Can you do “Big” Marketing on a Small Business Budget?

  • Digital Marketing
  • Small Business

Tech Expert

Lee can most often be found with several devices in hand, fixing tech issues for everyone and crafting engaging, beautiful websites and digital marketing for Digital Den's clients.

Let’s be real: as a small business owner, you probably feel like a one-person circus trying to keep all the plates spinning. Marketing is one of those plates, and the “experts” keep telling you it’s the most important one. But the next thing they say is how expensive it is – pay-per-click this, sponsored content that, the list goes on. It’s enough to make you want to toss the marketing plate right out the window.

But here’s the thing: you don’t need a Silicon Valley-sized budget to get your name out there. There are plenty of savvy (and dare I say, even fun) marketing tactics that won’t drain your bank account.

The Basics: They Ain’t Sexy, But they Work!

Business Owner 1

Let’s not reinvent the wheel here. These foundational things are freebies, but you’d be surprised how many businesses neglect them:


Email Marketing: The Ol’ Reliable. It’s not the flashiest, but email marketing lets you have direct conversations with interested customers. Don’t spam them with sales crap – give value, build trust, and THEN you’ve earned the right to pitch. Mailchimp and others have decent free tiers to get you going.


Google My Business: Where Local Search Lives. This is prime real estate. Claim that listing, make sure it’s accurate, and milk it for all it’s worth. Reviews and regular updates matter to the Google gods.


Blogging: The Slow Burn. Yeah, SEO is a fickle beast, but it pays off. Write like a human, address your customers’ problems directly, and over time, they’ll start finding you on their own.


Social Media: Choose Your Battles. It’s tempting to be everywhere, but you’ll do better on one or two platforms done consistently. Don’t be a megaphone, be a personality. Find your niche there.

Time to Get Clever (and maybe spend a little)

Now for the stuff that takes more creativity than cash:


Influencers Aren’t Just for the Kardashians. Forget the big names. Micro-influencers have better engagement anyway. Think trade, not just cash – your product may be exactly what they want in exchange for a shout-out.


Collaborate, Don’t Compete. Teaming up with complementary businesses is a win-win. You could offer bundles, share audiences, you name it. Get creative!


Make Your Customers Your Marketing Team. Reviews are great, but user-generated content is gold. Contests, hashtags, anything that gets people showing your stuff in action.

Portrait Of Happy Sports Teacher With Group Of Kids At School Gym Looking At Camera.
Happy elementary students and their teacher during physical education class at school gymnasium looking at camera. Copy space.

Be a Fixture in Your Community. Local love is powerful. Sponsor a little league team, do a fundraiser… it’s not about direct ROI at first, it’s getting your name etched in people’s minds.

Free Tools that Actually Help

Don’t think you have to do everything manually, these gems will save you:

  • Canva: Inner Graphic Designer Not Required. Seriously, their templates make it almost foolproof to create halfway decent graphics.
  • Mailchimp (or similar): List Building Made Easy. Segment your audience, automate some basics, it’s a lifesaver.
  • Hootsuite (free plan): Social Media Sanity. Schedule posts in advance so you’re not always scrambling.

Look, it’s not Easy, But it’s Possible

Let’s not sugarcoat it: you won’t reach Super Bowl ad levels of awareness with these tactics. But done consistently and with care for your specific customers, they absolutely work. It’s about ditching the idea of marketing as some magic bullet and embracing the reality: it’s long-term relationship building. The good news? You don’t need a tech giant’s coffers to be good at it.

Need a helping hand? That’s where we come in. We understand the unique challenges of small business marketing. Whether you need a website that works, help navigating digital marketing, or want to explore the potential of paid advertising, we customise solutions that fit your budget and your goals. Get in touch and let’s see how we can help your business shine!