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The 30 Best Ways to Promote Your Business—With or Without Money

SEM Geek

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Promoting a business effectively is vital, but it doesn’t necessarily require a massive marketing budget. Plenty of inexpensive tactics can drive brand awareness, attract customers, and help your company stand out from competitors.

This guide explores 30 such methods - including both free and low-cost options spanning online promotion, local outreach, partnerships, events, and more.

Review them with an eye toward what makes the most sense for promoting your particular products, services and target customer base.

Free Online Promotion Tactics​

Gaining visibility and interest online drives many marketing efforts today. Luckily the barriers to entry are low, if not nonexistent, for businesses willing to put in some elbow grease.

1. Optimized Website Content​

Your website provides a 24/7 showcase of your business. Ensure pages emphasize what makes your offering unique while integrating keywords that customers use around your products and services.

2. Blog Regularly​

Blogging helps establish your company as an authority. Publishing long-form articles also enables organic search visibility since Google favors sites with fresh, quality content.

3. Leverage Social Media​

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok each enable ways to connect with current and prospective customers. Tailor content and engagement strategies to each site.

4. Post Videos​

Both YouTube and platforms like Facebook favor video content. Create short videos that educate or entertain relevant audiences.

5. Start a Podcast​

Podcasting represents an underutilized marketing channel. Launch your own or offer to be a guest on other popular shows to share your expertise.

6. Answer Quora Questions​

The Q&A site Quora offers millions of people asking questions daily. Respond thoughtfully to queries related to your industry.

7. Comment on Industry Blogs​

Seek out blogs covering your field and provide value-driven commentary as an informed insider, with links back to relevant pages on your site.

8. Guest Blog Outreach​

Contact blogs read by your target customers and pitch ideas for posts you could contribute as a subject matter expert, with a bio and links leading back to your business.

9. Initiate Influencer Partnerships​

Work with social media influencers to promote your products or services to their engaged followers, in exchange for compensation, free products/services, or both.

10. Claim and Update Listings​

Managing your Google My Business and Apple Maps listings helps customers find your local brick-and-mortar. Expand to sites like Yelp and Foursquare as well.

Low-Cost Online Promotions​

If you have some budget to spend, myriad paid digital options exist to spread brand awareness and drive traffic.

11. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)​

Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising and more allow you to drive visits by purchasing ads associated with relevant keyword searches.

12. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising​

Like SEM, PPC platforms let you show ads to targeted audiences as they browse sites across the web, also with costs per click.

13. Boost Social Media Posts​

All major platforms offer options to “boost” organic posts for further reach. This exposes content to more of your existing audience and fans similar to them.

14. Retargeting/Remarketing Ads​

Tools let you track site visitors via cookies, then show ads specifically to them as they visit other sites across the web.

15. Email Newsletter Sponsorships​

Relevant industry newsletters often sell sponsorships. Purchase ads in issues aligned with your audience.

16. Online Classifieds​

Paid listings in Craigslist and industry-specific classifieds directly reach motivated buyers actively searching for your types of products/services.

17. Online Directories​

Claim and optimize your listings in both general (Yelp, Mapquest) and niche (industry-specific) online directories frequented by prospects.

18. Pay Influencers​

Rather than seeking free promotion, pay influencers to create sponsored content explicitly showcasing your products or services to their audiences.

19. Buy Targeted Website Traffic​

Services allow you to purchase visitors profiled as likely prospects. This demands quality landing pages to offer them value immediately upon arrival.

20. Hire an SEO Expert​

While organic search requires patience, an expert SEO consultant helps ensure you maximize overall discoverability and rankings for critical website pages and content.

Offline and Local Promotions​

Don’t forget opportunities to connect with potential customers away from the digital sphere.

21. Network at Local Events​

Attend conferences, trade shows, chamber meetings and community events aligning with your target market. Come prepared with cards and elevator pitches.

22. Guest Speak, Teach or Lecture​

Contact event organizers related to your field and offer to speak, teach or lecture about your expertise in front of their attendees.

23. Print Discount Codes on Receipts​

Add coupon codes to the bottom of all printed receipts from your establishment. These grab attention and incentivize repeat local patronage.

24. Sponsor a Local Team or Event​

Fundsponsoring a youth sports team, community event or fundraiser provides goodwill while getting your brand in front of potential customers.

25. Co-Promote with Local Businesses​

Partner to cross-promote each other's businesses across websites, email lists, social accounts and physical locations. This taps existing audiences.

26. Distribute Printed Flyers and Menus​

While antiquated, passing out printed flyers in high-foot-traffic public areas still offers local discovery potential from otherwise hard-to-reach nearby prospects.

27. Advertise on Billboards​

Outdoor billboards command attention due to size, visibility and creativity options. They frequently blanket suburbs and commercial areas.

28. Advertise in Local Papers​

Don't overlook local newspapers and circulars typically hungering for advertisers. Small ads with good targeting can yield customers.

29. Promotional Product Giveaways​

Order creative promotional products like shirts, pens or drinkware customized with your branding to hand out at local networking events and community gatherings.

30. Loyalty Programs​

Loyalty programs like dollar-off cards, punch cards or referral rewards encourage repeat local patronage while equipping customers to organically promote you to others.

Conclusion​

Today’s market provides endless possibilities to creatively spread the word regarding your business, many entirely free. Avoid falling into an "out of sight, out of mind" situation simply because advertising feels overly expensive.

Diligently press on multiple fronts across online, social media, local communities, partnerships and events. With some hustle and dedication, you will see your brand awareness, customer base and revenues grow.

What other inexpensive promotions have worked to expand your business reach? Let me know in the comments!
 
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