When you work at a small business with a limited budget, it’s not really possible to shell out $340,000 for a 30-second TV commercial, or $10,000 for an email marketing campaign.
It can be frustrating when your budget dictates how many people your business can reach.
Surprisingly, there are 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 longterm plays.
To help you spread the word about your business without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled 14 ways to get advertising for free.
Ways to Get Free Advertising
- Use Google My Business to Optimize for Local Search
- Check Out Yext
- Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs
- Answer Quora Questions
- Publish Content on LinkedIn
- Offer to Do Interviews on other Business’s Podcasts
- Promote Your Website on Your Email Signature
- Send Email Newsletters
- Network at In-Person Events
- Speak at an Event
- Do a Free Product Giveaway or Contest
- Put Up Brochures or Flyers
- Create YouTube Videos
- Take Advantage of Your Partnerships
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Answer Quora Questions
Writing content for Quora can expose your business to a large audience: TechCrunch reported that some of Quora’s active contributors receive more than 30,000 monthly views. 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.
5. Publish Content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an 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.
6. Offer to Do Interviews on other Business’s Podcasts
To figure out which platforms your team should priortize, 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Network at In-Person Events
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 ensures you’re meeting high-qualified leads. For example, a “Best Technology Startups of 2018” 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.
10. Speak at an 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.
11. 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. Word of mouth is alive and well — and a little swag can go a long way.
12. 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. 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.
13. Create YouTube Videos
YouTube has more than a billion active users, which accounts for almost one-third of everyone on the internet. Plus, 59% of executives — i.e. decision makers — go to videos before written content. Creating engaging and informative YouTube videos is one of the most efficient ways to sell your brand. If done right, your YouTube videos will entertain viewers enough to seek out your website.
14. Take Advantage of Your Partnerships
Partnerships are an opportunity to offer supplementary services that you don’t provide. For example, a web design company and a copywriting agency might choose to partner together, so when a client requires written content for her web pages, the web design company can offer copywriting services from their partner. This increases consumer satisfaction, and it also provides exceptional advertising opportunities. When your partner’s consumers need your services, your partner will point them in your direction.