Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for years it never hurts to do a little marketing. That digital marketing doesn't always have to cost you money though, here are 7 ways to market your small business for free and if you are creative
A long long time ago, before Google and Facebook, small businesses had few options when it came to marketing their business on a budget. Through creativity and necessity came methods like making their own tear away fliers and spreading them around town or placing business cards on windshields in parking lots. Fortunately for you, we have the internet and the opportunities on the internet for free digital marketing are everywhere. You might not even realize some of the opportunities for digital marketing that you already use.
1. Google My Business Setup and more.
The very first thing you must do if you are trying to market online is go to Google My Business and set up the free Google My Business (GMB) profile. Being a Google product this is the priority task to complete when trying to get found online. Another benefit to this is you get to tell Google what you want people to know about your business, as long as its reasonable of course. GMB has functionality similar to any other social media platform like twitter and Facebook but its designed for Business owners.
You can give all sorts of Information to Google and the best part is, its actually going to show up on Google for free. When you search for something on your phone you usually click on the result that has the fancy Blue phone icon because its conveniently there.
You want people who search for your business find it, so make sure its accurate information. Another bonus of GMB is the benefit of being found more easily on Google searches and your business show up on Google Maps. All you have to do is fill out the form and register, then get your business verified through their easy confirmation process, which can be done through snail mail, they pay postage too.
Bing also has a huge database of businesses called Bing Places. It's free, and is absolutely worth the few minutes it takes to set up. There are dozens of directories like this across the web you just need to take the time to fill them all out.
2. Utilize social media
Social media isn't just a tool to share pictures with your friends, it can get some real exposure for your business and get real customers —it has now become a necessary time investment for every business to make, a few minutes every day is all it takes, share a few updates about the business or some specials. You can run ads and offers on your Facebook page and have a direct channel of communication with your customers on Twitter. Networking on LinkedIn can be great if you do a lot of B2B, there isnt a better place on the internet right now to connect with other businesses you want to work with, both at the personal and company level.
3. Start a blog
When most people here "start a blog" there is much hesitation. What most people dont realize is a blog is the easiest way to add extra content to your website every single week, and all you have to do is write about what you already know best. Your Business. A blog might not necassarily net you a huge following but it can do two things. First it helps display your expertise on your industry, you are writing about what you do best after all. Second it gives search engines more content to index on so there is more chances for your business to show up when someone searches for a service you provide.Sign up to receive the latest business insights Enter your email address
4. Put up multimedia on YouTube and Flickr
YouTube gives everyone the free opportunity to distribute creative promotional videos, but in order to succeed you must put up content that people want to see and are also relevant to your business, a simple ad saying to call you will not work. Try something like answering commonly asked questions that you get from customers, but put it in video format. A plus side is you can share this with people who come in asking the same question. A Flickr profile can also help by giving you one place to gather all the photos for your business, and allows you to link back to your website giving you some link help.
5. Local SEO your company website
Search engine optimization must never be underestimated in the ever evolving world of search results. People just wont stop Googling and Google wont stop trying to give them the most relevant results. They are automatically going to pick an error free, well put together site, that has all of the correct meta information on the backend. Head over to youtube and at least watch some introductory videos on Local SEO and make sure your site is primed for and ready to being shown to potential customers on search engines.
6. Press releases
Every time your business does something awesome or generally newsworthy, don't hesitate to reach out to the local papers and send off a press release maybe people will pick up on it and maybe it will be that thing that makes you stand out from the crowd. Press releases are a powerful media tool to use when you need to generate publicity, and having free distribution of them is a bonus. There are dozens of websites out there that you can use for your press releases, such as PRLog and 24/7 Press Release.
7. Join a relevant Facebook Group and contribute or better yet, start one.
Every niche, no matter what it is has communities online that you can get involved in. But, the one that is going to get you the greatest traction if used correctly is Facebook Groups. Start small within your community and become the expert in your field. You already are, now you just have to show people. Be really active in the group so you become familiar to everyone, just signing up for a forum and posting every once in a while about your business isn't going to help, and will likely just annoy people. Stay active, contribute and build a strong rapport with the community, while keeping your business directly out of it, you don't need to end every comment or thread with a sales pitch. Passively promote your business by putting a link in your signature or mentioning it only when the context is absolutely appropriate.
Use anyone of the above tips or combine any of them for great results. Share your success to our Facebook Page or Instagram.