Blog eCommerce Marketing How to Promote Your Shopify Store on a Budget [29 Free Strategies]

How to Promote Your Shopify Store on a Budget [29 Free Strategies]

How to Promote Your Shopify Store on a Budget [29 Free Strategies]
Joe Tobin
How to Promote Your Shopify Store on a Budget [29 Free Strategies]
Joe Tobin

After bouncing around tech start-ups and university literature programs, Joe has finally settled down as Billo’s Head of Content. Joe now spends his days writing ads about ads, teaching clients how to craft killer content, and combing through our web copy with a bold red Sharpie.

Klaudija Janužytė
Klaudija Janužytė
Klaudija Janužytė
Klaudija Janužytė

Seasoned copywriter, promoting the Oxford comma one sentence at a time. Skilled at writing internet-friendly copy, optimizing user journeys, and educating clients on the ever-changing ways of communicating effectively. Worked with brands like Coca-Cola, Adidas, Samsung, Nord Security, and many more.

how to promote your shopify store for free

With Shopify now reaching over 700 million buyers and contributing $319 billion to global eCommerce, the opportunity for growth in 2024 is massive.

But did you know you don’t always need to spend an actual fortune to get noticed by customers?

From tapping into the power of referral marketing to connecting with your local community and even creating micro-content, let’s dive into the most effective free ways to boost your store’s visibility and pull in more revenue.

1. Be active and consistent on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and X

The first one is the most obvious one, but engaging with your audience on social media offers a way to promote your Shopify store without the need for a significant marketing budget.

One of the most impactful strategies you can employ for free is simply creating and sharing content that resonates with your target audience. This includes behind-the-scenes looks at your business, customer testimonials, and product demonstrations or tutorials.

By consistently (emphasis on consistency) posting content that adds value––even if it’s just aesthetic value––to your audience’s lives, you can build brand awareness and foster a loyal following.

Leveraging hashtags relevant to your niche and participating in trending conversations are additional ways to increase your visibility on these platforms.

2. Don’t forget to interact with your followers

Another powerful, cost-free tactic is actively responding to comments, messages, and mentions. This direct interaction not only helps in building strong relationships with your followers but also signals to social media algorithms that your content is engaging, potentially increasing its reach.

Hosting live sessions and Q&As can further boost engagement and create a buzz around your brand.

Remember, social media platforms provide valuable insights and analytics that can help you understand your audience better, gauge the performance of your content, and refine your marketing strategies over time.

3. Enable shoppable feeds across your social media channels

This approach allows your followers to purchase products directly (without ever leaving the app) from your social media posts or stories, creating a seamless shopping experience that can significantly boost your conversion rates and reduce the chances of cart abandonment.

Shoppable feeds capitalize on the impulse buying behavior that social media platforms often encourage. When followers see a product they like in your posts, the ability to immediately click and buy greatly increases the likelihood of spontaneous purchases.

This not only drives sales but also increases the average order value, as customers are more likely to add additional items to their cart once they’re in the shopping interface.

Incorporating shoppable feeds into your social media strategy also provides valuable data insights. Tracking which products are most frequently clicked on or purchased can inform your inventory decisions, content creation, and marketing strategies.

4. Share valuable content related to your niche on your blog

A well-curated blog serves as a magnet for potential customers, drawing them in through search engines, social media shares, and even word of mouth.

Once visitors arrive at your blog, compelling content can keep them engaged, encourage them to explore your site, and eventually lead them to your product pages. This not only boosts your website’s traffic but also enhances its SEO performance, as search engines favor sites that offer valuable content.

By addressing common questions, concerns, and interests of your target audience, your blog can help build trust and credibility––crucial for fostering a loyal customer base willing to advocate for your brand.

By incorporating calls-to-action within your blog posts, you can guide readers towards subscribing to your newsletter, following you on social media, or checking out your products, thereby integrating your content marketing with your overall sales strategy.

5. Ask for content contributions from other bloggers or experts

Gathering contributions from other bloggers or experts in an expert roundup is an excellent strategy, particularly when you’re not an expert in your niche or you’re running out of topics for your Shopify store’s blog.

It’s a smart way to ensure your blog remains a relevant and informative resource, even when your own expertise might be limited or when fresh content ideas become challenging to generate.

Expert roundups help you gather a wide range of perspectives on specific subjects, enriching your content and making it more engaging. Also, when you’re searching for new topics or angles, these roundups can introduce fresh ideas and trends from various corners of your industry, keeping your content interesting.

By featuring insights from various bloggers or experts, you not only tap into their knowledge but also their follower base, as these contributors are likely to promote the content to their audiences. This cross-promotion can significantly boost your blog’s visibility and draw in visitors who might not have found your brand otherwise.

6. List your Shopify store on price comparison websites

Comparison shopping engines, like Google Shopping or Shopzilla, allow customers to compare products, prices, and features side by side. This puts your products in front of consumers who are actively looking to make a purchase but are still deciding where to buy.

This strategy is particularly beneficial for driving targeted traffic. Since users on comparison sites are already in a buying mindset, showcasing your products there can lead to higher conversion rates compared to other traffic sources.

It’s a direct line to consumers who are in the late stages of the buying process, searching for the best deal on products they already want.

Listing on these platforms can also provide competitive insights. You’ll see how your products and prices stack up against competitors, which can inform your pricing, marketing, and product development strategies.

7. Increase visibility and attract organic traffic by optimizing your website for search engines

Keyword research is foundational to SEO, helping you understand the terms and phrases potential customers use when searching for products you offer. Incorporating these keywords into your web content, meta descriptions, and yes, title tags, can significantly boost your visibility in search results.

Technical SEO, including optimizing your site’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and architecture, also plays a critical role in improving organic traffic. Search engines favor websites that offer a good user experience, meaning that technical health is as important as content quality.

Link building, the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own, is another vital strategy. These backlinks signal to search engines that other sites consider your content valuable and authoritative, further boosting your SERP ranking.

Remember, SEO is a long-term investment. Consistent effort is key to sustained success.

8. Build an email list and regularly send newsletters, product updates, and promotions

In essence, effective email marketing is about striking a balance between promotional material and genuinely useful, engaging content. It’s crucial to avoid the trap of sending what could be seen as junk. Instead, focus on mapping out a consistent email strategy that ensures everything you send out has some type of value––entertainment, aesthetic, financial, etc.

Creating emails that your audience looks forward to involves understanding their needs, preferences, and pain points.

Tailor your content to provide solutions, insights, and offers that resonate with your subscribers: exclusive discounts, early access to new products, helpful tips related to your niche, or engaging stories about your brand.

9. Encourage customers to share their experiences on social media to generate UGC

UGC, such as reviews, testimonials, photos, and videos shared by users, serves as authentic proof of your product value and quality, influencing purchase decisions of potential customers.

To kickstart your UGC efforts, platforms like Billo can be really instrumental. Billo connects brands with creators who can produce authentic and engaging content for your products, helping to get the ball rolling with your UGC strategy.

Highlighting real customer experiences on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok can significantly boost your brand’s social proof, driving engagement and attracting new customers.

To maximize the impact of UGC, consider motivating customers to share their experiences through contests, hashtags, or rewards for content. This encourages participation and demonstrates your appreciation for their input.

10. Provide value with tutorials or product videos by starting a YouTube channel

Starting a YouTube channel can sound daunting at first, especially if you’re imagining the need to dive into the world of daily vlogging or personal storytelling.

However, it’s essential to recognize that launching a channel for your brand doesn’t mean you’re on the hook to become a vlogger. Instead, think of YouTube as a platform for hosting longer-form content that showcases your products, offers valuable insights, and ultimately, helps you reach a new audience.

Creating tutorials or product videos is an excellent way to do just that.

For instance, if your Shopify store sells beauty products, you could produce tutorials on how to achieve specific looks using your products. Similarly, if you’re in the tech gadget space, detailed unboxing and how-to videos can be incredibly beneficial for your potential customers.

When producing your videos, aim for clarity, engagement, and authenticity. You don’t need a high-end production setup from the get-go. Good lighting, clear audio, and a well-structured presentation can go a long way.

11. Repurpose your long-form content into engaging micro-content

Think of it this way: not everyone has the time (or the attention span) to dive into a 20-minute video or a 2000-word blog post. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in what you have to say or show.

Start by identifying the key points or highlights from your long-form content. These could be powerful statistics, insightful tips, compelling quotes, or eye-catching visuals.

Then, transform these elements into standalone pieces of content. For example, a tutorial video on your YouTube channel can be repurposed into a series of Instagram stories, each demonstrating a specific step in the process.

Similarly, a deep-dive blog post can be distilled into a series of tweets (is it Xs now?) or Facebook posts, each focusing on a different aspect or takeaway.

This approach not only extends the life of your original content but also allows you to engage with your audience across multiple platforms without constantly needing to generate new content ideas.

Remember, the goal is to make your micro-content stand out and provide value on its own, even as it points back to your more in-depth pieces.

12. Be active (and creative) on TikTok

Unlike many other social media networks, TikTok offers a level playing field where anyone can go viral, regardless of how many followers they have.

This means that even if it’s your first TikTok, creative and engaging content has the potential to reach millions of users worldwide.

The key to success on TikTok lies in understanding its culture and what resonates with its audience. Creativity, authenticity, and entertainment value drive the platform.

Brands that succeed on TikTok often do so by embracing trends, participating in challenges, or creating genuinely interesting or funny content that encourages shares and interactions. The algorithm favors content that keeps users watching and engaged, so think about how your products or services can be showcased in a way that’s both informative and entertaining.

13. Partner with micro-influencers for product reviews or endorsements

Micro-influencers, typically defined as having followers ranging from a few thousand up to 50,000, often have highly engaged audiences. Their followers tend to trust their recommendations, making them an excellent asset for authentic brand promotion.

Start by identifying individuals whose audience aligns with your target market and whose values resonate with your brand’s ethos. This is crucial for ensuring that their endorsement feels genuine and is well-received by their followers.

Once you’ve shortlisted potential influencers, reach out with a personalized message that clearly outlines what you admire about their work and how you envision a partnership benefiting both parties. Being genuine goes a long way.

Keep in mind that while micro-influencers may not command the high fees associated with larger influencers, offering fair compensation for their effort is key to building a fruitful relationship.

This doesn’t always need to be monetary; gifting products, offering exclusive discounts to their followers, or proposing a commission-based arrangement through affiliate links are all attractive options that can also help keep costs down.

When setting up collaborations, be clear about your expectations but also give influencers the creative freedom to present your products in a way that feels authentic to their style and audience. This authenticity is what makes influencer marketing so powerful.

14. Engage your audience and attract new followers by running contests and giveaways

This approach not only adds an element of fun and excitement to your brand’s online presence but also encourages content sharing, significantly increasing your visibility.

Before launching a contest or giveaway, decide what you want to achieve. Is it more followers, increased brand awareness, or perhaps engagement on a specific platform? Having clear objectives will help you tailor your campaign to meet these goals.

The prize should be something valuable and relevant to your target audience. Often, products from your own brand work best as they also promote product visibility and interest.

Complicated entry requirements can deter potential participants. Keep the process simple—whether it’s liking and sharing a post, tagging friends, or submitting an email address. Clearly outline the steps to enter and any rules for participation to avoid confusion.

Remember, each social media platform has its own set of rules for running contests and giveaways. Make sure to review these guidelines beforehand to avoid any potential issues that could derail your campaign.

15. Generate buzz with a pre-launch campaign

A pre-launch campaign is an excellent strategy for generating buzz and excitement around a new product or collection before it officially hits your Shopify store.

To kick things off, start by teasing your audience with sneak peeks of the product or hints about what’s coming. Use your social media channels, email list, and website to spread the word, creating a sense of mystery and excitement.

Share behind-the-scenes content, countdown posts, and any relevant backstory about the development of your new product.

Next, consider leveraging exclusivity to make your audience feel special. This could be in the form of early access for your email subscribers, special pre-order discounts, or limited-edition items for the first few purchasers.

Such incentives not only reward your most loyal customers but also encourage others to join your mailing list or follow you on social media for future perks.

Finally, ensure that the climax of your pre-launch campaign—the actual launch day—is marked with excitement.

16. Secure a spot in gift guides

Securing a spot in gift guides can significantly broaden your audience and boost visibility, especially during peak shopping seasons like the holidays, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.

Gift guides are often sought after by shoppers looking for inspiration, making them an excellent opportunity for your Shopify brand to get noticed by people who might not have found you otherwise.

To get started, research publications, blogs, and influencers that curate gift guides relevant to your industry.

Once you’ve found the ones that match your brand best, craft a compelling pitch. It should highlight what makes your product unique and why it would be a perfect fit for their gift guide. Include high-quality images, a detailed description, and any notable features or benefits that set your product apart.

Offering a sample can also be a persuasive way of getting their attention, as it allows the curator to experience your product firsthand.

Don’t overlook the importance of timing. Many gift guides are planned well in advance, so reaching out early is critical. For holiday gift guides, for example, reaching out in late summer or early fall is advisable.

17. Promote your Shopify brand in deal forums

Forums like Slickdeals, HotUKDeals, and Reddit’s deal-related subreddits are filled with users actively looking for the best offers, making them ideal platforms for promoting discounts, special promotions, or exclusive deals.

To effectively capture this audience, it’s crucial to first understand the community norms and what types of deals resonate the most. Offer genuine value by posting discounts or promotions that are compelling and provide a real incentive for users to engage with your brand.

Exclusive deals or significant discounts that aren’t available elsewhere are particularly effective.

The success of promoting your brand in deal forums hinges on your ability to blend seamlessly into the community by offering deals that add genuine value and engaging with members respectfully and helpfully.

18. Showcase your products on Pinterest; especially beneficial for visually appealing niches

Pinterest is a goldmine for Shopify brand owners, especially those in visually appealing niches like fashion, home decor, beauty, or even food.

This platform acts as a visual search engine where users look for inspiration, making it an ideal space to showcase your products.

To make the most of Pinterest, create high-quality, eye-catching pins that feature your products in use. Lifestyle images that depict your products in real-life settings can be particularly effective, as they help potential customers visualize the items in their own lives.

Include detailed descriptions with relevant keywords to improve your pins’ discoverability and link directly to your product pages to facilitate easy shopping.

Organize your content into themed boards that cater to the various interests of your target audience. For example, if you sell kitchenware, you could have boards for recipes, kitchen organization tips, and table-setting ideas.

Engage with the Pinterest community by repinning content from others, commenting on popular pins, and collaborating with influencers or other brands to reach a wider audience.

Consistency is key on Pinterest. Regularly updating your boards with fresh content keeps your brand top of mind and encourages users to follow your account for more inspiration.

19. Reward customers for referrals to encourage word-of-mouth marketing

Implementing a referral program is an excellent strategy for leveraging word-of-mouth marketing, one of the most trusted forms of advertising.

Encouraging your customers to spread the word about your Shopify brand not only helps in acquiring new customers but also strengthens your relationship with existing ones.

To set up a successful referral program, start by deciding on the incentives that will motivate your customers to participate. These rewards could range from discounts, store credits, or even free products, depending on what resonates most with your audience.

Ensure that the reward is enticing enough to encourage sharing but also feasible for your business to sustain long-term.

Make the referral process as simple as possible. Customers are more likely to refer friends and family if the process is easy to understand and execute.

Provide clear instructions on how to make referrals, and consider using referral program software to automate the tracking and reward distribution process. This not only minimizes the administrative burden on your end but also ensures a smooth and enjoyable experience for your customers.

20. Improve local SEO by listing your business on Google My Business

Start by creating or claiming your GMB listing, ensuring that your business name, address, and phone number are accurate and consistent with the information on your website and across all online platforms.

Add a detailed description of your business, select the most appropriate category, and include attributes that highlight special features or services.

Enhance your listing by adding high-quality photos of your products, storefront (if applicable), and any other relevant images that can give potential customers a better sense of what your brand offers.

Regularly update your GMB profile with news, promotions, or events to keep it engaging and informative. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, and respond to all reviews professionally, showing that you value the feedback.

21. Gain exposure through features on product review blogs/videos

Being featured on product review blogs and YouTube channels can significantly boost your Shopify brand’s visibility (and credibility!), often without needing to spend money.

Start by identifying bloggers and YouTubers who review products in your niche and whose audience matches your target demographic.

Reach out with a personalized pitch that introduces your product and explains why it would be a good fit for their content. Emphasize the uniqueness of your product and how a review could benefit their audience. Offering a free sample for them to review ensures they can provide their audience with an honest and thorough assessment.

Ensure your pitch is respectful of their time and content creation process, highlighting your desire for an honest review rather than a guaranteed positive endorsement.

Transparency and respect in your approach can help build a positive relationship with the reviewer and their audience.

22. Organize webinars, have fun with your audience at pop-ups, or do launch events

Sharing your expertise through informative webinars and engaging with your audience at pop-up events or launch parties can be both fun and highly effective for promoting your Shopify brand.

The beauty of these strategies lies in their simplicity and the creative freedom they offer, proving that you don’t need a hefty budget to make a significant impact.

Webinars provide a fantastic platform to dive deep into topics related to your products or industry. The key is to focus on delivering content that educates, entertains, and engages your audience, ensuring they leave feeling curious about your brand.

Use platforms that offer free webinar hosting services to keep costs down, and promote your event across social media and to your email list to drum up excitement.

Pop-ups and launch events, on the other hand, offer a tangible experience that can create lasting memories and foster a strong community around your brand.

The secret to success here is creativity—not budget.

Think outside the box to create an experience that resonates with your brand identity and is memorable for your audience. Partner with other local businesses to share space and costs, or use online tools to host virtual launch events that can reach a wider audience without the need for a physical venue.

23. Increase brand visibility at trade shows and other live events

Attending trade shows and live events is a powerful way to increase your brand’s visibility.

First, these events provide a unique opportunity to showcase your products or services in person, allowing potential customers to experience them firsthand. This direct interaction usually creates a more lasting impression compared to digital marketing alone.

Second, trade shows and events attract a concentrated audience that is already interested in your industry or niche. This means you’re not just increasing visibility; you’re doing so among a group of people who are more likely to be your target customers.

Live events are fantastic for networking with other businesses, influencers, and media within your industry. Such connections can lead to collaborations, partnerships, and coverage that you wouldn’t have gotten any other way.

24. Get involved in community events, secure local press, and offer local specials

Even in an era dominated by digital-first strategies, getting involved with your community can provide the breakthrough your brand needs.

This grassroots approach not only increases your visibility among potential customers but also builds a sense of trust and loyalty that’s hard to achieve through online interactions alone.

Participating in community events, such as fairs, markets, or charity fundraisers, allows your brand to be seen as a contributing member of the community, not just a business. It’s a chance to show the human side of your brand and create memorable experiences that people will associate with your products or services.

Offering specials during local events or to local customers not only drives sales but also reinforces your commitment to the community. Such initiatives encourage people to choose your business over non-local alternatives.

These real-world interactions can forge stronger connections than any online campaign.

Securing coverage in local media is another powerful way to boost your visibility too. Local newspapers, radio stations, and TV channels are always looking for interesting stories to share with their audience. Offering your expertise, sharing your entrepreneurial journey, or highlighting how your business contributes to the community can make for compelling content.

25. Find affiliates to promote your brand

The beauty of affiliate marketing lies in its performance-based nature—you only pay when a sale is made through an affiliate link, making it a potentially free way to get your brand in front of new eyes.

Your affiliates can be bloggers, social media influencers, industry experts, or even satisfied customers who are eager to share your products or services.

Once you’ve found potential affiliates, propose a mutually beneficial deal. Typically, this involves offering them a commission—a percentage of the sale price—for each customer who buys your product through their unique affiliate link.

It’s important to set clear terms and provide them with all the tools they need to succeed, including promotional materials and a straightforward way to track their sales.

26. Build mutual partnerships or create bundle offers with other brands

This strategy involves collaborating with businesses that complement your products or services but don’t directly compete with them. For instance, if you sell artisan coffee, partnering with a company that sells handcrafted mugs could be a perfect match.

Together, you can create bundle offers that provide value to your customers, encouraging them to purchase products from both brands.

These collaborations are beneficial because they leverage the strengths and customer bases of each partner. Additionally, bundle offers create a perception of added value for customers, making them more inclined to make a purchase.

When setting up such partnerships, clear communication and aligned goals are crucial. Both parties should agree on the terms of the collaboration, how products will be bundled, and the split of proceeds.

27. Participate in forums and niche blogs related to your industry; offer genuinely good advice

To implement this strategy effectively, start by identifying online communities and blogs that are relevant to your industry. These could be forums like Reddit, Quora, or specific Facebook groups, as well as blogs that cover topics related to your products or services.

Focus on providing well-thought-out responses to questions where you have expertise. Share insights, experiences, and even resources (where appropriate) that can help solve problems or answer questions. It’s crucial, however, to adhere to the community guidelines and avoid overt self-promotion. Your contributions should feel natural and helpful, not like a sales pitch.

When diving into comment sections, there are a couple of approaches you can take regarding how you represent your brand.

One method is to do it under your personal account and mention your brand organically as part of the solution. For instance, if someone is asking for recommendations on eco-friendly packaging and your brand specializes in just that, it’s a perfect opportunity to mention your products.

This feels more personal and less promotional, which often resonates well with community members.

Alternatively, creating an account specifically for your brand is another viable strategy. Participating as your brand gives you a direct voice in these communities and can help in building brand recognition.

Regardless of the approach you choose, the essence of your participation should remain the same: adding value to the conversation.

28. Write guest posts for blogs that reach your target audience

To get started, identify blogs that align with your brand and have a following among your target demographic.

Reach out to the blog owners or editors with a pitch that clearly outlines what you can offer their readers. Your pitch should highlight the unique insights, expertise, or perspectives you can share, ensuring it adds value to their content and appeals to their audience.

While the primary goal is to increase exposure for your brand, overtly promotional content is less likely to be accepted or resonate with readers. Instead, focus on providing genuine value, such as sharing industry trends, offering solutions to common problems, or imparting useful tips.

Guest blogging not only helps in building your brand’s credibility but also drives traffic to your website through backlinks, improving your SEO ranking.

29. Get involved in the Shopify community

The Shopify community is a vibrant ecosystem of business owners, developers, and e-commerce experts who engage in forums, social media groups, and Shopify meetups or events. This engagement offers a wealth of opportunities to connect, collaborate (strategy #26), and grow your brand.

Engaging with the Shopify community isn’t just about promoting your brand; it’s about building genuine relationships and learning from others’ experiences. The insights and connections you gain can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of e-commerce, helping you to make informed decisions and strategically grow your business.

Remember, promoting your Shopify store doesn’t have to drain your wallet. No matter the strategies you choose, stay creative, remain consistent, and most importantly, keep your audience’s needs at the forefront of everything you do.

Update your marketing strategy with Billo's UGC and video ads

Similar posts
ecommerce photography
eCommerce Marketing

eCommerce Photography 101: All You Need to Know About Taking the Perfect Product Shots

Imagine shopping online and stumbling upon two identical products, but […]...

Read full article How to Promote Your Shopify Store on a Budget [29 Free Strategies] 12 Apr
how to be successful on shopify
eCommerce Marketing

How to Be Successful on Shopify: Complete Guide + 12 Tips for Success

The ecommerce market is growing rapidly and is projected to […]...

Read full article How to Promote Your Shopify Store on a Budget [29 Free Strategies] 6 Mar
how to add video to amazon listing
eCommerce Marketing

How to Add a Video to Your Amazon Product Listing [Quick Guide]

Having high-quality product listings on Amazon is crucial for success […]...

Read full article How to Promote Your Shopify Store on a Budget [29 Free Strategies] 23 Feb