3 Easy Ways to Market Your Business for Free

If you’re a small business with limited resources, it’s important to maximize everything you have available, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. While marketing can be costly, there are ways to grow your market without breaking the bank. Next time you’re preparing a marketing campaign, try out one of these three simple ways to market your business for free: 

1. Be Your Own PR Agency

Paid advertising or hiring a public relations (PR) agency can be costly, but securing these opportunities can be completely free of charge if you use the right tactics.

Newspapers, television, radio stations, and blogs are constantly searching for relevant content for their audience. While contacting an editor or journalist may feel daunting, you’d be surprised to find out how willing they are to speak with entrepreneurs. They often enjoy speaking to business owners so they can get the story directly and ask any follow-up questions.

Securing Media Attention

In most cases, you’ll be the interview subject in their story or post, offering information straight from the source. But, be sure to review the basics of conducting a media interview before you jump in front of a camera or microphone. This way, you can maximize your speaking time and formulate quick, direct answers that will be perfect for quoting.

Another important tip to help secure media attention is to prepare a press release. As reinforced by James Stephenson and Courtney Thurman’s book, the Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide, a well-received and publicized press release can create the same awareness as an advertisement that costs five figures.

2. Enter Local Contests and Award Competitions

Local awards competitions are a great way to spread awareness about your company because they give you exposure to new audiences. They’re also a great way to piggyback on the media attention that contests attract. Media outlets love a good success story and press releases about the awards offer valuable and relatable content. 

Gaining Exposure

Awards and events can offer a lot of exposure. For example, past Small Business BC Awards finalists have been featured on Global News, The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail, Forbes Magazine, and more. Also, social media updates from hosts, sponsors, other contest participants, voters, and media outlets are all possible advocates for your business.

This exposure not only creates brand awareness for your target market but also helps bring attention to your business from potential investors and mentors to help your business grow.

If you don’t think your business is ready to compete in a province-wide contest, ask your local Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade about their business awards. Every year these organizations bring together residents, employees, and business owners in their community to honour and celebrate business excellence.

3. Use Relevant Content to Engage With Your Community

It’s often personal, relevant content that sparks more engagement and generates more conversation than branded content. When you share content that’s interesting and outside your business offerings, your audience is more likely to share, like, and comment on your blog or posts, organically boosting their reach.

There are many ways to further encourage engagement with your content, including:

  • Ending your post with a question
  • Responding to users’ comments or questions
  • Using unique hashtags 

Researching Trends Using Hashtags

Hashtags are also a great way to monitor trends. Here are a few different ways you could use them:

  • Research a topic or event to see if it’s relevant to your target market
  • Monitor how your content fares against the competition
  • Learn if certain types of content work better for a particular trend

Market Your Business for Free

Next time you’re planning out how to use your marketing budget, remember that there are always ways to market your business for free, while still increasing your brand awareness. It may take some creative brainstorming or stepping outside your comfort zone, but staying on top of current opportunities can be what sets your business up for success.

Small Business BC is Here to Help

SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.