You want to market your online business, but you have no or very little money?
Small businesses used to have to use printed media or broadcast media to try to contact people. This was tied to geography, hard work and solid products, and it was expensive.
Here are five ways to promote your business online that won't cost you anything:
1. Use the three big local listing services
Registering your business with Google Places means that it shows up on Google Maps and can be found more easily on Google searches. Just fill out the form and register, and get your business verified through their confirmation process. Yahoo! also has a big database of businesses. It's free, and is worth the few minutes it takes to set up. Microsoft's Bing has a similar service that's also easy to use.
2. Use social media.
Tie in your ads and offers on your Facebook page and have a direct channel with your customers on Twitter. Don’t be frightened of social media or just use to for exposure. You can also connect with people on LinkedIn at a personal and company level.
3. Use a blog.
A blog helps your company get its name out and connects with customers more directly. All you have to do is write a short, interesting article as frequently as you can.
4. Use SEO.
Search engine optimisation is still worth doing, even in the world of changing algorithms. To get a short cut in on this, read an online how-to-guide on SEO and make sure your site is primed for performance on search engines. But remember, all the algorithms in the world are looking for one thing: authentic content. Generate that regularly and it won’t matter of Google change their system.
5. Use and contribute to a relevant online community.
Every business has communities online. Don’t just sign up for a forum and post every once in a while about your business, actively contribute and build a rapport with people there, not even mentioning your business out of it. Promote by putting a link in your signature or mentioning it only when the context is appropriate. You’ll get out of the community what you put into it.
Do these five steps and watch the responses!