There are many free ways to market and grow your business online. Here are a few ideas if you don't have a large marketing budget.
As a new business owner, you probably don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on marketing. However, it is essential that you continue to market it, or it may not be able to grow.
Don’t think your business will grow by itself just because you have a great product or service. A lot of people will only be able to find out about your business if your marketing efforts reach them.
Fortunately, there are 11 free ways that you can market to them and grow your business online.
#1. Put Together A Blog That Stands Out
Don’t think that just because you have a website that you don’t need a blog. Your blog will give you a more creative way to share information with your readers.
You can post information that they’d find helpful by relating to them in a personal way. You can use your posts to give your readers a glimpse of who you are all while promoting your business and your products.
In order to effectively market your business through your blog, you have to post content that stands out. It should highlight information that a lot of other blogs don’t have.
It should also be aesthetically appealing to the eye and easy to navigate.
#2. Be Active On Social Media
Many businesses just don’t realize how important social media is to their success.
While there are some advertising tools that you will need to pay for, you will find that there are also plenty of ways to market on social media that are free.
The most important thing is that you need to engage your followers. This can be done by posting content on a consistent basis.
Join local community groups. You can reach out to individuals that mention they are looking for a product or service that you offer.
Create polls so that individuals will engage with you.
Make it a point to respond to every question or comment on your pages.
Try to spend at least 10-15 minutes each day adding new content or engaging with our followers.
Make sure that you keep posts short as many people will skip over them if they require that they need to spend more than a minute reading them.
In order to use social media to successfully market your business, you need to be committed to creating content and communicating with your followers.
#3. Tag Certain Brands Or Influential People On Social Media
You can easily market yourself just by tagging certain brands or people in some of your social media posts. This will allow your followers and their followers to see your posts.
Just make sure you tag those that actually are related to your product or service in some way. You don’t want to come off as not being creditable and just trying to spam people.
If these businesses or people comment, you need to make sure that you respond back to them. You don’t want them to feel as if you just tagged them in a post and didn’t care if they saw it or not.
Comment on some of their posts as well. This will help them recognize your name, and they will be more likely to respond to your posts.
#4. Create A Google My Business Account
A lot of businesses don’t realize that they can create a Google My Business account for free.
This type of account will allow your business to show up when someone is searching for something on Google Maps in your local area.
After you create an account, you do need to verify it so that it will rank higher. Fortunately, you can easily verify your account in your Google My Business settings.
#5. Use Appropriate Hashtags In All Of Your Posts
Did you know that you can use hashtags across a wide variety of social media platforms?
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all great places to incorporate appropriate hashtags in your social media posts.
Try to use trending hashtags so that the right people will see your posts. You can find out what some of these hashtags are by looking at the ones that other businesses are using.
If you have a local business rather than just an online store, you need to be using hashtags that are based on your location so that you can get more locals in the door.
You really can’t go wrong with using a variety of different hashtags in your posts as this will ensure that you are able to reach a wide audience.
#6. Make Connections Through LinkedIn
A lot of business owners are so focused on other social media sites that they forget about LinkedIn. It is a shame because this network can easily be used to make connections with others.
There are forums that you can contribute to, and you can also use it to share your blog posts.
It’s also a great place to connect with other business owners in your community or post job listings when you are trying to hire additional staff.
Once you create an account on LinkedIn, you do need to try to engage others by liking or responding to their posts.
#7. Utilize Keywords So Others Can Find You
If you aren’t utilizing search engine optimization, known as SEO, then you really are missing out!
By putting relevant keywords on your website or in blog posts, you can help your website or blogs rank higher. This will make it easier for individuals to find you when they are searching something.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, start small. Add your location and the type of business you have somewhere in the body of your content. You may find that it’s helpful to take some time to research keywords and SEO.
By having the right keywords in your content, you can easily market your business for free.
#8. Host A Workshop
If you have some sort of information that you’d like to share with others, consider hosting an online workshop.
You can talk about something related to your business like how to use a product that you are selling or the various ways one of your services can be beneficial to others.
There are various platforms you can use for this event such as YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. All of these sites do allow their users to host live chats or videos with other users.
In order for your workshop to be successful, you need to make sure that you are promoting it often. Talk about it on your social media pages, website or blog.
If you conduct business at a physical location, you can also post a flyer there.
Check your community to see if there are any bulletin boards where you can post this information as well. Coffee shops and colleges tend to have areas where you can post local events.
#9. Have A Large Email List
Despite the fact that email marketing has been around for decades, you may not be using it to your advantage.
You can get individuals to sign up for your emails in several different ways.
If you have a booth at a trade show or local fair, have an email sign-up sheet. Ask those that visit your booth if they want to leave their name and email address so that they can get future emails from you.
Create a popup on your website or blogs that prompts your readers to leave their email address.
Ask your social media followers to leave you an inbox message if they would like to to receive newsletters, coupons or any other information from you.
Just make sure that the emails you send out to them are interesting and will leave them wanting more.
They should feel as if the information that you are sending them is something that they want to see and not want to delete it from their inbox right away because it has no value to them.
The information you put in an email’s subject line needs to be carefully worded. It should engage the recipient so that they will want to open the email.
If you are finding it difficult to get others to subscribe to your emails, you may want to offer some type of discount code for an online purchase.
You may be surprised to find how many email addresses you can get just by offering as little as a 5% discount on a future purchase.
This may also increase your sales as many individuals will buy one of your products because they don’t want to waste the coupon.
#10. Create Graphics
If you want to market your business without having to do a lot of work, you need to make sure that others are sharing the information that you post online with their friends.
You can do this by creating amazing content with graphics.
It will immediately draw them in as people like to read items that contain graphics rather than material that only consists of only words.
You can use a variety of tools like Visme or Canva to make these graphics, and the best part is that they are free to use!
If you aren’t sure what types of graphics to create, look on Pinterest. Input the topic of your content into the search bar, and get inspiration based on some of the images that are displayed.
It actually is a lot easier to create graphics than you might think, and these graphics can help you greatly expand your business.
#11. Connect With Local Businesses
Many local businesses are looking for ways to market themselves without having to spend money. You all can help each other out by connecting with each other.
Email them or connect with them online. Encourage them to follow you on your social media pages and respond to your posts, and let them know that you will do the same.
You all can act as a cheerleader for each other online and build your reputations among your followers.
You can also exchange business cards that you all can display at your businesses. Offer to refer customers to them if they will do the same.
Host monthly virtual meetups so that you can form friendships and discuss other ways that you can help each other out.
So What’s Next?
Looking for more marketing opportunities to grow your business? This comprehensive tool provides you with all the data you need to identify marketing opportunities to skyrocket your business.