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If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to be prepared for literally everything. At this moment, you may have tons of new ideas, plans and goals for 2021. But you might want to save your marketing budget for *ahem* unforeseen circumstances.

But that does not mean you give up your marketing efforts! It just means that you have to find low-cost or no-cost marketing ideas and go at it like Uncle Ben at the Christmas buffet.

Luckily for you, we have listed out ten awesome, effective and totally affordable marketing ideas so you can play (and WIN) the long game.

1. Put social media to good use

If your company doesn’t have a social media presence in 2021, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? More than 3 billion people worldwide use social media and 54% of those people also research products/services on social media before buying them. That is a huge market your business can target by being active on social media!

Additionally, not only is setting up a profile on most social media platforms completely free, but social media drives traffic and leads to your website. That’s a 100% return on investment!

One thing to remember before we move on– it is not enough to create a profile. You have to engage with your audience by posting, commenting and replying regularly.

Want to Save on Your Marketing Budget?

2. Up your content marketing game

Here is something new you might want to try in 2021: talking to potential customers instead of selling to them. By understanding your audience’s pain points and addressing them in your company blog, you are adding value to the lives of your audience. And in return, they will buy your products and become loyal customers.

Not convinced? We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves– companies with blogs have:

  • 55% more website traffic
  • 126% more lead growth
  • 67% more leads per month

We rest our case.

3. Spruce up your website

“Your website is the digital storefront of your business.”

Neil Patel

You wouldn’t want a dilapidated and shabby storefront to greet potential customers, would you? In the same way, you don’t want a barebones, unappealing website to talk about your company.

Your website is your biggest lead generating machine and you should treat it as such. Make your website sing, dance and sparkle. Let it show off your brand’s personality. Fill it with all the information a customer could need and more. Then wait and reap your rewards.

Want to Save on Your Marketing Budget?

4. Connect via email

Engage your customers on a regular basis by sending email newsletters. Use your existing audience list to remind customers that you’re there for them. Become a resource for current customers or those who haven’t been active in a while by sending them an informative email newsletter.

Pro tip: Don’t be too sales-y or you will come off as spammy. Focus on adding value to their lives.

5. Partner up

Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft together. Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google together. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple together. Now we’re not saying that you need to merge with another company, but you probably already have partners who supplement your business– suppliers, collaborators, or other businesses. Team up with them by:

  • Offering discounts for each other’s services
  • Providing referral links on each other’s websites
  • Tagging each other on social media.

Two customer lists are most definitely better than one.

6. Use PR tactics for publicity

Have an awesome new event coming up? Releasing a never-seen-before novel product? Discovered something exciting recently? Got a prestigious award? Tell the press!

All you have to do is send an email to local journalist or publication and ta-da you just got yourself FREE PUBLICITY! Over time, you can build good relations with the media and gain leads.

Want to Save on Your Marketing Budget?

7. Become a thought leader

We know what you’re thinking.

“Give away my tricks of the trade? NEVER!”

But look at it this way– when you impart wisdom on industry resources and trade publications, people get to know you and your brand. People start trusting you and becoming loyal to you. And before you know it, your product/service increases in value (and demand) because people only buy from brands they know and trust.


Besides, you often get paid for your contributions (so put it towards that coffee machine you keep promising your employees).

8. Host online events

2020 was the ‘Year of Webinars’.

Businesses realised that you could build trust and authority with your audience in many ways– a webinar being the most interactive of them all. Webinars and online classes are a great way to engage with partners or customers and show them first-hand what a great company you are!

Whether an industry-specific topic or something more general (sales tips or health and safety information) – online events are an excellent marketing opportunity for thought leadership, branding, and (the invaluable) list building.

Want to Save on Your Marketing Budget?

9. Try out vehicle branding

Cars are basically unused mobile billboards.

If you offer delivery services or use drivers for any company business, don’t be afraid to emblazon your company’s name, website, and phone number on the cars in BOLD. Think about it, how many companies can boast about creating a literal marketing vehicle?

Pro tip: Don’t make your advertisement boring. It has to stand out and be memorable– so do something totally unexpected.

10. Make every staff member a marketing rep

Include everyone in your grand plans for 2021.

Make business cards for everyone (old-fashioned but effective). Teach your staff a quick elevator speech about the company. Ensure that every business email sent out on behalf of the company has the company email signature (with offerings, awards, links to social media and a tagline). But most importantly, treat your employees well so they are happy and only say good things about your company.

We believe you can block out January, February and March in your calendar because boy, you have a LOT of work to do. While all the options we listed out here are affordable in terms of money, they will require time, energy and expertise. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed now, don’t. You can delegate some tasks to a results-oriented, experienced marketing agency like Viabrand!

We can help you with content marketing, SEO, design, branding and other marketing services. Give us a call and find out how you can get the most out of your marketing dollars!