So you’ve put in the long hours necessary to finally open your new business, but all you’re hearing are crickets. This is probably because no one knows you exist. Although starting a business is wonderful you won’t get very far without advertising. But advertising is expensive, you say. Although advertising can be expensive, there are ways for you to get the word out about your business and spend little to no money.
Use Social Media
One of the easiest ways to let people know your business is alive and kicking is through social media. And the best part of all is that it’s free. If your business doesn’t have a social media presence create one. In your profile, give people more than one way to get in contact with your company and provide a mission statement. TikTok, the latest trend: You can create videos on how a plastic bottle is recycled, and now you use this service to reach wider audiences with a price as low as 5$!
And you don’t just want to be a lurker. You want to actively engage with other users through your business profile on topics that are relevant or important to your business. For example, if you have a recycling business make sure you get in on discussions about the environment. Some social media sites you might consider are:
- Facebook. Setting up a business account is free
- Instagram. Great for displaying photos of products
- Twitter. It costs nothing to tweet about your company
Usenet is a communications platform that you may never have heard of, but it’s been around for decades. Similar to the web, Usenet allows you to post in discussion groups, forums, and online bulletin boards. Become a part of the community. This presents another opportunity for you to promote your company. Take care to post in newsgroups that are relevant to your company’s mission.
You can only access the network through a Usenet service provider. But it cost nothing to post in newsgroups as often as you’d like. Usenet may also be a space that your competition has failed to capitalize on.
Create a Website
No company operating in the twenty-first century should be without a website. Having a website that gives your company its own online presence is important to your company’s success, and it’s also a way to market the business. Even more so than your social media profile, your website will give people insight into what your company is all about.
Many small businesses fail to realize they need a website. But a website does more that than just let people know what you do. It also establishes a level of credibility. Even if you’re a small operation a website says you’re at least serious about what you do. And if you don’t feel qualified to build your own site, you can always hire a professional.
Word-of-mouth marketing might be a little more difficult to come by, but it’s absolutely free. WOMM is when your product or service is so good that it gets other people talking. In fact, WOMM is arguably the best marketing there is because it lets potential customers know that you’re doing something right.
Keep in mind that WOMM doesn’t have to mean that the ad literally is coming from someone’s spoken words. Today, a lot of WOMM comes from social media with customers sharing experiences they’ve had with businesses. This is why online review companies like Yelp have been so popular. Good products, good services, and good customer support lead to positive WOMM.
Get Involved with the Community
Another way to get the word out about your business is through community engagement. Maybe you’re able to donate a product or a service for a local charity’s auction. Maybe you or an employee is able to volunteer time at a local soup kitchen or youth center. You might be surprised by the positive word-of-mouth marketing this could generate. Community involvement can also increase company morale.
Every business needs to advertise if it wants to be successful, but advertising can often be expensive. Still, there are ways to get the word out about your business without breaking the bank. Free marketing through social media, word-of-mouth, and community engagement are great ways to announce your company on a shoestring budget. Not every company can spend millions on ads, but every company can advertise strategically.