8 Low-Cost Digital Marketing Strategies

by Federica Rustico

13 min read
Last Updated: May 26, 2023

So your business is up and running, now what? It’s time to market the hell out of it. But while every business owner, no matter how big or small, has to continuously analyze the pros and cons of each marketing strategy, we can fairly say that this is especially true for less-established businesses with less resources. We don’t all have million-dollar marketing budgets and infinite contacts and resources at our disposal, which means we have to get creative, in a budget-friendly way! Whether you’re just getting started or you’re trying to find new low-cost digital marketing strategies to implement in your business, these 8 budget-conscious digital marketing strategies might help you gain more sales without breaking the bank.

Why digital marketing?

We live in the digital age. We all prefer to get our news and information from the internet rather than newspapers or radios. It’s just simpler. Sure, TV still works for some generations, but the reality is that fewer people are paying attention to television and radio ads, while more people are watching and consuming material online, often on their mobile devices. So if you’re trying to target younger generations like Gen-Zers and Millennials, you need to say goodbye to traditional advertising and start embracing the digital world. Because that’s where we all are. 

low-cost digital marketing strategies

But don’t freak out, there’s a lot of pros that go with digital marketing. First off, digital marketing allows for far more precise targeting than its traditional counterpart. In contrast to the millions it would cost to air a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl, which would reach millions of viewers across a wide range of demographic groups, you could spend just a few thousand dollars to reach consumers who are more closely aligned with your target market in terms of gender, age, location, and even interests.

Because it is less intrusive and, when done well, provides value in the form of entertainment or information rather than reflecting over-commercialization, native advertising on social networks provides a more palatable manner of consuming advertising. But don’t forget that advertising is just one part of marketing. Marketing includes doing things like branding, pricing, retailing, developing and testing new products, and let’s not forget…analyzing your results. With the probable exception of branding, digital marketing has shown to be superior to conventional media in every single one of these areas of promotion. The lack of insight into performance, the inability to learn about pricing without risky experimentation, the inability to learn about consumer demand to inform the creation of new products or the modification of existing ones, and the fact that merchandising is handled independently from advertising (and at an additional cost) are all problems inherent to traditional media. Even though it's typically promoted as an alternative to conventional advertising, digital marketing covers every facet of marketing.

One aspect of digital marketing is the use of various low-cost digital marketing strategies, such as:

Without further ado, let's explore the details of implementing these 8 low-cost digital marketing strategies.

Strategies for effective digital marketing on a tight budget

It's now abundantly obvious that digital marketing strategies profit almost any business. Stop procrastinating and put pen to paper to plan out an effective marketing strategy that yields the maximum return on advertising expenditure before you launch your internet marketing campaigns. 

1. Email Marketing

Email marketing is first on our list. Over the last few years, email marketing has been one of the most popular promotional strategies. That's because for every dollar you invest in email marketing, may have a return on average of $40. Yup, that's an amazing return on investment.

In case you weren't aware, more than 3.9 billion people throughout the world regularly communicate by mail. That's much more than half of all human beings. More than 319.6 billion emails were exchanged daily in 2021.

Consistently sending customized emails to your subscribers is a terrific strategy to grow your business's client base and boost sales. It is your responsibility to send out well prepared emails to consumers, including reminders about abandoned carts and thanks for being a loyal customer on their birthdays. That's why it's so clear that email marketing works to boost conversions.

If you want to learn more about improving your email marketing campaigns and simplifying your email marketing efforts, a good tip is to use some of the top email marketing solutions, such as MailChimp, HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, Sendinblue, and other platforms. Email marketing is more effective when sent to specific groups of people, thus it's important to segment your subscriber list. 

Plus, it’s number one because it’s the only digital marketing strategy that actually allows you to create your own subscriber list. Imagine if you didn’t do email marketing, you had a big account on Instagram, with hundreds of thousands of followers, and all of a sudden, your Instagram account gets taken down. Now what? You're doomed, that’s what. Always grow your own email list, always! It’s the only way you have to contact your customer directly. 

2. Content Marketing

Marketers use content marketing to increase interaction with their target market, boost search rank, acquire backlinks, and more. Content marketing is, without a doubt, an essential strategy for any brand, especially if you’re a consumer brand. The only way to reap these rewards, however, is to consistently produce high-quality material. That means that whichever channel you choose for your content, you need to be consistent. Whether you’re planning on launching a TikTok account, an Instagram account, or a blog. This applies to any medium. 

By giving your team the time and space to discuss and plan out content for the next month, a content marketing calendar may help keep you on track. This not only helps you stick to your plan, but also gives you a strategic frame of mind while you create the most important parts of your approach, including keywords. Content calendars are also helpful for reducing writer's block, since you will never have to stare at a blank computer knowing you need to create 2000 words before the day is up. 

Even if content marketing is a strategy that could help you save money, don’t forget these things:

3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) 

I read somewhere that “The best page to bury the hatchet is on the second page of Google”. It’s so true! You probably already know that the majority of your clicks go to the links that appear in the top positions of search results; this is why search engine optimization (SEO) is so crucial. I’m going to cover  Google here since it’s the king of search engines, but the techniques we cover are applicable to increasing your site's rank on every search engine.

low-cost digital marketing strategies

Bear in mind that the satisfaction of search engine users is the ultimate objective while you develop your content. That's why it's crucial to prioritize providing users with the most relevant and high-quality results for their searches. Since you already have a content marketing plan in place, SEO is a cost-effective digital marketing method that complements it well. Your search engine optimization plan should center on helping your site's visitors in some way. The following are some suggestions for improving your content's search engine rankings:

4. Social media marketing

The way we work, play, and interact with one another has been revolutionized by social media. Making and keeping up a solid social media presence is now practically essential in today's competitive job market. The exponential rise in popularity of social media demonstrates the significance of several channels. These days, companies use social media to do more than just drum up support for their wares; it's also a key tool in building meaningful, personal connections with consumers. 

Facebook is the most popular social networking platform, with almost 3.5 billion monthly active users. TikTok's meteoric rise, particularly among younger consumers, making it an appealing alternative for marketers, who also often utilize Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. In addition, advertising on these platforms is a low-cost strategy for reaching consumers all over the world. This allows anyone to sign up for an account and begin publishing their own material without cost.

To raise your brand's social presence, make sure you’re at least in one of the social medias mentioned above. Which one to pick? Go where your target audience is! Keep the number of platforms you're active on to a reasonable level, since it will be necessary to provide regular updates to each of them. And don’t expect to publish the same content everywhere, each platform has its own type of content!

5. GIF Marketing

Anyone who has ever used a smartphone has seen a GIF (and perhaps stared at it incessantly). Since they have this inherent potential to pique viewers' interest, more and more companies are using them in their marketing strategies. New to GIFs? They’re those moving pictures that everyone keeps sharing on social media and messaging apps. You’ve surely even seen them in your favorite brand’s email marketing campaigns, not to mention in blogs! 

Don't get me wrong, the use of GIFs is hardly revolutionary. Recently, however, GIFs have become the de facto standard for online image sharing, with over 10 billion being sent back and forth every day. This is why they provide an untapped opportunity for companies to broaden the reach of their marketing, increase customer engagement, and improve the efficiency of their marketing.

But how come people love them so much? Because people are inherently visual, and visual information is processed 60,000 times quicker than written information in the human brain. For some time now, this has been common knowledge among marketing professionals. Advertising campaigns that make use of visuals tend to do better. Information may be conveyed clearly and concisely via the use of GIFs because of their aesthetically appealing structure, which satisfies the need for instant gratification among content consumers. With the help of GIFs, businesses can convey a whole narrative in only six seconds, making them ideal for audiences with limited attention spans and fun to pass around amongst friends. Sounds cool, right? There’s way more where that came from, find out more on how to use GIFs in marketing to boost your engagement.

6. Online advertising

Conventional advertising and digital advertising share many of the same elements for success, although traditional advertising is more costly and less focused. There are so many platforms available for marketers to reach their audiences, these are just some of the most famous ones:

low-cost digital marketing strategies

Just bear in mind that the ad management mechanism is unique to each platform. So the best thing to do is try to understand where your audience is, and stick to that platform. Google Advertisements, which are keyword-based, and social media ads, which target an audience you choose, are two excellent low-cost options. Depending on the platform you use, you also have different goals that you can achieve, like generating traffic, leads, app downloads, brand awareness and so on. The options are numerous. 

Ad grading and keyword planning tools offered by services like Google Advertisements and Wordstream may be useful for optimizing your ads before they go live and keeping tabs on how they're doing after they go live so you can make adjustments as needed to boost performance. Most ad networks include a method called "A/B testing" that lets you compare the performance of two or more variations of your ad. Absolutely do this! It may sound tricky at first but if you do this regularly for your campaigns, you’re going to save some serious amount of cash!

7. Referral marketing

But hold on a sec, there are ways to get your customers to work for you! One of them is through referral marketing! Users make referrals when they advocate for the brand (whether explicitly or implicitly) by using the product themselves and then encouraging others to do the same. The material created is known as user-generated content (UGC) and the practice is also known as word-of-mouth marketing. It's the most tried-and-true method of promoting a business, and it still works. We term it "influencer marketing" when a referral comes from someone who has a sizable and active following.

Although it costs nothing to use user-generated content (UGC), it usually takes a concerted effort to get consumers to post reviews and recommendations on social media and/or your website. It goes without saying that no one will advocate for a poor quality product, so focus on making items that consumers really want and need and provide stellar support. Then, create a post sale experience that gets them to talk about your brand or offer a discount or promotion if they leave a review! 

8. E-commerce

Because it replaces or complements in-store sales, e-commerce may be an efficient and cost-effective form of digital marketing. Creating an online store on your website is easier than you think thanks to e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce. Use digital advertising and other budget-friendly digital marketing strategies in tandem with your online store for maximum return on investment. And don’t forget to connect your e-commerce to your Instagram, Facebook and TikTok stores for maximum reach!

Wrapping up

Unless you’re selling vacuum cleaners to old ladies in Italy, digital marketing is a must for any business. Not only is it the place where you can really reach your customers at any time of the day, it’s also super cost-effective in comparison to offline marketing strategies. So go ahea, find the online marketing strategies that best meet your needs, raise your brand awareness, increase your company's potential for new clients and income, and increase those sales!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I advertise my business without spending money?

1. Increasing your subscribers list by giving away freebies
2. Consistently creating content for your channels
3. Leveraging User-Generated-Content and referrals
4. Creating customised GIFs that can be used as reaction GIFs
5. Implementing SEO to your website
6. Word-of-mouth

What is the most cost-effective marketing?

Email marketing is the most effective marketing strategy as it allows you to directly contact your customers without going through a third-party.