10 ways to advertise your business for free

We all know the benefits of advertising. Promotion leads to visibility. And increased visibility creates awareness and builds credibility. The result? A higher conversion rate for your business.

But how can we generate growth when we’ve had to slash our advertising budgets in half?

Never has the need for advertising been so great. As the world moved indoors, our shop floors became virtual. We had to adapt the way we did business almost overnight to meet a new kind of demand. And our reliance on the virtual world is only set to increase. In fact, it’s estimated that half of all UK retail sales will be online by 2028.

Openreach, who provide technical infrastructure for both BT and Sky, found internet users consumed 50,000 petabytes of data in 2020, up from 22,000 in 2019. (A petabyte may sound like a small dinosaur with a lot of teeth, but it’s actually a measure of the total data stored across servers or large computer networks.)

So what does that mean? Put simply: we are consuming more data than ever before. In the space of just 12 months, UK internet use has doubled.

Investing in effective online advertising will be essential for business growth in 2021, and here’s how to do it on a budget:

1 – Make your Google business page shine

If you’ve ignored your Google business page for the last 12 months, revisit it. It’s a highly impactful advertising tool, and it’s absolutely free. Make sure your NAP details (name, address and phone number) are up to date, and be sure to include a selection of images and graphics to entice potential customers. And remember to ask clients to leave a review once they’ve received their product or service.

2 – Send weekly customer emails

Build brand credibility by sharing a weekly company newsletter with clients. Include any current offers, promotions or competitions. Invite your family of customers into your business: share successes or heart-warming employee or customer stories.

3 – Share insightful blogs

Boost your SEO ranking by publishing regular blogs. Build brand loyalty and attract new audiences by discussing topics related to your business. Use Google Trends to discover what the world is talking about.

4 – Create engaging graphics

Disrupt their scrolling by sharing attention-grabbing images of your brand or insightful infographics. You might not be a graphic designer, but you can whip up personalised social media posts and unique infographics on Canva with just a few clicks.

5 – Upload video content

According to Statista, 85% of active internet users watch video content on the smartphones. So it’s no surprise that professional marketeers are becoming increasingly reliant on video content to deliver the results they need.

Video content increases user engagement and builds brand loyalty. So why not demo your product or service in action, or ask your clients to record a testimonial for you to share across your social networks?

With free software such as Shotcut and HitFilm Express, you can create professional video content in a matter of minutes.

6 – Speak to the masses

Use your business knowledge to share tips and advice to support fellow professionals during the difficult months ahead. Share your content across LinkedIn and watch the notifications pour in. To reach an even bigger audience, ask larger publications to guest host your article. Think rags to riches, top advice or heart-warming personal success stories.

7 – Host a webinar

So this one may scare you silly, but hear me out. The best webinars can generate an average conversion rate of 20%. So consider sharing your knowledge with the world. It may just pay off.

8 – Join new social forums

Small business owners are more likely to promote themselves across social channels they themselves are comfortable with. But what if your ideal clients are waiting for you over on LinkedIn or TikTok? An active and consistent social media presence builds familiarity and trust, and ensures your ideal clients remain loyal to your business.

So consider your desired demographic and create a social media plan that’ll really get their attention.

9 – Become irresistible

Join with like-minded businesses to put together a luxury prize hamper. Promote the competition across your social media, remembering to include direct website links. If you’re providing a service, why not hook up with similar companies to offer one lucky customer the chance to win a boost for their business or home in 2021? For example, if you’re a web designer, link with a graphic designer, branding expert and copywriter to give a business owner the opportunity to win the ultimate business makeover.

10 – Think outside the box

Okay, so we’re cheating a little here. But the real world still exists, so consider what it looks like to your ideal client. Where are they? What are they doing? What are they reading or listening to? And what kind of content catches their eye? Reinforce your messaging by considering radio, podcast, truck or community-based advertising. Leaflet drops can also be an effective form of targeted advertising too.

‘I need to advertise my business, but I just don’t have the time.’

If you’re keen to invest more time and energy advertising your business, but simply don’t have the time, then the team here at The Cheshire Business Directory can help you.

We get local businesses seen and heard using a range of on and offline advertising strategies. From social media promotion to targeted leaflet drops, there’s an advertising package to suit every budget. So come and join the ever-growing list of businesses from right across Cheshire and Greater Manchester who are proud members of Cheshire’s finest business directory.

And if Bumble Bizz isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll love The Cheshire Business Directory’s insightful and friendly networking events. Connect with like-minded business owners and discover potential clients from across the region.
For a no-obligation discussion about your business’s advertising strategy, or to discuss how The Cheshire Business Directory can help you, contact Kerry on 07501 896 445.

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