Running a business can be expensive, and many budgets don’t allow room for a hefty advertising bill. Fortunately, there are things businesses can do to get the word out without breaking the bank. Although every business is different, the universal principles of advertising are the same. We’ve included the top 20 ways businesses can spread the word for free.
Utilize Local Search Results
Try to get the business listed in as many online directories as possible. Be sure the information provided is correct, and contact the appropriate sources if wrong information is found in an online search. Search the business in different search engines to see if the data varies.
Additionally, be sure to claim the business on platforms such as YP.com, Google+, and Facebook. Make sure all the information listed is correct, and start collecting online reviews to gain credibility.
Email marketing can be an excellent tool for businesses to get the word out about their services and products. Consider a monthly newsletter or offering promotions. If a business uses an e-marketing platform like Constant Contact or MailChimp, email templates can be tested by split-testing campaigns. This will allow the business to see which template performs the best, tailoring future email campaigns to produce the best results.
Take Advantage of Social Media
According to Searchmetrics, “seven of the top 11 factors that affect your positioning on a search relate directly or indirectly to social media signals.” This means that the more social media interaction a business has, the more likely the business’ rank is apt to be higher.
Write a Blog
Offering quality content that customers are interested in can bring traffic to a website. Consider writing a weekly blog article featuring a particular product or service, with content that will both inform and entertain customers. The exact nature of the blog will depend on the type of business, however, quality is key in acquiring and maintaining a following.
A great way for a small business to get its name out is to participate in community service activities. Contributing to or participating in community-building fundraisers, meetings, and other such events create a significant presence in the community. Customers react positively to businesses who support their community and are more likely to shop at those places.
Support Other Small Businesses
Shopping at other small businesses keeps the local economy healthy. Additionally, it creates a comradery among businesses, generating a mutual relationship that benefits both sides. If money isn’t an option, consider trading with another business, such as a service in exchange for sponsorship or an ad.
According to Jason Chalik, partner at Chalik and Chalik Injury Attorneys, “Another way to support other small businesses is to leave them positive reviews or testimonials, as long as they are truthful and warranted.” Those businesses may, in turn, leave positive reviews or testimonials for you!
Give It Away
A great advertising tool, albeit not technically free, is to give away products and print media with a business logo and/or contact information. When selecting products to feature a logo or ad, be sure to select something that the business’ specific customer base would use. Make sure it is a quality product with quality graphics. Since they will be representing the business, it should be represented well.