How To Promote Your Business Online, For Free.

The digital realm, like I like to call it or the web, has become the new market square for B2B or B2C interactions and transactions. Today, any business organisation, small or big, old or new, with no active online business promotion strategy, on search engines or social media platforms, is literally living under the rock.

Promoting your businesses presence on search engines, market hubs, social media via digital marketing, SEO, paid searches, ads, promotions e.t.c. has become the new way of marketing your products and services. Because let’s face it, almost everyone is on the internet today.

 No one wants to board a taxi to a plaza looking from store to store, for gadgets, wears, or shoes, when you can easily search on Google, open a website, place an order and get it delivered literally at your doorstep.

The world has gone digital, you can either go with the flow, or get left behind.

Investing in SEO, Paid Searches, Ad placement and promotions are very effective ways of promoting your digital presence and increasing patronage. However, you can achieve this as well, without cash investment, through strategic approaches.

These outlined hacks are mostly based on the assumption that you have a business / corporate website. After all, websites are key to final conversion. You can read here about why it is crucial to have a corporate website for your business.

11 easy ways to promote your business online for free

 

1. Exploiting The Google My Business Page

A lot of people severely underestimate the effectiveness of Google My Business. This platform can be very powerful if used right.

 The key to increasing visits, immensely, to your website is obviously to rank at top on the SERP on Google, or at the first page. What most do not know is that, there is another way to appear at the top of your niche, even with a website with not so great traffic or domain authority.

The GMB page is a key tool in optimizing your local search ranking. The Google search algorithm is designed to showcase businesses close to your vicinity that offer services or related services to your search query, on the map and at the top of the SERP.

 First you need to properly set up your GMB page. Fill in all required business info, from your address, work hours, products or services, to related business images. Ensure that you fill in the right address and verify your location, so as to show up on the Google Maps & Searches. It is worthy of note to ensure getting as much positive reviews as possible, as this a factor for GMB page ranking.

building your digital presence by engaging google my business page

 

2. Content Creation & Distribution For Conversion

If you are not putting out relevant content in relevant places, you do not exist.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Content is, and will always remain king. The only true way of achieving digital relevance is to create unique valuable content. Content can be in the form of blog posts, videos, audios, newsletters, ebooks, online courses, and case studies.

Creating great content, in itself is a skill. Curious as to what makes great content? Value is the key ingredient in this recipe. You want to make sure you are adding value to the readers. You want to create content that not only gets read but shared.

For websites with little to no traffic, content marketing or distribution is extremely important. A content not shared, might as well be non-existent. Starting from friends and family, share your content to all relevant places you can think of. From niche groups or communities, social media pages, forums to email lists.

Encourage engagement onsite by integrating a comment section, and where relevant, polls or quizzes. And most importantly, structure your content for conversion at the end, with a proper CTA. 

 

3. Listing your Business On Directory Websites 

A very effective way of building not just your digital presence, but targeting relevant clients is to enlist your business on top business directory websites. These platforms are designed purposefully to act as meeting grounds for buyers and service seekers. Examples of the popular ones are Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, & Vconnect

Listing on these dedicated service seeking platforms increases your chances of being patronised by ready-clients. 

 

 4. Guest Blogging on Niche Related, High Traffic Websites

Content is a very important tool for conversion. But the quagmire, most especially for new businesses or startups is, the limited reach. How do I get my quality content across to as many readers & potential clients, as possible?

The answer is to guest blog. There are numerous high traffic websites out there, that are dedicated to content creation & sharing, for contents across various niches or specific ones. Some of these sites require no promotional fee or subscription. Examples are Medium, Shoutmeloud, legit.ng, invoice.ng, Pandadoc e.t.c.

The trick to creating effective promotional content is to focus on value first then conversion. 

 

5. Engaging Q&A Platforms

To launch a business means successfully solving problems. Solving problems means listening.

– Richard Brandson

The fundamental purpose of every business is to solve problems. Offer solutions to problems and see your client list grow. 

Another intelligent way of promoting your business, is to engage Q&A Platforms. These platforms are developed to serve as a hub for problem solving, where various professionals proffer answers to various questions.  The most popular of these platforms is Quora. Others are Answers, Yahoo answer, Stack Overflow, Reddit e.t.c.

When engaging these platforms, proffers solutions to questions with references to contents on your website, properly addressing those particular issues in detail. That is where you convert. 

answer questions on quora for networking and conversion

 

6. Sharing Newsletters To Old & New Customers

Email marketing has always been, and is still very efficient in digital marketing and business promotion. Sharing newsletters, in the form of contents, promotions, offers, and DIYs to your email list is a very effective means of building B2B or B2C relationships. 

Showing your customers that you still care enough to still offer value after service is a great way to encourage return patronage and referral. 

 

7. Create & Share Content On YouTube Channel

With over 2 billion users, YouTube is a great platform to share content for promotion and conversion. Visual contents like videos, have become just as competitive as write ups. 

The trick about this channel for promotion is to be as professional as possible. Create a YouTube channel for your business, and ensure that you incorporate your brand into it. From the cover image, to the theme of video editing, be sure to be unique and most importantly create great content.

Ensure that your video title properly reflects the content, with the target keyword and is catchy. Also fill in proper descriptions and add relevant tags.

content creation on youtube for business promotion

 

8. Leverage On Social Media Hashtags

Hashtags have become very powerful tools for social media platforms in broadcast. Starting from twitter, other platforms have begun integrating this feature into their system. Instagram, LinkedIn, & Facebook are examples of platforms now effectively using the hashtag feature.

To ensure your post reaches the desired audience, using relevant and related hashtags after content is important. Each platform, however, has created their own defined rules, as regard usage of the hashtag.  For example, Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags, while twitter’s hashtag use is dependent on the allowed character limit in a post. 

Another trick to using hashtags, is to add trending hashtags for example on twitter, and popular hashtags with a lot of users, e.g. on Instagram. Be careful not to abuse this though, adding sensitive hashtags (e.g #coronavirus) to promotional posts would do more harm than good.

proper use of hashtags on social media

 

9. Using The WhatsApp & Telegram Group

WhatApp & Telegram, similar but very distinct, both offer the group creation & management feature. If properly managed these can serve as effective ways of reaching and engaging existing and even new clients.

By creating niche or purpose specific groups, you are creating a reservoir of target specific audience. Where you can share content, promotions and offers to a willing and interested audience. 

For example, on a group created for “Latest Fashion Trends”, you can be rest assured that the majority of its members would be interested in a promotional post about the “Top 10 Popular Dress Styles In Year 2020”.

 

10. Sharing Your Products & Service On Top Online Market Hubs

Online Market Hubs are just like conventional markets, where service seekers and service providers meet. A number of these platforms do not require upfront payment for use. They do, however, demand compensations on patronage in the form of commissions. 

These platforms are well known by freelancers. Examples are Freelancer, Fiverr, Upwork, and Toptal. Some of these market hubs are entirely free to use. All you need to do is post your service and product, and a buyer or service seeker contacts you. An example of this is Jiji.

sell your product and services on online market hubs

 

11. Active Contributions on Forums & Community Based Platforms.

Before the advent of search engines and social media platforms, forums were the best ways of networking and building B2B & B2C connections. Today, they are still very much effective for promoting services and engaging potential clients.

Most of these forums are sectioned or categorized based on interest groups e.g business, fashion, sport e.t.c. By interacting in sections related to your business niche, you have a high tendency to meet potential clients. For example, by posting about your latest stock of sneakers, in a sport category / section, you stand a great chance of getting in touch with interested buyers.

These are just some of the perks of community based interactions. There are numerous forums out there, each with its own unique design and structure. Examples of these are Reddit, Nairaland, Quora, e.t.c.

To Be or Not To be?

The fundamental purpose of this content is to encourage the best use of the resources freely available to you, to get the best possible result in terms of online business promotion, digital marketing, networking and building your client base. If approached strategically and intelligent, these methods can help grow your business immensely.

However, the truth still remains, to make money, you have to be willing to spend money. Backing up these outlined approaches with promotions, paid searches & ad placements, would yield amazing results and ROI. You don’t have to go all out at first. Start with a small budget, and with increases in returns, up your promotional budget. 

Feel free to share other methods of promoting businesses online, you know of, at the comment section.