Marketing is key for any business. From established brands to those that are yet to make a name for themselves, marketing is the most effective way to go forward. However, for those starting the journey, the challenge of marketing is felt more. They do not always have the funds to opt for a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes airing television commercials, putting up billboards on roads or publicize ads in newspapers -- all of which are expensive. However, the emergence of the internet and social media has brought broad marketing more within reach of all business ventures -- big or small. A little bit of creativity and smart thinking can make the small and medium entrepreneurs compete with the biggest of companies in terms of marketing. In fact, you can compete with the richest of ventures with zero-dollar expense.
Online advertising is the best bet for new entrepreneurs who are trying to make a space for themselves but do not have the required funds. Social media is the biggest medium in the world of online advertising. It’s not only free and easy-to-use but highly effective. Here are some ways to do free advertising to boost your business:
Setting up profiles on big social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to allow people to know about your brand is a key step to start with. The first step towards making your brand starts there. Do not hesitate to ask everyone you know to like and follow your pages and request them to spread the word about your new venture. Once the news about your business goes viral, it can reach a number of people in almost no time. And you would not have to spend a penny for achieving this goal. If your business succeeds in offering commendable products and services, then this network will always come handy.
Promoting can be on your own product’s social media pages. Parallelly, you can also post on free advertising sites to gain more traction commercially. This is an old-school method but those looking for zero-dollar marketing strategy, this has no match.
Collaborating with entrepreneurs who have similar business operations and goals is another great tool for free marketing. This can be done on social media platforms like Instagram as well. A businessman/woman engaged in cloth trade can offer free clothing to their collaborators if they promote their product(s) by posting pictures and messages. Collaboration can also take place with those who are not exactly doing the same business like you do but are part of the online business community, like for example web developers.
It is always a rewarding idea to donate or do work for charity or not-for-profit bodies and see them promote your product/service as a reciprocal move. This helps in cementing your reputation as an innovative brand builder and without spending any money.
The story of Elon Musk:
For those who think that zero-dollar marketing is an effective way to make your business run but doesn’t somehow manage to say it fearless, Elon Musk is an example worth following. The innovator in Musk was Tesla Motors’ first angel investor and has run it since firing his co-founder in 2007. Tesla Motors was Musk’s third startup after Zip2 and Paypal. The man is admired as one of the biggest innovators of our times who thinks like an investor, wrote Jeff Cunningham in Medium.
Musk, who runs a reputed American futuristic automobile company, was convinced once that it would make no sense to compete with established brands like GM and Ford, especially with strategies like budget advertising and the massive network of dealers they have mastered over time. This was something that had stunned traditional thinkers in marketing but Musk was convinced about his contrarian stand. One of his biggest legacies is that he made the world understand that even big brands can be launched in a cheap way and that is indeed a big disruption for those who think more traditionally.
How does Musk make possible a miniscule $6 for each car’s marketing when Jaguar’s corresponding figure is $3,325. Musk does it no differently from, say somebody starting. He does free advertising to promote his products and connects with his audience to boost his sale. It is because Musk uses the following marketing techniques to ensure that he competes with the giants. These techniques are worth imitable for those entrepreneurs who are also looking for zero-dollar marketing strategy:
Using the media to promote your brand:
Tell interesting stories in the media and it will do wonders. Musk did something similar after a couple of hurricanes ravaged Puerto Rico in a short span. As the island’s electricity supply was left devastated, somebody asked if Musk could help in rebuilding it and when Musk showed he is not disinterested in a tweet and waited for the local authorities to take a call, PR’s governor replied positively. Musk’s tweet got such a huge traction that he, along with his business, received massive publicity, all for no cost. The man was seen as a technology savior and it rewarded him big time.
Elon Musk is always seen in the public space, speaking honestly about success and failure alike. He speaks about his passion. Besides, he also appears in cameo roles in films and shows. These appearances are not just for the sake of it but back Musk’s futuristic visions (like for example, the Iron Man suit) that cements his image as an engineering intellectual. Be like Musk. Start your own YouTube video where you yourself talk and take interviews of noted personalities from your field.
Those who swim against the tide and challenge established ideas are the ones who face a lot of backlash. But they are also the people who lay out new directions of progress. Musk, for example, has gone far into thinking about how a future government on Mars would look like while people are mostly occupied over finding lives there. Like Musk, speak on controversial topics more often in public but in an intelligent way. That will make you stand out in the crowd and do promotion of your products and services, just like Musk.