30 Ways to Boost Your Business Without Spending Any Money
It is essential for your business to have customers in order to survive and grow. Your business needs to be promoted if you want to get customers. There was a time when you had to decide between a flyer, a brochure, a postcard, or a newspaper advertisement.
Nevertheless, the possibilities in today’s digital world are endless.
There is no need to feel alone or out of place if you struggle to figure out the best ways to promote your business.
You can promote your business effectively no matter what your budget is, whether you have no budget at all, a limited budget, or some wiggle room. The following topics will be discussed:
A search engine (e.g., Google Search and Maps).
Channels on social media (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest).
Online directory listings
Events in your local community (sponsorships, sponsorships, and press).
Promoting your business is a must if you want to stand apart from your competitors and out to your customers, so let’s get started with the most popular channel: Google.
How to promote your business on Google
Google is an excellent tool for promoting your business. It captures more than 90% of the market share and is a great way to connect with consumers looking for solutions. You can use Google to promote your business in the following ways:
1. Set up a Google Business Profile and verify it
Having a Google Business Profile (Google’s term for your Google listing) allows your business to appear on Google Maps, the local section of Google Search results, and in the right-hand Knowledge Panel in Search results when someone types in your business name and location. This free listing should be a top priority as Google’s results become more and more tailored to a searcher’s location.
Your Business Profile can be used to promote your business if you verify ownership through your free Google My Business account. You can optimize your listing once you have ownership to appear higher in search results and for more relevant searches.
You’re basically promoting your business 24/7 if you’re ranking on Google Maps or showing up in the Local Pack (as shown above) of regular search results. You can also publish posts directly to your Google listing, putting attractive promotions in front of your audience at a time when they are most likely to be interested.
For a deeper dive into this very free, very effective method of promoting your business, view these 13 Google My Business Optimizations.
2. Get a website
Regardless of how old-fashioned your business or clients may be, a website is a must-have piece of marketing collateral. Customers and prospective customers go to your website for information.
In addition to your Google listing, they will want to visit your website if they find you on social media or Google.
The purpose of a good business website is not only to tell your business’ story and what it offers, to provide contact information, and to reflect your brand’s personality and distinctive features, but to measure and improve the effectiveness of other promotional tactics as well.
If you want to run ads on your website, you need landing pages. You should link to your website when posting helpful information on social media. Having all of your marketing channels flowing into your website gives you the opportunity to analyze your audience’s behavior and figure out which strategies work best.
Even though you can create a free website for your business, if you are serious about promoting your business you’ll almost certainly need a paid website. For growth, it’s essential to have your own domain name, a professional look, and the ability to scale and add features as needed.
3. Implement search engine optimization
The way you promote your business is one thing; the way Google promotes your business is another. The purpose of search engine optimization is to align your business with Google’s ranking algorithm. The algorithm has evolved over time to use machine learning and user behavior in order to produce the most accurate and quality results for searchers; therefore, optimizing for search engines is really just optimizing for searchers.
The goal of SEO is not to improve your ranking with just one tactic, but to improve your rank with many tactics working together. Because Google provides great location-based results, you can rank on the first page of Google just as easily as big retailers – without spending a dime! Of course, there are some costs associated with getting a website.
Your business can be promoted through SEO by implementing the following tactics:
You should add relevant (industry- and location-based) keywords to specific places on your website.
Regularly producing original, high-quality content with tagged images.
Achieving high page loading speeds and maintaining security.
Google basically promotes your business for you when it ranks high in search results. Not just anyone can see what you have to offer, but those who are actually looking for what you have to offer. It doesn’t get much better than that.
4. Create a business blog
It was just touched on in the previous strategy, but content plays such a significant role in SEO that it deserves its own category. Business blogs are not LiveJournals. There is nothing wrong with creating posts about milestones and events, but a profitable business blog produces educational content around the questions and terms your ideal customers are searching for.
Your business will have a greater chance to appear in search engine results pages if you produce content targeting these questions and terms. The following are examples of great blog posts:
Instructional posts and how-tos
The top 10, the 5 best, the 3 most crucial strategies and resources.
Interview or Q&A with an industry expert
Posts that provide thought leadership
Post examples and templates
Posts by guest authors
Case studies or testimonials from customers
Posts that are seasonal (such as this one)
5. Share your content
The best promotional tool for a business is a blog that shows expertise, approachability, and a genuine desire to help. Promote your posts instead of just publishing them! Make them downloadable guides to help you collect leads on social media, via email newsletters, or even via social media. Your blog posts will be noticed by other credible websites if you produce them with shareability in mind, and they will link back to your site, promoting your business for you.
Keeping your content loaded quickly becomes increasingly important the more traffic your site receives. CDNs can ensure your content is delivered quickly to large and/or growing websites. HubSpot, for example, offers a CDN option.
6. Run Google Ads
Although SEO is one of the best marketing strategies, it can take weeks, even months to see results. If you have the budget, Google Ads will get you more immediate exposure. The Google Ads ads appear above organic and local listings on search engine results pages. The most popular search engine is Google, not only because it controls the largest share of search engine traffic, but also for its high level of flexibility, ad building features, and detailed performance metrics.
The time and effort it takes to master Google Ads, as well as plenty of trial and error, is well worth it for an optimized campaign. There are two ways to advertise on Google: text ads on the Search Network or branded banner ads on the Display Network. Follow our step-by-step tutorial on how to run Google Ads if you’re ready to get started.
How to promote your business using online directories
Businesses that meet a consumer’s needs are routinely found and vetted using online directories. You can expect your profile page or business name to appear on the first page of Google through one of these high-traffic, long-standing sites with high domain authority. Created online listings take little time and can help your business be found by nearby, high-intent customers, enhancing your online presence.
7. Create listings on the major directories
Directory sites pull data from larger ones, so if you create listings on the major sites, you’ll most likely also appear on smaller directories automatically. These are the major directories you should start with. Although all of them are free, there are often paid options for advanced features.
The Google search engine (see tactic #1)
Angie’s List, TripAdvisor, etc., are examples of relevant niche directories.
Better Business Bureau
Foursquare (Even though it’s dead as a social platform, its data is used by thousands of platforms.)
8. Optimize your listings
Creating a listing is one thing, but optimizing it is another. By filling out every field in your profiles, adding photos, and collecting reviews, you can make your business more appealing to customers and rank higher on search engines. Ensure that all of your listings match the information on your website. Google may question your trustworthiness if you have inconsistencies. Be sure to monitor your listing and fix any inaccuracies that may arise when listings are auto-populated.
9. Get online customer reviews
Since reviews are so important for small and local businesses, we’ve devoted a section to them.
One of the best ways to promote your business is through word of mouth. There is nothing better than reviews on official platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp than testimonials on your own website.
People trust these websites more than anywhere else because they have measures in place to prevent fake or spam reviews. In addition, local search results are heavily influenced by reviews.
10. Monitor and respond to reviews
It’s possible that your business is still listed on some of these online directories, even if you didn’t list it. Make sure you claim your listings wherever possible, and monitor these sites regularly. By responding to reviews, you can further promote your business. You can not only resolve (and even reverse) negative reviews, but you can also reveal your brand’s values and give potential customers a sense of what it’s like to work with you by responding to reviews (positive and negative).
How to promote your business on social media
Small businesses can also use social media to promote themselves for free. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the most popular business accounts, but consider Pinterest and Reddit if they are specific to your niche.
11. Prioritize Facebook
You can reach out to new customers and keep in touch with existing customers through Facebook, the largest social network online. You can promote your business on Facebook in a variety of ways depending on your industry, but here are some basic guidelines:
Add your contact information and a call to action to your Facebook business page.
Event promotion and attendance can be maximized by using Facebook events.
Provide tutorials and behind-the-scenes peeks through Facebook live sessions.
Facebook ads aren’t to be overlooked!
Facebook advertising allows you to reach highly specific audiences, since you can target according to user profile information such as marital status, occupation, interests, and more.
12. Connect and contribute on LinkedIn
The LinkedIn platform has become much more than just a place to post your online resume; it has become a place to engage in group discussions, connect with potential customers, form new partnerships, or just do general online networking. Before doing business with you, potential customers can research your company and your employees to find out how many employees you have and what their backgrounds are.
Also, you can indirectly promote your business on LinkedIn by participating in group discussions and/or linking to relevant content on your website. It’s fine to promote your own content, but don’t do it all the time.
13. Upload videos to YouTube
With YouTube, you can promote your business for free and get more exposure! You can connect with potential clients or customers by promoting your business on YouTube. By uploading it to YouTube, you can post a video overview of your business on the homepage of your website or send it out as an email attachment to prospective clients.
If you want your business to be discovered by people looking for what you offer, you can also post educational videos, tutorials, or how-tos on your YouTube channel. Videos can also enhance the SEO quality of your blog posts.
It is also worth noting that videos tend to show up in very niche searches, sometimes at the top, as in the following example:
14. Advertise on YouTube
YouTube advertising can pay off if done properly, as with the other paid strategies discussed in this post. Creating video ads that play before videos in relevant categories, or creating text ads that appear in search results, are two ways to advertise on YouTube:
15. Engage your audience on Instagram
Instagram is the third most popular social media platform despite being one of the newer ones. Instagram offers a variety of posting formats (permanent images, short-lived Stories, IGTV series, live sessions, Story Highlights, and more), allowing you to engage your audience and promote your business. Here are some options:
To expand your reach, use hashtags to promote sales and deals.
To generate positive buzz (and obtain leads to contact), run contests with free or discounted products/services.
Stand out as a go-to resource by providing advice and tutorials.
16. Share on Twitter
Twitter is another free channel for promoting your business online, especially if your target audience is 18-24 years old. Building an audience takes a bit more work, but if you’re consistently active, you can master the platform.
Products and services can be promoted in the following ways:
If you’re near a customer, simply invite them to stop by:
17. Give Pinterest a shot
Although Pinterest’s primary focus is sharing photos, the fact that your photos can link to your website creates an opportunity to promote your business.
The female demographic of Pinterest users makes Pinterest an especially powerful tool for ecommerce businesses looking to reach women. Consider getting active on Pinterest if this fits your profile.
18. Try out TikTok
In terms of active users, TikTok has already overtaken Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Creating compelling videos with special effects is easy with this platform-and not just for Zillenials. As with the example below, you may want to promote your new Tik Tok channel across other networks in addition to providing how-to, tutorial, or behind-the-scenes videos on the platform:
19. Join online communities
Giving others a hand up is one of the best ways to get ahead. Get involved in LinkedIn, Reddit, and Facebook groups relevant to your business or industry, and give people good advice and suggestions when they have problems. Please make sure your own profile information links back to your business.
By establishing solid connections with people relevant to your work, you can build a genuine reputation. In general, what goes around comes around. As you assist one person with their query, remember that a thousand silent others will see your name and what you’re doing.
20. Try an influencer marketing collaboration
It is possible to be part of geographically based and niche-focused communities, and influencers are celebrities within your niche. They may not be on the red carpet or hosting their own talk shows, but they are highly respected, wildly popular, and deeply trusted experts in your field. You can reach a massive, relevant audience by getting mentioned or featured by an influencer with a large following on social media and/or blogs.
However, influencer marketing requires a careful approach. Take the time to familiarize yourself with an influencer’s accounts on all social media platforms; comment on, like, and share their content; and be sure to approach them with a specific ask and something of equal value. You could offer them a month of free classes in exchange for a review on their blog and social media mentions. Consider writing a high-quality guest post on their blog that benefits their audience while also providing a backlink to yours.
The following is an example of an automotive influencer (David Patterson) promoting a local auto shop:
The following is an example of an influencer in the home and parenting niche (Leticia Barr) promoting FabFitFun:
21. Invest in social media advertising
Today, social media advertising is one of the most innovative, highly utilized, and profitable forms of digital advertising. More than 3.6 BILLION people use it, and it offers exceptional value for your advertising dollar and ease-of-use. Using paid social to promote your business to a highly targeted audience has these advantages:
Familiarity: Get to know people through their preferred channels.
Cost-effectiveness: Only relevant audiences are shown your ads with advanced targeting.
Supporting content: In addition to your sponsored posts, you should have organic posts as well.
Brand loyalty: Building community and loyalty around your brand is easier when you have more followers on your accounts.
Analytics: Plan your budget accordingly based on what’s working.
How to promote your business in your community
It is critical for local businesses to have a strong connection to their communities. There is no doubt that retailers and restaurants understand this implicitly, and even businesses that are more global in focus still feel a strong connection to the areas where they operate. Let’s talk about a few ways to market your small business locally.
22. Strive to get local press
It might seem intimidating to pitch your business happenings to the local press, but the truth is that local blogs, newspapers, and online publications are always looking for new content.
Get in touch with your local news sources and see if you can contribute an article-whether it’s a thought leadership piece, a resource list, or an update about your business. You might even be able to get someone else to write about your company if your story is compelling enough.
In exchange for a recap, you can also ask a local writer to write about an event you are hosting in your community.
Your stories may even be published in multiple media sources with the help of a public relations firm, partner, or app if you have a little more budget.
If your budget is a little bit lower, you can publish your own press releases through websites such as http://www.prweb.com. Media outlets may pick up on these press releases, and they can also boost your search engine optimization by linking back to your site.
23. Form partnerships
You can promote your business in your local network by partnering with non-competitive businesses that serve the same clients. In addition to email lists, you can use in-store flyers and coupons to cross-promote one another’s services. You can also engage them through social media. Get creative to maximize the partnership’s promotional value.
24. Network network network
You can increase your presence in your community by attending local networking events. Depending on the type of business, this may work better than for others. Local networking is more rewarding if you provide services directly to other small businesses or consumers than if you sell products online, for example. It helps to network with other business owners, even if it is just to share ideas and inspiration.
Your business can thrive with new clients and customers using inexpensive marketing techniques like these, whether it’s online or offline.
25. Attend, host, or sponsor local events
You can promote your business while strengthening your relationship with local customers by attending, hosting, or sponsoring events in your community, especially in an increasingly digital world.
Run a class at your location, offer to teach at a school, library, or other local establishment, or simply hold a seasonal and/or family-friendly event. Utilize your time by having a friend record you teaching, then post the video to your website and YouTube channel.
26. Try out direct mail
Sending postcards, flyers, letters, or other types of mail can still be a very effective way of promoting your business to nearby customers despite the dominance of digital media today. The biggest challenge with this promotion method is that you can’t precisely target your mailings, so you’ll have to send a large volume of mail to get a response. You can get new customers with a very repeatable process by promoting your business through the mail if you get it right.
During the holidays, you can send your loyal customers little gift packages to keep them coming back and (most likely) promoting your business.
27. Advertise locally and offline
Paying for advertising in newspapers, magazines, radio, and even television is another traditional way of promoting your business. Track everything to determine the effectiveness of print ads, or any of these offline marketing strategies, if you intend to promote your business through them.
Other effective ways of promoting your business
In terms of how I grouped these promotional strategies in this post, these three are the last, but definitely not the least.
28. Attend trade shows
Going to a big trade show might be a good idea if you want to sell your products to retailers in a national market. Before investing in your own booth, you might want to consider attending the trade show as a visitor if you’re not sure how beneficial it will be for you. Your business may even be able to “hang out” for a portion of time in the booth of a company already planning to exhibit at a trade show so that you can observe and learn, as well as promote your business for free.
29. Run email marketing campaigns
Despite the fact that email marketing has been around for ages, it has not lost its effectiveness. Approximately 77% of people prefer to receive permission-based promotional messages via email rather than other communication methods. Consumers and businesses alike use email as a communication channel:
It is important for people to stay informed.
Email is constantly checked by people.
Reports are available via email.
For targeted, personalized emails, you can segment your lists.
The average return on investment for email marketing is 30x.
Platforms for email marketing offer flexibility, creativity, and ease of use.
30. Make advocates out of your employees
Your employees will naturally become advocates for your business if you provide them with good leadership and proper treatment. Organize brainstorming sessions, encourage blog contributions, host fireside chats, get them involved in local events, run family and friend promotions — value them and they’ll value your business. By providing them with news and tools, you can easily help them spread the word about your business on social media.
How to advertise your business: The full list
You can promote your business in a variety of ways, regardless of your budget. Your strategy will pay off if you regularly review and revise it, especially if you follow the strategies described in this post.
The following are some ways to advertise and promote your business that we’ve covered in this post:
Make sure your Google Business profile is created and verified
Invest in a website
Start a business blog
Share your content
Run Google Ads
Create listings on the major directories
Optimize your listings
Get online customer reviews
Monitor and respond to reviews
Connect and contribute on LinkedIn
Publish videos to YouTube
Advertise on YouTube
Instagram is a great platform for engaging your audience
Share on Twitter
Give Pinterest a shot
Try out TikTok
Join online communities
Collaborate with an influencer
Advertise on social media
Seek after local press
Network, network, network
Host, attend, or sponsor local events
Send direct mail
Try local offline advertising
Attend trade shows
Send marketing emails
Form employee advocates