Marketing bills can add up quickly. With paid advertisements, someone to maintain your site and/or make ads visible to more than a handful people, advertising can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. To effectively cut the cost, you need to be creative, and save where you can, without hurting your business. Here’s how to do it.

Use social networks

Social networks are a great way of advertising your small business. Not to mention, it is virtually free; however, you can spend a few bucks if you want to increase your visibility and overall social media presence. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are a popular way for you to spread the word about your business, while keeping in touch with a variety of social media users.

Different sites get different viewers, thus you can access a wide range of people by just using social media. If your user pool is particularly small, pick the site that best represents your business and make a profile, advertising just there, and attracting who you want as your customers. If, however, your user pool is larger, try making profiles across all of social media sites, therefore attracting more people. Let their algorithms do the work for you!

Upcycle what you already have

There will be days when your budget simply will not allow new content, or you will have lack of inspiration, or lack of time. When that happens, do not hesitate to recycle, or rather upcycle what you already have. Do a throwback to a memory that you are particularly fond of, or make a tutorial based on your old videos. You can also use your customers’ experience, and do a shout out, or a repost, thanking them for using your company or services.

By upcycling your old content, you are giving new life to your previous posts, allowing new followers to see them for the first time! Chances are, that even the majority of the long-time followers have never even seen that content before, or if they have - you will just be reminding them of how great your firm is!

Branding reinvented

While this is not a free way of advertising, branding is by far the most important part of it. Even as a start-up company, or a small business, you want to be easily recognized simply by your logo, your theme song, or by the colors you use. As Raffles Milano new master's degree in visual design and communication nicely explains, your customer’s reaction should lead to a successful trade, or an exchange. And that is precisely what your small business will live off of. So do not shy away from spending a couple extra bucks on good branding now, because you will reap plenty of success in the future.

Work those referrals

Referrals are one of the most cost-effective, yet most influential way of advertising. Word-of-mouth is powerful, and you should use that to your advantage. Offer your customers a free product, or a free service, if they refer new customers to your business. Double the offer the more customers they bring in. It costs you nothing, or nearly nothing, while in the long run, it can prove very potent. Do not forget to extend that offer to your friends and family, too!

Giveaways and Contests are always good

Similar to referrals, giveaways are also nearly free for you to do, but prove to be very influential on social media. Include more than just one platform if you can, that way more people will see the contest, enter, and maybe become your customer in the process.

The difference between referrals and giveaways is that in the former, you are conditioning people to become your long-term customers, while the latter may only bring in 35 per cent of the people who entered the competition. Still, it is a good way to advertise yourself, which is the point of it all.

Don’t forget about partnerships

Partnering with a business that is similar to your line of work, but not a direct competitor, proved to be very successful for both parties. Both you and your partner get introduced to a wider range of customers that may not have heard about the other business, therefore getting twice as much attention.

If you can, naturally, it would be best to partner with a big business, but usually that costs a little more than partnering with one that is approximately the same size as your own. Either way, you get exposure, they get exposure, and everybody’s content.

While marketing can sometimes drain your bank account, using these creative strategies can significantly cut the cost of it. Both the online and offline worlds are full of opportunities that may save some money in the long run, if you play your cards right.