If you are a small business, you probably don’t have the means to do elaborate billboards, TV ads or mass mailings. Luckily, with technology today, it’s pretty easy to find cheaper ways to promote your business and engage with customers. We’ve put together some affordable (and mostly free) ideas on how to advertise your business.

Create a Google My Business account

One of the most popular marketing ideas for small and local businesses is Google My Business. Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool to help manage your online presence across Google. Not only will it make your business visible on search, but also Google Maps. You can quickly update information so things like your hours and phone number are always up to date for your customers. You can also increase engagement with your customers by utilizing photos, Q&A and reviews. This is a great free tool to expand your online presence.        

Create a free Yelp listing

Adding your business to Yelp is another free and easy way to advertise your business. Adding your business can help increase your online presence on search engines. This is an especially good option if your business involves food or service. Yelp allows you to easily see reviews and engage with your customers. Even if you see a negative review, it allows you to quickly correct any issues your business may be facing.

Take advantage of free ad credits

It’s like cyber-couponing! Facebook and Google are usually giving away free ad credit vouches. When you sign up for services like web hosting or AdWords, try out the services with free vouchers. This allows you to expand your business into areas you may not have previously thought of, like creating banner ads that appear on websites catered to your target demographic.

Build a business partnership

Teaming up with other small and local businesses allows you to increase exposure for basically no money. If you give your customers a coupon to the other business or vice versa, both businesses are being seen by new potential customers. Choose a business that is complimentary to your own. For example if you own a small gym, maybe try teaming up with a nutrition shop and tapping into their loyal, health-conscious customers. Both your businesses can even utilize social media to join forces and spread the word to your already-existing fans.

Think locally

Focusing on your local community allows you to save on online advertising. Try a window decal or magnet for your vehicle as a way to spread the word. They can typically be purchased at a reasonable price. Buy it in bulk to get a better deal and to have something to offer your customers. Now they can rep your business on their car – talk about free advertising!

If you are on a street with a lot of traffic, try a sidewalk sign. Advertising a sale or new product can help draw people into your store. Clever messages or inspiration quotes can also help get attention. You may even end up going viral!

Reach out to your local media to see if they would cover your business. You can do this by sending a press release to the station or networking with local reporters. Remember, they won’t cover sales, so you will have to find something unique or newsworthy to share.

Remember your existing customers

Don’t forget your existing customers can be a huge asset while trying to increase your bottom line. These customers have already purchased from you, so you just need to make sure they’ll keep coming back. Ask if you can add them an email list. Email marketing is a smart way to keep advertising your small business and continuing to remind your existing customers of what great offers you have. Take that list and treat those customers like VIPS. Maybe offer coupons, sneak peaks, or exciting news. Let them know how much they are appreciated.

Having a small business can put a lot of pressure on your wallet. Getting creative and taking advantage of free advertising can help you build the business of your dream. If you have a business, reach out to your Farm Bureau agent to make sure you have the coverage you need.