Not all companies have the resources to reach their audience using paid promotional methods—which is why finding ways to promote your business for free is so important.
There are numerous methods available to businesses—they may require more work and patience than paid techniques, but there is a payoff in the long run.
We share seven ways to promote your business for free in 2021—we suggest using process diagramming to map out your marketing strategy.
1. Add Intent with CTAs
Consuming a piece of content shouldn’t be the end goal of your promotion efforts—to get the most out of promoting your business for free, you need to add a call-to-action.
Create content around your company that is relevant to your audience and your industry, but ask them to do something with the content, like in the example below.
A call-to-action could be any of the following:
- Signing up for your newsletter to receive more news and content
- Reading similar content on your blog or social media
- Commenting on blog posts or social media posts
- Sharing their details to access exclusive or gated content
- Booking a call with your company representative
- Registering for a trial for your service
- Buying your product
Including a call-to-action in your content gives audiences some impetus to act and continue engaging with your brand—eventually leading to them becoming customers.
2. Create a Chatbot
You will have seen how many brands have a chatbot integrated into their website and on Facebook messenger.
This is because chatbots are a solid way to promote your business for free—and you can add them to your business without paying for anything.
You can program your chatbots to answer customer queries—this keeps your customers engaged and builds positivity around your business.
But chatbots aren’t only useful for troubleshooting—you can also use them to promote your brand, as in this example.
Program your chatbot to offer related products to customers making a purchase or sharing deals that would encourage them to return to your business.
With online resources, you can easily create a chatbot that reflects your brand and earns you more customers.
3. Create a Mailing List
An effective method of promoting your business for free is using email marketing. Designing a newsletter for your audience is a great way to keep them engaged with your brand.
But first, you need to start by building an email list—add a simple form to your website asking visitors to fill in their contact details.
It’s best not to create an extensive form as it may put people off, leading to them abandoning the form halfway.
Once you have a few subscriptions, send regular email updates about new products, services, trials, discounts, and events, like this example.
You can also send a round-up of new blog posts, competitions, or email-exclusive content.
Use an email marketing tool to see how many emails are opened and clicked on. This will also help you segment your list to design and send more targeted content.
A mailing list is a good tool to create an audience base that is open to receiving and engaging with your content.
4. Try Link Building
To promote your business for free, you need to reach new audiences. But how can you achieve this goal with limited resources?
One method to try is link building. There are a few steps involved in this process, but when completed, you will have penetrated new markets and built long-lasting industry relationships.
Studies have shown that link building is an effective way to grow your business and improve your SERP.
Look for sites within your industry—but avoid competitors—and reach out to them for collaborations. Use a tool like Hunter.io to find contact information.
Once you have about 100-150 possible contacts, you can start your cold outreach. It’s better to make a big list because not everyone will be interested.
But once you make connections with other sites, you will find them agreeable to long-term partnerships.
5. Guest Post
To promote your business for free, you need to put in some hard yards. You can’t always expect your audience to come to you—you need to attract their attention.
This means moving into spaces that aren’t directly connected with your brand. One of these methods is guest posting, and it’s a great customer acquisition strategy.
Guest posting takes a bit of time—but the results are worth it.
The benefits of guest blogging include reaching audiences who may not have found you organically. It’s also a way to showcase your brand’s thought-leadership in the field.
You need to start by finding websites that are open to accepting guest posts—use a search engine or a tool like Ahrefs to compile a list of sites preferably in your niche.
Remember that not everyone will be interested in a post from you—rejection is part of the process, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t persevere with leads that are open to collaboration.
Define a set of topics that you are interested in writing about and which will give readers a reason to engage with your brand. Then you can start writing.
6. Repurpose Content
Content is key to promoting your business for free—but creating content takes a lot of time and energy.
Marketers of small businesses simply don’t have the time to create as much content as is needed to reach audiences regularly.
This is why businesses need to look at repurposing content. Your existing content can be repurposed as multiple pieces of content:
Not only does repurposing content save much-needed time, but by changing the format of your content, you reach audiences who may not have engaged with the original piece.
7. Showcase Testimonials
One way to promote your business for free is to allow others to do the work for you—testimonials and reviews are a great way to get the word out about your brand.
This is particularly important in the current digital marketing world—it’s saturated with brand stories that are often pushing customers to make purchases instead of encouraging them.
A direct approach has value but it can become overwhelming for audiences who are being bombarded by similar messages—and the hard-sell method doesn’t come across as genuine.
If you want to set yourself apart from competitors in your field, you need your existing customers to go to bat for you.
Encourage customers to review their experiences with your brand online—and make it a habit to respond to positive ones.
For the inevitable negative reviews, take the conversation away from public forums and address it—never ignore an upset customer as that can reflect poorly on your brand.
When an external party reviews your product or service in a favourable tone, such as this review of hosting software, share it with your customers.
New customers are more likely to be swayed if they see that fellow customers have had positive experiences with a brand, so encourage testimonials whenever you can.
Reaching audiences is a challenge, no matter the global circumstances. This is why we have shared seven methods you can use to promote your business for free:
- Email lists
- Link building
- Guest posts
- Repurpose your blog posts
These strategies will help you grow your audience base, but will also keep customers happy and boost customer advocacy for your brand.