5 hardware hacks that can help eliminate your marketing spend

These hardware hacks could put your marketing budget on a diet. Yes, really.

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To make money, businesses must first spend money to get the word out. However, until they create a robust revenue stream, they’re limited on how much they can spend on marketing. This puts pressure on small businesses that know they have to put an effort into marketing in order to be successful. But busy entrepreneurs are short on time and resources, as well as money.

Fortunately, there are tech tools in place that can help you get the word out about your business. These tools will help you compete with much larger businesses without hours of extra work or ongoing expense. Here are a few hardware hacks that will help you protect your marketing budget.

1. Tablets

Tablets have become a popular tool with busy professionals, allowing them the mobility of a smartphone without the smaller screen.

For busy entrepreneurs, this means having the convenience of being able to interact on social media and create blog posts while on the go, without having to drag a laptop around. One interesting gadget I found, called Super Screen, is launching through Kickstarter next month. The device allows entrepreneurs to wirelessly mirror mobile device screens, which could prove to be incredibly useful in a number of situations.

Brent Morgan, CEO of Superscreen told me, “I created Superscreen for entrepreneurs like myself to better harness their creativity on the fly. It is a high performance device which allows you to use everything from your smartphone, on a 10 inch Full HD touch screen device.  No wires, no fees, no contracts, no LTE, no Wi-Fi required.”

He continued, “I am a design engineer. I can use the device to present detailed assembly drawings of designs on a screen where the details are easily seen, then flip to YouTube to show videos of the designed device in action.”

2. 3D printers

Big brands are finding innovative ways to put 3D printing to use in connecting with customers. Until recently, these devices were out of reach for small businesses. Now that these printers are available for only hundreds of dollars, though, even small businesses can invest in this product. It can be used to print product samples or capture the interest of participants at conferences and trade shows, where consumers can watch you print customized products to hand out as a giveaway. People generally gather around 3-D printers, and your audience will enjoy the fact that they get to keep one of the products they saw created. In addition to purchasing a printer to use for your own marketing efforts, you can also design products that can be printed on your customers’ own 3-D printers.

3. Smartwatches

Traditional wristwatches have been replaced by smartwatches, which give wearers easy access to every income text message and email. The Apple Watch may be outside of your personal spending budget, but there are many affordable options that can help you stay on top of things while on the go. If you’ve set up alerts that let you know when someone posts about you on social media, you can use a tool like this to take quick action in response to customer comments, good or bad. In addition to price considerations, also research whether or not you can access those social media accounts on the smartwatch you choose.

4. Google Cardboard

Virtual reality (VR) will heavily influence the way consumers view information in the future. However, at the moment, the technology is still expensive. Google Cardboard provides an affordable way to enjoy virtual reality. The hardware combines with a person’s smartphone to showcase apps specifically designed to work with it. Businesses have found a variety of ways to use Google Cardboard for marketing, usually through immersive experiences that allow them to show off their products or services. In order to make this work, you’ll have to create a VR app that interacts with Google Cardboard, but it could be the best way to get attention.

5. Selfie stick (yes, really)

Small business owners know the value of visual content for their online marketing efforts. But most businesses don’t have a photographer standing by, waiting to snap photos. Selfie sticks can come in handy for capturing your entire team in one photo. They also work well when you’re the only one in the building, burning the midnight oil to meet a product release deadline. These devices are so affordable, even if you only occasionally use it, it won’t feel like a waste of money.

If you’re interested in ramping up your marketing efforts this year, the right tools can make all the difference. Combine these affordable hardware solutions with the right software and you’ll be able to effectively manage your marketing efforts without blowing your entire marketing budget.

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