A small business doesn’t stand a fair chance of succeeding without marketing. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the market budget that we would like and being able to reach potential customers is essential. This is when your ability to think outside of the box is invaluable. You have to be able to work with whatever resources you have available and for some small business owners, that isn’t much. So how do you go about getting your small business advertised when you have very little budget for it? Luckily, there are free methods that you can use to get your small business out there.
Here are 5 ways to marker your small business for free!
1. Get Listed
Getting your small business listed with an online directory is essential. Phone books for the most part are outdated and are hardly ever used. Everyone is on their phones and computers seeking information now and you have to meet them there. The best place to get your small business listed is with Google Places. They have the largest search engine in the world and are major players in the mobile world. Registering your small business is simple, all you have to do is fill out a form and get your information verified and then you are all set. Now when people search on Google for something related to your small business, you have an opportunity to reach them. There are other places for you to list your small business online. Yahoo, Bing and Yelp are great places to also get listed. I recommend you do some research and find all of the major online directories and get registered, the more exposure the better.
2. Social Media
Given the age that we currently live in, there is no way for anyone to deny the power of social media. There are several networks that a business can use to reach a massive amount of potential customers. Obviously just joining a network isn’t enough for your small business to have success. You will need to gain followers, which is not the easiest thing to do.
In order to build a following, you will have to provide people with something that they find useful or interesting. The goal is to have them share it with friends and to add to your followers. Be sure to go with quality over quantity. Spam will quickly be ignored. Start slow and steady with a few posts a week until you know what kind of content gains the most traction with your audience. After that, you can focus your efforts and begin really leveraging your social media networks to drive customers to your small business.
3. Press Release
Some people may overlook the usefulness of a press release, but the potential outreach cannot be ignored. Whenever your small business does something noteworthy a press release can be issued. You can even issue a press release to announce the start of your small business.The key to having your press release picked up by the most outlets is to stand out. Since journalists and bloggers are the people who pick up and relay your press release, something that is vanilla will not likely catch their eye. There are press release distribution services out there that are free of charge. It is definitely worth the time investment to learn how to write a quality press release and start taking advantage of this powerful media tool.
4. Start a Company Blog
Starting a blog for your business may not seem like much at first, but it is something that will help build some serious brand loyalty for you going forward. Since everyone likes to be well informed on matters that concern them, a blog is the perfect way for you to keep your customers up to date on breaking news and developments with your small business. A blog also provides a great place for you to promote your small business and have your subscribers share it on their social media networks as well. Obviously a blog needs to well maintained with a consistent stream of information otherwise it will not be very successful.
5. Join a Forum
No matter what business you are in, there is likely an online forum for it. Forums are the perfect place for you interact directly with a community of people who may be interested in your business. The best course of action is to find a forum that relates to your small business and become active within the community. Avoid just blindly advertising without actually contributing. Instead find opportunities that are appropriate. Each forum has its own guidelines about promoting and linking your business website, so be sure to read up before you begin posting.