So you’ve recently put together a fantastic product, an amazing service or a great idea. You register yourself as a company, get some friends on board and you’ve got yourself a business. You work hard to manufacture your products and get your systems started and you’re ready for your first official day of business.
Only problem is; you have no customers!
Sure, you might have a couple of people interested in your services but they’re probably friends and family members, or people that you pitched the idea to when you first conceive it. That’s fine to get the ball rolling, but the ultimate goal is to pique the interest of people you’ve never met before. The goal is to get your brand and products out into the wild so that people will pay attention and start giving you money.
Unfortunately, that’s quite expensive.
Let’s face it, marketing isn’t cheap and there’s a reason why big companies such as Apple spend $1.8 billion dollars on marketing each year–and that was back in 2015! Their goals are to create brand awareness (who hasn’t heard of Apple nowadays?), loyalty and an experience that their customers won’t forget. They use a combination of appealing visuals, simplicity and reach to help them achieve their marketing goals.
But what about small businesses? What about everyone else?
For the rest of us, we need to be a lot more frugal when it comes to marketing. We have to make sure that every penny we spend counts towards something and we have to make use of as many “free” advertising channels as we can–and we use that word very lightly! The reality is that nothing is free and marketing works better when you have money to spend. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to get (almost) free advertising from a number of different sources. Consider these trade secrets or small points that you normally wouldn’t think about when it comes to getting your brand out into the open.
1. Make use of question websites
There are lots of websites like Yahoo and Quora that have question pages for people to ask basically anything. It could be questions like “why isn’t my cat eating?” to “how can I optimize my website for search engines”. We don’t suggest that you fabricate the questions (they might catch on to that and delete the question and ban you) but we do suggest giving honest answers to people asking questions that you can help with.
2. Put your logo on the things you own
There are a couple of things that you’ll eventually need to invest in for your business to be successful, so why not slap your logo and branding on it? It could be workwear that your staff uses, it could be the transportation vehicles you use for logistics, or it could even the great big sign outside of your store. You should make good use of anything that is eligible for you to plaster your brand on!
3. Post on your blog
Every business should have some kind of blog. Not only is this a fantastic place to write content for your audience, but you can also advertise the types of products and services that you offer. Of course, it’s usually quite blatant that you’re going to advertise something you sell, but there’s nothing wrong with this if you can provide value and help your audience understand the things you offer and how to use them.
4. Get used to looking at analytics
While not technically a free form of advertising, this is a free way to enhance whatever advertising methods you currently use. Marketing performs a lot better when you understand the type of people that you attract, be it their age, gender, location or even more detailed stats like how much time they spend on your website. Understanding Google Analytics will greatly enhance any existing marketing campaigns that you run–and it’s completely free to use!
5. Create YouTube content
Much like writing on your blog, creating YouTube content is a fantastic way to advertise your brand assuming you can create good videos that provide value to your audience. It usually falls into two categories; entertainment or information. Entertainment means making your audience smile, laugh or be interested in something. Information usually means teaching your audience how to make or do something, often leading to a product or service you have.
6. Get to work on social media platforms
Social media is arguably the king of free advertising. No, we don’t mean influencer posts or marketing with social media adverts. We mean making people laugh, creating funny content, informing your audience and generally increasing your social media following. It doesn’t cost money to make a post and it’s a fantastic way for you to grow your brand without spending much money at all. As long as you’re consistent with the quality of your posts, you’ll have a fairly easy time increasing your following.
7. Establish a good relationship with your audience
Word of mouth marketing is still one of the best free forms of marketing you’re going to get. However, it requires you to be kind to your audience, to understand their needs and to encourage them to share your products. Fortunately, being nice to others is free and it’s a great way to build up a loyal following.
8. Network as much as you can
Networking is essentially just making friends and connections. When it comes to the business world, it’s a great idea to attend public events and trade shows to meet new people, build your connections and ultimately grow your brand’s presence. It doesn’t cost a lot to attend these events as a visitor and it’s not too hard to make an impact as long as you get talking and act friendly to others.
So there you have it; eight distinct and interesting ways for you to get some free advertising. As you’ve probably noticed, these aren’t really “free” per se–just ways to extend your marketing on existing investments. However, there are some platforms like social media that can be considered free advertising once you know how to work up a crowd. We hope that you can make some use of these strategies and we wish you the best of luck on your marketing endeavours!