Effective marketing ideas to boost your business.

Effective marketing ideas to boost your business.

Getting the word out about your business is one way to make sure it succeeds. Indeed, many aspects of your business may depend on it. And what better way than to come up with some free marketing ideas for your small business to attract new customers.

Overall, small business marketing ideas can mean many different things: advertising and public relations to promotions and sales. In other words, marketing is a multi-layered process in which your business is introduced and promoted to potential customers. Sounds good, right?

But there are so many marketing ideas for small businesses these days—with many varying costs and associated expenses. The cost of traditional advertising—whether a Facebook ad or direct-mail campaign—could put you in the red, for example.

But not all marketing ideas break the bank. So if your marketing budget is slim or nonexistent, be sure to check out the below list of free marketing ideas—as well as some inexpensive marketing ideas for small business—that can help you spread the good word about your business.

Some of the effective marketing ideas are 

Develop a customer referral program.

Develop a customer referral program.

 It’s often overlooked, but word-of-mouth marketing for small businesses is a super-powerful way to marketing ideas to market your business. There’s a reason why word of mouth is number one on our small business marketing ideas list. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all advertising forms.

One way to boost your word-of-mouth marketing is by introducing a customer referral program. Try offering your existing customers something—a free sample product, complimentary service, discounts, or some other low-cost reward—for referring new customers. Having your customers tell their friends and family about your business can be incredibly valuable. Plus, a customer referral reward can help you show some appreciation to existing customers, as well.

One way to boost your word-of-mouth marketing is by introducing a customer referral program. Try offering your existing customers something—a free sample product, complimentary service, discounts, or some other low-cost reward—for referring new customers. Having your customers tell their friends and family about your business can be incredibly valuable. Plus, a customer referral reward can help you show some appreciation to existing customers, as well.

Publish distributed content

Publish distributed content

Most people are familiar with social media marketing wonders, but many sites—like Facebook and Twitter—are often paid to play with steep costs to reach the audience you want. And although you can still invest in publishing on those sites, consider alternative content distribution networks when you’re searching for free marketing ideas.

For instance, Reddit is an old-school social network that bills itself as the “front page of the internet.” To market on Reddit, you need to find a niche—known on Reddit as subreddits, or message boards—related to your industry or business. There, you can find scores of people already interested in what your business has to offer—if you do it correctly. You don’t want to overtly advertise on Reddit without making it feel authentic to the community, so study your subreddit thoroughly before opting to post.

You might also consider LinkedIn: The business-focused social network is often overlooked but can greatly impact. By joining professional groups, participating in industry conversations, and sharing your content, you can reach the right kind of audience that will bring you business. While this small business marketing idea will take some time on your part, it doesn’t have to cost money.

  1. Engage in one-to-one marketing.

Sometimes referred to as 1:1 marketing, this is a customer relationship strategy to boost personalized interactions with customers. Examples run from sending handwritten postcards to valued customers or personalized birthday emails. The only thing this will cost you is your time, but otherwise, it’s a free marketing idea. Finding a good customer relationship management software can also help automate this process.

Personalizing interactions with customers can foster greater loyalty and a better return on marketing investment. This is a quality over quantity tactic, for sure.

  1. Hold an online contest.

Prizes don’t need to be extravagant—a couple of free products or complementary services can be enough to get potential customers to invest a few seconds of their time in applying to win.

Contests are a great way to gather potential customer data—like emails—while also getting them to spread the word about your business to even more potential customers.

  1. Develop an industry partnership.

Developing partnerships is a must-have on any list of free marketing ideas.

Team up with a business that complements yours (one that isn’t a direct competitor, of course) for a joint project. You can do this by hosting a joint special event or an online giveaway. They can be for a short period or extended for as long as you want. Either way, partnering with another business will give you access to their customer base and vice versa. This kind of access would cost you big bucks otherwise.

Build a presence on online forums.

If your customers are online, then the best marketing ideas for your small business will be online, as well.

One of our favourite free marketing ideas? Building a presence on online forums like Quora, Reddit, or just about any forum your customers are posting.

Answering questions in a non-promotional, helpful manner will help build visibility among your potential customers. Selling your business too heavy-handedly, though, will turn potential new customers away from your business.

 Create a blog

 Create a blog

A company blog filled with useful posts for your industry and customer base is a great way of connecting with current customers and generating new ones. For example, Fundera’s blog has thousands of articles on starting, growing, and managing one’s small business, making it a hub for growth-minded small business owners.


Consumers don’t care about you. 

They care about themselves and the problems that they’re trying to solve. They don’t care about what you do for others; they care about what you can do for them, their company, or their industry. That’s why personalization is more important than ever. 

Most businesses have started implementing personalization into things like email marketing, but what if you could take that further? Start personalizing the full experience for your prospects and customers. By fully embracing personalization, you can create the experience that each prospect wants to see. 

This can (and should) go further than just adding their first name.

Create smart content through your website

Give your website visitors a custom experience by delivering content specific to their industry, goals, or interests based on their previous interaction with your company or by making assumptions about their role, company, or industry. Even just a little reference to their industry or problems can go a long way.



By determining which pages someone visits on your website, you should start to gain insight into what that person cares about. Using that data, you can serve display advertising to get them to come back to your website based on their actual interests. If you personalize your advertising outreach, you can increase interest in a return visit.



Of course, even though I said that it’s probably the most commonplace to use personalization, that doesn’t mean that it should be forgotten moving forward. Continue to personalize your email with things like company name, first name, and industry. But you can also take it further! Pay attention to the content your contacts are consuming and deliver content to them that aligns with their interests. Personalization isn’t just about delivering something that says, “Hey Sarah”, it’s also about serving relevant content to the right people at the right time.

  1. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is not new, but a lot of businesses fail to see the potential here. There are two sides to guest blogging that can benefit your business – accepting guest posts and submitting guest posts.

Accepting Guest Posts

First, we all know that content is driving so much of the marketing we do online today. People are looking for answers, education, tips, tricks, and ways to solve their problems. They’re turning to Google and their research to find what they’re looking for. This creates a huge opportunity to be the source for that information. It also creates the need to pump out a lot of content. By opening your blog up to guest posts, you are essentially getting free (they may even pay you) help in developing that content. Remember – you also can review the content before it goes live. 

PRO TIP: Ensure that all content stays educational. A lot of people that are looking to submit guest blog posts are writing sales pitches. That’s not what this should be used for. Allow no more than one backlink to that person’s website and require that the content stay educational/helpful, not sales.

PRO TIP 2: Require that all content is original and not posted anywhere else online. The last thing you want is to get dinged for duplicate content because you posted someone else’s content that already lives on their website.

Submitting Guest Posts

While it can be a full-time job just to create the content to come from your website, it can be a huge benefit to your company and your website to start creating content on other websites. Reach out too well-respected websites in your industry or even adjacent to your industry and ask if you can submit a blog post. Share potential titles with them and ensure them that it will be educational. Many websites will welcome this contribution as it takes some stress of creating content off of their plates.

PRO TIP: Make sure that you research the website first. Run it through a domain authority checker and even website traffic estimator to ensure that you’re putting out the effort for a website that will benefit you. We recommend looking for websites with a domain authority (DA) of at least 20 (the higher, the better) and solid monthly search volume. The higher the domain authority and website traffic, the more valuable that post will be for your business.

  1. Heat Mapping

There are very few things more powerful than knowing how your website visitors are using your website. By adding a heat mapping software such as NotifyVisitors, you can start to get aggregate insights into how far your visitors are scrolling down on each page (across device types), where they’re clicking, and also get a clearer picture of their journey on your website.



Shivani is a content writer at InviteReferrals. She writes SEO articles, blogs, and guest posts for businesses to improve website ranking on SERP. She follows a balanced approach for the quality of content and its marketing. She loves to do creativity, although she had an English major in her graduation.

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