Free Marketing Ideas To Grow A Small Business
Starting a new business is no easy task and demands a lot of effort and time. To succeed, you must perfect your product offering, choose the proper sales channels, and research your target customers.
However, regardless of how good your products or services are, prospects won’t know about your business unless you market it. Marketing is vital in introducing your brand to the target audience and generating sales for your small business.
This post will take you through the best free marketing ideas to grow your small business in size and reputation. But before that, let’s first look at why marketing is important for your small business.
Let’s get started!
Why is marketing important for small businesses?
Research shows that about 20% of new businesses fail in the first year, with the number rising to approximately 50% after five years and 66% after ten years. And while there are many reasons why new businesses fail, poor or no marketing leads in the list.
Yes, that’s how much marketing is important for the success of a business. A marketing strategy acts as a roadmap to your small business. It helps you pinpoint where you start and where you want to end up.
If used correctly, marketing strategies will help elevate your business’s growth and profits. Here are some more benefits of a marketing strategy for a small business:
- It helps you retain a customer base
- It helps you identify and reach your target audience
- Allows you to determine audience and demographic needs
- It helps you beat your competition
Unfortunately, marketing for small businesses can be challenging. A limited customer base, a lack of funds, and too few marketing channels make it hard to decide where and when to invest your advertising budget.
To help you out, we’ve compiled the ten best free marketing ideas to grow your small business, as discussed in the next section.
What are some of the marketing ideas to grow a small business?
Unlike large corporations, small businesses often have a tight marketing budget, which may make your marketing efforts challenging. The good news is that you can market your business to your prospects without spending any (or much) money.
Here are the ten best free marketing ideas to grow your business:
1. Create a free Google Business Profile
With a market share of 92.24%, Google is the most powerful search engine globally, and you can use it to your advantage. You can create a free Google Business Profile, which helps ensure that prospects find your business when they search for products or services related to yours in their local area.
Google Business Profile allows you to add things like menus, photos, location, and opening hours, which means you can manage what customers see when your business appears on Google Maps or search results. The profile lets you see what keywords your potential customers use to find business, giving you valuable insights into customer behaviours.
2. Build an SEO-friendly website
The website is one of the most important tools any business should have. It helps you create brand awareness and showcase your brand to potential customers. It also allows you to establish your image by letting your audience know who you are and what you represent.
And building a website that’s optimised for search engines and conversations gives the upper hand in the market. It makes your business discoverable on search engines, which increases the organic traffic you receive.
Here are a few considerations for your business website:
- Do extensive keyword research for your website content
- Create top-quality content for your website
- Use primary keywords in all your website’s titles, landing pages, meta descriptions, etc.
- Focus more on long-tail keywords and local SEO
- Don’t forget to streamline your technical SEO aspects, including website design and page-load speed
- Leverage structured data to get better SERPs rankings
Much goes into creating an SEO-friendly business website, but these tips should get you on the right path.
3. Get your family members advocating for your business
Your family members and friends are not just valuable sources of business advice; they are excellent, free resources for promoting and building your brand. Request them to carry your flyers and business cards to promote your business to their friends.
4. Attend networking events
Leveraging different social media platforms and building your digital networks is vital, but don’t overlook the traditional ‘face-to-face’ networking methods! And you don’t have to attend the pricey, membership-only groups; there are many affordable events you can attend.
Attending the right networking event is a surefire way to grow your reputation, build relationships, and find new business opportunities. When you find an event, remember to bring your business cards to give to people at the event.
5. Risk it with the guerilla marketing
In its written form, the term ‘guerrilla’ sounds pretty intense. It conjures images of conflict and rebellion, which may leave you wondering why use ‘guerrilla’ marketing.
For those hearing this phrase for the first time, guerrilla marketing involves driving brand publicity and awareness using unconventional methods designed to evoke shock, wonder, or surprise.
And while there is no set formula for this marketing approach, you can borrow several mindsets. First, analyse how attention and content are spread within your market’s ecosystem. Then, find a creative way to hack the attention of your target audience.
Note: A few people will likely receive your guerrilla marketing method negatively. But the good thing is that you’ll also attract those who take a positive interest in your brand.
6. Advertise on new platforms
Yes, the likes of Instagram and Facebook have long been known as the kings of advertisements, but they are fairly saturated with brands looking for similar attention. And this is exactly why marketing your brand on emerging platforms is an excellent addition or alternative to your efforts.
For instance, you can invest in paid ads on platforms like Reddit, Quora, or Twitter. They have a lower cost-per-click than other platforms and will still drive the right traffic to your business. However, it’s recommended that your research your markets to find which platform best fits your business.
7. Start a referral and reward program
This is one of the simplest yet very effective marketing strategies you can ever come across. If done correctly, the referral and reward program will increase your customer base and website traffic and boost your sales and growth.
Unfortunately, most people often ignore this free marketing strategy, believing it only works for large businesses with a substantial number of customers. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Small businesses can also leverage this initiative to generate leads.
Referral marketing involves promoting your products or services to new prospects through referrals, mainly through word of mouth. You can offer incentives and rewards to existing customers who recommend your brand to their friends or family.
You can also reward customers who complete certain actions, like following you on social media or engaging with your social media posts. This way, you’ll ensure your customers engage more with your brand, which fosters customer loyalty.
8. Host a social media competition
Many companies now use platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to promote their products and services. Advertising your business through these social media platforms may not always give the desired results.
To make the most of social media marketing, experts recommend diversifying your strategy. And the best way to do this is to host a competition. People love free stuff, so give your customers gifts, free trips or product bundles.
For instance, you may host an Instagram contest and give away gifts to people that like and share your posts.
9. Leverage guest blogging to reach a broader customer base
Publishing in other publications is another new but excellent marketing approach that’s often overlooked by small businesses. By sharing your business product or service offering on other companies’ websites, you establish yourself as an authority figure within your market.
Guest blogging also allows you to reach a wider audience and helps you build relationships with other thought leaders in your field. To find the guest publications, search “top [your industry] blog” on the Google search engine. Then, pinpoint the right person to contact.
10. Don’t forget email marketing
It’s the 21st century, but email marketing remains one of the best marketing approaches in the world, with an impressive ROI of £36 for every £1 spent. But how do you create a mailing list with your prospects?
Experts recommend giving your customers something in return for subscribing to the email list. For instance, you may give them incentives or discounts on products.
The bottom line
Whether you just started a business or it has been in existence for years, finding the most effective marketing strategy is key to your success. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a walk in the park for small businesses that, unlike larger corporations, have a tight marketing budget.
This post discusses the ten best free marketing ideas to grow your small business. Good luck as you use it to grow your business.