The Online World is Teaming With Free Promotion Tools
You’re running a small-business and you keep getting hit with unexpected expenses. Fees here, repairs there, and you don’t need one more reason to pull out your credit card. So you, the all-in-one creative director, marketing expert, service provider, and accountant, change into money-management mode.
You know you need to promote your business because that is how you engage with existing clients and tell potential clients that you exist. You also know that there are ways to do this without stepping into paid advertising.
I’m here to share with you, 6 free approaches to promoting your website. From one developing business to another, these are the tools we find are the best ways to reach your desired audience.
1. Use Local Listing Services
Online directories are free tools that will allow you to claim your business listing. Say that I am looking for a place to have lunch, and I am unfamiliar with the local businesses. The first thing I might do is a web search to see which food options are nearby. I have the option to use Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, Ask.com, and the list goes on. If you only claim your Google listing, you are missing out on customers who use a different search engine.
What if I decide not to do a random web search, and I want to look for a place to eat based on customer reviews. Let’s face it, most people feel more comfortable choosing a place of business when they have seen that others have had a positive experience with that establishment. I might do a search through Yelp or TripAdvisor to find places near me that have good reviews. Odds are that your business listing already exists on these platforms, and you just need to claim it. Not only can you see what people think of their experience with you, you can respond to customer reviews and questions.
You can read about more local listing services, and access the links to their pages, in our blog: 3 Ways to Boost Lead Generation For Your Small-Business. Feel free to take a look!
2. Contribute To an Online Community
There are plenty of online communities that host a space where participants can talk about shared interests or concerns and ask questions. Quora, WikiHow, WikiAnswers, and Yahoo Answers are great examples of free online communities.
Quora, WikiAnswers, and Yahoo Answers are platforms where people can ask questions, give answers, and simply interact for the purpose of exchanging information and sharing knowledge. WikiHow is more of a platform where you can submit informational articles that explain how to do something.
You don’t want to use these platforms to just advertise your business. Writing about topics and answering questions is meant to establish your business as an expert in the subject and build your credibility. When people see your business name on these sites and see that you are providing useful information, it really boosts your image in the public eye. This is what eventually drives traffic to your website.
To do this well, stick to answering questions your business is particularly knowledgeable about. If you want, you can leave a link to your webpage underneath your signature when you post an answer to a question, but remember, it’s more about building your name as an authority in your field.
3. Hop On the Social Media Bandwagon
You may be opposed to the idea of using social media for yourself, but for your business it’s a big deal! Statistics say that, as of 2019, 79% of U.S. Americans have a social media profile. Given that there are so many, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, it’s no wonder that people are using at least one.
Unlike search engines and directory listings, you don’t have to build a page on as many of these networks as possible. You’ll need to do some research to learn where your audience spends their social media time. Then, you can focus on just those platforms and build an engaging page for your business.
It’s important that you interact with your followers no matter which site you choose. They enjoy what you have to say which is why they followed your page. Interacting with their comments shows that you care about what they have to say too!
4. Blog With a Purpose
Blogging, like participating in online Q&A posts and forums, is a great way to showcase what you know. It allows you to tell your customers that you understand a certain struggle and you’re willing to share your advice.
Not only does blogging provide customers with quality information, it affords you the opportunity to incorporate some clever Search Engine Optimization. By writing content in paragraph form, you have the chance to include short-tail and long-tail keywords that help boost your website’s overall search rankings.
5. Learn How To Use SEO
Yes, we talk about this one a lot, but it is SO needed for modern search engines. You might think, okay it’s useful, but how does this promote my business if it’s basically a behind-the-scenes strategy?
Our answer is that advertising directly to customers is only half the battle. You now need to market yourself to the bots that run the internet. They run through your website’s content and determine whether or not it is relevant enough to appear in front of web searchers.
In this digital age, it is more important than ever to keep abreast of technical developments so your small-business doesn’t fall behind. We’ve written about SEO in more detail so, if you like, take a look at our recommendations for Your Small Business SEO checklist or at some Common SEO Mistakes.
6. Get Exposure Through Local Press Releases
There is always someone on the hunt for a fresh story, and you may have the answer. Did you know you can write to your local newspaper or magazine and get published? It’s not guaranteed, but if your story is attention-grabbing, it is possible! Just make sure to reach out to newspapers in your city or county so you can reach people who can realistically consider doing business with you.
If you get published, keep in touch with your press contact! Maintaining your relationship will increase your chances of getting published again in the future. Plus, it’s always good to build positive professional relationships.
The Options Are Endless
The options are endless, but if it’s free, our vote is YES. You don’t have to create a new expense for yourself just to promote your business, especially not when there are so many viable and effective options at no-cost. You can expand your reach and keep your wallet in your pocket.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments because, as always, we are here to help!