By the end of 2020, global advertisement spending is projected to reach $656 billion. With this in mind, when thinking about your own business, you may be questioning: are ads important for a brand to thrive?

Before setting up any budget for marketing and advertising, your brand must first think of possible ways to grow sales and a customer base, free of any cost. Is your site SEO-friendly? Are you engaging with customers? Are you giving consumers relevant and trending information, products or services? These are all factors that should be considered before putting money behind paid ads business growth.

So, answering the question, are advertisements necessary for the success of your brand, the initial answer is no. Zero dollar marketing can be the first step towards optimizing your business for successful eCommerce.

What Is Zero Dollar Marketing?

Zero dollar marketing is the strategy of ensuring your business is free of any costs, something that’s specifically handy for small eCommerce companies just starting out with little to no budget. The overall purpose of this tactic is to grow your sales at no additional cost as opposed to the budget that usually comes along with other marketing strategies and paid advertisements.

Especially during COVID-19, when businesses of all sizes may be struggling, this is a great method for companies to take advantage of without fear of losing any money, or seeing any drastic negative effects by any risks taken.

7 Zero-Cost Marketing Strategies

In regards to your own eCommerce brand and how it should utilize zero cost marketing strategies, below are several tips on how to start optimizing your business:

1. Track Customer Behavior: A great method to attract a larger audience and potential customers is through tracking consumer behavior. By researching and analyzing your target audience, you’ll be able to produce relevant content that will likely bring in more traffic. It is inherently cost efficient too as this strategy can be executed using your own data and insights on consumers or by researching competitors’ reports to see how they are adhering to customer needs.

2. SEO: Although this method may be somewhat time-consuming, creating and transforming your content to be SEO-friendly should be a priority amongst your zero-cost marketing strategies. An effective way of working on this optimization besides having keywords and phrases throughout your site would be to create a blog page where your company can talk about relevant topics that your audience and consumers will be interested in. For example, makeup company Glossier has recently started an article section on their site, highlighting the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle trends that their customers most likely would relate to, as well as intertwining key phrases and linking to relevant sources to improve their Google ranking. Glossier also took it to the next level by creating additional social media platforms on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest, and an email sign-up to promote its blog.

3. Engage: Engaging with consumers is a crucial factor in how fast your brand will grow and how searchable it will become. This tactic needs no budget, meaning your company should be utilizing this to give customers support and have your platforms perceived as a trustworthy, interactive space. NYC’s food delivery service Seamless has taken to Twitter to connect with its followers, using it to promote restaurants and give discounts to consumers in a fun and inviting manner.

4. Claim a Hashtag: Your company claiming a hashtag is a cost-efficient way to not only creatively brand yourself but allow consumers to follow and interact with your business. Take, for example, the marketing company The Mayfair Group who uses the hashtag #MayfairWorld, where followers are encouraged to use it within their own content as it is a way to help the company promote itself, budget-free.

5. Referrals: If your site has a system set up allowing customers to refer others for a possible discount, this is a savvy way of attracting potential new consumers with the same interests and behaviors as the ones’ that promoted your company. Referrals can be very helpful in reaching alike consumers as well as offering loyal customers benefits.

6. Social Media: Creating social media platforms can significantly increase brand awareness and eventually help with your business’s sales. Despite platforms offering paid promotions and advertising, simply creating a platform for your company and beginning to post relevant, constant content will likely greatly impact your brand for the better. Make sure to research appropriate platforms that your target audience uses for optimal reach.

Seamless TwitterImage Source:

7. Customer Service: Customer service can play a key role in whether consumers decide to keep supporting your brand or seek competitors with possible better assistance. As important as it is to grow your audience and consumer base, your company will need to maintain loyal customers as they will help spread positive reviews and create a trustworthy relationship for others to see.


In conclusion, your eCommerce brand needs to focus on creating a great product and defining a value proposition to compete against competitors. Through SEO-friendly content, tracking consumer trends and behavior, increased engagement, and more, your business will be able to save a ton of money along with creative success for itself.