cheap advertising ideas for small business

Seeking cheap advertising ideas for small business is normal. And as we all know, advertising is the bedrock for your business to get customers.

If you are looking for means to cut costs due to limited funds, you probably would be unable to spend money on billboards, radio ads, TV ads and the rest.

It is very possible to advertise on a low budget, you just need to be strategic on how and what you spend on. I will share effective and affordable advertising ideas that provide a good return on investment.

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1. Create a Website


A website is needed for every small business. That is so that when people do a web search for your business, your website would show up at the top of the results.

Also, your web page would be among the results of people that are looking for products or services in your area. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great way to better your website’s chances of showing up in search results.

For your website to be effective, your business information must be clear. Visitors that come to your website should be able to find your location, open hours, and contact information with ease.

It should also have basic information about your products and services, and maybe customer testimonials.

2. Publish Great Content

publish great content

The importance of great content cannot be overemphasized. It is even better if you can create the content yourself as you would not have to spend any money.

But if writing is not your strong point, getting someone on your team to create some articles for you wouldn’t be too much trouble.

You can try the top 10 lists, how-to’s, best practices for your industry, and so on.

3. Restructure Old Data

If your advertising budget is tight, you may be unable to always afford content writers to write content for your website.

Instead of making something new, you can update or restructure something that already exists on the web.

Start by finding a study that is relevant to your industry and polish it up. Make it appealing and attractive by adding pictures or charts.

This strategy doesn’t require a particular technique – the information you are sharing will do most of the work for you.

Just ensure that you mention your sources and give credit when necessary.

4. Social Media

social media

Your business should be on social media because almost everyone is on social media. You can pay for advertising on social media as it will get your business in front of a lot of potential customers.

While this can sometimes be expensive, there are affordable ways you can advertise – such as boosting a post, promoting a post, etc. There is also the option of doing some free small business social media marketing.

You can encourage your customers to leave reviews on your profile on social media sites like Facebook that lets users leave reviews on business pages.

That way, when prospective customers come across your business profile, they will see the great reviews from other customers and would then patronize you.

Posting content that encourages people to buy from your business helps too. You may post photos of new products, online contests, and coupon codes.

5. Buy Ad Space on websites via YAIOA subscription

YAIOA is an acronym for Your All In One Account. It is a tool that helps you to do and achieve more. As a small business trying to promote your business, you can subscribe to ad space subscription plans on the YAIOA platform.

All you have to do is to first register as a CLIENT and add funds to your wallet via PayPal, PayStack or bank deposit.

After adding funds to your wallet, you click on the “subscription” button where you can search for a subscription plan.

For example, you can search for buy for “buy ad space” then enter the location (the location you want your ads targeted), then set your intended budget and “search”.

The various vendors with ad space for sale that falls within your budget will pop up and then you can select the vendor whose niche suits your business and subscribe for it.

Once you’ve paid for the subscription, the vendor will contact you and run the ad for the duration of time that was subscribed for.

6. StumbleUpon Advertising


StumbleUpon’s Paid Search Discovery is the one for you if you want to try inexpensive paid advertising. The Paid Discovery sends users that are ready to engage straight to your website.

StumbleUpon is quite cheap when compared to other paid advertising structures. Photography, visual assets, and humorous content work best on StumbleUpon.

With StumbleUpon, you start with a base price of 10 cents per click, then add 2 cents for specific targetings like age targeting, gender targeting, and device targeting.

However you spin it, StumbleUpon’s paid offering is a lot cheaper than most of the other social media ads.

It is best to use targeting options to make sure you are reaching out to the right audiences and niches.

7. Business Partnerships


You can team up with other local businesses to promote each other’s businesses. You can choose to promote each other to your mail lists or give your customers coupons to the other business.

You should be on the lookout for businesses that complement your own. You obviously would not want to partner with your competitors.

You may also be on the lookout for businesses that sell related products. For example, a flower store can partner with a delivery service company.

8. Vehicle Branding

Vehicle branding

You may consider branding your company vehicle with your company logo and information if you have a company vehicle that you regularly drive around.

Since a full paint job will be expensive, you may go for magnets that stick to the sides or you purchase window decals to put on the side and back windows of the vehicle.

9. Sidewalk Signs


You should try putting a sign on the sidewalk outside your business especially if your business is located on a major street where lots of pedestrians go.

The sign could be the listing of a sale or announcing a new inventory and as people walk by, they will stop by your business to learn more about your product or services.

10. Local media

local media

You can send out press releases and network with local reporters in order to get your local media to cover your business. You are likely to get some free publicity if your business has something interesting or newsworthy to share.

NOTE: You should bear it in mind that reporters will not cover anything promotional such as sales. You will have to buy an advertising spot for that.

11. Market to old customers

Marketing or advertising to existing customers is an amazing way to improve your business. You are already sure of their patronage so you just need to ensure that they become repeat customers.

When people patronize your business, ask them if you can add them to your email list. Then you can send them coupons, inventory updates, and news about your business.

It is advised to regularly send emails to your customers so as to keep your business in their minds and also give them ample opportunities to patronize you.

12. Take Advantage of LinkedIn


LinkedIn is one social media platform that is most times under-utilized. It is not enough to just add network connections.

You should also join groups, enter into dialogue with connections, and share your blog posts on the platform.

There are a lot of activities that can happen on LinkedIn, thereby, making it a great place to promote your content, share ideas, and grow your brand.

13. Start a Customer Referral Program

customer referral

You can develop a customer referral program by offering existing customers incentives like a free product, a free month or week of service, a discount off their next purchase, or some other kind of reward for referring new customers.

14. Online Contests

online contests

Although online contests might cost some amount of money, the number of participants and leads you get will prove to be worth the price.

Even if you are on a shoestring budget, you would not need a very expensive prize to get participants.

If you are unsure about how to host an online contest, you can visit Rafflecopter as they make it easy to set up a contest and embed the entry form on your website.

15. Business Cards

business card

Create some stylish and attractive business cards and give out to people you come across daily. Every greeting, every handshake, and every meeting should come with a business card.

The more people find out about your business, the better for you.


In summary, 15 examples of cheap advertising ideas for small business are:

  1. Create a website
  2. Publish great content
  3. Remodel old data
  4. Social Media
  5. Buy ad space on websites via YAIOA subscription
  6. StumbleUpon advertising
  7. Business partnerships
  8. Vehicle branding
  9. Sidewalk signs
  10. Local media
  11. Market to old customers
  12. Take advantage of LinkedIn
  13. Start a customer referral program
  14. Online contests
  15. Business cards

Let us know which of these ideas works for your small business.

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