Throughout this week we’re introducing the “what if?” content series.

The purpose of these will explore what could happen if you’re handed a small (but usable) budget to explore different areas of online business from starting a website to growing the business.

The first in this series showed you the “what if” of having $500 at our expense to build a website. The second was about creating content. Third was on monetization.

This one is what happens after you’ve got value to deliver – when you’ve set the foundation – this “what if” is all about promoting the brand and exposing what you have to the community.

Do you utilize guest blogging, advertising, local, or other marketing strategies?

$500 isn’t a whole lot when you think about what it takes for world domination but let’s play along with this prompt and see where it can take us …

The Importance of Promotion

Every day we see businesses closing up shop because they weren’t able to reach enough profit to keep their doors open – this, more than you’d like to think, comes about because the business isn’t doing enough promotional work to fill orders.

Sure, there are some businesses that offer crummy products or services but they are often discarded in regular fashion. Yes, there are those same types of businesses that offer low-quality and thrive because they have a budget for their advertising and marketing.

Is it fair? Not always – but it’s a fact of business life.

So what about you and your business?

You don’t have the intention of creating crap products or offering low value services, right? Your intentions are set on providing something great to the community!

Without putting time, energy, and a budget into promotion you could see a lot of your efforts go to waste.

What $500 can do for Promotion

$500 goes a looooong way when it comes to online and offline promotion if you know how to seek the best deals and capitalize on trends and best practices.

The best promotional methods are ones which fit your business.

  • Can’t find your audience actively participating on blogs? Not a problem – find them elsewhere like on social media platforms.
  • Can’t find a particular client in your area? Move on and work with their competition.

The point is that the only way you can find the right promotional strategies and channels is through trials and testing.

Let’s say you’re ready to throw in that $500 investment and you want to try a few – here are a few suggestions for getting started:

  • Paid Posting – Seek out freelancers to write and publish guest posts that will link back to your website using your keywords in an attempt to increase search engine presence.
  • Google Adwords – Try your hand at crafting Google Adwords specific to buyer keywords (the ones people use right before making a buying decision such as “keyword + price”).
  • Facebook Ads – Use this inexpensive platform to send people directly to your sales or landing pages or Facebook fan page.
  • Sponsored Social – Pay for a sponsored tweet or status update from an expert within your industry that has a large following to build some presence.
  • Print Ads – Get in touch with the local paper and inquire about advertising.
  • Meet Ups (and Lunches) – Use that money toward attending meet ups and other local get-togethers, and then take interested parties out for lunch and talk business.
  • Link Building – Hire a link building expert (or business) to help increase your search engine placement.
  • Video Marketing – Purchase video templates or hire a freelancer to edit and product videos which can be shared on your website and video sites like YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Contests – Consider using a part of that budget to fund a contest or giveaway which could use tools like Rafflecopter or PunchTab to automate the entries and spread the word about the contest and brand.

There are a lot of promotional techniques when you combine the force of online platforms like blogs and websites, social media, and advertising channels.

The $500 you’ve set aside for promotion will allow you to try and test any number of these opportunities to which you can then make a logical decision as to which you choose to pursue.

Don’t wait any longer … get out there and start promoting your brand and business, today.