There are a plethora of options when it comes to online advertising, but if you can get the milk for free, leave the cow in the pasture, folks. Free online business promotion is not only possible, but easy to do. Check out some of our favorite online business promotion ideas to tap into today.
Let’s start with social media, the simplest online advertising avenue. You likely have one or two business accounts up and running. The most popular business accounts are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but make sure to consider using other sites, like Pinterest or WikiHow. They aren’t always the most obvious, but these sites are another way to get you in front of an interested audience.
Start a business account by linking your URL to easily create pins directly from your site, gain insights about what your audience is looking for, and see who’s saving content from your website. Pinterest has arguably created a search engine as savvy as Google, so you want your products, services, and original content to have a home here. If you regularly upload pins from your website, you could begin to pull traffic from a whole new source. Keep in mind, Pinterest is another image-heavy platform so be sure you’re uploading visually enticing pics to accompany your pins. Note that the photo doesn’t have to be pulled from your website, so you can use trendy stock photos to pump up the cool factor.
“Learn how to do anything with WikiHow” is how the platform describes its purpose. Essentially, users jump on the site to pose questions to the community or create original content, mostly of the ‘how to’ nature. However, the website can be very strict about posting URLs, and in fact tags most outside links with a ‘do not follow’ ordinance. This means that even if content with your website linked was published, the link would essentially be dead. However, the site is still useful as far as online advertising.
Creating original articles on wikiHow and then cross-promoting them on other social media platforms helps identify you as a thought leader in your industry. The higher your content rates, the better your credibility. And, of course, all of this is free.
Online directories are a huge benefit to small businesses. Consumers routinely visit these sites to search for credible companies with great reviews to do business with so let’s be sure you’ve posted yourself up on a few of the most relevant! Here’s a quick list of sites to check out:
Another benefit of signing up for these sites is that smaller directories pull data from the most popular sites, which means you’ll likely show up on pages that you didn’t even sign up for—and that’s great! Your online presence will be able to grow without much effort, and will improve your visibility to the online community.
All of these directories offer free services, but also have advanced options that require some cash on your end. Our tip? Try the free stuff first and if you like your results, consider paying for an upgraded version.
SEO is massive as far as driving organic (and free) traffic to your website, and blogs are a savvy way to regularly incorporate SEO practices beyond your static web content. Search for relevant keywords, long tail search terms, and negative keywords based on your industry, and seamlessly incorporate them into your blog content.
Free keyword planning tools to check out:
Remember that the first objective of having a blog is to provide quality and useful content to your readers. Do not shove keywords places they don’t make sense, as this actually works against you when search engines crawl your site. Also, no one wants to land on your blog post thinking they’re getting relevant info when in actuality your post has nothing to do with the keyword they searched for. Tsk tsk.
For some reason, the idea of pitching your business happenings to the local press feels intimidating. Here’s the skinny—local blog writers, magazines, newspapers, online publications etc. are always on the hunt for fresh content. Write your own press release and shoot it off to these local newsmakers every so often and it just might get picked up. Free press anyone? Yes, please!
This goes double for any events you host. Send personal invitations to various outlets offering free entry to members of the press who will, in turn, cover the event. It costs you nothing, aside from a maybe a free meal or two, and you’ll receive great coverage.
Another tip: check out the bylines for your favorite local blogs and send personal invitations to events directly to these folks. You’re more likely to get their attention if they don’t feel as though they’re a part of a mass email list.
Also, consider reaching out to local morning shows and request a time slot to provide an overview of your business or even a demonstration. These shows typically will not commit to having you as their guest far in advance in case some other newsworthy story pops up so when you make the call, you should be completely prepared and camera-ready.
Implementing a few of these simple and free online advertising tips are sure to pay off, especially if you regularly review and revise your strategy.