A common problem for most entrepreneurs is having enough capital to successfully run their business. As money is often hard to come by, there are certain expenses which must be put off or greatly reduced until the business starts generating revenue. One important area of any business that can’t be put off is marketing. Without it, no one knows that your brand, product or service even exists. It makes gaining credibility and generating sales a lot more complex.

Since marketing is an ongoing expense, many entrepreneurs look for feasible ways to spread the word without spreading their budget too thin. Here are some ideas that will give off a professional first impression without draining your pockets.

Invest in multi-purpose products

Having tangible marketing materials are pertinent even in this very digitally inclined era. You need to have physical materials used to improve brand recognition. When investing in marketing merchandise, however, be sure to invest your dollars wisely. Opt for things that can serve multiple purposes. Here are a few examples:

Customized tents – A 10×15 canopy tent is an attention grabber that can be used on various occasions. You can use it to set up your booth at a trade show, at job fairs, corporate networking events, and even to use at local fairs and festivals within the community.

Promotional products – customers love promotional products especially when they’re useful items. You can invest in anything from pens and notepads to t-shirts and hats to give away to your audience. You can leave them on your desk for clients to grab, hand them out at corporate events, or offer them as giveaways for customers.

Print Materials – Knowledge is power and print materials are still relevant to today’s digital society. When you’re attending events or even out on a personal errand, having things like business cards, flyers, and postcards on hand provides you with a quick way to introduce yourself to interested parties.

Leverage social media

One of the most popular forms of digital marketing to date is social media. If you’re anybody in the world of business, you need to have a strong and engaging social media presence. The great news is that the top social media platforms are free to sign up for. You could essentially use digital marketing techniques to increase your following, generate leads, increase sales, and connect with your target audience without having to spend much. Here’s how:

Content – Content is king online and provides customers with a wealth of information about who your company is and the products and services you have available. You can post relevant and relatable content on your social media site to improve your follower’s knowledge in your industry.

Contests – What better way to get word of mouth working in your favor than to offer free prizes? You can host contests through your social media accounts. Announce the details, offer a prize, and watch the magic work. Asking for emails and contact information in exchange for a chance to win a free product or a discount on services can bring audiences like you never imagined and boost your email lists.

Event Planning – Did you know that you can plan meetings and invite interested parties through social media? You can provide all the details on an upcoming event and sent out digital invites. Sites like Facebook allow you to keep track of everyone who received an invitation to determine who’s coming and who’s not. You can keep them up to date of key speakers, fun activities, and other things that may take place at the event.

Videos – Another great advantage of using social media is the ability to create and edit videos in real-time. You can allow followers to see what a day in the life of an entrepreneur is like, take video of an event you’re attending, and even create demonstrations, explainer videos, and customer testimonials. Videos are frequently watched and easy to share which can boost your following.

It’s true, there are a lot of things that you have to pay for as a business owner. While some expenses are trivial, others, like marketing, are very important to the success of your brand. Fortunately, there are nearly free and affordable ways to spread the word about your company without going over budget. You just have to know which ones work best for your brand and audience and put them to use.