10 Ways to Advertise Your Business for Under $50

10 Cheap Advertising Ideas for Your Small Business

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A number of small businesses still aren’t spending enough advertising cash to get good results although they know they should. One of the reasons is a limited budget, but did you know that there are some solid cheap advertising ideas out there that are more effective than you’d think?

Cheap Advertising Ideas

Here are 10 cheap advertising ideas to get the word out about your business for under $50.

Service Apps

Ben Taylor is the founder of the HomeWorking Club. He points to several apps as cheap ways to advertise.

“If your business provides services, apps like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack help you to get into contact with customers who need them,” he writes.

TaskRabbit charges a $25 registration fee.

Notice Boards

He also suggests going old school by taking advantage of noticeboards in places like supermarkets. A package of markers and speech cards are cheap.

Business Cards

More old school suggestions that work and come in under budget. Vistaprint can supply 100 business cards for well under $50.

As far as the design goes, you can use a template or create your own. If you’re designing your own business card remember to keep it simple. Remember to include taglines and contact info.

You can also pay a small fee to local restaurants/businesses to leave your cards at the counter. Business cards fit nicely in the corners of bulletin boards at public locations.

Determining the ROI on these can be a little tricky because you’re handing them out in physical spaces . Ask new customers how they found your business.  You’ll get some indication of how effective these are.

10 Ways to Advertise Your Business for Under $50

Facebook Groups

“There are lots of options for advertising on Facebook,” Taylor writes. “At a basic level you may even be able to promote your business on local groups. With a budget of $50 and some good targeting, you could reach plenty of target customers.”

You can also make your own Facebook group. As a small business you have the option of putting one in a buy and sell category.

Another quick tip to make your advertising dollars go further. Having theme days for your Facebook group will attract people. One good example revolves around asking people to share their gripes on a Monday.


Sign up as a source . Reporters and writers look for experts at HARO to comment on pieces they write. There’s a standard subscription that’s under a $50 monthly budget. You’ll get lots of good exposure through links and position yourself as an expert.

Email Marketing

Jared Weitz CEO/Founder United Capital Source Inc thinks emails work.

“Conduct an email marketing campaign,” he writes. “There are many great low-cost tools, like MailChimp, that will allow you to send professionally crafted emails. You can even track open rates, clicks on links and visibility to those who unsubscribe.”

Email marketing works best when it’s regular and consistent. If you’ve got first names on your list, those are great to add to personalize the emails you send.

10 Ways to Advertise Your Business for Under $50


Visual like infographics are effective ways to advertise. There are a variety of options here. Lots of free choices and paid ones that come in under $50 a month.

Small businesses should really give these a close look. Consider almost all of the info our brains receive is visual according to HubSpot. It’s a good idea to start by introducing your message with a brief summary.

Social Media Ads

For $30, you can reach thousands of prospects. However, you need to outline a goal before you start. Facebook and Instagram are two of the best places to get going.

You’ll find that each social media platform has a metric you can use to gauge its effectiveness. Google AdWords uses a Quality Score. Facebook uses a Relevance Score. The Facebook version is pretty simple to use. A score of one tells you your ad isn’t doing well. The higher numbers tell you the opposite.

There are a few ways to make these more effective. First is narrowing down your target audience to get more engagement. Making sure your ads have an attention grabbing image is good no matter what social media you’re using.


These are effective but not always cheap. If you can handle the monthly subscription, there’s a few possibilities to look through here. ClickMeeting is a good one.

Here’s a few good tips to make these work. Visuals are important. Even though you can do these on the cheap digitally, you want to have some nice slides to capture attention. Having a handout is another good idea. A screenshot of all your slides gives prospects something to look at after.

10 Ways to Advertise Your Business for Under $50

Affiliate Marketing

You should be able to find a good service here that comes in under budget monthly. GoAffpro offers a connection to Instagram influencers for $19 a month.

There are a few things that a small business needs to look for to get the most from any service. First, it’s important to look for an option  that has some kind of real-time tracking.

You want to be able to have real-time data on things like clicks and impressions. It’s a good way to make sure your marketing efforts are on the right track.

Advertising IdeaDescriptionCost
Service AppsUtilize apps like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack to connect with customers in need of services.TaskRabbit registration fee ($25)
Notice BoardsUtilize physical notice boards in places like supermarkets for low-cost advertising.Affordable markers and speech cards
Business CardsCreate and distribute business cards; Vistaprint offers 100 cards for under $50.Printing cost for business cards
Facebook GroupsAdvertise on local Facebook groups and consider creating your own group for promotion.Free or budget of $50 for targeting
HARO (Help a Reporter Out)Sign up as a source for HARO to get exposure through links and position yourself as an expert.Standard subscription under $50/month
Email MarketingConduct email marketing campaigns using tools like MailChimp to send professionally crafted emails.Cost of email marketing tool
InfographicsCreate visual infographics to convey your message effectively. Various affordable options available.Cost of creating infographics
Social Media AdsRun targeted ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram with a budget of as low as $30.Ad budget for social media platforms
WebinarsHost webinars using platforms like ClickMeeting; invest in visuals and handouts for better engagement.Monthly subscription cost
Affiliate MarketingExplore affiliate marketing services like GoAffpro to connect with Instagram influencers for promotion.Monthly service cost (e.g., $19)

Customer Testimonials

One essential aspect of effective advertising is building trust with potential customers. One way to achieve this is by showcasing genuine customer testimonials. Here are some cost-effective ways to incorporate customer testimonials into your advertising strategy:

  • Website Testimonial Section: Create a dedicated section on your website to display customer testimonials. Include brief quotes or video snippets from satisfied customers. You can even include before-and-after photos or case studies if applicable.
  • Social Media Highlights: Share customer testimonials on your social media platforms. Repost positive comments or messages from customers, along with their permission, and add a catchy caption to highlight the positive experiences.
  • Email Campaigns: Incorporate customer testimonials into your email marketing campaigns. Include quotes or stories from satisfied customers to build credibility and trust among your email subscribers.
  • Video Testimonials: If possible, create short video testimonials with your customers. These can be powerful tools for showcasing the real people behind your brand and their positive experiences with your products or services.
  • Review Websites: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on popular review websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, or Trustpilot. Positive online reviews can significantly impact your brand’s reputation and visibility.
  • Incorporate Testimonials in Ads: If you are running paid advertising campaigns, consider including customer testimonials in your ad creatives. This can help capture the attention of potential customers and increase the likelihood of conversions.
  • Highlight Success Stories: Share success stories of customers who have achieved significant results using your products or services. This could include before-and-after photos, statistics, or personal anecdotes.
  • Customer Spotlight Blog Posts: Write blog posts that feature individual customers or client businesses. Share their stories, experiences, and the positive outcomes they’ve achieved with your help.
  • Collaborate with Influencers: If you have partnerships with social media influencers or industry experts, ask them to share their experiences with your products or services through testimonials on their platforms.
  • Customer-Generated Content: Encourage customers to create and share user-generated content, such as photos or videos of them using your products. Repost this content on your social media channels, giving credit to the customers.
Website Testimonial SectionCreate a dedicated section on your website for customer testimonials, including quotes, videos, and visuals.
Social Media HighlightsShare positive customer comments and testimonials on your social media platforms, with permission and catchy captions.
Email CampaignsInclude customer testimonials in your email marketing campaigns to build trust among subscribers.
Video TestimonialsIf possible, create short video testimonials featuring satisfied customers.
Review WebsitesEncourage customers to leave reviews on popular platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews, or Trustpilot.
Incorporate Testimonials in AdsUse customer testimonials in your paid advertising campaigns to capture potential customers' attention.
Highlight Success StoriesShare success stories with before-and-after photos, statistics, or personal anecdotes.
Customer Spotlight Blog PostsWrite blog posts that feature individual customers and their positive experiences with your products or services.
Collaborate with InfluencersPartner with influencers to share their experiences with your products or services via testimonials.
Customer-Generated ContentEncourage customers to create and share user-generated content, such as photos or videos, on your social media channels.

10 Ways to Advertise Your Business for Under $50

Leveraging Local Partnerships

Another cost-effective advertising strategy for small businesses involves leveraging local partnerships and collaborations. Building connections within your community can help you reach a wider audience without breaking the bank. Here are some ways to make the most of local partnerships:

  • Cross-Promotion: Identify complementary businesses in your area and explore opportunities for cross-promotion. For example, if you run a fitness studio, collaborate with a nearby health food cafe. You can promote each other’s services through flyers, social media shoutouts, or joint events.
  • Host Joint Events: Partner with local businesses to host events or workshops. This not only increases your visibility but also provides value to your community. Consider co-hosting workshops, charity drives, or pop-up markets together.
  • Local Sponsorships: Sponsor local events, sports teams, or community organizations. Your business’s name and logo will be displayed at these events, increasing your brand’s visibility among a local audience.
  • Customer Referral Programs: Collaborate with neighboring businesses to create a referral program. For instance, a hair salon and a nail spa can offer discounts to each other’s customers who are referred to their partner business.
  • Local Media Collaborations: Partner with local newspapers, radio stations, or bloggers to feature your business. Provide them with interesting stories or insights related to your industry that can be shared with their audience. In return, you gain exposure through their channels.
  • Community Engagement: Get involved in community events, fairs, or charity initiatives. Show your support for local causes and interact with potential customers face-to-face. This personal touch can leave a lasting impression.
  • Online Directories: Ensure your business is listed in local online directories and platforms like Google My Business. Positive reviews and a strong online presence can boost your visibility in local search results.
  • Collaborative Giveaways: Partner with nearby businesses for collaborative giveaways or contests on social media. This encourages cross-audience engagement and can help grow your online following.
  • Local Influencer Partnerships: Identify local social media influencers who align with your brand and collaborate with them. They can create content featuring your products or services, reaching their local followers.
  • Chamber of Commerce Membership: Join your local chamber of commerce to connect with other businesses and gain access to networking opportunities, events, and resources that can benefit your business.

By harnessing the power of local partnerships, you can expand your reach within your immediate community and tap into a loyal customer base that appreciates your commitment to supporting local businesses. These collaborations not only enhance your advertising efforts but also strengthen the bonds within your community.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. He is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. His print credentials include employment with various Toronto area newspapers and three works of fiction: The Apple Lady (2004), Creekwater (2006) and Sophistry By Degrees (2008) published by Stonegarden Press In California.