Depending on your definition of cheap, here are some useful marketing ideas that I have used that have worked well (and I’m super cheap!).
Social networking websites – free apart from the time involved.
You can offer your “friends” a discount to buy your product or service and get them to visit your site to redeem it. Or perhaps use it to build up a community for your business by blogging on there.
Offer magazines your product to use as promotional giveaways; most mags run competitions, this then just costs you the product and you will usually get a plug for your product and website.
Write your own press releases and send them out to the media, then follow up with a phone call. It is a really good idea to try and make them stand out by making it personal, or sending it in a way that is relevant to your brand – my first press release on Mocks was a phone shaped release which I sent inside a Mock.
If you send out your product to consumers why not include some marketing materials with it. I enclose a button badge, a balloon, a sticker and a little Mocks info card; the postage isn’t any more and it makes my customers feel special. Plus you can also promote other products in your range.
Send out a regular newsletter to your “fan base” – you can offer discounts in this or just tell them new news that they won’t hear elsewhere.
Ask your current customers if they know anyone else you can help.
Make sure everyone in your business understands what it is that you do, so that when their friends/family ask them, they are actively promoting your business.