Are you a new entrepreneur looking for creative ways to market your business or blog?
One of the most time consuming and intensive tasks that you need to do as an entrepreneur is small business marketing.
In the beginning, it is very difficult because it is like trying to roll a ball uphill. No one knows you or your business hence the reason for the difficulty.
Of course, for the business that has deep pockets, it is easy for them to hire a marketing firm and PR agency to get that job done.
What about most startups or small businesses who have very little to no marketing budget? How will they get the word out? Where can they get out of the box ideas for marketing?
The truth is that it can be a huge challenge when there is very little marketing budget available because nearly every channel cost money.
However, with a little bit of innovative promotional ideas, it is still possible to let your potential audience know that you are available to serve them.
Here is a massive list of 53 creative ways to market your business. Some of them may be familiar while others are just pure genius.
50+ Creative Ways To Market Your Business or Blog
Before I dive into these inexpensive marketing ideas for small business, it is important to note that you should only go for an option if it makes sense for your business and complements what you do.
1. Sponsor an Annual Scholarship
The cost of education continues to go up and the secret to a productive nation is educating them.
So many colleges and universities across the country and around the world offer financial aid to help ease the burden of financing education.
So, why not set up a fund and sponsor a student every year. $1,000 a year is well worth it as it is one of those fresh marketing ideas.
2. Health Drive
Every year many schools and commercial enterprises offer a health week in an effort to keep their students and employees healthy.
If your business is in the health and wellness niche then you can easily sponsor one of the days during that week.
This is achieved by sponsoring massages or health checks from qualified professionals.
You not only help the attendees but it is one of the few low-cost ways to market your business.
3. Local Magazine
In nearly every small community across the globe, there is a weekly or monthly newsletter or paper that is given out to the residents.
A great way to market your business is to either advertise in the publication or sponsor a corner that talks about something complimentary to your business.
If you need to know how to promote your business in the community this is it.
4. Cultural Day
This will apply to a much bigger town or city where there are residents from all over the country or across the world.
For example, where I live they have Africa Day every year and it is a huge event with food, music and cultural performances.
If this is something that will enhance your business in a great way why not offer to sponsor a booth or food for the delegates.
5. Offer Free Training
A unique way to market your business is by offering some free training for people in need or for startups.
One example is if your niche is in language localisation then you can offer free language classes to immigrants
If you are a business consultancy then you can offer 'start a business' training to people with a business idea.
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6. Book Launch
Nearly every town or city has a rich history which involves events from ancient days. In some cases, there is a need to capture that history in a book or to relaunch a book.
It is a great way to get involved in this historical event and sponsor something of meaning to that city and country.
You not only get recognised authority and exposure but this is one of the few low cost ways to promote your business.
7. Mother of Triplets, Quadruplets or Quintuplets
This one will make sense for you if you are in the parenting or health and wellness niche.
In the year 2015, there were over 4,000 infants born in triplets births, 228 quadruplets and 24 quintuplets.
For any business, this is a great way to sponsor that family by offering to pay for their diapers for 2 years or something similar.
It is a fabulous way to get a bit of word of mouth marketing for your business.
8. Twitter Chats
Ever wanted to know how to market your business online? Marketing your business online continues to offer efficiencies in getting the job done.
A few people already use this but Twitter Chats are a great way to connect with people online who are your peers.
Of course, it all depends on your niche as well as your interest. Your potential audience is also vitally important.
9. Twitter Video
Did you know that there are 1.2 billion video views on Twitter every day? I will let that sink in for a while.
When I first saw this statistic I thought that the writer made a mistake but it is actually true.
So, what are you waiting for? Get that video created and click the publish button as soon as possible.
10. Sponsor a Marathon
If you are in the health and fitness niche then this one goes without saying. You should consider sponsoring or co-sponsoring a marathon.
Of course, there are other niches that would benefit from this kind of sponsorship. For example, there is a marathon held here every year where people raise funds to support cancer research so if you offer complementary services feel free to offer sponsorship.
11. Offer a Free Resource
Apart from the free training that you can offer to members of your community you can also offer a free resource.
A great example of this is a resource to help people to find their purpose. You can also offer online training in soft skills like building self-confidence.
There are other practical resources like a resource on "how to revamp your home for under $100". A good one is "how to declutter your life in 30 days".
This almost gives you the opportunity to market your business with no money. The cost attached to creating a free resource will be low.
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12. Attend a Networking Event
The Internet has caused many of us to live a solitary life behind our laptop screens that we forget about networking events.
Get out and meet other like-minded people like you and get to know who are the people in your town or city with a business.
Coffee chats work just as well if networking events are too big for you.
13. Affiliate program
If you are offering a product or service that can be sold by affiliates then why not set this up and get it going.
Every family, friend or neighbour stand a chance of getting a commission for recommending your product or service.
The good news is that you can use a program like Gumroad to automate the entire process for you.
One of the lesser-known sources that can be used to answer questions as an expert is a platform called Quora.
It is owned by Google and it is basically a platform where people go to search for answers to questions like "the best software to run an affiliate program?"
There are currently over 300 million Quora users so definitely not something to bypass in terms of free traffic for your business.
There are 40 million active users from the US on Quora.
15. Viral Content Bee
A great little tool that you can use for free to help market your business. It works on a points-based system.
You share other people's content and you earn points that you can use to add to a project so that other people can promote your content for points.
Of course, if you don't have time there are monthly packages available starting from $20.00 a month.
16. Blog commenting
Although this practice may not give you great backlink juice it certainly helps in making people aware that your website or blog exists.
The important thing is to leave an intelligent and helpful comment being sure to include the name of your blog or website.
If you have a catchy name like mine then people will be curious and they would click over to find out more.
Depending on your niche and audience you will find it of great benefit to use the facilities of Pinterest with their visual search engine solution.
To get started you simply set up your Pinterest business account. Set up relevant boards and add your pins.
In return, your audience will see your pins and visit your blog by just clicking on the pin.
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If you would like to take your Pinterest marketing to the next level then you should consider using Tailwind to help you to schedule pins.
Like every other marketing platform, there are best practices to get the most out of Pinterest by using this handy 3rd party scheduler.
You can check out my review of the TailwindApp here.
19. Facebook Page
Does your audience hang out on Facebook? If so you may want to consider setting up a Facebook business page for your business.
Depending on your history on Facebook you may even be allowed to claim your Facebook page name during the setup process.
You can check out the best practices for creating a Facebook business page here.
20. Facebook Live
The best way to get engagement on your Facebook business page is by doing regular Facebook live episodes. This should ideally be part of your content marketing plan.
Unfortunately, Facebook does not like 3rd party schedulers like Buffer to schedule posts which is why I advise that you go down the Facebook Live route.
It is ultimately a great way to pick up new customers for your business or blog. It is like doing direct mail without the paperwork.
I know what you are thinking, "what will I talk about on my live streams?". The good news is that Allie Bjerk has got you covered with her 365 days of live streams planning for only $27.00.
21. St Patrick's Day Parade
One event that is celebrated in many places around the world is St. Patrick's Day. A great way to market your business is my either sponsoring a float during the parade.
Another great idea is to sponsor refreshments for the participants in some way. Entrepreneurs are creative so get out your creativity hat to take advantage of this day every year.
22. Ask Me Anything
Did you get a chance to take part in an AMA event yet? I did one last year and it was pretty cool.
Essentially, you sign up and schedule one as an expert and answer questions from the public.
In many instances, you will see the questions coming in a week before the actual event. The best practice is to answer the questions at the appointed time and not before.
23. Youtube Ads
As you can imagine this is not a free resource but it does give you the opportunity to advertise your business alongside a popular video.
Think of the number of important eyeballs that you can capture using Youtube ads.
Youtube advertising does have many rewards since 1.9 billion logged-in Youtube users visit the platform every month.
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24. Facebook Ads
Depending on your budget you can start as low as $3 a day to get your ad in front of your audience.
Facebook Ads can be super targeted and can give you a great return on your investment if you know what you are doing.
25. Pinterest Promoted Pin
Unlike Facebook Ads which can be pricey Pinterest Promoted Pins aka Pinterest Ads can give you a much better return on your investment.
The setup process is a lot easier than Facebook but you do not get to dissect your target audience with as much granularity as is offered by Facebook.
I would advise that you take a course before getting started.
26. Influencer Marketing
If you never heard this term before or you are not quite sure what it means let me explain.
Essentially, there are many people on Instagram who has a following of 10,000 users or more. You can find them by searching on Webstagram.
What you do is look at their feed and engagement and decide if their audience is a great fit for your product or service.
You then direct message the influencer and pay them to either write a sponsored post on their feed or pay them a commission for each sale.
27. Donate a prize
In nearly every community people run raffles all the time. Depending on the event you can decide to donate a prize or three for the winners.
Or you can go as far as sponsoring the refreshments up to a certain value.
28. Social Media Plugin
A great passive way to get the word out is to set up social media sharing buttons on your blog allowing the users the ability to share your content.
Some experts argue that it does not bring in sufficient ROI but I can tell you from experience that I visited many blogs in the past and tried to share their content.
However, they either did not have any social sharing buttons or there were no images at all to share.
29. Click to Tweet
A little clever invention on many blogs is the ability to click to tweet a quote, image, statistic or a graph.
It is great for users who are in a hurry or just plain lazy. There is no need to copy the text or type in anything it is all done for the user to just tweet the message.
30. Cake Sale
Have you ever been to a cake sale? I bet you never thought of using a cake sale to market your business.
The fact is that you totally can do it. Again it may call for a little bit of creativity to pull it off but never miss the opportunity to be memorable by sponsoring a cake sale.
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31. Instagram Stories
Yes, you can use Instagram stories to market your business in a unique way. If you never heard about Instagram Stories it was launched in 2016.
It is a great way to feature something about your business every 24 hours. It does take a little bit of planning.
You can even use the 365 days of live streams to plan out that calendar. Learn more about Instagram Stories here.
32. Antiques Fair
If you sell retro items or if you can find some way where an antique fair can complement your business then why not get involved.
Maybe you know the owner of an antique car and you can sponsor to get them to the event to display the prized possession.
It does take a bit of creativity but it can be done.
33. Summer Camp for Kids
Every summer many parents struggle to find a camp to send their kids to for the first 2-4 weeks.
As an organisation, you can find creative ways to sponsor a summer camp for kids so that the parents would not need to pay full price.
This would work well for you if you are in the parenting niche.
34. Be a Guest on a Podcast
Another clever way to market your business is to be interviewed on someone else's show.
I already interviewed over a dozen people on my podcast and it is great fun and I learned about so many different kinds of business.
It is not something I do for free anymore as it takes up a lot of my time in both pre and post production.
35. Olympic Team
Have you ever taught about sponsoring an athlete or an Olympic team to an event? Depending on what the event is as well as your budget it is a great way to gain exposure.
Of course, be aware that it may not be suitable for your business niche so use common sense before getting involved.
36. Host a Picnic or Barbeque
You may not be part of the royal family or having a royal wedding like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle but that does not stop you from sponsoring a local picnic.
If this is something that complements your niche then you can sponsor a family picnic or even a teddy bear picnic for your local community. You can even collaborate with a local business.
Best of all you get to market your business using word of mouth so remember to walk with your business cards.
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37. Email List
This goes without saying but growing an email list is an important asset for your business. It gives you a massive email marketing boost.
When you are just starting your business you will not have an email list but as it grows you can market to them for free to keep them up-to-date on your business news.
Before you know it you will have your first 1,000 subscribers in no time.
A cool way to grow your email list is by running a contest where something of value is being given away for free.
Depending on your niche that something could be a piece of software, a free membership to a mastermind or even a free book.
Again it will take a bit of creativity to plan this campaign.
39. Youtube series
Remember those live streams? Well, you don't always have to go live. In fact, you can record a video series and publish a video once a week on Youtube.
A few examples are #motivationmonday or #throwbackthursday or you can come up with your own hashtag for that day of the week.
The important thing is that you need to be consistent and show up on the same day each week.
40. Animated Gifs
Did you know that back in 2017 Gifs were seen by over 100 million active users every day?
I still don't know how to create a Gif from scratch but I do know I need to get my finger out and start learning how to do it.
The truth is that I rarely ever post gifs but I always see great ones.
41. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
At the start of your business journey SEO is like a very slow train but it does start picking up in month 4 if you work at it and after 2 years the traffic from this source becomes significant.
You just need to remember that rank in decent search engines like Google you need to publish good quality content.
Whatever you do incorporate SEO into your marketing plan every month as the rewards after just two years can be tremendous.
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42. Pinterest video
It may be the new kid on the block but Pinterest video was made available recently and entrepreneurs are currently testing to see what the engagement is like compared to the standard pin image.
I also took the opportunity to upload a few videos of different sizes but I am not sure how effective they are compared to standard pins just yet.
Graduating from college, university or high school has costs associated with it. As a business, you can sponsor the refreshments or one of the events at a local graduation ceremony.
The parents of these graduates will be grateful and the word of mouth marketing that results will be priceless.
44. Christmas Fair
A great way to market your business is by sponsoring a Christmas fair or an ice skating rink.
It really depends on your niche and the impact it will have on your local community. However, it is a great idea to make locals aware of your existence and services or products.
45. Facebook groups
This resource has been around for a while now and they can be very valuable depending on what you want to get from it.
It is a great way to conduct market research to find out how you can improve your product or service.
I found a large number of my podcast guests in Facebook groups.
46. Guest Posting
One of the best ways to get in front of someone else's audience is by writing a guest post for their blog.
I found one of my opportunities to guest post via Facebook groups. You also get a backlink to your own website which helps with SEO.
Guest posting also increases your status as an expert on your topic.
47. Featured Snippets
A great feature that appeared in Google search results back in 2017 is something called Rich Snippets, Answer Boxes or Featured Snippets.
It gets a large proportion of traffic simply because it tends to answer a lot of user questions without the need to look further down the search results.
You can check out Google's comprehensive guide here. The folks at Backlinko also wrote a comprehensive guide showing what you need to do to get it here.
49. LinkedIn Live Video
If you are trying to reach decision-makers at enterprise level then one of the best platforms to use is LinkedIn.
They launched the LinkedIn video 2 years ago and they now offer a LinkedIn live option after teaming up with a 3rd party provider.
The good news is that LinkedIn has a mobile app which you can use to go live from any location to keep things interesting.
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Two heads are better than one. Sometimes it is good to team up with another business owner to gain a mutual end benefit.
If you own a restaurant, you can team up with a bakery to run an event and you will most likely have a similar customer base.
Both businesses would stand to benefit in the long run.
51. LinkedIn Article or Post
If you are too shy to appear on video then remember that you can also publish an article or standard post on LinkedIn.
It means that you still get access to all the decision makers that will help your business to grow.
This platform was launched less than a year ago and many entrepreneurs are still trying to figure out if it makes sense for their business.
Again the 365 days of live streams planning will come in very handy here as people will be asking what will I show on IGTV.
53. Kindle Direct Publishing
A great way to gain clout, as well as the hat of an expert, is to publish a book or to become an author.
This can be easily achieved using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). You can easily use the Designrr.io to create your books.
Of course, it would make sense to do your research first using a tool like KDP Rocket which will let you know what will be profitable before you write your first word.
As you can see there are several ways for you to market your business even on a small budget.
The common thread in all of these options is that it gives you the opportunity to do it consistently every week, month or year.
A big secret to marketing is consistency if you want to become part of the fabric in your society.
Although some of the options are not free you can start on a low budget and work your way to the top.
Have you come across an unconventional method that worked brilliantly for your business or blog? Please share it in the comments.
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