Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

With the average small business set to spend around $75,000 this year on digital marketing, it’s vital to make sure you get the most out of every dollar. To make your budget stretch, you need to find creative ways to market without spending much money. By creating your own content and having your customers create content, you implement some creative marketing strategies that really work.

Here are five strategies to try this year.

1. Get Your Camera

Given that video is about to account for more than 80% of internet traffic in the coming years, people love video content. No matter what industry you’re in, your customers probably want to see video content. They want to see what kind of creative ways you can frame your products.

Depending on your industry, you could create something funny or epic that really connects with your audience. You don’t need to be a famous director to make something that’s interesting and engaging.

In fact, you could make something as simple as a walking tour that shows off a new tool or product line that you have. You should show just about any kind of behind the scenes element and engage your audience in a new way. The more you can do with video, the more engaged your audience will be.

Quick videos are great for social media while longer videos can be shared on your website and embedded in an email. If you’re struggling to figure out how to make some branded entertainment, check out this helpful article for some tips.

2. Make Something for the Holidays

Go behind the scenes at any company and you’ll find people rushing around like mad before any holiday. You’d think this was the first time this holiday has ever rolled around the way that people will stress out preparing for it. Rather than thinking about it the day before, make a few plans to put into motion a year out so that when the holiday rolls around, you’re ready.

Design a holiday promotion with other holiday tie-ins to sell more products and services. Make the whole thing themed so with each purchase, your customers and clients are getting even more into the spirit of the holiday. If it’s a holiday where gifts are central, have versions of your products and services on hand for giving away.

Every company from a tire manufacturer to a gaming app can find a way to turn their products into gifts. You’ll have a much stronger impact when you can strike an emotional chord with your customers and clients.

3. Plan a Community Event

Ask anyone who knows about marketing and they’ll tell you just how important it is to connect with your customers on an emotional level. You can do that through holidays, through family participation, or through a community event. When you show that you’re part of the community at large, you’ll be able to connect your company to what’s happening with everyone’ lives.

You can latch onto a big community event or community fair that’s happening. If your region has a lot of events like this, you could order a table or some space to be around the other exhibitors.

If you want to start this kind of thing in your region, you can plan events easily, so long as you have a strong theme. Teach a course on how to install things or set up your most popular service. You could even just have a coffee and snacks event where you bring people around to talk about your industry.

If there is a lot of research around your industry, host a talk with a well-known professional. You’ll raise the profile of your business while connecting yourself to the other person. The more you can show off your professionalism and industry knowledge, the more trust you’ll earn from your local audience.

4. Send Out Free Items

While you might be trying to get people to buy a new product that’s in a field you’re new to, you need to try out some old tricks to get people into it. Rather than telling them how great it is or discounting the product, sell it for what it’s worth. To do that, you should send out free samples to those tastemakers you know that matter the most.

If you have a strong social media presence, you should send out some samples to your most worthy influencers. The people who know how to turn a product into a hit are going to be able to work wonders with yours.

Choose your targets to people who will feel flattered and complemented by receiving your products. The people who follow you and don’t expect something free are going to find that they’re most excited. Your products will resonate when people who follow you get unexpected gifts.

5. Interview Your Customers

Every customer base has interesting people in it. You surely have some creating and funny people who are part of your fanbase and who would love to rave about what you bring to their life. Run a contest where you have fans submit their own videos.

You’ll get lots of attention based on your promotion and then get a whole new set of people watching the videos you post. When you choose the best one, you get to reward your customers. Give everyone who submits something a small token of appreciation and have your customers vote to increase engagement.

Creative Marketing Strategies Will Take You Far

When you’re trying to come up with creative marketing strategies, the most important thing to remember is to empower your audience. The more empowered and involved they feel, the more dedicated they’ll be to you and your brand.

Check out our latest guide for more information on why your customers’ opinions matter.