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Low-Cost Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses

Advertising is a widely used strategy to draw customers. Print, broadcast, and Internet advertising are very effective as these provide widespread dissemination of information. However, a typical advertisement can be expensive and impractical for most small businesses. Even with our modern technology, it can be challenging to find low-cost advertising ideas for small businesses.

Small or struggling businesses need to come up with innovative and low-cost techniques. Investing too much on newspapers, magazines, television, radio and online advertisements will definitely hurt the business. Choosing to use other in-print means like direct mail, leaflets, and promotional merchandise are also costly. Environment-conscious individuals find these means of advertising not a good form to attract customers.

Creating low-cost advertisement for small businesses should answer the prevalent questions any owner would think of. You can actually use several alternative means to advertise your business. Tap your local community to start with your advertising strategies.

Trade Fairs

Trade fair


Trade Fairs are getting popular these days. More and more businesses are organizing events such as bridal fairs, food fairs, home and garden shows, boat and automotive exhibit, etc. Set up a booth to make yourself visible to potential customers flocking the event. Give them small flyers that displays your website’s name (if you have one) so they would have an idea on the other products and services that you offer.

Sponsor an Event

event sponsor


Another popular approach in advertising your small business is to sponsor an event. Make your business known during non-profit fundraising events. These events usually give appreciative and highly-visible recognition of sponsors, often in the form of banners, booths, and direct advertising during the program itself. It’s an ideal way to boost your presence in the area.

Community Newsletters


You can use community newsletters printed at low cost. Many residential communities publish small monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly newsletters. There are some that would require membership or affiliation with the residential community. On the other hand, some offer publications to local businesses. This is highly-defined in terms of demographics, making it an advantage because the newsletter will be read from cover to cover by subscribers, increasing the likelihood of your advertisement being noticed.

Church and School Bulletins


Utilize school and church bulletins in your locality. You can post on their bulletin boards or have your business included in their small newsletters that are funded by revenue generated from advertising. In addition to school yearbooks, the performing arts program leaflets depend on advertising funding to pay for publishing costs. Being a local patron would greatly benefit and boost your business’ image.

Co-op Advertising


If your business is retailing a selection of branded products, or a service provider for these brands, co-op advertising can be very helpful. The product manufacturer usually shoulders bulk of the advertising, which includes your business as a local retailer.



The idea of bartering may seem old-fashioned and perhaps odd for our modern times. Bartering goods and services in exchange of advertising space are being offered by many of the smaller, local advertising agencies. However, you should be aware that declaring any bartering deals you make on your income tax returns is required.

These are just some of the low-cost advertising ideas for small businesses. These methods prove to be among the best alternative marketing methods that provide business owners with the highest return on investment.

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