Advertising Without A Budget: How to Build a New Business in Portland

Meredith Portland About The Author

Jul 29, 2021 11:42:00 AM

Advertising Without A Budget

First-time business owners often stress themselves out trying to learn the ropes of their industry while establishing their brand. A crucial part of any company's growth is advertising, but campaigns can be challenging to make without much revenue. Here are some low-budget marketing ideas that any new business can use. 

Ready to Build a Brand Your Customers Will Love?

Develop Your Online Presence

Develop your small business' brand with an online presenceDigital advertising avenues are highly cost-effective and often get more engagement than traditional printed ads. One simple way to attract customers online is by designing a sleek and impressive website. A functional and fast website increases brand trust, enticing new customers to make their first purchases. Optimizing your site for SEO can help people find you online at no cost to you by putting your site at the top of the search page. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of strategically implementing keywords into your site to appear higher on search results.  

SEO can help an unknown business attract plenty of customers from internet searches. A blog is also incredibly beneficial to have on your website, since it will help further optimize your site's SEO and encourage consumers to spend more time on your site. Helpful how-to's and articles on your blog also help establish your brand's expertise in its industry so that when customers spend more time on your site, they see you as a trusted resource. 

Compile Your Email List 

Advertise on a small budget with email marketingEmail marketing is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to market to your customers. Eighty percent of advertisers have reported a significant rise in email engagement. Billions of users check their email each day, and that number is only expected to rise in the future. 

Use targeted emails for different segments of your customers to keep your brand front of mind. Building an email list lets you learn more about your customers, with particular attention to your most dedicated audience. That way, you can nurture new leads quickly while developing customer loyalty with long-time patrons. 

Once your email list is segmented accordingly, focus on creating relevant and engaging content. Consumers don't want to interact with what they perceive to be spam or content without much personalization. Your messages should always be written in a friendly, conversational tone conveying helpful information to guide customers to your products. Investing in CRM software will help you manage your email database and send out bulk emails individually addressed to each prospect. 

Participate in Portland Events 

Advertise Your Brand at Portland EventsLocal events are an excellent place for as-yet-unknown companies to get their chance in the spotlight. With so many people gathering for outdoor events this year, your small business has a better chance of getting noticed. Getting a booth at a local Portland event, or even sponsoring small portions of events, puts your business in front of new and potential customers.  

It will also expand your brand recognition and establish yourself amongst your local community. If your business showcases a good work ethic and friendly staff, you're likely to win a customer's loyalty over bigger corporations. As of 2019, 3 million more people were shopping local than in previous years. 

Partnering with charitable organizations and events gives your brand an overwhelmingly positive reputation with particular consumers. Many customers only want to purchase from brands with similar values or lifestyle models. Tapping into that market can help your business get off the ground, as long as your messaging stays consistent. 

Create a Social Media Following 

Social Media Advertising on a BudgetWhile websites may need some investment to develop, making multiple social media pages comes at no cost other than the time to maintain them. Establishing your social media presence is an effective way to develop your brand's unique voice and showcase your creativity. Many small businesses also use their social media accounts to answer questions or make meaningful one-on-one connections with followers. 

One of social media's biggest advantages is that it can be seen by many potential customers. However, small businesses should focus more on their local presence. Your initial goal shouldn't be to gain many followers, who might eventually lose interest once a sale or event ends, or worse, live too far away to buy from you. Keep in mind that you need to treat social media as a promotional tool to increase sales. 

Instead, you should stick with your content strategy of appealing to local consumers who want to support their community. Promoting local events in your area will increase traffic to your social media pages. Using social media to inform people about events you're hosting or promotions offered will also help you increase sales. Followers also appreciate consistency, whether it be for new products or general updates about the company itself. 

It's important to note that social media isn't always a successful sales platform compared to other digital advertising methods. Instead, the traction you'll gain from establishing local awareness can indirectly lead to increased profits.   

Invest in Digital Ads 

Budget friendly digital adsSome marketers choose to purchase digital ads that can be placed directly on customers' social feeds or favorite websites. These ads don't require a steep investment and allow you to reach your audience without stretching a tight budget. Digital marketing on search engines like Google or Bing usually yields double what you spent on ad space. 

You can also pay for SEM ads to place your business at the top of search engine results and increase visibility. With these, you set your budget yourself, which gives you more control over how much you spend. Plus, due to the bidding systems, your ad's performance depends on factors other than how much you're paying, like ad quality or the website it's leading to, which allows you to further save costs. 

Choose the best keywords to make ads successful, such as what you're selling and where your business is located. You can also bid on your competitor's name to show up in searches making similar offers. 

Using Inexpensive Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business 

Digital advertising makes it possible for small businesses to get and retain customers with little advertising funds to spend. As your advertising gains momentum, it's also crucial to prepare for expansion and the acquisition of new customers. A segmented email list, strong social media presence, and dedication to local causes all put your small business on track for healthy growth. 

Brand Strategy 101