A great deal of a business’ success comes down to its advertising; it won’t matter how great your product or service is if nobody knows of it. While large companies spend millions on advertising and marketing, that doesn’t mean you need to. There are a number of smart ways to advertise your business without an advertising budget.
No matter how you decide to advertise, all your advertisements should lead potential customers back to your professional website. Don’t have one yet? If you sign up with Bluehost, a website builder and hosting platform, you’ll automatically get $100 in advertising credit for both Google and Bing. You’ll also get easy-to-use site building tools, a web host and 24/7 support, all for $2.95/month. Click here to start.
We collected the top 50 free business advertising ideas from industry pros to help you market your business at no cost:
Cassie Bottorff, Fit Small Business
Before a new client walks through your door, they are likely to look up reviews on Yelp to see what customers are saying. Sign up with Yelp advertising today and get $300 in free advertising credit to help your business stand out from the competition. When people search for similar businesses and direct competitors in your area, your business could be advertised at the top of the results page, giving your business more visibility. Claim your profile and credit.
2. Increase your rank through citation sources.
Alistair Dodds, Marketing Director & Co-Founder, Smoking Chili Media
Register at the top citation sources in your country! Assuming you have a Google My Business listing (another great free advertising option), then registering your business for free at Bing Places, Apple Maps, Infogroup, Acxiom, Factual, Facebook, and more will not only expose you to more potential customers, but also greatly improve the chances of your Google My Business listing appearing in the Google Local Pack Results (the Google results with the map) when local customers run local searches. So it’s a double win.
3. Write P.E.A.C. content for your blog and outreach.
Nadya Khoja, Venngage
How can you ensure that your small business stands out from all the noise that big businesses are making with their marketing tactics? Blogging is an excellent way to boost traffic to your site, but that doesn’t just mean writing large quantities of blog posts and publishing them ad hoc.
You’ve got to write P.E.A.C. content, which stands for Practical, Entertaining, Awe-Inspiring, and Credible. On top of that, to increase blog traffic, you’ve got to conduct outreach to let people know what you produced. Without conducting outreach and asking people to share or reference your content, how do you expect to have it seen?
4. Get your website content to rank high by writing about popular topics.
Sean Dudayev, Co-Founder/CMO, InsureChance Inc.
My favorite free method to advertise is content creation. We simply research the topics that our customers have the most burning questions about and write about them on our blogs. This draws a ton of traffic our way and helps us earn clients. I have always stuck to my business mantra that if you can educate your consumers, you will earn their trust and their business.
Check out this article on how to increase your Google page rank.
5. Optimize your local SEO.
Jon Eyre, Director of Content, Podium
Technically, this might not be considered “advertising,” but one of the best things that a business can do to promote their business for free is optimizing for local SEO. This includes doing simple things like claiming your business listing on places like Google+, Facebook, and YP.com. But that’s just the first step. Once you’ve claimed the business, ensure the name, address, and phone number is consistent across all of these listings, that you’ve uploaded photos, and added your hours of operation—then start collecting online reviews.
Doing these simple things will boost your business’ local SEO ranking, which will improve the likelihood of showing up in the Google map section of a search query, which is where many people go when looking for a business.
6. List your business using Google My Business.
James Parnwell, Managing Director, TheOnlineCo
I would say the most effective free digital marketing method that you can implement in about five minutes is to set up a Google My Business profile. You simply need to input your name, phone number, and address, as well as a few images and you are all set… well, almost!
Google wants to verify that your address is a real one, and the way they do this is to send an old-fashioned postcard to the listed address with a pin code on it. You simply enter the pin code and your bona fide Google My Business account will turn up Google Search results. Once this is done, you need to get your favorite customers to give you a review. The first target is to get five reviews so the gold stars appear on your listing, but the more you can get, the better.
7. Use a Q&A site like Quora to generate interest.
Igor Kholkin, Senior Manager
Sign up and get active on Q&A sites like Quora (Reddit is another one—see our next tip). Providing insightful answers to questions in your field of expertise will help establish you as an authority and bring people to your site. This is an indirect yet extremely effective way of advertising your products / services.
You can also include links to your site in your Quora answers (just avoid being overly promotional).
8. Participate on Reddit.
Shane Young, Principal Consultant & Founder, Bold Zebras
Nothing in life is free. To advertise your business, you have to invest your time, and your time costs money. So when you look at promoting your business, you have to look at where you get the best ROI.
Participate in massive online communities that relate to your business, like Reddit. Find ways to help people for free. While you are helping them, you can establish yourself as a subject matter expert. You also learn the common questions people ask. You can then create blog content that answers those questions. Then next time the same question gets asked, you can answer with a shorter answer and a link to your blog. This drives interested customers to your site organically and shows the search engines that other sites link to you with links that people follow. This is high-value traffic, especially as you get better at writing content targeted at your core customer.
9. Publish expert content on LinkedIn.
Joshua Jarvis, Owner & Digital Marketing Manager, 4rd Marketing
If you’re looking for new opportunities to connect with other like-minded professionals and potentially work together, then LinkedIn offers a great opportunity to do that. Their feed is now public and they have a robust blogging platform for their members. Choose a topic that you’re an expert in and write regular content surrounding that topic to build your credibility as a thought leader.
10. Convert more leads into customers with a free CRM.
If a prospect doesn’t buy on the first contact, it doesn’t mean they’re not interested. Likewise, customers who buy once don’t automatically keep coming back. Prospects need to be taken through the sales process step-by-step, and one-time customers often need a little nudge to buy again. Insightly offers a free CRM that helps you keep track of existing customers as well as prospects. Store contact information, make notes, and create follow-up tasks that will help you nurture these valuable relationships and create new and repeat customers. Click here to start your free Insightly account.
11. List in local newspapers.
Krista Neher, CEO, Boot Camp Digital
Look for free listings in local news and magazines. When I started my business, I wanted to build local awareness for my social media workshops. I found a number of local event directories that allowed me to post for free, including news sites, LinkedIn groups, chambers of commerce, and small local newspapers. These free postings accounted for 50 percent of my (paid) attendees.
12. Send cold emails.
Felipe Bernardes, Customer Service and Administrative Executive, Lemoney
Since we are a startup with limited budget, finding ways of advertising for free is crucial for our business.
The main challenge for a company in our stage is being noticed and bringing clients from zero. A good strategy to start is sending cold emails. Since not everyone likes receiving those, you have to run good tests so you can tailor effective ones that reach your public. At the same time, you have to put in effort to create a qualified list of emails.
People love things for free, so offering users benefits when indicating or inviting new contacts is a great approach to reach new clients. Another tactic is co-blogging, or offering specific knowledge to influencers/bloggers who focus on the same area in which your company is developing its business. And last but not least, asking your clients to leave reviews about their experience using your service or product can really help bring new traffic to your website.
13. Use free tools for strategic email marketing.
Paul St-Jacques, Co-Founder, Dream 100 Done For You
A great resource I often use to craft my cold emails is a list of sales email templates. Templates are proven, and in my experience, with some tweaking, they work extremely well! To keep your campaign organized, you can use free tools such as Boomerang for Gmail to get notified when a prospect opens your emails, and you can also “boomerang” your email back to your inbox if your prospect hasn’t replied, so you can follow-up with them.
14. Split test email marketing for maximum impact.
Alasdair Inglis, Founder and MD, Grow
Most popular e-marketing platforms, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, allow you to split-test your campaigns. This means that half of your mailing list receives one version of the campaign and the other half receives an edited version, allowing you to monitor which campaign performs best. Use split-testing to test out different copy, headlines, images, and structures until you can really drill down into what motivates your audience. Record your results and expand upon successful tests and campaigns.
15. Have a catchy email signature.
Kim Kohatsu, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Charles Ave Marketing
Use your email signature to promote your website, social media profiles, and new promotions. I’m amazed at how many small business owners miss out on this opportunity. Announce new blog posts, sale items, or anything else with the people you’re already in direct communication with.
We recommend WiseStamp to send emails with effective business signatures for free.
16. Rewire your email strategy to meet your goals.
Mary Zakheim, Marketing Manager, OpenSponsorship
What with all of the various ways we can advertise our companies for a pretty penny, we often forget about a huge—and free—tool we have at our disposal: email marketing. In fact, a growing number of companies are actually founded on the idea of captivating an audience with a simple newsletter each morning (hello, TheSkimm). For the more traditional business, though, you can easily rewire your email marketing to meet whatever goals are pertinent to you. Want to generate more traffic? Start sending out curated emails on a regular basis and make sure your brand voice is on point and relatable. Trying to drive more sales? Make email segmentation your friend and start learning about email journeys.
17. Send email newsletters to your subscriber list.
Uwe Dreissigacker, Managing Director, Invoiceberry Limited
Start sending email newsletters. If you’re not yet collecting the email addresses of your customers and website visitors, start doing it now. There are literally hundreds of email marketing tools out there, including MailChimp, which has a free plan. These tools will help you to collect email addresses, design your newsletter, and send it. This will allow your brand to stay top of mind for customers even if they don’t want to make a purchase right away.
Staying engaged and active with your customer base is crucial to grow your reach. Read this article to learn more about top tips on email marketing.
18. Create social proof with online reviews.
Elizabeth Kraus, Author, 365 Days of Marketing
Nine out of 10 consumers trust online reviews just as much as they do personal recommendations. Every successful customer transaction represents a new opportunity for you to ask happy customers to leave a review for your business online—on Facebook, Google+, Yelp, Amazon, or your own website. Ask for a review at the point of sale or send customers a link in a thank you or another type of follow up email. Every star helps!
19. Work on your social media efforts to improve your SEO.
Matthew Jonas, President, Top Fire Media
When it comes to free advertising, understanding how social and SEO go hand in hand is paramount for any brand. From Google’s perspective, social signals in the form of Likes, Followers, Friends, Tweets and Retweets, Shares, and Comments are big for marketers. While there’s been some debate in the SEO community about the degree to which “social signals” can affect search rankings, according to Searchmetrics, seven of the top 11 factors that affect your positioning on a search relate directly or indirectly to social media signals.
Achieving those social signals is about creating great content. In theory, that great content should receive a high number of social media shares (and other social signals) and will get an additional boost in perceived authority. If people share a particular article frequently, Google assumes relevance and quality content, making the argument that searchers have the power to influence Google.
20. Try free growth-hacking tools.
Ksenia Newton, CrossCap
Working in a startup, I know how it is to have limited human and budget resources. That’s why my personal passion is in the free growth hacking tools. One of not so well-known but free and very useful browser extensions is StartAFire. What you do is grab a link to the article you are trying to promote, add it to the extension, and then, every time you share something relevant to your article, the extension will recommend your content right below. This is a free and easy way to get more eyeballs to your content and traffic to your website and potential customers. It also looks very organic on the page.
21. Update website content regularly.
Akiva Leyton, Marketing Manager, Falcon Marketing LLC
Regularly updating the content of your website is extremely important. Google Ranks favors newer content over older content. So if you haven’t changed the content on your website in a while, this can drastically improve your ranking.
22. Share Your Expertise with Guest Posts.
Kristine Gobbo, President, Spectrum Public Relations
Business owners might want to consider becoming a subject-matter expert and sharing their expertise with the media when the timing is right, perhaps when there is timely trending news that impacts that particular industry. This earned media will reach a large and diverse audience and often provides a neutral endorsement and legitimacy for the business owner and business. A business owner’s expertise may also be shared as a blog post or guest blog.
23. Make sure your business shows up in local search results.
Marc Prosser, Co-founder, Fit Small Business
Especially if your business relies on local customers or foot traffic, you want to make sure your business is listed in as many online directories as possible. More listings ensure your business comes up in more local searches, which translates directly into more customers finding your business. Want to make sure your listings are accurate and are being seen in local searches? Click here to scan your listings for free and find out how well your business is listed across the web.
24. Reach Out for Backlinks on Existing Articles.
Kirill Polikarpov, Head of Marketing, Invest Admitad
Check top-10 sites by your topic in Google. You will find some listing or reviews in your niche. Reach out with an email or via Facebook to ask to add your site to the article, some of them will add you for free. They get an update in content, your site gets the backlink, and traffic, making it a win-win for both parties.
25. Drive website traffic via Medium.
Chris Smith, Author & Co-Founder, Curaytor
Hop over to Medium and publish a post that can be seen by readers. The first time I published a post to Medium, it got over 17,000 views—99 percent of which came from their community, not mine. Of course, inside of the post I had several links back to my stuff, which got me some solid referral traffic. You should identify any blogs or websites that are influential in your industry and send them some original content to publish. When you do guest post, make sure that you have a strong author byline attached with links back to your best stuff. It’s a natural flow for someone who reads an awesome post by a new author to see who wrote it and dig deeper, maybe by checking them out on Twitter or visiting their site.
26. Share your blog posts on social media.
Melanie Table, Social Media Examiner
Expand your reach by sharing your blog posts on different social media channels. To effectively cross-promote your blog posts, tailor-fit your message to fit each platform and audience.
For example, if you’re promoting a new blog post, you may need to address your Facebook friends in a different way than your business contacts on LinkedIn. On Twitter, you’re restricted to 280 characters, so you have to keep your message short and simple. On Pinterest, your image is the primary way to draw attention.
Each social network offers different options for promoting your content. The number of characters allowed differs and image sizes vary. You might add hashtags to turn posts into searchable content or add @ handles to connect directly with your followers.
27. Use quality consistent branding.
Harry Phillips, Marketing Executive, itas
Make sure your designs for logos, banners, etc., are all quality and consistent. These are what people most likely first see, so you want to make an impression. Stick to three or four main colors, and integrate them into everything. Showing off your company’s personality will pay off in the long run.
28. Leverage good reviews.
Kristen Hinman, Founder, Peare Media
Referrals and reviews are often the lifeblood of businesses, and particularly for new small businesses. New businesses can leverage both your reviews and the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube, for free. First take screenshots of your best reviews online (you can also use shots of texts and emails with sensitive information omitted). Next, use a free software online to turn those photos into a video. Search for something like “free easy video editing for social media.”
Finally, load that new video onto YouTube with the title “BUSINESS NAME REVIEWS” and use YouTube tags that also include a combination of your name, your business name, and the word “review(s).” Include a description that instructs people how to contact you. Give it about 24 hours, now when someone Googles your business or your name, plus the word “review,” your new video will show up directing them to watch your best reviews.
29. Go big with PR by starting small.
Stephanie Wiggins, Founder, DJANGO
Get featured. DJANGO is a small and growing dog gear business, but we’ve already been featured across numerous outlets including Forbes, Business Insider, Medium, and Men’s Fitness. This didn’t happen overnight; rather, we built momentum with our PR approach. What do I mean? First, target smaller media outlets—websites that aren’t necessarily the most highly trafficked or ranked. These are the sites that will happily feature you at no cost. Once you have a few of these small features nailed down, use them to promote yourself with bigger media outlets. Editorial teams and freelance writers are much more likely to feature you if you can prove your company’s popularity and prominence in its industry.
30. Use good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth.
Janice Elliott-Howard, Author
Another way to get free advertising is, of course, the old-fashioned way of striking up a conversation with the person in front of you or behind you in the local grocery store line.
I always ask about them and, in kind, they ask about me and I hand them a business card. I try to keep in touch with people from my past as a way of having an on-going word of mouth system that costs me nothing but a few moments of my time. I also had a few T-shirts printed up with QR codes, website information, my logo, etc., that I wear on days when I know that I am going to do many errands. I am the billboard a couple of times a week.
31. Trade with other small businesses.
Randy Mitchelson, APR, iPartnerMedia
One type of free opportunity for small business owners to seek out is trade-in-kind. In other words, provide a service in exchange for an ad or sponsorship.
No cash is required to exchange hands, just some sweat equity and/or modest material cost out of existing inventory/supplies. For example, we recently did a trade agreement with a local chamber of commerce to design and print a program for an annual awards event. In exchange, the chamber prominently placed our logo in several media channels leading up to the event and during the event, including a verbal recognition from the chamber president during the program.
No money exchanged hands. We absorbed some cost to design and print the program (sweat equity), but in return, received thousands of dollars of advertising and exposure.
32. Volunteer with local organizations.
Lisa Hennessy, Owner, Your Pet Chef, LLC
You can get free visibility for your business and do a good deed at the same time by volunteering. For example, I have found a great way to advertise my pet business is to volunteer with local rescue groups. I’ve done book signings (I have written three cookbooks) where I donate a portion of all books sold. I also help at events working a booth or talking with people who come up. I can talk about dog nutrition and easy ways to help your dog be healthier.
I have found many new clients this way and frankly, it’s a really fun way to promote my business while helping out groups that help animals. Find a local volunteer organization that syncs up with your business purpose.
33. Focus on Adding Value.
Timothy Bach, Founder, The Creator Factory
The first thing I always tell my clients is to add value to their customers from the initial interaction. Whether you’re making them laugh, cry, or giving them life changing info; add value. My personal favorite is to create what I call value based content aka YouTube videos/blog posts with free tips or knowledge. Potential clients are searching for answers and I want to be the one to give it to them! This puts my brand in front of potential clients at the time they are looking to make a purchase. It’s easy, you can do it on your phone, and has a huge impact.
34. Give reviews & testimonials to your suppliers.
Diane Elizabeth, Founder, Skin Care Ox
If you’re a small business looking for free exposure to potential customers, then you might want to consider giving testimonials and reviews for products and services that you use in your business. This is a really simple and easy way to advertise for free that actually works!
For example, say that your small business sells marketing services to ecommerce websites. All you have to do is identify products or services that you use and that your ideal ecommerce clients use as well. Then, search online for ways to leave public testimonials for that product. If the company is small, then try emailing management directly with your testimonial (they may include it on their website). You can also leave a public review on several public platforms. When writing your review, be sure to include information that may be helpful to your ideal client as well as your business name and contact information.
35. Tap high-profile influencers.
Sydney Liu, CEO and Founder, Commaful
When we first started, we reached out to influencers asking to share life lessons, stories, and more to the site. We were able to attract a lot of re-shares to their stories, such as one we did about Thomas Middleditch, a lead actor in the show “Silicon Valley.”
The posts got shared by fans and also reshared on Reddit, in the press, and more which led to a lot of free growth. Outreach to influencers who we thought would care about our mission really helped move things forward early on. You’d be surprised what a quick introduction or cold email could lead to!
36. Do blog content upgrades to maximize your site traffic.
Lois Sapare, Scoopfed
If you have content on your blog that consistently receives high traffic, you need to keep it updated. By updating it with fresh content, you can maximize the traffic that you are receiving. Your regularly updated posts can attract readers’ curiosity about your site and encourage them to keep revisiting. You want the reader to think, “This content is truly awesome! What more do they have on this site?” Then they will voluntarily discover more about your site. It’s turning an audience to a prospective buyer or returning visitor. Additionally, add some content that’s more “out of the box.” It’s evergreen yet unique.
37. Use reciprocity on Twitter.
Kyle Mucha, Co-Founder, Marketpreneurs
Apply the reciprocity rule to Twitter. It’s so simple and can be incredibly effective if done right. All you have to do is follow people who fit into your target audience and many of them will follow you back. If your profile is optimized correctly and you Tweet regularly, you will start to drive some good traffic to your website. There are certain Twitter rules that you need to follow to avoid being seen as spammy, so make sure you look these up before doing it. You can spend 15 minutes doing this each day and see a return. It’s so effective that we are still doing this today alongside our paid advertising.
38. Offer contractual deals.
Dean McElveen, Director of Operations, Oregon Beach Vacations
I’m the Director of Operations for a vacation rental company and the best “free” advertising we have stems from contractual deals with our homeowners. They agree to give us 10 complimentary nights at their home every year in exchange for 10 cleans we perform free of charge. This deal is on a use-or-lose basis yearly. We use these nights for advertising trade (sometimes over 70 percent trade), refunds (in cash terms we’ve only refunded 0.02 percent gross revenue this year, and 80 percent refunded with complimentary nights), employee discounts (50 percent off in fall), and flash promotions (up to 50 percent off). Because we started this program early, we now have a majority of clients bought-in and it’s one foundational edge we have over our competitors.
39. Create mutually beneficial partnerships.
Shel Horowitz, Transformpreneur, Going Beyond Sustainability
My favorite is to partner with others who already reach your target market. Bill Gates and the vast majority of super-successful internet marketers used this strategy to build their businesses. They grew by using someone else’s audience and customer base. In Gates’ case, it was IBM. Microsoft would have been nothing without signing the deal to provide operating systems for the original PC. Internet marketers (and marketers who sell at conferences typically do 50-50 revenue splits with other internet marketers who have large lists, which is why you see so many people promoting the same offers.
40. Cold contact potential collaborators.
Lauren Petermeyer, Manager, 301 Digital Media
When it comes to advertising your business at no cost, it’s always good to try to make connections wherever possible. Reach out to every site and professional you can to see if they’d like to collaborate, feature you on their site, or even do a content swap. Gathering back links will help your domain authority, but also simply get your name out there. Also, posting on social media regularly and engaging with your followers will show that you care, and will encourage others to do the same.
41. Claim all social networks.
David Vallance, Content Manager, LeaseFetcher
There are literally hundreds of different social networking sites, ranging from the very general (Facebook) to the very niche (Ravelry). Claiming all your accounts ensures you can establish an official presence on a site if you want to. You might even be surprised at where your audience hangs out. I’ve worked for companies that still generate a lot of traffic through MySpace.
42. Maintain an active presence on social media
Karthik Velisetti, Digital Marketing Manager, Tru Herb
It is tremendously important for small businesses to maintain their visibility on relevant social media platforms. For B2C companies, the obvious platforms to focus on are Instagram and Facebook, while for B2B companies, platforms like LinkedIn, Quora, and industry forums should be the focus.
Once the relevant platforms have been identified, the business can start being active on the groups and pages that are relevant. It is important to note that while posting on groups and pages, the posts shouldn’t be outright sales pitches as this will only result in the removal from the group. Instead, the focus should be on providing value in terms of knowledge, or sharing blog posts and infographics, with the occasional soft pitch thrown in.
43. Participate in general Facebook groups.
Jonathan Gorham, Founder, Engine Scout
Sign up and become an active member on Facebook groups relevant to your industry. Not only are these groups great for networking, but they’re also a goldmine for scoring new business. The secret is to not spam these groups with products or services you sell. Instead, provide value to the group by sharing success stories, helpful tips, and insightful knowledge.
People will notice you and they’ll visit your Facebook page to find out more about you. Just make sure there’s a link to your company website displayed on your profile. Trust me, your private messages will start to fill up with potential new customers interested in your products and services in no time.
44. Post in local Facebook groups.
Michelle Brammer, Director of Marketing, Zanga
If you are lucky enough to have a local Facebook group with an active community, many offer a set day of the week to advertise your local business (e.g., Small Business Saturday), and throughout the week, residents tend to ask for recommendations on a daily basis. Word of mouth means a lot in a tight-knit community and garnering positive PR on a local Facebook page can be impactful. Our local pages consistently get recommendations for everything from accountants to lawn care, restaurants to painters, and even home-based businesses like a weighted blanket maker to someone who runs a home chef business. It’s free and, if your business provides excellent customer service and strong services, prior clients are more than happy to recommend you.
45. Use every opportunity to get your name out there.
Brian Shell, Owner & Author, Passion Hero
As an author and musician, my books and songs don’t sell themselves. I live on a very tight budget, so outside paid advertising just isn’t a reality at this point. So how do I get attention and eyeballs on my site? I act like a mysterious traveler in order to provoke curiosity. It drives traffic to my site and I now get over 25,000 hits. First, I have a PassionHero.com bumper sticker in the back window of my car. At stop -lights, I practice my drumming rudiments with drumsticks I keep handy in the passenger seat.
Second, I have embroidered T-shirts and hats with my website that I wear as I do walkabouts in crowded events, such as street art fairs. I amp it by putting a copy of two different books in each back pocket. I turn up the volume by hand-drumming with a small percussion instrument as I walk. It provides great exercise and always interesting people-watching. Some of the looks and remarks I get are priceless and have led to one of my songs being played on The Tonight Show.
46. Be generous in distributing your business cards.
Kathy Burns-Millyard, Author, Chron
Pass out your business cards to everyone you meet. Give a small stack of the cards to friends and family, and have them pass those out to people they meet as well. Business cards and stationery show potential customers that you are a professional, and it gives them a miniature advertisement they aren’t as likely to throw away.
47. Network by hosting events.
Reesy Floyd-Thompson, Founder, The Digital Wonder Woman
Expertise is everything in today’s world. Hosting small events for 10 to 20 people is a great way to not only show one’s expertise but to get experience in networking and working a crowd. Library and coffee shops often provide free space. Advertise on social media, word of mouth, and an email list. Show up. Teach. Book clients.
48. Create helpful YouTube videos.
Jeff Rizzo, CEO & Founder, RIZKNOWS
I’ve spent very little on advertising in the history of my business. Instead, I create helpful, genuine YouTube videos to attract viewers and convert them to customers. As you may know, YouTube is owned by Google and, as a result, Google likes to promote videos in search results. As such, if you create a video that is relevant to your audience, you can get in front of potential customers who are searching for related services or products.
49. Speak at local events.
Kenneth Burke, Marketing Director, Text Request
Speak at local events. There are all sorts of organizations around your town hosting various events—luncheons, dinners, awards—the list goes on and on. The goal of these events is community involvement, so they’re always looking for people to contribute. Raise your hand. Offer to give a presentation, or to emcee, or talk about your experiences. The organization will promote you, your business, and the event for you.
50. Do interviews on podcasts.
Kevin Jordan, Marketing Consultant, Redpoint Marketing Consultants
I have found that the best way to advertise my business for free is to do interviews on podcasts that cater to my target audience. It is partly through this method that I ended up on a list of the top 100 business bloggers for 2015, which in turn opened other doors for me.
Bottom Line: Free Advertising Ideas
A limited, or lack of, advertising budget doesn’t mean you can’t effectively find ways to promote your business and gain new customers. There are a number of great ways to market at no cost. Every business should consider which free ideas will reach their target audience and help them reach their goals. Ultimately, use these ideas to get creative and adjust them to fit your business and advertising goals.