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How to Acquire Customers on a $0 Marketing Budget

You've heard it before: you have to spend money to make money. But what about if you're just getting started or don't have the budget for costly marketing strategies?

If that sounds familiar, you're not alone.

Fortunately, it's entirely possible to acquire customers on a $0 marketing budget. All you need is the right approach, strategic planning, and dedicated execution. Here are some practical tips for getting customers without a big marketing spend.

Outline a Sales Funnel

Before you dive into what you'll be doing, set aside some time to look at how customers will interact with your business. A sales funnel is a tool that helps marketers visualize the journey from lead to conversion. The funnel shape is indicative of the fact that not every lead you attract will convert.

The five stages of the typical sales funnel include:

  1. Awareness
  2. Engagement
  3. Decision
  4. Action
  5. Retention

It's free to outline a sales funnel strategy and will create the entire foundation of how you reach your customers. 

Use Free Tools to Get Started

There are plenty of free tools online that can get you started with acquiring customers. Many of these tools are scalable with premium versions to use when you have the budget in place. 

Google has numerous free tools, from word processing to analytics, to help you find and convert customers. You can find out more in an excellent article to market your small business published by Boost Apps.

Other free tools to add to your low-budget marketing repertoire include:

  • Slack - this instant messaging app is a must-have for remote teams.
  • Trello - this free project planning app can help you keep all of your strategies in order.
  • Buffer - the free version of this app allows for social media scheduling for a couple channels with great functionality.
  • Canva - create professional-looking graphics and marketing materials for free.

By starting with the free version of these tools, you give yourself room to experiment and see what works before investing in a subscription.

Use Live Videos on Social Media

Video marketing used to be an expensive endeavor. Now even the top professionals are creating live content from their smartphones while sitting in a grocery store parking lot. What does this mean for you? It means that you can create engaging marketing content without spending a dime.

Live videos not only engage the audience, but they circumvent the social media algorithms that cause so much grief for users. Both Facebook and Instagram will send your audience a notification saying that you've started a live video. This approach demands their attention and helps you grow your audience at a tremendous rate.

Promote User-Generated Content

Rather than creating content for your users, let them do the work for you. Promote user-generated content over social media by using a contest that encourages users to post and tag you. You can then share their content and expand your reach.

Another way to promote user-generated content is to ask users to share images or videos of them using your product, with a promise to feature them on social media. As many people are aspiring influencers, this is an effective way to market your business for free.

User-generated content goes hand-in-hand with affiliate marketing. Consider adding unique discount codes and put the onus of promoting your products on your affiliates. Their fee is deducted from your margin rather than having to deal with an upfront cost.

Repurpose Old Content

Finally, don't hesitate to repurpose old content to create something new. Past blog posts can provide scripts for podcasts, the structure for infographics, or conversation pieces for webinars. Be creative and see how many ways you can present the same information to reach a broader audience without spending money.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to market your business on a $0 budget. Get creative and reinvest in the business once that money starts rolling in.

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