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Small business marketing tactics that won’t break the bank

by OnDeck Australia,   Jan 30, 2018


When you think marketing, you may think big budget TV ads, expensive Public Relations or multi-faceted marketing programs that need professional guidance. However, in this day and age, there are countless ways to promote your business – many that won’t drain your wallet, nor your time.

Whether you’re a marketing expert, or have no prior marketing experience, these DIY solutions can help you get the word out about your small business:

1. Request an online review or testimonial

Cafe owner, contractor or professional – online reviews can really boost your business. With the internet at our fingertips, it’s highly likely that some of your prospects have already scoped your business out online before they appear on your radar. Ask your clients to rate your business, or leave a review on  or your social media page. Doing so can publicly prove your business’s capabilities. As a result, this can create a positive image of your business. Moreover, you can incentivize customers to leave a review. However, keep in mind the review will reflect their experience – positive or negative. If you do incentivize customers to leave a review, make sure you read through the guidelines of the reviewing platform first.



Did you know that 83% of customers trust recommendations from family and friends the most?*

2. Ask for referrals

Referral marketing is possibly the most cost-effective marketing tactic you can employ for your small business. It can cost as little as zero dollars and takes only a small amount of your time. Make it a regular habit to ask your satisfied customers for referrals. However, be sure not to constantly badger and beg them! A possible way to book referrals is to offer incentives to both the referral and referee, if the referee ends up becoming a customer.


3. Create loyal customers

Creating a strong relationship with your customers is key to establishing a solid customer base. Think about it – would you prefer to have existing customers continuously come back for your product/service? Or, would you prefer to have to reel in new customers in order to make a sale? Given it costs between 5-25 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one**, you probably have your answer.

By creating value for current customers, you give them a reason to stay loyal to your business. Loyalty programs (think buy 10 coffees, get one free; or discounts for repeat customers) can help you create sticky customers.


4. Social Media isn’t just for personal use 

It’s 2018, and you know what that means? More Facebook posts, more tweets and more envy-inducing Instagram photos of your friend’s latest holiday. With that said, social media has also become the latest platform for business marketing. You can utilise these platforms organically (for free), or pay for advertising. By creating and sharing engaging content on social media, you can attract new customers. Additionally, it can help you build relationships with existing customers and increase the market’s positive perception of your business. Social media allows you to engage with your customers, create a rapport and gives your customers an option to voice their opinions. While social media can be an extremely useful platform, it would only benefit you to set up accounts on the platforms where your target audience is likely to be. For more social media tips, check out this article.


5. Start using video

When you’re scrolling online, are you more likely to stop and watch a few second video, or read a chunk of text? According to a recent Forbes article, 80% of individuals say they’d prefer to watch a video to learn about a product/service. There are numerous platforms you can use to create effective, high-quality videos. Moreover, many of these won’t break your budget. You can shoot a video yourself, use Facebook or Instagram Live or one of the many online tools that now exist. As you can see, the options for affordable, professional-quality videos are endless.

The bottom line is – you don’t need to be a marketing expert. Nor do you have to allot a corporate-sized budget to effectively promote your brand. With some planning and effort, you can set your small business marketing in motion and focus more on what you do best.


*Nielsen Study, “Recommendations from friends remain most credible form of advertising among consumers”, 2015

** Harvard Business Review, “The value of keeping the right customers”, 2014

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