Now that you have launched your own small business and even created a website, the next task is to let the customers know about you. You can find various ways to do so, but the most effective is online advertising.
Usually, advertising is considered expensive for small businesses; doing it online is a boon. Some of the platforms even allow you to advertise your business at zero cost. You would be curious to know which those companies are.
We have compiled a list of 50 such advertising services that are free for use. They give your brand a platform to showcase its potential. Since they are free of cost, there is not much you have to lose if things do not work in your favor.
1. Write guest posts for other blogs.
There are a few major advantages to guest posting for a well-established blog. You can benefit from connecting to that blog’s audience, and you can also start establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Since guest posting on a popular blog allows you access to an established audience and high domain authority, this practice can sometimes be more beneficial than posting to your own blog. Plus, you can link back to your own website from your article, giving you an inbound link that boosts your domain authority and can increase your own website’s ranking in search engines.
2. Answer Quora questions.
Writing content for Quora can expose your business to a large audience: in 2018, Quora reported a worldwide audience of 300 million monthly visitors.
Besides the large built-in audience, your business can answer direct questions from prospective customers. This lets you interact with high-quality potential leads and establish yourself as an expert in the subjects that matter most in your industry.
3. Publish content on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a platform to connect with professionals, which is why it’s also a great place to share business-related content. LinkedIn’s blogging platform lets you demonstrate your expertise within your industry.
Your connections and other LinkedIn members will engage with your posts and share them, doing the free promotion for you. With almost half of all social media traffic coming to B2B company sites from LinkedIn, it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t publish and promote content on LinkedIn.
4. Offer to do interviews on other business’ podcasts.
To figure out which platforms your team should prioritize, it’s important to diversify your promotion platforms to discover where your audience is already consuming content. Some of your audience might prefer listening to podcasts over reading articles. To reach those people, contact a few businesses with podcasts and pitch interview ideas.
5. Promote your website on your email signature.
With all the emails you send every day, it’s a shame if you aren’t taking advantage of the promotional potential of your email signature. Your email signature can also be unexpected property to promote a sale, contest, event, or even a new blog post.
Add a link to your business’ website on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles, as well.
6. Send email newsletters.
An email newsletter can be a useful vehicle to promote content, share business-related news, and build deeper relationships with both potential and existing customers. There are plenty of free tools out there that assist you in designing, sending, and optimizing your newsletter.
With the right time investment, an email newsletter can be the perfect place to share quality content with leads and potential consumers, establishing your brand as helpful and informative.
7. Do a free product giveaway or contest.
A product giveaway or contest is an easy way to incentivize new viewers to check out and subscribe to your social media channels or website. Plus, handing out inexpensive branded products like t-shirts or mugs is a good way to spread your brand name.
8. Create YouTube videos.
YouTube has more than two billion active users, which accounts for almost half of everyone on the internet.
Moreover, in a recent study, 84% of people said they’ve been convinced to buy something after watching a brand’s video, and people reported being twice as likely to share videos with their friends than any other type of content.
Creating engaging, informative, and share-able YouTube videos is one of the most efficient ways to sell your brand. If done right, your YouTube videos will entertain viewers enough to share your content and seek out your website.
9. Post on social media.
Nowadays, social media is crucial to most marketing strategies. Luckily, most types of social media platforms and posts are free — even to businesses. While many platforms will let you advertise, you can still post or tweet for no cost if you’re on a budget.
Pick the platforms that best suit your audience. Then, post links, photos, videos, or text posts about your company, product launches, or any other occurrence that you’d like to promote.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a suitable place to start for most businesses. They all offer a way to share video, text, photo, and link-based posts and have large user bases. To learn more about other forms of social media, check out this post.
10. Experiment with photo and video platforms.
While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn could be great platforms to start on, expanding to platforms like Instagram or Pinterest will give you more opportunities to show product shots or embrace the heavily-visual strategy of influencer marketing.
Aside from spreading awareness with free images of your product or service, most social platforms, including Facebook, offer live video and story features which can allow you to create video promotion related to your products. For example, you might use Instagram Stories or Facebook Live as an outlet to publish tutorials of how to use your products.
Because these videos and photos are on social, you can also boost their shareability by hashtagging them, creating interesting captions, and encouraging fans to react with actions like “likes” or comments.
11. Google My Business
With a Google My Business Account, you get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.
You can post photos and offers to your profile to show what makes your business unique, and give customers reasons to choose you every time.
Your customers are ready to connect – by calling, messaging or leaving reviews. Now, with more ways to transact, you can do more business.
12. Bing Places
Chances are Bing has a listing for your business already. Claim an existing listing or add a new one. If your business has multiple locations you can add them in one go using the bulk upload tool.
Adding complete information about your business helps you tell the best story about your business. You can add photos of your business & services, hours of operation, services offered and list the various ways customers can reach your business.
Protect your listing from unauthorized changes by verifying it. You can verify your listings by receiving a PIN at your business address, phone or email. All businesses must provide a valid address, but some types of businesses can hide their address in search results.
13. Yellow Pages
Our flagship software Thryv includes everything small business owners need to manage their work, in a single package. With over 20 industry customizations and a fully mobile interface, technology previously reserved for big businesses is now at the fingertips of small business owners nationwide.
Thousands of small business owners trust Thryv with essential business functions like contact management, text and email marketing, and payment processing so they can get back to doing what they love — running their businesses.
14. Use Google My Business to optimize for local search.
One of the most powerful free ways to advertise your business is through Google My Business, which enables companies to manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. The tool can bolster your rankings in local search results.
Ranking high in local search shows you’re a legitimate and relevant company: you wouldn’t rank #1 in Google for “pizza places near me” if you’d closed down six months ago. Plus, if you rank high in local search, more consumers will choose your business over a competitor’s. In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key.
15. Check out Yext.
The more places your business is listed online, the better your chances of showing up in search results, and the easier it is for potential customers to find you. To ensure great local SEO, the details of your listings on every website and online directory need to match up.
For instance, if your website lists your company’s new phone number, but Yelp lists your old one, this inconsistency could hurt your SEO.
Yext scans the web to find every place your business is listed, so you can tweak your listings to guarantee accuracy.
16. Attend networking events and mixers.
Connecting with fellow professionals at industry networking events is a great opportunity to meet potential consumers in a place where they are eager to discuss your business. The niche topics of networking events ensure you’re meeting high-qualified leads. For example, a “Best Technology Startups of 2020” event will primarily be filled with participants who are interested in technology and startups.
Particularly for small businesses looking to make their first connections, networking is a chance to get your name out there, meet potential partners, and find opportunities for growth. Plus, it’ll keep you up-to-date on trends in your industry.
17. Speak at an association or local event.
Similar to networking, speaking at an event about a topic related to your industry is another way to exhibit your expertise. Giving a thought-provoking and powerful speech will draw attention to you and, by association, your business, which can increase brand awareness and prove your business is qualified to tackle consumer’s challenges.
To start, brainstorm different topics and volunteer at various upcoming networking events and trade association conventions. If you’re afraid of public speaking (don’t worry, a lot of us are), you could enroll in a local Toastmasters chapter to improve your game.
18. Put up brochures or flyers.
Putting up brochures or flyers in local libraries, coffee shops, and businesses is a unique way to market to offline locations where people spend a good deal of their time.
You can create free brochures and flyers on PowerPoint or Canva. Depending on your industry, it might even help you reach an ideal clientele: if you’re a physical therapist, for example, perhaps you could hand out brochures to local gyms or nearby hospitals.
19. Run geo-targeted Facebook ads.
Facebook has more targeted advertising capability than any other platform. In addition to being able to advertise to a certain type of consumer based on interests or job description, you can target people who fit that criteria in a certain location.
By putting a few dollars per day behind a geo-targeted Facebook campaign, you’ll build up a local following over time. Be sure to continue posting great content as well to keep this new audience engaged.
20. Invest in direct mail campaigns.
With direct mail, you’ll know that the right audience in your nearby area is receiving your promotions.
While a single batch of mailers may not be enough to drive tons of business, doing frequent distribution campaigns will increase the number of impressions you make on your audience, which in turn drives brand awareness and keeps you top of mind.
Surprisingly, there are also a lot of free ways to supplement your paid advertising efforts. By incorporating free advertising tactics into your strategy, you can remove some nonessential costs and dedicate your budget to deeper, more long-term plays.