In the last few years, there has been a new trend called zero-cost marketing. This new method of increasing brand or product awareness is aimed to help small businesses get the most out of their marketing efforts without investing a lot of money. But what is zero-cost marketing, and how can you utilise it to build your client base?
What is Zero Cost Marketing?
Zero Cost Marketing can be simplified as an activity designed to promote business, products or service without cost anything. For easy understanding, it cost RM 0 to promote your business. These marketing activities offer small businesses a chance to spread the word about their business without the risk that a cost will not be recovered.
However, it is important to understand that there is a cost to zero-cost marketing. Every minute that you spend on activity costs your business money in lost revenue or the wages of a staff member. Say you spent five hours a week on social media and you pay yourself on average RM 50 per hour, the cost per week is RM 250 or RM 1250 per month.
There are benefits to zero-cost marketing. With the right techniques and skills, it can be highly effective and successful. However, you have to develop the mindset that your activities do have an associated cost and to justify fully the time spent on these approaches.
It is also important to consider that many of the activities promoted as zero-cost marketing strategies are useful because they focus on communication channels where consumers and decision-makers like to spend their time and are engaging.
Some Zero-Cost Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business.
1. Social Media
Nowadays social media is the most obvious zero-cost marketing technique. You just need to be creative to post on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and more. If you don't know which platform do you want to focus on you can read here Website vs Facebook vs Instagram: Which one should I use?.
Each social media account allow you to promote your business brand, services, news and advice to a broad audience. I take Facebook, for example, you can do Facebook Live and share through a group that has the same interest as what you will sell in your Facebook Live. Also, you can add Facebook stories to keep your followers up to date with your promotion, sales, customer feedback, review and so on. Facebook also has a feature called the Facebook shop to create a list of catalogues of your products. So make sure to utilize all Facebook features to get your brand/business visible to people on the internet.
2. Guest Blogging
For Malaysians, it may sound like a pretty new method for you guys but guest blogging is another established way for you to draw attention to your brand or business. In essence, you are promoting your knowledge to the audience of the host blog, which can help you reach new audiences and develop relationships with strategic partners who in turn may refer their subscribers to your brand when they need.
Find a site that has a related audience that may be interested in your products. Write some articles that will catch the attention of the readers and then promote your products links in the article so they can buy them online.
3. Blog Commenting
Reading and responding to content on other blogs is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and get noticed. Many blogs allow you to share a link to your site. This can be really beneficial for SEO and direct traffic. However, please be careful to not overuse this strategy because you may get blocked if you keep spamming. So to ensure you aren't going to annoy the author of the original content, always give short responses and do not promote your services on their blog.
Word of mouth is one of the best and most cost-effective ways for you to draw attention to your brand/business. People trust the recommendation of their peers and therefore if you can get others to recommend your business especially your family and friends, you can quickly grow.
5. Google My Business
If you have a physical address of business, it will better your business easily can be found on maps like Google Maps or Waze. You can update your menu or product catalogue on your business profile, Create a post and update an event that happen in your business. You can register Google My Business now for free.
If you're operate a b2b business, then networking groups can be really great way to get news of your brand and products out to the mass audience. Some networking groups do cost, but others are free. Some trade shows host networking events, and these can be free to attend as a guest. The important thing to remember is to practice your elevator pitch as this can make all the difference between connecting with the right prospect or not.
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing is cost effective, especially if you use a free service like MailChimp or other email service providers. Make sure to include image promotion and step by step how they can apply the promotion on your website or your marketplace channel.
There's always a cost for marketing activities, even if it's just the time you spend implementing the strategies. However, the strategies considered as zero-cost are still effective and could yield significant returns for your business, just ensure you are using the right strategies to get the most from your time and effort.
Do you have any marketing tips for small business? Let us know in the comments.