BBB Business Tip: 7 tips for marketing your business on a small budget

David Quinlan
4 min readSep 22, 2020

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Whether you’re a sole proprietor or own a small to medium-sized business, being able to market your product or service successfully can be daunting — especially when you have little to no budget. In addition to trying to stay open during a pandemic, many business owners must reinvent themselves and look at new and innovative ways to attract and retain customers online.

Here’s the good news. It’s do-able, and you don’t have to spend a fortune.

BBB has seven tips to effectively market your business, get in front of more customers, and strengthen your online reputation. Entrepreneur and digital marketer Suttida Yang gives advice on how she successfully grew her business digitally.

Yang says this is where you pitch your business or product in two sentences or less. It summarizes what you do and how it can help a customer or potential customer solve a problem. A meaningful elevator pitch describes your value proposition in 90 seconds or less.

It includes highlighting a competitive advantage, solves a problem, incorporates social proof, and intrigues your audience.

Now that you’ve nailed down a worthy elevator pitch, Yang recommends joining a networking group to meet people, trade ideas, and build contacts. This is especially important for digital business owners who have no physical office or storefront to attract an audience. Yang says most communities have networking groups you can join for free, or you can explore different online groups on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

If you’re looking for a strong return on investment with your marketing efforts, email delivers. According to Oberlo, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you expect an average return of $42. Oberlo says that 9 out of every ten marketers use email marketing to distribute content organically.

Yang recommends setting up a lead capture form on your website to encourage people to sign-up or subscribe to your content, special offers, or receive company news. She also says running Facebook and referral campaigns can help grow your subscriber list.

Almost any savvy digital marketer will tell you to produce quality content to drive traffic to your website. And it doesn’t matter the business — if you’re creating engaging content targeting your industry and customer, people will want to read and engage with your content.

There’s plenty of free and trusted online resources that allow you to set-up a blog, share videos, or create infographics. You can always use your social media channel as an easy way to create and post content for prospective customers.

If you’re not already on social media, maybe now is a good time to start. BBB interviewed Amanda Brinkman, the host of the TV show Small Business Revolution, about the importance of creating an online presence. Brinkman says successful online businesses can reach new people without a customer ever walking into their store. Companies need to spend more time embracing technology by ensuring their website is up to date, the business listing is correct, and social media pages are current.

“It’s on us as owners to make it as easy as possible,” Amanda explained. “Communicating with customers and showing the heart behind our businesses as to what we are doing for the community.”

At Better Business Bureau, we pride ourselves on our Standards for Trust, and our accredited businesses hold themselves to those high standards. We encourage companies to respond to customer needs, act with integrity, advertise honestly, and honor promises on agreements and transactions.

These simple steps can go a long way to building trust with customers and strengthening your reputation as a trustworthy business.

Some of the most heartwarming stories during the pandemic came from small business owners across North America who gave their time and resources to help their community get back on its feet. We profiled some of these business stories on our YouTube page.

By giving back to your community, businesses can not only get in front of more people and networks, but it helps build that trust with your brand. Many companies will post on social media to raise awareness about a particular event or cause in the community. It shows support, and it is free publicity for your business.

For More Information

Visit the BBB Small Business Resources page.

Find out how to Get Accredited. You can also view our BBB Accreditation Standards and BBB Standards for Trust.

Originally published at https://www.bbb.org.

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David Quinlan

Marketing and Communications Executive. MBA. Storyteller. Brand Strategist.