10 Tips to Promote Your Online Business for Free

Forbes has named digital marketing as the emerging ‘sub-sector’ that will surpass even the most optimistic digital marketing and social media forecasts, according to a new forecast from HubSpot.

Wondering how to promote your business online for free? You’re in luck. Here are 10 tips that’ll get you started.

1. Build a community.

Your first step to gaining online fame and promotion is to build a community. Creating a space for like-minded individuals to gather is a proven way to draw in potential customers.

Start by inviting people you know, your friends and family, to join your community. You can also ask people to join through an invite-only event in your town or city. The more members you have, the more powerful your community will be.

Don’t forget to engage with your community. Reply to comments, questions, and concerns. Create compelling content to attract members and encourage interaction.

2. Use social media.

The second step to gaining online fame and promotion is to use social media. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are some of the most popular social media platforms. Each one possesses incredible potential to grow your business. Make sure to build a strategy before you start posting, though.

On Instagram, for example, you can select your niche market, connect with other businesses in your niche, and engage with your followers through stories and polls.

As a digital marketer myself, I often recommend consulting with a digital marketing expert or joining a digital marketing agency to get the best results from social media.

3. Create compelling content.

To draw in potential customers, you need compelling content. When a customer decides to visit your site, chances are they’re going to discover something that interests them. To create compelling content, you need to answer three questions:

  • What’s the most important thing to my audience?
  • What am I uniquely qualified to give them?
  • What will make them click-through to take action?

When someone decides to visit your site, they’re probably doing so because they’re searching for answers to those questions. To find the right content, you’ll want to take the time to study your target audience. Think about what they want and need, what makes them excited and eager to learn more, and what will make them want to immediately take action.

For example, let’s say your target audience is women between the ages of 25 and 45, living in San Francisco. What does that mean? Well, 25 to 45 year olds in San Francisco most likely want to travel, shop, or be entertained online. So, if you’re a travel agent, make sure to blog about travel destinations and itineraries.

As a technology-related business, you can blog about new apps, tips, and tricks for using technology to enhance your life. Or if you’re a fashion stylist, you can blog about the latest trends in fashion. You can also create blog posts to promote your online store, Product Review Blog posts for example.

You’ll want to study the most popular blogs in your niche to see what type of content performs best. When it comes to content, quantity doesn’t matter as much as quality. Create a library of compelling content that’s uniquely valuable to your target audience. Once you’ve got a solid base of content, promote it on social media.

4. Start a blog.

Blogs are a great way to attract potential customers to your website. Not only do they act as a source of unique and valuable content, but they can also function as a virtual storefront. When someone decides to visit your blog, they most likely want to learn about your product or service, but they might also want to purchase something from you.

Decide which one will serve your business best and go with it. You can start a professional blog in no time at all with minimal investment. You can also use a blog to establish your expertise in your industry. Create a strategy and set up a blog with the intention of drawing traffic to it. Use your blog to build your audience and gain credibility in your industry.

If you decide to go with a free blogging platform like WordPress, Wix, or HubSpot, you can use their built-in features to take advantage of the most basic marketing tactics like SEO and content marketing without having to worry about the intricacies of creating and maintaining your own blog. Plus, you can use free templates or minimalist design to easily come up with a blog that looks professional and draws in potential customers.

Blogs also provide you with the opportunity to build an editorial calendar. Consider planning out a schedule of blog posts in advance; this will make it much easier to maintain your blog, and engage with potential customers and industry thought leaders.

5. Testimonials work.

One of the most effective ways to promote your business is to use testimonials. People love to hear other people’s opinions about a product or service, whether it’s good or bad. In a blog post, testimonials are often included as an anecdote or unique perspective about the topic at hand.

If you run a hotel, perhaps the most valuable thing you can do for your business is to get testimonials. It would be great to see hotel reviews that include testimonials from past guests, giving others an insight into what a typical guest experiences like you. The key is to find out what people said about your product or service, and use that to your advantage. You can also use testimonials in your social media posts to encourage others to take action.

If possible, get a couple of testimonials from major news publications, such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. If you can’t afford to pay for testimonials, consider getting a couple of respected bloggers to write a blog post about your product or service.

6. Consider online directories.

Online directories are useful tools that can be used to further promote your business. There are several directories that you can use to find customers in your industry. For example, if you’re an accountant, you can look up CPA directories for statewide and local directories, as well as online directories that connect businesses with accountants. When someone decides to go to a CPA directory to find an accounting firm, your business will appear right next to theirs.

Similarly, if you’re a technology-related business, you can access online directories that connect businesses with technology consultants and vendors.

If you decide to take advantage of online directories, be sure to submit your website to relevant ones. If someone is searching for a travel agent in their area, your website will most likely come up as the first result in their search.

Online directories are also useful for SEO. When someone decides to visit your site, they’ll most likely discover something that interests them. To find the right content, you’ll want to take the time to study the most popular blogs in your niche to see what type of content performs best. When it comes to content, quantity doesn’t matter as much as quality. Create a library of compelling content that’s uniquely valuable to your target audience. Once you’ve got a solid base of content, submit it to relevant online directories to improve your SEO.

7. Install a Google My Business account.

Google My Business is the search engine giant’s answer to the question ‘who’s speaking about my business?’ If you decide to take advantage of this tool, make sure to install it properly and set up your account with your business name and phone number.

Installing a Google My Business account is very simple, and once you have it, you can use their tools to enter the name of your business, along with your website or social media handles. Then you can choose your location, set up photos, and enter a brief description of your business.

If you need help, the Google My Business support team is available online or through phone help. You can read Google’s help guide to get started.

Your Google My Business account will serve as a digital storefront for your business. When someone decides to visit your site, they’ll most likely want to learn about your product or service, but they might also want to purchase something from you. To draw in potential customers, you need to answer three questions:

  • What’s the most important thing to my audience?
  • What am I uniquely qualified to give them?
  • What will make them click-through to take action?