What a title, isn't it? I didn't write this headline to get more likes or shares; I used it because it's the truth. How cool it will be if you get to promote your brand for FREE? Any entrepreneur would love that any day.
The reason I am writing this post is that it is one of my constant quests to find "free" or "almost-free" tactics to promote my client's businesses. The reason behind this is because I focus only on Startups and Small & Medium Businesses who don't have the privilege of heaps of cash sitting there just to be spent on Facebook Ads and all. So the search is always on for cost effective marketing tactics.
So if you are a startup founder or a business owner, I would like to bring your attention to some "free" ways to promote your brand. And by some, I mean exactly 15 things you can do for the same. So let's have a look:
So how can you leverage Email Signature for promotions?
Have all the correct information about your business including address, phone number, email, website (most important) and even the social media links where you want your prospects and customers to go.
2. Company Profile on Twitter: Twitter is one the busiest social media network today. According to Statista, there are 328 million monthly active users on Twitter as on Q2 2017. It is a platform where one can send a short message (known as the tweet) to anyone in the world who's on the platform. Your business might be doing kick-ass work, but unless your customers and prospects aren't aware of the same, it's a moo point (Details here). One of the best ways to get the word out about your brand is Twitter. And it's free.
So how can you leverage Twitter for promotions?
Create a complete and awesome profile for your business on Twitter. Make it a habit to share useful information with your target audience and engage with them. Connect with influencers and seek their help to get the word out.
3. Create a Facebook Page: Facebook (as you all might know) is the biggest social network on the planet. It boasts of 2 billion users as of Q2 2017 (Statista). That's mind-boggling figures, isn't it? So as a business owner, you can be pretty sure that your target audience will be active on the network and leverage the same. Creating an awesome company page with all relevant information and sharing useful content is a good tactic for every business. And it's free.
So how can you leverage Facebook Page for promotions? Create a Facebook page for your business with all the relevant information about your organization including logo, contact details, products etc. Facebook even allows you to select your industry, target audience and geography etc. Develop a habit of sharing useful information as posts for your target audience. Make it a point that you engage with your audience and build a following.
4. Make Use of Facebook Groups: Facebook groups are communities which are formed around a common interest. For example Digital Marketing, Artificial Intelligence, Cooking etc. These groups will have your prospects and customers as members. So by being part of these groups, you give your business a fair chance of getting some attention from your audience. And it's free.
So how can you leverage Facebook Groups for promotions? Select the right groups with the right members for you. Share relevant information for the members and try not be too sale-sy or else admins might take action on that. Engage with members with an objective of helping them achieve their goals.
5. Create a LinkedIn Company Page: LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world. According to Statista, it had 467 million members on Q3 2016. So if your target audience is working professionals and other organizations (B2B), then this network is your goldmine. Creating and maintaining a company page can take your brand a long way. And it's free.
So how can you leverage LinkedIn Company Page for promotions? First and foremost, create and maintain your LinkedIn company page in a professional manner. Tips like complete information, sharing relevant and useful content for your audience, connecting with your audience, engaging with them can help you in long run.
6. Join LinkedIn Groups: Similar to Facebook groups, LinkedIn also has professional groups based on common interests of its members. These groups are created for helping professionals in the same field to learn, share, educate and boost their professional journey. Make sure as a business owner, you are part of those LinkedIn groups where your prospects and customers are members and you engage with them. And it's free.
So how can you leverage LinkedIn Groups for promotions? The thumb rule to follow here is never be too enthusiastic to SELL. Select the right groups, contribute as much as possible, engage with other members including your prospects and try to help them whenever you can.
7. Create a LinkedIn Group: Another way to get brand exposure is by creating your own LinkedIn Group based on your area of expertise. This can help you build a community based on your area of interest and grab their attention. And it's free.
So how can you leverage creating LinkedIn Groups for promotions? Maintain a professional decorum for your group. Invite the right folks to be a part of the group. Establish basic rules and maintain them. Share awesome content which will help your community members.
8. Create a Facebook Group: Similar to LinkedIn groups, you can create groups on Facebook too for your area of interest. This will help you in building your own community and attracting more eyeballs to your brand. And it's free.
So how can you leverage creating Facebook Groups for promotions? Build your community by inviting right people to join the group. Establish and maintain the etiquettes of the group. Keep the engagement and activity in the group well maintained and you will reap the benefits in the long run.
9. Participate in Twitter Chats: Twitter Chats are basically discussion sessions organized by brands, organizations, and individuals on Twitter. These revolve around various topics like Digital Marketing, Fashion, Food, Travel etc. One can participate in these by answering the questions in these chats using the relevant hashtags. These chats are the perfect place to showcase your expertise and get the word out about your brand. Here is a list of Twitter Chats available. And it's free.
So how can you leverage Twitter Chats for promotions? Identify the right twitter chats based on your industry. Do your research on participants and reach of the hashtag used. Participate in the selected chats diligently and control the urge to pitch your product. Engage with organizer and other participants while sharing your expertise. Showcase your product/service as and when appropriate.
10. Get Active on Quora: Quora is a platform where questions are asked, answered and even edited by the users themselves. It covers a wide array of subjects and questions can be of any nature from simple to complex. According to statistics, Quora has around 190 million monthly users. Amazing, isn't it? As there are more than 4,00,000 topics on this platform, the possibilities of questions been asked in your area of expertise is fairly huge. You can answer the questions relevant to your brand and gain some attention easily. And it's free.
So how can you leverage Quora for promotions? One has to start off by creating a kick-ass profile on Quora. Identify the right questions to answer and address them in detail without sounding sale-sy. Your objective on Quora should be to help the members asking those questions with relevant answers. Bring attention to your brand as and when possible based on the relevancy.
11. Go Visual on Instagram: Instagram is one the fastest growing social networks today with over 400 million active daily users (Source). The best feature about Instagram is it's all about visuals. So if you are good at making creative graphics and posts, this is the best place for you to be. And it's free.
So how can you leverage Instagram for promotions? Create an awesome business profile with relevant information like a short bio, contact details, website etc. Share visually appealing graphics or posts which either helps or entertains your target audience. Connect with relevant influencers, follow your prospects and engage with your audience on this platform.
12. Blog on Medium: Medium is a blogging platform where individuals and brands publish their stories and which attracts more than 60 million monthly readers (Source). As a business owner, you can also start your medium blog or publication and start sharing awesome stories with your audience. The best part about blogging on medium is that it comes with an existing audience on the platform and by using the right tags, your stories can reach them.
So how can you leverage Medium for promotions? Start off with creating a good business profile on medium. Create your own publication and start publishing awesome artifacts relevant for your audience. Use the right tags to mark them and keep an eye on the statistics of your posts.
13. Live Stream Everywhere: Live Streaming has taken over the social media world in recent times. Facebook Live and Twitter Live are classic examples of the same. As per statistics, 80% of brand audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. As a business in these modern times, it is time for you go live as well. When you go live, your followers will be notified and they can interact with you via questions and comments. And it's free.
So how can you leverage Live Streaming for promotions? Make sure you have a plan for going live. Always share something exciting with your audience. Engage with your audience during the live sessions. Also, you can plan these sessions in advance and notify your audience.
14. Post Videos on YouTube: Do you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web? According to statistics, almost 5 billion videos are watched on this network every single day. That's amazing. You can also start a YoutTube channel for your brand using Google credentials. Posting awesome video content on your channel and sharing it with your audience can bring good traction for your brand. And it's free.
So how can you leverage YouTube for promotions? Create your profile with complete information including your website. Create and post interesting and useful videos for your audience and make use of relevant hashtags for them. Share the links to your videos to your followers and make sure you engage with them.
As a marketer for Startups and SMBs, I can think of gazillion free tactics to promote a brand. The success of all these tactics relies on the dedication and clarity of the business owner. A little bit of creativity can also go a long way here. I recommend you to kick off some of these tactics and let me know the results. I would love to hear them.
And let me leave you with a quote from my favorite marketer Guy Kawasaki.
"If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing."