How to Promote Your Business Without Paid Ads

There’s no doubt that promoting your business isn’t just a nice-to-have. As we head into 2021, businesses need low-cost and free marketing tactics to help meet their business goals—whether it’s raising brand awareness, driving website website traffic, or making sales.

Business promotion is more than just publishing images on social media or buying ads. It’s a process to help you achieve measurable success in your business. Here’s how you can promote your business for free to drive traffic and sales for your store:

Use affiliates to promote your business

If you want to take product reviews a step further and solicit even more people to promote your product, consider starting an affiliate program. Affiliate marketing incentivizes other people to drive traffic to your business by offering a commission on every sale, similar to referral programs.

Finding your first affiliates can be tough if you don’t have wide brand recognition. Use an outreach campaign to find and recruit your first few affiliates and get the ball rolling. Look for affiliates who have an engaged audience and are already writing about your industry.

Write Guest posts on blogs

Free traffic—as opposed to paid traffic that comes from things like purchased ads—is often hard to come by for new websites. You can start blogging to drive traffic, but it takes time before you start seeing results.

While you grow your own audience, guest posting gives you a way to get in front of someone else’s. Not only does this drive traffic back to your website, but the links to your site will help with search engine optimization.

Find and connect with bloggers who have the type of audience you want to reach. Offer to write a guest post that their audience will love. Make sure the topic you write about is also related to your business or it won’t drive any traffic.

Do a roundup

While blogging is a great way to drive traffic back to your store, it can be a lot of work. This is especially true if you don’t feel very knowledgeable on a topic you need to write about, or you’re not generally comfortable writing. One way around this is to solicit contributions from other bloggers or experts.

Seek out experts on a topic and ask them to contribute an idea, such as a tip, recipe, or story to your blog post. Then, publish a list of all the responses you got back. You’ll be providing your audience with great content from relevant experts, plus the contributors will want to share the article with their own readers, increasing your own reach.

Get reviews For Products

Getting your product reviewed can be a great way to spread awareness and drive sales. Instead of waiting around for someone to review your product, use a blogger outreach campaign to get the ball rolling. You may end up landing a product review in outlets like Buzzfeed.

Contact bloggers with relevant, engaged audiences and offer to send them new products for free in exchange for an honest review. If you have a great product, they’ll love it and tell everyone.

Invest in infographics

Investing in a professionally designed infographic is one way to drive traffic and potentially build backlinks, which are great for search engine optimization (SEO). The cost ranges greatly for quality infographics—depending on what you need and the skill level of the person you hire—but it can be well worth the investment.

Need an idea for an infographic? Check out sites like Visually for inspiration. Once you’ve chosen an idea, research the topic and identify the points that you’ll cover in the infographic. You can hand this outline over to a professional designer as direction for what you want the infographic to cover you’re DIY route, in which case you should check out tools like Canva or Piktochart).

Let’s say you sell bicycles and related gear. You might create an infographic that talks about the environmental benefits of bicycling. Some points or figures you might include in the infographic could be how much a daily commute saves in fuel emissions, as well as a comparison of the total number of car owners and bike owners.

That message speaks to your customer base, but is also compelling enough that many blogs and even news sites might want to feature and link back to it.

Start an email marketing campaign

Email marketing is a great way to attract and retain customers as a small business. You can ask potential customers to sign up for an email list on your social media profiles or ecommerce store. Email is one of the most cost-effective ways to market a new business.

Once they opt-in, you can send them promotions, product launches, or content to build a relationship and increase sales.

The best part? You can create automated email marketing campaigns to send the messages for you. It’s a huge benefit for small business owners who don’t have a ton of time or resources to spend on marketing.

Get found on Google Search

When it comes to promoting your online business, SEO is one of the best ways to get traffic and sales over time. Research shows that online businesses receive 35% of total traffic and 33% of revenue from search engine results pages.

The goal is to get to position one, so when shoppers type in a specific keyword, they find your brand first. These shoppers are considered “high-intent,” which means they are more likely to buy your products compared to people who watch an ad or find you on social media.

The problem is, small businesses often don’t have the time or resources to do search engine optimization. The upside? Executing the basics is enough to get you ahead of competitors.

promote your business on social media

It’s no secret that social media is a smart way to market your business.

Get on TikTok

You’ve no doubt heard of TikTok by this point. According to the latest TikTok statistics, the social media platform has over 689 million active monthly users worldwide and has been downloaded over two billion times from the App Store and Google Play. Using TikTok for business is also the easiest way to reach younger demographics like zennials and Gen Z.