My Zero-Dollar Marketing Strategy to Get Your Brand Off the Ground This 2022

If you’re anything like me and have zero marketing dollars in your budget, you’re probably looking for free or inexpensive ways to bring awareness to your new business. Here are my top 3 tried and true free (or almost free) techniques I’ve used this past year at our restaurant to bring more customers in: 

  1. Instagram giveaways. If you’ve got a product you sell, give a few away for free. Perhaps once a month to start. This is one of the easy and affordable ways you can promote your product and grow your circle of influence. Use a free instagram comment picker tool to choose the winner. One of the best parts about giveaways is that you get to choose the rules of your own giveaway.
  2. Tiktok videos. Most people don’t want to make Tiktok videos. If I didn’t have a restaurant to market, I don’t think I would be on Tiktok either but here I am. Tiktok has helped hundreds of new customers (and old customers) find our restaurant this year. Some easy videos to start with would be the following:
    • Introducing yourself in a 20 second video (where you’re from, what you do, what you’re trying to do) + a call to action (Follow me for more, check out my profile, order on my website)
    • Filming a behind-the-scenes video. For us, it’s cooking with the wok. For you, it might be packing pretty orders, or baking things in the oven, or painting a picture. 
    • Create a montage of your product using whatever trending sound is suitable for your audience. I like this one because it’s the easiest of all three. Take 15 5-second videos of what you sell/where you sell them, and put them all together with background music people like. 
  3. Building 1:1 relationships with people on Instagram, Tiktok or LinkedIn. This one requires much more time, focus, and care, but really allows you to build a deep rooted community around your business from your bed. Here are the steps to start building relationships with potential customers on any social media platform: 
    • Find people in your category through related hashtags you might see people using
    • Like and leave a meaningful, thoughtful comment on their latest 3 posts
    • Give them a follow if you think it would be relevant for your business to subscribe to their posts, even if they didn’t buy anything yet. Doing this hundreds of times over will start many relationships with potential customers. 

These are 3 practical things I’ve done to grow awareness of our restaurant this 2021. I had no marketing budget, and the team consisted of one person (me). If you’re in a similar situation, I highly recommend doing all 3 simultaneously. Keep in mind these tips can work for any new digital brand that is starting fresh. 

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