Advertising is often one of the least used methods to promote and market a business. Why? Because advertising can be expensive. Additionally, many advertising methods are unproven. The results can be unpredictable. Smart business owners are careful with their money. They generally tend to choose proven marketing methods. However, advertising doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many free advertising option small business owners can use.
Here are seven free advertising ideas for small businesses.
#1 Register the business website on free listing directories like DMOZ which would help increase the online traffic on the small business website.
#2 Utilize classified ad sites. Create ads to advertise a specific product or service. Make sure to create your ad like you would any other paid ad. Solve a problem. Create a compelling headline. Offer a call to action.
#3 Add your business to local search engines like Google Places, Local Yahoo, Local MSN and so on as people will still add on a geographic location to their searches, even if the business is virtual. Add reviews to your profile. Make sure the address and contact information is consistent with what you have published on your site. Also add a few local keywords to your website SEO strategy. For example, if you’re located in Austin, Texas and your website is about social media training, then you might choose “Social media training Austin Texas.”
#4 Publish ads on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Don’t go crazy with the advertising. Simply publish them on your profile page or include them occasionally in your posts.
#5 Swap advertisements with relevant websites. For example, if you’re a fitness trainer and you know a nutritionist, you can each publish an ad for the other on your website. It’s a simple advertising partnership. You can also publish ads in each other’s newsletters.
#6 Participate in industry forums that allow you to promote your business. You can create advertisements specifically for your forum audience (VANA, VirtualAssistantForums.com, etc).
#7 Use free listing sites like Craigslist to advertise for your business. Create the advertisements like you would for any other medium. Have a captivating headline, copy that provides a solution to a problem and then a call to action.
You can also print flyers and brochures and leave them around town. And while it’s not free, you can also print your website on stickers or magnets and place them on your car. These types of ads generally don’t cost much and they can have a good return on investment – particularly for local businesses.
Free advertising opportunities are all around you. It just takes a bit of creativity to recognize and capitalize on them. To your success!