Many small business owners don’t fully understand the importance of advertising, and if they do, they may not have the funds to do so. Advertising is an extremely important piece of owning and operating a business–in fact, what many businesses consider their least important department is actually the complete opposite. Your advertising is your direct connection to your customers and neglecting your advertising can be likened to outright ignoring them! Just because you already have a customer’s business does not guarantee you will retain it, and that’s where advertising comes in. But how can a small business or even a startup advertise with a minimal or even nonexistent budget? Thankfully, we’ve got a few suggestions for you outlined below!
Since rolling out its groups feature, Facebook has turned into a rather easy and cheap way to advertise for free. Simply join an applicable group whose members you consider your target market and start posting!
Post on Craigslist in the proper categories and locations, and you may just find some customers this way. You can also browse through the job listings and gigs to see if anyone might be looking for a business just like yours to help them out!
If you are selling products, Posting high-quality pictures and purchasing information to Pinterest can be a helpful tool. Pinterest users are predominantly women, and users of Pinterest spend an average of $100 more than Facebook users and $140 more than Twitter users.
If you are looking to generate buzz and rapid awareness of your business, Twitter can help. Join up, engage with others, and create posts that feature original content to encourage “retweets” which are basically free word-of-mouth advertisements! Furthermore, asking for a retweet genuinely seems to increase the number you receive. Use hashtags relevant to your industry. Use Twitter lists to organize your followers and users you follow. Contests, coupons or promotions also tend to get your followers excited and talking about your company.
Mailchimp.com offers free email blasts for up to 2000 unique email addresses. If you’ve already got a list of emails of your customers, utilize them by sending them relevant content to encourage them to check out your business!
Okay, so this one might include the cost of paper and ink, but if you want to get the word out about your company on a local level, posting fliers or business cards to various bulletin boards in your community can help. Furthermore, a simple visit or phone call can work wonders!
Your Existing Customers
If you already have customers, take care of them. They may not recommend you after a positive experience, but you can be almost certain they will bash you after a bad one! Make sure your word of mouth advertising is great!
Have another suggestion we didn’t list here? Comment and tell us about it!