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Free Local Advertising: 7 No Cost Ways

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Sometimes the budget for advertising has been drained, or flat out doesn’t exist. And for many small businesses, if you don’t advertise, you won’t survive. So in order to keep your business open, here are 7 free local advertising methods that will drive awareness, and bring in more customers.

1) Use Alignable

Alignable is a local business social network based out of Boston, MA. With Alignable, you can tap into their referral network to refer and be referred by other trusted businesses in your community. There is no cost to join, create a business listing, and begin networking with other small local business owners.

Photo of Alignable staff.

Additionally, Alignable is such a powerful tool because as other business owners learn about what you offer, they’ll refer your business to their network both online and offline. As you connect with local business owners, other networking opportunities begin to appear. It’s like joining a Chamber of Commerce, without the membership fees.

2) Create a Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile is a free utility from Google that allows businesses to create an online listing on the world’s most popular search engine. With Google Business Profile, you can convert local searchers, who find you on Google Search and Maps, into new customers. The free Business Profile for your storefront or service area allows you to personalize your profile with photos, offers, posts, and more.

Screenshot of Google Business Profile analytics.

If you take the time to upload new photos, request customer feedback, and post updates about your business, you’ll begin to outrank your competitors and attract more business.

3) Free Local Advertising: Social Media

You have probably heard it a million times by now. Free local marketing = Posting to social media regularly. Even though organic exposure on social media platforms has dwindled, there is still opportunity to build a local audience.

The key is to entertain! Find something funny that happens at your business and share it online. Create memes, or GIFs, and use video whenever possible. Find another video online and react to it, or simply just talk to the camera about what you’re doing.

Consistent social media posts on one platform is better than nothing. If you’re a B2B company, then use LinkedIn. If you sell consumer goods, try Instagram. Social media is the premier free local advertising option.

4) Run a Raffle or Giveaway

People love to win stuff! No matter what type of business you run, there is a product or service you can give away for free. When you promote your giveaway, remember that to enter they customer must follow you on social media, or subscribe to your mailing list.

Platforms like Rafflecopter allow you to make this running a raffle easy, and integrates everything you need. Rafflecopter offers a completely free plan along with a trial of their paid plans. Either way, you can promote your products or services with a raffle or giveaway for no additional cost.

5) Create Content

Using services like Featured.com, you can promote yourself and your business as an expert in your field. By simply replying to blogger and journalist requests for comment on relevant subject matter, they will feature your feedback in their articles, and provide a link back to your business website.

Screenshot from featured.com

There is no cost to sign up and start responding to requests for comments. All it takes is a little bit of your time.

6) Create YouTube Videos

Today, YouTube has 2.7 billion active users, which accounts for almost half of everyone on the internet. And according to Wyzowl, 91% of consumers want to see more online video content from brands. But is that relevant for local businesses? Yes! Check out the video below from a local landscaping business.

Creating entertaining, informative, and shareable YouTube videos is a no cost way to promote your business. Remember your YouTube videos need to entertain viewers just enough so they share your channel and visit your website.

7) Free Local Adverting: Get Feedback

When was the last time you asked customers to leave you feedback online? There is no cost involved to simply ask customers to leave you feedback on one of the many online listings. Here are the top 5 places we recommend you send customers for feedback.

  1. Better Business Bureau
  2. Google Business Profile
  3. Yelp
  4. Foursquare
  5. TripAdvisor

Remember to simply ask for feedback. Do not offer any discounts or benefits for customers who leave reviews. And when they do leave a review, respond with gratitude, even if the feedback is negative.

Free Local Advertising

You don’t need a giant marketing budget to get results. In fact, you don’t need a budget at all! Don’t let your limited funds dictate how many people your business can reach. Put together an advertising plan today.

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