When someone mentions the word marketing, the first thing we usually think of are expensive TV advertisements, full of celebrities and hero shots. However, marketing is so much more than that. It comes in the form of many different strategies and media, and not all of it has a really expensive cost.
In fact, there are 6 types of low cost marketing strategies that will help you promote your business for either a low price or for free. These strategies are all long-term and can take a while to yield results, hence the title of this article.
Low-cost marketing strategies:
Referral marketing is the first on our list of low-cost marketing strategies.
It is all about your customers putting in a good word for you to other people. It is an extremely effective type of marketing because people trust recommendations more than anything else, especially the ones from their friends and family.
Referrals can be word-of-mouth referrals, online reviews, social referrals (sharing and posting), and email referrals.
Referrals are great for getting more sales, building your brand, as well as reputation. If you want to give this low cost marketing strategy a shot, there are a few ways to go on about it.
Before you start asking people for referrals, it is important to get a few things out of the way first, such as who are the ideal referrals and how you will repay them for promoting you.
If, for example, you sell PC equipment, you could ask your customer who fixes people’s PCs or helps them set them up to provide referrals for you. In return, you could provide them with vouchers or free products.
Also, it is recommended that you always ask for referrals after you finish doing business with a customer. Only then will their experience with your business be complete.
If they say yes to a referral, make sure to reach out to them as soon as possible, because if you take ages, you will look highly unprofessional and they might change their minds.
If, however, they say no, respect their choice and thank them for their time and giving your business a shot.
Referrals also include collaborations, and the word of another business is worth a lot. If you collaborate with a business, make sure that it is similar to yours or that you come up with something that will tie your businesses together.
You don’t want to work with a business whose customers will have no interest in your products and services.
If you think no one uses forums anymore, you’re dead wrong. People still massively visit them and daily participate in all sorts of discussions.
This low-cost marketing strategy is completely free, but it does come with rules. Even if you find the perfect forum for yourself to visit and promote your business on, it will have rules regarding self-promotion and spamming.
So, before you post anything, we recommend that you take your time reading the rules. It might take a while, but it is better than getting permanently banned from an entire community.
This strategy is very much long-term because you will need to establish yourself as a contributing member of a forum before you can start promoting your business.
If you don’t, moderators will think you’re a spammer and will delete your messages, and even maybe ban you.
To avoid this, ask questions, provide answers, and get involved in discussions. Show other members that you are worth the trust and have something to contribute to the community.
It can even happen that the forum owner rewards you and promotes you themselves if they see how hard you are working on becoming a contributing member of the forum.
Pay-per-click or PPC advertising is another low-cost marketing strategy. The way it works is that you only pay for the clicks that you get, saving you a ton of money in the process.
You know how advertising on TV is so expensive, but it often doesn’t pay off? That’s because you’re showing your ads to hundreds of thousands of people, but a good portion of them will never see them.
With PPC advertising, your ad will get shown to a large amount of people, but you don’t have to pay for this. Instead, you’re only paying if they end up actually clicking your ad. Great paying model, don’t you think?
The most popular and used PPC service is Google Ads. It offers a number of different ad campaigns that can help you achieve different goals, including getting more sales, leads, website traffic, brand awareness, product and brand consideration, app promotion, and more. This service can take a while to learn and master, but it definitely pays off.
Google Ads will provide you with a ton of analytics and data that will help you learn more about your audience, thus making every new campaign you create better than the previous one.
Social media platforms also offer pay-per-click advertising, and the most popular one is Facebook Ads. The biggest reason for its popularity is the fact that Facebook is still the world’s largest social media platform, with over 2.6 billion people actively using it every day.
Another reason is the targeting of Facebook’s algorithm and the fact you can create your own audiences that you want your ad to be showed to.
Both of these ad services are useful and can take a while to learn, but once mastered, you can use them both for the best results.
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is a series of techniques that help websites rank for keywords in the search pages. The better the rank, the bigger the website traffic.
If your website isn’t optimized, chances are, no customer will ever find you, hence the importance of SEO. This low-cost marketing strategy is completely free, but there is a catch – it takes a while to learn.
There are two kinds of SEO – internal (on-site SEO) and external (off-site SEO). The former deals with the content that is on the website, such as copy, descriptions, loading speed, and so on, while the latter is concerned with factors outside of the website, such as links, shares, mentions, etc. Using these two types of SEO correctly is crucial for every website, no matter what they’re all about.
There are numerous SEO techniques that can help you get a better ranking in the search pages. But before you start with anything, we recommend you learn how to use Google Analytics. This free service of Google’s is world’s most used web analytics tool and will help you learn more about your visitors, website performance, and how you can improve your website in order to get the best results possible.
After setting up Google Analytics, focus on your website’s performance. Making your website fast and easy to use is of huge importance because search engines love everything that makes the user experience better. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile, or responsive since the majority of web traffic happens on phones these days.
Afterward, start doing keyword research to see what people are looking up related to your niche and start incorporating those keywords into your website. This way, when people search for something related to your business, they will have the chance of finding you.
Blogs are a huge SEO boost, so if your business allows you to run one, you’re in luck. A blog gives you the chance to provide people with quality content, which helps trust and brand building. It is also more than useful when it comes to keywords and ranking because the more topics you can cover, the bigger the chances of people finding your website. Search engines love quality content that is of use to people and experts don’t say ‘content is king‘ for no reason.
When it comes to on-page SEO, make sure to use headlines, subheadlines, meta tags, and keywords appropriately. This entails writing headlines that are accurate to the content of the pages, smart use of keywords (never keyword stuffing), accurate meta descriptions that will let people know what the page is all about, as well as proper page formatting.
Off-page SEO involves guest blogging, quality backlinks, social media activity, and a well-made and optimized Google My Business listing can be a huge off-page SEO boost.
As you can see, SEO is a serious business that involves a ton of work and can be challenging to learn, but it more than pays off to learn it.
We already mentioned the importance of content in one of the previous paragraphs, but a sentence or two doesn’t do it justice. Content is the main focus of content marketing, another low-cost marketing strategy, which helps you build relationships with your readers and customers, and enables you to learn more about writing, your audience and their interests.
Has a brand that you like ever posted a funny image that made you chuckle? That is an example of content marketing. This way they’re connecting with their audience and building trust.
Content marketing is all about creating high-quality content for an audience that involves their interests and is about topics they want to read about. It is a long-term strategy because you won’t get hundreds of readers and followers overnight with only a single post.
It involves a number of different formats: how-to articles, infographics, case studies, reviews, Q&As, guides, blogs, videos, user-generated content, as well as memes and giveaways.
To get the most out of content marketing, start a blog and make social media accounts on every platform that your target audience is on. If you already know everything about your target audience, your job is immediately much easier.
If you don’t, Google Analytics can help you with this. We recommend creating a buyer persona, which is a document that contains valuable information about your ideal customer.
That information includes their goals, values, age, gender, marital status, location, occupation, income, and so on.
After you learn about who your customers are, start writing quality articles and share them on social media with your followers, who will then share it with their followers.
Different groups prefer different content, and the difference is most prevalent when it comes to people of different ages. Here’s a great article about age groups and the content that they like.
Younger generations appear to prefer shorter content (especially video), with Generation Z loving memes and quizzes, and Millennials being more into short blogs and beneficial content. Older generations, on the other hand, prefer testimonials and reviews and longer and more detailed text.
Social media marketing is the last on our list of low-cost marketing strategies. As we already mentioned social media pay-per-click marketing, this chapter will be all about posting on social media.
Posting on social media is free, and no matter, if you’re planning to run social media ads or not, having accounts for your business, is of significant importance.
Having profiles that post regularly shows your customers that you care about your image and allows them to interact with you. It helps establish a relationship with your customers, as well as build trust and loyalty.
Use social media to share your blog posts, post content that you know your followers will like, but also promote your products and services.
Whenever one of your products is back in stock or you have a new one, make a post about it on social media and share it with your followers.
In the post, include a picture of your product and some of the most important benefits that will be of use to people.
Aside from this, you can also post images, memes, polls, questions, make giveaway posts, inform your followers about sales and special promos, the possibilities are numerous.
Don’t forget about responding to your followers’ private messages and take the time to reply to their posts whenever you can.
Additionally, encourage them to post their experience with your products and ask them if you can feature them in user-generated content.
By doing all this, you’re showing your followers that you care about them, and in return, they will share your posts and tell other people about your business.
There are 6 low-cost marketing strategies that we recommend you use this year: referrals, forums and groups, pay-per-click advertising, SEO, content marketing, and social media.
All of these strategies are long-term and can take a while to learn and yield results, but they are more than useful in the long run.
Referrals are recommendations from customers and businesses, which are a valuable source of trust. Forums and groups enable you to interact and promote your business in communities that are sure to be interested in what you have to offer.
Pay-per-click advertising presents an affordable form of marketing where you only pay for the clicks that you get. You can go for Google Ads PPC, Facebook Ads PPC, or both. SEO presents a combination of techniques that boost your website rankings for no cost and enable more people to find your business.
Content marketing is all about creating valuable content and getting loyal readers and customers using the power of useful (but also funny) posts. And last, but not least, social media allows you to post for free, promote your products and establish relationships with your customers.
Good luck learning these low-cost marketing strategies and thank you for reading!Thank you for reading!
Instead of doing marketing yourself, hire professionals to do it for you