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How To Advertise A Local Business
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Advertising puts your business in front of its target audience, influencing them to buy the product or service you are promoting.
While most platforms charge entrepreneurs to reach their audience, it is possible to get free advertising for your business. Tactics such as word of mouth campaigns, online directory listings, and email newsletters make it possible to reach potential customers without spending a single dollar.
Not sure where to start? These 9 free advertising sites can spread the word about your business to get the ball rolling.
Free advertising is just what you think it is—a strategy to help get your small business in front of your audience. You can reach your audience using online directories, guest blogs, and word-of-mouth campaigns—all without spending a dollar on advertising.
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Free online advertising strategies help entrepreneurs combat rising advertising costs. Studies show that the cost per click (CPC) for paid search ads increased by 15% in the second and third quarters of 2021 alone. Alternative (free) channels to reach your customers do not force your business to compete in an expensive race to the bottom.
Craigslist is a classifieds advertising website that allows people to list products and services for free. Popular categories include furniture, clothing and motorcycle parts.
As the fastest growing consumer buying and selling app, nearly 18% of buyers say it’s their platform of choice for second-hand products.
To advertise your products for free, click the “Create a Posting” button, select the geographic location you want to advertise, and select a category that fits within it. Send basic information about the product or service including its price, title and description. Review the information and press submit to make your ad live.
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ClassifiedAds.com is another website that entrepreneurs can use to advertise their products and services for free. It is popular in the US, India and UAE, with 580,000 visitors per month.
To list your business for free on ClassifiedAds.com, select the item you are selling, select a subcategory and add basic details such as price, location and ad title. Then choose when you want the list to expire.
With 1.9 million monthly visitors, Locanto is a free advertising website for small businesses to sell anything from arts and crafts to electronics. Post a free ad to find people in your local area.
With over 2.91 billion active users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world. With this kind of reach, more than a third of users plan to buy directly through the platform this year. Although the Facebook advertising platform is getting more expensive, you can use Facebook’s free marketing tools to advertise your business:
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Ooodle allows entrepreneurs to upload ads for free. Founded in 2004, the market website attracts 1.7 million visitors each month, mostly between 45 and 64 years old.
An active Facebook account allows you to create an Ooodle account, select the geographic location you want to advertise in, and upload your product details.
Yelp is a free, crowd-sourced local business review site. It is the most visited public records and directory site in the world, attracting 205 million visitors per month.
It’s free to create a Yelp listing and is best suited for businesses with a physical location, such as a personal store, gym or restaurant. Work on getting reviews from previous customers and be within reach of appearing in the first 10 results for Yelp searches in your target market.
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OLX has a range of markets in more than 30 countries including Brazil, India, Portugal and South Africa. Classifieds are free for small business owners to advertise anything from cars to apartments.
Formerly known as Google My Business, Google Business Profile helps small businesses appear in Google search results—where 81% of shoppers rate local businesses (up from 63% last year).
Claim your free Google business profile and upload information about your business, including hours of operation, location and phone number. An optimized profile will appear on both search engine results pages and Google Maps when local buyers are looking for businesses like yours.
All US states have local chambers of commerce. It is the largest business organization in the world, which acts as a reference source for entrepreneurs.
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The Chamber of Commerce offers membership starting at $295 per year. Part of this membership may include free advertising, networking opportunities, and monthly email blasts to over 30,000 contacts.
Above are many free advertising ideas to help get your business off the ground. Some may work better for your business model or industry. Fierce competition and industry oversaturation does not mean your small business has to pay for advertising to be seen.
The rising cost of paid advertising channels means that small business owners are competing for brand visibility. Free online advertising strategies help entrepreneurs combat rising advertising costs and give business owners the ability to experiment with channels and audience engagement as they grow.
Some free advertising tactics are word of mouth campaigns, online directory listings, and email newsletters. These channels make it possible to reach potential customers without spending a single dollar.
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The most important thing about these free advertising tactics is that they are proven to get your business in front of an audience. Once you are there, make sure they know why you are different from your competitors.
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As a small business owner, I have spent years finding new and authentic ways to bring what I offer to those who need it.
I have tried many small business marketing ideas and learned from countless mistakes. And what I found is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a successful marketing strategy.
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There are many free and inexpensive ways to market your small business. Try a variety to see what works best for you.
When you think of digital marketing, you may immediately think of running paid ads on Google or Facebook. But when you change your mindset about online advertising, you will find many ways to sell your services online that don’t even cost as much as paid advertising.
As a digital marketer says, online marketing is simply a customer value journey aimed at strategically building relationships with new prospects and converting them into loyal, repeat customers. This means digital marketing is finding ways to really connect with people and help online.
One of the best ways to help people is to answer their questions, and nowhere do people ask more questions than Google.
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Think about what you sell and what questions your ideal customer will have when searching for your product. You can start a blog and write articles to solve these problems by gaining the respect and trust of the reader.
As with any free marketing tool, there are many people who are trying to implement this strategy. So you will need to learn some search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to stand out in the search results.
SEO is not as scary as it sounds. Simply look at the question you are answering, get into the mind of the person asking it, and include as much useful information as possible to answer the question.
The key to building trust on social media is to provide authentic content and show it consistently. If your content is only promotional or if you post only when you have a sale, then potential customers will not trust you or follow you, the platform algorithm may hide your content. This can also prevent you from reaching your existing followers.
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Instead, choose a social media platform to invest your time and post educational, aspirational or entertaining content in addition to promotional content. Knowing where your potential customers spend their time is also important.
For example, Instagram and Facebook are currently the most trafficked platforms