If you’re just starting out, it can be tough to find the money to pay for advertising and promotion. But promoting your business locally doesn’t have to cost you anything, whether you do it yourself or employ an expert to help you get the word out about your business in your community. For cheap and easy promotion that works well, use these 10 ways to promote your business locally for free.
1) Start with search engine optimization
SEO will bring in a lot of traffic to your website, but it won’t do you any good if it doesn’t bring any tangible value. What does that mean? If you rank in the second slot for a keyword on Google, but no one clicks through to your site, then SEO isn’t working. By combining SEO with CRO, you can be sure that people want to interact with what you’re publishing. And if they don’t have a reason to visit your page (like being interested in what you have to say), then they aren’t going to stick around very long. Once visitors get there, though, give them something useful and engaging so they’ll stay awhile and hopefully return often.
2) Participate in local events
All cities are full of special events that attract a ton of people to them. Join these events and promote your business there. This is one of the most effective ways to market your business and it doesn’t cost you a dime. You can join in local parades, festivals, fairs, and many other types of events. You can even sponsor an event if you have enough budget for it. The best part about participating in local events is that they don’t just give exposure to your business but also bring traffic from all over the city which means more customers for you!
3) Advertise on local websites
Once you’ve set up a Facebook page, Twitter account and web site, do a search for local business (or your city) plus any of these key words: business, reviews, directory. Simply signing up to be a reviewer on several local sites is an easy way to contribute to your new hometown.
4) Grow your fan base
When trying to grow your business, you cannot simply wait for new customers to come to you. You need to find your new fan base. These 10 things will promote you on a local level, whether it’s advertising your new food truck on social media or handing out fliers in town.
5) Ask for reviews online
The Internet is a great way to get your product in front of people who may not be able to visit your store. Sites like Yelp and Google+ give you opportunities to ask for reviews. And though most of these places only allow you to offer discounts or vouchers, it’s still important to take advantage of them. Always, when people leave a positive review for your business, reward them with a coupon code or promo code in return. Promoting your business is hard work, no matter how much they enjoy your product. If you want others to commit to your idea, you will need to invest yourself too.
6) Reach out to blogs and influencers in your area
Research two or three local blogs in your field, send them an email, and offer to provide a guest post or introduce your products to their readers. You can also use social media to reach out to influencers; if they have followers in your area, they may be willing to share your project with their followers. Last but not least, post in groups on Facebook in the industry you’re in—local members of the group may support businesses like yours by checking out what you have going on.
7) Direct customers from print advertising to your website via QR codes
QR codes (quick response codes) are those funky little square barcodes that look like an array of black and white boxes. They’re used in a variety of industries, but for restaurants, QR codes can be used to link potential customers to your website and direct them to information about your restaurant or menu offerings. QR codes can also be used to collect feedback from customers. Be sure to include your restaurant name on any print advertising you do—it will make it easier for people to find you if they scan a code!
8) Work with local bloggers and influencers
You can get a lot of traction by working with local bloggers and influencers. You should also look into getting featured in local publications, too. That will help you gain exposure to people in your city who don’t know about your business yet. This is a great way to expand your customer base while also reaching out to new clients. If you’re interested in expanding beyond your hometown, work with bloggers and influencers from other cities as well. That will help you reach customers from other parts of the country. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t physically located near where you are—this strategy works because it helps spread awareness about what you do across different regions online. You never know when someone might stumble upon your business onlineonline, online, online, —and decide to check it out for themselves!
9) Contact high traffic locations or businesses, e.g. grocery stores, laundromats, etc.
Large businesses often have fliers they can give out to customers and other locations that would be willing to put your business information on it. This is a great way to get your business name out there while building relationships with local businesses. If you’re having trouble thinking of places, call up a few different types of businesses and ask if they’re interested in an advertisement for free. The worst someone can say is no, but most people will at least consider it because advertising is expensive for them.
10) Sponsor charitable events in your area
Helping out others can not only feel good, but it can also help you get your business name out in a positive way. Some local businesses work with charities for advertising exposure and other perks. Sponsoring an event often provides you with free publicity and opportunities to socialize with potential clients and partners. The more community involvement you have, the more people know about your business. It’s important to choose events that are appropriate for your company’s image and mission. And don’t forget to make sure that you follow up on any commitments you make—otherwise, all of your hard work will be wasted.