Here are 10 ways MSMEs can market their products and services without spending any money

Here are ten methods for MSMEs to build an effective marketing strategy without spending any extra money to generate traction, scale, and grow the business.
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In today’s world of innovative technologies and changing customer preferences, reaching out to prospective customers and retaining existing customers are challenges for any company.

Unless you find new ways beyond the existing conventional marketing and promotions methods, you are unlikely to survive, let alone succeed.

Many inexpensive, even free marketing means are available today to promote your business to help increase the top line.

Here are ten methods for MSMEs to build an effective marketing strategy without spending any extra money to generate traction, scale, and grow the business.

Website links

Website is a basic necessity for any business of any size and industry. Potential customers search for their requirements on the internet, and websites that lead them to their search are likely to win the lead.

Besides SEO optimisation, companies should reach out to those who have relevant content or blogs on the internet to have the brand mentioned in their content. This will increase the website traffic, which can be converted into sales.

Cross-promotion

MSMEs can partner with related businesses to market each other’s products or services. It’s a win-win situation for both the companies and doesn’t require much work and money.

For example, if you are into consulting services for online businesses, you may recommend a tech consultant or company to your client if they are planning to develop an online platform. The recommended consultant or company is your cross-promoting partner. They, in turn, will point their clients your way for your consulting services.

Blogging

Blogs and contents are some of the best means to generate traffic to your website and pages on social media. You can write blogs and content on your website by hiring a freelance writer or other websites.

At present, this is one of the most popular marketing strategies. While copywriting promotes your product straight-away, content writing talks about a topic relevant to your product or service using traffic-generating keywords, wherein your website link and CTA is included.

Blogging, on the other hand, educates the readers, whereby they are prompted to visit frequently to check the postings on your website. 

Networking

Networking is of two types: in-person and online. In in-person networking, at forums, you can bring up your product or service during conversations. Although, such opportunities are not used for direct selling.

For online networking, the company should be active on various social media platforms, including Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pintrest, etc., to connect with potential customers.

Referral and affiliate programmes

With referral programmes, MSMEs can leverage the network of customers by making use of their recommendations and word of mouth to generate leads for the business. The rewards can be in the form of payouts, discounts, or free goods or services.

Affiliate marketing, which involves a third-party promoting your business and brand to earn a commission, is almost similar. Companies can engage affiliate partners — sales and marketing professionals and companies — and pay them for providing a specific result in the form of leads or sales.

Leverage social media

Social media has become a powerful marketing platform, and it is highly impossible to neglect it as part of a company’s marketing strategy.

MSMEs should know which media holds more of their target customers and design programmes accordingly. They should understand each platform from the perspectives of target, traction, cost, and ease and flexibility.  

You can also market your products to them through posts, blogs, videos, audio clips, webinars, discussion forums, polls, surveys, etc.

Influencer marketing

With the emergence of social media, influencer marketing has become an inevitable marketing strategy. Businesses use bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, other social media enthusiasts to promote their products among followers and fans.

They deliver the same results as a brand ambassador, but for a fraction of the cost. Notable influencers regularly post content on their websites and social media accounts with high engagement rates.

Influencer marketing can work at a local or global level, depending on the product or service demands.

User-generated content

User generated content are created and shared by customers based on their experiences, opinions, ideas, or feedback, especially on social media, in the form of online reviews, product photos, etc.

If companies want to generate content without spending money, they can motivate their existing customers and fans to write reviews, testimonials, and blogs to endorse their products and services, which can be looked at by prospective customers.

Creating visibility

There are many methods to build brand visibility and popularity, but most are very expensive. Brand promoters can participate in social interactions and gatherings, hold webinars, participate in news debates, etc., to enhance the visibility of their product in the market.

Boosting the brand visibility this way helps promote the product without any additional investment. 

Direct marketing

This is an evergreen tested marketing strategy commonly used by small enterprises and startups. Companies should explore opportunities to meet their target audience at various events to speak about their offerings.

Many companies choose to go to industry events, seminars, exhibitions, etc., to showcase their products. This method not only helps the brand exhibit itself but also sells the product or services to potential customers. Participating in such events also drives word-of-mouth marketing.

Summing it up

New business models are challenging conventional marketing methods by leveraging technological advances to win brand visibility and traction without spending much or any money.

This way, companies can manage their cash flow well while also getting a leap-start with the challenging process of setting up a business and implementing a go-to-market strategy.

Edited by Suman Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)