Zero-cost Marketing: Cost-effective strategies to position your brand favourably

Whether the business is small or large, marketing is essential. People first need to know you exist in order to know how reliable and helpful your products and services are. And, to get the word out about your brand, products, and services, marketing strategies must be deployed.

Though effective, traditional marketing methods such as newspaper advertisements and brochures are not suitable if your marketing budget is limited. The good news is that it is very much possible to make your marketing campaign effective at a low cost.

A few low-budget marketing hacks

Here are a few low-cost marketing strategies that all businesses can benefit from:

  1. Have an effective content strategy
  2. Content marketing is a proven approach. Here are some interesting statistics to substantiate the claim:

    • Businesses with blogs can attract 67% more prospects than other companies.
    • 47% percent of buyers engage with a sales representative only after watching 3 to 5 pieces of content.
    • Content marketing can drive a 30% higher business growth rate.

    Content in any format — blogs, newsletters, whitepapers, ebooks, videos, social media posts etc. — is effective in marketing, promoting, SEO optimisation and forging meaningful connections.

  3. Leverage social media platforms
  4. There are 4.55 billion active social media users globally on social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. It makes sense for companies to be on social media when such a huge potential customer base is there.

    Here are a few ways in which social media sites can be leveraged:

    • To create an incessant social buzz — by posting regular updates about the business and its offerings, tweeting and using business-relevant hashtags — to create a steadfast brand presence.
    • To host contests. Rewards and prizes are a sure-shot way to engage existing customers and attract new ones.

  5. Host virtual events
  6. Virtual events such as webinars, virtual conferences, virtual exhibitions, seminars, trade shows, etc. are excellent ways to reach a wide audience and generate more leads. The key is to choose topics that can captivate the audience.

    By hosting virtual events, you can:

    • Showcase and launch upcoming products and services.
    • Build your brand’s image.
    • Connect with industry peers and customers.
    • Educate your audience.
    • Provide consulting services.

  7. Build customer loyalty
  8. Here are a few facts you ought to know about loyal customers:

    • They help your business flourish in the most prosperous of times and also help you pull through challenging times.
    • They tend to be more willing to pay for your brand than new customers.

    This is why every business owner must invest time in retaining old customers and acting on the feedback they give. A good connection with your existing customers will help you boost profits and save you a lot of money. It is good to remember that it is more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones.

  9. Build referral programs
  10. Imagine the tremendous growth for your business if each of your customers could recommend your brand to ten people in their network and convert them into your customers. Seize the opportunity that your existing customer base affords. Set up a referral program (or affiliate program) and reward your customers (by way of discounts and free gifts) for the referral traffic they generate.

  11. Partner with influencers
  12. Social media is a powerful platform to advertise your brand and improve its image, and there are many ways to go about it. One way to accomplish this is by working closely with influencers. Influencers are people with a huge following for their content on social media sites.

    Partnering with, say, 5 or 10 of them and getting them to promote your brand on their social media pages can generate oodles of leads for you. Of course, care should be taken for the promotion to look natural and spontaneous, and more importantly, for the tone of voice to be non-offensive.

  13. Cross-promote
  14. Consider this: Two different brands, not competing with each other, have unrelated products and are trying to target the same audience. Wouldn’t it be a win-win for both brands if they teamed up to reach their potential customer base at near-zero marketing cost? Is this even possible? The answer is—yes, by cross-promoting.

    An example of this would be Whirlpool, a washing machine manufacturer, and Swash, a laundry detergent manufacturer. The website of Swash features a picture of a Whirlpool washing machine with a caption reading "Better Together". Likewise, Whirlpool sells Swash’s detergent on its shopping portal.


“The aim of marketing is to reduce the need for selling” — Philip Kotler

The list in this blog is by no means comprehensive. With more digging, more inexpensive tactics can be unearthed. However, before plunging into a marketing campaign, take time to brainstorm. You are likely to come up with unconventional ways that can help you achieve your marketing goals. After all, it is all in the name!

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