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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Get 14 Free Online Advertising Methods For Your Business

Just starting out a business in Malaysia? Have a limited budget? Bulking at a quote for RM20,000 for an advertising campaign on a news portal?

As you probably know marketing is important for your business, but it can be frustrating when you have a budget that doesn't encompass your ambitions and there is a limit to how many people your business can reach.

Hold up.

After some research, we found a few free ways that can supplement your paid advertising efforts. And by incorporating these tactics into your strategy you are able to remove some costs and stretch your budget further.

These methods work regardless of the size of your budget.

Here's 14 ways to get free ads for your business without having you to break the bank:

1) Use Google My Business: Optimize for Local Search

A powerful and free way to advertise your business online is to register for a Google My Business listing. This allows your business to manage your presence on Google Search and in Google Maps. This tool really helps people find you locally. 

With today's ever increasing demand for convenience, people will likely choose your business over your competitor's if they find that you are the closest to them. Wouldn't it be cool if you could rank #1 in Google for searches such as "cafe shops near me".

2) Check Out Yext

Yext helps you to scan the web for every place your business is listed in, so you can tweak your listings to guarantee that you've listed information accurately. Yext isn't cheap, but use their scanning service to learn more about your business online.

*Why is this important you may ask?

Here's a tip: The more places your business is listed on the Internet, the better your chances are of showing in search results, and the easier it is for potential customers to discover you.

To ensure that your SEO lives up to its billing, you have to make sure that the information you display matches up. 

Here's an example: If your company has a phone number, but listed differently in different places, this could affect your SEO negatively. 

3) Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

This shouldn't go without notice, because when you write for a well-established blog there are numerous advantages that you'll gain from it. 

First you can benefit from connecting to that blog's audience, and you can also start to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. 

Since guest posting allows you to access an established audience this activity can be more effective in the short-run than posting on your own blog.

4) Answer Lowyat.net Questions

Your activities online are meant to help people discover your business by attending to their search queries. What better way to do this than to answer direct questions which are related to your product or service. 

Lowyat is a online forum where Malaysians gather to discuss on various topics of interest to them. It's a great place to start and a lot of businesses take advantage of this platform.

Lowyat is thriving with local questions about numerous topics and you can expose yourself to a large local audience. This gives you the chance to interact with real people and establish yourself as a subject matter expert in your industry.

5) Publish Content on Facebook

Facebook is a platform that all Malaysians use frequently (Instagram included) and it's a great place to share about your business with people who have similar interests.

You can open up a free Facebook Page which allows you to showcase your brand to your connections and open up the possibilities for your users to engage and share announcements / promotions that you may have freely.

If you're wondering a paid method of getting more awareness, could be to leverage on news platforms such as Malaysian Foodie and Eat Pray Love.

6) Offer to Do Interviews on Podcasts

Its important to find out where your audience regularly consumes content. Your audience could be listening to podcasts (refer to this list of 10 great podcasts you can start your research with) instead of consuming article based content.

7) Promote Your Website / Product / Promo on Your Email Signature

This is a no brainer. You send email every day, it would be a shame if you aren't taking advantage of the promotional potential of your email signature. Email is essential to every business period, and it's a way for your business to communicate professionally with others.

Your email signature is a great place to start your advertising efforts and is often overlooked. You're free to promote anything from a sale, contest, event, or a even a blog post. Don't forget to add a link to your business' website plus any social links you have a presence in.

8) Send Email Newsletters

You'll be surprised on the effectiveness of sending out a few updates about your business periodically to your business contacts. With the right time investment this can be a useful way to keep your prospects informed and you can establish your business as a thought leader. Learn how you can send out email reliably here.

9) Network at in-person events

Networking with professionals at industry networking events opens opportunities for you to meet with consumers who are already in the frame of mind to discuss about your business. This is a great way because when you attend such events you get the chance to network with key industry players and meet people who are interested in that industry plus you get to keep up to date with the latest trends in the industry.

10) Speak at an event

This may seem like a daunting task for most, but leads to an opportunity for brand awareness and to establish that your business is really able to provide solutions for problems which customers may face. Consider hosting your own briefs or insights that would help likeminded professionals, or key opinion topics that address issues that your customers face.

11) Conduct a free product giveaway or contest

This is a great way to incentivize people to follow your business on social media or to learn more about your business in general. This can be achieved by handing out inexpensive products that are related to your business and can prove to be a great branding exercise.

12) Put up brochures or flyers

The Internet is the biggest thing to happen in our everyday lives. We can't live without it and dwell online for a good amount of time everyday. However, don't overlook the offline (physical realm) avenue for ads. A good number of people also spend their time at the local coffee shop, library, and other community areas. If you're a physical therapist, for example, you could hand out brochures to local gyms or hospitals.

13) Partner with another business

Explore this option, it's an interesting way to help other businesses work on areas that they don't otherwise cover. For example a web design agency might partner with a copywriting agency where both agencies are able to provide services to each other when a skill is required. When there is a need for a specific service your partner will point the customer to your service and likewise for you.

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