How To Market Your Small Business: 9 Ways to Get Free and Effective Marketing
When it comes to running small businesses – marketing is everything.
Marketing is the basis for all the business you will conduct in the future and the foundation on which you build relationships with your clients.
Having such a huge part of your small business depend on a single factor like marketing is scary. Entrepreneurs like yourself already have their hands full with legal, financial and practical aspects of running a business, and adding marketing to the mix seems like a mission impossible.
That is why many businesses turn to big PR and marketing companies for help. And let’s be honest - nothing compares with ten world-class marketing experts working full time on launching your product or business. However, the reality is that marketing is expensive. So expensive, in fact, that even large and mid-sized companies choose to skip it altogether.
However, don’t let this cast a shadow on the entrepreneur in you. There’s a way around this problem, and we are here to help.
You have probably heard of the age-old saying “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” What if we told you that this core idea of economics does not have to apply to marketing.
Free marketing is the most effective kind of marketing, and the key to it is working smart, not hard.
We have come up with a list of 9 ways on how to market your small business. With this list you can quickly and efficiently market your product, company or service, and the best thing is – they are all free.
Nothing helps build a better product or a company name than a professionally looking website. Having developers build your website from scratch is expensive and time-consuming, and learning how to code is probably the last thing on your mind.
With SITE123, you can have a free website up and running in a matter of minutes. Our highly intuitive platform makes it easy to design visually compelling and attention-grabbing pages – no coding or design skills necessary.
Whether you are a restaurant owner, an up-and-coming designer or a skilled craftsman, it is important to project a particular image and stick to it. With plenty of designs to choose from and a library of hundreds of royalty free images, your SITE123 website will have the polished and professional look it needs to succeed and it will be mobile fully responsive and optimize for search engines.
2. Create a custom newsletter
Having a website is an efficient way to gain clients and spread the word about your business around. However, keeping new ones coming and the old ones coming back takes a bit more than a website.
Setting up a custom newsletter will help you maintain relationships with former customers and build relationships with new ones. Use a user-friendly email marketing feature like the one we have on SITE123, to promote your products or services, add valuable tips or advice and answer the questions your customers want to know.
Having a continuous communication with your clients is the best way to provide insight into your business. SITE123 allows you to import existing mailing lists and add new ones. SITE123’s email marketing tools also enable you to easily manage mailing lists through the Settings feature.
3. Use SEO to increase the visibility of your website
With hundreds of thousands of searches being carried out every minute, search engine optimization is a vital part of every website that makes it visible and enables it to thrive.
Making your website SEO is the single biggest factor in your website’s search engine ranking and ability to generate organic traffic. However, having all of your content optimized without any prior experience is difficult and time consuming, and does not always guarantee success.
Unlike many other website builders, SITE123 is built with an amazing code in its structure that enables every website to achieve great SEO results. Setting up your sitemap, redirecting links and subheadings can now be done without any coding or programing work.
SITE123 offers its users a complete SEO tools package that’s simple to use and extremely intuitive. Our platform automatically generates your sitemap, and offers additional options such as setting up the 301 redirecting link, the image alternative texts, the H1, H2 and H3 subtitles, as well as the ability to set up unique descriptions for each page of your website.
You can also access the Webmaster plugin from your Site editor menu, and use it to analyze the results or find things to improve in your website’s SEO.
4. Guest post on high-authority blogs and websites
Having a blog to complement your business is an excellent way to provide your clients with a bit more insight into your field. Having your blog will also make your company look well put together to potential customers. SITE123 has a blog tool you can use to create and post amazing content.
However, no matter how well written your blog is, it won’t make that much of a difference to your sales or traffic unless there’s someone reading it. That is why writing guest posts on other blogs and websites can help you increase traffic and create a bigger client base.
Choose blogs that have a topic similar to your business, but stay away from websites and blogs that are your direct competitors. If you are running a small coffee shop, for example, have your post featured on a blog that focuses on food and drink culture in your area. Starting a PR agency directed at the fashion industry? Guest post on blogs ran by up-and-coming designers and chic concept stores.
If you offer high-quality products or a unique service, you can often have guest posts featured without any financial compensation. The internet community understands the struggles of starting a small business, and there’s always room to share your vision online.
5. Utilize the power of social media
When it comes to effective marketing – nothing beats social media marketing. The fast changing pace of this platform and the extremely high engagement rate of its users make it the ultimate marketing tool. And the best thing is – it is entirely free.
Creating a website for your business has never been easier and with the rising number of companies advertising on social media platforms, reaching your target audience is now faster than ever.
Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Youtube, and Tumblr – make sure you have all your bases covered with profiles on these social networks. More than 1.2 billion people use Facebook alone, and within those billions of users, there’s bound to be an audience for what you have to say.
Create a unique image for your brand or write interesting posts that provide your readers with real value and spread it across these social media platforms for an effective marketing strategy.
By creating pages on these social media giants, you will be covering most ground and aim at quantity. However, you do not have to stop there. There’s a myriad of other niche social networks that might have the perfect customer base for your business.
Running an online store with handmade pet supplies? Try posting on Catster and Dogster, small social networks where like-minded pet owners come together to share knowledge and experiences.
Deviantart could prove to be more effective at spreading the word about your art than Facebook and Instagram combined. It is the largest social network for artists and art enthusiasts where you can exhibit, promote and share your work with the art community.
A real estate agency can broaden its client base on ActiveRain, where real estate agents, brokers, lenders and prospective homeowners network with each other and share their knowledge and expertise.
The world’s largest business social network is the best place to be for an aspiring entrepreneur. With more than 450 million members, there’s bound to be an audience for your business on LinkedIn.
Create a page for your business and link it to your website to add authenticity and realness to your profile, but don’t stop there - Linkedin offers more than just social media profiles. Join group discussion about topics that can be linked to your product or service.
SITE123 offers easy and accessible tools so you can link your site to popular social media platforms, including Linkedin.
Keep an eye for an upcoming post where we will be covering more niche social networks you can use in your marketing strategy.
6. Get listed in an online directory
The days of massive, unpractical yellow pages might be long gone, but the effectiveness of a business directory cannot be disputed even today.
Adding your company to an online directory can do a lot of good when it comes to spreading the word around, especially when it comes to small businesses. Search engine algorithms recognize when to dig into their business directory for search results, and having your company in there can mean a lot more potential clients.
Google My Business, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, eLocal and MapQuest – these are just some of the directories you can list your business in. If you want to find out more about registering your business with these directories, you can join our mailing list, and we will inform you when we post an in-depth coverage of this topic.
7. Work on your press releases
Whether it is just a minor update to your product list or a major event coming up, having a well-written press release can be an invaluable asset to your business.
Press releases are an excellent way to inform your clients about news and upcoming events, and if executed well, can have an enormous impact on how many people are talking about your brand.
Having press releases published on high-authority websites and news outlets can cost a lot of money, which is far beyond the reach of many small businesses.
Luckily, there is a significant number of free press release websites (FPRs) you can use to spread your message without breaking the bank. Whether it is PRLog.org, PR.com, or Newswire.com, having your press release featured on one of these FPRs is a fail-proof marketing strategy.
8. Engage your audience
Nothing says a good product more than happy customers talking about it. Having an engaged audience will help former customers coming back and new ones coming in.
People appreciate a hands-on approach when it comes to buying from small businesses, so visiting comment sections and forums should be on your daily to-do list.
It might seem like getting people to talk about your company is easier said than done, but there are a few simple and efficient ways you can achieve that for free.
Do a bit of research and find out what the trending topics in your industry are. Chime in on the hashtags and incorporate your product into the dialogue. Using hashtags gives you the ability to spread a narrow industry focus and become visible to a wider audience.
If your company focuses on software or technology, you can organize Reddit AMAs on the IAmA Subreddit and start conversations where you can explain your vision and your mission in a bit more detail.
Another great marketing idea is starting a challenge or a contest. Creating a contest where the winning prize is one of your products, or a service makes your company look proactive and ready to engage with its audience. Contest participants will share your content for free, and offering your products or services as a prize is a fantastic way to gain good publicity.
9. Volunteer your products
Don’t let the lack of profit fool you – volunteering your goods or giving them away for free could potentially increase your revenue so much that the initial loss will be almost insignificant.
Your organic juice bar can attract customers by setting up a stand and offering free refreshments on a local sporting event or a your neighbourhood’s night market.
Trying to get your fashion label noticed? Give away your clothes to Instagram influencers and lend them to production companies to be used in photoshoots and music videos.
If you want your organic fruits and vegetables to become a household name, give them away to a culinary school or have them featured on a cooking network. Nobody says no to free food, and the best way to your customers’ hearts is through their stomachs.
Marketing is a pivotal part of starting a new or running a small business. However, as crucial as it might be for your business, it doesn’t require a huge investment to succeed. With these free marketing ideas, your business is bound to get on the right track and get the attention and visibility it deserves.
Ready to start marketing your business online? Create an amazing free website now with SITE123 By far the easiest free website builder.