Want to get publicity and customers while spending less than $500 on marketing? In this article, we’re going to cover a range of different marketing ideas for small businesses that each cost less than $500 to implement.

=> College Papers

Advertise in a local college paper. Better yet, contact a journalist from your local college paper about a story they might be interested in.

College papers generally have cheaper advertising rates than regular newspapers. They have editors whose mailboxes are less bogged down. In other words, they’re easier to work with.

They also cater to a very specific audience: college students. If your business plays well to this crowd, it is definitely worthwhile looking into college papers as a marketing avenue.

=> Host an Event

Host an event for your target market. It doesn’t have to be extravagant and you don’t even have to pick up the bill.

One business consultant, for example, organized dinners between twenty influential investors and high-impact entrepreneurs. People who would never otherwise agree to dinner with him agreed to come, because they knew they’d meet other high caliber individuals.

As a result, he built a powerful reputation and client base with an incredible rolodex that drives his business forward.

What kind of events, dinners or parties could you host?

=> Yelp, Meetup, Craigslist, Google Places

These are a few low-cost online services that you can use to market your business.

Yelp is an online review website where people review small businesses. They give it a rating from 1 to 5 and can write comments about the business. It’s currently in several major cities in the U.S., including San Francisco and New York.

Related Article  Marketing Tools That Are FREE!

If you’re reviewed on Yelp, do everything you can to get as high a rating as you can. Yelp alone can drive a lot of traffic to your business.

Meetup is a website where people come together to find interest groups for various topics. It could include everything from salsa to yoga to business to rock climbing. If your business fits into a market that could benefit from Meetup, then you should definitely be on the site.

Craigslist is a free classifieds website where you can post ads for your business in the services section, as well as advertise events in the events section. It’s one of the most highly trafficked websites on the internet.

Google Places is Google’s way of giving local businesses a leg up. If you get your small business listed on Google Places, your business will show up ahead of other websites targeting your search term that aren’t local. In other words, if you own a noodle shop in Boston and someone in Boston types in “Noodle Shop,” yours will come up first.

These are a few low-cost marketing ideas for small business owners. Each of these ideas can be implemented for less than $500. They’re easy, affordable and efficient tactics that you can apply right now to see a boost in your business.