One of a company’s largest expenses is usually advertising, even when it’s confined to local venues. Attracting new customers to your local business is difficult to do without shelling out a substantial amount of money for an advertising budget, but it’s not impossible. Before you break out the company checkbook, here are some creative ways to get free advertising for your local business.
Get Social with Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram and all the other social media sites out there are a goldmine of free publicity, just waiting to be plundered. Find out which sites are most popular with your target demographic and set up business pages at no charge. Encourage your customers to look for you there by asking them to “like us on Facebook” et cetera, as a footer on your emails and on all of your printed materials. Social media sites are the quickest way to get word-of-mouth referrals from your customers to all of their friends and acquaintances. And by all means, don’t forget to claim and optimize your Yelp page.
Create an Informative Blog
Blogs are easy to set up, and free of charge on many sites such as WordPress and Blogger. Post helpful, informative tips, ideas, and articles relating to your industry. Encourage followers to write in with their questions and answer them in the blog. Plus share any content on your social media. Search around the internet for other local blog sites and forums where people are asking related questions, answer them, and refer them back to your blog for further information. As you become recognized as a local expert, more customers will trust you with their hard-earned cash.
If you’re really an expert, go one step further and publish articles in trade magazines, e-zines, and other places people might go for information on the subject. Submit guest posts to other local blog sites and be sure to get link-backs for your SEO.
Become a Guest Speaker
Put together a really great presentation on your favorite subject, even if it’s not related to your business. Offer to speak at local events and seminars. If it’s truly an interesting and dynamic presentation, you’ll make lots of great contacts and get your business name listed in the program and marketing materials.
Create a YouTube Channel
When venturing into social media, many professionals forget about YouTube, which is a terrific venue to show off your products and services. By creating your own channel, you can not only post your own videos but also share other creative videos you find interesting or funny. When you then share these other videos on your social media pages, people who view them will end up at your YouTube channel, where they’ll see your business videos as well.
Take Out Free Classifieds
Check out all the free classified advertising available, from local print media to online classified sites such as Craigslist, and post ads for your products or services.
Unfortunately, as the saying goes, there’s “no such thing as a free lunch,” and while all of these suggestions won’t cost you a dime, they will take up a certain amount of your valuable time. Depending on your type of business, your knowledge, and writing skills, some ideas will be more feasible than others. Choose the ones which will provide the best return on your investment, and don’t forget to pay yourself for your time and effort!