Small business owners are always looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to market their business. And while it may seem a little overwhelming at first, there are plenty of free, low-cost options available to promote your business. Here are a few:
- Set Up Your Google Listing. Put your business on the map by visiting google.com/business to set up your Google My Business listing and choose various promotional options for free.
- Create a Website. Every business needs a website — and you don’t have to be a designer or copywriter to get started. You can quickly and easily create a website for free or a small monthly fee (depending on the online tools you desire to use). Most online web design services will walk you through each step of the process, including domain registration.
- Get Social. Your business must have a social media presence for real success. Social media is a free-to-cheap way to get the word out about what you offer and develop a deeper connection with your customers (and potential customers). As you build a following, you’ll begin to have more fun interacting with customers and provide different ways to increase engagement, such as surveys, special offers and more.
Tip: Keep your business and personal social media accounts separate.
- Start a Blog and Write Relevant Content. You want people to look to you as the expert in your field. So speak from the heart (it’s your business) and provide relevant information about your business and industry. For example, if you own a local restaurant, share unique recipes you’ve developed from scratch. Or, if you’re an organization consultant, show a before-and-after post from your latest project. Then, push your content on your blog (which should be connected to your website).
Do this: Share your blog posts with local newspapers or industry associations regularly to see if they’ll feature them. Additionally, subscribe to “Help a Reporter Out,” where you can respond to reporters or other media sources looking for story ideas and resources.
- Join Groups on Social Media. Join communities or groups that are relevant to your business or industry on Facebook and LinkedIn. Offer advice and suggestions when people have problems or questions. And make sure your profile links back to your website.
- Teach a Class. Whether done in-person or online, offer a free class in your area of expertise. For example, if you’re a yoga instructor, offer a class that discusses different ways to manage stress or give a free class at a location away from your studio. And video or record your class so you can use it in the future on your website or other social media channels. Get creative – there’s a lot you can do to share your knowledge without spending a lot of money.
- Ask for Referrals. Don’t be shy about asking your customers for referrals — and make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
These inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships and improve your brand image. Remember, it’s not always about how much you spend on marketing that matters, but rather what relevance your efforts have on your customers.