Everyone’s A Winner: 5 Free Ways To Promote Your Business
You might have a limited advertising budget. Or none at all. Perhaps you just want to take every opportunity to send your message out into the marketplace.
In any case, what business could say no to the possibility of promoting its goods or services free, gratis, and for nothing?
Not yours, we're guessing. And there are plenty of ways to do it.
5 Free Ways To Promote Your Business
Listings, Listings, listings
From the online giants to the local directories, well-designed listings can bring clients to your business at no cost to you.
An example of the 'big' variety is Google My Business. Customers can 'discover' you based on your location and business category, even if they don't know you by name. Your business profile allows you to provide contact details, promote your business, attract reviews and interact with customers. It even provides some basic analytical data.
Search the 'local directory listings' for your area. The style and quality of the listings vary. Use those you are happy with. If you list your business on the higher ranking sites, you will have a higher visibility in search engine results and improve traffic to your website.
Top Tip: Keep track of where you're listed, and make sure your details are consistent across sites and always up to date.
Use Social Media Channels
Love it or hate it, social media is pretty much a must for your business. Luckily it's also free. Establish (and stick to) a regular schedule of posts, to keep content fresh. Always offer value to your readers.
Choose the type of posts that work best on each channel
- - LinkedIn – valuable 'evergreen' articles with images and links to your website; avoid overt promotions
- - Instagram – attention-getting photos, captions and quotes; they have a short lifespan
- - Facebook – interesting photos or videos, with catchy headlines and a quick outline of the content; link to your blog for the full version
- - Twitter – quick updates related to your business, such as news and current promotions
Whatever channel you are using, add variety if you can. Think where best to use articles, 'listicles', static images, gifs, infographics, videos, and so on.
Be SEO aware
You don't have to be a slave to it, but Search Engine Optimisation is important. There are useful guides available if you don't have dedicated experts.
Top Tip: Blogs and website content should be lively, interesting and accurate. If writing is not your thing, have someone do it for you (that's the bit that usually isn't free, but it's worth it).
Publish a Newsletter
It's not difficult to do, and worth the effort. The best newsletters have a simple, consistent format that readers will come to appreciate.
- - A new article – with a current angle, or seasonal interest
- - Quick hints, tips, or promotions relevant to your business
- - A news item – business initiative, success story, staff profile or client interview
- - Quick recap of your most popular blogs or articles of the month, with links to the full stories
Newsletters are easy to distribute to your clients and mailing lists, via messaging services like MailChimp or SendinBlue (which have free-to-use versions).
Invite your subscribers to share with their contacts. That's more free promotion.
Top Tip: Provide real value, not just self-promotion
Write Media Releases
You shouldn't think of them as free ads, but if something interesting is happening in your business, find an angle and get your message out to local and State press. You can search out templates for effective media releases, or employ a professional to write them for you.
Top Tip: Make sure media releases are superbly written and almost 'ready to use'
Contribute to your Community
Whether online or in the real world, you can be an active part of a community. This is the ultimate 'everyone's a winner' scenario.
- - Sponsor or host an event
- - Set up your stall at local fairs or gatherings
- - Get involved with a club or local fundraiser
- - Speak to school groups
- - Enter your business team (wearing the brand of course) in fun-runs or rallies
- - Offer discounted products or free services to less-advantaged members of the community.
Top Tip: Be visible and active wherever your clients are
'Free' is good. Make the most of it.