Even if you don’t have money for advertising as a small business owner, you still need a strategy for raising brand awareness among potential customers. There are numerous ways to promote your business without spending any money thanks to web resources and digital tools. And don’t worry, you’re not alone in your search for low-cost marketing hacks: according to small business software vendor Wasp Barcode Technologies, 42 percent of small businesses spent only 3% or less on marketing last year. To get you started, here are ten ideas.
1. The Internet
Small company owners can create free Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites and accounts for their companies. You can use posts to advertise your firm, and most platforms will give business account holders special insights. For example, Facebook and Instagram let you to see how far your postings have spread, including impressions, conversations, and the number of times people have clicked through to your website. Such tools are free, but placing ads on social media networks to reach a larger audience would cost money.
By the way, while Google Ads is expensive, using the search engine’s analytics to observe who visits your business’s website and what they do after they there is free.
2. Marketing via Email
Some email marketing systems offer no-cost trials or complimentary services. You could send messages about your business to anyone on your contact list, as long as it doesn’t exceed 2,000 names, using a free service like MailChimp. You may not only send thousands of emails telling your consumers of promotions, news, or updates using email marketing systems, but you can also track which ones get the most response. Customers will be notified when they open an email — or delete it — and even when they click on a purchase link.
3. Review Websites
Review sites like Yelp might help you reach a large number of potential clients. To get the most of these platforms, make sure your profile appropriately portrays your company and brand. Business owners are encouraged to reply to customer remarks by direct contact or public comment on Yelp. Customers will find you easier if you add photographs, links, and hours of operation to your Yelp profile. Yelp also provides analytics and tracking to help you understand how customers interact with your business.
4. Online Directories
Thumbtack, for example, connects businesses with individuals looking for certain services. Making a listing for your company can bring it in front of people in your region who are looking for your services. Thumbtack allows you to register your business for free, and you only pay when a consumer contacts you to make an appointment or seek a quote.
5. Local business directories
Make sure your company is listed in free local business directories and that the information listed is correct. You might also register with your local chamber of commerce or the Better Business Bureau if you’re ready to pay a fee.
6. Media Possibilities
Responding to reporter inquiries will help you get your name – and your company’s name – out there. Signing up for a sourcing service such as Help a Reporter Out will allow you to connect with journalists covering themes relevant to your sector. You might be able to get your work published in both tiny and huge journals.
7. Groups on LinkedIn
LinkedIn Groups bring individuals together around a common interest or sector. You may join a group and start or contribute to talks, potentially making crucial business connections. You can apply to become a LinkedIn ProFinder if you’re ready to jump through a few additional hoops and are a freelancer with experience in your profession. Consumers can find professionals in disciplines including accountancy, software development, and business consulting with ProFinder. The service is free to try, but after the first 10 proposal answers, a Premium Business subscription is required.
8. Samples or Coupons for free
Free trials or samples would provide prospective customers with a risk-free opportunity to interact with your company, making them more likely to purchase something later. Coupons may encourage customers to return to your business and help you grow your consumer base.
9. Community Gatherings
Participating in your community will allow you to connect with potential clients in your area. While you’ll almost certainly have to pay to sponsor an event or set up a booth, merely going might be a good way to meet new people. Select events that your target clients are most likely to attend.
10. Become an expert in your field.
Set up a blog on your website to demonstrate your industry knowledge and generate reputation. You might explain current events in informative pieces that address frequent issues in your field. Contributing to trade magazines and giving guest talks at educational institutions or local events can help you establish yourself as an expert and attract attention to your company.
To advertise your business, you don’t need a significant advertising budget; all you need to do is think imaginatively about the resources you already have. Using social media and free web resources to promote your company will help you raise exposure without breaking the bank. You might concentrate on engaging with people in your immediate area or expand your reach.