Many companies, especially those who are just starting out, may not be able to spend marketing money the way they want to.
This includes many online business owners who don’t have high capital and therefore have to consider zero cost marketing strategies.
Thankfully, there are many free marketing methods out there that can benefit business owners.
Of course, business owners of any company would be more than happy to know any low-cost social media marketing techniques that are effective in bringing in new customers.
So here are some of the zero cost marketing techniques that can be considered:
The 25 Best Zero Cost Marketing Strategies
Low-budget marketing hacks are not meant to be difficult or complex. Everyone has the ability to create a persistent brand presence, especially on top social media sites.
As you apply these low-cost marketing publicity methods, keep in mind that your main objective is to convert traffic to business clients – you want to turn your customers into a de facto marketing department.
1. Team Up for Cross Promotions
When you find a partner to cross promote, this means that you find another brand or business that’s not in direct competition with you.
You can now work together to conduct online marketing in Malaysia by creating content about each other. This means that you can have a promotional post about your cross-promoting partner, and they will have content promoting your business.
Both your cross-promoting partner and you will now enjoy a win-win situation at zero marketing cost. The content to promote each other can be in the form of an easy to browse social media post, blog post, hashtags, and more.
2. Discover Unlinked Mentions
When any other site apart from your own mentions your brand or company, this act will inadvertently benefit your brand.
It will be even better if these sites turn the mention of your brand into a link to your website, social media account, or blog.
The presence of a link that goes directly to your website is a marketing possibility that you can uncover and use to your advantage.
All you have to do is contact the account or site owner and make a request for them to link your brand name to your business site.
Related: Branding vs Marketing: The Difference Between Branding And Marketing
3. Practice In-Person Networking
Before you can start digital marketing in Malaysia, it’s best to know your way around your own industry. One way to do this is to connect with other online business owners.
This will open up opportunities for increased brand exposure without the need for too much effort. As business owners, you can benefit each other in mutually helpful ways.
Examples include an affiliate program, service packages, cross-promotion, and mutual customer interaction.
In-person networking offers increased opportunities for brand awareness that goes beyond your usual social media target audience.
4. Ask Your Service Provider for Backlinks
Building links to your own websites is one zero cost marketing method that doesn’t require any marketing money. We have seen that in the previous method where you find unlinked mentions and turn them into backlinks – a de facto marketing department.
Backlinks are any links on any site that leads back to your website or social media account. One of the sites that can link to you would be your service providers.
These include the companies that are providing you services, consultation, raw materials, or anything like that.
5. Hold Contests On Your Social Media Accounts
If you’re on any major social platform, one type of marketing strategy is to engage existing customers and attract new ones by offering rewards. This can be done through contests that provide cash prizes.
Apart from cash prizes, you can also offer free services or discount coupons. Oftentimes, your customers will appreciate anything that’s given for free.
It will encourage more traffic to your sites and social media accounts too, as new visitors might be attracted to the prize you’re offering and take part too.
6. Organize Webinars
One way to increase brand exposure is by providing consulting services in the form of webinars and online forums. Your webinars can be open to those beyond your usual business clients or business networking circle.
In order to attract a huge audience, you can explore topics that have a wide influence and significance to new customers as well as old.
These topics can include how to do marketing in this modern era and various advertising techniques.
If the webinars are free, this would be effective social media marketing for your business as you’ll be able to attract more viral potential.
Related: A Guide to Social Media Marketing for Companies in Malaysia
7. Comment on Other Blogs
Being a blog commenter on the blog posts of influencers, related topics, and other relevant blogs is one way to increase brand awareness.
However, you have to make sure that when you leave comments on a blog, it comes across as natural and not forced.
Being a blog commenter is a delicate task in which you have to pick the right blogs to comment on, and frame your words appropriately so as not to offend anyone with inappropriate comments.
8. Start Your Own LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn is a social media platform that’s specifically created for professionals in the corporate world. As a business owner, you can gain access to more traffic by connecting with others who have the same niche interest as you.
In order to connect with these types of audiences, you can always consider starting a group. Here, you can share relevant content and encourage discussions.
Marketing should be done through soft or subtle methods to increase brand awareness.
Related: Soft Sell Advertising Examples To Help Your Business Build A Lifestyle Brand
9. Build a Referral Program
Setting up a referral program (known also as affiliate program) means having your customers recommend your brand to their friends, family and contacts. Referral traffic that this program generates will then be rewarded in some way.
For example: If a customer can get 10 people to sign up for a membership with your brand, they can enjoy discounts and free gifts.
10. Make Use of Your Twitter Niche
Twitter can help you generate low cost marketing publicity if you know how to reach out to your niche twitter. This basically means that you have to leave comments in posts and topics related to your nature of business.
This low-budget marketing hack means that you have to start posting tweets in the circle of influence your brand would be most relevant for.
Apart from nonstop social buzz, you can create a persistent brand presence felt by interacting with accounts that are in the same niche, so that users will then begin to follow you too.
11. Partner Up With Influencers
In order to improve your brand’s image, one explosive method is to work with influencers.
Influencers are content creators on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok who have a large follower base.
Try and work with at least ten influencers via the cross-promotion method, where you both promote each other. Niche influencers are the best, as they will have followers with a higher tendency to be interested in your services and products.
An online marketing agency like One Search Pro can help advise you on which influencers fit your business, and connect you with them.
12. Make Sure You Have a Blog
A blog on your website is a must-have. This is one effective method for you to improve customers’ perception and give them useful information.
Blogs are able to generate organic traffic and this is one of the effective methods to create nonstop social buzz.
More traffic can be directed to your business website from a major social platform if you have useful, relevant, and informative content to share.
13. Claim or Make A Hashtag
Hashtags are very significant on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. They are a searchable and interactive extension in which a user expects to find similar or relevant content.
For example: If you like football, you would be looking for hashtags like #EPL, #ManchesterUnited or #LaLiga. If you’re a sports-related business, you can use these hashtags to ensure your post shows up for football enthusiasts.
Related: Guide to Find Hashtags on TikTok Malaysia
Alternatively, you can also customize a hashtag to feature your brand name and a relevant word as an alternative method for instant reach marketing.
14. Guest Blogging on a Related Businesses’ Page
Marketing is all about reaching beyond your existing customers. One good opportunity to do this is by providing a guest blog for the page of related businesses.
Your guest blog article can be used to increase your brand presence online as the blog will be read by a different demographic.
This new audience from the blog you’re writing for may or may not have heard of you before, so a gentle mention of your business would be enough.
15. Get Cracking on Email Marketing
Sending emails to a huge audience in one marketing method won’t cost you any money – only some of your time. You can reach thousands without paid ads, while effectively getting your message across.
Email marketing can be done easily these days. There are affordable sites and free apps that many startups and e-commerce business owners can use. All you have to do is keep your email addresses growing.
The more email addresses you add to your list, the larger your reach will be. An email is a great form of marketing as you have a platform in which to communicate clearly and effectively.
16. Get Content From Customers
Customer-generated content gives you more options for posts and blogs without the need to spend marketing money. This is among the low-budget marketing hacks when you run out of ideas for social media content.
Some examples of user-generated content are by asking your customers to send in reviews, personal stories, and even images.
The whole idea is to get users involved in your content creation, which will also improve customer engagement for a win-win situation.
17. Bump Up User Engagement
Many top social media platforms these days have tools that allow free marketing. Some of these tools and options allow you to engage with customers and visitors.
Employ interactive options on your content – like asking them to answer polls, participate in contests, comment, share, and more.
People in general like being asked for their opinions so talking to them is one way of increasing your brand’s image.
18. Be Part of The Community
No matter what products or services you offer, there will always be a relevant community built around it. Therefore, you should be an active part of groups and join community forums online when you can.
Not only will you be able to create brand recognition but also attract new customers and improve customers’ perception. Once they see that you know your stuff, they will be attracted to your brand as well.
19. Consider HARO Link Building
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a useful concept whereby it is a platform that allows bloggers to build backlinks and gain greater media coverage. In essence, it is a networking site where bloggers/media personnel connect with each other in mutually helpful ways.
One Search Pro has also been successfully using HARO-like platforms to build business networks and gain traffic from backlinks made mutually with other sites.
20. Interact With High-Quality News Media
One free marketing possibility that is a killer marketing platform not many people know about is the mainstream media. These include major news portals.
Releasing quality press releases will garner the attention of news portals that have a huge audience.
This way, your company has a chance of being featured on various types of articles and has the viral potential for an increased audience.
21. Keep Customer Service Tip Top
Among the effective methods of free marketing is to ensure that your customers keep talking about you so your brand can spread virally.
To keep your clients happy, the most effective way is to ensure that you give them the best customer service you can. This will also increase the number of repeat customers and returning customers you have.
Good customer service does not cost much. Among the things you can do is to answer queries efficiently on your social media accounts and website, ensure quality products, offer special benefits for return customers, and much more.
22. Don’t Neglect Social Media
Social media is one free zero cost killer marketing platform you should learn to fully utilise. Among the leading social media platforms available today include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
Understanding how to conduct and employ marketing strategies on each of these platforms requires research and time spent on these sites as a user.
23. Optimization of SEO
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is one explosive method whereby you insert certain keywords into your content to make it appear more prominently on a search engine’s results list.
SEO is a method that is free, and is an important part of search engine marketing. Understanding the basics of SEO in Malaysia will allow you to push your company website and social media accounts higher on search engine results, like on Google.
This will lead to your company being more visible for the users on the platform who are looking at terms related to your business. You can also enlist the help of an SEO agency like One Search Pro to get you started.
An SEO company that provides SEO services in Malaysia will be able to help you plan and insert keywords that will increase your visibility on a local level.
Related: Make Money With SEO Through 13 Proven SEO Methods That Work
24. Provide Free Training
Providing consulting services for free will help you gain visibility in your niche industry. In order to achieve what other niche influencers are achieving, you can help others for free.
This training can be related to your products or services, but they don’t have to directly promote your brand. As long as people know that you exist, this will drive traffic and referral traffic to your sites.
25. Pay Attention to Free Analytics
Many online marketing platforms like Google, FB, and more offer free backend data to understand the behavior of your followers and visitors.
This data is called analytics and includes things like the geographical origin of your visitors, how long they spend on your site, when they are most active, and so on.
Tracking these data will help you strategize more effectively when you formulate content and decide on when and where to post them.
Frequently Asked Questions on Marketing Strategies And Techniques For Zero Costing
1. What is free cost or zero cost marketing?
Zero cost marketing is a group of marketing strategies that don’t consume much cost and are suitable for startups and small businesses without a high marketing budget.
2. How can marketing strategies work without a budget?
Many online marketing strategies involve Google Ads service as well as social media marketing. Both these and more do not need high costs as many tools are provided for free.
3. What is the best way for a small business to advertise?
Social media ads like boosting Facebook posts and Instagram ads are actually ideal and super budget-friendly. They don’t need a huge budget to run. Other low-budget marketing hacks include email marketing, local listings, referral programs, and more.
Related: 34 TikTok Small Businesses Ideas & TikTok Compilations To Blow Up On TikTok
4. Is it free to market on social media?
There are many ways to market on social media. While some strategies require a cost, there are some that don’t. Strategies like cross-promotion where you partner with another business to mention each other is one free strategy, so is referral marketing, hashtags, and SEO.
5. How can I advertise on Google for free?
One free advertising method you can explore is Google My Business, whereby you register your business down and it will appear on the Google search and Google maps when locals look for terms related to your business. Here is also where you have to improve your local SEO to ensure you get found.
Budget-friendly marketing isn’t meant for everyone; sometimes it can be too much effort. It is more suited for small and medium enterprises.
Many startups will actually benefit from these zero cost marketing strategies.
In saying that, it is also pertinent to remember that these marketing methods have their limitations due to the fact that they may not reach as large an audience as paid ads.
You can always start your online marketing strategies with us at One Search Pro, a digital marketing agency in Malaysia. We will be able to formulate a marketing plan for you that is suited to your marketing budget, whatever that budget may be.
Contact us today to learn all about marketing strategies and paid ads you can use to benefit your company in the future.