woman-241327_640 (2)Advertising on a tight budget doesn't have to mean compromising strong advertising messages and strategies. Many influential forms of advertising cost very little money or are virtually free. For an even more robust impact on your market, you can combine these low-cost methods of advertising with your more expensive campaigns in order to help establish your brand.

1. Social Media Engagement

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be used to garner free advertising of your business' products or services by simply interacting with the pictures, news, and updates that individuals and other companies post.

Sharing funny, intriguing or inspiring stories and news of your own also helps to give other entities content to share around the web, but you've added your brand to that content, which means people are seeing that as well. Photos are great for this, especially if they involve a funny caption. The more people around the web that enjoy the photo, the more likely they are to have a positive feeling about your company. Then, when they're thinking about services or products similar to those that you offer, they're more likely to turn to your business first.

2. Social Media Ads

All the major social media platforms have a formal advertising component. These ads usually take about five minutes to put together (often requiring just some copy and a photo) and you can have them link directly to your website, online store, or social media profile. Prices are very low, often starting at around five cents per click or 1 dollar per day.

3. Online Photos

Posting multiple pictures online is a great way to get your products or services out in the public eye. If you offer a service, take photos or create infographics showing how your service makes people's lives better (treating minor medical issues, cleaning houses, supervising children during work hours, etc.). For products, post photos of your product being enjoyed by real people in your city. It's best to have the participants sign a media release allowing your company to use their image in your posts. Post these pictures on your website, blog, and social media profiles.

4. Online Videos

Record and upload videos of people talking about and using your product or services. A baker might walk down a busy central street in their city and record people's first tastes of their cookies. A consultant might schedule a time to record a recent customer telling a story about how the consulting agency has benefit them or their family. Don't forget the media releases.

5. Local News

When your business opens, put out a press release and contact local news organizations to get a story done on the fact that the business is opening. This a sure-fire way to get your brand in the public eye. Getting in contact with news columnists helps as well. They can produce a short, written version of the news story that will be broadcast and you can share that on your web site, blog, and social media profiles to help extend the news' reach.

6. Put Your Business on the Virtual Map

Though you may have your address listed on your website, you can receive free advertising from search engine sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing by registering your address with them. Doing this, means whenever someone is searching for the kind of product or service your company offers in your area, your company will automatically pop up on a map for the potential customer. They can then click on your company's icon to get directions, a phone number, reviews, or even your website URL.

7. Ask Bloggers for Reviews

Nearly every city has at least one blogger who focuses on things going on in that particular area. Reach out to these bloggers and offer them a free sample or service so that they can review it on their blog. It gives them content and gives you cheap advertising.

8. Door Hangers

Print and cut out door hangers at the office on the cheap, then just place them on various entryways around town For example a dog grooming business might place them on the fences or doors of houses with dogs in the yard or who are barking through a window. IT consultants might put them on office doors in high-rises which house various firms who may need IT services.

9. Flyers on Cars

As old-fashioned as it may sound, this may be one of the most cost effective ways to advertise your business. Even if it's just to take the flyer off to throw it in the trash, you guarantee that the driver of the car has seen your logo at least once. If you don't personally have the time to place the flyers yourself, offer a work reference to some high school students who may be looking for employment soon, in exchange for them going out and covering a large area for you on a weekly basis.

10. Volunteering

Helping a community agency with problems they may be having, shows that your company is caring and invested in giving back to the community. A contractor might build a new playground in an impoverished neighborhood. A caterer might volunteer to cook for a dance being held at a high school in a poor area of town. The people who directly receive your products or service will remember you and you will probably be willing to provide a testimonial online, if not on the local news stations, for your generosity.

The key to low-cost advertising is using whatever resources you already have available, to work as a voice to represent your company. Don't be afraid to try new things and think outside the box. What works well for an addiction recovery house in New York, might not work as well for a used car dealership in St. Louis. Luckily, because the methods are all low cost, you can try several, and only repeat the ones that work for growing your business.