3 Free Ways to Market Your Startup

3 Free Marketing Hacks for Small Businesses

Getting a small business up off the ground and on a path to growth doesn’t always leave a lot of funds leftover for pricey marketing agencies or a full-time staffer devoted to promotion.

The good news is there are ways to shine a spotlight on your business without spending a cent.

Here are three places to start.

1.     Directories 

Let’s start with the easiest way to get your name out to a large group of users: Find a list of directories or review platforms and begin adding your business to each one.

Some of the most popular are…

·       Google My Business

·       Bing Places

·       Yelp

·       Yahoo Local Works

·       Yellow Pages

The goal here is to make yourself easy to find in the places people most commonly look.

Claiming your ‘Google My Business’ listing, for example, will help you show up when people search for your product or service—particularly useful when you appear in the “maps” section for a local searcher. 

Adding yourself to directories also adds legitimacy to your business. People can see your name, phone number, and address on multiple directories they trust, establishing you in their minds as more than just some website. 

Finally, being part of a number of good directories will actually help you rank when a search engine trawls your site. The directories provide links that are valuable, but also confirm elements such as your name, address, and telephone number. This helps search engines—like, say, Google—understand who you are, where you are located, and what you do. 

2.     Social media

Yes, every list of free marketing ideas includes social media.

But there is more to getting social media right than simply posting regularly and praying for engagement.

First, create an account for your company on all major social networks. (Better you than a competitor!)

Next, add all the important information your customers will need to each social profile. Think of these profiles as surrogate websites. This is important because your customers are not always looking for you via a search engine. Many younger people search for a company on Facebook or Twitter as their first point of contact. This makes you easier to find while simultaneously increasing your overall web presence. Which, of course, further boosts your SEO.

Finally, look at the demographic of the user base on each social media platform for which you sign up. Then choose the one that most closely aligns with your customer base. Once you have identified this social platform, post to it twice a week. Make one of your posts helpful—offering info or insight your customers are likely interested in, for example, perhaps based on the most common questions your customers ask you. Your second weekly post should be more commercial. It can be a discount or other offer or news about your business. 

Though a very basic social strategy, this will help you build a following without investing time you do not have or posting all the time across many accounts. 

3.     Reach out to local media

This final piece of advice takes a bit more work, but it has a big payoff.

Most places in the United States have local media outlets staffed by overworked, under-resourced journalists…which means they are always happy when someone makes their job easier.

And as a business owner, you can help these journalists by offering your expertise. 

A contractor might, for example, talk about rising lumber prices or lack of affordable housing. A locksmith could talk about home security if crime is rising. An engineer could talk about aging infrastructure. 

The journalist gets a quote—and maybe even a whole story—and you get your name in front of your local community. 

An edge for your business

Need a bit of a funding assist to get the working capital necessary to evolve your marketing game? A small business loan or business line of credit can help make your vision for tomorrow a reality today. Idea Financial, for example, offers up to $250,000 in working capital with a quick, hassle-free application and same day approval.

If you’ liked this article you might also like our tips on how to help you digital sales process. You can also continue exploring our ever-expanding library of articles on small business hacks, tips, and optimization stop by our Business Resource Center main page.

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