Any business person knows that formal marketing campaigns can cost a pretty penny – everything from business cards to print ads in local papers and Google Ad campaigns will require an investment in cold, hard cash.

But like most things in the 21st century, there are ways to market that don’t require large budgets. And while nothing in life is ever free (except for this advice, of course) there are certainly cheap and low cost marketing strategies that any business person can do.

Some low cost marketing strategies require planning and an initial investment, some cost in time and effort. But all of them result growing your profit margin:

Get A Badass Website

We would start there, wouldn’t we? But there is a reason for it and it is this: outstanding websites grow businesses. Potential clients and customers have their choice of suppliers and they respond within seconds to a website.  If they like what they see, they will stick around, are more likely to come back, and thus are more likely to make a purchase.

We’ve already written before about the essential elements of a great website, so we won’t belabour the point again.  And while getting a great website does require an initial investment and some maintenance, like knight with a great horse, you wouldn’t want to enter the field of battle without it.

Blog Daily

There are two excellent reasons to blog daily.  First, updating your website with quality content will help boost it in search engine rankings and every business person knows that a first page ranking is the Yellow Brick Road to success.

Another great reason to blog daily is to become the industry expert in your field.  The only way for people to know you are an expert is if you show them. By giving away some of your knowledge for for free, you encourage potential clients and customers to come back and pay for your expertise in more complex matters.

Get An Email List 

It costs next to nothing to get people to sign up to your email list but it pays dividends.  People who are on your list want to know more about you.  They already like what you have to offer, and while they may or may not be ready to purchase today, when they are, your name will be on the tip of their tongue.  And as we all know, the key to any marketing campaign is brand awareness.

So how do you make use of your list and raise your brand awareness? You can offer them new content weekly or monthly via a newsletter.  You can offer them first site of promotions and exclusive discounts. You can invite them to attend webinars and to view podcasts.

In short, they are a captive audience and what you do with them is limited only by your imagination.

Run a Competition

Competitions are all the rage because they are a great way to promote your social media links and grow your email list. And thanks to social media, it does not have to be complicated. There are several online services that for a small fee or monthly subscription will help you create and manage campaigns as well as keep you legally compliant. All you need to do is decide what to give away and when.

How effective are competitions?  If the average landing page has a 2-5% conversion rate, it is not unusual for a competition to boost that conversion rate to upwards of 30% or higher.  That’s at least 25 more people out of every 100 liking your Facebook page, following you on Twitter, and signing up to your email list.

That’s a lot of potential profit.

Offer To Link With Non-competing Businesses

Lastly, there is this – cross promotion.  If you have non-competing businesses that you like to work with, from suppliers to contractors, it costs nothing to host a link to their website on yours, and for them to host your link on their website.

This is a classic example of the much-vaunted “Win-Win” situation.

While it is true that there is no such thing as as free lunch, a good meal doesn’t have to cost the earth.  Neither do smart, effective marketing strategies.  For the savvy business person in today’s digital marketplace, low cost marketing strategies can be both budget friendly, and satisfying to your bottom line.