Sales is the lifeblood for the small business and marketing is the means by which you drum up sales. Hence small businesses are interested in marketing strategies and techniques. One way to ramp up marketing is to outsource to a professional marketing agency. Another, is using No-Cost or Low-Cost marketing strategies.

When they do outsource their marketing however, many entrepreneurs and small business owners will inevitably find that this approach may entail quite some expense. Yes, there are times when a professional marketer can generate good leads and sales for you. But more often than not, it is likely to be true that the cost of marketing and the outcome in sales does not quite measure up. That is to say that often the returns or ROI may be lacklustre or even negative so that the sales generated and the marketing expenditure in dollar terms is not a positive return. 

Here are some marketing strategies you can implement and try for yourself at relatively low cost or no cost. Any cost that you need to spend is on acquiring marketing assets only. Try them and learn from your own experience how they work.

1. Discount Strategies

Discounts are the mainstay of sales like  that of Black Friday, 11.11 and 12.12. They are very effective in generating sales. There are many types of discounting strategies you can use, depending on the objectives you hope to achieve. Make use of it to fulfil your intended objectives.

Stacking discounts from low to high (e.g., taking “10% off, plus an additional 40%) is more effective than the high-to-low order (e.g., taking “40% off, plus an additional 10%”). 

Harvard Business Review

2. Differentiate Your Products

If you have only one product to sell, that’s tough. Chances are you should have more than one product so you can differentiate it for a more effective sales strategy. You should have at least one of your products as an introduction to what you can provide, and perhaps another one that is your premium product. By having a range, you can avoid having the customer to say “no”. Ever heard of a “tripwire” sale? 

3. Commission/Performance Based Marketing

There are many individuals who have no employment but can do with a side income, such as school leavers, housewives, retirees or those in between jobs. You can get them to sell on your behalf and pay a commission only when a sale is generated. When well thought out, this is an effective strategy, but you need collaterals, such as marketing assets as well as the provision of training and some form of accreditation.

4. Web Coupons

If you ever shop at Amazon, you will know that sellers often offer coupons which offer rebates and discounts. You can do the same. There are many ways and strategies of doing this. You can promote your website as well by having the coupons on your website for customers to claim.

59% of consumers state that out of all the different types of promotions or retailer can employ, web couponS still sway them the most when it comes to influencing a purchase decision.

5. Organic Reach Over Social Media

You would have your business account over a few platforms. Reach out to your contacts on those social media platform, tell them about you offer in the form of articles, photos and better still videos. Inform them of any offers you may have, such as discounts, and so on. Get your social media contacts to promote your offers as well. Note that this is not paid advertising.

6. Give Talks To Small Groups

Get friends and supporters to organise small group of interested individuals for you to talk to potential clients about your products. They do not have to be a large group, indeed all you need is at least a group of 2 or 3, and certainly less than 10. Small groups are easily accommodated in homes and public places, and easier to organize. Record these talks and put them online to generate more sales.

OZP 8 No-cost or Low-cost Marketing Strategies for You to Consider
47% of small business owners handle marketing efforts on their own.

7. Ask Existing Customers To Recommend

With your existing customers, get their feedback on what is good and bad about your products. Pay attention to the bad aspects to improve upon your products. Get them to write reviews, more importantly get them to refer new clients if they have a positive. Reward them for any referral, it’s not the size of the reward that counts but your appreciation of their efforts.

8. Appoint Brand Ambassadors

Know of any influencers in your niche? Get them to be your Brand Ambassadors and promote your offerings in return for specified benefits. That will give a lot of profile to your offerings and make people aware of what you are selling. Truly, a great marketing asset.

Following the above summaries, in later articles I’ll expand on and describe the above strategies in greater detail.

Meanwhile, have you ever used any of the above strategies? Were they effective for you? Would you like to share your experience in a group made up of entrepreneurs just like you?