Creative strategies on a shoestring budget—without damaging your digital footprint

by | Mar 16, 2022 | Analysis, Public Relations

With consumer prices and inflation impacting almost every aspect of small businesses around the country, resources and budgets have never been tighter. Small businesses, especially those that need PR to help drive sales and growth, are taking notice in a big way.

From office supplies to travel and everything in between, prices are on the rise. And with that, small businesses have less money to improve their digital footprint and actually help their business.

There’s some positive news in all of this though.  There are several creative, strategic and effective ways to grow your online presence in a meaningful way, without breaking the bank.

Through creative PR, social and digital marketing and tactics, a shoestring budget can go a long way.

Every business and marketer have its own unique set of circumstances to deal with, both in regards to its current digital footprint and finances—not to mention the industry they’re part of. Even so, there are general ways that everyone can take a step forward.

Organic growth being a massive growth driver

The term “organic growth” doesn’t necessarily equate to free, but when done correctly, it’s often more affordable than paid marketing and advertising strategies.

Take for example search engine optimization (SEO). If your website reaches the top of page one for a highly searched, targeted keyword, you’ll receive traffic for as long as it remains in that position. This is in comparison to pay-per-click advertising with which you’re charged every time someone clicks through to your website.

It takes time, money, and knowledge to reach the top of page one, but once you’re there the traffic is free. If you’re ready to take this approach, do so with point #1 above in mind. Hire an experienced, knowledgeable, and reputable SEO professional to manage your organic growth

Leveraging the current gig economy to find talent

The freelance economy is real. And not only that, it’s here to stay. According to Upwork’s Freelance Forward Economist Report, “freelancers contributed $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy in annual earnings, up $100 million from 2020.”

As a small business owner on a budget, this should be music to your ears. Hiring contractors, not employees, allows you to save money in various ways. You have access to talent around the globe—not just in your local area—making it easier to find affordable workers. Furthermore, there’s less overhead when you hire contractors, as you avoid fixed costs such as benefits, retirement contributions, office space, and office supplies, to name a few.

Also, with a freelancer, you can work with them either on a short or long-term basis. For example, if you only need a web designer or copywriter for three months, you can hire a freelancer on a per-project basis. When you don’t have consistent and ongoing needs for a specific task, it’s financially beneficial to hire a contractor.

Unlocking the power of your network circle

To a certain degree, networking isn’t what it used to be. This is due in large part to an increase in the number of people working from home. Additionally, the growth of online networking — led by LinkedIn—has many people focusing their time and efforts on the digital world. But this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just different from the way things were 10+ years ago.

There’s no shortage of ways online networking can help you improve your company’s digital footprint. Consider the following:

  • Connect with potential partners, clients, and suppliers.
  • Find top talent.
  • Uncover affordable and/or free marketing and advertising opportunities.

If that’s not enough to get you excited, consider this: it doesn’t cost anything to network online.

You can do all of the above without spending a single penny. All you need is a few social media accounts to get started.

Austin Rotter
Austin Rotter is a strategic PR and media relations strategist with over a decade of experience working with a number of clients ranging from Fortune 100 brands to hyper growth companies.


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