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I’m sure it’s safe to say that pretty much everyone has heard of Tesla,  the electric car manufacturer known for making fast, luxurious, long range electric vehicles.  Or how about SpaceX, a privately funded rocket manufacturer whose goal is to put the first people on Mars.  Maybe you even know about PayPal, an easy to use person to person payment service.  Whats, the connection between all of these?  They are all companies that Elon Musk has started and they grew to their current well known size with a very minimal marketing budget.  In fact, sometimes Elon is able to market new products with no budget whatsoever!  So how was Elon able to create multiple widely known companies without much advertising?  The secret: strategic use of social media and manufacturing incredible products.

Take Tesla’s new Roadster for example.  Without paying for any marketing for this product, the Roadster was one of the most talked about cars of this year.  Why was this?  First, it was released in a fantastic way.  Tesla was holding a scheduled press event about their Semi-truck and at the end of the event as the truck were about to leave, out of the back of one emerged this new roadster in a Steve Jobs “one more thing” fashion.  Also, the car itself was just worlds better than all the other cars on the market.  It went 0-60 faster than any car and was on par with the longest range of any car.  These two key points really sum up Elon’s entire marketing philosophy:  rather than spend a lot of money marketing stuff, just be creative and make excellent products and they will market themselves.

The roadster wasn’t the only example of perpetual free marketing.  In order to build hype and awareness around SpaceX’s upcoming Falcon Heavy launch, Elon came up with the creative idea to use a Tesla playing space Oddity on loop as his payload and make a post about it on instagram.  Instantly, the post blew up with over half a million likes in just a few days.  He even did a similar thing with his new company, The Boring Company, where he decided to release a limited quantity of flame-throwers for sale with the boring company logo on the side.  And sure enough, tons of people bought them and lots of press and blog posts were made about the peculiar product.  These are just two of the many examples in which Elon has utilized low-budget creative marketing tactics for his various companies.

Elon has thus made it very clear that for a business to become super well known and successful, it doesn’t need a million-dollar marketing budget but instead just a very good product with some creative uses of free social media advertising.