Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing in the early phases of your business, there are still effective ways to get your name out there.
Prior to the Internet, small businesses had just a few options for inexpensive marketing, such as publishing fliers or sponsoring small local events. There are now a plethora of options available on the Internet; all you have to do is know where to look.
Here are seven cost-free strategies to promote your business on the internet:
Make use of one of the three major local listing services.
When you register your business with Google Places, it becomes easier to find on Google searches and appears on Google Maps. Simply fill out the form and register, then get your business validated through their confirmation process, which can be done via phone or snail mail. Yahoo! also has a large business database named Yahoo!Local.
It’s completely free and well worth the few minutes it takes to set up. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, offers a similar tool that is simple to use.
Take advantage of social media.
Social media is no longer just a tool for gaining exposure; it has evolved into a necessary time investment for every company. You may integrate adverts and offers into your Facebook page and use Twitter to communicate directly with your customers. Another strategy to assist your startup is to network on LinkedIn, both personally and professionally.
Create a blog.
A blog not only helps your company gain exposure through followers, but it also allows you to engage with your customers on a more personal level. But bear in mind that one of the most important aspects of blogging is to keep your stream updated as often as possible. A stale, abandoned blog is worthless.
Upload videos and photos to YouTube and Flickr.
YouTube offers a free platform for distributing innovative promotional films, but to be successful, you must post content that people want to watch and that is relevant to your business—a simple ad will not suffice. A Flickr profile can also help by providing a central location for all of your company’s images and allowing you to connect back to your website.
Your company’s website should be optimised.
In the age of constant Googling, the importance of search engine optimization cannot be overstated. Make sure your site is ready for search engine performance by picking up a book or going to an online how-to guide on SEO.
Don’t be afraid to send out a press release if your company does something noteworthy—you never know who might notice. They’re an effective media tool for generating publicity, and the fact that they’re distributed for free is an added plus. You can utilise dozens of websites to distribute your press releases, like PRLog and 24/7 Press Release.
Join and contribute to a relevant online community.
Every niche has online communities where you can participate. However, simply joining a forum and occasionally commenting about your business isn’t valuable to anyone and will most likely upset people. Contribute to the community and establish relationships while keeping your business out of it. Put a link in your signature or mention it only when the setting is appropriate to passively advertise your business.
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