Marketing is a vitally important step for new small businesses as well as established small businesses that want to attract more customers. The best part is, you don’t have to bring in a huge marketing company and spend thousands and thousands of dollars to do it. That’s equally important for small, non-profit organizations trying to make a difference on a small budget. Here are five free marketing ideas for your small business or organization:
- Create Your Google Business Profile
- Claim Your Business on Yelp
- Tell Your Network on LinkedIn
- Get Active on Social Media
- Ask for Referrals
But First… Get a Website
Getting a website should be Step 1. This isn’t a free option (unless you have website building skills), but it is vital to your business or organization.
A website is almost like having your business card online – and like a business card, it’s almost expected you’ll have one. But unlike its 2×3.5” paper cousin, a website can include much more information and even do things like collect email leads for you, host your blog/vlog/podcast/etc., and provide your visitors with a calendar of events. A website makes it easier for your customers to find you and learn more about you, and it gives your small business instant credibility. It also acts as the central hub for the free marketing ideas we’ll discuss below – all roads lead to your website!
Some small businesses try to skirt this step by building a Facebook page or some other social media page. Not only does this give you much less control on how you can present yourself, Facebook can lock you out at any time. This isn’t theoretical – we’ve seen many businesses and individuals lose their pages and even all their contacts because Facebook has shut down their page due to a hack or for no apparent reason at all. It’s very difficult to get access back – there isn’t a 1-800 for Facebook or even a chat feature. If you can manage to recover your Facebook page, it can take weeks or months of jumping through their hoops before you’re back up and running.
Don’t get us wrong – a Facebook page can be useful for connecting with customers and clients. Just don’t rely on it as your primary online presence.
5 Great (and Free!) Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business
Without further ado then, the five great and free marketing ideas for your small business:
1. Create Your Google Business Profile
You’ve no doubt seen these pop up during your searches. A Google Business Profile is a great way to increase your visibility. It does take some time to set up, especially during the verification process done via postcard. But it’s well worth the effort. Best of all, your Google Business Profile allows you to add your website too, helping you increase traffic.
Pro Tip: add photos of your business if you have them including feature products or services.
Learn more here:
2. Claim Your Business on Yelp (and Others)
Like Google Business, claiming your Yelp business page will allow you to update things like hours and contact info, send and receive messages, and (perhaps most importantly), respond to reviews. And, like your Google Business Profile, you can add your website URL. Search around the web to see where else your business may be listed, too.
Pro Tip: Respond to all your reviews (good and bad) in a timely manner, but STAY CALM IN THE FACE OF BAD REVIEWS. If you feel like you’re losing your cool, wait a few hours or even overnight until you’re calm again.
Learn more about claiming your Yelp page here:
3. Tell Your Network on LinkedIn
You’ve spent years building your LinkedIn network. Now here’s the time to put that network to work! Let your contacts know about your new or growing business through short LinkedIn Posts or longer LinkedIn Articles.
Pro Tip: use relevant hashtags to expand your reach. For example, “Grand Opening of My New iPhone Store This Week!” #iphone #nameofyourtown #newstoreopening
Learn more about the difference between LinkedIn Articles and Posts here:
4. Get Active on Social Media
Social media is a great way to reach customers, new and old. However, the type of social media you use can depend on many things. Is your business more visual? Instagram may be your best bet. Are you business/tech/information heavy? Maybe Twitter. For general audiences, Facebook is still the largest social media platform by user with over two billion unique users logging in every month. But younger audiences seem to be more into TikTok lately. Just make sure you add your website link, no matter what platform you use.
Pro Tip: Try many different ways to reach customers. Or, if you’re stuck, contact Elite Marketing + Promotions – we can create a social media marketing strategy for you!
5. Ask for Referrals
This is one of the easiest ways to get more business. You can get testimonials for your website, ask them to give a review on your Google Business Page when you have it set up, or straight-up ask your customers and clients to send their friends and colleagues your way.
Pro Tip: Offer an incentive to boost your referrals even more, such as $10 off their next purchase or a free promotional item.
Bring In the Experts
These free marketing ideas don’t have to cost money, but they do cost time. For some, time may be harder to find!
Elite Marketing + Promotions can help. Not only can we help develop a marketing strategy and set up all the free marketing ideas mentioned above, we bring the all-important professional perspective to your business. We can help you:
- Create or strengthen your brand – “Brand” goes beyond your logo to include the look and feel of your store, the design of your website, and even the words you use in your communications. Which brings us to…
- Get your messaging right – We will help you develop content, slogans, and messaging that connect with your audience.
- Plan new campaigns – Just launching? Or do you have a new product or service to announce? Is there something you offer that you think more people should know about? We can help you plan a marketing campaign that meets your budget and will bring in more customers.
…and so much more. Whatever your small business or organization needs to get the word out, we can help.
Elite Marketing + Promotions has helped many people take their businesses or organizations to the next level – including using free marketing ideas – and we can help you too. Contact Elite right now to find out how.