Many business owners may become frustrated with their advertising tactics as the budget can often limit the number of people reached with their ads. Most of these individuals, unfortunately, are on the brink of giving up or just trying to find new ways to advertise without breaking the bank.
So is it possible to actually advertise for free?
There are a numerous amount of free business advertising routes online today that allow businesses to get more out of their budgets. These free channels supplement paid advertising to improve brand awareness, increase leads, and boost conversions. When you include some of these proven tactics in your digital marketing strategy, you can drastically cut down on advertising costs. Plus, who does not like FREE things, especially when it can completely change your business trajectory!
Reading on, we’ll talk about a few options for the digital marketing efforts you have at your disposal that are completely free. We love to see your work thrive, and especially small to medium-sized businesses. Take advantage of this article and the vast amounts of information on the internet to boost your business endeavors!
Of course, this would be the first free advertising tactic you can use for your business! Posting content on a business blog or any other type of blog for that matter is a great digital marketing strategy that can be 100% free to utilize. Sites like Wix and Blogger.com allow you to get started with a blog completely free. You can set up your blog and start posting content instantly.
Tip: Make sure you have a great site for your visitors to browse while they read your blog post!
For a small fee, you can set up a blog with your custom domain. We recommend doing this as it helps you build your brand and gives you a place to drive traffic. This will be a huge factor if you plan on doing this in the long run. If you already have a website, you can add a blog section to your current site where you will publish new blog posts for your leads and visitors to read.
Now comes the hard part, it’s time to start creating content for your blog. For the best results, you’ll want to publish content consistently. The more often you can publish new posts, the better results you will get, which will be general business traffic and SEO.
Not sure where to begin? Can't find a topic to write about? Well, we have the perfect free solution for this. Check out this site called Buzzsumo.com. This site is being used by industry-leading businesses, and it is free! Just do some brainstorming and see what your target audience would enjoy, type in some topics using Buzzsumo and you will be writing in no time!
2. Create a Google My Business Page to Optimize for Local Search
If not the best way to get free business advertising is by claiming and working on your Google My Business (GMB) Page. GMB listings are a free business listing tool that helps you improve visibility on Google Search and Google Maps within your area of business. If you run a business that requires your customers or clients to visit your facility, claiming your Google My Business page is a requirement to build additional searches and awareness.
Google My Business is a proven first step taken by thousands of businesses that want improvement on their reach online within the local market audience. By optimizing your GMB listing and making sure that all of your information is complete, you can help improve your rankings for local search results. Even if you do not have a brick and mortar type of facility, it is still paramount that you make a Google My Business page. This will provide better brand authority for your industry and gives an added layer of authenticity.
Here’s an example of what a Google My Business listing looks like on the search engine:
3. Add Your Business on Yelp & Other Review Sites
Similar to Google My Business, Yelp can be a great avenue for free advertising. You want to be in as many places as possible to improve your online visibility and increase your reach. With this being said, you need to look for other opportunities to include your business information on online platforms, especially trusted and recognized online entities.
Yelp is a popular choice for businesses that want to increase their online reach for free. If you are not familiar with Yelp, it is an online review site that consumers use to get recommendations on everything from restaurants to barbershops. Your customers can go on Yelp to leave your business a star-rating and written review that other users can see when they look up your business on Yelp.
Using this free advertising route can be a perfect way to establish credibility among your local competition. Do not be fooled into Yelp being solely just for local business searches, how many times have you caught yourself searching up places to go or eat when you are researching a place to visit?
There is a variety of other business listing sites that help you build a profile or listing for your business for free. Some globally recognized listing sites that you should look into including Better Business Bureau(not free), YP.com, and FourSquare. You could also consider industry-specific sites like Angie’s List, Thumbtack, or TripAdvisor. Depending on your industry will be the deciding factor of where you would like your business information posted, we recommend putting your details and all relevant business information in as many authoritative sites such as the ones listed above.
Remember putting your business on some of these sites can have pros and cons, and one of the cons can be someone giving you a bad review. So make sure your customer service is sharp and you meet the needs of all your inquiries.
Consumers may come to your listing from the search engine or another person who has referred them. For this reason, it’s vital that you keep these listings optimized regularly and incentivize your customers to leave positive reviews to increase your overall standing in the current marketplace, which will greatly differentiate yourself against the competition.
4. Answer Quora Questions
Another great free way to increase exposure online is by answering questions on Quora. Quora has been around for a good amount of time and it is primarily known for it's Q&A feature, it allows users to ask questions and get answers from other users. Many industry-leading experts will use Quora to offer their insights and interact with high-quality potential leads while establishing themselves as an expert in their market.
This platform is an excellent place for businesses to demonstrate their knowledge and tap into another audience. Let's give you an example, let’s say you have an online boutique business. You might go on Quora to answer questions like “Where is the best place to buy a hat to use during the winter?” or “How do I choose the right shoes for my outfit?”
Answering relevant questions in your market place on Quora gives you another fantastic opportunity to provide value for your target audience. When you provide a complete and descriptive answer to a Quora user’s question, you are not only educating a prospective customer, but you’re also getting your name and your business name recognized in areas that your target customers might look for answers to their questions.
5. Advertise Your Business Using an Email Signature
This one is hidden and not a very talked-about way of subtly advertising your business, which is using your email signature. This is a very non-evasive way to build awareness for your company. Even the non-marketing emails that you send to suppliers, colleagues, and prospects can be a great place to advertise your website and social profiles for free.
All you need to do is add links to your website, social profiles, or other business-related links such as a featured blog post to your email signature. Creating a professionally branded email signature is a perfect way to stand out in a potential customer or client inbox.
Notice that the email signature above has basic contact information that is the industry norm such as email, phone number, and address. However, this information is a direct link to the company website. Also, this business shows that it is very active in different social spaces by including a plethora of social icons, again make sure whatever you put on your email signature will give positive advertising to your business.
5. Networking at an Event
Connecting with like-minded professionals at industry networking events is a great free advertising method. This is a perfect place where businesses can speak about and new connections formed without being intrusive. Make sure networking events you are targeting meet your niche standards, this will ensure you are meeting high-qualified leads.
For example, the “Miami Under 40 Networking Mixer” event will primarily be filled with participants who are interested in networking with high caliber and well-established businesses. If you are a small business looking to make their first connections, networking at events is a great chance to get your name out there and find opportunities for growth you would have never thought possible.
speaking at a networking event about a topic related to your industry is another way to show off your expertise and your business. Giving a well rounded and confident speech can boost brand awareness and prove your business is qualified to solve industry challenges. If you are not used to speaking to an audience or do not know what to talk about, brainstorm different topics and volunteer at various upcoming networking events and trade association conventions. Doing this will build up confidence gradually, you might even look into starting your own podcast!
6. Social Media Marketing
We saved the best for last! Some may think "But social media marketing is only effective using paid ads!" Thankfully not! Using social media can be a way to advertise for free if you know what you are doing! We wrote a great article talking about different social platforms you can use to promote your business. Additionally, It’s free to set up a social media account for your business, post relevant content, engage with the user, share your business ideas and solutions.
When you post content to your business's social media page, you are taking advantage of the opportunity to reach and start a conversation with your audience and or potential audience. Posting relevant content that targets specific groups of people will not only build awareness of your brand but additionally drive more traffic back to your website.
By posting questions or giving your followers something to think about, you can spark a conversation with your followers or browsing audience. Attentively responding to comments and answering questions is an exceptional way of showing your audience that your brand cares about them and wants to help. Huge companies such as Coca-Cola, GM, and other powerhouses are using this technique to their advantage, so why not start now?
Sure they probably have a social media agency taking care of their social profiles and dishing out an obscene amount of money. This does not hinder you or your business from hiring an affordable and reputable agency to manage your social media advertising and management efforts. DEGOM Marketing can be what your business needs to kick start growth and tackle advertising dilemmas.
7. Increase Your Rank Through Citation Sources. (SEO)
Register at the top citation sources! Assuming you have a Google My Business listing (as said above), then registering your business for free at Bing Places, Apple Maps, Infogroup, Acxiom, Yellow pages, Facebook, and more will not only expose you to more potential customers but also greatly improve the chances of your Google My Business listing appearing in the Google Local Pack Results.
Just like putting your website information on review sites, this is the same concept. Registering at top citation sources will also give your website credibility and ultimately give your site a higher ranking on search engines!
8. Advertise on Microsoft Ads (Bing Ads)
this one may not be free, however, we will definitely give this insight! An alternative advertising method you can try is advertising on Bing.com with Microsoft Advertising. When you sign up and spend your first $25, you get $100 in free ad credits.
Since businesses usually go with Google for search engine advertising, there’s far less competition for clicks. You can advertise a search term on Bing for about ⅔ the price and capture not only their traffic, but also other sites powered by Bing like Yahoo, NBC, and AOL.
This is a great way to dip your business into the advertising scene and not fork over a hefty budget. It can get you accustomed to the way many businesses advertise, and once you are ready you can go to Google Ads. Just make sure you know what you are doing! Google and even Microsoft love to make money.
Start Your Free Business Advertising Efforts
Now that you know all the ways that you can take advantage of free business advertising online, it’s time to get started. As you work to include these tactics in your digital marketing strategy, just remember:
Blogging is a perfect way to make connections with leads, and all it costs you is a bit of time. Some businesses even make money doing this!
Use authoritative sites such as Yelp, Quora, Yellow-pages, etc., to authenticate and build a well-established brand.
Networking can establish great trust if you are local business and want to improve word-of-mouth marketing.
Social media is a free way to reach and engage with a new audience online.
There are many other opportunities such as guest blogging that you can take advantage of to expand your reach online for free, always search for new ways to advertise your business!
Though these tactics are free for your business advertising efforts, you will still need to dedicate time to making these free advertising methods work optimally for you. If your business just can't afford the time to dedicate to these tactics, you can still affordably accomplish by partnering with a digital marketing agency.