Advertising on a Small Budget

Table of Contents

You’re a small business owner, or maybe you have a part-time side hustle, and you want more customers and recognize that you need to advertise. However, you’re in a predicament because you’re on a tight marketing budget, or maybe a marketing budget of zero.  Well, I hate to break it, but you do have to spend some to make some. But I have great news, it doesn’t need to break the bank and you can do a lot of great stuff on the cheap, which will have a big impact as it pertains to getting new customers. I personally do many of these tactics for my site, Rise Marketing Group. I’ll break down the list. The tactics below are prioritized based on expected impact and affordability to advertise on a small budget.

Advertising on a Small Budget – Local Listings

local listings

This is an amazing tactic for local businesses with brick and mortar locations. If you partner with a platform like Yext, or contact me directly and I’ll set you up on the directories, you can push your business out to 65+ local directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Waze, FourSquare, etc. Through Yelp you can get this setup on the cheap (around $50/month) and your business will be pushed out and be found by users searching for your business, locally. There are two main benefits to this, the first is you’ll get free traffic (awesome) and there is hidden SEO benefit. This SEO benefit may actually be quite large for local searches. Moz, which is a highly respected authority for search engine optimization wrote a great article on why local listings are important. For those who are advertising on a small budget, this is a great start.

Advertising on a Small Budget – Google My Business

Google My Business is a type of local directory, but it’s big because, it’s Google! Google My Business is free and you can claim your business and create a really nice page with pictures, description, hours, etc. Additionally, folks can leave reviews, which can have a nice impact towards your digital reputation.  If you have a business, claim your listing and update it. You don’t need to spend too much time on it, but it will pay off. Given this is another free source, it’s at the top of my recommendations for businesses advertising on a small budget.

Advertising on a Small Budget – Remarketing


Have you ever looked at your Google Analytics and found 100 people went to your site, but maybe only one or two took action (i.e. call or submit a lead)?  You wonder, what happened to the other 98% of users. Well, they ventured off. They got distracted, they weren’t ready to take action and left your site. It doesn’t mean that they don’t want your products or services, it just means they weren’t ready to take action at that specific time. Remarketing solves this dilemma by giving you the opportunity to reengage this audience.  By placing a bit of coding on your site, you can follow the people who visited your site, across the internet. Then you can show your ad, and if you advertise on the Google Display Network, you only pay if they click to go back to your site.  This strategy has been working for the past 10 years and I don’t see it slowing down. If you have a site that people visit, you should launch this. On the scale of affordability and effectiveness, it’s way up there. I would place this as a 10 of 10. I place this up there as you’re only advertising to people who have previously visited your site. For those who want to DIY this form of advertising, check out the courses I offer.

Advertising on a Small Budget – Google Search Ads

google ads

Google Search Ads. Google Search Ads is a very effective ad product, however you need to know exactly what you’re doing. If you don’t, you’ll lose a lot of money. If you know what you’re doing, the flip side will happen,  you’ll make some good money and get customers.  Google Search works well as you have the opportunity to only reach users based on their intent to buy products and services you offer. You can do this by only showing an ad on select keywords that are highly relevant for your business, in your local area. You also only pay if someone clicks on your ad. If they don’t click, you get free branding and you don’t pay Google a dime.

This product will work for you, but given the landscape is very competitive, you need to be extremely targeted in what keywords you’re advertising on. For example, if have a shoe store, don’t just advertise “shoes” advertise on the specific products you carry, i.e. “nike air max”. If you’re super focused on your keyword selection and do your homework on how to setup a search campaign, this will absolutely drive customers for your business. If you’re interested in getting started, I would highly recommend to take my Google Ads courses, which I’ll share how to setup your search campaign and setup proper tracking to know how your marketing is driving business results.

Advertising on a Small Budget -Facebook Ads

Facebook has so much data on their users and advertisers can use that to their benefit. They can target folks based on users interest and actions online. While Facebook can make companies a lot of money, you need to know what you’re doing before you start investing on Facebook Ads. In the near future I’ll create Facebook tutorial courses to teach advertisers what to do, and most importantly, what not to do on Facebook.  Facebook is very similar to Google Ads where if you know what your’e doing, you’ll win and get new customers. If you don’t, you’ll spend money without much return. Caution aside, this is within my list of most affordable and effective advertising strategies because it can work really well.

For more information on how to advertise on Facebook, checkout my Top Facebook Ads blog post.

Facebook Ads

For the paid platforms, I recommend to start investment off relatively small, given you’re advertising on a small budget. As you see performance, start slowly increasing your advertising on the top performing channels. This rounds up my list of top platforms to advertise on a small budget. Now let’s get into budgeting amongst channels. In this example, let’s say you have $400 to spend for your business within a month. If that were the case, I would break down advertising as follows.

Local Directories: $50/month by signing up with Yext

Remarketing: $50/month. This is low as you’re limited to the amount of people who visit your site.

Google and Facebook: Split the difference and allocate $150 per month for each platform. As you have performance data put more budget into the platform that works the best.

Ben Lund

Ben Lund

Ben Lund is a 14+ year digital advertising vet who founded Rise Marketing Group. Outside of managing his agency, he offers advertising courses on SkillShare and routinely shares his best practices on

Ben Lund

Ben Lund

Ben Lund is a 14+ year digital advertising vet who founded Rise Marketing Group. Outside of managing his agency, he offers advertising courses on SkillShare and routinely shares his best practices on

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin


Need More Advertising Help?

While I am sharing a good amount of free information through DIY Digital Strategy, if you need more help, feel free to drop me a line on my contact page, as my agency Rise Marketing Group helps clients of all sizes.
Even if you’re not interested in full service advertising management, I would love to hear from you! Ping me a line at and I’ll be sure to follow-up to see how I can help.