You may not have a big wallet to spend on online marketing in the early stages of your startup, but that does not necessarily mean that there aren’t effective ways to build your brand.
Before we had the internet, small businesses only had a few ways to advertise their products cheaply, through methods like printing out fliers, sponsoring little local events or by word of mouth. In today’s world, there are all types of opportunities that we can use just by accessing the worldwide web but.. you just need to know where to look.
Here are 6 ways to promote your small business online that won’t cost you a penny:
1. Utilize The 3 BIG Local Listing Services
Register your business with Google Places. This allows your business to be found more easily on Google searches and it also appears on Google Maps. All you have to do signup online, then get your business verified through their 2 step confirmation process, which can be done through mail. Yahoo! also has a big database of registered businesses called Bing Places. It’s free, and is definitely worth the few minutes it takes to set up. Yahoo Small Business also has a similar service that’s easy to sign up for & guess what… FREE!
2. Harness The Power of Social Media
Social media isn’t just a resource to gain tons of exposure—it has now become a required time investment for every business to make. You can create ads and offers on your Business Facebook page, hold a conteat on Pinterest, host a Google+ Hangout On Air plus so much more which can all be great ways to help your startup.
3. Start A Blog
Not only does an online blog help your business get its brand out through followers, but is a genuine way to connect with your consumers directly. But remember that one of the major factors of blogging is to keep your posts fresh by updating it as frequently as you can. An inactive, abandoned blog is worth nothing.
4. Put Your Multimedia on YouTube and Flickr
YouTube provides a free way to spread the word out by displaying your creative promotional videos online, but in order to succeed you must put up media that users want to view and are relevant to your business—a simple advert will not work. Creating a Flickr profile can also help your business by giving you a place to gather all the photos for your business and also allows you to link back to your site.
5. Optimize Your Website For Search Engines
Search engine optimization will always play the major role in online businesses when it comes to appearing on organic search results. Either your on google or your not! With this being said either hire a SEO agency to assist you in keeping up with the lastest Panda and Penguin algorithms or start taping your keyboard away and search for an online how-to-guide on search engine optimization to make sure your site is primed for performance on search engines.
6. Online Press Releases
Every time your local or online business launches a new product don’t hesitate to shoot off a press release every once in awhile—maybe people will pick up on it or maybe they won’t but its FREE. While some inexperience online marketers like to mention that press release distribution is a deal tool…, I must tell you that its not. It’s actually a powerful online media tool to use & help you generate publicity. There are a hand full of press release websites out there that you can use to spread the word out, such as PRLog and 24/7 Press Release