There is a common assumption that businesses – especially SMEs and sole traders – can’t afford to implement their own marketing strategy. However, any kind of company can create their own DIY techniques to raise awareness and increase the amount of leads their business receives.

A continuous marketing campaign is beneficial; there’s no doubt about that. But how exactly can your business optimise its own strategy and get the best possible return on such a small investment?

Shop owner doing megaphone promotion

Businesses of any size can cut the costs on the promotion of their brand and services by using the following tactics:

1. Email marketing

Since emails began over 40 years ago, business promotion has been successfully demonstrated through email marketing techniques. However, it is widely considered as an expensive practice.

Your email marketing strategy should offer a range of exclusive content. Exclusive discounts and the chance to preview products before their launch are common offerings. If you’re unsure which to provide, using a trial-and-error method can help you to realise which technique is best suited to your company.

There are a number of software options that your business can use which takes out the hassle of promoting your business. Services like MailChimp offer a free option for sending email campaigns to up to 2,000 recipients; making it an excellent option for small businesses.

2. Offer promotional materials in your local area

Think of a time when you were last speaking to somebody regarding your company. From a business meeting, to the person beside you on the bus, having professional hand-outs can help give prospective customers an excellent first impression.

You can save money on printing costs by using your business’ printer to create professional paperwork. Cheap colour laser printers can be used for printing daily documents and also optimised to create high quality product magazines and catalogues.

Creating your own marketing material can be an excellent way to save money when promoting your business, especially when they are dispersed effectively. Handing out such promotional material in doctors’ offices, dentists and transport areas can provide people with information to read in their spare time, with the chance of converting them into a buying customer.

Shop owner standing next to his shop

3. Don’t forget about your ethics

39% of adults have recently made a purchase decision that was influenced by the ethics of a retailer.

Positioning your business in a respectable position can help customers to increase the trust they have in your business. Holding a special event to raise money for charity or selling products to raise awareness of a certain issue can aid customers in trusting the ethics of your business.

If you’re not considering the ethics in which your business operates with, you may face the loss of a customer or potential buyer opting for one of your competitors.

4. Run a competition and receive brand awareness

The word “free” sells – there’s no doubting it. If you’ve entered online competitions in the past, it’s likely that you’ve entered a competition to win something totally unrelated to what you were browsing for, but end up finding a business that you’re interested in anyway.

Creating your own competition can bring many positive benefits to your business, with the main impact being the increase in awareness. Brand awareness is easily done through social sharing, with one of the rules of entry being to “like” the post on Facebook or to share it with their family and friends.

Trust can also be installed in your brand if you fairly monitor the competition and chose an unbiased winner. This can be done through using software like Rafflecopter; which will monitor the entries and pick a winner on your behalf.

As you can see, promoting your business whilst operating on a tight budget doesn’t have to be a difficult exercise. By implementing the techniques mentioned, you could be in with the chance of experiencing an increase in brand awareness, trust from your customers and more importantly – a boost in sales.