10 Free Marketing Ideas
There’s little doubt. When it comes to marketing, big business has the advantage of seemingly endless budgets.
How can the budget-conscious compete?
By mustering a touch of creativeness and a dash of ingenuity.
Easier said than done, though, right?
To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of the most effective free marketing ideas for you to pull inspiration from.
10 Free Marketing Ideas
Looking to kick your marketing game up a notch without spending a fortune?
Look no further. Our 10 free (and low-cost) marketing ideas will help you get the most bang for your buck.
1. Unleash the Power of Hosting an Online Course
Are you looking for a new and innovative way to market your business? With a projected $31.3 billion market value by 2030, open online courses are clearly becoming more and more popular.
An online course is a set of curriculum delivered primarily or exclusively over the internet. The teachings can include a variety of delivery methods, including but not limited to video lectures, interactive chat rooms, discussion boards, and quizzes.
How can this be used to market a business?
An online course is a great way to share your knowledge with the world and attract new customers. In addition to teaching people about your business, an online course can not only help you build relationships with potential customers, but also be used as a platform to establish yourself as an industry expert.
So what’s the process of curating an online course?
If you’re not sure where to start when creating an online course, there are plenty of resources available online.
Udemy, a platform for online courses, has a ton of resources to help you get started.
Skillshare, Coursera, and Teachable are just other popular examples of platforms that have a ton of information on creating an engaging course that’ll help marketing your business on a budget.
Even LinkedIn has its very own online course portal called LinkedIn Learning.
Just keep in mind: When creating an online course, be sure to focus on the benefits that your product or service offers. Remember, people are interested in learning about what’s in it for them. So, make sure to highlight the key benefits of working with your business.
With a little planning and effort, online courses can help you reach a whole new audience and promote your small business in a fun and interactive way.
2. Generate More Leads and Customers with Online Events
Are you looking for a new way to reach your target audience and generate more leads? If so, online events may be the answer. By hosting or participating in online events, you can connect with potential customers from all over the world in a way that is interactive, engaging, and cost-effective.
Planning an online event can be a daunting task. However, with careful planning and execution, your event can be a success.
Here are some tips for hosting a successful online event:
- Plan your event well in advance. Don’t rush. Give yourself plenty of time to plan and promote the event and time enough to curate an engaging and informative experience for your attendees.
- Make use of social media to promote your event. Use hashtags, post about the event on your social media pages, and create posters that can be shared online.
- Create a website or landing page for the event. This will give people a central location to find information about the event, such as the date, time, and agenda.
- Consider inviting a special guest. Get involved with online communities related to your event topic and reach out to any experts that may like to make an appearance on your upcoming event. This will help you reach a larger audience and generate interest in your event.
But what about hosting? Where’s the best place to conduct your event?
There are several platforms that can be used to host an online event. You could also use a website like Eventbrite or Meetup.
Or you could use a social media platform like Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn.
Lean Davis, the Co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer at Cicinia, takes this approach. Lean explains:
“Given the popularity of social media nowadays, hosting online events on social media platforms is both an affordable and powerful medium to promote and market my clothing business.”
Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager at Tanzanite Jewelry Designs, a brick and mortar store in Chicago, adds:
“This year we started doing live streams through YouTube and Facebook to our local and online customers. It was free, just took time to implement. These live streams were both educational and commercial in nature. The live shows allowed visitors to view our items, buy online, and ask questions. We advertised these live streams through emails, our website, and social media.”
“We are now getting about 1500+ viewers watching our show each time we hold an event. Not only has it helped to stay connected with our customers, it has generated a ton of sales ($20,000 from our last month’s show) for our business. Now 10 percent of our annual sales come from our live YouTube shows.”
So why not be like Lean and Jeff?
Tap into the power of online events to reach a wider audience and market your business effectively.
3. Turn Your Social Media Channels Into Powerful Marketing Tools
Social media is one of the most powerful tools in your small business marketing arsenal. Aside from hosting online events, social media sites provide a way for businesses to connect with potential and existing customers.
Erika Barnes, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pet Smitten, explains:
When I first launched Pet Smitten, I decided to try and drum up some attention by posting in a lot of dog-related subreddits. I’m a Reddit user myself, and it struck me that Reddit is a place where I could quickly and easily find a congregation of my target audience online.
The thing is, many subreddits have a strong stance against self-promotion, making it difficult not to step on any moderator or fellow user’s toes.
So why would you bother using this platform?
Unlike other social media platforms, thanks to the platform’s karma-based upvote/downvote system, Reddit promotes authentic interactions between their users.
So when carried out correctly, Reddit offers huge opportunities to business owners wishing to build a strong social media presence, cultivate authentic relationships with customers, and establish themselves as an industry expert.
Erika speaks to this:
I had to walk a fine line between not overtly advertising (and thereby drawing other posters’ ire), and being overt enough that people could actually find Pet Smitten.
Some people might think the idea is nuts, but I personally think that it worked, at least to some degree. Given any free marketing is good marketing, I’d certainly recommend other businesses give it a try. What have you got to lose?
In our eyes, nada.
Of course, business owners don’t have to use Reddit. There are many other social media channels that can be used to promote a business.
For instance, LinkedIn can be used to make connections with other businesses and potential customers, while Twitter can be used to post short updates about a business’ products or services. Facebook can be used to create a fan page for the business, and post updates and photos about what’s going on inside the company. And YouTube can be used to post informational or promotional content.
Or, as Laura Rike, a Pinterest Coach who helps business owners, content creators, and influencers grow build sustainable social media strategies, explains:
“Since so many industries sleep on Pinterest, it may be a valuable surprise too many that Pinterest can and should be used for content marketing with great free/organic results. We use it both to find small businesses, entrepreneurs, and bloggers to take advantage of our educational platform and membership site, and for larger businesses to become clients of our advertising agency.”
Laura continues by saying:
“So many people think Pinterest is simply an online bulletin board for things like recipes, crafts, and wedding inspiration, but it is actually a powerful search engine that can be used across industries, and has robust ad capabilities. It would be great to pin blog content and get increased visibility, email sign ups, and even sales. So, my best tips would be to use Pinterest, and to optimize your use so that you’re taking advantage of new features as an early adopter, and using the platform frequently.”
So what are you waiting for?
Be like Erika and Laura.
Start leveraging the free resource that is social media to expand your business’ reach, grow your audience, and drive more sales.
4. Effectively Reach Customers With Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your customers. With email, you can reach a large number of people with a personal message for a fraction of the cost of other marketing channels.
For example, businesses can use email marketing to create customer loyalty programs, reward customers for referrals, or announce new products or services. Additionally, email marketing can be used to drive website traffic or increase online sales.
Charlie Southall, Founder, and CEO at Dragonfly, explains his thoughts on email marketing:
“Email marketing is a fantastic way to keep in touch with your current customers and engage new clients in your brand.”
So what’s the best strategy for developing an effective email marketing strategy?
A number of factors should be considered when developing an email marketing strategy. These factors might include the type of product or service being marketed, the target audience, and the goals of the campaign. In general, businesses should strive to create emails that are both relevant and interesting to their customers, and that provide value in addition to promoting the product or service.
Also, consider segmenting your mailing list into different groups according to interests or customer lifecycle stage, personalizing messages as much as possible, and using engaging content like images, infographics, and videos.
Charlie offers some tactics he uses when developing and optimizing his campaigns:
“Analyze your results and conduct A/B testing to see which offers and copy are more effective with your list. By providing a bonus content item, voucher, or discount in exchange for subscribing, you can encourage new site users to sign up for your newsletter.”
Email marketing offers small businesses a plethora of opportunities.
With carefully crafted campaigns, you can drive engagement and conversions, all while building relationships with your customers.
5. Turn Your Knowledge Into a Thriving Blog
You’re missing out if you are not using a blog to market your business.
A blog is a great way for budget conscious and small businesses to connect with customers and potential customers. You can use your blog to share information about your products or services, answer customer questions, and provide tips and advice.
David Bitton, the Co-Founder and CMO at DoorLoop, a property management software company, explains how his team uses their blog to their advantage:
“Because our target readerships are landlords and property managers, we write on topics such as accounting, leasing, property maintenance, and landlord-tenant laws. We also write about press releases and product updates on our blog to keep readers updated on what’s new.”
David goes onto explain:
“The purpose is to keep our customers up-to-date on the latest developments in the property management industry. It is an excellent approach to engaging with current customers while attracting new ones.”
A blog can also help you to create a strong online presence for your business and up your search engine optimization (SEO) game.
David speaks to this also:
“The blog has increased the average time clients spend on our website and lowered bounce rates, significantly improving our SERP (search engine results page) rankings. This increase in SERP rankings provided us with vital insights on traffic sources, which we used to identify which sources to prioritize for maximum advantage.”
So why not be like David and the team at DoorLoop?
If you have something to say, start a blog? With a little effort, you can turn your knowledge into a thriving blog that makes a difference.
6. Get Ahead of Your Competition With Video Marketing
Are you ready to take your business to the next level?
Then you need to lean into video marketing. Video is one of the most powerful tools a small business (or large business) can use to reach a target market.
Video marketing is a strategic approach to promoting a business by utilizing videos to reach and engage customers. Videos can be used to create brand awareness, promote products or services, and capture leads.
Michelle Devani, the founder of lovedevani, explains his approach to video marketing:
“We always opt for instructional and informative content for our marketing and social media, and video formats make that possible. Our campaigns have been successful since we gained more leads and more traction (in terms of marketing) than ever before.”
So what’s the best way to curate video-based marketing materials?
There are many ways to use video marketing to promote your brand. Depending on your business, you can create short videos that introduce your company or products, or you can make longer videos that explain how your products or services work. You can also use video marketing to answer common questions about your business or products.
Raina Kurma, the Founder and CEO of Spicewell, a functional foods company, shares his video marketing strategy:
“By making short, simple videos for free, we’ve reached tens of thousands of people who wouldn’t necessarily find us otherwise. Creative videos showing content people care about and are interested in are likely to be shared and liked. This helps even more people find our product via our already loyal base.”
So by creating high-quality videos that are relevant to your paying customers, you can improve your marketing efforts and grow your business.
Michelle sums it all up perfectly:
“Video marketing can help you build trust with potential customers, boost your website’s SEO, and increase conversion rates.”
7. Make Your Old Content Work for You Again
You worked hard on that blog post, ebook, or video… Why let it collect dust? Repurposing your content can help you get more eyes on your work and attract new leads.
One way to do this is by taking older blog posts and turning them into something new. You can create short videos from infographics or long-form, informational videos from well-performing blog posts.
Another great way to use repurposed content is by sharing it on social media.
Padmaja Santhanam, the Partner and Growth Manager at FirstPrinciples, explains his team’s approach:
“We initially created a blog, posting relevant content that is both interesting and valuable to our target market. Then, we syndicated that content to social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn, and shared it with relevant audiences.”
From this marketing plan, Padmaja claims the FirstPrinciples website has experienced a 232 percent boost in site traffic.
You can post excerpts from your blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also create image quotes or memes from your content and share them on social media.
Repurposing your content is not only a great way to breathe new life into your content, but, as you are curating new content from scratch, it is also free or very low-cost.
So why not recycle your old content and give it a new lease on life?
Your business’ budget will thank you for it.
8. Expose Your Brand to Professional Networks By Attending Industry Networking Events
If you want to get ahead in your industry, you can’t just sit at home and hope that the right opportunities will come knocking.
You need to put yourself out there.
Industry specific or community events are a great way to promote your business and can be used in a variety of ways. You can use them to connect with potential and current customers, generate leads, or create brand awareness.
Industry networking events are also a great way to meet new people and learn about new opportunities.
Nicky Taveras, owner of DNT Home Buyers, shares his thought process behind industry and community events:
“When you start your journey to being a business owner, sometimes all you need to do is to get out of the house.”
“There’s an infinite referral opportunity when you network with other professionals. The number gets bigger if you join a networking group, which consists of professionals from all different industries. You might end up needing their services, and they might bring some referrals your way. They will get to know and trust you enough to bring their own clients to work with you.”
So don’t be shy.
Networking events are a great way to meet new people in your industry and get your name out there. If you’re looking to make new connections and expand your professional network, attending industry events is a great way to do it.
9. Dominate Your Niche by Building a Strong Presence on Online Forums
When the phrase online forum is mentioned, it may conjure up images of the old outdated threads that nobody ever uses anymore.
Remember Usenet? RIP.
The modern online discussion forums you should use to build a strong online presence are platforms like Reddit and Quora.
April Maccario, founder at AskApril, adds to this online marketing idea:
“By actively participating in conversations with online communities relevant to your business, you will be able to get your name out there and build your reputation.”
The benefits of this?
“It will allow you to bring value to your target audience, which will help you foster meaningful connections and relationships with them and gain their trust.”
To add to April’s point, online communities can help businesses promote their products or services to a wider audience.
With so much competition out there and endless content to engage with, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re doing everything you can to get noticed online. By engaging with potential customers on these platforms, you can create a buzz around your business and attract more leads.
10. Maximize Your ROI with Local SEO
Here at Loganix, we’re obviously advocates of everything SEO. But for those businesses operating on a low-budget or in a local market, we’re even bigger fans of local SEO.
Small businesses can use a variety of local SEO strategies to market their brand, like optimizing their website for business listings or building backlinks from other local businesses. Another strategy is to list your business on Google My Business (GMB). This will allow potential customers to find directions, hours of operation, and more.
Businesses should also optimize their website for local searches. This means including keywords that people in the area are likely to use when searching for businesses like theirs. Utilizing these strategies can help small businesses reach more local customers and grow their business.
Is your business visible to potential customers in your area?
If not, you’re potentially missing out on valuable leads and sales. Local SEO can help you get found by people searching for businesses like yours in your city or town.
There are many free marketing ideas that businesses can use to promote their products or services. By using a variety of methods, businesses can reach a large number of potential customers at little or no cost.
Another important step is to make sure that your website is optimized for search engines.
Here at Loganix, we can help you with that.
We are a digital marketing company that offers SEO, link building, PPC services, and a whole heap more. To get your online content ranking higher than ever before, get in contact with us today.