Free Ways to Promote a Small Business Online by Natalie Krivda-Jones of Digital Mums Directory
So you’ve started a business, got a brand spanking new website, a Facebook page but apart from telling your Mum, Dad and Aunty’s cat not many people even know it exists.
You’ve probably started this business as a secret side hustle and you don’t want to spend your family’s holiday budget in advertising, so let’s take a look at some free options to help get you started.
7 Free Ways to Promote a Small Business Online
1. Facebook Groups
You might have noticed that you are seeing more of Facebook Groups in 2018 and that is because Mark Zuckerberg (CEO and Founder of Facebook) decided that more emphasis would be placed on communities in Facebook.
So what Facebook Groups should you join?
- Find ones where your target market hangs out
- Find ones that will allow you to promote your business
- Don’t join ones that are full of advertising and no engagement
You then need to:
- Join in the conversations – so important, don’t just post and run
- Post your relevant advertising on the specified days
- Ensure your personal profile has a link to your business so if you do comment people can Facebook stalk you (come on we’ve all done it) and find out more about your business
Over on the Digital Mums Directory we have selected 10 of the best Aussie Facebook Groups for #bizmums (bizmums hanging out with other bizmums) and we have created a cheat sheet so you know which days to post your blog, your sales coupon, or just to share your social media handles. You can go here to view the groups and download your cheat sheet now: http://www.digitalmumsdirectory.com.au/australian-bizmum-facebook-groups/
2. Collaboration & Guest Blogging
Depending on your business this may include sending your product to a blogger/influencer to review or it may be providing a guest blog (just like this one) to another blogger/influencer or business.
Now large “influencers” will charge you for this (and rightly so that is their business after all) so stick with smaller micro influencers or bloggers who are perfectly aligned with your niche or target market and approach them. Offer them something that will add value to their business and help their audience (this is about them, not you).
Competitions are another great option to raise awareness, but running a combined competition with someone else will help you reach even more people (especially while you are getting started). Consider approaching another business with a proposal for a competition.
While Facebook can be a hard (but not impossible) place to get free organic traffic, its sister Instagram is still free. Instagram is not hard, but explaining in detail how to maximise your growth is another blog entirely so I will choose a few basics.
- Use a Business profile from day 1, this will allow you to get access to insights and see statistics of your audience
- Look at businesses similar to yours and see what hashtags they are using, use those hashtags (up to 30) when posting a photo
- Post at times you know your audience will be online – the more quick likes you get the more your post will be shown to more of your audience
- Engage with your target market, comment on their photos and get to know people, this will make collaborations and approaching people a lot easier too
4. Facebook Live and Videos
Videos are popular on social media both by people and Facebook themselves (they love it) so creating and sharing videos on your Facebook page is a great way to increase your reach. If you are brave enough, Facebook Lives are even more popular and always rank well with Facebook so give it a try.
If you have never created a video before we have a few websites that you can use to create videos for free (think easy editing or creating a video from photos and adding text and music) for more information visit: http://www.digitalmumsdirectory.com.au/free-easy-to-use-video-editing-and-video-creation-websites/
5. Facebook Advertising
Ok, I know this is paid, but I want you to do one free thing and that is install your Facebook Pixel now. This will allow Facebook to track every customer who comes to your website. When you are ready to start Facebook advertising you will already have a “warm audience” of people who have visited your website previously. Digital Mum Jessica Tutton has instructions on her website to help you with this process. https://jessicatutton.com.au/2018/04/16/the-facebook-pixel-what-why-how/
A side note is that Facebook Advertising is not as expensive as you may think, a budget of $5 a day will help to grow awareness of your business.
6. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation
This is where things get a little technical (I am from the Digital Mums Directory after all) but ranking first on Google for your key search terms is free traffic to your website everyday of the year.
It’s something you need to work on or you may choose to outsource, but no matter which you pick I would always recommend starting with the basics and understanding those basics yourself.
Kate Toon, an amazing Digital Mum has a free course to help you learn the basics of SEO https://therecipeforseosuccess.com/seo-courses/seo-nibbles/
Away from the online world for a moment, but networking with real people in real life is always a winner (not to mention a break for an online business). Find events or networking events happening in your local area and get out there to discuss your business with more people.
So congrats on starting your new business and I hope you find these tips helpful to get you started with free online marketing. If you would like to learn more about online marketing or if you need someone to help you out with the technical bits, then come and visit me over on the Digital Mums Directory www.digitalmumsdirectory.com.au we have lots of easy to understand blogs and articles to get you started.
Do you have any other free ways to promote a small business online?
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