When it comes to finding ways to promote your business online for free, sometimes the simplest things bring the best results. Surprisingly, some of the most effective promotional tools are either free or cost very little money. Just put some time and effort into it and you’ll start seeing results.
Whether you’re starting a new business or trying to cut costs in your current company, learning how to take advantage of free resources is very important.
From using social media to networking to making the most of your website, we’ve put together some great ideas to get the word out about your business.
1. Take advantage of social media
There’s no better way to promote your business online for free than through social media. Social media is a great tool to gain exposure, but it also works very well as a way to connect with customers, improve your customer service and create campaigns about new product launches.
Depending on your business, some channels might work better than others. For example, visual businesses (clothing, design, travel) might do better on Instagram. Facebook, on the other hand, often works better for businesses that require more customer communication.
A great way to get started promoting your business on social media is to look at what your competitors are doing. Think of this as free inspiration. Successful social media channels have figured out what their customers want to see, and you need to do the same.
2. SEO your company website
Search engine optimisation can get the eyes of potential customers to your product or service. If you don’t understand how SEO works, you can find plenty of information online to start learning about it.
Optimising your website requires doing keyword research so you understand what customers are looking for. You can start that by looking at what type of content and material others in the same industry are focusing on and how they engage customers.
Adding a blog to your website is another way to promote your business online for free. But don’t use the blog to talk about your product directly. Instead, write content that is genuinely helpful to your audience to engage and capture their attention.
3. Join online communities and contribute
We’re not suggesting you join Facebook groups, communities or forums to spam them about your business. Instead, you should sign up and truly participate. The people in these communities are potential customers, fans and competitors.
Building a rapport with them will help you understand the industry better. It will also keep you connected to your audience during difficult times. Keep direct promotion to a minimum by adding a link to your signature. Then spend time answering questions and chatting with others.
4. Partner up with other businesses
Why promote on your own when you can combine forces with other businesses? Joining business networks such as the Institute of Directors (IOD) or your local British Chamber of Commerce is a good start, though these usually have fees attached to them.
If you want to try it on your own, look for brands and companies that complement yours (not for competitors). For example, a building company could team up with a designer or a furniture store. Once you build a relationship, you can offer bundle deals, special discounts, and even giveaways.
Some offers on The Motley Fool UK site are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.