If you don’t know what you’re doing, marketing your business can be expensive and time consuming. Paying for your advertising can be really effective but if you’re just starting out, it’s worth exploring all of the free ways to market your business first.
Here are a few helpful tips on the best basic ways to market your business easily- for free.
1. Google My Business
Make it easy for people to find you online
It’s crucial that people can find your business when they search online. If you’re a local business, a great place to start is to set up a Google My Business account.
Google My Business is a free business profile on google which helps you get found by customers on the google search engine and google maps. When people search for similar businesses to yours it pulls up a profile of your business and helps you to stand out.
You can personalise your profile with photos, events, reviews and respond to messages. It’s also great for measuring as it keeps track of how many clicks, calls and follows you are getting.
Most of your customers are using google and let’s face it, most of them will only look at the first page. This tool allows you to showcase your business to customers before they even reach your website.
It’s simple and easy to set up your free account. Simply follow the instructions on the Google My Business website and check out the video below.
2. Social Media
Share the passion you have for your business
Social media can be a huge opportunity for your business. If you don’t tell people about how great your brand is then you can guarantee you won’t be seen.
It’s highly likely that your customers are using social media every day so it’s the best way to start a conversation with them. The largest networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to link, interact and share information about your business. They are all free and have millions of users.
Social media is a brilliant tool for businesses to talk directly to potential customers and reach more people. It also provides an opportunity for current customers to promote your business for you, which often carries more weight than promoting yourself.
Most social media channels are free and easy to set up but don’t make the mistake of setting up a profile on every single channel. Start by choosing 2 that will have the biggest impact and focus on the ones that your customers are using.
Facebook for business is a good place to start as they have a step by step guide on how to set up a Facebook and Instagram page.
However, although social media channels are free to join they require a lot of time, skill and effort to create consistently good content. As you grow your business it’s worth investing in someone with the right skills to do it for you.
3. Search Engine Optimisation
Make your website more attractive to google
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It sounds ‘techy’ and complicated but it simply means ensuring your business appears when people use search engines such as google. You probably use google to search for things every single day.
When someone types in a phrase on google, a list of related results appear. You need to ensure your website shows up in these results when people are searching for products or services that you sell.
If you’re not on google- you don’t exist.
By using keywords on your website you can help search engines like google to find your site. Use keywords in the text on your website, use short meaningful headings on your web pages and ensure you have a detailed ‘contact’ page.
You can also add text behind the scenes of your website that describes each web page. Setting up a Google My Business account (see step 1) is also going to help. Don’t give up if you don’t appear on page 1 straight away. SEO is a long term strategy that takes time but is well worth the effort.
If you are a complete beginner start with a simple step by step guide from google’s digital garage. They have an explainer video for SEO and for keywords.
Remember, this is only the very basic level of SEO. If you want to take it to the next level then it’s worth considering an SEO expert to help you achieve the best results.
Build a positive reputation online
Having a great online reputation is a necessity. Online reviews are a great way for customers to do that work for you.
There are often a lot of factors involved with buying from a brand. If potential customers have never heard of your business before they may be a bit hesitant to use you. Positive reviews from real people can reassure them that you are trustworthy and reliable.
74% of buyers say positive reviews make them trust a business more
Most customers would be more than happy to help you out by writing a short review- and it’s free. Ask previous customers for reviews by sending them the link to your Facebook page, google my business, yell or trip advisor (if relevant) and then post them on your website.
As a word of caution, reviews are only useful when they are honest and businesses shouldn’t offer incentives in exchange for reviews.
If you need any help with the above please contact us at besocialuk.com
Jayne at Be Social Consultancy
Jayne has worked for some of the biggest brands in the UK and is a highly reputable marketing consultant. She helps Welsh businesses to create strategic marketing plans.