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Zero Cost Marketing – Can You Promote Your Business For Free? Part 7: Other Ideas And Roundup

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In this last of our series of posts about marketing your business for little or no cost, we’ll recap on the ideas we’ve already covered. We’ll also briefly cover a number of other promotional ideas. And we’ll finish with a few which perhaps require a little more courage, but could be very effective if used successfully.

This is Part 7 of our series “Zero Cost Marketing”, where we suggest ways you can promote your business with little to no budget. If you want to start at the beginning read Zero Cost Marketing Part 1 – Discounts & Samples.

Since every business has different attributes and needs, the suggestions are presented in no order of preference. Some will be more relevant to your business than others. We’ll leave it to you to decide.

Zero Cost Promotion Ideas – A Recap

In previous posts, we have discussed:

  1. Discounts and Samples. Everyone loves a freebie or a bargain, and there’s no substitute for trying a product to decide if you like it.
  2. Web Content. A great way to convey the value of your product and communicate your business message and ethos.
  3. Blogging. Engage an audience and express your company personality in articles which inform and demonstrate your expertise.
  4. Social Media. It has a huge influence and a vast audience so be sure to use it to your advantage.
  5. Email Marketing. Email campaigns should not be discounted for being “old-school”. They remain a hugely popular and very successful marketing tool.
  6. Customer Referral Schemes. Use existing customers to spread the word about your business in a Win Win Win scenario.
Types of business promotion ideas

Additional Ideas For Low Or Zero Cost Business Promotion

The following list of ideas, though covered more briefly, are all great additions to that list of low-cost marketing activities.

Business Directory Listings

The more places your business is listed, the more chances potential customers will have to find you. Google Business Profile, Bing Places, 118 Business Directory and are obvious places to start, but there are plenty of other places you can get a free listing, including local council and local area directories. It’s worth spending the time to put your business on as many as you can, and it will help with your SEO rankings.

Business cards

Even the youngest of businesses should have them. Though not usually “zero cost”, they are available from online printers at low prices, so they are worth a mention here. If you carry them with you, you will be able to pass on your company details in a professional format whenever you see a good opening. We’d advise you keep the design simple and striking, avoiding formats and colour schemes which are the current trend, but could quickly look outdated.

Attendance At Networking Events

These events are designed to bring you in contact with other businesses, potential customers and professional contacts. Talking directly to potential customers is a great way to convey the value of your offering and cover off any queries they have. You could form relationships with other businesses and professionals enabling you to help each other with mutual referrals and future collaboration. And of course, networking events are great places to learn from others’ experience and pick up new ideas for ways to develop your business.

Free advertising credits

From time to time, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google offer credits for free ads to those with business accounts. It’s a no-brainer to use them to boost your advertising.

Introductory or Promotional Events

An open-day or similar event can be a good way to get yourself known locally if you have a physical location. Depending on the nature of your business, product samples, demonstrations, free introductory consultations or treatments or public question and answer sessions could be ways to demonstrate the value of your offering and tempt attendees into a purchase either at the time or in future. The event could be combined with some other incentive, e.g. a money off voucher or special offer for attendees.


For some businesses, a webinar or online event could be more applicable, with the advantage that it can reach a wider audience. If your business is based on information and expertise rather than a physical product or service, this could be a great way to demonstrate your industry knowledge and skills, increase your visibility and and build trust amongst potential customers. There are a number of platforms providing free webinar services so the main cost to you would be your time. If you record your webinar it also makes for great website and YouTube content, offering long term value for your customers.

Partnership With Another Business

Partnering with another business in your industry or based in your local community could help both of you. Whether this is a relationship of ongoing mutual recommendation or occasional collaborations for giveaways or events, partnerships can bring both parties more exposure. They can also give you access to industry knowledge, marketing strategies and a customer base that you might otherwise struggle to access. It’s important to carefully assess ways in which you can work together so that both businesses benefit from the arrangement.

Our final few suggestions are potentially more daunting, but could bring rewards for those who get them right.

Influencer marketing

By developing a collaboration with an online influencer you could gain a lot of exposure and increase your business’s credibility. A positive review of your product is likely to make it desirable to the influencer’s followers and you could find your business gets a real boost. It’s important to choose the right influencer though. Make sure your business aligns closely with their message – they’ll be more motivated to work with you the more your brand message supports their point of view. Also be prepared that they may want something in return, whether it be a webinar which you host, a free sample of your product, or some other reward.

Guerilla Marketing

By using unconventional ways to draw attention to your brand, guerilla marketing could make it stand out from the competition. Often, guerilla marketing campaigns are launched by large companies, but if you can find a creative idea that works for your brand, you could create an instant buzz and brand memorability. Anything from a bit of DIY street theatre to a free tombola awarding samples, to handing out cookies with your company name on them might work. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure that whatever you do is legal!

Example of 3M guerilla marketing with cash behind safety glass.

In an inspired piece of guerilla marketing, 3M placed stacks of cash between two layers of their newly-released security glass with the promise that anyone who could break through the glass to the cash could have it. A true case of putting your money where your mouth is!

Enter your business for business awards

Applying for business awards will help to promote your business even if another organisation ultimately wins the award. Look for local business awards or awards that are specific to your industry. Often you get a badge to place on your website if you win an award. This helps to give you additional credibility which could bring you increased business.

Final Thoughts

In this series of posts we hope we have demonstrated that marketing does not always have to cost big bucks. While some forms of business promotion inevitably involve cost, others can be just as, or even more effective, and cost your business very little apart from effort, time and creative input.

Every business has an individual set of characteristics, so you will need to choose methods that best suit your business and your personal preference. But we hope that you have found some new idease and inspiration in our posts, which will help you to get the business rolling in.

We hope you enjoyed this post. If you found it useful, please feel free to share it or leave a comment. Or take a look at our other posts.

If there’s anything you’d like to discuss with us don’t hesitate to get in touch. An initial chat is free and without obligation.

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