Searching for the most undervalued low-cost marketing techniques, we turned to a diverse group of fifteen professionals, including founders and marketing strategists. From leveraging Google Analytics and SEO to networking for new opportunities, these experts share their top insights on cost-effective marketing strategies that are currently underappreciated.
- Leverage Google Analytics and SEO
- Harness Social Media Power
- Prioritize Email Marketing
- Optimize Google Business Profile
- Utilize Cold Outreach
- Reimagine Existing Content
- Position CEO as Marketing Front
- Implement Door Hanger Strategy
- Partner with Micro-Influencers
- Create Authentic Storytelling Content
- Focus on the Power of Customer Testimonials
- Engage via LinkedIn Messaging
- Crowdsource Content Creation
- Attend Trade Shows and Events
- Network for New Opportunities
1. Leverage Google Analytics and SEO
Understanding the various points of entry to your website, Google Analytics is a free resource to help you understand your user journey. Where are they coming in, and where are they leaving? By gathering that data, you can ensure that those specific webpage entry and exit points include the answers to the questions they ask during the various stages of their buying experience.
Once you update the content, use Google Analytics again to see if there are any changes. Predicting consumer behavior is key, and you can do that with the data you are capturing. When doing A/B testing to see what is incentivizing users to purchase or take the next step (become an inquiry, begin an application, add to cart), only change one part of the test (subject line, image, call to action, discount) and see which change causes a positive result.
Another free option is SEO maximization across your website, which you can do with research into keywords and phrases in your industry.
Catherine Calame, Marketing and Communications Strategist
2. Harness Social Media Power
Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to grab the attention of an audience, your audience! I have supplemented clients’ online marketing strategies for over a decade with a social media presence. Know your target market and stay in your lane.
Depending on your overall vibe, your target market might be more inclined to use one platform over another. For example, if your audience loves video reels, you may want YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok accounts. However, if your audience is more into discussions and business topics, head to Reddit or LinkedIn. I have raised thousands of dollars on Facebook for my late husband’s cancer and various other personal fundraisers. Wherever you decide is the right platform for you, stick with it.
Be consistent and available, focus on your message, and deliver helpful content to your target market. Social media is a way to connect to people near and far with the same interests and hearts in mind.
3. Prioritize Email Marketing
Email marketing is the most reliable and trusted form of customer relationship building.
Email is a simple way to stay connected with your existing customers and invite a new audience to engage with your brand. From welcome series to promotional campaigns, as well as business highlights and new product announcements, email has a higher conversion rate than any other marketing channel.
Using an email marketing platform is more cost-efficient (with a better ROI!) than other paid media opportunities. It should be prioritized when building marketing strategies, especially for small and new businesses.
4. Optimize Google Business Profile
Remember to underestimate the value of a well-optimized Google business profile. So many Google business profiles need key information, so be sure to fill in as much as possible. That includes posting business updates.
Using the mini-blog feature tells internet searchers that you are monitoring your marketing channels and are ready to engage them on the platform. This is especially important for local businesses as many users’ first point of contact is your business’ profile on local search and Google Maps.
5. Utilize Cold Outreach
In the dynamic world of digital marketing, new strategies are constantly emerging, but some classic techniques still need to be recognized. One such method is cold email marketing. Despite its simplicity, it’s a potent tool, especially considering the minimal costs associated with its implementation.
Today, tools like Hunter.io and LeadSwift have revolutionized the cold email process. Hunter.io specializes in finding and verifying professional email addresses, making the initial outreach more targeted. On the other hand, LeadSwift gathers leads and automates outreach, allowing businesses to contact thousands with a single click. Using these platforms allowed me to significantly speed up the lead generation process, all for a modest investment.
The result? A more streamlined approach to cold emailing, leading to improved conversion rates.
6 Reimagine Existing Content
A low-cost marketing technique a lot of us are leaving on the table is the simple notion of looking around and taking inventory of what we’ve already got that we can work with to draw more attention to our brand.
As a content marketer, I’ve long lived by the idea that “content is king,” for many years, this was entirely true. While it’s still the lifeblood of a digital marketing strategy, it’s morphed somewhat. Think along the lines of “context is king.” What have you already created that you can fine-tune to suit your target audience’s needs better and position it exactly where they are and how they’d prefer to consume it?
Rather than writing another blog post on a topic you’ve touched on dozens of times, take the existing blog post and reimagine it, repackage it, redistribute it, and create assets around it that reinvigorate the audience. There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel when you only need to take hold and change course slightly. The results are staggering.
7. Position CEO as Marketing Front
Positioning the CEO at the forefront of marketing is an underappreciated strategy. Developing the CEO’s brand provides a genuine face to the company and resonates in today’s market that seeks authenticity. A small-time investment for sharing impactful stories on LinkedIn can significantly elevate the brand.
Additionally, I recommend engaging in industry events and podcasts to amplify this effect. This strategy influences external perceptions and shapes a robust internal corporate culture. The CEO is a vital storyteller, effectively humanizing the brand. It is smarter than just pouring thousands into paid ads and driving the results money cannot buy.
8. Implement Door Hanger Strategy
An extremely underrated marketing technique with which we’ve had explosive success is door hangers. For roughly $500, you can have 10,000 door hangers made. That’s just $0.05 per piece. If you deliver these to homes yourself, that’s an impression cost of just $0.05 per household. Should you hire someone at the rate of $20/hr, who then delivers 100 door hangers per hour, that’s an impression cost of $0.25 per household.
With door hangers, we’ve found that our average cost per lead (CPA) is approximately $300. Pair that with a close rate of 20% and an average sale price of $30,000, and our ROAS is 2,000%. It’s important to note that turnkey residential remodeling often has seemingly incredible marketing metrics because of its large-sale-price nature.
9. Partner with Micro-Influencers
One often undervalued and cost-effective marketing technique in the book service and publishing industry is leveraging micro-influencers. These individuals may have smaller follower counts than celebrities, but they often have highly engaged, niche audiences with a genuine interest in books.
Partnering with micro-influencers to review or promote your books can be remarkably cost-effective and yield authentic, relatable endorsements that resonate with readers. This strategy taps into a trusted network and can generate significant buzz around your titles without the hefty price tag associated with larger influencers or traditional advertising.
10. Create Authentic Storytelling Content
One often-undervalued and low-cost marketing technique is creating authentic storytelling content and sharing it with your target audience. This approach can be incredibly effective through guest posts, your blog, or social media.
Storytelling engages your audience personally and emotionally and establishes a unique brand identity. It doesn’t require a significant financial investment, just a commitment to producing high-quality content. Sharing your experiences, customer success stories, or insights related to your industry can build trust and credibility, driving organic traffic and fostering a loyal community.
When your content resonates with your audience, it can be shared, liked, and commented on, extending your reach and impact without breaking the bank.
11. Focus on the Power of Customer Testimonials
In the vast marketing world, one underrated and often overlooked technique is harnessing the power of customer testimonials and reviews. These authentic expressions of satisfaction can be like a form of marketing Jiu-Jitsu—using the energy of your customers’ positive experiences to promote your brand.
Many businesses underestimate a simple, heartfelt testimonial’s impact on potential customers. By showcasing genuine reviews on your website, social media, or in marketing materials, you transform happy customers into your best brand advocates. It’s a low-cost strategy that taps into the authenticity of satisfied customers, turning their words into a powerful marketing tool, all without burning a hole in your marketing budget.
12. Engage via LinkedIn Messaging
LinkedIn Messaging can be used effectively to yield great results. The key is to make your messages personal and casual, which makes them more likely to be read and noticed than an email. Significant business can be obtained this way, with the only cost being time and thought.
13. Crowdsource Content Creation
Crowdsourcing content is a budget-friendly marketing technique that’s often overlooked. It’s effective because it taps into the power of your community, engaging them in a creative process, and consequently generating authentic content. It’s cost-effective because you leverage user-generated content, reducing production expenses.
Plus, it creates a tight-knit community around your brand. So, in a world obsessed with big budgets, crowdsourcing holds undiscovered potential for smart marketers.
14. Attend Trade Shows and Events
While digital marketing often takes the spotlight, the value of attending trade shows and events should be noticed.
These gatherings offer direct engagement with potential clients, allowing for personal connections and firsthand demonstrations.
By being present at local trade shows or hosting your own event, you can showcase what sets your product or service apart, all without breaking the bank.
It’s a tangible experience in a digital age.
15. Network for New Opportunities
NETWORKING is the key. While the popular answer may be social media, I firmly believe that physical and virtual (LinkedIn) connections are key to opening doors and gaining access to new opportunities and shared audiences.
Marketing is a broad discipline that includes everything from awareness to consideration to purchase, so building a network of key industry talent that can help facilitate your brand/product/company is essential in driving that funnel.
Brick-and-mortar retail still accounts for 70-80% of retail sales (varies by brand/industry), so finding access to store shelves is a big piece of exposing your brand/product and driving website traffic.
So, buyers beware (retail buyers, not consumer buyers), we still need you, maybe more than ever.
Expert Insight: Low-Cost, High-Impact Marketing Strategies
The realm of marketing is constantly evolving, presenting new challenges and opportunities. Our exploration begins with insights from fifteen distinguished professionals who offer their unique perspectives on underutilized yet highly effective marketing techniques. Each tip sheds light on these strategies and opens doors to innovative approaches for businesses seeking impactful yet cost-efficient marketing solutions.
1. Google Analytics and SEO: The Digital Compass
- Expert Insight: Utilize Google Analytics to understand user behavior on your website. This tool helps identify the points where users enter and exit your website, allowing for targeted content updates. SEO maximization is also crucial, requiring research into relevant keywords and phrases.
- Actionable Advice: Regularly monitor your website traffic and user behavior. Use the insights to refine your content and enhance SEO. Consider conducting A/B tests to determine what changes (like different headlines or images) most effectively encourage users to take desired actions.
2. Social Media: The Modern Megaphone
- Expert Insight: Tailor your social media strategy to your target audience’s preferences. Different platforms cater to different demographics and interests.
- Actionable Advice: Identify the most suitable social media platforms for your audience. Maintain consistency in your messaging and ensure regular engagement. Utilize analytics tools provided by these platforms to measure the effectiveness of your content.
3. Email Marketing: The Trusty Connector
- Expert Insight: Email marketing is a reliable way to build and maintain customer relationships. It offers higher conversion rates compared to other marketing channels.
- Actionable Advice: Develop a diverse email marketing strategy, including welcome emails, promotional campaigns, and updates about new products or services. Monitor open and click-through rates to gauge effectiveness and make necessary adjustments.
4. Google Business Profile: Your Digital Front Door
- Expert Insight: A well-optimized Google Business Profile can significantly increase your visibility, especially for local businesses.
- Actionable Advice: Ensure your profile is complete with all necessary information. Regularly update your profile with posts and business updates to stay relevant and engaging.
5. Cold Outreach: The Forgotten Frontier
- Expert Insight: Despite being a classic technique, cold emailing remains potent, especially with tools like Hunter.io and LeadSwift, which assist in finding and automating outreach.
- Actionable Advice: Use these tools to streamline your cold emailing process. Focus on creating personalized and relevant emails to improve response rates.
6. Content Reimagining: The Creative Recycler
- Expert Insight: Instead of constantly creating new content, repurpose and reimagine existing content to better suit your audience’s current needs.
- Actionable Advice: Audit your existing content and find ways to update or repurpose it for different platforms or formats.
7. CEO as Marketing Front: The Authentic Voice
- Expert Insight: Positioning the CEO as the face of marketing can lend authenticity and humanize your brand.
- Actionable Advice: Encourage your CEO to share stories and insights on platforms like LinkedIn, and participate in industry events and podcasts.
8. Door Hanger Strategy: The Tangible Touchpoint
- Expert Insight: Door hangers can be an effective and low-cost way of reaching potential customers directly.
- Actionable Advice: Design engaging door hangers and strategically distribute them in your target neighborhoods. Track the response rates to measure effectiveness.
9. Micro-Influencers: The Niche Amplifiers
- Expert Insight: Partnering with micro-influencers can yield cost-effective and authentic marketing results, especially in niche markets.
- Actionable Advice: Identify micro-influencers who align with your brand values and have a highly engaged audience. Collaborate on creative content that resonates with their followers.
10. Storytelling Content: The Emotional Connect
- Expert Insight: Authentic storytelling can connect deeply with your audience and differentiate your brand.
- Actionable Advice: Share genuine stories about your brand, customer experiences, or industry insights. Use storytelling across various platforms to reach a wider audience.
11. Customer Testimonials: The Voice of Trust
- Expert Insight: Utilize customer testimonials to build credibility and trust among potential customers.
- Actionable Advice: Actively collect customer reviews and testimonials. Showcase them on your website, social media, and marketing materials.
12. LinkedIn Messaging: The Professional Networker
- Expert Insight: Personalized LinkedIn messages can be more effective than emails for generating business leads.
- Actionable Advice: Use LinkedIn for networking and outreach. Craft personal and relevant messages to connect with potential clients or partners.
13. Crowdsourcing Content: The Community Approach
- Expert Insight: Crowdsourcing content can engage your community and generate authentic user-generated content.
- Actionable Advice: Launch campaigns that encourage your audience to create and share content related to your brand. This not only fosters community but also provides you with diverse content.
14. Trade Shows and Events: The Personal Showcase
- Expert Insight: Participating in trade shows and events offers opportunities for direct engagement with potential clients.
- Actionable Advice: Identify relevant trade shows and events where you can effectively showcase your products or services. Engage with attendees and gather feedback.
15. Networking: The Art of Connection
- Expert Insight: Online and offline networking can open doors to new opportunities and collaborations.
- Actionable Advice: Actively engage in networking events and platforms like LinkedIn. Build relationships that can lead to collaborations, referrals, or new business opportunities.