8 Free Online Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

If you're a small business owner then you probably already know how important it is to market your business online. You need to get traffic to your website, generate leads, keep your social media presence relevant and all the while trying to make your venture a success, mostly single handed. A robust online marketing strategy can make the difference between success and failure on the world wide web. It can save you time, money and create business opportunities you might otherwise never knew existed. But isn't marketing expensive and time-consuming? Not necessarily. Here are a few strategies you can use to promote your business online that are absolutely free.

#1 Video Marketing

Video marketing is a massive trend right now. It has increased 100% in a year on mobile devices mainly because video is a favourite of the new Millennials. And more often than not, Millennials are the future of your business. A quick Google search will show a large number of websites where you can show your marketing video, with YouTube being the obvious one, but places like Vimeo, Vine, Photobucket, Daily Motion and even Facebook are all worth looking into, and the best part is they are entirely free of charge. For best results, you'll want to make one video and upload it to as many sites as possible. Videos can help expand your brand and get more traffic to your website.


#2 Business Listing Sites

This tip is especially for local businesses. People look online for pretty much everything, even if what they are looking for is just around the corner. The Hubspot website has a great collection of 50 online local business directories for Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, LinkedIn and so on, and you can list your business on as many of them as you like. Another great way to get your brand seen by as many people as possible without having to spend a single penny.


#3 Blogging

If you have the knack for creating new content, you'll have the chance to rank high in the Internet search engines. You'll be able to build your credibility and get more visitors just from writing new and fresh articles. Some of the most significant online players create dozens of posts every day because they have long since realised the value of publishing quality content. Of course, most small business owners just won't have the time to do this, but even one relevant blog post per week can be enough to build an audience and create a buzz around your brand. Websites like Wix, Weebly, Blogger, LinkedIn and Medium, provide the opportunity to post your blogs utterly free of charge.


#4 Product Listing Sites and Marketplaces

There are a ton of eCommerce Marketplaces and Platforms where you can sell your product online without going through all the hassle of setting up a website. eBay, Amazon, Etsy and Shopify are probably the most well known, but you can find a lot more with a simple Google search. Some of these places may ask for a small percentage of the sale price, but there are enough of them that allow you to sell your products entirely for free.


#5 Social Media

If you want to drum up interest for your product or services, then there is no better way than to use social media. So many people are using social media these days, with over 1 billion on Facebook alone, but Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and others are also excellent options for spreading the word about your business. And while social media is probably not the best channel for the hard sell it is still ideal for posting the occasional product sale or brand promotion. Highly recommended for building a base of followers and getting more traffic to your website. And all for free.


#6 Document Sharing

This strategy applies to PDF's, PowerPoint presentations, slide shows and other documents, articles, audio or video content you can use to market your business. Basically, it's information that you want to share with the world. Sites like Media Fire, Google Drive, Dropbox and Slide Share are just a few of the hundreds of options you can find to share your marketing messages without having to reach for your wallet.


#7 Online Sharing Communities

These are places where you get social media shares and traffic to your website even if you don't yet have a following. Online sharing communities share and promote each others content for free by using a fake credit system whereby you earn credits for sharing someone's content. You can then use those credits to get people to share your content. In other words, you can trade shares on social media with people who don't have vast amounts of fans on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest etc. You can look for brands and businesses similar to yours and you can both benefit from sharing each other's stuff entirely for free. Viral Content Buzz is probably the best community out there right now, but Just Retweet.com, Empire.cred and Triber are also well worth checking out.


#8 Podcasting

Another form of content marketing, podcasting allows you to repurpose your blog pots, articles and videos by uploading them as audio broadcasts. The Tim Ferris Show and Entrepreneur On Fire are two excellent examples of marketing podcasts. Having a podcast is a bit like having your own radio show where you can record short episodes and upload to places like iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Overcast, Soundcloud, Pocket Cast and many others. You can visit the Podcasters Studio.com for tips and advice on getting started and how to get the most exposure from one podcast. As with videos, the best way to get your message out is to make one podcast and publish it in as many different places as possible. And of course, all for free.


Marketing your business online can be done without spending vast sums money and by investing as much or as little time as you can spare. Just remember that consistency is key, and developing your own unique voice across all your marketing channels will help your clients and customers differentiate your brand from all the others out there in that enormous expanse we call Internet land.

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