33+ Free Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work

33+ Free Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work

November 12, 2021
(Reading time: 3 - 6 minutes)

If you don't have the money to invest in a comprehensive marketing plan, you're just getting started or just trying to make a  place in the budget for another expense. Fortunately, you still have some FREE advertising choices.

Wayne Static once said, “Nothing in life is free, you always pay in the end.” That is true even with these free advertising ideas, as they will all require your time and attention. For small businesses, sometimes that might be easier than finding money in the budget for content marketing.

Now a  word of caution, if you choose to go down this road, make sure you have a plan and are prepared. Here is what you will need to have before setting up new accounts or sending out inquiries. 

  • Your business's name, address, and phone number {NAP)
  • A description of your business
    • It should be at most one to two paragraphs
    • Consider also having a further condensed version of about 160 characters
  • A handful of good photos of your business, products, or services
  • Your logo, in a high-quality version, not a screenshot from your phone

Once you've gathered that information, you're ready to begin setting up and utilizing these free marketing and advertising tools. Here's where you should go:

Social Media

Go where the masses are. 

“More than 1 in 3 Internet users say they go to social networks when looking for more information about a brand or product.” The likelihood of doing this is linked very strongly to age” (Source: Small Biz Trend

Maintaining an active presence on the various social media platforms guarantees that your small business is exposed to a larger number of potential clients. When you post relevant content, communicate and engage with your followers, and keep your profiles up to date with the most recent information about your business, you will gain essential brand awareness and credibility.

The real trick is to use the platform best suited to your small business. If your business is more image-heavy, then Instagram and Pinterest might be the best choices. If you are targeting older audiences, then Facebook might be a better choice. If you are more B2B, then LinkedIn might be the ideal platform for you. 

Here is a list of some of the more popular platforms you may want to consider:

Review and Business Listings Sites

Depending on your industry, there may be 5, 10, 15, or even 50 websites that a person could leave a review on. Below is a list of some of the more popular ones, but if you are looking for a more comprehensive list, check out the list of 180 Business Review Sites from Rising Star Reviews.  

I have written about the benefits of Google My Business (GMB) several times. It is hands down the single best FREE thing a business can do to help them get found on the web. If you need help, let me know, as we offer free support to small businesses with their GMB listing!

You will want to create accounts on the below list as these platforms serve as great ways to spread more information about your small business. Try to use the images, descriptions, and details we compiled first to speed up the process of populating this information. At the very least, you will want to make sure your NAP is correct and consistent across all of these sites! 

As you go through the list, take note of which ones allow you to respond to reviews, and be sure to respond to any of them to help maintain your small business’s online reputation. That will build your credibility with Google and ensure your clients can find you.

  1. Bing Places for Business
  2. YellowPages
  3. Yelp
  4. TripAdvisor
  5. Facebook
  6. Apple Maps
  7. Bing Places
  8. BBB (Better Business Bureau)
  9. Foursquare
  10. Factual
  11. Meetup
  12. Best of the Web
  13. Houzz
  14. Citysearch
  15. Yahoo! Local
  16. Trustpilot
  17. Manta
  18. SuperPages
  19. Citysearch
  20. MerchantCircle
  21. Dex
  22. YellowBot
  23. CYLEX
  24. Insider Pages

Blogging

Utilizing a blog and writing about what you do is a terrific strategy to engage your audience and develop the tone and personality of your small business. If you lack the time and resources to maintain your own blog, then consider hiring that part out. While some may think it is “cheating” to use a professional writer, I disagree.

Email Marketing

You'll most likely have to start small, but it's something! Make sure your email signature is professional and includes a link to your company's website. If you want to take it further, provide a link to a review site, such as your Google My Business listing.

You'll need email addresses if you want to launch email marketing campaigns. Begin with what you have and gradually expand your email list. An excellent place to look for previous or current clients is your billing software. Then scan your past emails for anyone you might have missed.

Once you have a list of emails, you will want to scrub it. I recommend Never Bounce; while not free, it’s a one-time cost that will save you headaches down the road.

Your Community

People in your community will be your biggest supporters and your often your greatest group of clients. Therefore, meet them where they live. Inquire with other local business owners about the advertising and marketing tools they use, and look for advertising possibilities in your area. 

A simple Google search with your location and the following terms should help you find a good list of places to meet people.

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Community/Enthusiast Meetups
  • Community Events

Industry Resources

This will necessitate some Googling and research on your part but look for groups and associations linked to your industry. Many of them will offer resources to help members connect with potential clients.

Suppose you are a dealer for particular items. In that case, you should also enquire about being featured on the supplier's website as a dealer or provider, as those can be some powerful backlinks.

You're All Set!

If you don't have any money in your budget to invest in a professional content marketing campaign, you still have options! Try the local resources and online platforms listed above to start getting your small business's name seen by your potential clients.

When you're ready to collaborate with a marketing agency and learn more about marketing and advertising choices for your small business, including search engine optimization, review monitoring, pay-per-click advertising, and search engine marketing, then reach out to us! We at Cube Creative Design will build you a comprehensive and personalized digital marketing package that fits within your budget and your small business's unique needs.

Chad Treadway

Written by:  |  November 12, 2021

Chad is our business development manager. He will help you survey your business needs, ensuring you are educated on your options before suggesting any solution. Chad also has several certifications through HubSpot to better assist you with your internet and inbound marketing.

See Chad Treadway's' bio: cubecreative.design/about/chad-treadway