Marketing on a budget 

Marketing is an important part of building a consumer base and creating interest in your small business. New small businesses especially need some level of marketing to get the word out and let people know it exists. 

Traditional ways of marketing can be expensive and it is important to use your money wisely when building your business. 

Commercials or billboards are expensive. They also aren’t the most effective ways to market your business in today’s world. 

People spend a lot of time online scrolling through social media. So, it makes sense to advertise where people will see it. 

Social media marketing is the most cost-effective method of marketing. If done right, it has the potential for the largest reach. 

Stats Canada released a report in 2021. According to the report, 97 per cent of Canadians under 50 and 93 per cent of Canadians 50 to 64 are internet users. Facebook is the social media website most commonly used by Canadians, followed by YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Making accounts for your small business across different social media websites could help reach a lot of potential customers.

The first step would be to make these accounts. From there, begin consistently posting and engaging with online communities through hashtags. A hashtag is a way to organize digital content, making it more accessible by social media users. 

Most social media websites also allow you to have a “business” profile rather than a regular personal profile. Business profiles allow you to view your analytics. These include how many people your posts are reaching and the demographics of your followers. This information can guide your next move. You can see what genders are most interested in your content. You can see age groups and regions as well, which can help with making business decisions. 

Social media sites like Instagram and Facebook also allow you to post sponsored posts. These posts are shown to users who are not following you, allowing your business page to reach more people. 

You can choose the budget for your sponsored posts, which allows for a more cost-effective approach. You can spend as little as five dollars to push your post out to a larger audience. This method is flexible in terms of cost and a good way to widen your reach. 

Influencer partnerships are another way to increase engagement. These can be quite pricey if you decide to partner with someone who has a large following. It is more cost-effective to partner with a local influencer with a smaller following. Getting them involved with your business would be a small investment that could lead to large rewards.

Another cost-effective method of building buzz around your business would be sending free products. These would be sent to people within your niche who have a dedicated following. 

For example, if you are an up-and-coming skin care brand, you could find someone local with a skin care account. You could send them your products and if they like them, they will post about it. Allowing your business to reach new accounts. Though maybe counter-intuitive, the small production cost can earn huge profit gains if new customers start flowing in. 

It can be challenging to build a consumer base on a budget. Luckily, there are many ways to market your business and products online that are low-cost, effective and high reward.

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