Advertising is known to be a vital element in the world of business. Whether it is a small or a well-established brand, continuous advertising to the customer is key to a business’s progress, existence, and survival in the longer run. There are several ways to get free advertising for small business, which include online and offline.
The right type of advertising not only lets you connect with your customer but also helps you build a positive brand image. Owing to its importance for any business, you have to be careful about how you send your words to the public.
Considering the fact that newly established and relatively small businesses cannot afford the cost of hundreds and thousands of dollars for advertisement, there are several free ways to advertise such businesses. Some of these free advertising tools are provided by the tech giants like Google and other social media. Reinforced by the right strategies, these tools have been proven to be highly efficient despite being zero cost.
10 Tools and Strategies For Free Advertising for Small Business Owners
Some of these free advertising tools and strategies are related to the internet which makes them easy for you to access and implement. On the other hand, you’ll find some of these around in your local society. The fact is that you might be ignoring these free advertising tools for years but they can be really helpful and efficient than many of the paid advertisements sources out there.
1. Google My Business
Type any brand name in the Google search bar and it will show you the location on google maps, contact details, website, and the pictures on the front page. The tool is called “Google My Business”. It is the most used and best free advertising platform that Google has created for small business owners.
You can create your free account and get your business listed in google’s top priorities. First, you need to get your business in the google business listings which are known as the lists through which google recognizes you as an authentic google business.
To access the platform’s feature, you have to register the business first name and the last name, if any. Once the setup is done, make sure to keep your contact information, pictures, and website up to date. Even if you own a smaller startup and not a brand, the tool has been proven quite effective to gain exposure for new startups.
2. Social Media Channels
Social media is a modern-day genie to help your brand or company stand out from the crowd. Everybody uses social media these days. Millions of people share their daily life events on their social media accounts and you can take advantage of this in two ways. One way is to find what’s trending in the present time which helps you customize your product line according to the dynamic needs of people.
Secondly, you can make your product and service appear on their mobile screens where they are just one click away from their potential buyer. Social media marketing improves sales by 59% compared to the business that does not use social media. Here are some of the well-known channels that are free and ensure your social media presence.
Use Facebook to connect to your users on a regular basis. You can post a local online campaign to promote your business on Facebook. You can also use the platform to post regular news and offers on your Facebook page. If possible try to answer your customers’ queries through Facebook. The purpose of the ads campaign should be to engage as many viewers as you can and it must not cross your advertising budget.
You will hardly find a platform that provides free advertising with millions of people just a tap away. Instagram is becoming an online marketplace with plenty of free advertising opportunities. You can set up a business page for free where you can offer your products and services to a bigger audience. Not only does this platform help you engage with your existing customers, but also helps you reach out to new customers that can be your potential buyers. You can connect to the local community around you and position your business as a brand that cares about its customers.
If you haven’t set up a youtube channel for the business, you might be missing out on an effective free marketing tool. A youtube channel can help you in two ways.
First, uploading news and introducing newly launched products and services with catchy visuals help you engage your target audience in a more effective way. Secondly, if you manage to turn your customers into your youtube subscribers, you can generate passive revenue by running ads on your videos. The most prominent example of practicing such a marketing strategy include Apple, Samsung, and other electronic brands.
4. Other Platforms
There are a number of platforms that you can benefit from including Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Quora. Reddit community is considered a top-notch choice to spread the word about your business. A positive community discussion about your products and services on Reddit and Quora can act like ads that are not only free of cost but are considered more authentic than the ones on other social media platforms. LinkedIn can also be used for a local business to target a suitable local audience. These social mediums are also acting like google where people have started to come for shopping rather than sharing their daily life events.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing campaigns are pretty common these days. We all receive hundreds of emails from different brands and companies around us, some of these emails are from renowned brands, ever wonder why do they do it? Emails marketing or email newsletter are a great way to establish and promote a connection between you and your customers.
Keeping your buyer informed about new sales and products is equivalent to any ads put on TV or social media. Email campaigns can really make a difference if well timed with local community events. Next time try sending a newsletter stating a 30% discount on Eid to only your local community and watch how it boosts your sales.
4. Join a Local Business Association
One of the best free advertising for your business is to advertise yourself as a thought leader of the industry. Make sure to attend all the association’s events. To leave your mark in the industry, signify your presence by not only attending but also speaking at these events. Try to establish yourself as a leader whose insight and ideas about the current industry’s issues are innovative and thoughtful. The events are a great way to learn a lot about business and get your name rank up in local listings.
5. Word of Mouth
This is the only step of the way that does not concern your marketing budget. You can call it a free advertising tool or a strategy that is related to real human experience instead of the internet. Unlike Google, Facebook, email, or any other social media, the word of mouth is the most authentic free ad that people trust. One way to utilize these best free advertising tools is to ask your happy and existing customers for reviews and recommendations to the surrounding people. You can also try encouraging the existing users to leave a positive review on a platform like Google My Business.
This type of free ad offers benefits for longer-term, where it not only helps boost the sales but create a healthy image among all business operating in the same industry as yours.
6. Start to Blog
Blog posts also fall in the category of best free advertising. Blogs are google’s number one priority for any specific search term. The written pieces of information can be a source of free advertising. Many well-known websites like Medium offer free guest blogging. You can either write about your business or create relevant content to your business and then link back the content to your business website or refer to your physical location.
You can also write a very specific blog about your certain product or service, it can make you reach your potential customers and even persuade them to prefer you over competitors. Blog post marketing is free ads but with more detail.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Commonly known as SEO, the strategy plays a key role in online running free advertising campaigns. The first step to convert your audience into your buyers is to rank your product or service higher in search results of Google, other search engines, or an online directory. You can learn SEO from free sources on the internet. It will save you the cost of hiring a professional and help you boost the ranking. Once you’ve mastered the art of optimization, you can start off by doing an audit of your own business website.
SEO will help reach the first search results on a search engine which increases your chances of users’ engagement on your ads and the overall number of audience. SEO is becoming one of the widely used marketing tools as it is directly related to the online leads that your business is going to generate.
8. Use Free Ads Credit
We all acknowledge the fact that some of the paid advertising platforms are the best marketing tools but unfortunately, a small start-up can not take advantage of these high-priced advertising stages. Some of these best advertising platforms offer their new users a free ads credit on their first subscription to the service which can be canceled even after using the introductory free advertising service.
Use the allowed number of ads to run your campaign on these paid platforms. Though they might not be able to advertise for longer-term, free advertising at such a larger platform will definitely add a significant number to your online audience that your business is going to get.
9. Partner Your Business With Social Welfare Campaigns
Another way to rank up your name in the local business listing is to make a strategic partnership with local social welfare campaigns. This can also be a highly efficient marketing platform for your business if the partnership is strategic and cost relatively less than those social media campaigns. It might not seem like free advertising but it turns out free in the long run.
For example, if you own a business of sanitary products, you can try to provide material for government welfare projects for local society at lower profit margins. This will cost you a little margin of your profit but no cash expense will be incurred. You can build a stronger brand image in your industry which will, surely, benefit your business in the longer run.
10. State The Truth
Truth is the only thing that travels farther and lasts longer than all of those efficient and free tools. Always state what you have to offer in the present time and not in the future. Your lie can attract thousands of users for a specific service, but they will stay only if you provide them what you offered them.
Believe that all the success and fortune is in the hands of One True God, Allah Almighty. Any action that goes against His will can cost you more than your business. You can rely on the strategies and tools offered by modern technology, but the will of God is your only way of success. Truth is one of Allah’s most favorite traits of a human being. The sacred laws of Islam demand you to speak the truth even if it’s harder to speak. The truth will not only bring Barakah to your business but will help you reach a height that you could ever reach by stating lies in your advertising campaigns.
Free Advertising for Small Business – A Summary
In a modern-day world, where technology has taken over every action of the human race, promoting your business has become easier and free. Different platforms such as Google My Business are providing a free advertising service to their users which can be quite beneficial. Other than these platforms, one can also get free advertising from email campaigns and blogging. Both methods are perfect examples of online ads which help you get free exposure to your desired customers.
Most businesses just put their names and campaigns out in the market and hope that this will get the job done. An unchecked advertisement can harm a business in many ways. The two most devastating impacts that you can possibly encounter are high cost and damage to the goodwill of your brand name. Depending on your ads, you can either reach top or name last, all in a matter of days.
Other than tools and strategy, always remember to abide by the Divine rule of progress. Your advertising should be true to your actions and offers. For local businesses that operate in smaller communities, a false claim in their offering can not only damage their image but also upsets Allah whom all of our success comes. Try to advertise your business with honesty and you’ll find out how easy it is to live by the principles of God.
Ali Haider Shah is a business graduate with specialization in market research. He holds 4 years of experience in business writing where he served renowned online publications like “Digital Diplomacy”. Currently working as a business writer and a market researcher.