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What is Low-Cost Marketing?
It’s the simplest yet powerful method to promote your products & services using creative ways instead of expensive ones like media advertisements.
Low-cost marketing utilizes the power of content & creative thinking to save the marketing budget.
SEO, social media optimization, viral video marketing, email marketing, and Guerrilla marketing are a few examples of low-budget marketing methods.
Suppose you are running a business with a limited budget to spend on marketing.
Don’t worry! There are plenty of tactics that won’t blow your pocket.
Here are the ideas for low-cost marketing to work with a small budget.
1. Publish Great Content
I don’t think I even need to mention the importance of publishing kick-ass content.
If you can craft a piece of content yourself, it’s all the better.
If writing isn’t your forte, you can have someone on your team write a few articles for your blog.
You can outsource your work or hire freelancers to get your job done.
Remember the following points to create astonishing content.
- Create original content and take care that you are not copying the entire work even if it’s spun.
- Strong headlines always drive great CTR, but at the same time, the entire copy should be worth reading & filled with value.
- Make your content actionable that gives people a sense of how to apply the information.
- You know people search the web mostly for solutions or answers. To be able to provide the same but in a simple way.
- Try crafting lists, how-to, data-driven articles but be accurate and updated in your reporting & sourcing the information
- Media-rich content gets more attention than plain text, so try to add images & videos whenever possible.
- Keep your blog updated with high-quality content regularly. At the same time, make sure it’s optimized for search engines as well as human visitors to get maximum organic traffic.
- Killer guest posting is also an excellent way to get referral traffic, leads & sales.
2. Low-cost Social Media Marketing
If you are not utilizing the power of social media, your entire marketing campaign can get very expensive.
Social media is a great source for branding and creating a relationship with your existing as well as potential buyers.
You can reach the maximum number of people without the limitations of geographical boundaries using social media.
You may find hundreds of social websites where you can post articles, images even short videos too. Be creative while crafting posts for social media.
People get more attracted to brands that have strong social proof, and it’s a ranking factor considered in SEO.
However, you’ll need to put consistent effort into the trends analysis, posting valuable content, engaging with audiences, and measuring the campaign performance.
You should at least use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn regularly.
3. Create Videos for Your Brand Or Run A Webinar Series
The visuals, especially videos, make a long-lasting impact on people’s minds. That’s why creating short videos can help you a lot.
It’s not necessary to have a heavy professional setup to create videos for marketing. You can use whiteboard videos of 1-2 minutes or even use mobile devices to shoot & broadcast live videos on Facebook.
YouTube, DailyMotion & Vimeo are other services to host your videos without investing a lot in hosting space and bandwidth. You can also embed these videos easily on your site.
Hosting webinars is another marketing technique used by digital marketing agencies. By providing value to the attendees, you can convert them into customers or upsell other products or services.
Many top marketers, including Neil Patel, Mark Ling, and A. Morrison, use webinars as one of the primary tools in their marketing campaigns.
4. Design Valuable Infographics
Who doesn’t like infographics?
Infographics are visually stunning, easy to digest, and extremely powerful to drive referral traffic & links to your website. People love to share them or pin them on their Pinterest boards.
Hiring a professional designer to get top-class infographics can hit your wallet hard, but the DIY approach and graphic designing tools like Canva or DesignBold can make your work easier than you think even if you are a non-techie.
Make sure your infographics deliver the message and offer value to people.
5. Professional Outreach
Some of the top marketers use this technique, especially for Link Building purposes in Off-Page SEO. Finding people from similar niches and asking them to either link your article in their blog post or share it on social profiles gives genuine inbound signals and targeted referral traffic.
You can simply email your fellow marketers for the same purpose. I receive many emails from bloggers worldwide to share their content.
LinkedIn is another great tool that can be used for professional outreach. Reaching the niche influencers and interviewing them or asking for promotional help can prove a golden deal.
It’s a simple way to grow your brand naturally with a wave of influence to get enhanced exposure & market.
6. Pamper Existing Customers and Employees
People always love the brand they use because they share an emotional bond with it. Taking care of such customers may help you a lot where they promote you enthusiastically for free.
You might have experienced the power of word-of-mouth marketing in your friend circle, family, and relatives, especially when you are about to decide between buying something or taking an admission to a college.
It’s the most important reason behind pampering your existing customers & employees and providing them the value beyond their expectations.
You can honor your few existing customers or staff by making them brand ambassadors and awarding them special bonuses.
7. Special Events
You have heard that popular sportbike brands like Harley Davidson and KTM organize special events or races or tours for their customers.
These are the moments when customers get attached emotionally to brands. You can hold similar events offline or online to connect with your audience.
Later, you can share their photos or videos, and experiences on your blog or social accounts with special hashtags.
The online contest is a popular low-cost marketing gimmick used by most marketers and e-commerce companies.
You can use some rewards to attract people and participate in the contest. It may be a simple quiz or multi-tier exclusive contest running for a few days.
Sometimes the initial cost may seem higher, but the number of participants and new potential leads will be well worth the price if you put efforts in the right direction.
Tight on budget?
You technically don’t need to offer super expensive prizes, such as an iPad or MacBook Pro to get participants.
Even fancy backpacks with your company name might be enough of a draw for some users.
Can’t figure out how to host a contest?
There are many services to hold online contests, which can be found with a quick Google search.
9. Partner With Brands
You can team up with a business in your niche (but not a direct competitor) for a joint project.
This can be done offline through some special event at some particular locations, or online with a webinar or live broadcast via Facebook or YouTube.
Partnering with another brand can draw much more attention than you can do individually.
If you’re partnering with a niche relevant business, you’re getting introduced to a whole new audience from your partner, creating a win-win situation.
Sometimes you can collaborate with other brands for cross-promotion, which allows you both to market one another’s services.
A digital marketer & a web developer can recommend and cross-promote their respective alias.
10. Guerrilla Marketing
Guerilla marketing is a special type of low-cost marketing that emphasizes creativity over budget, and strategies are often cheap to pay and easy to implement, especially when localized.
In this marketing technique, people perceive advertisements as part of everyday life.
They see advertising creatives represent their own stories.
11. Low-cost Email Marketing
It’s a great way to build a list of subscribers, get new visitors engaged with your brand, and maintain a healthy relationship with your existing customers.
Legit email marketing has a booming ROI where you can use drip marketing to nurture your website visitors.
Providing a free product or service or anything beneficial to visitors, you can collect as many as emails you want.
There are many tools, including MailChimp, SendInBlue, and MailerLite, to help you to get started for free.
Giveaways are the same as holding an online contest, but you can have a lot more opportunities to get massive social proof or build an email list in tons.
You can decide on a special product or cash price or anything to give away in exchange for likes, shares, or follow from your visitors.
You can collect email addresses and later sell your products and services to them in the future.
A tool like Gleam can greatly assist in carrying out successful giveaways.
13. Referral Programs
Referral or affiliate programs are the best form of marketing for those who want to grow organically, automatically, and without putting too much effort.
You just need to set up a referral campaign and you’ll see how your business starts growing.
A referral or affiliate program may not be suitable for every business, but it’s worth trying if you’re convinced enough.
The main benefit of these methods is that you don’t spend money on marketing unless the publishers/affiliates first make a sale on your behalf.
Secondly, you can integrate an affiliate program directly into your website or take help from third-party services.
14. Low-Cost Advertising
Running online ads without proper optimization can empty your wallet within a few days.
Some of the massive PPC ad campaigns may be out of your budget, but there are often discounts and coupons floating around for SEM and SMM, including Google Adverts & Facebook ads.
Many web hosting companies offer advertising discount coupons as part of their membership service.
Check and see if your web host is providing the same.
Sometimes Google & Bing themselves offer discounts or trails for their ad services for new customers. You can get benefits from this too.
Remember, cheap methods are not always good. Don’t fall for an offer you don’t trust.
First of all, verify it or discuss it with your fellow marketers and make the right decision.
There are hundreds of other ways to promote your venture on a low budget. Be creative, and help yourself to save money.
I’m giving a few ideas here. Many of them may seem weird or crazy. Still, you can try some of them.
➤ Painting your ad creative on your car or making use of your real estate for brand promotion.
➤ Displaying your business number or email on your real estate, including a car or shop shutter.
➤ Special balloons and umbrellas with your brand identity.
5 Ps of the Low-Cost Marketing
Marketing is a broad concept and depends on many others.
For an effective and low-cost campaign, you must study the 5Ps of marketing (Product, Process, Price, Place & Psychology).
You must be aware of the term ‘Marketing Mix’ and ‘The 4Ps’ (Product, Price, Promotion, and Place), which have been used worldwide by marketing and branding agencies and web design companies.
Here, I’m going to explain how each point of the 5Ps affects your performance in marketing & sales, which will later help you to understand low-cost marketing easily.
The product can be either a tangible good or an intangible service that fulfills the customer’s requirement. You must be authentic about the product, whether you are selling a car or insurance for it.
You must also have complete product knowledge when you start promoting a particular brand because the wrong commitments about products may help get an initial pick but throw down suddenly or maybe forever.
It may also raise questions about the brand’s loyalty and integrity toward customers.
Feel free to collaborate with other internal and external teams to get the best product knowledge.
The marketing can be done via either traditional method, including the newspapers & print media, or digitally by using social media channels, websites, email marketing, video marketing & PPC ads.
You can refer to one of my old blog posts about the difference between inbound and outbound marketing techniques to find a vivid explanation of the marketing methods.
By reading this post, you can decide which promotion method suits the best for you.
To maximize ROI, you must integrate all possible channels, including traditional methods too. You can outsource some of your work, but never forget to analyze your marketing strategies.
Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo have already proved it by surpassing companies like Samsung and Nokia, which held a considerable market share for a long time.
Again it’s time-sensitive and may change in the future.
Although quality and after-sales service play a significant role in acquiring and retaining customers, the price is a very sensitive point in the marketing that lures most customers to buy your products or services.
Especially in countries like India where Reliance Jio is available, you can’t ignore your products’ cost-effectiveness.
Even the elite brands, including Apple and Nike, release products at an affordable price.
Another point is price determination, which mainly consists of R&D cost, overall manufacturing expenses, marketing budget, and profit share.
If you simply think about it, you may find that your wrong strategies can increase your marketing budget, compromising the profit share.
Am I right?
Your marketing skills are tested to bring better & greater ROI for your brand campaigns.
Every brand has a variable performance for different marketing channels, according to its USP. So, you need to analyze your every campaign to define which of them are working better and giving a solid ROI. It’ll help you to cut down the overall cost and increase profit.
Often you have heard that marketing is all about putting the right product, at the right place, at the right time, and the right price.
I’ve already explained a couple of them earlier, so now I will be discussing the ‘Place’ factor of the 5Ps.
It’s critical to evaluate the ideal place where people get into the buyer’s journey and complete their purchase.
Whether you are doing digital marketing or integrating with traditional methods, it’s challenging to find where people are attracted.
The buying process consists of three elements: preview, review & buy. The time taken for every element may differ individually, and for a situation in your favor, it must be optimum (around 24 hours).
The digital is the best place for the first two elements where buying can be either online or through offline modes depending on product or service.
Another side of this point is Geolocation, commonly referred to as a place. You can target according to your products and market.
Market research is a vital step to keeping yourself ahead of the competition. Again, digital has the edge over the traditional when you think about the Place factor of the 5Ps of marketing.
The above four Ps are commonly used in the marketing field but are the most critical elements to drive conversions or sales.
I’ve already mentioned that a market study is an essential step before starting a sales or promotion campaign.
You need to research the potential reach, buying capacity of people, competitors, and market management.
You can get some insights into the market by using tools like keyword research tools, online surveys, case studies, and analytics tools, but it may become expensive if you fail to pick the right direction.
Though a few tools like Google Analytics can give you a broad overview of people’s behavior, meeting them in person will help you to understand their psychological behavior and buying intentions.
Special meetups, brand events, fan festivals, or asking for users’ opinions/reviews/comments using digital channels, including emails, social media, or websites, may help to understand more about the psychology of customers.
I recently worked for brand promotion and customer acquisition for an international brand XYZ in the technology sector, where I used to meet around 60-70 random people daily.
I got mixed reactions from people for XYZ and competitors. I found that most people give preference to those brands that have better after-sales service rather than a cheaper monthly bill.
If you are promoting anything, then make sure you are following the points mentioned below.
- People are willing to pay for the benefits, not for the features.
- Humans are less likely to leave their existing belongings than to get new ones. Almost everyone wants to fully utilize the goods and services they have bought instead of switching to a newer one by reinvesting in the same feature.
- Building trust & providing value has enormous ROI.
- Extremely valuable benefits (differ from person to person & need a proper segmentation of buyers), a.k.a. The USP can help you gain more CVR.
- Appreciating & enjoying with the customer, building a healthy relationship, and making yourself, your product, and your customer special, make people buy from you.
- Create a short story for your brand, but it should be related to your existing or potential customers.
It’s a vast topic, but to understand your potential buyer’s psychology, you need to keep yourself in his shoes and decide what actions you need to take.
Studying these 5P’s is very important in Low-Cost Marketing to get better ROI.
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