How much do you spend on marketing? According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses should invest 7% to 8% of gross revenues on advertising. In reality, most companies spend around 12% of their total budget on promoting their business.
Clearly, getting the word out about your business is an expensive endeavor. And depending on how much you spend, advertising can quickly turn into a high risk/high reward scenario where you stand to gain customers... or lose money.
Businesses need affordable, reliable means to promote their products and services. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of free business marketing available online. You can post free classified ads or take advantage of free advertising on Google. Complimentary ads don’t always have the same promotional value as paid promos. But when something’s free, how can you go wrong?
Here are five sources of free advertising online that will help you market your business.
Free advertising source #1: Google My Business
If you aren’t using free advertising on Google, you should be. Businesses receive an average of 1,009 views per month on Google My Business. Nearly half of all companies are discovered more than 1,000 times a month.
Claim and verify your business on Google. Then update your contact information, website, photos and more. According to Google, companies with pictures on their My Business profile receive 35% more click-throughs. Also, pay attention to the reviews written on this site. Google My Business is the most popular place to write (and read) customer reviews!
Free advertising source #2: Social Media
Social media is a well-established source of free advertising. But each platform is a little bit different in what it offers and how it can help.
Every company should have a Facebook Page. Facebook offers 100% free business advertising that allows you to interact organically with your customers on a personal level. Two out of every three Facebook users visit a local business page at least once a week. Capture this audience with an informative page you update often with quality content. And don’t forget to promote your special offers and events!
Instagram is another platform for free advertising online. This photo-based site works best for businesses with something visual to share. And these photos work! Half of users say they’ve purchased after seeing a product or service on Instagram. Also worth noting is that consumers prefer Instagram more than other social media platforms for connecting with brands. An amazing 36% of users say Instagram is where they like to follow brands.
Use this free advertising site if you’re a B2B company looking to connect with other businesses. Link your personal profile to your business’ profile to boost your presence on this platform and start connecting with its 722 million users.
Pinterest is a free business advertising option with powerful conversion potential. There are more than 450 million active users on this platform. Half of them report frequently shopping on Pinterest, while another 89% say they use the site to get purchase inspiration. Like Instagram, Pinterest is a photo-centric social media platform working best for visual products and services.
YouTube may surprise you as a source of free advertising online. But when you post videos to this site, you have the potential to reach 2.3 billion users. One of the most popular types of videos on YouTube are “How-to.” Consider starting there to build a YouTube audience. Include your business’ contact information in each video, and make sure contact information is included in your profile as well.
Free advertising source #3: Oodle Marketplace
You may not have heard of this free advertising website, but Oodle is the most extensive website to post free ads. Oodle Marketplace aggregates listings from sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, ForRent.com, local newspapers and more to create a cohesive list of ads for users looking for your products and services.
Oodle is powered by Facebook's original classified section and is still a preferred developer with the social media giant. To create a free Oodle account, you need to have a Facebook page. Once you’re signed up, you can begin to reach Oodle’s 15 million users.
Free advertising source #4: Craigslist
Craigslist is a place to post free local classified ads online. This platform allows you to publish an advertisement for just about anything and organizes the listings by category and location. Post an ad on craigslist for free to get exposure on one of the top 20 most-visited websites in the U.S.
One downside to this free business advertising option is Craigslist’s somewhat negative reputation. While many people use Craigslist, be aware of the demographics of your target audience. Certain customers simply won’t look there for your products or services.
Free advertising source #5: Geebo
Geebo could be dubbed “the safe craigslist” because of the many precautionary measures the site takes to protect users. Ultimately, Geebo is another place to post free classified ads online.
On this free advertising site, your posts will be reviewed and vetted to ensure safety. Geebo cultivates greater trust with your customers while introducing your business to a whole new user group.
Free business advertising is within your grasp using these free advertising sites. Get started now to promote your company to the customers who need your products and services!