There are all kinds of paid online marketing services from SEO to PPC ads that can help boost your business. However, not everyone has the money to pour into such schemes. Thankfully, there are still ways to market yourself online without spending a lot of money (and you don’t even need to be too digitally savvy!).
Design your own website
There’s no need to pay for a web designer. Web platforms such as WordPress have allowed anyone to build their own website for free without any coding knowledge. You will still have to pay for a domain name, but this is a tiny cost. Website hosting providers can give you a domain name and a choice of web platforms to choose from in order to start designing your own site. You can find out more through this guide to business website hosting. There are also numerous blogs and videos that can offer design tips and tutorials.
Get friendly with social media
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter can further bolster your online presence. Some people will pay for marketing companies to manage their social media for them, but there’s really no need. Create a business page on Facebook and Twitter (and Instagram page if you desire) and use it to post news, deals and anything that you think may lure in clientele (it doesn’t have to be purely promotional). If you’re not too savvy, get a friend or family member to show you the ropes. You can also run ads on Facebook and Twitter to reach out to more people. Promoting a post or your page comes with various customisation options that allow you to hit the right demographic for your business, also allowing you full control over how much you pay.
Try blogging and vlogging
Blogging is a way of creating more content on your website and luring more people in through interesting topics related to your business. This could be advice to clients, general news surrounding the theme of your business and promotions.
You can reinforce this by ‘vlogging’. This involves similarly giving advice, news and promotions but through videos instead. Creating a Youtube channel and regularly updating it could earn you more online presence (and it’s completely free – in fact, if you’re successful enough, you may even earn money from it).
Offer to advertise the products and services of other businesses in exchange for them doing the same for you. This cuts out having to pay for advertising. Cross-promotion could be something as simple as both advertising one another’s products on social media, or each writing a promotional blog post. You could even create a package deal with another business for a service that’s related to your own.
Join local business groups and forums
There are many social media groups specifically for businesses or local communities where you can network and can collect more business. Similarly there are online forums for enthusiasts in certain areas. This could be your target audience all in one place. Some groups and forums may have rules barring promotional activity, but you can still get to know communities this way and make a name for yourself, which may consequently lead to business interest.