6 Ways to effectively advertise your business online for free

Marketing is about face-time – and in our increasingly fast-paced world, it’s getting harder and harder to be seen and remembered by customers and clients. Being available online is essential, especially in places where new people see you every day.

However, there are numerous benefits advertising online offers your business, that even with a budget for hiring an expert, at least you should understand the basics.If you’re thinking about how to market your business online, here are ways to get your name and brand out there. Just remember that although they might seem basic, these ideas can always be built upon.

1) Great Content

Great content online is the bread on which online advertising feeds on. It gives you the opportunity to not only gain greater visibility online but also to convert to those who visit your site. It has to be done on a regular basis and could take the form of blogs, podcasts or videos. Regular content creation leads to more traffic and better lead generation.

2) Local Business Listings

There are three major local listings with the three leading search engines. These are Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Bing. Other major local directories to sign up with include Facebook, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Yelp etc. Aside from being inexpensive, listing in local directories offers you visibility to customers and potential partners, it also allows you to get a higher ranking by boosting your SEO. Customers are also able to offer reviews and the listings are also a great source for links among other benefits.

3) Have Conversations with People

Interaction is the name of the game. You need to be able to address people’s needs or frustrations about your business or your field.

In fact, according to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled by networking. Sadly, however, one in four people don’t even try to network. Imagine how much potential for new clients and customers you are ignoring by talking with people.

This is where the above tip comes into play – social media platforms are excellent places to have conversations, from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Above all, have conversations, not sales pitches. Don’t try to sell – just talk to people. If they are curious enough, they can click through your profile and learn more about you.

4) Be Consistent Everywhere Your Brand Goes

You need people to be able to recognize your brand no matter where they are online. Logos and colors help, and so do faces and catchphrases. But you also need to make sure that you are reaching out to your target audience wherever you are. So spread consistent messages and don’t try to rebrand yourself every few months.

5) Know What Your Customers Want

Just because you have a great product or service, doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what they want. The best way to discover this is to do a little research and create buyer personas.

Simply put, a buyer persona is a detailed description of your target customer. A fully fleshed out buyer persona includes everything from demographic information to hobbies, and from income bracket to family size – all written as if the persona were a real person.

However, just because your product solves a prospect’s pain point doesn’t mean that he or she will immediately purchase. Originally you will have cold traffic, so you should focus on warming them up.

6) Email Marketing

Email marketing has come a long way but still maintains its relevance when it comes to advertising your business online. I enjoy the flexibility email marketing offers compared to other platforms as far as content structure is concerned. The tricky part is knowing when you are spamming your clients or when you are truly reaching them. Once a month is a good point to start from. You have to personalize the email and make it rich in images, data, and information. The trick I have always found effective in email marketing is answering the client’s question ‘what’s in it for me?’

Advertising your business online does not have to be an expensive affair. Your main focus is attracting and maintaining your target audience’s attraction long enough to create a lead and more importantly a relationship. These tips allow you to do that over a long period of time and you can build on them as you venture into other strategies.

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