1. Classified Ads
2. Send out press releases
Many small businesses consider the prospect of getting press coverage unattainable. However, a good story submitted well has every chance of making the news, and best of all it’s free.
To see more about writing and submitting press releases check out our public relations section.
3. Start a blog
Starting a blog is an excellent way of engaging your existing audience as well as attracting new customers. However, blogs do take time and patience so only start one if you have the time to put into it.
4. Participate in relevant forums
Online forums are used and viewed by hundreds of people, and there’s almost always likely to be a couple of forums based around your industry. Participate in these forums through making relevant posts – many forums allow you to include a link to your company in your signature.
Find non-competing companies in your industry and suggest cross-promoting your two products, perhaps through adding links on your websites or including flyers in mail shots.
6. Search Engine Optimisation
If you run an online business and don’t have high search engine rankings then in effect you don’t exist for many people as they’ll never come across your site. Whilst search engine optimisation (SEO) is expensive if a specialist firm is hired it can also be learnt with sufficient time and dedication.
See our search engine optimisation section.
7. Write articles
The days of writing articles, submitting them to hundreds of article websites, and watching your search engine ranking and website visitors rocket are gone. However, articles written for specific websites that your target audience views can be highly effective.
Approach websites that are based around providing useful content for their visitors and suggest writing an article for them in return for your link being placed at the bottom of the article.
Also, check out our article writing section.
8. Place videos online
Viral marketing has been the marketing buzz word of 2006 and whilst huge viral hits are rare (and usually carefully planned by a viral marketing agency) there is still room for lower budget viral videos to generate awareness.
9. Give a presentation
Public speaking is one of the most disliked activities for many people but with a little practice anyone can begin to master it. Local organisations and clubs are often looking for external speakers to liven up their next meeting.
If you run a local business why not put yourself forward as a speaker at their next event.
10. Use Social Networking Websites
Websites such as Facebook and Bebo are ideal for being able to reach huge numbers of people free of charge. In particular, people on MySpace are very open to being approached by new people and checking out new products. The ability to target people in certain locations also makes it and ideal mechanism for promoting local businesses.