Low cost ways to advertise for small businesses

To advertise effectively today, you must abandon the old-school idea of “reaching the masses.” The famous ad man Morris Hite, who was known for his good-ol’-boy approach to advertising, said it best when he quipped, “There is no such thing as national advertising. All advertising is local and personal. It’s one man or woman reading one newspaper in the kitchen or watching TV in the den.”

The key to effective advertising today is to focus on the individual.As a small business you will recognise the need to promote your business.With a bit of creativity and some work on your part there are a number of ways to advertise your business for free.

However, here are some low cost ways to advertise your business:

1. Write a press release
Writing a press release is the best way to generate some free publicity. Basically most journalists do not have much time to write stories, so if you can provide them with easily written text it becomes quite easy for them to publish it. But be careful don’t presume that your story will be interesting. The fact that you sell a product is not very interesting. Interesting stories are more likely to be human interest, or about a new business opening. Look inside a publication to see what sorts of stories that they publish and write your press release like one of these.

2. Personal profiles
Add on personal profiles of yourself and your business on social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Ecademy, Friends Reunited, and Facebook. These will need to be quite subtle – avoid the hard sell. Then start building links in to other people that you know.

3. Use your car window
Make a poster and put it in the back window of your car. This could be just a simple web address for your business.

4. Add comments at the bottom of web postings.
If you do a resonable job at an answer then many sites will be quite happy to include a link back to your website.

5. Put up an advert on craigslist.
This may generate something interesting, but it may also get lost in all the crud.

6. Shop windows
If you are holding a local event many shops will be quite happy to put up a small A4 poster in their window. Many web sites have events pages that do not charge to promote an event.

7. Free directory websites.
There are a number of web sites that offer a free directory. These include

Yellow Pages
http://hsee.co.uk/browse_classifieds.php
Free index

8. Link swapping

Link swapping has gone a bit out of fashion of late, but it can present a very useful way to get traffic to your website. The free willy nilly swapping of links was very popular a few years ago, but in the right circumstances it can prove very popular. The best way to go about doing this is to find out who is linking in to your competitors websites and ask if they will link back to you.
Get in touch with us to know how we can provide link swapping to your website for free.

To find out who is linking go to Google and type in “link:competitor.com” (changing competitor.com for the website you want to check out)

9. Start blogging
It can be a bit time consuming, but if you start a blog on your website, using software like WordPress or Typepad

10. Generate reference material for your website
Another useful way to bring people to your website is to write useful reference material such as free how to guides.
One company that is using this to great effect is the hospital company BUPA. They wrote a number of health factsheets that they claim now have one million people a month visiting. While this has taken them quite a bit of effort to generate this it is one of the best examples of free advertising that I can think about. And much cheaper than advertising on TV.

Other ideas include
– Send in articles to magazines.
– Speak at conferences.
-Write articles and submit to ezines
– regularly visit forums, makesure your signature has your website address.
-Attend job clubs around you.

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Categories: E-marketing, Social Networking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Low cost ways to advertise for small businesses

  1. Great Read. I’ll look forward to your next article

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