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It can be a real pinch for small business owners to spend on digital marketing from their little marketing budgets, especially in their growth phase. There is so much competition, are there any free digital marketing ideas that you can use? It is increasingly becoming difficult to get the eyeballs and drive sales.

But do they know, there is so much we can do without spending precious dollars? Getting attention is difficult, but doable.

In fact, we can practically execute a complete positive outcome driven plan without spending a dollar!

But no digital marketing agency will tell you this secret.

We have been spending thousands of dollars on automation tools, monthly subscriptions and “untouched” life time offers on under-utilized software. And we fail to see digital marketing beyond these.

To make matter worse Digital Marketing Agencies can take hefty retainers with no clear objectives defined. Can’t blame the agencies either, small business owners may not know the correct KPIs to drive outcome. ROI is twisted to showcase non-tangible gains in likes and hearts, brand building with no pathway on how to utilize it further.

But marketing on digital for free?

Surprisingly yes, but….there is a trade-off. Time (and effort) against marketing spends.

If you don’t mind putting in man hours, there is so much to do. Consistency has its rewards in this domain. 

List of Free Digital Marketing Ideas that work

1. Give Value for free

  • How to’s, ebooks, guides, findings, whitepaper
  • Infographics, videographics and video tutorials

2. Push out video content

  • Webinars, how to videos
  • Free courses

3. Go Live

4. Co-Host Webinars

5. Make customer your hero

  • Customer success story
  • Customer feedbacks

6. Build email list

  • Make separate lists
  • Use tools to serve different content to each list

7. Create funnels

8. Re-purpose content

  • Blogs to podcasts, webinars, videos
  • Infographics to videographics
  • Whitepapers to series of posts

9. Become a Networker

10 Affiliates

  • Start an affiliate program
  • Become affiliate to products/services that help out your product

Here are few free digital marketing ideas to get tons of customers:

1. Give Value…for free:

People always love a free take away that matters and are inclined to hear from you later too. Build a relationship and see if you can convert them in the process. Go above and beyond. Give a free eBook, learning guides, info-graphics, e-courses, top 10 tips or even an industry whitepaper. This might be a tedious task but one that surely works. If you think you can go an extra mile, create “How to” videos. Engage in newer formats that grab attention.

While you work on the above, you can make use of:

  • Create a blogpost / website – share whitepapers, downloadables and findings on it on regular basis
  • Create a Youtube channel and make multiple playlists with specific topics
  • Use Linkedin, FB posts effectively
  • Think about newer channels like Pinterest to reach out to new set of prospects

2. Push out video content:

Once you have how-to’s, reviews or instructional videos, push them out simultaneously via Facebook, Youtube, Instagram or even LinkedIn. Use e-mailers, forums or groups effectively to announce your videos series. Make sure the audience has a way to contact you in the future. Get them to subscribe to your updates. Here is an example of how honest digital guy is pushing out videos through 10 minute digital marketing course.

While you work on the above, you can also:

  • Create Youtube channel, organize content in relevant playlists
  • Record your webinars and serve it later as smaller content pieces
  • Create a mashup of similar videos across industry to make a single important information video

3. Go Live:

Go live and talk to your prospects one on one. It doesn’t matter if only a few people turn up at a time. Get valuable list of queries, recommendations, feedback or even expectations from them. This can also help you make your product better. Simulcast if you have to on all networks like Youtube, Facebook or other social media platforms. 

Use the following:

  • Facebook live, Youtube, Zoom
  • Don’t forget to record it. Mail recordings to your email list

4. Co-host webinars:

One of best ways to get new audience is through co-hosting webinars/sessions. Tie up and collaborate with people from similar or related industry for a webinar. Generate interesting content in the process.  

You can also:

  • Give special offers to customers of the other co-host.
  • Send recordings to people who missed the webinar and an offer for next meet
  • Email with reminder to your offers post webinar

5. Make your customer a hero:

Take an interview. Showcase the success story to your audience. Make a video, a podcast or even a nice post. I have even seen a video series for a brand running successfully every Thursday mentioning customer success!

You can also:

  • Use part of success story and post it on your website
  • Make a post for FB, LinkedIn etc
  • Case study to inspire new customers

6. Build your email list:

Tons of sales happen through emails. Even if email isn’t the way you may sell, it certainly helps in building relationship. In all the activities you do, try and get people to subscribe to your updates. First party data is always the most reliable. Break your email lists into more refined  segments. There are tons of software out there to help you out like: mailchimp, helo

7. Create funnels

Not every individual warms up to your product easily or in the same stage of buying cycle. Identify and make buckets or lists accordingly. Target them with personalized content over a chain of mailers or content that customer might be inclined too. Maintaining a relationship is important. Note that nearly 60% of sales happen in the 5th-12th contact with your prospect.

A lot of people also use a strategy of offering a low hanging fruit or a smaller ticket item in the first few touch points. As the customer becomes more receiving, the hero item is sold.

8. Re-purpose content

Your old content can still be a goldmine. Have a blog, turn it into a webinar or into a podcast. Have a slideshow, make a beautiful infographic or maybe into a videographic. Just make sure the content is still relevant to the audience. A refresher to your audience might just work!

9. Become a net-worker!

Join forums, groups and social media network. Some of them may require permissions to enter, but that is easy. Participate in discussions wherever you can. In fact, ask questions and provide interesting insights. You can also shout out for help. Usually people are happy to help. Project yourself as a though leader. This should be done anyways with or without marketing budgets! Here are some free line items you should make:

  • Create a Facebook business page, company profile on LinkedIn
  • Group on your product/service on FB, LinkedIn
  • Create profiles on Instagram/Twitter/Instagram

10. Affiliates:

There are 2 ways to this. Either add affiliates for your product or services or become an affiliate for a product (not competing) that your customers might use in tandem with your product or service. Both these will help in your future sales.

All the above ideas require a bit of effort with varying degrees of difficulties. Yet most of them can be done without much technical knowledge. Standalone entrepreneurs need to take these ideas up and can get customers on a consistent basis using these tactics. Build up a strategy and check on each of the ideas.

Here are the free digital marketing ideas for small business owners:

  • Give value for free: e.g: Guides, how to’s, eBooks etc
  • Create video content: e.g: instructional videos, findings
  • Go live: e.g: do a simulcast
  • Co-host webinars
  • Make customer your hero: e.g: customer success story
  • Build your email list
  • Create funnels
  • Re-purpose old content: e.g: make a blog into a video or a podcast
  • Network on forums, groups
  • Affiliates

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