If you are looking for ways to market your business but you worry that a limited budget is holding you back, you’ll be glad to know that there are quite a few effective marketing tactics that are free. When you’re just starting out, or you’re strapped for cash, it’s prudent to seek out these cost-free strategies. Let’s look at three powerful ways to market an online business that don’t require you to reach for your wallet.
Sign Up With Google My Business
Google provides several important tools to help you market your business locally. Google Maps is particularly important for physical businesses, as it provides customers with directions to your place of business. Here are the key steps to use Google My Business and Google Maps:
- Sign up with Google My Business. Add all relevant information, such as your business name, address, phone number, hours and description.
- Check the appropriate categories.
- Add images of your business.
- If you have a physical business, add Google Maps.
- Ask customers to leave reviews. Google displays reviews with its listings.
If you have a service-based business where customers don’t actually walk into your store or office, you can still sign up with Google My Business. However, you must have a brick and mortar business to use Google Maps. Both services are free.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others provide many free resources for promoting your business. Here are some tips to keep in mind to get the most out of social media:
- Choose the sites that work best for your business. Think of the demographics of your customers and figure out which social sites they use most.
- Fill out your profiles thoroughly. Use quality photos, include links to your website, and provide a detailed, keyword-rich description of your business.
- Connect with friends, family, business associates and colleagues to grow your following. On some sites, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, one of the best ways to build up your following is to follow others with similar interests. Also connect with influencers in your industry -people with large followings and solid reputations.
- Share content regularly. Daily is best. You can post two to three times per day on Facebook, even more on Twitter. Post a variety of content, including articles, videos, images, infographics and anything that’s relevant to your audience. You can also post useful links to other people’s content if they aren’t direct competitors.
- Offer special promotions to your followers such as coupons, promo codes and discounts.
Another great free way to market your business is email marketing. An email list gives you the ability to send messages to your list whenever you want.
- MailChimp is free for the first 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Once you get more than that, you can find a plan that fits your business.
- Send out emails regularly to engage with your audience. You could use a newsletter format to help establish your expertise. MailChimp provides templates to help you do this.
- Promote articles, videos, your Facebook page, your latest product, affiliate offers, your book on Amazon or whatever you want to promote. On the other hand, also include helpful tips, news and other helpful information.
- As your list grows, you may want to segment it, sending different messages to subscribers based on their interests and past buying behavior.
Use these three free methods to market your business. As you gain a larger following, you’ll start generating income from your online marketing efforts. Then you can think about investing in advertising and other paid promotional strategies.