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Top Tips & Methods For Free Advertising For Your Small Business

free advertising for small business

Promoting a small business can be tough, and even tougher, if you only have a small budget available for advertising. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways in which you can promote your media such as social media marketing or attending networking events.

This article will discuss some of the best marketing techniques for small businesses and how to create brand awareness regardless of the industry in which your business operates.

Best Free Marketing Techniques For Small Businesses

Small businesses usually do not have a large sum of money to spend on advertising their products or services. Marketing is all about creativity, so it is possible to promote your goods without having to spend large sums.

Knowing where to find these free marketing tools can help give you information on a variety of different ways small businesses can advertise while keeping the costs down.

Below are some of the best free marketing tools available, that can help those business who have a low or no budget for marketing:

1. Social Media

The main form of communication in the modern world is social media and it’s a great way to reach a much wider audience to promote your products or services for free. You just need to be creative and have an eye-catching promotion.

Some of the biggest businesses in the world now use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok, to promote their product or services while raising brand awareness.

Social media allows you to post on any topic and can be used by a business to promote a brand’s personality or identity. Here are a couple of examples of what your posts could reference:

  • New products or services
  • Customer reviews
  • Video demonstration showing how to use the product
  • Any brand identity elements you wish to promote
  • Any website content that’s relevant to customers or potential customers

By posting consistently, it will help establish a social media presence, and although this doesn’t necessarily mean your customers will make a purchase, they will be more likely to remember your brand and what it offers the next time they are looking for certain products or services.

2. Networking Groups

Networking groups are a fantastic way to meet like-minded people and businesses which can be especially useful for those in the B2B (Business to Business) market. For some, this might seem daunting, but the potential reward makes it a worthwhile exercise.

These groups can also help increase the visibility of your business and reach a wider audience, some of whom could be or turn into potential clients. There are more benefits to networking groups than just selling, they can be a terrific way of sharing advice. For example, if your business has any pain points, then there may be a person or business who has gone through these same steps previously and can provide constructive guidance.

The easiest way to find these networking groups is through social media platforms such as facebook. This can provide links to multiple groups and resources both locally and internationally and provide an excellent resource for businesses. These groups will have meetings both online and in person where you can meet other business owners in person.

Whatever type of networking you are looking for – such as a working mum’s group – you are sure to find something suitable on social media and can be a great tool for networking when you have limited time and budget.

3. Google My Business

One of the techniques commonly missing in small business marketing plans that can provide a few benefits, is to register for ‘google my business’.

Analysis of customer buying habits show that 70% of purchases usually start on google with a search of the product or service. This will then show the customer the ratings on the product or service and closest business to their location that can provide it. By not registering to appear on these searches, businesses will miss out on potential benefits that can arise from searches on google by potential clients.

As well as appearing in searches from potential customers, having a profile registered on google business can also allow you to promote your business, any upcoming promotions or discounts and any new products or services to your range. This again, can lead to accessing a new market of potential customers for your business to increase revenue.

4. Content Marketing

One of the easiest ways that businesses attract new customers without having to go out and create sales leads is in-bound marketing. This is where customers choose to use your brand’s product or service organically based on content provided by your business as opposed to pitching their product or service.

Publishing regular content on your web page and social media that is valuable, relatable and relevant to a particular product, service or industry can help gain customers without having to actively advertise. Writing a blog for example is a great way to publish content and can be scheduled weekly but what topics should be covered?

The most important topic to cover – and probably why a customer is more likely to buy a new product or service – is to provide a solution to any challenges they face.

If your business provides dog training, then publishing articles covering the most common issues with dogs would be sensible. Example articles could be:

  • A barking dog? Stop it now
  • Bonfire night – Keep your dog calm
  • Best Organic treats for dogs

After drawing potential customers into your website with relevant and engaging content, they can then be sold on your product or service with strong call-to-action prompts.

5. YouTube

You-Tube is another great marketing tool for small businesses to promote their goods or services as it’s totally free!

As with blog writing, you may be wondering what topics should be covered that can then be uploaded to youtube. The two can actually be combined to give you content for both platforms. For example, turning your blog post into a video will be a great start for posting on youtube.

Other content ideas for YouTube are:

  • Instruction led videos
  • Video of the product in use
  • Introduce your team
  • Live streams of your product, service or promotions
  • Question and Answer sessions
  • Ideas for best use of product or service
  • Customer or employee journals

Video content has proved to be more engaging for some customers and can be a great way to increase your customer base. Sharing your youtube content on your social media channels can also help to increase your reach with customers.

6. Email Marketing

Keeping in contact with your customer base, so that your brand remains fresh in their mind, is an important step in building a relationship with your customer base and email marketing is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do this.

It allows you to keep customers informed of any new products or services that are available or any promotions that are upcoming. It might also facilitate some feedback from your customers which can be used to improve your offering.

As well as promoting email sign up on your social media accounts, you can offer the option to sign up to your mailing list on the website or when the customer purchases a product. This will allow potential new customers to sign up to email alerts from your business about promotions and events.

It should also be made easy for customers to unsubscribe from marketing emails. This might include an option on the website that’s easy to locate but you don’t want to risk any potential reputational damage by sending lots of emails customers no longer want to receive.

7. Partner With Other Businesses

Each brand has its own followers and supporters. What if these followers could help you attract even more customers?

Entering a partnership with a like-minded business who supports or follows you, could lead to an increased customer reach as well as helping another small business in the same way. This will help to attract more customers to both brands and hopefully increase revenue.

Uber and Spotify are great examples. After partnering in November 2014, a new service was launched that helped combine and promote both brands’ services and increase their customer reach. When a customer ordered an Uber, they were prompted to create a playlist for their journey on Spotify. Not only does this improve the overall customer experience, it helps to promote both brands simultaneously.

Is there a similar business that you could partner with in the same way? Examples of co-branding partnerships below:

  • A dog training business partners with an Organic dog treats business
  • A photographer and videographer partner to offer a joint package
  • A cleaning company partners with an air freshener business

Tips For Advertising Your Small Business

It can be complicated when trying to advertise your small business. With so many different marketing channels to choose from, how do you know which one is best for your business?

Here are some great tips for promoting your small business:

1. Get To Know Your Customer

Knowing your target market is imperative. Before promoting your products, you need to know exactly who you want to see the advertisements to make sure it is relevant to them and give your business the best chance of getting new customers and increasing revenue. There’s no point in uninterested customers seeing the best marketing campaigns.

For your marketing to be as effective as possible, it’s important that you know exactly who you want to see it. This can help promote your brand identity and get good customer engagement in return, as they are potentially interested in what you have to offer.

2. Have A Plan

It’s important to plan any marketing activity carefully. As there are so many marketing channels to take advantage of, it’s easy to get distracted from regular posting and have a disjointed looking marketing strategy on different platforms.

Make a plan that details what you will be promoting, when promotions will be running and on what platform. This will allow you to follow a schedule, ensure consistent relevant posting and have a clear structure for your marketing campaign. By planning your marketing strategy in detail, it will allow you to maximise the potential benefits.

3. Have A Clear Brand Persona

You want your brand to stand out, so it’s important that you have a clear brand identity, like innocent smoothies where the distinctive tone of voice makes their adverts – and subsequently their brand – instantly recognisable.

This helps customers remember your brand and think of you when they are looking for a specific product. Imagining your brand as a character with its own personality and ability to create content, is a good way to create and develop your brand persona.

4. Be Consistent

To have a successful marketing campaign as a small business, the main aspect to keep in mind is consistency. Choose the marketing channels that are best suited to your business and concentrate on consistent posting on these channels. There are so many marketing channels it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but businesses should stay focused and only use those channels that are most effective for them.

For example, if you decide to create a blog for your website, ensure that you schedule these for regular intervals and stick to the plan. This could involve posting a new blog to your website monthly and then sharing on facebook for further customer engagement. Similarly, if creating YouTube videos based on your blogs then make sure the schedules align and post consistently.

Remaining consistent is an integral part of a marketing strategy and by doing so, customers are more likely to trust and remember your brand.

5. Monitor Your Progress

The last main tip for promoting your small business is to monitor the success of each marketing campaign. Specific marketing channels may work great for some businesses and not so well for others, so understanding where your business has had the most marketing success is important for future campaigns. Tracking and monitoring your marketing results regularly will give you the best insights and allow you to make any required changes in the process.

Another great method for gathering feedback on your marketing campaigns would be customer focus groups. This allows potential and existing customers to give valuable insights on your campaign such as what they liked, what they didn’t like and any areas they think you could improve.

This could be things like sending too many marketing emails or not having enough of a presence in a certain marketing channel but can be valuable information when deciding future campaigns.

In Summary

In every business, regardless of size, marketing is a key area. Whether you use one or many of the methods defined above, it’s important to be consistent with your marketing and also to monitor those marketing campaigns to ensure they are having the desired effect. This will allow you to develop any marketing campaigns over time and get the results you want for your business.

Hopefully, this article has provided some useful information to help your small business create a marketing strategy and promote your business in a way that will lead to increases in customers and revenue.

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