It can be frustrating when your budget dictates how many people your business can reach.
Surprisingly, there are a lot of free ways to supplement your paid advertising efforts. By incorporating free advertising tactics into your strategy, you can remove some nonessential costs and dedicate your budget to deeper, more longterm plays.
In fact, we suggest some of these methods regardless of your budget.
To help you spread the word about your business without breaking the bank, weâ€™ve compiled 14 ways to get advertising for free.
1. Use Google My Business to optimize for local search.
One of the most powerful free ways to advertise your business is through Google My Business, which enables companies to manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. The tool can bolster your rankings in local search results.
Ranking high in local search shows youâ€™re a legitimate and relevant company: you wouldnâ€™t rank #1 in Google for â€œpizza places near meâ€� if youâ€™d closed down six months ago. Plus, if you rank high in local search, more consumers will choose your business over a competitorâ€™s. In todayâ€™s fast-paced world, convenience is key.
2. Check out Yext
The more places your business is listed online, the better your chances of showing up in search results, and the easier it is for potential customers to find you. To ensure great local SEO, the details of your listings on every website and online directory need to match up.
For instance, if your website lists your companyâ€™s new phone number, but Yelp lists your old one, this inconsistency could hurt your SEO. Yext scans the web to find every place your business is listed, so you can tweak your listings to guarantee accuracy.
3. Write guest posts for other blogs
There are a few major advantages to guest posting for a well-established blog. You can benefit from connecting to that blogâ€™s audience, and you can also start establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Since guest posting on a popular blog allows you access to an established audience and high domain authority, this practice can sometimes be more beneficial than posting to your own blog. Plus, you can link back to your own website from your article, giving you an inbound link that boosts your domain authority and can increase your own website’s ranking in search engines.
4. Answer Quora questions.
Writing content for Quora can expose your business to a large audience: TechCrunch reported that some of Quoraâ€™s active contributors receive more than 30,000 monthly views.
Besides the large built-in audience, your business can answer direct questions from prospective customers. This lets you interact with high-quality potential leads and establish yourself as an expert in the subjects that matter most in your industry.
5. Publish content on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an platform to connect with professionals, which is why itâ€™s also a great place to share business-related content. LinkedInâ€™s blogging platform lets you demonstrate your expertise within your industry.
Your connections and other LinkedIn members will engage with your posts and share them, doing the free promotion for you. With almost half of all social media traffic coming to B2B company sites from LinkedIn, itâ€™s a missed opportunity if you donâ€™t publish and promote content on LinkedIn.
6. Offer to do interviews on other businessâ€™ podcasts.
To figure out which platforms your team should priortize, itâ€™s important to diversify your promotion platforms to discover where your audience is already consuming content. Some of your audience might prefer listening to podcasts over reading articles. To reach those people, contact a few businesses with podcasts and pitch interview ideas.
7. Promote your website on your email signature.
With all the emails you send every day, itâ€™s a shame if you aren’t taking advantage of the promotional potential of your email signature. Your email signature can also be unexpected property to promote a sale, contest, event, or even a new blog post. Add a link to your business’ website on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles, as well.
8. Send email newsletters.
An email newsletter can be a useful vehicle to promote content, share business-related news, and build deeper relationships with both potential and existing customers. There are plenty of free tools out there that assist you in designing, sending, and optimizing your newsletter.
With the right time investment, an email newsletter can be the perfect place to share quality content with leads and potential consumers, establishing your brand as helpful and informative.
9. Network at in-person events.
Connecting with fellow professionals at industry networking events is a great opportunity to meet potential consumers in a place where they are eager to discuss your business. The niche topics of networking events ensures youâ€™re meeting high-qualified leads. For example, a â€œBest Technology Startups of 2018â€� event will primarily be filled with participants who are interested in technology and startups.
Particularly for small businesses looking to make their first connections, networking is a chance to get your name out there, meet potential partners, and find opportunities for growth. Plus, itâ€™ll keep you up-to-date on trends in your industry.
10. Speak at an event.
Similar to networking, speaking at an event about a topic related to your industry is another way to exhibit your expertise. Giving a thought-provoking and powerful speech will draw attention to you and, by association, your business, which can increase brand awareness and prove your business is qualified to tackle consumerâ€™s challenges.
To start, brainstorm different topics and volunteer at various upcoming networking events and trade association conventions. If youâ€™re afraid of public speaking (donâ€™t worry, a lot of us are), you could enroll in a local Toastmasters chapter to improve your game.
11. Do a free product giveaway or contest
A product giveaway or contest is an easy way to incentivize new viewers to check out and subscribe to your social media channels or website. Plus, handing out inexpensive branded products like t-shirts or mugs is a good way to spread your brand name. Word of mouth is alive and well — and a little swag can go a long way.
12. Put up brochures or flyers.
Putting up brochures or flyers in local libraries, coffee shops, and businesses is a unique way to market to offline locations where people spend a good deal of their time.
You can create free brochures and flyers on PowerPoint. Depending on your industry, it might even help you reach an ideal clientele: if youâ€™re a physical therapist, for example, perhaps you could hand out brochures to local gyms or nearby hospitals.
13. Create YouTube videos.
Creating engaging and informative YouTube videos is one of the most efficient ways to sell your brand. If done right, your YouTube videos will entertain viewers enough to seek out your website.
14. Take advantage of your partnerships.
Partnerships are an opportunity to offer supplementary services that you don’t provide. For example, a web design company and a copywriting agency might choose to partner together, so when a client requires written content for her web pages, the web design company can offer copywriting services from their partner.
This increases consumer satisfaction, and it also provides exceptional advertising opportunities. When your partnerâ€™s consumers need your services, your partner will point them in your direction.
15. Post on social media.
Nowadays, social media is crucial to most marketing strategies. Luckily, most types of social media platforms and posts are free — even to businesses. While many platforms will let you advertise, you can still post or tweet for no cost if you’re on a budget.
Pick the platforms that best suit your audience. Then, post links, photos, videos, or text posts about your company, product launches, or any other occurrence that you’d like to promote. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a suitable place to start for most businesses. They all offer a way to share video, text, photo, and link-based posts and have large user bases. To learn more about other forms of social media, check out this post.
16. Experiment with photo and video platforms.
While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn could be great platforms to start on, expanding to platforms like Instagram or Pinterest will give you more opportunities to show product shots or embrace the heavily-visual strategy of influencer marketing.
Aside from spreading awareness with free images of your product or service, most social platforms, including Facebook, offer live video and story features which can allow you to create video promotion related to your products. For example, you might use Instagram Stories or Facebook Live as an outlet to publish tutorials of how to use your products.
Because these videos and photos are on social, you can also boost their shareability by hashtagging them, creating interesting captions, and encouraging fans to react with actions like “likes” or comments.
17. Encourage happy customers to give online reviews.
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to market your product. Consumers trust the opinions of other consumers, especially when there are many great testimonies.
If you have happy customers, encourage them to write a review about their experience on popular review platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. If you want great reviews on Facebook, be sure to create a Facebook Business page if you don’t have one already.
As mentioned above, you can create a free page on Google My Business which can help you rank higher or first in search results. Here’s how it works.
Create Your Google My Business Account
First, you’ll want to create a GMail account for your business. Then you’ll want to register for Google My Business with that account.
Google will first ask you to enter the name of your business. Then, you’ll be asked to select a “Delivery Area.” In this form, note the mileage and area where your target audience lives.
Optimizing Your Business Page
After your setup process is complete, you’ll be able to fill out your profile. As you do this, you ideally want to fill out all the information Google requests for the best search optimization. A few key things you’ll want to include will be:
- Your address
- A phone number, email address, and other contact information.
- Your website
- Hours of operation
- Photos of your business and products
- A detailed description on what your business offers
- Pricing or menu information
- The year your company opened
- Other business attributes such as “free Wi-Fi.”
The above items are things locals might search specifically for. For example, if someone searches for a “cheap Mexican restaurant open after 8 p.m.”, Google will examine your business profile’s details and prioritize your restaurant if it seems like a great match.
Here’s an example of what it looks like when a Google business fills out all their information:
Verify and Monitor Your Business Page
Once you’ve created your Google My Business profile, be sure to verify your listing so Google knows it’s a real, legitimate business. There are a few ways to do this including email, postcard, and phone verification.
You can also download the GMB app to monitor how your business is doing on a smartphone. This post walks you through the different verification processes.
Don’t Forget About SEO
Along with Google My Business, taking advantage of free SEO strategies can also help your website rise higher in search results. These tactics can be simple and easy to work into blogging, web design, or other processes. Here’s a template that can help you plan your SEO strategy this year.
As they become the dominant adults in society, millennials are interacting with nonprofits and causes totally differently than their predecessors.
Golf, chain restaurants, American cheese, and in-person conversations—that’s just the super short list of things millennials have been accused of ruining. Now there’s another entire sector to add to that list: traditional philanthropy. A decade of research now shows that this generation—which now represents the largest group of adults—wants to help humanity and save the planet in ways that are far different from those inspired during the age of dial-up internet or rotary landlines. Given how many problems humanity has been unable to solve, that might be a very good thing.
If you’re looking to advance in your career, thinking about the way you communicate is a good place to start. After all, it’s a skill that’s always in demand and goes a long way toward shaping others’ perceptions of you.
But a handful of irritating—and common—words and phrases can undermine your hard work. “Words are powerful things, and some words and phrases can really have a negative kind of energy,” says communication coach Alan Samuel Cohen, author of The Connection Challenge: How Executives Create Power and Possibility in the Age of Distraction. At best, such phrases are distracting. In the worst-case scenario, they can actually trigger a strong negative reaction in your counterpart, either to the conversation or to you.
While it’s impossible to police every word you say—and people are going to hear what they’re going to hear, Cohen says—there are better options to consider.
Whenever you use the word “but” as a conjunction, the first part of your sentence immediately becomes qualified by the second part. Saying “I love you, but . . .” or “That’s a great idea, but . . . ” calls the first phrase into question, says leadership and career coach Jennifer McKay, founder of Mckay Coaching and Consulting. “In the second half of the sentence we’ve already moved on to something contrary,” she says.
Say it better: Simply stop after the statement. If you must add a conjunction and second phrase, use “and.” For example, “That’s a great idea, and we can look at it more closely.”
“This might be stupid/silly”
When you use self-deprecating language before you put forth your ideas, you’re immediately diluting others’ confidence in you and giving them permission to dismiss you, says Ellie Eckhoff, senior vice president at ClearRock, a leadership-development and executive-coaching firm.
“Some people might start with, ‘This might not be a good idea, maybe we’ve already done this, this might not work,’” she says. “So, starting the conversation with minimizing what they’re going to offer.”
Say it better: Simply state your idea without qualifying it. You’ll be more valued for your contributions.
If you have to qualify your statement with “respectfully” or “with all due respect,” what follows isn’t likely to be respectful and often won’t be productive, says Toni Harrison, CEO and founder of Etched Communication, a public-relations and communications firm. And even if what you’re going to say is respectful, you’ve introduced the concept that it isn’t. “Why would I think you’re about to say something to disrespect me in a conversation?” she says.
Cohen agrees and says the same goes for the word “honestly.”
Say it better: If you’re reacting out of anger, take a moment to collect your thoughts to respond appropriately. You can argue your point without a disingenuous lead-in. Otherwise, drop the reference to “respect” entirely and just say what you have to say.
“I’m so busy”
When you respond to “How are you?” with “I’m so busy,” you may make people reluctant to continue the conversation because they may think they’re taking up time you don’t have, McKay says. Or others may feel that you are positioning yourself as more important than they are. “‘Busy’ has become a way of life for many people, and some of my clients have expressed frustration when colleagues go on about the demands on their time,” she says.
Say it better: If you’re strapped for time in the moment, say so. For example, “I’d love to chat, but I have a meeting in five minutes. Could we catch up at 2 p.m.?” If you are overwhelmed, you may wish to confide in a trusted friend or colleague to help find solutions. But it’s rarely a good idea to just respond with a general “I’m busy,” as there’s little anyone can do about that except you.
When people work together to complete projects or tasks, it’s essential to know who is working on what, McKay says. “When someone says they will try to complete something, it leaves the requester with doubts about the person’s commitment level to the task and whether the need will ultimately be met,” she says.
In other instances, if you ask someone to “try,” you may seem as if you’re calling their capabilities into question, she says. For example, “Try to understand” sounds like the speaker doesn’t believe the receiver is capable of understanding.
Say it better: If you’re not convinced you can complete a task, give specifics about the challenges or concerns. That can help you get the clarity, assistance, or resources you need. When you’re addressing someone else and asking them to try, ask a question instead.” For example, “Do you have questions?” is better than “Try to understand.”
Advertisers spent more on its search and YouTube services
New AI study led by Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences uses deep reinforcement learning algorithm for ICU pain management to help combat the opioid crisis.
Are clients bringing you down? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Diane Hessan, the founder and chair of the marketing technology agency C Space. They talk through what to do when you have a difficult client, your coworkers are hampering your ability to serve clientele, or you want to win more business to advance your career.
Today, one of the most common questions industry professionals ask themselves (or get asked) is how they plan to build themselves into a “brand.”
10 years ago, this question didn’t even exist.
In fact, 10 years ago, in 2009, v…
When you’re on the job hunt, be prepared when a prospective employer asks you to record a one-way video. While a phone interview has traditionally been the first step in the hiring process, more businesses—from Fortune 500 companies to tech startups to talent agencies—are short-listing candidates via a one-way video screen. “This is rapidly becoming the new standard,” says Kurt Heikkinen, CEO of Montage/Shaker International, a recruiting technology solution.
The trend makes sense from the recruitment side, especially for high-tech and communications positions, where digital fluency is a must. A request for a one-way video interview—where you record yourself answering a set of questions—will typically be sent to you after HR has reviewed your written materials and is interested to learn more. It saves time and costs for HR staff, who do not have to schedule individual appointments with a high volume of applicants.
On the candidate side, a one-way video screen allows you flexibility on when and where you conduct the interview, especially if you are currently employed and can’t schedule a phone call or a two-way video interview during the workday. But for some candidates, being asked to submit a one-way video can feel impersonal, or even awkward. These tips will help you get it right:
Maintain eye contact and smile
HR staff want to see the same qualities from you as they would in a phone interview or face-to-face conversation, like charisma and professionalism. “Pretend you can see the person on the other side talking to you, and make the same amount of eye contact as you would when talking to someone you can see,” says business coach Stacy Caprio.
If you are not used to being in front of a camera, conveying authenticity can be a huge challenge, says body language expert and interview coach Patti Wood. Typically, when people communicate, they naturally adapt to each other to gain rapport, a process Wood describes as “matching and mirroring.” Wood says that learning how to match and mirror the actual recording software—for example, adapting to different image resolutions, time delays, and volume—is key to getting comfortable on camera. She suggests recording yourself with several different types of video interview software available online in preparation. Wood also recommends lifting your mood by playing upbeat music as you rehearse. Review your recording to see your own posture, body language, and level of eye contact.
Practice, but don’t sound rehearsed
Understand the parameters of the interview before it begins. “I would ask the employer, ‘How will this be used?’ and ‘What is the benefit to me of being able to participate?’” says Heikkinen, who believes that employers who care about their brand and recruitment experience will be transparent about their process. Some companies may send you a list of questions, while others may send you a prerecorded video of an HR representative asking you questions. Some one-way video screens may allow you to erase and record your answers, while others will allow you to answer a few practice questions before recording your answers, which cannot be edited.
“A common mistake I have seen with candidates is how they try to be ‘right’ in their responses by reading their pre-written notes,” says Chris Chancey, founder of the staffing company Amplio Recruiting. “Candidates who have made an impression on me were confident in the way they answered their questions. You could see they had thought about their responses in detail but did not limit themselves to a script.”
Set the stage
Prepare for your one-way video screen as you would for a regular job interview. If you are recording the video from home, it might be tempting for you to speak casually from your bedroom. But Stefan Midford, president and CEO of retail job-matching platform Capango, says that due to the volume of candidates recruiters are reviewing, they will “often make snap judgments in seconds.” Midford advises that you make a professional first impression by making sure “everything visible in the frame looks tidy, the environment is quiet,” and that you are dressed professionally. If you are a strong candidate, recruiters will often watch your video interview multiple times.
Push back when needed
Vet your prospective employers carefully, and only submit one-way video interviews for the opportunities that are right for you. “It’s important for the firm to get a good sense of the candidate but also for the candidate to get a sense of the firm,” says Christina Warner, a healthcare marketer at a top Fortune 500 company. Warner says that during her MBA program, she had about five one-way video interviews. “I found myself feeling warmer towards firms that had a phone call, or a two-way video call for the screening,” she says.
One-way video interviews also come with drawbacks for candidates, says Keirsten Greggs, founder of TRAP Recruiter. “There is no opportunity for follow-up questions, and there’s no way to really gauge via body language how you’re doing and if any adjustments need to be made,” she says.
Michael Tuso, director of revenue performance and a hiring lead at Chili Piper, says that because the tech firm is fully remote, he extensively uses video interviews. From the hundreds of video screens he has requested, a few candidates asked for a phone interview instead. “It’s not a deal breaker for us,” he says.