Small businesses frequently have a limited marketing budget to work with, making promotion difficult. The good news is that you can market yourself to your customers without spending any (or much) money.
As a business owner, you most likely don’t have the time to research and identify these free marketing ideas, so we did it for you.
This post contains a plethora of free and low-cost ways to market your business.
Free and fast marketing ideas
1. Create a free Google My Business account
A Google Business Profile has emerged as one of the best free marketing tactics available, particularly for local businesses. Your company can appear on Google Maps, the local results page of Google Search, and the right-side Knowledge Panel for branded searches thanks to this essential piece of marketing collateral.
However, you must optimise your Business Profile in order for it to appear higher on Google Maps or local results. And in order to optimise it, you must have verified ownership of it, which is done through your Google My Business account.
2. Post (and engage) on social media
Increasing social media engagement and building a community online is a free way to grow your small business while expressing your brand’s personality and building trust with your audience. Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites—Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and more. This is something you can do whenever you have a few minutes to spare.
- Promote your blog posts, which drive traffic to your website.
- Directly dialogue with followers to express your brand voice and garner more engagement.
- Run polls and request feedback.
- Take excerpts from longer forms of content and create quick and informational posts that are easier to digest.
Whatever your motivation, make sure you are regularly active and proactive on the social media accounts you create. Think: consistency, community, collaboration, and commitment.
3. Tag people (and brands) on social media
On social media, tagging your devoted clients, brand advocates, or even nearby businesses and vendors can increase the organic reach of your company to a new target market, help you build your fan base, and perhaps even bring in more customers. Additionally, you ought to encourage your followers to mention your brand or place of business on social media. Here’s more info on user-generated content.
You can also mention contented clients in your own posts to promote your company to their network.
4. Use hashtags!
Utilizing hashtags in your social media posts—on Facebook, LinkedIn, and, of course, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok—is another free marketing strategy that can increase your audience.
Although broad or popular hashtags can support your brand identity, you shouldn’t use them exclusively. When you’re sharing resources or advice, you should use more precise hashtags (similar to long-tail keywords). If you run a local business, you absolutely must use location-based hashtags. Not to mention custom hashtags! Use a variety of hashtags in your posts to ensure that the people for whom they are intended can see them.
5. Don’t sleep on LinkedIn
A significant social media platform called LinkedIn is frequently underused. Engage in conversation with the connections you make, share your blog posts and offers, join and participate in forums, and share the valuable content of others. Don’t just add network connections and sign out.
You can develop your brand and gain respect and trust in your industry by assisting other professionals in their growth and educating your potential clients. Encourage each and every one of your employees to participate on the platform as well!
Free marketing ideas that require a little more effort
Although these tactics are still free, they do require a little more time and/or effort. The good news is that strategy effectiveness and success are typically inversely correlated with effort required.
6. Do some local SEO
The most advantageous aspect of Google’s algorithm is that it is made to deliver the most precise, excellent, and pertinent content for any given search query. Because it’s not pay to play, the playing field is levelled and small businesses can contend with established rivals for page one real estate.
Start now and keep working; local SEO is free, but it can take some time; the rewards can add up over time. Here are a few local SEO requirements:
Include geographic keywords in the titles, headings, and body copy of your primary website pages (for example, “Portland bakery”).
Register with online directories, making sure that all of your information is consistent.
Create web pages or blog posts that are tailored to the areas you serve.
7. Develop an email marketing plan
Email marketing is a fantastic way to keep in touch with your current customers and engage new customers in your business. Email marketing is also a tried-and-true method for getting a good return on your marketing investment, if not the most reliable one. The following will ensure that:
Consider and be imaginative when writing your subject lines.
Ensure that each email contains an offer that motivates your readers to take a subsequent action.
Analyze your results and conduct A/B tests to determine which offers and copy are most effective with your list.
8. Create data-rich infographics
Information graphics are incredibly effective marketing tools. They are a great way to increase referral traffic and links because they are shareable, easy to understand, and visually appealing.
You can create your own infographics on the cheap using free tools like Canva, Adobe’s free vector kits, or our personal favorite, Visme, which offer all the components required to create a clever, shareable infographic. Hiring a designer to create you an A+ infographic can be expensive. Uncertain of where to begin? Visual.ly is a great source of inspiration. You can look through their examples, both simple and complex.
9. Claim free ad promo credits
There are frequently deals and discounts available for Facebook or Google Ads, even though large-scale advertising campaigns might be outside the budget of your small business. Some web hosting companies include promotional codes for advertising as a benefit of membership. See if yours does by checking. Of course, getting the promotion is simple, but for the best outcomes and audience insights, you’ll still want to brush up on your PPC techniques. If you’re prepared to learn the fundamentals, take a look at the training materials in Growth Academy.
10. Apply for business awards
You can win business awards in the majority of industries, and you can display an online badge on your website as a result. These kinds of badges can increase credibility and consequently, sales. Here are some pointers for maximising the marketing potential of an award.