by Ashley Smith, Scribe Contributor

Each year companies spend millions of dollars to advertise during the Super Bowl because they know that the captivated audience of millions will most likely not mute the commercials. I’m sure even diehard football fans will admit—if only to themselves—that when it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, they’re eager not only to watch the game but the commercials, too. In fact, even those who are not so football crazy are often willing to suffer through the game just to enjoy the commercials.

This is great for well-established companies that have such large sums of money to spend for 30 seconds of advertising, but what about smaller businesses? How can small business owners get their message out without spending a fortune?

Below are a few creative marketing techniques that will make an impact on potential customers with minimal cost to you.

  • Invest in long-term advertising. People need to see your message more than a few times to remember it, so attach your message to something that lasts: bumper stickers, t-shirts, pens, etc.
  • Design brochures so the cover remains permanent, while the information on the inside can be changed. The outside covers can be printed in bulk and the inside section changed and printed as needed.
  • Make business cards for all employees. It’s worth it to spend the extra money to have business cards made up for everyone in your company. The employees will feel valued, which in turn will make them proud to hand out their business cards. And the more business cards left in the hands of potential customers the closer you are to increasing your sales.
  • Use direct mail. It’s cheap and it works. Purchase a mailing list of people that fit your target market and then send them a letter outlining your services or products. Place stickers, stamps or handwritten notes with a concise message on the envelope to catch people’s attention. They’re more likely to open the envelope if they have an idea of what to expect inside. And make sure to include your business card!
  • Promote with postcards. Whether you send them by mail or leave them out in a public area, postcards quickly put your message out in the open. Some people might not read an entire letter, but they will read a message on a postcard.
  • Offer complimentary tips. Who doesn’t like receiving pertinent information for free? Give just enough of a teaser to show the potential client your expertise. Once they’re confident you know your stuff they’ll be willing to pay for more.
  • Relate your message to a trend or current event. Can you link your product or service to a holiday, special event or current mode of living? How about a known group or association? Connecting it to something people can relate to is a sure way to make them aware (and want) what you offer.


For more ways you can advertise on a small business budget, check out “75 Big Marketing Ideas for Small Marketing Budgets.” For copywriting help on all your brochures, postcards, website content, or other advertising efforts, call The Scribe Source.

In the meantime, leave us a comment about which Super Bowl commercials you think were the best (or worst) ads. What did you like or dislike? What made the advertising effective? We’d love to hear from you!