As a small business owner with a limited budget, you may not have the funds for a TV commercial or a print advertising campaign. However, your budget doesn’t have to limit how many people your small business can reach. There are numerous free online advertising tactics that you can take advantage of to grow your business on the Internet. In this post, we’ll outline some of the most effective, free advertising tactics that your business can consider.
1. Optimize for local search with Google My Business
Google My Business, Google’s business listing service, is an effective way to promote your small business on the Internet at no cost. Through Google My Business, you can determine how your business appears in both Google Search and Google Maps, and refining your listing is essential for attracting and maintaining potential customers.
If you do not already have a Google My Business account, Google offers instructions on how to easily create one. Once you create an account, your business will receive a local ranking position, a rating that determines how prominently your business will appear when customers are searching for businesses like yours. If you rank high in the local search results, more consumers will choose your business on the Internet over a competitor’s.
Check out our post, How to Utilize Google Business for Your Small Business, to learn easy tips to improve your Google My Business listing.
2. Post on social media
Social media is central to many businesses’ marketing strategies. Social media offers low cost, powerful channels that small businesses can use as part of their marketing mix. Social media has a wide range of benefits, including increasing brand recognition, improving customer loyalty, boosting sales, and helping your business grow by delivering valuable content to new and existing customers. Plus luckily, the most popular social media platforms are free for businesses.
3. Take advantage of email marketing
Though email isn’t a new or cutting-edge marketing platform, traditional email marketing is still a highly effective and inexpensive tool for reaching customers and growing your business. According to Econsultancy, compared with other types of marketing, email marketing has ranked highest in terms of Return on Investment. Nearly 78% of consumers rank email as their preferred communication platform.
Email also allows you to personalize your message to your customers. It is critical to remember, however, that people can be sensitive to the clutter in their inboxes. Many customers won’t provide their contact information to just anyone. Make it worthwhile for customers to receive your emails by starting a helpful and informative company newsletter. There are many free tools that can help you design, send, and optimize emails that attract and maintain customers. Two of the most popular tools for small businesses are MailChimp and SendPulse. While email marketing can be effective, you must always ensure that your campaigns comply with anti-spam laws.
4. Experiment with video
Video is an increasingly effective way to engage with potential customers and ultimately drive traffic to your small business website. As a small business owner, you may think that only large corporations can create high-quality, entertaining marketing videos. Even small business owners with little to no video experience can create high-quality videos that are engaging and effective. You no longer need a videographer on staff or any fancy equipment—you can use your smartphone or computer to quickly and easily create professional videos. Check out our post, Top Four Video Editing Apps for Small Business Owners, to learn about easy‑to-use video tools that you can consider.
5. Encourage happy customers to give online reviews
Online reviews are still one of the most effective ways to market your business. Consumers place a high level of trust in reviews, so a great testimonial is a powerful tool. If you have customers who are pleased with your product or service, encourage them to write about their experience on a review platform like Yelp, Google, or Facebook.
Experimenting with the easy and free tactics above can help your business stand out from the competition and improve your bottom line.