Are you looking for zero cost marketing strategies? In this article I am going to share a few insights into some zero cost marketing strategies which I have used and also shed some light on the idea of paid advertising. The main reason for this is that zero cost marketing strategies are seldom ideas which can be scaled.
Whereas paid advertising can be. With paid advertising you can ‘tweek’ your campaigns so as to make a profit for every advert your run. Once your advert is in profit for as little as £1 a day, you can simply increase your budegt.
Zero Cost Marketing Strategies
#1 The first zero cost marketing strategy to list is “work of mouth advertising”.
The main problem with this is you have no control over it! You main take then is to create a business which is worth of this kind of advertising. After that it is largely out of your control.
#2 Article Marketing is a zero cost marketing strategy.
Although article marketing does take time and effort, it can bring in customers through your website for potentially years to come. Write the righ articles and choose the best keywords for you particular niche and you can get free traffic from Google, Bing and Yahoo for a good long time. Once it is done it works again and again bringing in customers repeatedly. Download my ebook for details on how to write your articles, get found on Google and provide quality content: Niche Blogging For Profit.
#3 Video Marketing –
Creating and uploading quality, useful videos to YouTube is a great way to increase your online visability, demonstrate your expertise and bring in a continuous flow of new customers. YouTube is much less competitive than Google is so this is a great way to get found and bring in new traffic to your website and business.
#4 Google Places For Business
If you’ve got a local business and don’t have a Google places account you are definitely leaving money on the table. Register your local business for free and get free traffic from Google. It only takes a few minutes to list your business and you then need to verify it, usually via a post card which Google will send out to your business address. Bing and Yahoo also provide a similar service so it’s well worth listing your business on all three sites.
#5 Link Building
Link building is a time consuming but free marketing strategy that anyone with a website can employ. Any link back to your site from another website within your business niche is a potential source of targeted traffic and therefore potential customers.
You can offer to guest post articles for similar websites to yours in exchange for a back link to your website. This has a two-fold benefit. You can pick up traffic from the website which links to your and you will increase your authority with Google, who will reward you with increased visability on the ‘free’ search engine rankings.
#6 Blog Commenting
The more interesting and informative your comments are, the more chance you have of showing your expertise and drawing an audience. Simply commenting “nice blog thanks” is unlikely to get you and clicks. If you can offer some value in your comments, other readers are more likely to follow your comment back to your website.
#7 YouTube Commenting
You can also comment on YouTube videos to build more links and connections to a larger audience. Again offering value in your comments or even creating some contention in some circumstances will be more likely to bring you some visits for other readers. Choose videos which get a large audience but will also have a connection to your business. That way you are more likley to find the righ audience of potential customers rather than getting generic, random visits.
#8 Creating ‘Freebies’
Create a guide or entry level product which you can give away for free in exchange for an email address. This is a great strategy to build up your email list of subscribers. If you create the right products you will also target your most likely potential customers too. Once you have an email address you can market to that person for potentially years to come. PDF (ebook) guides, free downloads and video series are good ‘freebies’ to give away to your target audience.
Why Paid Advertising is Better Than Zero Cost Marketing Strategies
So there are a few zero cost marketing strategies which you can employ in your business fairly quickly. Your best one is probably Google Places in terms of time and effort. 10-20 minutes of your time can bring in customers for a lifetime. However, many of the other zero cost marketing strategies can take time and energy to employ.
Particularly the content creation methods which can take months before they rank on Google. Also they may never rank and much of the effort you put in can be wasted. Take the time to share your content on social media to get maximum exposure. See Niche Blogging For Profit for more details on free advertising via content creation.
So, why is paid advertising better than zero cost marketing strategies? Of course this depends on your business model too. But if you have a business which turns a profit and offers repeat custom, you are far better off taking the route of paid advertising.
You can start doing paid advertising on a tiny budget and increase it as you deem fit. Paid advertising lets you control how much you spend, which keywords you target for your business and how to display your adverts. You can also control who sees your adverts and only pay when they click it.
Of course Google Adwords is different to the above zero cost marketing strategies. You do pay for this service. However, you also get instant targeted traffic to your website. This is far more valuable than ‘free’ advertising and far more controllable.
Do you know the value of a single customer? Let’s say a customer in your ‘shop’ pays an average of £1000 a year in repeat custom. Isn’t it worth aquiring customers at £500 a year per customer? Even with an initial loss, each year your income will grow out of your acquired custom. Of course you can acquire customers much more cheaply than this with Google Adwords.
Targeting your customers by the search queries means you are paying only for those people actively looking for what you already offer in your business. You are in effect purchasing customers. Depending on your sales model and your return on investment per customer, you can can easily determine the value of a customer and see how much you can realisticly spend.
Testing Measuring and Scaling Paid Advertising
This is something you can’t do with zero cost marketing strategies. With paid advertising you can turn it on imediately and see instant results. You can also specify which people to target, what shows on your adverts and how much to spend. Once you see a positive result you can easily scale up by increaing your budget.
Split Testing Adverts
Again, this is something which can’t be done with zero cost marketing strategies. By split testing you can see which of two adverts gives you the best result. This is done by creating two adverts which are very similar except for a minor change, running them alongside each other for long enough to notice a distinct difference.
The best performing advert wins. Stop the other advert and split test again with another small change in a different variable. Doing this again and again gives you the best performing advert overall. When an advert is profitable you can split test until you spend less and less acquiring more customers. Scale up when you are in a favourable position.
Learn more about paid advertising in my ebook The Ultimate Guide To Online Marketing.