Marketing is essential for any business, regardless of size. However, smaller businesses will always find themselves at a bit of a disadvantage versus their bigger and more established competitors. That’s not to say those small businesses can’t compete with bigger businesses, but they need to be a lot smarter about how they go about it.

Some marketing techniques are much more cost-effective than others, enabling businesses to achieve more with less. The following three marketing channels are the easiest to exploit when you are trying to minimise your costs.

Social Media

Social media platforms are unparalleled as powerful marketing tools. With social media services, you can micro-target your marketing so that it is displayed primarily or entirely to specific demographics. It is hard to overstate just how much of an advantage this is when it comes to making your marketing more cost-effective.

With the ability to select demographics who are likely to be positively predisposed towards your business, you can massively increase the hit rate of your marketing. In other words, these people are much more likely to respond to your marketing in the way that you want them to.

But the marketing capabilities of social media go beyond the ability to target your paid advertisements. In fact, you can use social media as an effective marketing tool without having to spend a penny if you go about it in the right way.

One big advantage of social media platforms compared to a normal website is that social media is all about the interaction between users. If you interact with your audience in the right way, it can generate you a whole bunch of free advertising. You’ve probably come across at least a couple of news articles online detailing interactions on social media that have gone viral. Take a moment to think about how many people may have read the same story as you without the business in question having to spend any money.

You can also use your social media profiles to promote content from your main website or blog. It doesn’t cost you anything to make a new post or to upload new media to your social media account. If your content is good enough, your audience will comment on it, like it, and share it. All of this further increases its reach and gets it in front of more people.

Websites and Blogs

There are lots of benefits to businesses that are able to maintain active social media profiles. However, your social media profiles should augment and supplement a dedicated website; they should not replace it altogether. For all the benefits that social media offers, it comes at a price. Namely, that you will always have to play by the rules of the platform that you are on.

Compare this to having your own dedicated website, a digital estate over which you are the sole authority. You get to control every aspect of how your website looks and feels, and you can direct the user experience as you see fit.

Of course, just having a website existing online is not going to do anything for your marketing strategy. We already mentioned how you can use your social media profiles to promote content from your website, but your website should also be able to stand on its own two feet.

One of the most effective things that you can do to add value to your website is to add a blog. You can then use this blog to both keep your audience updated with regard to how your business is evolving, and to provide them with valuable content. This can be anything from tips and tricks that your customers will be interested in, to news and opinions about the industry in which you operate.

Email Marketing

If you think that email marketing is an old-fashioned and terribly antiquated way of doing things, it’s okay, we forgive you. However, you should understand that you are very, very wrong. When email marketing is done properly, it remains one of the most cost-efficient marketing methods there is.

Sending out regular newsletters to your audience is a fantastic way of both ensuring that they remain informed about the latest developments in your business, while also giving you the opportunity to engage directly with members of your audience.

Writing an effective email newsletter is not as easy as it sounds, so you might find it useful to work from one of the free email newsletter templates that you can find online. However, once you have got the hang of writing a good newsletter, it will soon become second nature and you will be able to do it without thinking.

The smaller your business is, the more important it is that you are managing your finances efficiently. Marketing is an inevitable expense; you cannot effectively grow and promote a business for free. However, with the three methods above, you can pursue more cost-efficient means of marketing yourself to minimise the impact on your finances.

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