Marketing Ideas that Don’t Break the Bank

If you’re just getting your business off the ground, you’re probably wondering how you can introduce your startup to your target market without spending too much money on expensive marketing tactics. Luckily, small business owners have more opportunities than ever to get their brands in front of the right audiences, particularly with the use of promotional products.

These customizable items are affordable and effective methods for capturing the attention of potential customers. While most companies opt to give out bulk promotional items at events, trade shows or to new clients, there are plenty of other ways you can get your custom promotional products into the hands of the right people. Test out some of these affordable marketing techniques to increase awareness of your brand.

1. Host a social media giveaway contest

Social Media Icons

People of all ages interact with brands on social networks on a daily basis. Because so many people are exposed to these sites each day, social media platforms have become extremely important for advertising and marketing efforts. While some people prefer to run sponsored social media ads, if you’re looking for a cheaper way to get your business noticed on social media, you can run a giveaway contest. There are specific laws that regulate giveaway contests via social media, so be sure to read up on these important rules before planning the contest.

Before you are able to run a promotional contest, you must first have an account on a social media platform (or platforms). When selecting where to host your competition, you should consider your target demographic and which sites they are most likely engaging with. Create a thoughtful post announcing the contest along with a photo of the bulk promotional product you will be giving away.

Instagram is a well-liked platform for these types of competitions. Most businesses require contestants to follow their page, tag a friend or two and sometimes include a hashtag in their post in order to qualify. These rules are effective because they require people to follow your business on social media.  This will provide your company with the opportunity to engage with these new followers and show them what your brand is all about.

2. Team up with another company in your industry

Sometimes forming alliances with other companies within your industry can benefit both parties. Organize a low-key, affordable event with another company to promote each other’s brands. During the event, each respective party will be able to interact with the other’s customers, spreading their companies’ messages to people already familiar and interested in the industry.

At this event, you can help attendees to remember your business through promotional products given away at the door. When teaming up with another company, you want to make sure that you are in related businesses but not direct competitors as that can make things confusing for consumers and hinder your potential business prospects. One popular example of this type of co-branding is GoPro and Red Bull. Though the two companies sell different products, their target markets tend to overlap, so they have formed a global partnership through which they host thousands of events each year.

3. Get featured on a popular blog or vlog

Blogs are effective at spreading the word about everything from breaking news to the latest trends. Even if your company has its own blog, you should seek out other more popular bloggers in your field that would be willing to include a special review or guest post on their site, which will in turn draw attention back to your company’s website. In exchange for the favor, you can offer bloggers quality promotional products or allow them to give away one of your branded t-shirts or other promotional product via their blog.

4. Get involved in your local community

Earning the support of your local community is vital to creating customer loyalty and brand credibility. Event booth rental and/or sponsorship can be expensive but there are dozens of free or low-budget volunteer opportunities at local events. Even if you are not looking to be a vendor at an event, you can always reach out to event planners looking for in-kind donations of take-home items (also known as “swag bag” items) for guests. Although attendees may not have had the chance to talk with one of your employees face-to-face, they will have a unique item with your company’s brand to take home for future use.

5. Promote exclusive promotional products

Exclusivity is an excellent sales method because everyone enjoys feeling special. If potential customers think that they are getting access to something others are not, they are much more likely to make a purchase from your company or simply engage with your brand on social media. Regardless of what platform you use to offer an exclusive promotional product, be sure to use language that makes it clear this special is not available to everybody. For example, Victoria’s Secret often hosts sales exclusively for Angel Cardholders, which also include a free branded item when cardholders make a purchase.

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