Small businesses usually don’t have the luxury of big marketing budgets. However there’s no reason to despair, as plenty of marketing methods don’t cost a cent. Below are a range of suggestions to help you think creatively, so choose the ones that suit you best and get started.
1. Submit your website to search engines
First, submit your URL to Google and Bing to help with site indexing. This will improve your site being found in search engines.
2. Send out press releases about newsworthy business events
Write up a compelling story and submit it as a press release to your local newspaper, chamber of commerce, industry magazine and online PR submission sites such as PR Log.
3. Secure speaking gigs
Many community groups offer speaking opportunities to professionals and industry experts. While many of these will be unpaid, they will be good experience and present a valuable opportunity to spread your business’ name and reputation.
Bring business cards with you to hand out to the people you chat with after the event. Once you gain some experience in speaking, set your sites on paid industry conferences. Don’t just stick to your own industry either.
Think of industries that may be in need of your expertise. If you are an accounting practice you could investigate going to a real estate agent’s conference to speak on tax tips for self-employment.
4. Ask happy clients to post recommendations on social media
Most will be more than happy to, and prospects will trust what their friends say about you more than what you write about yourself.
5. Offer a free consultation
Help your customers engage by offering them a no-strings attached free session or quotation.
6.Write guest posts
This is the same as blogging for your own site except you get to expose your ideas to a new readership. If you don’t have relationships with other bloggers yet, write a how-to blog post and submit it to Wikihow or answers.
7. Use trending hashtags appropriately
Show your audience that you are relevant, timely and well-informed by chiming in on trending hashtags.
8. Build a map listing
Use Google Maps to create a map listing of your storefront. Add descriptions, location, and opening hours.
9. Use branded email signature
How many emails do you send out every day? Probably heaps. Add a professional banner to the bottom of your email with your business name, contact details and website. Now every email is a marketing tool.
10. Run a Facebook competition that involves sharing
Create a contest or challenge where entrants must like your Facebook page and then share your content with at least three friends. You can expand your reach rapidly using this approach.
11. Collect email addresses in exchange for a freebie
Creating an opt-in form on your website can turn one-time visitors into lifetime customers. Reward people for the trust they have given you in volunteering their email by offering a free gift such as a coupon, informative report or free consultation.
12. Use relevant niche social media platforms
Most industries have social media platforms specific to their industry. Book lovers unite on Goodreads, future vacationists hang out on Trip Advisor and brides-to-be plan their weddings on Brides.
Where does your audience congregate online? Find out and join them there. There are sites relevant to gardeners, cooks, pet lovers, parents, film buffs and much more.
As you can see there are plenty of options available for promoting our business. Some you may already be up to speed on, others reflect newer trends you may not have tried yet. Get started today. The only thing it will cost you is a little time and research.