Every business owner wants to put their products or services in front of their potential customers. However, most of the traditional ways cost money and not everyone can buy TV ADs when they are just starting up the business. Don’t worry as its still possible to successfully promote your business without spending a lot of money.
So to prove my point, I’m putting up together a list of 8 free ways to promote your business. These marketing ideas would not cost you money but require one time investment of your time.
Marketing Idea #1 – Optimize Your Website For Search Engines
What is the first thing that people do when they are planning to buy something? Well, they search for that product or service on Google. First they try to collect as much information as they can about the product and then they search for vendors who sell that product. So, if your website is not appearing in Google search, that means you virtually do not exist.
How can we fix this? Easy way to is to hire someone who can optimize your website for search engine but even in that case you need to be aware of the process, otherwise you might end up getting penalized by Google. Its not very difficult to learn these techniques. Below are some links to get you started :
Beginners Guide to SEO.
Google’s SEO Guide in Hindi
Comprehensive Guide to SEO
By reading these guides, you can tweak your website and rank higher on Google and other search engines. Even if you chose to hire an SEO agency, they won’t be able to fool you if you are aware of the process.
Marketing Idea #2 – List Your Products In Business Directories
Buyers search for vendors in popular business directories. If you sell B2B products, add a free listing on IndiaMart, Trade India and Indian Yellow Pages. These are popular business to business directories.
If you sell directly to customers, list free on Just Dial, Ask Me and Get It. These services offer mobile apps and attract huge traffic. You can list services as well on these sites for free.
If you sell Software then SoftwareSuggest is a very good directory. It lists softwares in various categories like HR, CRM, ERP, etc. I have listed our accounting software there and we get good response from that listing.
Marketing Idea #3 – List On Google My Business (Local Business Listing)
Google is making search personal and now displays results that are tailored for your location. For example, if you search for a McDonalds, it will show you the one in your city with a map. So, it has almost become mandatory for a business to get listed on Google Local.
Google has made it easy to add & manage your location on map. You can also manage your Google Plus profile from the same place. Just head over to Google My Business and claim your listing. If you don’t have a physical shop, you can even add your office location and give details about your business.
Marketing Idea #4 – Use The Power Of Social Media
We all know how our PM Modi leveraged the power of social media to win Lok Sabha polls in 2014. New York Times even called him social media politician and Business Todays wrote a case study on his social media strategies.
To start with, you should create profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. This will not only help you get more customers but you can engage them and get quality feedback from them about your products or services. ProfitBooks’ Twitter & FaceBook page alone amounts for 20% of our total traffic.
Here is a good guide to get started with social media. Also check this tutorial.
Frequency of your posts is the key here. If you post regularly, you will gain popularity and loyal subscribers who can convert to your customers at a later stage. You can share your business updates or news related to your industry. Best way is to follow the influencers in your industry and monitor their activity. Ideally you should post twice a week on Facebook and 3-4 times a day on Twitter.
Marketing Idea #5 – Answer Questions
When people are stuck and looking to solve their pain point, they turn up to specific forums on Internet. QnA sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers are popular places where you can find new customers. People also post their questions on Linkedin Groups.
So how can you benefit from it? Create accounts on these sites and start searching for your product or service. For example, I will search for ‘Accounting Software’ as I want to create awareness about ProfitBooks. You will get lot of questions related to your product. People might be asking about the top companies that sell this product or comparisons between different products and so on.