Good marketing does not always have to be expensive. Many times, you can even choose to advertise your company or product for free. If you are all for it, why not make use of the following top eight methods to market your business for free?
The desire of every business owner is to get the attention of as many potential customers as possible. But this often requires a huge amount of spending. Hence, if you are looking for ways to elevate your startup without spending a dime, then you are in luck. Stick with us as we show you eight methods to market your business for free.
1. YOUTUBE VIDEOS
Creating a YouTube channel is a must for any business aiming to thrive amidst heated competition. It is the second most visited website in the world with more than a billion subscribers, plus, an average of over one billion videos are watched daily. Viewers between the ages of 18 – 50 years visit YouTube more than any TV station or cable network in the world. The platform is more than a video sharing platform; it’s a social community and you can interact with people, create and join groups to promote your business.
No doubt, the misconception many business owners have is that they need a lot of money to market their products and services on YouTube. In reality, this is not entirely true. Whether it is increasing your brand’s visibility, engagement or increasing sales, YouTube will cost you very little or nothing.
The type of videos uploaded on your YouTube channel is of great essence as well. Studies show that educational and “how to” videos drive the highest traffic. You can also create videos showcasing the uniqueness and core values of your brand. Interviews, review videos, animations and documentaries also have high viewership. In fact, any video that will appeal to your target audience can be uploaded.
2. SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media can act as a very efficient tool for marketing a business. Even though social media platforms such as Facebook have been around for over a decade, they have somehow become an irreplaceable part of human life. Many cannot imagine living a life without Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So as a business owner, you can leverage this.
Additionally, through social media, your business can build an online presence by communicating with potential and long-time customers. You can start by creating a business page on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. This is not the regular social media account, it is specifically intended for marketing purposes. You will then need to update the profile of your business page by including any details you consider relevant to your organisation and customers. Then post frequently on the page, as it is an indication of commitment. Your website should have a link that directs users to your social media accounts and vice versa.
Before you attempt to post anything on your social media business account, always ask yourself if it will create customer engagement. Additionally, always endeavor to respond to comments, suggestions, reviews, questions and criticisms swiftly. Get closer to the mind and heart of your customers by conducting polls, promos and giveaways.
It is a total waste of time and resources if, after establishing a business, nobody is aware of its existence. So it’s important you increase your visibility by promoting the business on social media.
3. PODCAST GUESTS
A podcast is simply a digital audio content that can be streamed or downloaded. The benefits of becoming a guest on a podcast and is a great way to attract your desired audience – thus offer free publicity for your products or services. Getting booked as a guest speaker on a podcast is not as difficult as some may think. Once you have successfully vetted the list of relevant niches available, then use the following methods to get booked as a podcast guest:
Firstly, you can use PodcastGuests.com. This is a great avenue for finding speaking opportunities with little effort. The platform matches podcast hosts with relevant guests on a given topic. It can be used to search for guests for your personal podcast as well as source for podcasts that are scouting for guests.
You can as well run a Google search for a list of top podcasts related to your industry or business. What’s more, you can search for trending podcasts on Apple, Reddit and BuzzSumo. All in all, guest podcasting is a great way to reach out to a large audience and engage them. Remember to always promote your podcast episodes across your social media platforms.
4. ENGAGE WITH PEOPLE ON LINKEDIN
LinkedIn is another big platform to promote your business. There are about 64 million business owners registered on LinkedIn and over 60% of LinkedIn members are decision-makers in their business/organisation. Businesses can be built and grown through free connections, referrals and mentorships available on the network.
There are two ways marketing on LinkedIn can be done: passive and proactive LinkedIn marketing techniques. The passive technique is simply creating a LinkedIn profile, increasing your connection base and regularly updating your account. These simple acts can pique the interest of potential customers, partners, investors and brand influencers. You can even get recommendations from some of your highly-placed connections.
On the other hand, the proactive approach means actively taking advantage of marketing strategies to promote your business. You can regularly post content that will likely attract your desired clients/customers and talk about the goals your business is trying to achieve at the moment. Additionally, try to post what you think would get customers talking.
Another great way to leverage Linkedin is to join groups that fit your niche and be an active participant in the group discussions. Share your ideas with others and ask for their opinions. Send invites and messages regarding your business to your connections and group members.
5. START A BLOG/GUEST BLOG ON OTHER’S SITES
While you may be aware of what blogging/guest blogging is all about, let us tell you what it’s not.
Blogging/guest blogging should not be seen as a shortcut to expanding your business, neither is it a quick route to ranking number one on search engines. It requires a lot of patience and dedication. It even takes more energy than social media promotion. However, the rewards make up for it.
According to HubSpot, guest blogging is the number one way of increasing your bottom line as a business owner. However, we must point out that all guest posts do not give the same results. Hence why guest blogging must be done in the right manner, so as to get the desired benefits.
For your blogging/guest blogging to be effective, the marketing content you develop must be excellent. Do not put up bland content, as no one will want to return to a blog that does not give them the information they desire, in a juicy way. Additionally, regular guest blogging will help build a reputation and loyal audience as well as help you build an email subscription. This will generate more traffic and reach a wider audience.
No doubt, if blogging/guest blogging is done strategically, patiently and consistently, there is no telling the benefits that come with it.
6. GOOGLE MY PLACES LISTINGS
Google My Business is a great way of marketing your business for free. Listing your business on Google My Business will make it appear on Google Maps and Local Finder. Thankfully, Google continues to improve its listing services. It is becoming easier and faster with each update and businesses can increase their visibility and, ultimately, their profitability through this platform.
What’s more, being listed on Google My Business is as simple as filling out a form. Once you have successfully completed the process, your business information will be made public for potential customers to see. However, please note that there is a “suggest an edit” option, which anybody can click on and make unsolicited changes to your business profile. So it is advised that you regularly log into your account and look out for any unauthorized changes.
Also, put up posts on your Google My Business page as often as possible. This is because posts are visible for only seven days. So it’s important the page is not empty at any point in time. The choice of what to post is not restricted, so post anything you think will attract attention and make your business stand out.
Networking is considered to be the most effective and cheapest form of marketing. If you build your network well, you will succeed in developing partnerships and alliances with other businesses that will market your products and services to their customers. However, all networks do not yield the same results. The more you can bring the table, the better your chances of working with big names in your business line, thereby increasing your profit margin.
Networking has two approaches: random and smart networking. The random approach is simply meeting with business owners and getting to find out how they can be of help to your business. It does not require prior preparation and consultation. On the other hand, a smart approach entails doing your background study about a business before taking conscious steps to build a network.
Many entrepreneurs fail to reap the benefits of networking because they fail to do their research and adequately prepare for a networking opportunity.
To be successful at networking, you must first of all, choose the appropriate setting. Talking about business should be in a business setting — at an expo, meet up or seminar. Then, whatever your target or goal is, be creative in actualising it.
On a final note, networking is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business and build long-term relationships.
8. ONLINE FREE DIRECTORIES
Business directories are listings of businesses within a particular location, group and niche on the internet. It is one of the avenues through which businesses are discovered on the internet by potential customers.
There are several online directories that you can list your business on. The most common business to business directories are: Yelp, Manta, Bing and others. These directories are totally free and gather an impressive amount of traffic. Listing your business on these sites will increase your online ranking and visibility tremendously.
A business listed on several directories should have a consistent name, address and telephone number, so as not to confuse customers. It should also have a tracking link to know how much traffic the business drives on directories it’s listed on.
Another very important detail to be included in your business directory is the business profile or description. This should clearly show the mission, vision, values and goals of the business.
In conclusion, marketing your business for free is not limited to these eight methods — there are actually tons of them. You just have to be creative and smart in trying out other concepts. While some methods listed above will reap instant benefits, others will require dedication and patience.