Marketing is one of the most important aspects of building a new business. With the economy still struggling to right itself, many business professionals are looking for inexpensive ways to optimize their success in a more competitive market. Operating on a limited marketing budget can be a challenge, but if you keep an open mind and don’t spread your efforts too thin your business should be on the way to success.

If you are creative and determined, there are plenty of ways to get noticed without spending a fortune. Here are a few low-cost marketing ideas you can take advantage of to market your company, brand or event.

1. Social Networking
A large percentage of the population is on the internet on a regular basis. It seems only logical to go where the people are, and that is where social networking comes in. Social networking is really starting to become a powerhouse for marketing. Networking online is a free service that can have a huge impact. It takes some work to get it going and to maintain a constant presence but if you utilize social networking correctly it is effective for reaching a large audience. Some of the most popular social networking sites are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Digg and MySpace. Sign up and get started today.

2. Word of Mouth
It is possible that one of the most valuable marketing solutions is also the least expensive. When on a limited budget, gaining positive word of mouth is a very important marketing strategy. Word of mouth can have an enormous impact. To maximize the effectiveness, you do not have to wait until you have satisfied customers to spread the word. Begin a campaign to build buzz for your services, business or brand. Clients, customers, employees, family and even friends are the perfect individuals for spreading the word. They can express their enthusiasm for your business, make referrals, pass on positive experiences and show their support. Once your business has acquired satisfied customers ask them to give support for your business or brand. Satisfied customers are an excellent way to passively market a business.

3. Public Service/Corporate Sponsorship
Public service is an excellent way to get noticed and gain respect in the community. Supporting programs such as crime prevention groups, local charities, beautification campaigns, educational organizations and community art groups is an effective way to stand out and become a positive figure in the community. Event and corporate sponsorship is another way to expand your audience and a perfect opportunity to showcase your services or products. These types of sponsorships enable companies to strengthen their public profile while on a budget. If public service campaigns and corporate sponsorships are well conceived, they can increase sales and exposure long term.

4. Giveaways /Contests
Running a contest, giving out freebies and business incentives are always effective ways to gain interest in anything you do. Promotional materials like custom pens, business promotional items, printed cups and sports bottles will get your information into homes of prospective customers and act as fun incentives. Promotional products don’t have to be big budget items to make a big impact on your marketing campaign. Giveaways and contests are simple to organize, will generate interest and build buzz for your business.
Any one of these marketing ideas can help raise awareness for your company and gain exposure, but when combined, they make a highly effective marketing campaign that is perfect for those on a budget.

Author's Bio: 

Alice Ink is an SEO and copywriter currently working with Absorbent, Ink., the Promotional Products People. Specializing in Promotional Products and Business Promotional Items.