You don’t need to have a tremendous amount of money in order to create an impactful advertising program. In fact, companies that are starting up are finding it helpful to search for affordable ways of promoting their brand online. Before the days of the internet, the small business owner was relegated to cheap, and often ineffective print marketing campaigns, such as sponsoring small events, or posting flyers throughout their suburb.
Today, the expansion of online marketing and the advent of platforms that provide growing businesses with more affordable and effective marketing opportunities have dramatically changed what’s available. Noted below are seven great ways to promote any business through online marketing that is completely free.
Create a useful and insightful blog
Today’s consumer depends on search engines to find everything. From local restaurants to eat in, to the next car they choose to buy. The best way to reach these potential consumers is by spending a little bit of effort on improving your website’s search engine optimization. There are multiple free resources posted online that provide general how-to tips on optimizing your content for better search engine results.
A great way of increasing your search engine optimisation ranking is to create a blog and publish great content. A blog is a proven platform that allows growing brands to attract new followers and connect with them on a personal level. It is crucial for a blog to have fresh content that is posted frequently and shared on social media platforms. If your blog has trouble creating fresh content or attracting new followers, look for ideas to help enrich your content and make it more appealing to your customers or target audience.
Contrary to popular belief, amazing blog content does not need to be eloquent. In fact, most online readers of blogs prefer Top 10 lists, bullet points, and scannable content that is easy to read, relevant to their industry, and entertaining. TA blog is also a great way to post news about your business. Consider searching online for free tips on how to write an effective online press release. It really is easier than you would think.
Recycling isn’t necessarily a bad thing
Most startup businesses have very tight marketing budgets, so hiring a professional writer to create original content may not be practical. For those who are in this situation, consider repurposing existing content with a fresh and personal touch.
There are multiple statistics and research reports posted online for virtually any type of industry. It’s important for you to find one that is practical and relevant to your business, and enhance it with images, videos, charts, and other visual cues that bring it to life. For added value, insert your own opinions on these studies, and ask your blog followers to comment or engage in conversation about the topic.
Of course, if you use somebody else’s case study, make sure to cite the initial source of your content to ensure you give credit to the original creator.
List your business where it counts
Google Places is a great platform that allows a business to instantly be recognized and located during local searches on Google. Once you have your website up and running, and an active social media presence, make sure to register your business with Google Places so that you can show up on Google Maps. There is a registration and verification process that can be done via mail or phone calls, but it is free for users. It is also a good idea to register with Microsoft Bing and Yahoo! Search engines’ business listings.
Reach out with social
There was a time not too long ago when social media use was just a tool for exposure. Those days are long gone. Today, social media is a necessary platform for any business to capture new consumers. While most social media services are free, consider investing a small amount in local advertising, connect your Facebook and Twitter feeds, and network with local businesses on LinkedIn.
YouTube is another powerful social media platform that provides businesses with an effective way of distributing promotional content. It is important to develop content that is of high quality, entertaining, and relative to your consumer base. Flickr profiles are also quite effective at providing an easy to navigate platform for photos that are relative to your business, with backlinking opportunities to your website.
Create video content for your followers
Video content that is fresh and of high quality is exceptionally valuable to any brand. Although professional video production can be quite expensive, there are more affordable and easier ways of producing high quality video without breaking your budget.
Apple and Windows users can access movie production software, while Adobe and other creative studios offer affordable video production software that is easy to use. You can also consider contacting local film students who are looking for opportunities to showcase their talent.
Join and contribute to your community
Online forums and social media groups are growing every day. It seems that every niche industry has some sort of online community for like-minded individuals to communicate with each other. Consider joining these groups, but most importantly, contribute to the group in a positive manner. While it might be attractive and alluring to promote your business, don’t be that person.
In fact, most online communities and forums have strict rules about promoting your business directly. However, you can passively promote your business by including your website in your signature settings, or through personal interaction with connections you meet online.
Depending on your industry, there are some online awards that your business may be eligible to receive. In some cases, the award is nothing more than an online badge that you can place on your website. Simple and free online badges not only improve your standing with potential customers, but also strengthen relationships with existing customers, and thus – improve your sales.
If you want to stimulate conversation within your industry, host your own award and connect with others in your industry in other locations to recognise their achievements. Be sure to also consider your business insurance options.