Small businesses in India can effectively promote themselves on a tight budget — you don’t have to sink a ton of money into promotions. There are many ways to get the word out there without spending a fortune. And often, the most effective methods for small businesses are also some of the most cost-effective approaches.
A few ideas you can start with include creating an engaging website, partnering with other local businesses, and investing in influencer marketing. After all, a combination of online and in-person strategies can help your business reach a range of potential customers. Here are some low-cost and free ways to promote your business.
Create an Engaging Website
When it comes to promoting your small business, your website is one of your most important tools. It’s where potential customers will go to learn more about you and what you have to offer. So, it’s important to make sure your website is engaging and credible.
Business Online India recommends you “design your website to inform, engage and convert visitors to paying customers.” This is especially important if you’re a new business. That’s because people will look up your website to verify your business’ legitimacy.
While fine-tuning your website, don’t forget to test your website on different devices. Your website should look good and function correctly on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Keep in mind that customers could come to your website from any of those devices.
Spend Some Time on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is another effective way to reach customers on the internet. Online businesses receive 35% of total traffic and 33% of revenue from SEO, according to Shopify.
As the source explains, customers you reach through SEO are considered high-intent shoppers. That means they’re more likely to buy something from your business than someone who happens to see your business post on social media.
SEO can be a slow process that takes time to start seeing results, so a lot of small businesses don’t devote resources to it. That could be an opportunity for you to get out ahead of the competition.
Think Local With Promotions
Partnering with nearby local businesses and joining local events are cost-effective ways to reach potential customers in person. For instance, you could organize a local business crawl with other local businesses that have similar customer bases. Customers can then enter a giveaway if they get their provided “passport” stamped at every participating store.
Participating in local artisan markets, craft fairs, and festivals are another way to reach potential customers in person. These types of events are an opportunity to meet shoppers one-on-one and build connections. Shopify says, “People can touch, feel, and smell whatever you’re selling and interact with your products.” So, don’t overlook the importance of in-person events.
Get Some Influencer Reviews
Social media has become an incredibly powerful tool for promoting small businesses. Not only can businesses reach a large number of potential customers through platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but they can also build trust and credibility with potential customers by getting the right influencers to post about them.
Since you’re looking for cost-effective ways to promote your business, you’ll want to focus on micro- and nano-influencers. According to Nation.com, the former has between 10,000 and 100,000 followers, while the latter has 10,000 followers or fewer. Reach out to relevant micro- and nano-influencers to get honest reviews.
Instead of cash payments, smaller influencers are often open to posting honest reviews of free products that make sense for their audiences. So, you could reach out to a relevant blogger to see if they would post an honest review of a product you send them on Instagram. You may need to reach out to several influencers.
Find Ways To Get Free Media
As a small business owner, you know that promoting your company can be expensive. However, as you can see, there are several ways to get the word out there without spending a lot of money. For example, earned media is another strategy. In other words, that means getting local media to cover your business.
Getting news organizations to cover your business can be tricky, but a good way to get some free publicity is to find an angle for your business to fit into a current news story. Similarly, you could write press releases for things like local shopping events you organize and the charitable fundraising efforts of your business.
The Bottom Line
According to The Economic Times, an Amex Trendex survey found that “supporting the local economy is important for Indian consumers as 6-in-10 respondents are planning on spending more at small businesses this holiday season compared to 2021.” You just need to reach those shoppers! Fortunately, small businesses can employ free and low-cost strategies to do that.
As you develop your overall promotional strategy, remember that employing a combination of online and in-person approaches is a smart way to reach a wide range of potential customers. For instance, reach out to small influencers to get social media buzz and go to local artisan markets to interact with people one-on-one. Get creative to promote your business on a budget.