Best Free Advertising Methods for Small Businesses

Although marketing experts recommend owners to spend from 2 to 5 percent of their gross sales on advertising, if you are still growing your business, you probably can’t afford investing that much, or you would rather focus on other areas. Television ads, radio ads, and Internet campaigns are often expensive and require a sizable investment. Nevertheless, there are many free advertising methods you can use to reach potential customers and to convince them to buy your product by making your business more renowned. Consider the following ideas:

1. Start a Web presence. Use the power of the internet to draw attention to your business by creating a free web page or blog. A web page can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of consumers, and it is a great free advertising space. You can use a free website builder such as Wix, weebly, BuildYourSite, Google Sites, Jimdo, AngelFire, Squidoo, Windows Live Spaces and Webs.

2. Use social media networks. Setting up a Twitter account, Facebook page or LinkedIn account is free and it allows you to interact with other businesses, customers and potential customers. Use your company’s logo as an avatar or profile picture and start add your friends, family and acquaintances by email address. Promote your business and activity in your tweets and posts, but make sure you keep it fun so you engage users.

3. Submit your site everywhere. A great free advertising method for your small business is to submit your site to every specialty listing, directory, yellow pages and industry organization you find. Many business and associations allow you to list your services on their site and there are many online directories such as Yahoo! Yellow Pages that will make you visible. Yelp is a website where customers can recommend businesses and add reviews. You can use it to post special offers and information about your business, and if any negative review arises, respond by contacting the Yelp user directly or posting a reply offering to fix the problem.

4. Get the attention off the press. Pitch news ideas to your local television stations, local newspapers, Web news site and radio stations. You can propose them to interview one of your employees as an expert. Another great way to gain media attention is to work for charity. Many newspapers will be thrilled to print special coverage of charity endeavors, especially around the holidays. Dost a small event during which you accept canned food and other donations to give to your local assistance organization or shelters.

5. Host workshops and seminars. Another great free advertising method is to host educational events such as workshops and seminars. If you own a space that can accommodate a few people, host an event that focuses on familiarizing people with your service or product. For example, a craft store can host workshops on crafting techniques and a wine shop can host a wine tasting.

6. Use search engines to increase your visibility. Insert relevant keywords into the HTML < META > tags on your Web site pages and in the text on your homepage in order to increase visibility. Using keywords can place your business name at the top of your customer’s search results.

7. Other ideas. Another free advertising method is to put your URL on everything, from your company‚Äôs letterhead, email signature and business cards to the office door. You can also consider reciprocal links and Yahoo! Classifieds free adds. Don’t forget that excellent customer service is the best free advertising tool.

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