Online Marketing For Small Businesses: 16 Best Low Budget Strategies


26 Mar, 2024



In the ever-evolving online marketing space, it's not easy to figure out what works and what does not. The best way to begin is to take inspiration from those who have proven themselves as a leader. Understanding the strategy will help you create and execute an internet marketing campaign that customers will connect to, boost sales, enhance brand presence, and establish credibility.

When Airbnb was launched, its founders were struggling to even pay rent and now it's an entity with 100 million users, 4 million hosts welcoming over 800 million guests in almost every country, and a valuation of about $75 billion in 2021.

How did they do that? Excellent Online Marketing!

Greatest outdoors

Their online marketing strategy relies majorly on user-generated content posted on social media platforms. User-generated videos and photos on social media work wonder for Airbnb. Their interesting content strategy has been a game-changer. They have a strong YouTube presence with over 500 videos with 100 million+ views.

Lesson: You need a vision and strong social media marketing, and online marketing strategies to churn the wheels of success. No matter the investment, size of the business, or competition, if you hit the bullseye with your internet marketing, no one can stop you.

So, in this article, we’ll check out the road to online marketing for small businesses. Additionally, we will also focus on:

  • The reason why you need digital marketing for small business
  • Low-budget online marketing strategy and tools

Why Is Online Marketing The Need Of The Hour?

Online Marketing

Let us first share how online marketing has revolutionized the way businesses and end-users connect:

The way communication happens between the brand and end-user is now instant. Users can seek any information with just a click. Your business is no longer limited to a specific location, with online marketing, you address a global audience.

The most amazing part, content distribution happens magically. You can spread your brand message anytime and anywhere. 

Nothing is hidden with online marketing. Transparency of information has made a better connection between the brand and the audience.

Top Reasons That Make Online Marketing Inevitable

1. Equal opportunity for every business 

Unlike traditional modes of advertising like billboards, newspapers, and television, which demand a huge marketing budget for a prominent position, internet marketing works differently. You stand in perfect competition with any big business just by the right online marketing strategy. Here results are driven by the right planning and execution and not just the budget. 

2. Data Is Critical

What best online marketing gives you is a lot of customer insight or so said “DATA”

You have access to every kind of data like customer buying behavior, feedback over a product, price point competition is playing at, social media engagement, customer service information, product desirability, and much more. This helps shape the strategy for digital marketing for small businesses. You can keep testing and improve through the right use and analysis of data. 

3. Collaborative approach

You cannot succeed working in isolation, especially in the world of social media. Online marketing gives you a chance to connect with industry influencers, and even establish yourself as a thought leader with a content strategy that the audience connects with.

4. Cost-effective marketing solution

One of the key benefits of online marketing is that you don't need huge marketing budgets. There are endless free tools available that work wonders. When advertising on social media, and search engines, you can bid your budget and get started. If a strategy does not work, you can immediately stop and switch to plan B. 

5. It's all about personalization

You have endless targeting options in online marketing which help you create a market presence especially created for a specific set of audiences. Let's say you can create a buyer persona based on age, location, gender, financial status, marital status, hobbies, and device and promote your product accordingly. 

6. Mobile marketing


Let's have a look at the data - Share of online population who bought something online via mobile device in the past month as of 3rd quarter 2020, by country

Mobile marketing

You must mark a presence across devices.

7. Track your campaign

Online marketing is one platform where you can regularly monitor results for an ad campaign and measure if you are reaching the goal or not. Tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Ads make monitoring your strategy easy.

Online Marketing Strategy For Small Business Owners

If you are a small business owner and wondering how to increase your client base, and ROI, then online marketing is a must for you. Digital presence is the only way people from every corner get to know you. The more brand awareness, the higher will the chances for conversions. Let's begin with the best strategies for online marketing for small businesses:

1. You can’t create a strategy without knowing your audience

Not everyone is your buyer, you need to figure out who the right set of audience is. Also your need to understand their want list, pain points, what excites them to create the right internet marketing strategy.

What do you need to know about the audience?

  • What is the real factor behind people making the purchase of competitors' products or your existing line of customers?
  • What price are they paying for the product?
  • How are they making the purchase, is it in-store or online?
  • Are they having any issues with product usage?

What do you need to do?

Create a buyer persona by understanding which segment of buyer you should target. Let's say X is your competitor and people who love their product belong to the age group of 25-30 years, are mostly unmarried, are aspiring, income level is medium, love discounts and offers, use mobile devices the most for making purchases, are mostly active on social media especially Facebook.

So, this is your buyer persona and now the online marketing strategy has to be pointed towards gaining the attention of this segment of buyers.

Here’s a buyer persona template for you:

Online Marketing Strategy

2. How are you better than the competitors?

Why will anyone buy your product or service if they are not getting something extra? You need to show how you are different from the competitors. Here’s a list of factors that may act as a differentiator:

  • Free shipping
  • Bonus on the first-time purchase
  • Discounted price
  • Customizable
  • Easy return 
  • Wide range in a similar line of product
  • Customer service
  • One day delivery

More important is how you highlight your brand proposition. It's all about how you present it to the audience so that they clearly understand you have a better product or service. 

What do you need to do in online marketing to highlight your brand proposition?

  • Keep it clear and easy to understand

Look at the website of; clear headline showcasing what it stands for Website Headings

  • State clearly what best you are offering to the customer
  • Show how you are better than the competition
  • Talk about your journey, people love it!!
  • Keep it short

Have a look at this brand message war, interesting!!

brand message

3. Don’t Ignore Your Existing Customers

Whether you are bringing your existing offline store online or launching a  new store, keep your existing line of customers handy. They are the biggest asset to make noise online. Since they already like your product, look for an opportunity to get them to shop online by giving great value adds, discounts, offers, upsell or cross-sell. Send them nice e-mailers to let them know your ambition and that you have taken a step ahead through your online presence. 

4. Use Free tools for promotional activity

Since it's the beginning, take baby steps by setting up small goals that can easily be achieved and measured. No point investing heavily in the early stage without understanding what is going to work and what does not. Here are some free online marketing tools:

se Free tools for promotional activity

5. A website that speaks for you!!

Online marketing is one space you can showcase yourself as you want, no matter the size, legacy, or revenue. All that matters is your vision, ambition, approach, and efforts. 

Invest in a website that speaks for you. Your website alone can do the task of a salesperson if crafted well. We recommend working with an agency that understands your vision. Don’t worry it's not going to cost you heavily.

Essentials of a great website

  • A clear message about what you stand for
  • Great product description

A website that speaks for you!!

  • Stunning product images and videos
  • Easy to navigate
  • Informative landing pages
  • Easy check-out process
  • A payment gateway that has all the options

6. Blogging is a powerful tool

What exactly does a prospective buyer need to make the final purchase decision? The answer is a push by the right kind of content that is engaging, interesting, and informative. And, blogging is the best way to do this. 

Here are some essentials to blogging:

  • Use free website tools to make a free site where you can blog
  • Create a calendar for when you will publish the blog, once a week is good to go at the beginning
  • Put call-to-action for visitors to subscribe to your blog
  • Put appealing images
  • A catchy headline is a must

Blogging is a powerful tool

7. Use social media to the fullest

Social media is not just about having fun, it's a great business platform where you can establish yourself as a thought leader, improve your search engine ranking, and establish credibility. Here are some tips to use social media in the best way for your business, and online marketing for small businesses:

  • Choose the right platform for your product or service. Let’s say your business model is B2B only, maybe Linkedin is the platform that works for you.
  • Create a social media calendar to manage your posts.
  • Respond to comments, feedback
  • Share informative and engaging videos
  • Don't delay in addressing any issue
  • Step up with content that provides value to users
  • Try to create a community, it may take time but this works

Invest in ads

Advertising on social media is easy but creating an intent to buy needs targeted ads and higher impressions. Go for paid advertising, within a limited budget you can do great by choosing the right set of audience whom you want to see your ad. Google Ads, Google My Business, Google Digital Unlocked, and social media ads you may begin with. 

Capture leads

Also, the efforts you put into advertising are for leads. Capture every web prospect coming your way. 

How can you get online marketing leads:

  • Put strong CTA on your website and ask for emails

Use social media to the fullest

  • Create an informative product, and landing pages as they capture leads
  • Create and distribute content, content can be anything like blogs, images, infographics, videos, case studies, memes, GIFs, whitepapers, and much more.
  • Invest in PPC, a visitor clicks on your ad and goes to a landing page where you explain your business; you pay Google for each click you get.

8. Use email marketing

Email marketing is one of the top channels to generate leads. The main reason behind email marketing being result-oriented is that you directly approach the prospective buyer with straightforward communication. You may use email automation platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Sender, and SendPulse, which work awesome.

Email can be various like:

  • Welcome email
  • Newsletters
  • Offers and contest
  • Brand story email
  • Lead nurturing email
  • Special day email 

9. Consult an agency

Don’t feel hesitant to approach an agency that can take care of all the online marketing needs. It’s better than hiring multiple in-house resources, invest in hiring, and training them. It’s better to hire an internet marketing agency, it saves time, lets you concentrate on other important tasks and is cost-effective also.

10. Learn SEO

Digital marketing for small businesses is incomplete without SEO. To get found on Google organically, SEO services are the key to building website legitimacy, generating leads, driving conversions, and establishing authority.  

Top reasons why you need to know SEO:

  • Local SEO leads to higher engagement and traffic
  • Good SEO leads to a better user experience
  • Learning SEO helps you understand what’s happening on the web
  • Its cost-effective mode of advertising
  • It is measurable

11. Go mobile-friendly

Your customers are using mobile, 57% of all web traffic is via mobile devices. You cannot afford to miss your presence on mobile, through a responsive website. You amplify your visibility, keep the audience hooked all the time anywhere through push notifications, provide a better browsing experience, and it's much easier for the customer to contact you. And most importantly you don’t have to be an expert to go mobile.

12. Try co-marketing

Co-marketing is gaining a lot of momentum nowadays. If you have a seller who is not an immediate competitor and enjoys a good customer base, consider doing a co-branded campaign, where each of you may promote each one’s content, video, social media post, blogs with their respective audience. You enjoy a bigger and better customer base.

13. Participate in forums

Getting involved in forums relevant to your domain is a great way to spread the word about your company and connect with multiple stakeholders. Join communities on Reddit, Quora, and Tumblr to build a social network. 

14. Create and host videos on YouTube

People relate more to things that they watch, it’s much easier to recall something striking. As per Statista “ Number of YouTube users worldwide is 2.1 bn”

Videos can be

  • Product demos
  • Interviews
  • Presentations
  • Live streaming
  • Video ads

Start Online Marketing For Your Business Today

Online marketing has immense potential and is critical for your business when looking for launch, expansion, reaching a wider audience, churning profits, and establishing yourself as a kingpin. There are so many options available when it comes to online marketing. Still, if confused about which way to go, brainstorm your business idea with us and we will create a framework that works best for you.

Looking for Online Marketing Services?

  • Achieve Your Brand Vision
  • Drive Customer Engagement
  • Reach Wider Audiences

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