Online advertising for your business can be compared to having a shop in the middle of a busy street – it allows you to reach out to potential customers from all over the world.
It helps to get the word out and promote your business, ultimately leading to increased sales.
And for local businesses looking to advertise locally, it can be a great way to increase foot traffic in your local community.
Gone are the times of the local newspaper or direct mail!
But advertising costs money, and for small businesses, this can be a burden that takes away from other resources needed for success.
The best part is that you don’t have to break the bank in order to advertise your business online.
Here’s a list of some of the best places online to promote your company without spending any money at all.
Free advertising is a pretty straightforward concept.
It’s advertising your business online without having to pay for any of the services or platforms you use.
Ad placement and audience targeting are the top ways that advertisers drive more demand, meaning that free advertising can be just as effective as paid.
Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager at PhotoAid, reminds business owners to “keep in mind that free advertising options may not be as effective as paid options, as they often have less reach and targeting capabilities . . . However, it can still be an excellent way to get started and then can be combined with paid options as your business grows.”
Deciding on which platforms to use is a process.
You want to pick something that fits your brand but also gets noticed by the right people.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting an advertising platform:
- Make sure the website or platform is reputable and well-known: You’ll want to make sure the website or platform you choose is reputable so that your ads reach as many customers as possible.
- Check out user reviews: Read online reviews from business professionals who have previously used the advertising platforms in question.
It’ll help you get an idea of their experience with it and how effective it was to gain new customers.
- Estimate the site’s reach: While the more traffic, the better, make sure that the people using the platform are in your target audience.
This will help you determine whether you can effectively target prospective customers in your area.
- Consider complexity: Depending on the type of advertising medium you choose, certain websites may be more suitable than others.
Whether video ads, carousel ads, text ads, or single-image ads, there are so many ways to advertise online.
- Consider targeting options: Many websites offer different types of targeting options that can help you find high-intent customers in your target market.
Research the website or platform’s capabilities before making a decision.
There are also some sites you should avoid that simply won’t give you the visibility or reach you need.
Leszek Dudkiewicz, Head of Marketing at Passport Photo Online, says: “(. . .) free advertising may have the opposite effect than desired. If the sites you put your ads on are untrustworthy and seem unprofessional, people will associate your business with similar epithets. So, ensure you do your research about the sites you want to advertise on.”
Make sure you avoid:
- Low-traffic forums or discussion boards:
While these may provide good insights into certain topics, they rarely generate enough traffic to make them worthwhile for digital advertising.
- Unregulated classifieds sites:
These may be great for selling small items or finding a room to rent, but they aren’t appropriate to promote your business.
- Spam-filled online directories:
Most of these sites are full of outdated information and are used by spammers to spread malicious links.
Let’s dive into the best places to promote your business.
Google My Business (GMB) is a free and easy-to-use tool for small business owners and organizations to manage their online presence across the Google search network.
It’s especially helpful if you’re a local business owner that wants to be discovered by local customers, including on Google Maps and Google search results.
GMB is a type of search engine optimization (SEO) tool that allows you to create and manage a business listing on Google.
When people are actively searching for your business, it’ll appear on the Local Map Pack along with other relevant local businesses, giving you a better chance of getting noticed.
In order to create a GMB page, you will need to sign up for an account with Google.
Once you’ve done that, follow these steps:
- Go to google.com/business and click “start now”
- Enter the necessary business information, including your business name, address, and contact details
- Add photos of your products or services
- Verify your listing by postcard or phone call (this step is optional but recommended)
- Add your business description and other details as necessary
- Select the categories that are relevant to your business
A Google Business profile page can include photos, contact information, products or services offered, hours of operation, customer reviews, and more.
For example, many restaurants such as Burger King, KFC, and McDonald’s have a GMB page.
It helps them to promote their business and menu items, as well as provide customers with a direct link to their website.
Making use of Google Ads in your marketing strategy is a great way to optimize organic search results for your own website and increase visibility.
Krittin Kalra, founder of WriteCream, highly recommends using Google Display Network to place ads on relevant web pages and the Google search network, as it can help reach a wider audience.
Bing Places is another free platform for online marketing.
It’s similar to Google My Business, where it will show up in local listings, but there are a few differences.
For example, Bing Places offers some additional features like a loyalty program, appointment scheduling, and the ability to upload videos.
What’s more, Bing Ads is a great way to generate more leads from people who are searching for your business on Bing.
Remember that classic yellow book that used to be in every household?
Well, it’s still around and available as an online directory for business listings.
The travel website Booking.com is best known for using YP, using its profile to list all of its services and locations.
It’s a simple way to get your business listed online, and you can even create a free profile that includes photos and other promotional materials.
Facebook is one of the best places to advertise your business.
You can easily set up a free page for your business and start posting relevant content, such as product updates.
Creating a Facebook Business Page is one of the most effective ways to reach Facebook users in your target audience.
Facebook Pages lets you share news, updates, and photos about your business, as well as interact with customers by responding to comments and messages.
Nike’s page has over 37 million followers, a testament to its success.
With a business blog, you can write informative and engaging SEO quality content to promote your business in search engines.
As well, many use it as a platform to showcase products or services and build relationships with customers.
Email marketing is also a great promotional tool to reach out directly to prospects and keep them informed about your business updates and more.
In fact, it generates a 30x average ROI.
Vaibhav Kakkar, the CEO of Digital Web Solutions, notes that “time and persistence are needed to build an email list.” He recommends, “Provide a subscription form to enable users to subscribe from any page on your website.”
Robert Hoffmann, Marketing Manager at CashbackHero, has this to say about social platforms: “These are great places to start with, as they offer a wide range of targeting options which allow you to precisely target your desired audience at no cost.”
With the number of people using social media platforms projected to reach almost 6 billion in 2027, it’s no wonder that every business owner is taking advantage of it.
Social media offers an array of opportunities to promote your business and advertise online.
Facebook – Facebook is a dominant social media platform where you can set up an ad campaign complete with targeting options and reach a wide audience.
Along with Facebook Events, you can also create campaigns to promote your business.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is best for business to business (B2B) companies and can help you reach potential customers, partners and investors.
LinkedIn Ads can be targeted to people searching for specific items or services.
You can follow us on LinkedIn – we share great educational content about link-building for absolutely free!
YouTube – YouTube is the largest video platform in the world.
81% of Americans use YouTube, surpassing Facebook with 69%.
While you can create and upload YouTube videos that showcase your brand, it’s also the best place for influencer marketing.
TikTok – TikTok is the newest social media platform, and it has taken off in recent years.
It’s great for reaching out to a younger audience and those on mobile devices.
You can use it for video advertising, as well as creating engaging content that will capture their interest.
Pinterest – Pinterest is the perfect platform for businesses that rely on visuals.
It’s unique in that it’s a search engine, so you can use images, infographics, and videos to entice searchers.
The most successful brand on Pinterest is Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade and vintage items.
Instagram – Instagram is also great for promoting visual content, such as photos and videos.
It also allows you to use hashtags to reach out to potential customers.
Single video ads are the most popular Instagram ads and can be used to boost brand awareness.
Twitter – Twitter is the perfect platform if you want to reach out to potential customers in an informal way.
We use it as a tool to communicate with our followers and foster relationships.
Creating listings does one very important thing – it helps to get more visibility for your business.
Business directories list companies in a directory, often with a link that leads back to their website.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular business directories:
- Google My Business Profile
- Better Business Bureau
- City Search
- Bing Local
- Yahoo Local
Thanks to the abundance of places to advertise your business online, you can reach out to potential customers without having to spend a fortune.
The key is to find the right platform for your business that is used by your target audience.
We’ve outlined some of the best free platforms, such as Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
No matter which platforms you choose, be sure to optimize your posts for search engine optimization (SEO) so that customers can easily find your page.
With a bit of effort and the help of these platforms, you can get the word out about your business and reach potential customers from all over the world.
Do you build links on ‘free-for-advertisement’ websites at Getmentioned?
No, we do not.
We prefer high-authority websites with organic traffic, so our clients can get better results from free advertising.
Where can I advertise online for free?
|Google My Business
|Facebook Business Page
|Business Listing/Social Media
Are ads for free effective?
Yes, free ads can be effective if they are used correctly.
Ensure you choose the correct platform and use SEO to maximize your reach.
Which online advertising is best?
There isn’t a “best” platform, as this depends on your business and target audience.
- The most effective free advertising platforms will be reputable, reach your target audience, and be able to help you optimize for SEO.
- Using a combination of social media, search engine platforms, and business directories can help you reach more potential customers.