your advantage? Think outside of the normal tools like Facebook and Twitter and try do to some interesting things with YouTube, Instagram, and even LinkedIn to make a splash. People go online to seek knowledge, and by sharing it with them in as many platforms as possible, you’ll stand a better chance of them finding you. You don’t need a suite of fancy tools to create great content either. Your phone and tablet devices have the capability to capture high-quality image and video, with apps that make editing easy to help you create some effective content.

Team up with others

Working with other small businesses in your local community can help get your name out there, and uses each other’s resources to greater effect. Teaming up with other businesses can bring many benefits for your own, especially if your business is concentrated on a particular community. Whether you host an event together, a giveaway or other kind of partnership, you could be helping each other out by teaming up – two heads are better than one after all!

Involve your customers

Some of the most effective marketing campaigns come from those where customers are involved. By reaching out to customers and asking them to submit content and ideas, you’re getting them to spread the word about the business to their networks. Word of mouth is still a powerful thing for businesses, so speak to your customers directly to help the word spread, without a huge investment in your marketing efforts. You never know when something could take off and go viral!

[amazon_link asins=’1595554653′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’089b8127-d6ba-11e8-8faa-c9f40f5cd501′]Don’t let your small marketing budget stop you from achieving big things for your business. While you might not have the money for a high-impact marketing campaign, there are things you can do to ensure the work you do is creative and will help you reach your target audience.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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