6 Essential Marketing Materials for Startups & Small Businesses on Tight Budget

Did you know that the estimated global marketing expenditure in 2018 was around $628.63 billion which was 36% more than the global marketing spending in 2017 ($461.53 billion). These stats may have different meaning for researchers, but for a common entrepreneur, it means that businesses are spending a significant amount on marketing every year.

Moreover, a huge percentage of this spending went into digital medium, Internet marketing in particular, i.e. 43% of the total global marketing expenditure was spent on digital marketing mediums in 2018. Considering these major trends, a successful marketing strategy is the one that contains appropriate mix of digital and print marketing techniques and effective marketing materials.

You may want to research a couple of big businesses and how they are strategizing their marketing materials, but do consider the fact that big businesses and enterprises have huge marketing budget and copying their strategies might not work well for your startup or small business. Startups and even many small businesses have either no or a low marketing budget and devising a successful marketing strategy can be tricky, especially because creating result oriented marketing materials requires parallel time, effort and money.

This article will guide you through a list of essential marketing materials that produce good results for your startup, and you can have these marketing materials without stretching your budget much.

1- Logo & Website:

In today’s world, no business can do well without a website. Even if you do not sell online, potential customers will search for your business online before even visiting your store. So, ideally, you should invest in a responsive business website that has all the necessary information to convert the visitor into a customer.

A good business website is not complete without a logo that truly expresses the vision of your company. Moreover, this logo will be your brand identity that will go across all the marketing materials online and offline.

2- Business Cards:

This traditional marketing material is still popular, however, depending on your business model and the consumer behaviour, you may want to switch between a paper business card and a digital business card.

3- Content:

Initially, content marketing was much loved by B2B marketers only, but now more and more B2C businesses are investing in content for marketing puposes. Let it be the content for your social media pages, newsletters, blog posts or print ads, it is the content that will develop interest and attract people towards your brand.

4- Email Signature:

Email signature is one of the highly effective branding material that doesn’t cost anything except the creativity. You can play with colors and fonts for branding your email signature according to your business theme, but make sure it’s neither too bulky nor too short and have all your business information concisely, i.e. phone number, website address, social media profiles etc.

5- Flyers & Brochures:

Flyers and brochures are probably the most effective print materials when done rightly, i.e. created on time, have the right information and distributed at the right places. Some startups may feel that they don’t need them, but think out of the box and you will find that flyers and brochures make sense to almost every business.

6- Promotional Products:

Promotional products are the great way for bringing in long term customers. These are not just great giveaways in tradeshows, but can also be used otherwise, i.e. contest marketing, giving back to the society campaign and so on.

However, to make most out of your promotional products, you have to choose the products wisely. Consider the products that are of great value for your potential customers. For instance, a travel business gives away universal phone/laptop charger.

How to Save Money on Marketing Materials:

Knowing about the right type of marketing materials is a big plus in devising a successful marketing strategy for your startup or small business, but it is not enough. You must also know how to save money on marketing materials. So here goes the quick checklist:

  • Invest in preliminary research and shortlist the three main materials you should start with. Keep the rest in order based on their importance and urgency, i.e. if an event is not near you can always hold print materials and promotional products for a while.
  • Funnel funds to one strategy at a time, i.e. website design & development first and then the rest.
  • Find the right vendors; let it be for the website design & development or business cards and flyers printing. Investigate their claims before placing an order.
  • Buy in bulk, i.e. the business cards, flyers, promotional products etc.
  • Rely on digital goods and services as they are less costly and free most of the time.
  • Reuse what you can.

The Bottom Line:

Marketing materials play the key role in success of any marketing strategy. Some are quick and easy to get while others are expensive and difficut to create. Depending on your business model, you can use the mix of different marketing materials, but the above discussed options will go for almost every business.

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